Most of us have felt it. That horrible, gut-wrenching feeling, where we love someone who doesn’t love us back. Some of us have even been in full blown relationships where unrequited love has reared its head. What I’m wondering is: Is this ridiculously maddening kind of unrequited love actually love?
There’s a lot of debate on this subject (google it), but here’s my hunch: it depends. Whether your unrequited love is actually love depends on how well you know the person you’re deeply in love with- not just how long you have known them for or how much you’ve heard about them, but how much you truly know about who they really are.
When unrequited love occurs in situations where you only know a person on the surface or haven’t known the person for very long, it’s usually not love, but lust or attraction.
A counter thought to this that is more of a paradox: if you feel deep love for someone who does not love you back but you feel joyful simply loving them without receiving their love in return, this is true unconditional love. In this case, the type of love where you feel pain from not having love in return is actually not love, but attachment. Therefore a type of love needing no love in return wouldn’t truly ever be unrequited love because it wouldn’t need to ever be requited. In fact, the object of your love wouldn’t even need to know that you love them for you to reap the benefits of this love. You could simply let the love blossom within yourself and enjoy all its benefits on your own.