On Unrequited Love

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

In the name of love, people, especially after the sweeping emergence of romanticism, are willing to zealously cross unbearably long and seemingly irrational roads to attain what seems, invariably from a very long distance, the solution, the silver bullet, to it all: love. In endeavouring to actualize the prospect of love, we obsessively try and throw on extravagant clothes; we binge copious amounts of alcohol at parties saturated with other horny potential mates; and we ask a plethora of people out, based on a few yet alluring fine details, like the wit of a smile, in the hope they would fulfill our sexual and emotional yearnings.

If the hopeful case our clothes, alcohol, or dates prove successful, we become susceptible to the Needed—and often abused—rush of oxytocin and dopamine: we become happier. If we never experienced it, we simply know that a partner could make us indeed happy, at least that’s what we have been inculcated with throughout the years, as we can learn from the endless stories we heard throughout history. That’s logical, in fact, predictable, for without the necessity to love, to procreate, or the will-to-life as Schopenhauer dubbed it, we would cease to exist. Therefore, our attempt to love and be with someone seems to be predicated upon the prospect that the potential partner would deliver us physically and psychologically healthy babies. That love, the one that would lead to some sort of relationship and future, then, seems to be existentially imperative.



Many of our occupations with love, however, seem to be imbued with the prospect of a partner who simply does not love us back, who refuses to respond to our texts and seize every opportunity to avoid our gestures of affection. Rationally, one would think that because any sort of emotional reciprocation remains elusive on the part of our love, our attempts to seduce and win our love would come to a halt. But, painfully, time and again, that does not happen. We would be haunted by the belief if that glorious creation, an angel put on earth just for us, were to respond to our texts, return our smiles, or agree to marry us then everlasting happiness will be just right before our eyes, so long our love loves us back.


The reasons for our clinginess to someone who does not deem us a fit romantic partner are multitude, but indeed understandable. We, more than anyone else, are exposed to and bombarded by our negative thoughts about ourselves that maintain and reinforce our sense of insecurity. It could be that we are acutely cognizant and neurotically aware of our coldness, presumptuousness, weight, or intelligence; accordingly, when the love of our life turns a blind eye to our infatuation, we promptly attribute their indifference to our repulsive insecurities (at least the way we see them). It must be that, we reason, they are too aware of our foibles, and hence their indifference. In many cases, that is simply not true.


Given that we grow up with drastically different parenting styles and in different environments and cultures, we emerge from childhood with distinctly unique and diverse needs than others. We may not fit the criteria our unrequited love yearns for; it is probably not our profoundly perceived defects that pushed them away, but merely their different psychological makeup. With each rejection and refusal, our unrequited love feeds into our self-hatred and insecurities, hence urging us to prove to them—and ourselves—that we are good enough. As unappealing as our constant nagging is, each attempt to seduce our love is not but a desperate gesture to elevate our sense of self-worth. As a panacea, our aim should be partially also directed at knowing ourselves and realizing how human—rather than defective—we are; our realization should also be bolstered by the belief that recipient of our love is merely comprised of different psychological, physical, and emotional needs, and our genetic makeup had simply not won the lottery to appeal to them adequately.


Accompanied by their rejections, the marvellous recipient of our love also manages to maintain a Perilous—for us mainly—distance that buttresses our love for them. Since they seldom reciprocate our signalling, we, understandably, become exposed only to the fancy facade they leave to our imagination. In our modern times, this mainly takes form as social media profiles, where the self-image of our lovers is meticulously and beautifully polished, with every appealing detail projected to ultimately depict a seemingly utopian and perfect creature. This depiction, however, is, to say the least, far from the truth. Our levers are not only as insecure as we are, but in certain vital domains, they prove unbearable to live with. What we have fallen in love with is not them per se, it is an idealized image we generated by gathering and cherry-picking a painstakingly polished set of qualities that allure us. Maybe, instead of forgetting them, somehow, we should know them properly, and that is through the acknowledgment that almost everybody is tricky and challenging to be with, and the image they project is seldom an accurate representation of who they are.


Devouring these consolations might prove helpful, but we also need to be humane and compassionate enough with ourselves to mourn and absorb the rejection that wholeheartedly hurts. Knowing and acknowledging our lover’s—and ourselves’—idiosyncrasies will alleviate the gigantic burden we carry so unnecessarily and gratuitously.



References:

*This an opinion-based article that lacks any scientific research. Therefore, no references will be stated.


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