Unrequited love is part of the human experience. A study of college students and high school students found unrequited love was 4 times as common as reciprocated, equal love. This type of one-sided love is typically more intense than a passing crush, and it often lasts longer. In fact, some research has suggested pain associated with rejection causes brain activity resembles that caused by physical pain.
Why do we fall for our friends?
Yet knowing unrequited love happens to most of us may not make that pain any easier to bear. But what happens when the object of unrequited love is a friend?
In the end, this deception can lead to more pain for you and your friend. Love grows over time, and strong friendships that last for years often provide numerous opportunities for intimacy to flourish. You told your friend how you feel. You agreed the friendship was important and assured them you wanted to stay friends.
In the meantime, how do you deal with frustration and pain while continuing to spend time with your friend as if nothing had happened? Yet friendships can recover from unrequited love if the situation is addressed with care and maturity. What happens next depends on both you and your friend. Some friendships may continue but feel slightly different. You might experience some awkward interactions or occasionally feel embarrassed around each other. It may simply indicate you both need time to recover. Instead, move forward from it.
Acknowledging what you feel is often a helpful way to start. Your friend might also need space. They may feel sadness or guilt and wonder how to act to prevent hurting you further.
Give them some time. Then wait for them to reach out. On the other hand, your friendship could also bounce back right away.
But this scenario can present other challenges. You may end up comparing yourself to their partner, and anger or resentment can develop.
43 relationship quotes on love and friendship
Open communication can also help. It may help to interact with your friend in group settings rather than one-on-one. If you find yourself texting or calling them frequently, it may be best to take a break from contacting them. It is common to feel a decreased sense of self-worth or low self-esteem after rejection. Rejection can have an even more ificant effect if your friend has been supportive through other instances of heartbreak. Meeting new people can also help. But dating casually—meeting someone for a short coffee date, for example—can actually help you begin to heal.
It can also help you realize that you have plenty of romantic options. Therapy is highly recommended when painful emotions interfere with daily life or make it hard to think about anything else.
It may seem hard to believe, but you will heal in time. Our therapist directory can help you find a compassionate mental health provider in your area. The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.
Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below. Please fill out all required fields to submit your message.
I don’t want a lover, i want a best friend
Thank you for this. I got rejected yesterday from a good friend and was feeling pretty down on myself. This is just the advise I needed.
Welcome the year with a blast!!! By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy. Get Listed. Friendship as a gateway to love: Many people believe a strong friendship is an essential foundation of a romantic partnership and prefer to build a friendship with potential partners first.
This belief could help create a tendency to see friends as potential love interests. Proximity: People generally spend a lot of time with close friends.
How to deal with unrequited love for a friend
Eventually it may become difficult to imagine not seeing a particular friend often. Shared hobbies: Friendships often grow out of shared interests.
Having multiple hobbies, interests, or other things in common with one person can make them seem even more like an ideal romantic partner. Mixed als in a friendship: Some friendships are characterized by flirtatious jokes, physical affection, or other behaviors typical of romantic relationships. But frequent touching or affectionate nicknames can fan the flames, so to speak, by giving the impression of a mutual interest.
Attachment styles have their basis in childhood.
8 ways to bond with a friend to become even closer
If your primary caregiver was unpredictable with affection or met your needs inconsistently, you may grow up unconsciously reenacting that dynamic in adulthood. In other words, you may be more likely to develop romantic attraction for people who are unlikely to return your feelings. Can Friendship Survive Rejection? Dealing with Awkwardness Some friendships may continue but feel slightly different.
References: Aron, A. Motivations for unreciprocated love. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24 8 The prevalence and nature of unrequited love. SAGE Open. Unrequited love: How to stay friends. The pain of social rejection.
Can friendship survive rejection?
Monitor on Psychology, 43 4. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Invalid Address. Please confirm that you are human. Leave a Comment By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy. Leave this field empty. Search Our Blog.
Notice to users GoodTherapy is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition.