Love can be a wonderful, magical feeling if reciprocated equally. But if not? Well, unrequited love or one-sided love can be painful and difficult to deal with.

Unrequited love can happen in a variety of situations, not only when you are attracted to someone who does not feel the same for you. It can also be the longing for an ex who has moved on, it can be the mutual feeling that two people in separate relationships may have for each other, or it may be your love for someone who is emotionally unavailable. The sense of rejection accompanying one-sided love can make you doubt yourself, focus on your flaws, feel unwanted, and so many such hurtful feelings. So today, let’s focus on what you CAN do, and how you can let go of someone you’ve never had or can’t have.

1. You are not alone

A lot of us don’t realize how common this experience is. Take a moment to think about it, there are high chances you have, at some point, had one-sided feelings for someone, or you know of someone who has experienced this. As per a research by Meichenbaum, as many as 98% of people experience unrequited love at some point in their lifetimes. That makes it sound not as bad now, doesn’t it?

Once you see how people much smarter, funnier, more attractive, and also people less smarter, funnier, less attractive also deal with the same problem as you do, you can see that it is not about you. It is not about being “good enough” for the other person. Understanding this can help you accept this better.

2. Know them better

You must have heard the phrase “blind in love”. Well it does hold true in a sense. When we are attracted to someone, we tend to miss noticing their flaws as clearly as we notice their strengths. We look at them through a rosy lens and thus this bias makes us think that they are better persons than they might be.

It might be helpful to think of them objectively, perhaps talking about their flaws with your friends, and realising that they too are an imperfect person. They also have certain issues. Knowing and understanding this will help you establish a realistic attraction towards them, that is much more healthy and easier to let go of.

3. Feel your feelings

As is the case with all kinds of emotional troubles, you need to let yourself feel the pain before you can let go of it. You can’t truly move on from someone unless you acknowledge what you felt for them, feel it thoroughly, and then make a conscious choice to move and and heal. Perhaps you can start with making a list of all the things that you adore about the

person. Letting this out will feel like a huge task in itself, but it can be your first step towards moving on.

This is not to say that you should dwell on your emotions and spiral into an obsessive tendency of thinking about them. It is only so that you do not repress or deny your feelings and act as if everything is okay, while it may not be. That can be quite unhealthy and lead to issues in future relationships. Feel your feelings and let time work it’s healing magic while you focus on your own growth.

4. Create some distance

It is very tempting to keep checking on your crush, but it will only bring hurtful feelings to your mind again and again and again. Every single time that you look up their social media or try talking to them, you are reminding yourself of the feelings you have for them. If you choose to consciously move on, it is best to avoid engaging with them as much as possible. On the other hand, while for some people, getting into the dating scene may help them best, for others, keeping a distance from romantic relationships works best.

5. Love your self

This might sound like a terrible cliche, but that’s only because it is true. Rejection can make you doubt yourself, hamper your self-esteem, make you question your self-worth. Focusing on your strengths and things you are grateful for can help shift the narrative from negative to positive. We all know that positive thoughts lead to positive feelings. To make it a practice, you can repeat positive affirmations to yourself at the start of every day. In front of your

mirror, speak out loud a positive affirmation like, “I love myself”. Once you’ve repeated it enough times, your brain will eventually start believing it. Do not hesitate to undergo personal change also. If you’ve been wanting to get a haircut, or join a gym, or get a certain outfit, go free and do it now. Let yourself explore your own identity for who you truly are. Spend more time with yourself and be at peace with being alone. A lot of times we seek others simply because we are not comfortable with ourselves. Enjoy time with close friends and engage in your favorite hobbies, and before long, you’ll feel healthy and happy again.

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