Heartache is hard. No doubt about it. When the one you love doesn’t seem to love you back, that can make it so much worse. Still, life has to go on, right? Here are some suggestions for how to heal from unrequited love.
Give yourself time. It’s easy for friends and family to encourage you to move on – especially if it’s uncomfortable for them! Many people find the pain validating though. Hurting intensely can feel like a sign that your love was real. While it hurts, it also makes us feel as alive as passion does, so it can be hard to release. Who doesn’t want aliveness? So sometimes it’s healthy to just allow yourself to feel that. Nothing is permanent. When you’ve felt it fully, it will release on its own.
Feel your feelings. Grieving is a normal human emotion that has to do with the feeling of loss. This is perfectly appropriate. There may be some jealousy, feelings of ownership, feelings of unworthiness, loss or something else. Feel your feelings. It’s part of the healing process. When you bottle them up, they persist and create more pain in the long run than if you let them move through you.
Don’t try to convince the other person to change his or her mind. Accept what she tells you. It won’t change. She has a right to choose what she wants and doesn’t want in her life. She knows better than you what will work for her. Respecting her choice is a way of showing love.
See what is there. Was this person ever going to be an appropriate mate for you? Was this the right time for a relationship to blossom? Did it ever have a chance logistically? (geography, age, religion, social circle, socioeconomic backgrounds, schedules, lifestyle, etc.) Did this person even know you were alive? Your emotion mind can have all kinds of arguments for why this could work, why you’re wrong, why he’s wrong, why you’re a jerk, why she’s a jerk, and all sorts of other things. Most of them aren’t realistic or true. Living in reality isn’t always dreamy, but it can help you make more effective choices about what to do next.
Learn from the experience. Heightened emotion is always a spotlight for a learning experience. What you resist persists. I have seen many past life regression experiences (or even current life experiences) where the love lessons carried over from lifetime to lifetime and the poor coping strategies did too. Why? Because the person hadn’t learned! Once the lesson was learned, the energy dissipated and the heightened emotion did too. Now, be warned. This could mean that the passion that brought you and your beloved together disappears! The purpose of passion is to attract your attention to what you have to learn. It’s rarely meant to last forever.
Take a look at what you are yearning for. We often transfer our desire for something onto someone. Does the person you want give you a sense of adventure, make you laugh, stimulate your mind, show you what you want to do with your life, have something that you want for yourself? It is just an escape from your life? Does he make you feel beautiful, important or loved? Maybe it’s a way to validate your values. If your person is married, is pining for an unavailable person a way of getting a thrill while honoring yourself, keeping your dignity? Is it about making space for true love? Is it about saying no to old patterns that support the vision that you are not worthy of someone who can love you as an equal? Be curious. Discover something about yourself.
Don’t make it about rejection. Sometimes we to beat ourselves up for not being this enough or that enough. Trust me, it’s not about you. It’s not about them. It’s just that it didn’t click. Maybe she’s not ready for someone as stunning and wonderful as you! People who do not resonate cannot stay together. Maybe she has already given her heart to someone else. Perhaps she’s still grieving a lost love. Maybe she has some horrible disease that she doesn’t want to pass along. It could be that she knows she can’t give you what you want or be what you want. Maybe she just isn’t ready for any relationship. Whatever the reason, she has a right to say no.
Stay busy. You may want to talk about him or her day and night, think about him, or cyber stalk him. All that is normal – to a point. If it interferes with your sleep, is annoying to anyone, or makes your friends start avoiding you, it’s gone too far. Stop. Stay busy. Take a class. Take up a new hobby. Do something that makes you tired and happy. When you’re too tired to miss sleep, you will not only sleep, but you won’t have time to think about him. When you are laughing, you’re full so you won’t need to think about him.
If you want to make the experience mean something positive, let it be practice for learning unconditional love. If you can love someone for who they are without expecting him to love you back, your heart grows. Your capacity to love grows. There are no losers where there is love.
You will survive. I promise. It doesn’t hurt forever. If you learn and grow from the experience, it will be one that adds color and texture to your life. If it’s got to happen, let it lead to something positive for you.