It Takes Two

I cannot say that I knew the power and despondency of unrequited love until about a year back.  I had begun writing a sizeable project and had been looking in vain for someone to edit my work.  It was a project that totally engaged me, and as such, I feared rejection and overly harsh criticism. 

I found hope in someone I had known from college who was living in my city, and who I had seen on various occassions.  She had writing experience, so I took a chance and told her what I was doing and what I hoped to get out of my project.  She expressed a great deal of interest, and I sent her what I had. 

Her help with the project was amazing.  I felt like I was living in a dream to have found someone who could provide such tremendous assistance to my project.  As we continued to meet and I as I continued to review her comments and ideas, I found myself falling deeply for her. 

What to do in such a situation?  Reveal my feelings somehow and risk losing a friend and contributor to my own project? Or take a chance that something quite beautiful might grow out of this working relationship? 

I took a middle path of sorts -- drop large hints about my feelings but not announce anything, see how she responded, and take it from there.  So I would call on the weekends to see what she might be doing, or after our meetings I would ask her to dinner or to go for a walk, something along those lines.  At all times, my advances were rejected, and I surmised that she simply wasn't interested.  At this point I was hoping for more but again I was afraid to lose what I had with her. 

Yet as we continued to meet and discuss I could swear that she liked me as well.  My intuition was ringing loud and clear that she had feelings for me, which made things all the more confusing as my increasingly risk-less suggestions were continually rebuffed. 

After we had gotten through a first draft, I asked her if she could help me with a second draft and she readily agreed.  I began in earnest to write and I found myself writing not only for me, but for her as well.  I couldn't wait to share with her what I was writing.

Then, everything collapsed.   Suddenly, one day, she stopped returning my phone calls and writing back to my emails.   I didn't know what to do -- the one person with whom I could speak to about my writing decided no longer to be a part of my life in any manner.  I was crushed. 

I kept working on the project by myself but it was difficult to do so because at every moment I was continually reminded of her influence.  I sent her an email once a month for a few months to see if she might be willing to talk to me.  She responded occassionally with short one line responses, certainly nothing of great emotional value.  It took me considerable time to get over her. 

We don't choose our attractions to others; rather, the attractions choose us.    But what we decide to do with those attractions -- ignore them or cultivate them -- is the essence of choice and also the essence of love.  After all, when we are in love with someone, do we not decide at every moment  to continue to love them?  That no matter the physical appearance, financial situation, or emotional hardship our lover goes through, we have chosen to create and maintain a unique bond of affection, trust, and sexuality? 

And it is here where we encounter the unique pain of unrequited love.  Unrequited love is the knowledge that our imagination and our feelings have made that choice, but our actions have yet to manifest them into reality.  The unrequited lover pines, hopes, and fantasizes, but somehow can never figure out how to incarnate the glorious potential of that love.  The passion of the emotion energizes the soul but also chars it.  Without any outlet, unrequited love turns stale and atrophies into unhealthy obsession, misdirected anger, or just depression at the situation. 

Nonetheless,  we are creatures destined for companionship.  The lesson from unrequited love is that it takes two people to cultivate a romance, and while we can make our own decision on the matter, we cannot force others to choose to love us back.  Nor would we want to; for it is the decision to open one's heart to another, to make oneself completely vulnerable and at the mercy of the other party that is the intoxicating reality of love.  The most we can do -- and should do -- is to simply move on and await the next inevitable romantic encounter.
Seraph1m Seraph1m
26-30, M
66 Responses Feb 14, 2006

Wow! I could feel the emotion pulsating through every line! You write beautifully, and I feel so much for you. I have experienced unrequited love myself, and I know how it hurts. Stay strong, my friend - we are with you. :)

I'm going through it right now. It's so hard to love someone who doesn't, and will never, love you back.

<p>Beautifully written! So well stated, and I couldn't have expressed it any better if I tried. Really touching to read, and explore how many ways I can identify with it. Very touching and so ...true!</p>

well said seriously! u hit the spot at the corner of my heart.....

Bravo!! Thank God! You put into words what I have been dealing with for far too many years! It was with someone I thought was a friend and trusted more than anyone, and because of several things happening, he will not speak to me and I will probably never be able to tell him how I really felt about him.

I love your story and all the comments posted. Im going through such a tough time with loving someone who doesnt love me back anymore and these kind of stories put a smile on my face cuz it goes to show im not alone

Thank you.

great story we have to move on we start with a name called love because we are passionate to being loved or to love someone if happens it was good for us if not our true shades will come out,and come to know all the feeling we have ,at once suddenly......................

Oh my lordie, that is so very sad babydoll... But, in all honesty, you write beautifully...Absolutely...
She blew it. ok...

I had been in love with this dude for like 6 years and he totally humiliated me. I haven't gotten over him and I don't think I ever will.

=( forget about him and find someone better

You must be a writer

i hold a very strong love for a woman that has no concern for me at all, that i can understand, altho she has been to me ,shewants nothing to do with me and i can see why, i'am a 63 year old man , shes 4o years old ,shes beautiful and black , i'm a little overweight, bald and on oxygen, and white, iwent to visit her while she was having treatments for breast cancer and ended up falling completely in love with her, head over heels in love with her, and i have no idea what in the world is wrong with me that i couldn't see she would never want me ,she can get any guy she wants ,why would she settle for me?this love i feel for hert is making me insane, i know she doesn't want anything to do with me, but i feel such strong love for her i kinda feel like its all i have to hold unto for her and i embrace the love rather than shed it and move on, but you gave GOOD ADVICE.thank you

Your story is so much like mine! I edited the book of the man I fell in love with, but he didn't want me. When I told him my feelings, he basically told me he was a monk and did not "do romance." I tried to get closer to him, but he gently rebuffed me. I still can't believe he used me the way he did. He never had a publisher and was just wasting my time with the editing. I think he just loved the attention. It's so weird that our stories are so similar.

I'm interested to know if he paid you for editing his work and if you read to much into the situation?

No he didn't pay me. He wasted my time totally and continually lied to me. No, I did not read to much into the situation. He was using his charm to use me. I've seen stopped speaking or dealing with him. I've come to find he lied about pretty much everything he ever told me and is having an affair with one of his students. The old saying is true, "rejection is God's protection." I'm glad I never got any closer to the turd.

I loved someone once for 23 years and it was only that I realized people change. However, you know that saying..."there's so much fish out there in the sea that you can choose from" to fit the same out look in life or the same need. Therefore, don't think you will not find the Mr. Right you never know... when your not looking he will probably find you.

You have my heartfelt sympathy. While I was reading it, it gave me the chills that it is so true.

Unrequited love is possibly life's greatest tragedy, in my opinion. Apart from the death of a loved one, I don't believe anything can hurt so deeply or for so long. I have loveed a man every day for over 15 years who hasn't loved me. And I have been loved by a man for 10 years who I love completely, but not with the same passion. I watch him suffer, I watch myself's awful. I feel for you my friend.

Look up the song IT TAKES TWO BABY

Seldom do we cross paths with such an artistic, eloquent writer! Thank you for sharing your gift of words with us. I would like to read more of your writings. Do you have any that you would like to share?

Thank you for your words. They help so much. I felt so alone today, the day after I verbalized my feelings. The day after I stood in my want. I spent 2 months working with and falling in love with this man. This man who I wish I had met 15 yrs ago - and could have shared a real life with. This man who has so many wonderful qualities I love. A guy who renewed my faith in love and in men. A guy who has the perfect blend of so many qualities: Global yet local; Kind yet assertive; Genius and not arrogant; Refined yet gritty and cool; Corny yet mature; An artist and still practical. Why is life so hard at times. Why can't he return the feelings. Why couldn't life have worked out with him. It seems so unfair. Truly, today your words helped me feel a bit connected after I wept.

Fate made me tell someone how I felt and for once the answer I got was in the positive ok we do have one or two issues but what we have is on the whole great. But saying that I know what you feel and its hard which is why the fact that for me its worked is just so wonderful.

It is nice to see that somebody can eloquently put into words how I feel right now, although I wish nobody had to feel like this it is nice to be reminded that I am not alone. Thank you.

Thank you for that eloquently worded and heartfelt post. As a fellow sufferer I can sincerely say that I am sorry for your loss. I hope in time we both will discover what requited love feels like.

so how bout now? did you ever meet her and ask her about the abrupt ending? why did she do it?

i think youre leaving something out. why would she ignore you?

Well one thing for sure, you do have a gift for writing I enjoyed reading your piece and I'm sorry you didn't get the girl. but in these times romance is a reflection of the images we see on TV, so we may encounter the same doom in our search for happiness as they do.<br />
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I'm sad to say that love is the only thing man and woman have to feel the same for is true love, but it comes naturally either you feel it or you don't.

You accompanied me as well with your well-shaped composition- you are just the another man with a common desease--overcome it!<br />
<br />
It shows that you are: insightful, understand the life, knowledgeable about attracting the readers....<br />
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But also the fact is that it's just not enough for someone- Every girl has pre-thought expectations from a her to-be-Mr.Right, she might have had too, which might not have been seen in you. it also doesn't mean that you don't deserve her, it simply meansit didn't catch her heart by core.<br />
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As we age so does our life--it has to move on...You never know, there may be someone else in store who is to fall for you!<br />
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This story touched me, you explained the feeling so well. I wish you more than well

Ouch. That really bites. And your wisdom toward the end was a harsh but very much needed reality check. So thank you. And your writing is lovely, by the way. Very well articulated! Hope you find a special girl that loves you as much as you love her!

wonderful! I can relate your story because right now I'm in love with someone whom I don't know his feelings towards me... All I know is I'm soooooooo in love with him.

You expressed the feeling so well. It is a painful thing to go through, but can also open the door for personal growth.<br />
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Thank you for sharing this with us.

I wish there was some magic potion for unrequited love, to either make the love grow in one's heart, or cure the fire of the other.<br />
In your case, your love was distilled in this beautiful story, your feelings were not lost in vain.<br />
Keep writing, the greatest works that endure through time were done by people that went through deep pain, not by people happily living an ordinary life:)))

Nicely written......and very true. I think that sometimes one person may pull away because they just feel that they are not almost "worthy" to be with the other. Or they are just plain affraid that what they feel will one day disappear and they don't want to loose it. The attraction does just happen but then we chose to make it come to life or to die.

your piece is written so well in that although you are writing of sad thoughts and situations you allow for hope and inspiration to enter the mind of the reader. the fact that you can suffer so yet see the beauty in your experience so clearly and even relate it so effectively is simply wonderful! : D

so true , your story.... some cuts don't heal so fast and some are everlasting ... I learned to er on the side of caution, that a person can totally fool you, take your soul and leave you with emptyness. i don't want a relationship that's too deep...just hope that one day i can be happy agaiin with my friends of the female kind because the days turn into weeks then a year goes by and I keep as busy as possible but still the thought of this man first and last moment of every day lingers on and if the remainder of my life is alone then so be it..

You know what? From what I've read of you, you seem to be an excellent writer (and a hopeless romantic). With the view that you appear to have about love you'll be okay because unlike most of us miserable saps you haven't given up hope. She just wasn't into you. Don't worry about it. That's why there are millions of women out there. You're awesome!!!!

wonderfully written, my heart aches to year these words, i feel humbled that i am not in this type of thing alone, i feel your pain and know it well, for many many years now, god bless you , and all of us who are part of this experience....

wonderfully written, my heart aches to year these words, i feel humbled that i am not in this type of thing alone, i feel your pain and know it well, for many many years now, god bless you , and all of us who are part of this experience....

This story and this sonnet is absolutely beautiful. Commends. I'm sorry but I think you have the same problem is me-you're too lovable and you fall in love way to easily because your heart is deep and hurting.

Excellent entry. <br />
I am extremely familiar with this type of love.

Well played, sir. <br />
<br />
I, too, have been there and it was hard to reconcile myself with the truth until it hit me like Hurricane Katrina. I hope that you find a girl with whom you can share love, desire, passion and your obvious affinity for the written word. God bless you. :-)

I like this.

"The passion of the emotion energizes the soul but also chars it. " My favorite line... I can so relate to it.

This is beautiful! A part of me disagrees though. I feel you could love anyone, because it is a matter of choice. I have been rejected for 10 years, and am now facing the reality of it, because I chose to ignore it for so long. I feel there is a better way, but again it does take two and you cannot force someone to love you, can you?

Well, what can I say? I could not have explained my feelings better. I sometimes cannot understand people. When I liked someone and he did not like me...he stopped talking to me. When people liked me and I did not like them ....they still stopped talking to me. I am the one losing friends in either situation. Can people who have liked/ loved each other never be friends again?

You are a talented writer.

An inspirational piece of wisdom.I'm glad I found it today. I really needed to put a bit of perspective on the whole" in love" thing. I've been chewing my heart up and spitting out a bad taste for far too long.A sense of being somehow defective, unworthy , simply rejectable.

Your tale is well written and very reflective of millions of people...............Me included...............I can't for the life of me, figure out why she went back and married the hurtful bastard for the third time...........Thanks so very much

truly eloquently put, i really enjoyed your retelling to us, thanks for letting us inside your heart :)

Really well written.

"for it is the decision to open one's heart to another, to make oneself completely vulnerable and at the mercy of the other party that is the intoxicating reality of love"<br />
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I am putting this in my wallet. This is a very courageous statement. <br />
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I see in your words that one does not have to choose to be hurt when love is not returned.<br />
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This is powerful stuff for me as I head into divorce. I think these words will shore me up for a good while to come.

Yes.....I like how you put it into words. Its amazing how we become more philosophical after some mind numbing experiences in life. Truly life itself is a wonderful experience and a great teacher....we learn more about ourself and the world around us each day.<br />
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KingOfSpades, My personal feeling is that perhaps she too has in a way fallen in love with you but for whatever reason she knows that she cannot fulfill her dreams and yours. I believe what she did was wise and thoughtful of her cos if she carried on then she would have been unfair to you and caused both of you great pain. She's an honest person and you're lucky to have found a friend in her. Its rare these days to find true friends.<br />
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Both you and her are "true" "good" people.<br />
If you still value the friendship maybe its a good idea for you to "cool off" and win back her friendship by being open and honest to her that you value her friendship and would like to keep a good platonic relationship with her.<br />
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The future is something no one knows cos sometimes things change and time can do a lot of wonders......perhaps your dreams might come true!

i am curious, did she ever respond to you? or have you lost complete contact with her??

I will archive this piece of Wizdom in my heart forever! You have helped me over come a 15 year old heart ache. Thank you! May you be blessed with that love you seek!

Please tell me that the next encounter really is inevitable!!

That was so eloquently written, you are indeed a great writer! I especially loved when you wrote <br />
"We don't choose our attractions to others; rather, the attractions choose us. But what we decide to do with those attractions -- ignore them or cultivate them -- is the essence of choice and also the essence of love". That is so true!!! one day we're fine and happy, and then the next it hits us, and appears to have come from no where! <br />
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Your thoughts about unrequited love was very profound! <br />
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Thank you for sharing your story. And I am impressed you managed to move on. <br />
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I guess even though you still tried to email her once a month, giving her plenty of space, she still didn't respond well. <br />
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I guess what more can you do right?

That's true, we cannot force others to choose to love us back. People fall in love not knowing why or how. It’s a very special feeling that it doesn’t require any answer. You just love no matter how stupid you become but no regrets. Learn to appreciate the rainbow after cursing the rain. It’s just like loving again after experiencing the pain.

i here u brother.

wonderful and fantastic and brilliant and totally insightful. Thank you for sharing your experience.


I actually DON'T think that there is ONE... Ask me this a year ago and I would have told you differently as I was with the ONE. But time changes people and they grow apart. You may have been perfect for each other for a while, but not necessarily forever. I hope to fall in love many times over and experience different people and their different minds. But that's just me :-)

Beautifully put... and not in a sad way. In a way that makes you realize that there are endless possibilities for love. Which there are. Always.

I've had such experiences... completely weird... several such instances, in fact - am sharing them from the point of view of helping you to understand. Hope it helps...<br />
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This happened several times during the same year... 5 times... due to this, I did not date again for a few years (I was 15 - so it was ok for me not to date for a while... started dating again when I was 19) <br />
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Typically, this is how it would happen... I would be completely attracted to someone, convinced he was "the one"... and when the guy would show interest in me, I would think it was amazing that this wonderful guy was actually interested in me etc.. etc... then we would go out, talk... and zap... out of the blue, I would start disliking the guy... so much so, that I wouldn't want to come face-to-face with him again... I would simply and suddenly lose interest - in fact - would dislike the person with a passion... very strange... and this had me disturbed for a while thinking I was abnormal or not capable of having a relationship... but it never happened again (when I turned 19 and started seeing people again)...<br />
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And each time, this would be really hurtful to the guy who was genuinely affectionate and interested... but I felt helpless in doing anything about my sudden change of feeling...<br />
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So, I guess it has nothing to do with you... it is something within her... try not to take it personally (like that is possible :) )<br />
take care!<br />
Hope this helps!

I have this same experience.Is it a human nature??

I fell in love with someone and they didn't love me back. It took me a long time to accept that I can't make them love me. But I did accept it. I don't know that I've ever felt so intoxicated by another person since though. I appreciate your comment about the inevitability of another romantic encounter, another chance at love. I depend on this inevitability.

Explodind this intoxication has happened to me only twice in my life. The first time when I was 25 and the second only recently (41)for all the years in between I never knew i could feel the same way again. It took me off guard, it hit me like a brick coming from nowhere.


I think you should post your story on it helps to vent!

Wonderfully put - we are at the mercy of fate. You can make yourself vulnerable to a fault when you cross the path of someone you fall for. <br />
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Despite best efforts, it does not change a thing. We all have been on both sides of this road. :-) I, too, await for my next unrequitable romantic encounter.