How to deal when your love is not returned

I am writing this article for a reason, because I have fallen in love. In love with a man I have known for almost five years, with whom I am very good friends and yet never saw as the one I see today.

At the beginning I told myself that it was a pipe dream, after all I could have thought of it earlier. I’m sure I’m lonely and he’s just a great guy who would be a good match for me. I’m sure it’s only because we share the same views and can always laugh a lot together and because he knows exactly what makes me tick. Certainly I project my friendly feelings on a romantic level because I wish for a partner.

These were my thoughts to convince myself that I definitely don’t want him because we are definitely just friends.

Unfortunately for me he is not only a Friend. And unfortunately we can’t turn off our feelings, we have to deal with them somehow.

Say what you think and stop thinking that he’ll notice

First of all, he doesn’t feel the same way about me.

This is the reason why I want to discuss today how to deal with when our love is not returned. But I want to start by telling you again (even though we actually know this) how important it is that you use clear words.

If you want him to understand what you want to say to him, you have to say it!

Well, as I said, we’ve known each other for almost five years and you may assume that he notices when something changes. Looks, the smiles, the ‘random’ touches, the ‘weird’ questions you start asking, the compliments you give more often than usual, the follow ups to see if he’s dating someone right now, and so on – well, you know what I’m talking about.

I don’t want to say that he didn’t notice that something was wrong. He did, and that is my slightly different reaction to his otherwise always very amusing stories about women. As much as I tried to force a smile out of myself, I didn’t succeed.

It’s not hard to tell with me, because I’m a very emotional person. Only with the interpretation why this may be so, it did not go then in such a way, as a woman would have seen and analyzed the situation.

The mindset ‘Well, that’s obvious, now he’s got it’, won’t help you in most cases. It may not apply to all men, but as a rule of thumb I would say:

No. They don’t realize it, you have to put your feelings into words!

To make a long story short: I confessed it to him. It wasn’t planned and wanted, but at that moment I couldn’t avoid being honest with him anymore. He doesn’t feel the same for me. He is dating someone else. And he is overwhelmed with the situation – and so am I.

Everything happens for a reason!

Since I was left in such a painful way three years ago, I haven’t met anyone for whom I would change my life or limit myself a bit – no one I would get seriously involved with.
At first it was sheer fear, then pure selfishness and then the reason was that I just haven’t met anyone I considered "good enough".

And today? Well, I would do a lot for him. More than I would do for anyone else.

But he doesn’t want me. And now?

If you read my blog regularly, then you know that I am convinced that everything has a reason in your life. Every person you meet has a job to do and they give you challenges and opportunities that you can (and should) grow from.

Which is the job of the man who suddenly means much more to me than I could ever guess? I do not know. Not yet.

The fact is that he has nothing more than friendly feelings for me – and I have to deal with that, even if it hurts.

What questions should we ask ourselves when we are caught in a situation like this??

How can I deal with the disappointment and anger at my own ‘stupidity’ in telling him??

Are you angry at yourself for confessing your feelings to him? Because you had even a shred of hope that he might feel the same way? You are disappointed because he does not want you?

Well, look at it this way: you said it, you let him know, you have security. You can stop worrying about "If, then…" and "I wonder how he feels…"?" to torment. You gave yourself the chance for clarity, you can process it and then sooner or later you will be open for another, the right man.

You were brave! You got tired of playing hide and seek, jumped over your shadow and just told him. It takes a lot and you should be proud of yourself!

Try not to get upset that he doesn’t feel the way you hoped he would, try to rejoice in your new freedom. You know where you stand now!

Do I want to be with someone who doesn’t want me as a wife by his side?

No, so I don’t, and I think you don’t either. I know how the inner turmoil feels and thoughts like "Once I show him what he means to me, he’ll fall in love with me" pop into your head. Even though hope dies last, but he won’t, at least the chances of that are minimal.

I know your hopes, and also the moments of self-sacrifice and putting yourself in the back of the queue: don’t do that, no matter how much you want to be with him. Because the only person you need and should want to be with, the one you should care about and love the most, is YOU.

What to do with all the love I feel?

Move. Direct it to the person who deserves it. YOU!

You should practice self-love daily, I think you know that. Use the emotions that you have inside you and that you would like to give to him so much, and give yourself as a present.

It will do you good! And you know:

Only those who love themselves can also be loved by someone else!

Do I love him more than myself?

If you answer yes to this question, then you are not ready for a relationship. It sounds harsh, but if you love another person more than yourself, put them above you and yourself behind, you won’t be happy. Not with him and not with anyone else.

Find yourself, love yourself, know your worth and it will be easier for you to deal with rejections, because the most important person in your life remains, for better or for worse: YOU.

Why does he have so little empathy? Why can’t he handle it?

Men are different. You think differently. You feel differently. Sometimes at least. You are often more rational than we women. And let’s face it, what’s he gonna do??

I don’t want to be handled with kid gloves.

I don’t want pity because he doesn’t feel the way I do.

I don’t want this to overshadow our friendship.

What I want then? I want to keep him as a friend, as a person who has always meant a lot to me. I want everything to be the same again.

Bear with him that he may not be able to comprehend it. Maybe he can’t express well what he thinks, what he feels. Maybe he simply does not know it himself.

Men are not as close to their emotions as we women are.

He is not reacting this way because he wants to hurt you, but because he can’t help it. And I don’t mean that pejoratively.

And yes, in secret we know that we are the stronger sex. And that’s what we have to be in situations like these.

What should I do now?

I personally keep my distance. I need time for myself first, for my heart.

It is very convenient for me that Munich and Bangkok are not so close to each other. The next three months I will spend in Thailand. For me this means ME TIME: CrossFit, Yoga, Meditation, Massages. I give the love I have inside me to myself. I give myself time to accept that it is the way it is. And I give my heart time to heal and open up again.

If you can’t create such a big distance for yourself, retreat in a different way. With a smaller physical distance, less Whatsapp, less or maybe even no meetings for the time being. Deal with yourself, take a breath and let your heart free again.

You will feel when the time is right, and then you will be able to approach him again and have contact with him.

In conclusion

This article may seem a bit analytical, rational and cool. As if everything was simple and it would go on as before. It does not. And if you have ever been or are currently in such a situation, then you know how much my heart bleeds.

But you also know that we have exactly two choices:

  1. We bury ourselves at home, stuff ourselves with chocolate, cry our pillows wet and tell ourselves that surely no one will ever want us and that there is something wrong with us.
  1. We are strong, try to work through the pain, accept that this is the way it is. We look forward, don’t lose faith in love (and you can’t do that, never!) and go into the world with a wounded but still open heart, trusting that he will come, the right one. And that will be. When you are ready, when the time is right.

If you feel like I do, don’t give up! The right one comes! For you and also for me! If he doesn’t want you, then he doesn’t deserve you.

There is something that each of us would like to feel: to be loved without having to ask for it.

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