One-sided love: How to deal with the painful feeling

By Wellness Hub

Last Updated: February 21, 2023

One-sided love is an emotion that many people experience at some point in their lives, though it is often difficult to confront and process. It occurs when one person deeply cares for someone else, but the other person does not reciprocate these feelings. This type of love can be challenging to manage and can lead to negative emotions, such as sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. It is essential to understand the causes and effects of one-sided love and learn how to cope with it to move forward.

Types of One-Sided Love

Signs and Symptoms of a one-sided relationship:

One-sided love is a feeling of love and admiration for someone who does not feel the same way about you. It can be easy to sense that you might have feelings for someone. But one-sided love can be complicated, and sometimes you might feel delusional about your real life. But some common tell-tale signs can keep you in ground reality.

Common signs of one-sided love include

  • Constantly thinking about the person,
  • Obsessively checking their social media,
  • Feeling a strong desire to be around them, and
  • Feeling jealous of others who get to spend time with them.
Signs and Symptoms

When it comes to symptoms, many can indicate one-sided love. Some of these include feeling rejected, lonely, and depressed; having difficulty concentrating, anxiety; and hostile thoughts about yourself and your worth.

Types of One-Sided Love

Type of LoveCharacteristicsExamples
Unrequited LoveOne-sided affectionCrushing on a friend who doesn’t feel the same way
Forbidden LoveAttraction with limitationsLoving someone from a different culture or already in a relationship
Idealized LoveLove based on projectionsFalling for an idealized image of someone

It’s important to remember that if you are feeling one-sided love, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It’s a normal emotion to experience, even if it is difficult to manage. The most important thing is to ensure that you care for yourself.

One-Sided Feelings in “Completely Normal Day Life:

It is completely normal to experience one-sided emotions in everyday life. It can feel like no one else understands or can relate to what we are going through, but it is important to remember that we are not alone in our feelings. Everyone experiences different levels of emotions, and it is essential to acknowledge and validate our feelings. It is important to take the time to process our emotions and to find ways to cope with them. This can involve talking to friends and family, engaging in activities that make us calm or seeking professional help. Whenever we feel overwhelmed, we must take a step back and focus on our well-being. Taking the time to understand and reflect on our emotions can bring us clarity and peace of mind.

  • Sometimes you can’t put a name to your emotions. In those cases, it’s more of a crush because you find another person interesting. This could even be someone you don’t know personally – like a famous person!
  • The other person may not even be aware of your feelings. This doesn’t always mean that your feelings are unrequited – it could be that you don’t share them with the other person. Of course, you can’t control who you fall for. And sometimes, the person you have feelings for is already in a relationship.
  • It can be hard to express your emotions, especially when you don’t open up to the other person. This can lead to unrequited feelings and a missed opportunity.
  • Fear of commitment can also be a factor in unrequited love. It can act as a protective mechanism and help shield you from facing your worries.
  • Sometimes, people experience a strong feeling of loneliness, which often comes with self-doubt. This can lead to wanting something other than what it is meant to be. After a breakup, you may still have positive feelings like love and affection for your ex-partner. Unfortunately, these emotions may not be reciprocated.
A girl feeling lonely by overthinking about her love
A girl feeling lonely by overthinking about her love

Challenges of Unrequited Love:

Unrequited love is difficult to experience, and it comes with its unique set of challenges. People in unrequited love may feel various emotions, from longing and disappointment to despair and anger. It can never be easy to accept that the person you love does not feel the same way about you. Nonetheless, there are ways to cope with the pain of unrequited love.

Challenges of Unrequited Love

Dealing with unreciprocated love can lead to feelings of sadness and depression. It’s important to consider seeking therapy to address these emotions and work towards healing.

  • One challenge of unrequited love is dealing with rejection. At the same time, knowing when to step back and move on with your life is equally important. Allowing yourself time to grieve and reflect on the situation can be beneficial. Still, you should also be aware that holding on to the relationship can be harmful and even damaging to your self-esteem.
  • Another challenge is maintaining a healthy relationship with the person you love. It is the person who does not reciprocate your feelings; it is still possible to remain friends. However, it can be challenging to see the person you love and not be able to express your feelings for them, so it is essential to set boundaries and have candid conversations about your expectations in the relationship.
Setbacks are not failures
A man thinking about his life
  • Finally, unrequited love can be a challenge to your mental health. It is normal to feel sad and disappointed when the person you love does not return your affection, but it is essential to be mindful of your emotions and practice self-care. If you struggle with your mental health, you must reach out to a trusted friend or professional for support. Unrequited love can be challenging to experience, but it is essential to remember that there are ways to cope with the challenges it presents. With the right support system and self-care, one can move on and find a healthier, more fulfilling relationship.

Dealing with the emotional turmoil of unreciprocated love can sometimes lead to stress and anxiety. Learning to manage these emotions is essential for your well-being.

The Allure of Forbidden Love

Another common form of unreachable love is forbidden love. It happens when someone is attracted to someone else who is off-limits for some reason. This could be because of cultural or religious differences, a significant age difference, or the person is already in a committed relationship. The allure of forbidden love is often irresistible, and many people find themselves drawn to someone they know they can never be with. The intensity of these feelings can be overwhelming, and it can be challenging to resist the temptation to pursue a doomed relationship.

The Fantasy of Idealized Love

Unreachable love can also take the form of idealized love. This is when someone is in love with an idealized version of someone else rather than the natural person. This can happen when people project their hopes and desire onto someone else, creating an idealized version of that person in their minds. This type of love can be challenging, as the person is not in love with the natural person but rather an idealized version of them.

Dealing with Unfulfilled Love

Unfulfilled love can be a problematic, permanent issue. While it may be hard to move forward, there are ways to cope and eventually find peace and acceptance.

Steps to Overcome Unfulfilled Love
  1. Acknowledge the pain: Allow yourself to feel the hurt and disappointment that comes with unfulfilled love. Acknowledging the pain is the first step in healing.
  2. Find support: Talking to friends or family, or seeking professional help, can help you understand and work through the emotions associated with unfulfilled love.
  3. Focus on self-love: Take time to focus on yourself and your needs. Practice self-care and do things that make you happy.
  4. Look for the good: Unfulfilled love can bring feelings of hopelessness and despair. Focus on the good things in life.
  5. Keep moving forward: Don’t let unfulfilled love hold you back. Taking small daily steps towards your goals can help you move forward and create a life you love. Do not overthink things.

Coping Strategies

Coping StrategyDescription
Acknowledge the painRecognize and accept your emotions.
Find supportSeek help from friends, family, or a therapist.
Focus on self-lovePrioritize self-care and self-compassion.
Look for the goodIdentify positive aspects of your life.
Keep moving forwardTake small steps daily toward your goals.

If you find it challenging to cope with one-sided love on your own, consider seeking professional help through online counselling or relationship-counselling. It can provide you with valuable insights and strategies to navigate these emotions.

Overcoming unfulfilled love:

  1. Find ways to distract yourself. Spend time with friends and family, take up a new hobby, or get involved in activities that bring you joy. Find activities you can do alone or with others, and take a break from things likely to remind you of the unfulfilled love.
  2. Take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and exercise regularly. Self-care is essential, and it can help you cope with difficult emotions.
  3. Seek professional help. If you struggle to move on, consider speaking with a counsellor or therapist. Talking to a professional can help you work through complicated feelings and develop strategies to cope with them.
  4. Let go of the past. Don’t dwell on what could have been. Focus on building a positive future for yourself. Let go of any expectations and forgive yourself for being unable to make things work out.
A Man thinking about his one-side love
A Man thinking about his one-side love

Following these steps can teach you to cope with unfulfilled love and move forward in life.

Conclusion on One-Sided Love:

One-sided love can be a difficult and painful experience, often leaving a person feeling unappreciated, neglected, and even rejected. Whether it takes the form of unrequited love, forbidden love, or idealized love, it can be challenging to navigate these intense feelings. It is important to take the time to acknowledge and honor these feelings and seek support from friends and family. It is also equally important to remember that no matter what the outcome, one-sided love is an opportunity to learn and grow. This can be a difficult journey, but it is important to remember that one-sided love does not reflect a person’s self-worth. It can be a time to reflect, heal, and move forward.

Focusing on personal development and building your self-esteem can be instrumental in healing from one-sided love. Explore relationship counselling to gain a deeper understanding of your emotions and strategies to move forward.

Frequently Asked Questions on One-sided love

What is one-sided love, and how do I know if I’m experiencing it?

One-sided love is when you deeply care for someone who does not reciprocate your feelings. Signs include constantly thinking about the person, obsessively checking their social media, feeling a strong desire to be around them, and feeling jealous of others who spend time with them.

Is it normal to experience one-sided love?

Yes, one-sided love is a common human experience. It’s essential to understand that these feelings are normal and can happen to anyone.

How can I cope with the pain of unrequited love?

Coping with unrequited love involves acknowledging your emotions, seeking support from friends and family, practicing self-care, and, if needed, consulting a professional therapist.

Can unrequited love ever turn into a mutual relationship?

While there is a possibility, it’s essential to respect the other person’s feelings and boundaries. You can communicate your feelings, but you must be prepared for any outcome, including the possibility of remaining friends or moving on.

What are the challenges of maintaining a friendship with someone I love one-sidedly?

It can be challenging to maintain a friendship with someone you love one-sidedly. Setting clear boundaries, managing your emotions, and communicating openly are key to navigating this situation.

Effective communication is the key to any successful relationship. Learning communication techniques can help you express your feelings and understand those of your partner better.

How can I stop obsessively thinking about the person I have one-sided feelings for?

Distraction, engaging in hobbies, spending time with loved ones, and seeking professional help if necessary can help you redirect your thoughts and reduce obsessive thinking.

Is it possible to move on from one-sided love and find a healthy, fulfilling relationship?

Yes, it is possible to move on from one-sided love. With self-reflection, self-care, and time, you can heal and eventually open yourself up to new, healthier relationships.

What should I do if I’m in a forbidden love situation?

Evaluate the reasons behind the forbidden nature of the relationship. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to prioritize respecting boundaries and making decisions that align with your values.

How can I differentiate between idealized love and genuine feelings for someone?

Idealized love often involves projecting unrealistic qualities onto a person. To differentiate, try to see the person as they truly are, flaws and all, and assess whether your feelings are based on reality or fantasy.

What are some self-care practices to help me cope with unfulfilled love?

Self-care practices include getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and seeking professional help if needed. These activities can help you cope with difficult emotions and focus on your well-being.

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