A Life of Unrequited Love
(Dictionary definition: love that is not reciprocated or returned in kind).
My definition: getting the shit kicked out of you regularly emotionally or physically, a showing of love being there only on the surface like in getting lip service, a love that doesn’t grow or mature, or just plain ‘ole not love at all.
No matter your age you may have been crazy about someone, but what you felt may not have been the same on the other end or by the person you were enamored with. You could have had a huge crush in high school or college, or you could be living together, or even married, and your spouse/partner says he/she loves you, but you start to wonder when money or responsibilities come into the picture and are not shared. Or maybe they don’t raise a finger to help you in other ways and leave you out there hanging, when a small piece of information or help that could have been contributed, would have saved you lots of trouble, worry, and sometimes money. Or maybe you’re not being listened to or put down. You just can’t believe that love has fallen by the wayside, that what you had together was really not what you thought it would be or could be. Love, if it was love, has gone out the back door. The doubts stirred up fracture your brain, let alone feeling at that moment like someone chemicalized your coffee.
For instance, in the case of Martha and Bob, Martha walks around with a dollar in her pocket. Bob has anywhere from $100 to possibly $700 in his pocket any given day.
Then there’s Mary and Nathan. Not living too comfy and Nathan’s been out of work. Mary takes care of the children. She needs milk for the kids. She knows things are very tight, but Nathan finds enough moola to buy cigarettes and rent movies daily for his emotional needs.
Let’s move on to Todd and Cherie or Tracy and Linda. Todd works ten hours a day, commits to overtime several times a month, takes the kids to ball practice and dance classes on the weekends, cooks, takes out the trash, and fixes or handles everything that goes haywire in the house. When he comes home, the house is a disaster, the kids are running wild, there’s no food in the ‘frig, and dirty clothes are spilling out of the washroom.
Tracy is the breadwinner and expects Linda not to forget to pick up the kids from school, make lunches, or give them lunch money, and share the responsibilities of living together. But Linda makes plans to get her hair and nails done and getting to the gym and forgets to get the kids, didn’t give them lunches or lunch money, and neglects the necessary house chores.
Does your significant other say ‘I love you’ after sex, but not before lovemaking begins or other time of day or night? Do they look into your eyes making love or when talking to you? Are they overly friendly with the waitress or waiter or flirtatiously eye others when they’re with you and think you don’t notice? And even if you did, would they care? Do they expect you to do all the initiating? Did they say or imply they got married to have kids, not because they fell in love with you, kids being the main thought and you the afterthought? Are they the unfaithful type or do they live a secret life and lie about it? And worse, does your partner think love is hitting you physically or putting you down emotionally or feeding their addictions? There’s much more we could ask ourselves, but you get my drift. These are just some examples and you could add much more to this list, I’m sure.
These types of unrequited love show how somewhere down deep someone has not made the commitment or effort to love a person beyond themselves or get help, yet their partner remains, waiting for the love he/she knows they deserve and feel for the other, but it’s nowhere to be found and rarely shows up.
The point is when there’s many months and years of unrequited love, it’s important to take a step back and smell the flowers. You try working it out over and over, you keep forgiving and believing in that someone, and if you’re still on the short end of the stick, it’s not coming. It can be genuine as all heck on your part and not so real on the other end or deep. I’m all for staying together, when love is sincere, authentic, and committed. It’s not always so and you deserve better. Don’t wait until you’re old and grey, numb, or too tired and spent, or deeply hurt, to let go of unrequited love. Don’t settle, and wait for the right one. And be reasonable about the amount of time, love, and effort you put forth and not be afraid to say, “time’s up.” Believe you are capable of finding the one person that gets you, that’s a compliment to your togetherness, that’s honest and loves you enough to let go of their own self to make you happy, to communicate, and meet some of your needs because you are willing to do the same and have, over and over again with the wrong person or just not the best one for you. If you have experienced unrequited love, be glad, be happy, because you learned what love isn’t. You are strong enough.
I like to think often of the words from the Dalai Lama: “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”
We have to do our best not to suffer and stay where we are not our happiest beings. And remember, happiest is always a work in progress for those who wish to do the work in mind, body, heart, and soul, so if we choose to have a partner, we will choose well and keep getting better and better at living and loving ourselves, doing what’s best for us.