Loving someone with all our heart, mind and soul sounds romantic, right?
But what if you are unsure if your partner or the person you are dating loves you back?
One of the worst feelings is unrequited love.
Here are 9 typical signs that you’re facing the dreaded experience of unrequited love:
1. You are ignored
In our digital world, it is now very easy to connect to people you love and like. It only takes a press of a button to reply to text messages, social media, and emails. They say action speaks louder than words so if you are not replied to, it is more likely that your love is unrequited.
2. You give more
A relationship should be an equal “give and take”. When one person gives too much while the partner never does, then the relationship is doomed. According to this article, partners should learn when to give and take.
If you are dating someone and have spent thousands of dollars, for example, but he or she is not spending anywhere close to this on you, then it can be a red flag.
It’s not about money at all because they can still reciprocate by doing favors for you. However, if you get neither favors nor gifts for your efforts, then it’s a sign you are in an unrequited love relationship.
3. They don’t like to cuddle
According to science, touch increases oxytocin, drops the stress hormone levels, and triggers dopamine release. Oxytocin and dopamine are considered our body’s “happy hormones” and when these are released, they make us feel really good.
Cuddling is one of the most effective forms of touch because it involves full body contact. According to Sarah Watson, LPC and CST, cuddling is a great way for couples to connect.
“Body to body touch release oxytocin, which helps us bond, and can lower anxiety, depression and blood pressure. I recommend cuddling to increase intimacy with your partner. Cuddling doesn’t have to lead to physical intimacy, but it could if you wanted it to. Cuddling is bonding and relaxing. Make time to connect and cuddle!”
If you are dating someone who doesn’t want to cuddle with you for unexplained reasons, this might mean they aren’t invested in the connection.
4. They flirt with other people
If your significant other is flirting with other people, it is a sign that you are in the wrong relationship. When in a relationship, it is recommended to flirt with each other. However, flirting with other people is a no-no. If your partner still flirts with other people, it definitely means he or she is not ready to focus on you.
5. They don’t spend time with you
In our busy world, it is sometimes unavoidable to miss spending time with each other because of work schedules and business commitments. However, if your partner has enough free time but still wouldn’t spend time with you, then there’s trouble in paradise.
6. There’s no passion in the bedroom
First things first, when someone sleeps with you, it doesn’t mean he or she loves you. But, when two people are really into each other, the sex can be extremely passionate. Their sex life will be highly rewarding and satisfying because you both want to please each other.
One sign that you are in an unrequited relationship is when your sex life lacks the spark. Even if your partner isn’t that great in bed, you will still sense the passion to show that he or she is into you
7. They don’t want you to use their phone
When your partner refuses to let you use his or her phone, it could be a sign that your partner is hiding something from you. He or she might be hiding some flirty texts and pictures from someone else. What’s worse is that it can also be a sign that they don’t trust you enough to look through his messages.
8. They lie
Lying to your partner is a deal-breaker for some. According to the Gottman Institute, just lying is a form of betrayal.
“There are lots of ways to betray somebody,” says Gottman, “For example, just lying is a betrayal. Not being transparent – being hidden – is a way of betraying,” says Gottman.
Lying can cause struggles in the relationship and betrayal defines its failure.
9. You will feel alone
If you feel like you’re the only one who puts in an effort to make the relationship work, then something is wrong. It could be that your partner has already given up and they’re just waiting for you to end the relationship. When you feel alone, it may be a sign that your partner has completely neglected your needs, and is just waiting for you to give it all up and move on.
The pain of loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way is unbearable. This is unrequited love and is surely not romantic.
Now that you’ve identified whether you’re experienced unrequited love, you need some tools for how to deal with it. Follow these 6 steps immediately:
1. Accept the fact
There is no way to get around it. Rejection hurts.
Your heart has been broken into pieces and admit it or not, there’s an extreme physical sensation of pain. But accepting the fact that someone you love doesn’t love you back will ease the pain. It is not instant but when you learn to accept it wholeheartedly, you will free yourself from grudges.
So start with acknowledging that you’ve been hurt. Next, pick up the pieces of your broken heart and start mending it. Love yourself more by doing what you love. You still have a thousand reasons to live, smile, inspire.
“Self-love seems so often unrequited.” – Anthony Powell
2. Forgive and forget
Mahatma Gandhi noted, ‘Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Probably because it requires consistent hard work, especially when someone is not worthy of your forgiveness.
To forgive, you have to be true to yourself. Accept your anger, hurt, and pain and allow yourself to grieve. But, you must make a conscious decision to forgive someone who hurt your feelings.
Remind yourself that the negativity won’t do you any good. Instead, find meaning and purpose from your experience. In the emotional relief of letting go, you will discover that by forgiving, we heal ourselves.
3. Know that you are not alone
According to Roy Baumeister, 98% of us have suffered from unrequited love at one time or another. Unrequited love doesn’t respect race, beauty, achievements, and even wealth. So, take refuge in the fact that you are not alone in this struggle. The world is wide, he or she may not be the one for you, yet.
4. Start dating again
It may sound cliche, but sometimes, another love can heal the hurt (although this advice is easier said than done).
“Taking the time to date and meet new people will give you an opportunity to identify if you truly wanted the person you were crushing on or if it was just the desire to have what you couldn’t have,” Dr. Bates-Duford says.
When you start dating again, you’ll have the opportunity to find that special someone who will return your feelings. It may take some time, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
5. Keep your distance
Most of the time, it’s healthy for you to keep your distance from the one who hurt you. This will help you move on from the pain of losing that person.
So, if you’ve been putting in a huge emotional effort for them, it’s time to pull back on that.
6. Opt for non-romantic media
It’s hard to heal from unrequited love when you’re bombarded with stories and songs about love. It will bring back the “what-if’s” and will prevent you from moving on. So, consciously avoid romantic media as much as possible. It could be in the form of songs, movies, and books.
Being hurt when rejected is normal. In fact, rejection is such a strong emotion that the body actually registers the sensation as if it were a physical pain according to Emotional First Aid.
But, it is better to move on than to wallow in pain and self-pity.
The world has billions of people in it. You’ll find yours when the time is right.
Now read our article helping you find out whether you really do love them.
Sign up to Hack Spirit's daily emails
Learn how to reduce stress, cultivate healthy relationships, handle people you don't like and find your place in the world.