Unrequited love can be a challenging experience, but it’s important to remember that it’s just a feeling. And like all feelings, it will pass. When we hold onto unrequited love, we are only causing ourselves pain. It’s not healthy or productive to dwell on something that is not meant to be. Instead, we should redirect our focus to the things that bring us joy and fulfilment. 

As a passionate advocate for emotional wellness, I understand all too well the heartache and pain of unrequited love. First, it’s important to understand the different types of unrequited love. There’s the crush, where you have strong feelings for someone who is simply not interested in you romantically. There’s also the “friend zone,” where you have deep feelings for someone who only sees you as a friend. And then there’s the “just not that into you” situation, where the person you love is simply not available or has their sights set on someone else. This feeling of yearning and longing for someone who is simply not interested can leave you feeling vulnerable and powerless. But, there is hope. It’s important to remember that rejection is not a reflection of our worth. The person who is the object of our unrequited love may simply not feel the same way, but that doesn’t mean they don’t value us or our friendship. 

Ultimately, the best way to cope with unrequited love is to set it free. But even after that is done, you’re still left with shards of them in you. A cleanse is supposed to happen. Here are five ways to cope with unrequited love, and set your heart free.

Accept the situation for what it is

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s crucial. It’s important to acknowledge the reality of the situation and come to terms with the fact that your love is not being reciprocated. By doing so, you allow yourself to move forward and focus on your emotional well-being. One way to do this is to find new hobbies or interests. Engaging in activities that bring us joy will help take our minds off of unrequited love and allow us to explore new experiences. 

Redirect your focus

Instead of spending your time thinking about your unrequited love, redirect your focus towards other things you’re passionate about. Find new hobbies, explore new interests and engage in activities that bring you joy. By doing so, you’ll find that you have less time to dwell on your unrequited love and more time to focus on your happiness.

Surround yourself with positivity

Surrounding yourself with positive people and environments can help you maintain a healthy outlook. Seek out supportive friends, engage in activities that bring you happiness, and surround yourself with things that uplift you. It’s also important to distance yourself from the person you have feelings for, at least temporarily. This doesn’t mean cutting them out of your life completely, but instead, reducing the amount of time you spend with them. This can help you gain perspective and ease the sting of rejection.

Be kind to yourself

This may be one of the hardest things to do, but it’s so important. Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would extend to a friend. Practice self-care and do things that make you happy. Remember, you are worthy of love, and it starts with loving yourself.

Seek professional help

If the feelings of unrequited love persist and begin to impact your daily life, it may be time to seek the help of a professional. A therapist can help you process your feelings, learn coping mechanisms and develop a healthy perspective on your situation. Time does heal all wounds, and with patience and persistence, you will come out the other side stronger and more resilient. 

To be very honest, unrequited love can almost feel like being spellbound. Despite the advice of many, you can’t stop fawning, daydreaming and longing. If you ask me, we’re all living the same lives. When I found myself in a similar situation, I thought people didn’t understand and just kept passing judgment because they weren’t there when the dopamine hit from hearing their laughter for the first time. How spending time with them was the only ideal way you wanted to spend your day.  But after it wears off, and the pain that comes from them “just not being that into you” reintroduces itself, letting go is the only viable option. 

Unrequited love can be incredibly difficult to navigate, but it’s not impossible. By accepting the situation, redirecting your focus, surrounding yourself with positivity, being kind to yourself, and seeking professional help when needed, you’ll find the freedom and peace you’ve been seeking. Love is a beautiful thing, but it’s important to remember that it can take many forms. Letting go of unrequited love is not about giving up on love, but about freeing ourselves to find the love that is meant for us. 

This article was originally published in Modaculture Digital’s March | April 2023 issue. Get a copy HERE to read the digital version and other Sex and Relationships articles.

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Tilewa Kazeem is a contributing sex and relationships writer at Modaculture.

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