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Unrequited Love and Compromise

Unrequited Love and Compromise.

In the context of making sacrifices and compromises, unrequited love falls in the category of romance, as opposed to marriage, unless it turns unrequited after the couple gets into a relationship. It is believed that sacrifices are required before a relationship begins, and compromises are required thereafter. Hence, unrequited love requires more sacrifices and less compromises. This probably explains why unrequited lovers sacrifice the natural human instinct to belong, and just pursue someone who doesn’t reciprocate the feeling, or worse, doesn’t even know they exist.

It is human nature to be excited by uncertainty. We typically believe that things that we perceive to be unusual, demand our attention and thoughts. Hence, was find ourselves constantly thinking about an incomplete, unsettled, unexplained prospect. Courtship, flirting, extramarital affairs and cyber-love are exciting because they seem in a sense to be unfinished business. Once the situation is settled and established, there is no reason for the mental system to be on the alert and invest further resources.

The relationship between compromising and sacrificing may be compared with envy and jealousy. Compromising requires you to give up the pursuit of something attainable; a person, place, status or thing. On the other hand, sacrificing requires giving up something that you already have. Compare this with envy and jealousy. Envy makes you want something that is not yours or something you do not have. However, your fear of losing something or someone that you hold precious to someone else leads to jealousy. Losing something that you have is more painful than not getting wat you don’t have. Hence, jealousy is more painful than envy.

The unfortunate part is that unrequited lovers live the pain of both envy and jealousy all the time. They envy people who are dear to their beloved and they are jealous of those who are worthier of their beloved’s attention. In this respect, unrequited lovers are constant sufferers, because the situation in the compromise-sacrifice pair is the opposite: the potential loss has greater negative significance than the actual loss. While in the envy-jealousy pair, the situation is forced upon the lover through circumstances that are beyond their control and are mostly external, in the compromise-sacrifice pair, the unrequited lover chooses the circumstances.

While all of these are just comparisons to superficially understand the plight of unrequited lovers, it is worth noticing that most psychological disorders are associated with the activation of amygdala, which is a part of the brain. While it has various other functions, the prime role of the amygdala is to stimulate negative emotions. Schizophrenics have been noted to have lower amygdala stimulation due to reduction in its size, also affecting memory. On the contrary, individuals suffering with hypertension, insecurity and depression have increased amygdala stimuli and sharp memory. To study this, scientists observed a woman who had a non-functional amygdala and tested her reactions to fearful situations. She was observed in the presence of reptiles and ferocious animals. She was also taken to apparently haunted places and asked to watch horror movies. The notes she took at that time, about her reaction to those situations confirmed loss of fear. This reconfirmed the fact that our body is stimulated to experience fear due to the activation of amygdala.

Being in unrequited love has also been found to trigger the amygdala and cause the effect of fear in the brain. Being unsure about the feelings of the beloved, constant fear of rejection, uncontrollable sexual desires, and the entire mysterious situation sends the amygdala into a hyperactive mode. This is a serious physiological effect that unrequited love can have on a lover.

First of all, I understand that love can be compelling, but how we share and express love is totally a matter of choice. Both the partners are and should be free to choose when it comes to relationships. Unrequited or one-way love is never fulfilling, even if you have the other person close to you, as a best friend. I agree it is extraordinarily painful to let go of. But know that you have the ability and the power to override this contract. Understand that Karma has taken a full circle, you have learnt your lesson and now is the time to move on, to snap back, get hold of your life and find a better, more fulfilling relationship.


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