Unrequited Love: A One Man Cult…

"This unrequited love. To me, it's nothing but a one-man cult... I can never make him love me." Frank Ocean said this in his song “Bad Religion.” 


To All the Boys I Loved Before...this was an unrequited love. it was stupid of me to think this was love.  It was selfish of you to take advantage of my vulnerability and kindness. I don't think I have ever "loved" someone. I mean apart from my family and close friends. But I've never felt in love. I've been close before in extreme infatuation that has felt like love, but we all know lust and infatuation can be one-sided in some cases. 


A lot of girls, guys, and gender non-conforming people in this generation and generations before have experienced unrequited love. You give your all to someone who gives little to nothing and when you realize what has happened it's gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. It can severely affect your outlook on love and relationships. You begin to question everything and everyone who may come into your life. That's the thing about unrequited love; it sneaks up on you and often you can't believe what's happening. Not being exposed to unconditional, selfless love from someone you love can sometimes cause people to love too hard or too little in later relationships, throwing off the whole dynamic and it becomes a vicious recurring cycle.


I remember the first time I experienced unrequited love. I genuinely thought I was in love. I wanted to be around them, talk to them every day, bend over backwards, all of that. If they asked me to jump, I would ask "how high?" without a thought. I was in 6th grade, my first year of middle school...yikes. I remember when I sat down at my homeroom desk, he was the first thing I saw when I looked up from across the room. I was hooked instantly. I was experiencing my very first crush and for a while, that's what it was: just a crush. Casual flirting and some touching. It wasn't until he hugged me that this crush began to feel like what I thought was love at the time. And I know you're thinking "Really? You fell in love from a hug? Huh?" But it wasn't the hug itself, it was the embrace of being held. I felt safe in their arms. Of course, I read all of that very wrong or I wouldn’t be writing this article. However, they always went for people that looked like me but never me and I felt undesirable and unworthy which affected my self-esteem and confidence. I just wanted them to see me, but they looked right through me every time. All the flirting, texting, talking it meant everything to me and nothing to him. I was confused. I cried. I yelled. I couldn't understand why I wasn't enough at 11 years old.


This time in my life still sticks in my mind 8 years later and even though I have moved on from this interaction it has affected a lot of how I see myself and many of my relationships. And I know a lot of guys, girls, and non-conforming people can relate to the experience of putting your all into someone and getting nothing back. And it’s not like you can just quit loving them, it takes time and patience with yourself to unlearn this habit of loving them. 


Getting over and moving on from an unrequited love will feel like losing a loved one. You will go through all 7 stages of grief. Let this happen. Let yourself feel all the raw emotion it’s only going to help you. It’s wise to write in a journal or speak to a professional about these experiences and emotions you’re feeling as well. And don’t be afraid to love again I know this can be hard, but you will find a love that is true and full. Just give yourself and others a chance.