Unrequited love can be a painful experience. It can feel like a person is your whole world, and you just don’t have eyes for anyone else. We get it. But what do you do if they don’t reciprocate your feelings? Sometimes you have to accept that a relationship isn’t going to happen. So how do you know when it’s time to let go?
I have been both rejected by somebody infatuated with me who I just didn’t fancy, and been infatuated with somebody who wasn’t interested. And trust me, it’s difficult whichever side you’re on. But if your feelings are unrequited, then it might be time to move on – waiting around for the situation to change can end badly!
Last year, my friend Luke was really in love with a girl called Sophie. They got on really well and she liked him a lot – but not romantically. After a while, he worked up the courage to tell her how he felt. She kindly but assertively rejected him. Luke, however, didn’t give up. He said he was hurt, but told Sophie that he would wait for her to realise she’d made a mistake. His version of “waiting” meant popping up at events unexpectedly when he knew she would be there, or walking ten steps behind her on nights out. Sophie always felt too uncomfortable to get to know other guys. He even made grand gestures every few days with flowers.
Understandably, this was intense and uncomfortable for Sophie. She wanted him to move on – it was getting increasingly awkward. Eventually, she had no choice but to be blunt with him. She told him to go away, that it was never going to happen, and that frankly he was just irritating her and she didn’t want anything to do with him anymore.
For me, this story is a brilliant example of how to take it too far. When is the right time to let go? When someone makes it clear they’re not interested. The first time.