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Falling Upward in Unrequited Love

Falling Upward in Unrequited Love.

Unrequited love happens unknowingly, in all forms and types. Falling upwards in love involves one person falling in love with another generally held, even by the lover, to be completely out of their league. As if between individuals evenly matched socially and physically, unrequited love would not be bad enough, the phenomenon of falling upward almost guarantees heartbreak. Of course, these routes into unrequited love are not always mutually exclusive. Unrequited love may especially arise when two people of unequal societies or levels form a strong platonic friendship. The less attractive one begins to dream that this intimacy can be converted to passionate love.

unrequited love 2 Aug 16

Do we know how prevalent unrequited love is? The answer seems to be: close to universal. It has been noticed that, every individual has had at least one experience of unrequited love by the early 20s. This involves being on each side of unrequited love. Only one out of twenty people said they had never been in unrequited love. Hence, it is fair to describe unrequited love as inevitable and bound to happen sooner or later.

The loved one in unrequited love does not set out to cause pain to the unrequited lover, least of inflicting the excruciating emotional torment of unreciprocated love and romantic rejection on the lover. Rejecters typically confess feeling considerably guilty at having to rebuff the other person’s flattering but ultimately unwanted emotions. Though they are perfectly aware that they are not to be blamed for being unable to return the lover’s feelings.

As I have written in my blog Return to Sender, unfortunately, persistence in spite of rejection, irrational and inappropriate behaviour are considered justified in case of unrequited love, which our cultural ideologies would not encourage otherwise. We mostly never worry about how uncomfortable unrequited love is, for the rejecter. Is it not clear that the lovers themselves are to blame for being in love in the first place? For the rejecter this may be absolutely clear and unambiguous that he or she does not want this relationship to turn into a romantic affair, but the lover cannot accept anything in the way of their attachment – for fairly obvious reasons.

It has also been noticed that a lot of these feelings arise within the unrequited lover when the object of love avoids saying that the reason behind their rejection is their own feelings. Rather, in order to not hurt the lover, they tend to suggest that this refusal is temporary and has nothing to do with their own feelings about the lover.

Such responses may temporarily give respite to both, but eventually leave the lover hopeful. He continues to believe that things might turn out better in the future. The rejecter’s reluctance to express their true feelings and consequent failure to communicate the true message to the unrequited lover is clearly a misleading and encouraging signal. If taken on face-value, it will undoubtedly lead the lover to have a sound rational basis for trying again.

Interestingly, rejecters and unrequited lovers seem to look back very differently on their experiences of unrequited love. While rejecters carry more negative feelings, surprisingly, the rejected tend to view the experience in a positive light. Rejecters may feel considerable guilt at having turned down a proposal to a romantic attachment and at causing the other person deep emotional pain. They also retain negative feelings of annoyance and anger at the persistence of lovers, much more than the lovers do themselves.

Lovers, on the other hand, retain residual affection for their beloved and more often than not continue to believe the famous “better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”. That said, the lingering, or, at times permanent regret of a future that ‘could have been’ remains one of the most consistent and painful feelings reported by unrequited lovers. It appears that on the whole, rejecters have a more uniformly negative and emotionally unpleasant experience than the lovers, in spite of not having suffered any moments as intensely bad as the acute pain felt by broken-hearted lovers.

I am going to write more about this subject in my next post. Please share your experiences and views in the comments section and I will include them in my future blogs.

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