One sided love really fucks you up! If you love someone and that love isn’t reciprocated, it fucks you up mentally and emotionally. It’s a different kind of heartbreak. The thing about one sided love is that you are often left questioning your self-worth and wonder why you weren’t good enough for the person who wasn’t able to commit to you. What was it that you lacked that didn’t allow that person to fall in love with you? In reality, if you love someone and it is one-sided, you’re not the problem and sometimes, neither is the other person. After all, you just can’t help who you fall in love with. Loving someone who you think is worthy of your love is not the problem. It feels like the problem because you’re not loved back. You constantly overlook the flaws of the person you love and in the end, the only person you burn is yourself. You have this hope inside you that one day, that love will be reciprocated because you believe that your love is powerful enough to do that and you wait, and wait, and wait, and it doesn’t come. That’s when you get to the point where you are tired of waiting and realise that for your own sanity, you are left with no choice but to walk away. There is no one that can protect your heart like you can.
When it comes to one-sided love, most people, including myself, have this idea that they will be able to do enough to make the person they love, love them back. You do the absolute most for this person because you can see something they cannot. You think that once they see how wonderful you both can be together, it will all fall into place. Often, it’s this idea that is completely in your head that somehow, you will both be perfect for each other. Instead, what happens is that you end up feeling confused, hurt and a bunch of other mixed emotions because of how the other person treats you. It’s almost like one minute they’re into you and pulling you in, and another they’re not into you so they’re pushing you away. But then you come to the realisation that you can’t make someone love you no matter how much you love them and how much you try. Instead, all that is happening is that your emotions are on a roller-coaster because you think that there is hope when they are into you for some moments and then suddenly, they’re not. When you start questioning how long you can continue taking this heartache for (because honestly, one sided love is one of the worst pains) you know it is the beginning of the end. The length of time a person fights for their one-sided love varies for people. Personally, for me, a year was more than enough. A man will not be hesitant to commit to a woman unless he doesn’t want to commit to her, no matter how much he tries to make a woman believe that he needs time. Too often, women give men a lot of time in hope this will change things and in the end, they still don’t get the commitment they had hoped for. A man is happy to go with the flow in case he doesn’t find someone better whilst wasting the valuable time of a woman just because she fulfils his needs whether they’re emotional, mental, or physical for that period of time she is in his life. And that is what I went through.
I met a wonderful man and I thought this was it for me. I thought that because of how our relationship slowly evolved, this would be the perfect thing. See, we started off as friends and then slowly we became more than friends. As a woman, I naturally wondered where this was heading and every time I questioned it, I was told that it was better to go with the flow and see where things end up. We were practically in a relationship without calling it a relationship. We did absolutely everything together. We spent a lot of time together as couples do, and we were in communication daily, just as couples usually are.
However, slowly, as things progressed and my feelings started getting deeper, we got to the six month mark and I was still wondering where this was heading. Reflecting on this situation, I can now see that six months is far too long for a man to decide if he wants to commit to a relationship with you. The problem was that the man I was in love with had never been in a relationship before and I was the first woman that he was like this with. I still had this hope that one day, he would realise that we were made for each other. Every time we fought, we would take some space and then we would always come back and fix things, no matter what happened between us. That for me told me that this was something special because I had never had that in a relationship before. Also, because he had never been in a relationship before, it made me think that he was learning in the process and would eventually realise that we were more than just friends and he would be able to commit. That was one of my very first mistakes – making excuses for this man.
It got to the one-year mark, and I started realising that I was selling myself short. Things that were of significance for me in a relationship, were things that I had started overlooking because I always wanted to make sure that he was okay as he had never been in a relationship. I was more focused on meeting his emotional needs rather than my own. Even near the one-year mark, this man still wouldn’t commit to me. If that isn’t enough time, then no time will ever be enough! He was always confused about what he wanted and every time the conversation came up, I stressed the fact that this wasn’t going anywhere and that he should let me go so we could go our separate ways. I was okay with moving on because in my heart I knew that I had tried everything so I would happily leave with no regrets. I never realised this at the time but whenever the conversation came up of me walking away, it wouldn’t go anywhere and then the following few days, there would be this extra effort from his side. He would want to spend more time with me, and he would want to do things that I liked doing. Now, as a woman who was being stupid in love, I would always mistake that as an unsaid answer that he wanted me deep down and was just scared to commit, making excuses for him. It’s funny looking back. Even the times when he deeply hurt me with his words and actions, I always forgave him thinking that because he had never been in a relationship before, he didn’t know better and allowed myself to be disrespected. Again, making excuses for him. I think I had been very patient with him and although we were together but not officially together, I still had this unspoken level of loyalty towards him because of how I felt. The thought of entertaining another man was almost like I would be committing a sin and would be considered as cheating because in my head, I didn’t want to risk ruining a chance if we ever had one.
After a series of events where I started feeling like I wasn’t important enough in his life anymore and felt like he was changing towards me, that’s when it really hit me that this man never had wanted me in that way and would never be able to commit to me, no matter how many mixed signals he would give me. I started behaving in a clingy manner always questioning why he didn’t want to spend time with me anymore and why I wasn’t important enough. I wondered what had changed so much in such a short space of time. And that was the problem. You see, if he really did love me and see a future with me, this man would do everything in his power to reassure me and help get rid of my insecurities. He would make the effort to spend time with me. Instead, he contributed to my insecurities further which made me feel even worse. I started understanding that he wanted me in his life because he was lonely, and I was fun to be around. I was useful to him because I would help him discover himself through self-reflecting, having deep and intellectual conversations and always being there for him. I realised that he was being selfish because he knew how I felt about him but since he liked how I was helping him become a better version of himself, he was fearful of letting me go. Despite him making me feel like I wasn’t important enough and not a priority in his life anymore, I still tried to be normal with him, but it got to a point where I just felt like I was bothering him whenever I would try to talk to him. He would respond to me very slowly despite being on his phone. And that’s when it hit me. If you feel like you’re begging for someone’s time and attention, you’re losing yourself in the process.
I decided that because he wouldn’t let me go, I would have to be proactive and decided that I needed to walk away from the thing that was hurting me the most. The first thing I did was decide that I needed to get out of the environment where we would spend all our time, so I booked a flight to come home and spend time with my family. Being away from our regular environment allowed me to gather my thoughts on matters and really question what it was that this man was doing for me apart from hurting my feelings. This allowed me to determine that I had no choice but to walk away from the man I loved. I realised I would have to love him from a distance. The next thing I decided was that I needed to walk away in silence because I finally accepted that this was not going to go anywhere, nor would it ever go anywhere and all I was doing was building myself up for further heartache the longer this continued for. His avoidant personality makes him fearful of commitment and he isn’t emotionally available, so it means that until he doesn’t work on himself, he unfortunately won’t be able to make that commitment, to anyone. It was also when I realised that I was doing all the emotional work in the relationship, and I was the one that was holding the relationship together. If I was no longer willing to do that, this relationship would fall apart. And I couldn’t continue being the one doing all the emotional work because the only thing that I was doing was not acknowledging how I had been feeling. Instead, I had been busy trying to understand him, rather than myself. I realised that my emotional needs were not being met and was always working on meeting his emotional needs. I knew that once I was ready, I would need someone who was mature enough to commit and was emotionally available. I crave security, maturity, and stability in a relationship, and I knew I wouldn’t get this from the man that I waited so long for. I had to walk away for myself.
Now, because I know that every time I discuss leaving, he doesn’t let me go, I decided I am going to do that by taking ten steps back. It’s never easy to walk away from someone you love. In fact, it’s one of the most heart-breaking things. Maybe in time, he will realise that he is ready to commit and, if we’re meant to be, we will. However, I just decided that I couldn’t be around anymore waiting, building him up in hope that he would commit to me whilst wasting my own precious time. I decided that I needed to put my own needs first. I know that it is difficult to walk away from someone you love, and it is a process. A long, difficult, and hurtful process. But in time, that hurt will subside.
I finally started that process, but I haven’t figured it out completely and I will have to figure it out along the way but currently, I decided to not respond to any contact from him for a minimum of 72 hours to slowly start reducing contact. I also made a list of pros and cons about the person I am in love with. The final step in the process that I decided to take was to write a list of all the reasons that I am choosing to walk away and refer to this list daily. I re-read it to remind myself of why I need to walk away. It’s only the start but I also know myself and know that if I decide to do something, there is no doubt that I will succeed. I remind myself of all the hurt I have been through in the past and know that I was able to get through that, which in turn made me stronger, so I know I will also get through this, no matter how difficult it currently seems. Time heals all wounds and there is no doubt that time will heal this one too. I am just exhausted and emotionally drained of giving love and not receiving it back. All I am doing is giving it to the wrong person because I know that for the kind of person I am, someone out there will be lucky to receive the love I have to offer and the right man will appreciate it from the beginning, rather than making me feel insecure or make me question my own self-worth.
The sad truth is that despite several relationship experiences I have had; I am still a little oblivious when it comes to figuring out if a man is emotionally available. It always seems like they are at the beginning. My problem is I am too understanding, accommodating, and giving in a relationship. There have been far too many times where I have put the other persons needs before my own, but I don’t want to do that anymore. For a while I lost myself by giving all my love to someone else rather than to myself. I don’t want to go through that ever again where I forget my self-worth. I chose to walk away because I am prioritising myself. I am the most important person in my life. Which leads me to a quote that I feel is relatable; ‘what doesn’t break you, only makes you stronger’.
Until next time,
The Unveiled Reflector x