5 effective ways to deal with unrequited feelings
Online dating has challenges as well as blessings, but what happens when you have unrequited feelings, when you like someone who doesn’t like you back? You find someone online who seems to be perfect, you build up excitement, you meet said person and they seem even better than hoped for, but then it’s like having a relationship with a brick wall. It can feel intense! Nancy Meyers put it well in romcom ‘The Holiday’: “And then, there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. It’s called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert.” How can you move on from this?
You so want it to work; You may meet up a few times and it seems really promising and you could even start falling for them, but trying to maintain or sustain anything with them is hard work…it’s all one sided. Just unrequited feelings. Emotionally, this can be draining, time consuming, causing anxiety and negative thoughts.
An ideal world
You think you’re in love, or the person seems perfect, but if they’re not responding or loving you back, it’s more than likely they are not the one for you. Maybe you are falling for the ‘ideal’ version of them and they are never going to live up to that. There could be a valid reason why the relationship won’t work – and it’s important to trust God in that.
Sometimes you’ll never know the reason, but God is very good at steering you away from disasters as well as steering you towards His perfect will. If things don’t work out, then God willing, He has someone better for you.
Quit playing games with my heart
In a relationship you should both want to see each other. It shouldn’t be hard work to maintain contact. You shouldn’t have to think “I can’t send a text because he hasn’t replied”. You should want to spend time in each other’s company, getting to know each other, enjoying each other. If someone doesn’t have time for you, then don’t waste your time. Hard though it is, it is best to move on.
I remember once waiting impatiently by my phone for a text as if I was at this man’s beck and call, willing for it to buzz with a text, fretting whether to send another, but then that would make me look over-keen. It eats you up…don’t let someone else take away your enjoyment of each day. Find contentment in God instead, who will never let you down and is always faithful.
Hand over your unrequited feelings
The more you try, the more the other person shrinks away. It’s very easy to come across as desperate when you’re trying to keep a flame alive that wants to die down. If the other person didn’t like you romantically before, chances are if you try to keep going with something, it won’t change. It can quickly turn into an obsession over someone if you’re not careful.
It’s a fine line between liking someone and really trying to make it work, and getting caught up in not living your life because you’re waiting for someone who won’t reciprocate your feelings. A relationship should be equal in love.
Fill your mind with things of God, instead of waiting by the phone for that reply, feeling that deep pit of dread. Spend time with God, or find something practical to do to take your mind off the situation… a watched pot never boils and a one sided relationship sucks the life and joy away from you.
Have other interests
Busy yourself with ways to make you feel confident and take you away from staring at your phone! Find hobbies that you enjoy, and prepare you heart and mind for when you do meet the right person.
Get back on the wagon
By all means, eat the tub of ice cream, but don’t let this one example of unrequited ‘love’ or one sided response ruin your future dates. Things don’t work out for a reason. I remember when I had a crush on a guy and put in a whole lot of effort to make something work – it fell flat on its face because he wasn’t the right one for me. I was upset at the time but the timing was not right and he was not right – I would never have met my husband, or had my son otherwise.
In all of this, trust God. Try to focus on Him and not on the text that you haven’t yet received, or the meet up that’s been postponed again. Move on with Him, as He is always faithful and He is always present.