Love + Sex Love Life Stories

Have you ever felt unrequited love?

Usually when I think of unrequited love, I think of something great. Some sort of grand story full of catharsis. Unrequited is generally special.

A type of love that demands to be talked about for an eternity. Something electric, with compulsive wavelengths. Something like the movies that comes with its own playlist attached to it.

Something with late and long nights spent together in a damp minivan twinkling and spitting out dreams on a whim. Something with vicious fights fueled by our own desire. Something that makes my soul open up just as swiftly as it gets torn apart. And, somehow I wind up bursting at the seams yet feel completely unsatisfied. I always want more. 

Why do we long for the type of love that hurts so much it imprints our hearts? It is difficult to locate the line that separates struggle and triumph, as nearly every love story in popular media blurs the two. But unrequited love is so unbelievably magnificent and sad at the same time that it becomes all encompassing.

Unrequited love is an entire body, overwhelming, feeling. I have broken hearts before and I have had my heart broken, so I can tell you that the feeling never fades, one way or the other. It feels as if you are running fast, and for a long time, yet making no distance at all.

One time I waited two months for a guy to message me back before I realized that he just wasn’t going to. Ever. Again. And that entire time I couldn’t help but wonder why I cared so much. What we had wasn’t at all special, but I still was left longing for a distraction from the heartbreak. I was showered by his passivity instead of his kisses and I wanted him to know how much his absence hurt me, but he was so equally careless and carefree that none of it mattered.

Not even for a second. 

I felt unrequited love again while in a long-distance relationship. This kind of unrequited was different. It wasn’t one-sided. Instead, we felt tremendously for each other. It’s just that our bodies weren’t able to be physically together for some time. We were only long distance for the few months that I would be studying abroad, but it felt like an eternity. I remember being there and using all of my senses to try to gauge what his touch felt like.

Somedays I would wake up and watch the sun from my window, silently knowing that that same sun wouldn’t bounce to him for another six hours, and I would recall how that same sun looked dancing across his back at dawn. I’d lay in bed at night and want to tell him about my day, but I knew that I couldn’t. I was constantly reminded that he no longer took up the space in between my arms when we slept. But I was, and still am, fascinated by the immediate consumption of these moments. I am so grateful to have given him my heart. He still has it. 

The extent of passion is practically boundless. We should feel like we can fly on a whim, or scream and dance, when we are in love. Unrequited love just forces you to confront that intensity, those struggles and triumphs, head on. Some of it is beautiful; some not so much. I like to remind myself that love doesn’t need a reason, love just is. 

Unrequited love is messy, but worth it. It is a collection of fleeting moments. It teaches us that all love should be leaking, dripping, through every difficulty yet also a thread that is continuously weaving through and connecting our bodies and our souls. The whole point of longing is to continue, because there will always be potential to love someone rather than to have loved someone. They can’t be the one that got away if they weren’t the one in the first place.

Love Life Stories Advice

If your friends aren’t adding value to your life, let them go

I had a friend. Notice the past tense “had” and no, he’s not dead. We’re just not friends anymore.

I don’t want to go into any details since I still would like to respect the privacy of my former friend. But I do want to say that I was furious beyond words at the way he treated me.

The last time I had been so upset, I didn’t get accepted to my early decision college choice.

It only took maybe 10 minutes of texting to change the course of a 10-year friendship. He was rude and neglecting. His tone told me that he thought I was being clingy or dependent on him, and that infuriated me.

We had plans and I was confirming that the plans were happening because he had flaked on me several times recently. I guess he felt obliged to make those plans because we were “friends,” even though he never wanted to in the first place. He acted as if he had never even once truly considered me as a friend, even though we’ve known each other for so long.

Even though we were best friends in high school.

Even though I was his wingman whenever he was interested in a girl.

Girl resting chin on palm as she stares out the winder through slits made by wooden blinds.
[Image description: Girl resting chin on palm as she stares out the winder through slits made by wooden blinds.] Via Joshua Rawson Harris on Unsplash

I had thought he had changed because of college. I began to doubt that.

Maybe he just never truly considered me as a friend. And the thought of that hurt me more than anything. I texted him in a rage, letting him know I wasn’t going to talk to him until he apologized for what he had said to me.

He had said things that he shouldn’t have said if he thought of me as a friend.

He read it.


That was last May.

I swore, ranted, and cried. I couldn’t believe it — I had just lost someone who I had known for most of my life and he was gone, just like that. And he didn’t even care.

I’ll be honest: I miss him a lot. And I am tentative about writing this in case he ever reads this article (he probably won’t though). But I can’t deny the fact that I miss the friendship we had and I had cherished it more than any other relationship I had had.

If he had replied to my message, I would have forgiven him on the spot and we would have still been friends to this day. We were supposed to be those friends who met up once every few years, even in their 40s and 50s. We were going to laugh and talk about the old days.

Girl with palm against window covered in raindrops.
[Image description: Girl with palm against window covered in raindrops.] Via Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

People in your life come and go, and you have to learn to admit and accept that. I know it sounds blunt and harsh, but if someone is doing you more harm than good, you need to know it’s time to reconsider your relationship with that person.

Ed Sheeran’s song “Save Myself” really hits home with this one:

And all the ones that love me they just left me on the shelf / No farewell / So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

Before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself.

Myself. Yourself.

In a relationship, you are the most important person. A relationship between two people means that both sides consider the other their equal. There shouldn’t be a power dynamic or unbalanced levels of love and affection.

If you’re currently in a toxic relationship that is hurting you, get out of it as fast as possible.

It’s okay to let people go from your life. It’s hard, and sometimes it feels impossible. But you can only know so many people in your lifetime. Consider letting go of a toxic relationship or a negative friend as opening a space for someone else to fill. Someone who will truly love and support you as much as you do them. To leave one means giving yourself an opportunity to meet a better someone. And don’t worry, there is always someone who will come fill that spot you left open for them.

And don’t ever blame yourself because your relationship has ended. It didn’t turn out well, so what? It just wasn’t meant to be.

Girl sitting on a bed holding a cup and burying her head between her arms.
[Image description: Girl sitting on a bed holding a cup and burying her head between her arms.] Via Asdrubal Luna on Unsplash

Hi, friend. You know who you are. If you’re reading this, please know that I don’t regret that we were friends, and I hope that you don’t either. Although we probably won’t ever contact each other again, I want to say thank you for being the friend you were throughout my childhood and my adolescent years.

I wish you the very best. Have a good life.

I’m letting you go.