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Lonely in Unrequited Love

Lonely in Unrequited Love.

You can feel close to someone you’re not in love with. And if you’re in love but can’t access your partner’s inner world, it’s inevitable that the relationship will slide down the spectrum to distance. This is the truth about closeness. If it is, it should be complete. Incomplete closeness leads to feelings like jealousy, loneliness, depression and eventually break-up and unrequited love.

A term called ‘frustration attraction’ indicates that getting dumped by your partner makes you love the person harder. Most of us have been dumped by someone we really love and an equal number also dumped someone who really loved them. ‘Abandonment rage’ and ‘frustration depression’ are two more terms that may paradoxically work to hasten the relationship’s end. As discussed in my blog The Brain Function in Unrequited Love, this follows resignation and despair, which sink in when an unrequited lover’s brain’s reward system begins to realize that their love is never going to be reciprocated. Human need to belong is much deeply rooted than any other social animal. All of this makes ‘feeling closeness’ even more important for the emotional equilibrium of humans.

Most of us spend a great deal of time at work, and there are likely lots of people we know professionally with whom we could build a meaningful relationship. Closeness in working relationships gives relationships the opportunity to matter as much as strictly personal ones. So, closeness is not just in terms of a romantic relationship, but also other important relationships in life. My point here is, you don’t have to be lonely just because you’re not in love or you are in unrequited love. And if you are in love, closeness makes that love that much more stable and reliable.

If you look at the cases of marriage and divorce and divorce around you, you will notice that an overwhelming majority of people get married for love, at least in Western developed countries. Mostly, humans see marriage as the ultimate expression of committed love. With this in mind, while committing to marriage, most expect that the love that brought them together will last a lifetime. When we combine this fact about how marriages begin, to whatever we know about why marriages end, the result is mind-blowing! 80% of divorced people said their marriages broke up primarily because they grew apart. This cause trumped all others, including “affairs”, that we generally assumed as the main marriage killer. Only 25% of respondents had decided to separate for this reason.

What conclusion do we draw from this? I would conclude that closeness is the foundation for all satisfying and long-lasting relationships. Even the relationships that are most filled with love will fall apart without closeness, because love really needs closeness in a way that closeness doesn’t need love. Marriage is all about love and divorce is all about distance. But don’t wait for a love relationship to find you before you take action to stop feeling lonely. You can create so much fulfilment and connection with others without waiting for love. As the world gets more and more connected, it becomes easier to feel left out. Loneliness, in fact, is more dangerous than isolation because it increases a person’s mortality rate. Loneliness is a natural feeling that most people don’t want to experience.

Do you often find yourself feeling that way? You’re not the only one, that’s for sure. You may be wondering how to go about tackling these feelings of loneliness. First, you have to have a better understanding of yourself. Then, you can start making changes to overcome your feelings of loneliness. Whether you’re prone to loneliness as the result of a missing loved one or place, or if you’re preparing for a time spent away from your friends and family, there are many ways to avoid loneliness, some of which I am going to discuss further. Look at changes you can make by yourself, incorporate more time with friends and family into your life, and learn how to avoid addictive coping mechanisms. It’s normal to feel lonely after a breakup or when your love is rejected. What is somewhat not normal is to hold on to that feeling and let it keep pulling you down.

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