Some of the most popular romance stories feature one-sided love. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby hopelessly awaits Daisy to return to him. The Roman mythological epoch of Echo and Narcissus told one of the first stories of unrequited love. In The Notebook, Noah chases Allie for years, even through an engagement, until she comes back to him. In The Little Mermaid, Ariel falls in love with the prince while he doesn’t know she exists.
Although love is a popular media & entertainment topic, unrequited love is also prominent because it’s a powerful pain felt by many. You’re one of the lucky ones if you’re never loved and haven’t been loved in return. Or is there another perspective?
The Good: On one hand, the lover’s feelings can seem as more genuine because it’s much harder to love someone that doesn’t love you back. Sometimes it takes one side a little longer to fall in love. It takes courage to love someone who doesn’t love you back.
The Bad & The Ugly: One the other hand, it’s hard to tell if they really love you or if they just want what they can’t have? Is it just infatuation?
Love is a complex human emotion that we’ll never be able to fully understand. There is no shared definition of love. There is no agreed upon interpretation of what love looks and feels like. A love relationship can start off mutual and fade into one-sided love. Does that mean it wasn’t true to begin with? I don’t think so. One-sided love can blossom into a beautiful, mutually-loving relationship. Crazier things have happened in this world.
So what’s the verdict on one-sided love? Can it lead to true love? Is it genuine love to begin with? Can there be a light at the end of the tunnel for both parties? Can love fade into one-sided love?
E.L. Jayne’s poetry blog can be found at http://www.poemsandprose.travel.blog
27 thoughts on “Lopsided Love: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
One sided love! This is sometimes hard to tell as for sure we might be blinded by our emotion. What a lovely thought you have in here.
Yes the blinding effect is the hardest part! Thanks for reading. 😁
I think something that’s really important to remember is never to wait for someone who isn’t ready to commit to you – and Great Gatsby really drives this point home. It can sometimes blossom into something really beautiful if the object of one’s affection returns and is ready to love back fully, but the key is not to wait for them for too long. That’s what it can get really ugly for the lopsided lover.
I totally agree and the hard part is determining “how long?” It’s hard not to wonder what if I waited just a little bit longer…
In my very limited personal experience, one-sided love felt very unhealthy. Once I let go of the desire for the person who wasn’t interested in me, I felt so much more free. And then my heart was available for a love that was equally reciprocated.
Thats great you were able to realize you came to a point when it was time to move on. That’s kind of the gray area that’s hard to navigate. Thanks for sharing 😁
I won’t lie, it felt like I was in that gray area for a terribly long time. Wouldn’t wish it on anyone.🙃
I’ve been there too / am there too. Not a great place to be lol
😔 it sucks. For what it’s worth, I had to put distance between myself and the person who clearly only liked me as a friend. Then I channeled my energy toward self-care/self-improvement. It took some time to heal. We all deserve someone who can reciprocate our love. I hope you’ll be in a better place soon. ♡
This maybe a little off subject but, it has happened to me and I know there are others. This was the both of us falling deeply in love, then while in the Navy, I started to doubt. I ended it. Within a couple of years while both of us married others and after a hard divorce, it hit me how much I truly loved her but, it was then too late. Thank God we are still good friends.
If you were falling deeply in love why did you end it? What were you doubting? That’s a hard story but that’s life, isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story and best of luck. <3E
The mind is sometimes changed according to the environment. I let others get into my head. Yes, life happens.
Yes, it’s life ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I doubt the possibility that there is true unrequited love. I don’t believe that there is love for a person unless love is given in return. In the cases of “unrequited” love, my opinion is that the person is infatuated or is obsessed.
I think that many cases may just be infatuation but I do believe that unrequited love can be real. I do believe there is a timeframe associated with it but it depends on many variables. Love isn’t such a science after all 🙂
The reason why I don’t believe in unrequited love is love doesn’t bloom unless it is shared. Without the give AND take, that can’t happen and the seed of the feeling dies.
I think and believe that love is not a feeling, it’s an action. Whichever thing they depict as love in movies can be misleading cuz then again we ask, why does love that was once mutual become one-sided? Like a preacher once taught me, love is what you do irrespective of what you feel.
I’ve never heard that before — love is what you do irrespective of what you feel. I definitely think it’s at least a combination of what you do and what you feel. And that it’s something you have to work at every day. But it shouldn’t be an obligation, it’s a privilege. Thanks for sharing you story <3E
Definitely! I believe it’s a combination of the both as well, but the society we live in and the way the world portrays love presses more on the feeling rather than the action which I feel isn’t the best.
Oh and for why does love that was once mutual become one-sided, ohhh I wish I knew! :,)
What is love? I had an arranged marriage. I love my husband I’m sure he feels same way for me. 2 strangers put together to figure it out. We are in love right? 20 years still strong, still growing, still learning new things about each other.
That’s a good case for love being something that you have to work on, almost like a project. Instead of love being something that you fall into almost accidentally and expect to have that same feeling forever. Thanks for sharing your story and wishing you all the best, xo. <3E
Can it lead to true love? — I think definitely! Is it genuine love to begin with? — I think that’s a tricky question. I think you don’t really know love or lack there of until you give it a shot. When you love someone, but realize you have more and more irreconcilable differences as you get to know each other, was it real love then at any point? At what point can one determine it IS LOVE? If it’s never been reciprocated, it has to be infatuation… Wow, the more I talk and think about it, the more confusing my thoughts about it get. Ha! Thanks, what a fun thing to think about. Can there be a light at the end of the tunnel for both parties? — Again, at what point does it become love, though? You know, now I think there can’t be love if it’s only one-sided. Ugh. I don’t know… Can love fade into one-sided love? — I think definitely, as people grow, they can grow apart. — My real thoughts on the matter is that you can learn to live with, and appreciate anyone that you’re with if you’re willing to learn, and you approach your differences with an open mind. Recently, a friend of mine moved away and at his going-away party I felt a little nostalgic remembering about a few years back, when we kind of courted each other, but I needed him to make a stronger move, and he never did… Now he has an amazing girlfriend that shares so many interests with him, that has helped him grow in so many ways, and from my perspective seems perfect for him! And it got me thinking — If things had worked out between us, would we still be together? Even though someone so much more perfect for him was close by? Maybe we would, and he would have never met (what looks like) his perfect match.
Wow, I love seeing your perspective evolve as you began to put more thought into it. I feel like love does have to stand the test of time to be true love. It’s not love if after a few fights you call it off. But how much time is the determinant? I’m not sure. At least 2 years I would say. I think that one-sided love can turn into love for both parties, but I do think it would’ve been infatuation to begin with. And I do think true love can turn to one-sided love if one party stops putting in effort. That was the case in my past relationship and it took a lot for me to realize I was the only one still trying. Looking back it seems so obvious to me, but I guess that’s what love/infatuation is. Not that I would label a 2 year relationship at infatuation, but I think that was definitely a factor. Sometimes I fall too hard and forget my standards. Also, that’s very mature of you to be happy for someone finding their perfect match that you once dated. Hopefully you’re with yours or will find yours too, and hoping the same for myself lol. Well thanks for sharing and listening about my life. <3E
Yeah, great considerations. Although I do believe that a shorter relationship (i mean, shorter than 2 years) can become true love, too. And what you say about one sided love happening when one party stops putting in effort – I 100% agree. Relationships are as hard as they are great, and it really will only withstand the test of time if you work and try every single time an obstacle appears. As soon as one of the parties gives up, it’s over. I have found a good match for myself, we recently celebrated our 3rd anniversary 😬 we are happy but we definitely come across hardships now and then. I can recall a couple of times when i was so upset about something that I thought there was no turning back (I can be pretty emotional at times, which I think he is learning how to manage… It used to be that I would get fired up, then he would, then the issue would snowball into a giant!) But then my husband would surprise me and say exactly what I needed to hear to regain hope in our relationship. Gosh, relationships are so complex! And they can be sooo exhausting lol but the good times outweigh the bad, so far in my experience. And we’re both constantly learning. Good luck to you, too!!!
Defining love or attempting to define LOVE is a pendulum. It will constantly change and go back and forth. Just when you think you have it figured out, it will change. There can’t be one definition because it means something different to everyone. The best advice, I have ever heard from a couple happily married over 60 years… they both truly believed they were getting more out of their marriage then they were putting in. They both felt loved and very fortunate to have the other. If anyone can beat that advice, I would certainly like to hear it?
Imagine that the story(ies) went this way: boy meets girl, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. Happy story, no doubt. Would you remember it? Would it be still be one of the most popular romantic stories? Maybe it is core to the (great?) story to have that element of one-sided love?