How to Overcome Unrequited Love

by Maura Banar

    Although unrequited love is the basis of countless songs about teenage crushes, adults can also experience similar emotions. When your love for someone isn't returned, you must accept the fact that the relationship you so deeply desire will never come to fruition. To help you overcome unrequited love, redirect your energies toward people, places and things that support you emotionally.

    Remove Your Crush from Your Life

    Disconnect from the object of your affections to the extent possible. The underlying behaviors that can occur with unrequited love may stall your ability to process and overcome your feelings. With fewer, or no, reminders of your crush, you'll have less setbacks emotionally. Don't just put things away, especially photographs. Instead, give them to the rightful owner or destroy them to reduce the risk of falling back into an emotionally charged fantasy. If you can't avoid interacting with your crush, do so as little as possible.

    Surround Yourself with Support

    Reach out to friends and family and spend time in their company. Unrequited love can leave you feeling empty and alone. Instead of giving in to feelings of isolation and berating yourself for your crush, schedule time with your supports. This can help distract you and increase your self-esteem, which may have taken a beating from the unrequited love. Avoid situations that involve drugs or alcohol. These approaches to coping may help you forget temporarily, but the benefits won't last past your hangover.

    Practice Self-Care

    Pay attention to yourself and your needs. Unrequited love may cause you to lose sight of what's important to you. This can lead to increased stress, anxiety and depression that can be offset by indulging your favorite activities. Although you'll probably share these activities with friends and family, it's also important that you learn to be happy in your own company. Becoming more comfortable being by yourself can increase your self-esteem and help you realize that you can function fine without your crush in your life.

    Document your Thoughts and Feelings

    Record your thoughts and feelings and the process of moving forward. At times, particularly when you have a crush, it can be difficult to see past the situation and recognize the chance for personal growth. Recording your thoughts and feelings can give you the opportunity to review the process of overcoming unrequited love. Keep your writing or recordings personal and private, at least initially. With time, you might feel comfortable sharing what has happened, but for now, it's important only that you see progress.

    About the Author

    Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.

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