Why We Love the Ones who Don’t Love Us Back
The REAL reason we do this and what we can learn from it
Most of us have experienced unrequited love. We know the pain of being so invested in someone and not having them invest in us back.
We feel SO MUCH and they don’t. We know it’s meant to be, but they haven’t gotten the memo.
We think about them constantly, they come with us wherever we go and we want nothing more than to be with them, even just for a moment.
And we wait.
We believe they will see it eventually.
That they will see US eventually.
They will figure out that it’s meant to be.
This feeling of infatuation can become all-consuming when the object of our affection doesn’t feel the same way about us.
Why doesn’t he like me back?
What’s wrong with me?
I have so much to offer — why doesn’t she see that?
Why is he with THAT girl — I’m so much better for him than she is?!
We read e-books, blogs and anything else we can get out hands on that might explain why we can’t get that person — and how we can attain the ‘hard to get’ by doing these ‘three things’ to make them love us.
We create a plan and follow the steps so they will notice us, like us, develop feelings for us.
We show up funnier, better-dressed and just a little bit distant.
We try hard to stay out of the dreaded “friend zone”, while simultaneously doing what we can to develop a friendship with them.
We try SO hard.
We sometimes lose a part of who we are because we are so fixated on pleasing them.
We spend so much time giving mental attention to them that it takes the focus off of what we need to fix in us.
We dress it up as love, but really we are infatuated.
We are infatuated with making them like us.
We are infatuated with the feeling of control — that if we turn up a certain way we will succeed in our conquest.
We develop a sense of power over the situation by thinking we can “do something” to make them love us back.
We dress it up as love, but really it is not love at all.
We are simply avoiding ourselves.
We are not in it for them — we are in it because they can fill us.
We believe they can fill the empty areas in us— the ones we aren’t able to fill ourselves.
We don’t even take their feelings into consideration — we don’t know if they truly would want to be with us or if we would be good for them. We like to assume we would, but do we really know?
Are we truly giving them a choice if we are trying to show up in a certain way that we think will make them like us?
Are we really being authentic if we are putting on a facade so that we will be noticed, appreciated and loved?
When we devise a plan to make them feel something for us, are we simply putting on an act and trying to be someone we really aren’t?
And when they don’t like us, we make it about US.
But they don’t even know the real “us” — they only know the person we show them.
They don’t know us at the core and choose to love us for all of who we are.
At the end of the day, if they don’t feel for us the way we feel for them, it’s about THEM.
Obsessing over getting them to feel something, doing all we can to be the person they would want, is a waste of time for everyone.
The only way it works is if we show up as ourselves.
And in showing up as ourselves we allow them to have a true choice — letting go of the outcome or what we think they ‘should’ do.
And sometimes the best choice for them is NOT us.
And we need to realize that.
I believe we attract the people who don’t like us back for a reason.
See the purpose of a relationship is not to have our every desire met or to be loved back. It is not to have an outlet for our hormonal stimulus, the one that causes us to think it’s love.
It is not so we can feel worthy.
It is not “You complete me”.
The purpose of a relationship is not to fix us, or heal us, or to make us whole and happy.
The purpose of a relationship is to hold up a mirror to ourselves.
It is to see the parts of us that we are blinded to.
The purpose of any relationship is to dig up what’s deep inside — the feelings of anger, unworthiness, joy and excitement. It is to show us where we have holes inside us that need to filled — where we need to give ourselves more love and care.
It is to show us what parts of us are still broken, the areas that still need to be refined in us. In truly knowing someone at this deep level we can experience love for them, but only when we choose the unselfish actions that go with it.
The truth that we all get to face is this:
No human being can fill our holes, give us love, do the hard work that needs to be done or make us happy with who we are.
The only human that can do that for us is US.
We actually choose these unattainable people because they represent parts of us that we don’t love. A part of us knows that we have holes and we ask them subconsciously to fill them.
We struggle because we have expectations in love. We expect our inner selves to be healed through the love they give to us. Wer need to give love withoutexpectation.
The truth is our hearts will keep searching for these people, breaking for the ‘love’ we can’t have with them, until our hearts finally experience healing and open up.
Until then we will keep entering into these relationships.
The crazy part is we ‘love’ people who don’t ‘love’ us back to understand, at the deepest level, that we are worthy of being loved back.
We choose to enter into a deep connection with them in our minds and hearts so that the darkest corners of us can be brought into the light.
So the hurts we have hidden deep in us can be brought to the surface.
They are the people who will not give us what we want so we are forced to give it to ourselves. We are forced to look at those areas within us that need to be healed and completed by our own self-love.
They allow us the opportunity to look deep into who we are at the core and make amends, self-validate and see our own worth.
The person whom which we can truly experience love comes along once we are healed, once we are open.
They come into our lives once we have let go of the need to have our holes filled by others and have finally learned to love ourselves.
It is through this we begin to understand, at the core level of who we are, that we can’t give that which we do not have in us.
We can’t share love if we do not have love to share.
We can only love to the capacity at which we love ourselves.
Otherwise we will not be able to truly love them — we will always be looking for what they can do for us, how they can complete us, how we can be filled up by them.
It is a huge opportunity when we love the people who cannot love us back. When we are on the other side we realize that they were never meant to feel the same way — they were meant to leave us on our own.
They were a stepping stone to something greater within us.
They were there to teach us the worth we can feel inside ourselves when we are on our own, not needing from others.
The cycle of unrequited love and the infatuation with it will continue until such time as you do love yourself and know that others need not be a band-aid for your wounds.
Once you see your true worth you will not attract these relationships into your life anymore.
You will be open and ready for love.
And you will be able to give it freely because you have it inside and aren’t looking to someone else to fill you.
It is a beautiful place to be.