Unrequited love


Turn down the lights, turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don’t patronize – don’t patronize me

Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me
Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

I can’t make you love me – Bonnie Raitt

What do you know about love?  If you ask Google, they will tell you the most searched phrase on the internet is the question what is love,  the literature is filled with written accounts, musicians sing about the aspects of love, and it is thought to have started the Trojan war.  Love has circulated the human condition for eons, reported and retold in fairy tales to our young, discussed by all the classical philosophers and poets, yet for most of us, we still have an inexperienced puerile understanding of what it means to love one another.  A psychologist will delineate love into different types, and as a matter of fact, one can find about three to ten or more types of love displayed on a good search engine.  A therapist on the other hand will examine the problems of intimacy inside a relationship, as to provide the couple with ways to reconnect to that loved one, but ask yourself a question before you read on any further.  Have you been in love?

Not infatuation, attractions, or crushes, but rather a deeper bonding that you cannot explain.  Every nerve impulse that fires within your body compels to be directed toward that person you desire.  You can’t seem to control this feeling, but it certainly becomes awakened and alive when they are next to you.  I do not speak of the libidinal sexual energies, but the psycho-physiological functions that you cannot easily dismiss and deny at the presence of the other person.  An emotional factor that cannot always be subdued, and rejected by the rational ego.

How has it enhanced or hindered your personal life depending on the choices you have made?  What were the emotional outcomes of the decisions you made?  Were you able to have the courage to tell that special someone that you love them?  More painfully, did you have someone that did not return back the feelings you freely gave up to them?

Many of us have had opportunities to gain experience in building relationships through the years, with our school associations, work associations, and other social networks we call our friends.  The power of observation gives us plenty to digest, and we have learned through trial and error on established etiquette; information given to us by our friends, family members, and what is in the popular culture on how to carry on with a love interest.


How are you certain that you are in love?  If you are in love, how much are you willing to give to the relationship to keep it alive, to keep it fresh, to keep it exciting?  Are you willing to commit and sacrifice, face the hardships, and tolerate unforeseen drama?  How much are you willing to except the person you thought you knew, now that you have learned the subtleties of their personality and they have learned yours.  In some cases I believe that some people do not have the hardships as others experience.  I suspect that the particular upbringing and the complications of some lives are accredited for the happenings.

For many that believe love is hard to find I may offer an alternative view.  Finding love is not the difficulty in this life, for there may be some who disagree.  I’m going to state that the hardest thing about love is not in the finding of it, but rather in the maintenance of it.  The nurturing and caring for it, the devotion to making it a successful philosophy in your relationship resides largely in your own hands.  A relationship is like a living entity.  It will grow when nurtured.

Finding love is not the most difficult part of the quest.  It is rather that most people seem to be challenged by keeping the loved one close to their heart.  The time it takes to invest into the relationship, maintain, and cultivate that relationship is where much of the hard work will come into play.  The risk initiates itself when the romantic levels diminish into the every day routines, and if you are smart you will not let it get to that stage without being proactive.  Make time for one another, stroke your loved ones hair, and when they are resting next to you, softly touch and caress their skin as they sleep.  Give of yourself showing them that in what you do honor’s them.  Being passionately interested in something positive within your life, sharing your life with them even when it’s the simplest  of things, paying attention to their needs over yours will all be appreciated by that special someone if there is a connection.  Take time for them, continue to be romantic through out the relationship, even when you have been with that person for years, since we all love to be loved.  Paying attention to your loved one is essential.  The list can go on and on, but the point is that we seem to lose our focus in the relationships we engage in that frankly can be good for us.  The fact that it didn’t work out the way we wanted may be due to the effort we placed into the relationship, and not so much that we were not well suited for one another, etc.


The human condition is a very peculiar system when dealing with the emotional/rational aspects of relationships.  The case of unrequited love, the possibility will not be the same.  Many of us have suffered through such trying times.  I have personally suffered but learned a great deal from my experiences with another not returning my affections.  As the reader has their own experience with this topic, you know very well how you felt, the effects it had on your life, and the intensity that you experienced it with.   The emotional challenges and the social challenges it placed on you.  The denials, the lessons you learned, and the choices you made during that time shaped much of who you are today.

As one author puts it…“I had discovered that there was something more painful than falling in love with someone who hasn’t fallen for you; hurting that person-hurting him and not being able to do anything about it.”
Elizabeth Chandler, Legacy of Lies & Don’t Tell


People crave attention.  Most people crave love and affection universally unless they are damaged soul’s that have sustained some emotional and physical trauma growing up.  In general they still crave what we crave, but the possibility for the many strange manifestations become astronomical.  Our affections can be manipulated, and shaped depending on the modeled type that we learn from.  As in the study conducted below, our attachment becomes imbedded into our learned behaviors.   In Attachment style: we develop styles of love that are based on expectancies developed from childhood experiences with caregivers: Secure; Anxious/ambivalent; and Avoidant (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978; Hazan & Shaver, 1987; Shaver, Hazan and Bradshaw,1988).


Many have learned with experience through the process of having others in our lives that we deeply care about, that unexpected outcomes may occur.  It is self evident that caring deeply means that we tolerate, except, and forgive others who may unintentionally cause us emotional discomfort.

In the Three Dimensional View: The experience of love is a function of levels of intimacy, commitment and passion (Sternberg, 1988).  In the Table below, for each type of love, a plus sign indicates the presence of each dimension of love, and a minus sign indicates that the dimension is not present. Descriptions of what these combinations of the various love dimensions should tend to be like can be found in the following chart.

Combinations of intimacy, passion, commitment
Intimacy Passion Commitment
Liking/friendship x
Infatuated love x
Empty love x
Romantic love x x
Companionate love x x
Fatuous love x x
Consummate love x x x

.Triangular Theory of Love.svg

the pendulum

Liza Misra, a psychotherapist, says, “Those who dwell on feelings of unrequited love are generally those who assume that true love is necessary for ultimate happiness and this need to love before one can feel happy is called dependency.  Interestingly, unrequited love can actually last a very long time, for many years or even decades – paradoxically the lover’s feelings usually reach a breaking point as they continue to deepen. Unrequited love may end when the lover receives reciprocation from the loved (consummation), develops less intense feelings for the loved (starvation), or channels his / her feelings towards another, more reciprocating person (transformation).”


Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.   Helen Keller


We can’t always predict who will fall in love.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and how we meet this world and come to terms with it depends on us and our understanding.    Be assured that the universe will provide in times of need if one is receptive.  Sometimes it will be in the form of a movie that allows you to reflect differently on things, or it might be someone you meet that takes you by surprise.   The idea that we suffer when our love is not returned is ironic and does not wholly encompass love’s meaning.  Love is to be given freely without expectancy.  The highest form is agape, or unconditional and is given without expectation regardless of circumstance.  I myself have learned that one must move forward and allow the soul to heal.  To keep oneself attached to a love interest in an effort to win them over is futile.  The best thing to do is allow the soul to move on and experience positive energies elsewhere.  Like in the movie below….

one of the best movies with the theme of unrequited love
one of the best movies with the theme of unrequited love

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