Is there anything more tragic than unrequited love?
Probably yes, but that doesn’t mean that unrequited love doesn’t hurt like hell. I speak from personal experience when I say that loving someone who doesn’t love you back is like having your heart broken a million little times over and over again.
However, things aren’t that clear-cut sometimes. Love can hide under many guises, after all, and what if the person you’re in love with is just too shy to reveal their feelings?
Well, it’s time to decide if pouring all your love and energy into them is worth your time.
These are the 8 signs you’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.
1) You’re almost always the first one to reach out
Careful – that “almost” is really important.
Have you ever heard the term “bread-crumbing”? It’s what happens when someone gives you just enough attention to keep you interested but doesn’t invest enough time and effort in you to show genuine love.
Just because someone is bread-crumbing you doesn’t mean they really love you.
As a general rule, though, people whose feelings aren’t in it will reach out much less often – and when they do, it’s usually because they’re bored or want something.
Here’s what you can do. Try toning it down. Text them less regularly and see whether they pick up the slack or if you were really in charge of maintaining the relationship all along.
2) They aren’t very responsive to your physical touch
Again, nuance matters. Someone who is attracted to you may not be necessarily in love with you, so sexual intimacy isn’t a straightforward sign of love by any means.
But it’s often the little innocent touches that truly count – the cuddles, hugs, intertwined fingers, and light brushes of skin.
Are they responsive to your physical attempts for non-sexual closeness? Do they take on the role of the initiator sometimes?
A person who isn’t in love with you is much more likely to avoid your touch or try to prevent situations where it could be a possibility from happening (such as always sitting next to someone else or standing a few meters away from you).
3) They talk about other love interests
“Finally, an easy sign!”
Not so fast.
There are people out there who will try to make you jealous because they’re in love with you, and so they’ll talk about how attractive other people are just to get under your skin.
However, it’s important not to delude yourself.
If the person you have feelings for is confiding in you about their other love interests and doesn’t seem to pay any special attention to your reactions… chances are, they just see you as a friend whom they trust.
4) They don’t seem to be jealous
Similarly, your own love life doesn’t seem to faze them.
If you’re in love with a friend, they’ll probably be more than happy to listen to you talk about your new crush, give you advice, and even be your wingman.
If you’re already in a relationship and you’re unsure about their feelings for you, things are a tiny bit more complicated because jealousy doesn’t necessarily signal love – it can also mean there is a lack of trust between the two of you.
In that case, watch out for subtle signs of healthy possessiveness – for example, a partner who’s truly in love with you ought to introduce you to their family and friends with pride and act like you’re their greatest treasure while you’re in public together.
If you are not in a relationship, though, jealousy is a good way to recognize whether there is romantic interest because you are not yet “theirs”. This awakens their competitive side, urging them to pursue you more.
5) You’re low on their list of priorities
This is a big one.
Falling in love is quite literally like getting addicted to a drug. This means that you want to spend all your free time with each other and you simply never get bored – as long as your person’s there, everything’s fun.
So, my question to you is: Do they put you first? Do they want to spend their afternoons and evenings around you? Are they putting in the effort to stay in touch on a regular basis?
If not… they might not love you back.
6) They prefer group activities over one-on-one time
It’s not just how often someone chooses to spend time with you that matters; it’s also *how* they decide to spend it.
If your love interest always insists on organizing something as a group, they may just not be that into you.
One-on-one time is extremely important for couples and people in love because it allows them to foster a deeper connection, get to know each other on an individual level, and see whether you two really click without any external influences in the mix.
But if your crush always wants to hang out with you as part of a group rather than as a sole person who’s enticing in and of themselves…they might not love you in the way that you want.
7) They avoid conversations about your future together
“Hey, have you considered applying to this college, too? We could live in the same city together!”
“Uhm, I’ll give it a think. What do you want to watch? Remember that movie we talked about?”
It hurts to see that the person you care about isn’t really set on building a future with you, however, it’s necessary to recognize this and slowly remove your feelings from the situation.
You can’t force your way into somebody’s life. They either want you, or they’re not meant for you.
Your effort will be appreciated elsewhere. Your future is going to be amazing, even if that one person isn’t in it.
8) They never open up
When you truly love someone, you learn to confront your deepest fears and doubts in order to give the other person the best version of yourself.
Even if that means opening up and showing vulnerability. Especially then.
Look, there’s been enough mystery. Do they want you to properly know them or do they not care? Are they interested in building a deep and authentic connection or do they just like the attention?
The best way to tell – apart from just asking them, of course – is to see how invested they are in the relationship you have together.
Are they putting their whole selves into it? Or does it always feel like a part of them is missing?
When you think about these questions, try not to rationalize your doubts away. Your gut instinct knows more than you give it credit for.
If it doesn’t feel right…they might not be the one.