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

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 />
<br />
I am putting this in my wallet. This is a very courageous statement. <br />
<br />
I see in your words that one does not have to choose to be hurt when love is not returned.<br />
<br />
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 />
<br />
Your thoughts about unrequited love was very profound! <br />
<br />
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 />
<br />
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 />
<br />
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.