Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Angela Vaz

Nothing hurts like unrequited love.

In a passage from Bob Goff’s novel – Love Does, he mentions that love is like a sword without a hilt.

You will end up getting hurt when you pick it up.

A lot of people fall in love with someone who does indeed return their love and it’s all well and good.

But sometimes, we do fall in love with people who never return that love.

There are multiple signs of unrequited love.

But we can be blind and we enter relationships and give our 200%.

And it’s not enough.

And there is almost no worse feeling in the world than having your love not returned.

It can be gut-wrenching.

Although the pain is almost unfathomable, there will come the point in time when you will need to ask yourself if you really deserve this.

The answer is always a resounding no.

You do deserve love.

You deserve to be loved by someone who respects you as a person and accepts you for who you are.

If they don’t return your feelings, then it may be time to let go of this person and move on.

You owe yourself that much.

You will be sparing yourself a whole lot of pain by leaving a one-sided relationship.

And you will open yourself up to new and better opportunitues.

Let’s dive in.

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What is unrequited love?

what exactly is unrequited love and how can it be fixed

Unrequited love basically means one-sided love.

It means the other person doesn’t really share the same feelings you have, or your love is unreciprocated.

Unrequited love can hurt a lot and is one of life’s toughest challenges.

But it can be conquered with enough time and self-love.

The only way to move forward and cope with this feeling of loss and disappointment is to realize that this person was not meant for you and that something better will come your way.

But you will never find the right person if you keep holding on to the wrong one.

And there are multiple signs of unrequited love.

Although it may not seem like very good advice, it is better to be alone than to love someone who you know will never love you back.

Is unrequited love really love?

is unrequited love really love? Yes, it is. Your feelings are valid.

Whether the other person feels the same way about you or not, your feelings and emotions are valid.

If you genuinely love this person, then yes – it is love.

However, it isn’t practical because it requites 2 people to make a relationship work and both partners must have feelings for one another.

This is why unrequited love is something that you must move on from mainly for your sake because it isn’t going to do you any good.

What are the different types of unrequited love?

This is very situation-based.

And not everyone is always in the same situation.

Unrequited love can present itself in many forms:

  • You can be in love with someone who’s not available or already in a committed relationship with someone else.
  • You can love someone who only can see you as a friend and nothing more.
  • You may love your partner but at some point they may fall in love with someone else and your love will go unreciprocated.
  • You may start dating someone and eventually you might develop feelings but they don’t.
  • You may be in a committed relationship, but your partner starts losing interest.

Whatever the situation, this feeling of unrequited love can hurt you and it is not easy to go through.

The best thing to do when you’re faced with this dilemma is to realize that this is a dead end and move on peacefully without hard feelings.

However, sometimes, it can be challenging to see the signs of unrequited love.

So, let’s uncover those.

13 signs of unrequited love and how to deal with it

If you’re stuck in a place where you’re just not sure that your partner returns your feelings, then here are some signs to look out for so that you can truly understand where your partner lies.

I’ve been in this situation before and the reason I’m writing this post is because I know how painful it can be to lose someone you love.

Here are 13 signs of unrequited love to help you recognize if you are facing this situation.

1. You’re questioning everything

The most significant and important sign that perhaps your love in unrequited is that you’re actually questioning this whole thing.

Doubts don’t usually come to people unless there is a reason behind it.

Maybe your subconscious has already picked up the signs, and something doesn’t feel right.

Either way, it is a sign of unrequited love that you need to pay attention to.

2. You’re giving them 200% and you’re not getting anything back

Do you feel like you’re putting all the work into this relationship?

Or that you’re constantly comprimising but your partner doesn’t?

Then there is a chance that this relationship is just not serving you.

In a relationship, both partners need to make sacrifices, not for each other but for the relationship.

There is always a give-and-take in every single relationship.

And if that is not happening, you will build feelings of resentment toward your partner.

And the relationship is slowly going to burn to the ground.

I highly suggest taking a step back to understand whether you are in this situation.

3. You feel like you have to fight for their attention

Do you feel like you’re invisible?

That you have to jump through multiple hoops to get their attention?

Are they constantly busy or keep telling you that they have no time?

In this case, it’s always best to communicate your feelings and thoughts with your partner.

Try to engage with your partner.

But if things aren’t going anywhere or you feel you’ve reached a dead end, it may be time to consider ending the relationship.

You shouldn’t have to fight for your partner’s attention.

Your partner should want to spend quality time with you if they love you.

If you feel that your partner is constantly avoiding you or saying that they’re busy with work, something is definitely wrong and you might need to look into this.

4. You’re the one always initiating physical intimacy

Do you find yourself always initiating hugs, kisses or making love?

Do you feel that your partner doesn’t share the same interest when it comes to being intimate with you?

If so, then you may want to have a heart-to-heart chat with your partner.

Be honest and tell them what is going on. Ask them what is the reason they’re pulling away.

Listen with an open heart.

Every couple goes through dry spells due to life’s ups and downs.

This is normal.

But if it’s more of a never-ending pattern than a spell, then you may need to re-evaluate your relationship because this is a huge sign of unrequited love.

5. They’re constantly irritated with your presence or anything you do

Do you feel like there’s no pleasing your partner? Or they’re always finding fault with every single thing you do?

This can be very frustrating and emotionally scarring.

But it is important to remember that this has nothing to do with you.

People often take out their anger and their frustration on people close to them. They are unable to handle their feelings or deal with it healthily.

It’s more to do with them than you.

It’s not your fault, please keep this in mind.

6. You constantly overlook their faults

Do you find yourself constantly making excuses for their bad behaviour?

Are you always justifying their actions in your mind and hoping that they will change?

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re in the habit of constantly putting your partner on a pedestal, then you’re blinded by your love for them.

Everyone is human.

Everyone makes mistakes.

But it’s important to know if this flaw your partner has is something you can truly live with.

My ex constantly lied to his family/friends/coworkers about his relationship with me because I was a divorcee. He told me that with time, he’d be able to get over it and he’d be able to tell people he was no longer single.

I excused this behavior because in my head I wanted to believe that he would change and he would be okay with my divorce.

But it never happened. And eventually he decided that it was best to be with someone that didn’t have a past.

If you’re constantly making excuses for your partner’s ill behaviour, take it as a major sign of unrequited love.

7. They have no interest in anything that you hold dear

do you feel like your partner never listens to what you have to say? This is a sign of a toxic relationship.

Do you feel that the conversations are always centered around them? That they talk about their day, the people they met and the things that they did?

Do they constantly interrupt you when you talk? Or just never listen to you when you have something to say?

That they don’t take an interest in anything, you’re passionate about?

This is a huge sign that the person you love is more in love with themselves than anyone else.

It could also be a sign of narcissism.

8. You have no feelings of security

You can’t relax.

Deep down you feel that you might lose your partner or that someone might steal your partner away.

This feeling is not normal.

And if you are insecure, it might be because your partner hasn’t given you any reassurance about your relationship.

Or both of you might have unresolved feelings that you need to work on.

If you feel that you can’t trust your partner or that they might leave at any point, there is definitely something wrong with your relationship and it may need further looking into.

If your partner gives you no peace and you are always suspicious about their whereabouts, take it as a major sign of unrequited love.

9. They don’t want to talk about the future

Do you feel that they change the topic or become agitated whenever you try to discuss the future?

Unless you’re in a new relationship and you’re still getting to know one another, there is really no excuse to NOT talk about the future.

If your partner is okay getting physical with you or living with you and is practially getting all of their emotional, physical, and mental needs met with you but doesn’t want to give you any promise of being with you in the future, then there is a good chance that your love is going unreciprocated.

It may be time to have a serious talk with your partner.

10. Your partner is playing games

Do you feel exhausted trying to maintain your mental or emotional health with your partner?

Do you feel that your partner is always playing mind games with you? Or constantly trying to teach you a lesson?

This is a sign that your partner is exhibiting emotional immaturity and you’re not going to be able to have a stable relationship with your partner in this case.

It may be time to end the relationship.

11. Your partner gaslights you whenever you try to have a serious conversation

Do you feel that your partner plays the victim card if you try to bring up a serious discussion?

And you end up feeling guilty for talking about it?

Healthy people discuss issues. Not gaslight or humiliate their partner for bringing it up.

Please remember that your feelings are valid, and it’s okay to talk about them with your partner.

This is a sign of a healthy relationship.

But if you find your partner constantly shifting blame to avoid serious discussions, this is a sign of a toxic relationship and it may be time to let go.

12. You’re lonely

feeling lonely when you're in a relationship is not a good sign.

If you feel like you cannot talk to your partner about anything without them shaming you or making you feel weird, then yes, there is something wrong with the relationship.

It is not normal if they refuse to spend time with you and constantly isolate you.

It is one of the major signs of unrequited love.

You shouldn’t feel alone and lonely when you’re in a relationship.

I was alone and single for a long time but I didn’t feel lonely. In fact, I felt loved and happy.

I talk about how you can be alone without feeling lonely in this post.

13. You feel the relationship is at a standstill or is going downhill

Relationships can be tricky.

Yes, there are ups and downs.

But if you feel things are just not getting better or things have been stagnant for a long time and your partner is unwilling to compromise or put in an effort to change, then maybe it’s time to let go.

You can look up multiple methods for fixing your relationship but if your partner is unwilling to join couple’s counselling or even attempt to fix things, then there is really nothing you can do.

Remember, it takes two people to make a relationship work.

There is no point in you giving your best when your partner is uninterested in the same.

How to fix unrequited love

If you have realized that these signs of unrequited love hold true, I’m sorry.

I am really and truly sorry if you’ve realized that your partner no longer loves you or hasn’t for a long time.

It can be very heartwrenching, but the thing about life is, you will get over it eventually.

Take it from someone who’s gone through this and come out the other side – it does get better and you will heal from this emotional pain.

Here are a few ways to help speed up the process

1. Make peace with the inevitable

If you’ve read all the signs of unrequited love and believe that your partner doesn’t love you, take some time to make peace with it.

Find ways to deal with your emotions healthily. Journal, meditate and read a few self-love books.

You need and deserve love.

You don’t need to fight for it.

And if you’re not getting it from your partner, it’s about time you learn to love yourself.

This will help heal you.

Understand that you are whole by yourself and you don’t really need another person to love you to make you happy.

2. Engage in activities that truly make you happy

It’s going to take a while.

I remember not wanting to do anything when I was going through this ordeal. But I forced myself to do things that I knew would slowly fill in the cracks.

I got a keyboard and practiced daily, I journalled, I read, and I kept myself busy.

I made a plan and stuck with it.

It’s okay to take your time to heal, but start building your self-identity again so that you can heal and feel whole again.

3. Know that better will come your way

Yes, perhaps this person was not meant to be with you.

It’s heartbreaking, but be proud of yourself that you were able to realize this now and not later.

It’s never too late to take action.

This is an important life lesson that will serve you well for years to come.

You will now be able to identify the red flags in your potential partner almost immediately.

It may not happen immediately, but it will happen and you will get a fresh start.

I took my time to heal and I was able to find someone that truly loved and respected me. We are still dating and are happy with each other.

4. Remember that you alone are responsible for your happiness

Moving on from unrequited love is hard. But you need to take control of your life and move forward.

Nobody can make you happy.

That power should lie with no one but yourself.

You deserve to be happy and you should take control of your life. It’s you that’s living it.

The longest relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. So learn to enjoy your own company and do things that bring you inner joy and peace.

5. Get help

Sometimes, no amount of research or reading will help you feel better.

And it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to talk to someone.

Book an appointment with a therapist. Having a safe space to talk about the situation and your feelings will help you deal with your pain healthily.

It will help you move through this situation more easily.


I understand that none of this is easy.

But I do hope you were able to spot the signs of your unrequited love and are able to make peace with it if it indeed is so.

And I hope no matter what situation you’re facing right now, that you’re able to accept it and move on so that you’re in a place of love and peace.

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Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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