Love & Relationships: Loving Someone Who Doesn't Love You

How do we tackle and deal with situations of unrequited love?

By Fred S.
Love & Relationships: Loving Someone Who Doesn't Love You

What Is Unrequited Or One-Sided Love?

Almost everyone experienced one-sided love at least in their life. Sometimes, you may experience strong romantic feelings for someone, but they sadly don’t feel the same way. That’s unrequited love, which occurs without any return, reward, or romantic response. It’s all felt by one person, who can go through feelings of grief, pain, confusion, and shame.

Types of Unrequited Love

It may take different forms, including;

  • Loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you
  • Longing for someone who’s not available (already in a relationship)
  • Mutually shared unrequited love between two people who are both committed in separate relationships
  • A desire to get back with an ex after your relationship has already ended with them

In this article, we’ll discuss the signs that identify one-sided love, and how you can deal with the emotional turmoil it causes.

How Do You Know If They Don't Like You Back?

Cases of unrequited love can differ in many ways, but there are some key characteristics to it that every one-sided lover can relate to. It can be termed as an intense love that lasts a significantly long time but involves no appreciation or reciprocation from the person who’s loved.

Here are some of the common signs you could look for;

Your love interest only wishes to see you as a friend, nothing more

If you’re in love with a friend, this sign may apply to your story of unrequited love. You may feel the need to explore a deeper connection with this person, which causes you to take actions like inviting them to spend more time together or meeting them more often. However, they do their best to keep their distance, and only ‘hang out’ with you while you long for a ‘date.’

Their lack of interest can be pretty obvious by their behavior. Whenever you strive to build a more meaningful emotional connection, say by asking questions about their values and thoughts, you may not much of a detailed response in return.

They hardly reply to texts, calls, and invites

When someone’s interested in pushing things further with you, they’ll actively wait for your messages, calls, and be excited to talk to you. In this case, though, you may feel like you’re doing all the work to put together a hangout plan. They take forever to read and respond to your messages, and keep you hanging with a ‘maybe!’ to your invites, and usually cancel last minute.

Physical Touch

Do you feel the desire to be more physically close to your love interest? To touch them, hold their hands, or hug them? As humans, our longing for love includes the desire to connect on a physical level. However, if your love is only one-sided, you’ll notice physically repulsive signs at their end, where you’re always the one who initiates any physical connection, and are met with signs of pulling away as a result.

Can One Love Someone Who Doesn't Love Them Back?

Loving someone without them loving you back is an incredibly challenging task. It’s emotionally draining and doesn’t offer any sort of reward or response in return, no matter how long you do it. You could think of it as trying to light a candle with a match that’s unlit – disappointment is inevitable.

Sadly, love happens on its own, and you can do very little to influence anybody’s heart to love or not to love someone. Realistically speaking, you cannot even control your own heart on who you fall in love with, let alone impacting others. It’s not a vending machine where you place a coin and press a button to see an outcome. Sadly, there’s just no remedy than to take some time to grieve, and forget your false hopes over time. There are a lot more people in the world who will love you for who you are, without even you trying, and soon you’ll realize that those are the one’s who deserve your mental and physical attention.

Why Do People Chase Those Who Don't Want Them?

Let’s be honest, if anyone had a choice whether or not to fall in love with a person who won’t ever love you back, none of us would choose to love them. That’s the issue, we don’t get to choose – the heart simply wants what it wants.

No one knows why we do it; why we insist on running after someone who doesn’t even think about us. We persist, thinking all kinds of hopeful thoughts like ‘If I say this, she might…’ or ‘if I become a bit more… he may…’ as if any of it matters.

In other areas of life, we tend to be good at adjusting our preferences whenever we realize we can’t have a particular thing. However, when it comes to love interest, we continue to chase the people who don’t want us at all. Why’s that? Why can’t we just let go of the people who reject us? Here are a few possible reasons;

  • The chase is exciting, and you’re in for the thrill
  • Getting them would satisfy your ego and desires
  • You’re trying to fulfill fantasies
  • The ‘hard-to-get’ element of someone’s personality makes them even more desirable
  • You feel the need to prove to ourselves that you ‘deserve’ to be with them
  • You’re attracted to their unpredictable and unknown nature

How Do You Pique Someone's Interest?

Gaining someone’s romantic interest relies hugely on the compatibility between you and them. For two people to mutually be interested in each other in a romantic way, there has to be a two-way coincidence where you’re just their type and vice versa.

The best way to pique the interest of individuals who want a girl just like you is to be completely original. Be confident in expressing your personality in the best way possible, and maintain integrity in your actions.

In any case, you shouldn’t let a romantic obsession take you down a dark road that pushes you to become someone you aren’t. Romantic pursuits are exciting, but when they get to a point where they make you do things that alter your own general character for the worse, it should be a wake-up call to stop.

As long as you’re truly yourself and continue to work on become your best version, you’re bound to stumble across someone that loves and appreciates you for who you are.

How To Move On From A Crush?

In most cases of one-sided love, moving on is the best and only thing you can do after experiencing heartbreak. It may feel impossible to cope with the pain in the beginning, but it really gets better with time as you move through the healing process.

Although such an experience is unimaginably painful, it gives us a great opportunity to grow and gain a better understanding of our needs, preferences, and how to become a positive, healthy partner in the future.

1. Take your time to grieve

You’re likely going to feel a deep heartbreak and rejection. You may question your self-worth and wonder if you’ll ever find love. These are normal responses, and it’s important not to lose track of reality when you get these thoughts.

Don’t invalidate your feelings, and don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t a big deal. It really is, but that’s okay. You’re not alone in going through these feelings, and it’s only a matter of time that it all gets better. Know that you’re enough, and you’re perfectly lovable.

2. Keep yourself busy

An empty and unoccupied mind is more likely to stray towards the hurtful memories all over again. Keep yourself occupied with work that’s genuinely meaningful to you, such as studying or doing a good job at work. You could also exercise more often in an effort to channel your energy towards self-growth as you cope with heartbreak slowly.

3. Invest in Yourself

Upon experiencing unrequited love, you’ve most likely poured out a lot of your emotional energy into another person without gaining anything in return, except for heartbreak and disappointment. This naturally leaves you feeling drained. To move on with your life in a healthy way, you need to channel your energy back onto yourself, where you focus on activities you genuinely enjoy, such as your interests, hobbies, or goals.

Related Article: Is True Love Real and How Do You know If You Found the One
Is True Love Real and How Do You know If You Found the One
Before saying its true love, ask yourself these questions first!


One-sided love hurts, but you won’t come out of it completely empty-handed. You’ll know more about yourself when you come out, and learn to heal, grow, and move on from one of the most significant emotional setbacks of your life. It’s important to remember that the other person’s lack of romantic feelings for you probably has more to do with them than you. You’re enough, and you’re just the type of girl/boy someone out there is looking for. Once you accept the reality of the situation, you’ll move on to become a stronger, better, and healthier YOU. All the best!