Moises: He loves her but she loves him not

·4 min read

J: Hi, Singlestalk. I’m a banker in love with a chef who loves a commercial model. Friend zoned since college. Side kick. Driver. Shoulder to cry on. Every good thing, probably, except what seems to matter most—good-looking. It’s been five years since I told her how I feel and nothing much has changed. Still the confidant with a heart. Should I still keep on loving her or is it time already to look for happiness with someone else?

DJ: Cupid probably ran out of arrows and was only able to shoot you. Heart-wrenching. You fell in love with a chef and got roasted. She could have fallen in love with a banker but she has no interest. Should you keep on loving her? Love isn’t just about the emotions you’re feeling. It’s about what she means to you. The space she has in your life. If it’s just been six months, the hopeless romantic in me would have suggested that you keep on. Given the choice between the pain of loving without anything in return and the pain of not loving at all, I’d choose loving just because. But dude, it’s been five years. Time to undo your feelings.

Say no to her so you can say yes to yourself. Based on research I Googled years ago, if you’re feeling warm and fuzzy every time she posts a new pic of her and an embutido on Instagram, that’s dopamine. A feel-good chemical associated with falling in love. But when love is not reciprocated, that source of dopamine disappears. Then your brain starts to go through withdrawal. To get over these initial symptoms, psychologists suggest giving yourself 30 days of no contact. Because you probably put her on a pedestal, it’ll hurt. Some people find it easier to push their feelings away but that isn’t a path I recommend. Go through stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, doubt. Eventually, you’ll get into acceptance. For now, tell her you need space. She knows your feelings. You are not playing badass when you’ll tell her, “Don’t call me. I’ll call you when I’m ready.”

Get back out there. It’s typical advice given after a breakup. Of course, it’s easier said than done. But it can be quite an effective way to finally get over an unrequited love. I’m not saying do a rebound. I’m just suggesting meeting new people. Who knows? You might realize that you really did not want her and it’s just the desire to have what you cannot have. You never know. This is way better than shutting the world out. It’s the holiday season, a good time to reach out to other people you care about and who care about you. Sure, they can’t fill the void. Being around people with positive energy who have your best interest, however, can reshape your mindset.

Reframe it as a learning experience. Yeah, it’s the worst feeling—falling for someone who is not there to catch you. But cliché as it sounds, it’s not really much about what happens to you in life. It’s more of how you respond to the situation at hand. When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? Do you ride a bike? Go the distance. Rather than devoting your emotional energy to thinking of someone else, try to focus on the first person who deserves your love—you. Concentrate on your personal happiness, mental health and physical well-being. Dude, I understand how hard it is. I once loved someone too who was in love with something else - the world she lived in. Like you, I was ready to be the life partner she always wanted. But none of that ultimately mattered then nor now. What mattered to her was her career. What matters to me now is that I learned. Been there.

And I can tell you that trough this, you’ll gain a better understanding of your needs, your patterns in a relationship, and how to become a healthy, positive partner in the future.

From the ashes of your love rises a new you. Trust me. Stop rolling your eyes. You got this.

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