You share everything with your best friend but one day you realize that he/she means much more to you than just a friend. The sad thing is, your friend does not feel the same romantic love for you. This is simply heartbreaking and tough, especially as you had thought that he/she might also feel the same way about you. It is very difficult to cope with unreturned love, and you have to endure the pain of not being ‘the one’ for him or her, while behaving normally and going through life’s motions. Check out some of these tips to help you deal with your unrequited love:
9 – Ways to deal with your unrequited love for a friend
1. Make sure your feelings are real
This love that you feel for your bestie may be very confusing for you. You should do some serious introspection and ask yourself whether the love you feel is deep enough or a strong crush. Do you really want to have a romance with him/her at the risk of your friendship? And if you do not want any change in the dynamics of your relationship with that person, then best not to say anything, and keep on being ‘just friends’.
2. Stay away
While you’re having mixed feelings about your friend, it’s best to stay away for a while. If you have expressed your feelings and he/she does not have the same feelings for you, the best way to deal with unrequited love is not to meet them on a daily basis. Your friendship may mean a great deal to you, so you do not want to cut off your bestie completely, but you have to take care of yourself too. Give yourself some respite by making honest excuses (you’re exhausted after work, you need to study etc) so that the next time you meet him/her it becomes easier for you.
3. Accept it
When you’re alone, do not ponder over every action or deed of your friend which might seem to indicate that he/she feels the same way over you. If he/she has said that there are no romantic feelings on their side, then accept it gracefully. Do not keep hoping that their feelings might change. Your one sided feelings may be hard to handle, but it is a fact of life and you have to deal with it. Accepting it is the first thing on the path to being cured of your crush.
4. Focus on yourself
If you have been in the situation of experiencing unrequited love for a friend, it’s certainly not an enviable position. You would undergo feelings of low esteem. But remember, you are worth much more, and it is not dependent on what someone feels for you. You have lots of things going for you, your work, studies and a host of people who love you.
Stop pining for your friend, and to help distract your mind, find a hobby or take dance classes, or take a solo trip to Paris, or your favorite destination. Visit your family or go hiking with a group of your friends. Nature is a great healer, so spend time in the great outdoors. To get over your feelings for a friend, do some volunteer or charity work. When you see people with so many problems, your problem will slowly diminish in proportion.
5. Life comes full circle
This is the time when you can empathize with all the people over the years for whom you did not feel anything. You can sympathize with their unrequited love, now as you’re in the same boat. You should remind yourself that you said ‘no’ to them not because they were deficient in something, but just because you didn’t feel the same attraction they had for you.
They probably went on to find other people, and so will you. Your friend who you’re in love with, probably loves you as a friend, but is not attracted to you, and this does not have anything to do with you as a person. Take this as a sign that there is someone who is more suited to you out there waiting for you.
6. Feel the sadness
When you have one sided feelings, it is undoubtedly sad. Do not repress your feelings but cry your heart out. Loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you, and with whom you have such great memories is devastating. Let out all the grief you feel, instead of trying to be stoic. Expressing grief is actually quite therapeutic and will help to get back to normal. Pour your emotions out – you’ll feel much lighter.
7. Talk to your other friends
Talk to someone you trust, it could be a sibling, parent or another friend. Sharing helps to lighten the burden of sadness. And if your confidante has gone through the same experience, he/she will be able to advise you how to get over your one-sided love. Only someone who has gone through the same situation can understand what you’re going through right now.
8. Meet new people
Getting together with your old group of friends may make you sadder as he/she too is a part of the group. Avoid meeting him/her and try to form a new set of friends, or a new friend. Why not go out with your work colleagues after work and have fun. Or hang out with your gym buddies – you may find that you have many things in common with them.
Don’t let this rejection to shatter your sense of well-being. You have put everything on the line, so when you hear ‘no’, you will definitely feel bad. You’d feel that you are not worth loving or that you are not attractive enough and so on. But it’s nothing like that, and take it as an opportunity to stop being dependent on your best friend.
Give yourself time to get over your love. Use the time alone to grow and you will become much more self-reliant. Practice meditation and breathing techniques to center your pain and slowly let it pass. Time is a great healer and soon, you will be able to move on and have a normal life again.