Unrequited love is most often about one person being romantically attracted to another person, while the other person doesn’t feel the same way.
This can happen in two ways: one, either when there was no prior relationship, but also when you’ve been in a relationship and the other person broke up with you.
If the latter is the case, you might want to read Psychcentrals article How to Get Over a Breakup.
The author Nathan Files shares 7 tips to help you move on. I’m picked out three tips from the article that I find particularly worth elaborating on.
1. Make plans.
Social interaction is one of the keys to moving forward after a breakup. Isolation often leads to being consumed by emotions and thoughts that exacerbate our sadness and upset. Schedule plans in advance to see friends or family at least a few times during the week and weekends, especially if you live alone, and be sure to follow through with them. If you feel you don’t want to be around anyone, which can be common after a breakup, this is the time to act opposite of the urge. Push yourself to interact with people and prevent a pattern of loneliness and depression.
You’ve probably heard this before, but there is a reason why it gets repeated so often by so many people: because it’s true. Sometimes you have to push yourself to get out there with other people even if you don’t feel like it.
And yes, sometimes when you force yourself to “be social” like that, it won’t feel good even while you’re out with people. Oftentimes you’ll feel like all these interactions are empty and meaningless, and sometimes you’ll be painfully reminded of the person who left you. But still, it’s important to engage in social life so that you don’t get hung up on a breakup depression.
4. Keep up daily self-care routines.
It is also important to remember to take care of your daily needs when dealing with a breakup. Go to the gym, jog, swim, walk, cook, etc. Some may feel less motivated to grocery shop, prepare meals, eat, or shower after a breakup. These may require some extra effort at times, but push yourself to continue your daily routines as before.
Again, this might seem like commonplace advice, but it’s extremely important too, and that’s why I want to stress this here.
Never let one crisis be the cause of additional crises. You’ve got enough emotional turmoil on your plate already. Make sure that life goes on. There are two ways into which you can continue from here. You can either escalate the problems and make things worse, or you can get your life together and move on.
In the short term it often feels like letting yourself go is the right thing to do – but it would only hurt yourself if you followed that urge. Instead, go against your natural tendency and take good care of yourself.
6. Set a daily time limit for grieving.
Each person grieves a loss differently. There is no actual time limit for grieving. However, there is a difference between healthy grieving and dwelling in regret and sorrow. Some could spend months consumed by guilt and sadness if we allow ourselves to.
As we move forward, it is still important to acknowledge our pain and other emotions we may feel as the result of a significant breakup. Set a time each day that you will allow yourself to reflect, feel, and process your relationship loss. Setting a timer is helpful for this. I would recommend no more than 20-30 minutes a day, and have an activity scheduled to immediately follow this time.
I don’t agree with this – “grieving on the clock” really doesn’t work from my experience. But he makes a very good point in this tip, and I’m going to get to this. But I just can’t imagine someone setting a timer and sitting there grieving for 20 minutes and then jumping out of it.
But it’s a good idea to set aside time each day to specifically deal with the emotions of your breakup. A lot of people kind of “just let emotions hit them” and try to avoid the topic when they can. Don’t do that.
All the grieving and sorrow and pain – you got to face it. And you have to work your way through it. Don’t be passive about it. Schedule half an hour every day to engage in some activity specifically to deal with this. This could be such a thing as writing down your feelings in a notebook, expressing your emotions in paintings or music, or even talking to yourself in front of the mirror about your breakup related emotions.
Most people just let their feelings roll over them. They are mere recipients of their emotional experiences.
Don’t do that. Work with your emotions. Deal with your feelings. Take time for introspection, even if it hurts and is painful.
Avoidance gives you deceptive comfort. Deceptive because it may make things seem less painful now, but it will lengthen and worsen your emotional state.
And most important of all: know that you have what it takes to get over this breakup. And you have what it takes to create a happy and fulfilled life, even if right now you don’t see this possibility. But it’s there – believe in it and pursue it. It’s worth the struggle.