Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back


This is one of my most popular posts from my old blog, ChiaraSays. Enjoy and please share with those in need.

How do you deal with loving someone who doesn’t love you back? Why is it so hard to get over it and come to grips with reality? What’s preventing us from healing from such a deep wound, knowing the pain can often be unbearable?

Love hurts. Love stinks. Love is blind. At some point in life, we’ve all experienced the pain that poets and songwriters have written about for ages. Usually, it’s because we’ve loved someone who hasn’t loved us back. Feeling so emotionally invested in something we’re being told doesn’t even exist is often the most excruciating pain, yet we endure it. Why?

Identify It

There are many degrees of one-sided love. If I were to describe them all, we’d be here all day and you wouldn’t actually get to the solution part of the article. In the name of salvation, I’ll only discuss the three MAIN ones instead.

Obsession from Afar:

You know this one. You’re head over heels for someone who doesn’t even know your name. Or perhaps you’re madly in love with a friend or acquaintance who is, for one reason or another, completely unattainable. I’d like to believe this only happens in movies, but, unfortunately, our minds are powerful, powerful tools; if we want something bad enough, we don’t need much to go on in order to believe someone is within reach.

The Repeat Offender:

This one refers to relationships and is by far the most common and the most delusional. Not only do we hold on to the hope that somehow the “love” will be rekindled, but we’re willing to wait around forever because we simply refuse to believe that such passion could be so short lived. When you started dating, you could have sworn up and down that no one had ever experienced the type of connection the two of you had. You ignore all signs that are telling you it’s over and, despite the overwhelming pain and nights spent crying, the smallest part of you holds on for dear life.

You’re Great, but I’m Not Interested:

This one is perhaps one of the most relatable: you gather up the balls to express your undying devotion—or mere attraction—to this person only to get rejected with the standard, “Oh you’re sweet…, but you’re not really my type.” Or the worse, “But we’re such good friends, I couldn’t.” What sets you apart from the rest of the world is that you don’t just walk away in defeat and go for your next potential obsession; you wallow in misery and refuse to accept rejection.

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Why We Can’t Just Move On

Love is a clusterfuck of complexities. And like the previous section, I can’t describe all the reasons we fall into such a painful trap. Not only are there too many to list—dependent on each individual case—but some just cannot be explained with rationality. With that being said, here are two reasons we deny escape:

1. Wishful Thinking

This is the devil. There are a few stages of denial: Your friends could lay out a list of reasons why you need to move on and you would remain there, glossy eyed and oblivious. That’s the worst stage and it needs the most intervention. The lesser and more common stage is when you’re completely aware of every single reason you need to stop loving the person, yet you simply can’t and you don’t know why. I’ll tell you why. It’s because deep inside, small and buried away, is the last ray of wishful thinking. Like cancer, it multiplies at the sign of hope for survival. And really, no matter how large or small, the potential damage is the same.

2. Our Ego

You’d never admit it, but deep inside you’re wondering, “How can this person not see how much of a catch I am?” You can’t help but wonder what he sees in his new lover. This way of thinking is pretty harmless. In fact, having an ego about the situation can usually result in you realizing you’re too good to endure such pain and rejection. However, it takes nothing more than a little push and bam. You’re back into delusion land; you once again believe you’re so great that your doorbell is going to ring any second, and your obsession will be down on one knee whispering, “I was wrong… you are the one.”

Wake Up. Your life was not written to be a Katherine Heigl or Patrick Demsey movie.

Chiara Mazzucco

Chiara Mazzucco

Chiara is the Founder and CEO of Indie Chicks, Inc. She's a published author of The 9 Mirages of Love, and is working on her second book, But First, Me. You can find out more about her by visiting her website, or can email her to get in touch.

  1. Hey Chiara,

    I’m fifteen years old and I was thirteen and a half when I started dating my best friend that I had all through elementary school. We hugged and kissed and the like, but I always had to initiate it. He was always a quiet guy when it came to serious stuff, and I felt like I wanted to be pursued. I tried to break up with him and convince myself that I needed someone who had more “drive” to gain my affection, but I couldnt do it: I clung to that hope that it was just a puberty thing and he’d grow out of it. We hung on for 1 & 1/2 years. I don’t really have much of a “support system” right now, and Ive got some serious issues at home, so Ive been living with him and his family (I gave him space, we were fine for a few months).

    A few days ago, he decided we should just be friends after I asked him if there was something wrong. I thought I would be totally cool with it and I thought we COULD still be friends, but lately I’ve just been so upset. I can’t picture him with anyone else, and I dont want to be with anyone else either. He tells me he only loves me as a friend, but we cried last night together and he acted like he just felt like he wasnt good enough, and he wanted to break up for my benefit. I don’t want to just be his friend – I have this urge to be held by him almost all the time, and it hurts so much I can’t even explain. We’re just so confused and I figured it was because we were stupid 15 year olds and this is a normal thing. I can’t get away from him because I’m living with him, and we’d been friends for so long, I can’t imagine not seeing him – but I cant imagine not seeing him as my boyfriend ever again either. I feel silly because everyone seems to be unfased by this except me (I mean, he’s upset, but he struggles to show it. We cried together and he hugged me last night, but I just dont understand). I cant even really put my finger on what it is that makes me want to be with him. He has communication issues, and even his family says they have a hard time getting the deep-down stuff out of him. But I don’t care anymore. Its driving me crazy and I don’t want to stay broken up. Also, he’s not really the jerk in this, he feels really bad, which makes me think theres something more to it.

    I know that you aren’t in the situation and you haven’t met us nor know what we’re like, but ive asked everyone for guidance, and Im still lost. I stumbled across your article on the internet and I just wondered if you had any extra advice for my situation.

    Thanks, You’re awesome,

    1. Hi Devan,
      What a situation, indeed. Listen, it’s a lot more complicated than just being stupid 15 year olds. You’re young, yes, but that doesn’t make the emotions any less real.

      My first love was also at 15 and it has played the biggest role in defining who I am and my role in romantic relationships. Looking back, it seemed like the Apocalypse. I couldn’t see a brighter tomorrow … for months. The feelings were so strong that it swallowed us whole and it lingered for years after.

      So I know about first loves and their power.. And this is exactly what this is. A very powerful first love. You’re both feeling these intense emotions and have no idea how to deal with them.. and unlike other teen loves, you’re living together, making the process that much harder and more confusing.

      I know you cannot imagine not being with him but that’s because he’s all you’ve ever known. Something is blocking you both from being together.. unfortunately, you have to listen.

      The ideal situation would entail you moving out and/or finding somewhere else to live while you gather yourself. You can try, force, fight your way back into the relationship but it’ll never be what you want it to be. Whether it’s him not being ready or you just not being meant to be together. Fate continues to work its magic whether we’re ready for it or not – and we hardly ever are.

      Embrace the time you’ve spent together, everything you’ve learned about life and about yourself and cherish it – don’t try to force more out of it because, again, it won’t be what you expect. He’s young, too. He has a lot of growing up and learning to do.. he has to learn who he is .. without you. Just like you need to learn to define yourself, without him.

      Once you accept this, the process will be (a little) easier. It’s still going to hurt and you’re going to have to let that pain sink in to move forward. But I promise, though it doesn’t seem like it, there IS a brighter tomorrow.. And any woman who has lived at all will vouch for this. Stay strong, Devan. Your heart will mend and once you allow yourself, you will meet a handful of more loves. The next ‘great’ loves of your life have an entire world to show you and and lessons to teach you.

  2. Hey Chiara,

    I’m 19, I will be 20 this year. I’ve been in love with this girl from school since the first day of college, (I would call it love I guess) the thing is, I fell hard for her. From the start I know she has a boyfriend. And just to get things straight, I’m kind of a quiet, nerdy and not so good looking guy and I don’t usually go for girls who are taken. (I rarely “go” for girls)

    But one day I puck up the courage to hang out with her, not on a date but just a normal hang out. Our ‘relationship/friendship’ grew from there onwards. We loved to watch films after school. She would talk about her life (in Korea, she a korean studying in Singapore, where I live) and I would share my thoughts about my life and we had this ‘connection’ you know?

    Until one day, someone told her that I like her. And I got the “I think you’re a great friend but….” missile straight to my heart. From there onwards, she denies it, but I know and I felt that things were super awkward between us.

    Thing is, I’ve been under her spell. She’s perfect. Even when she’s not, she is. I can’t stop seeing her as more than a person. I’m trying, but it’s so hard. She’s a nerd like me. She love books, she’s what the online community would call a “Nerdfighter”, so am I. We share the same music interest.

    I question why she’s dating this guy who’s the total opposite of her, who works at a professional pole dancing studio. This might be selfish but I know she deserves so much more. Maybe not me, but so much more you know?

    Sorry for the long post. I know this might seem like a common problem I’d guess? But it’s something that I wanna let go. I can never stop seeing her as an angel. Even her name has the word “Angel” in it…. I’ve read your post and it seems like getting over her is… possible? This may not seem much but it sort of gave me a ray of hope that I could, maybe I could get over her…

    Thanks and DFTBA (what we nerdfighters always say :D)

  3. Im twenty currently in my second term of college. So i noticed this quiet guy who was ruff around the edges type. Yet he seemed so determined to suceed in class. So i started talking to him in the library. He asked for my number and the whole weekend we talked for hours on the phone. i know we just met but it was realli intense and something special was starting between us. but on monday he saw me and blew me off. then it almost seemed as if he was avoiding me; rejecting my calls and everything now i need to know what went wrong i feel crazy

  4. Chiara,

    I am going to have to disagree with your view here in your fifth step. First of all, your fifth step is not the ultimate solution to deal with a situation like this. There are times which you can become desperate, because of how you feel, which in your language, consider it an “ego”, which I perfectly understand. Well, when you fall in love with someone and they don’t like you back, this is something which can become very frustrating becuase you are in love.

    If a person doesn’t like you back, then don’t you think that person is stupid for missing out an opportunity with you, a person that truly loves you? If that person doesn’t like you back, they have created the biggest loss, and sadly, the world is to look down on the lover, and categorize the person as the one creating the problem, when it is really the other person who chooses not to love back.

    Really, there should be two solutions, the first solution is to try to get that person to like you back, and then the second solution would be that if the first solution fails, then to accept and not let the other person not liking you back bother you, instead accept that you love her and be happy with that. Writing harshly by saying “to move the fuck on” isn’t going to change anything, but create rage with the lovers who don’t want to stop something very important on what they feel, which is love.

    Sadly, everyone is brainwashed into thinking that the person who doesn’t love you back is a victim of the lover, whom we call consider, an obsessive stalker. It shouldn’t be looked at like this because it is really the other person who is stupid not to like you back. Also furthermore, it is a shame that everyone makes a standard that if you love a person, its not love unless the other person likes you back, when most of the time, never happens.

    What people need to understand is that if the person is in love with someone who doesn’t love them back, they shouldn’t criticize them for having such an emotion. As for the person who is in love, they need to not let someone who doesn’t like you back bother you, instead accept that you are in love and save it in your heart.

  5. Chiara…
    This was one of the best posts I have read on this subject. I am hopelessly in love with my best friend, you know the story–we have been through shit together, drink together, ect. I have watched him date other people–one of my close girlfriends dated him behind my back. I always tell myself it’s ok…and convinve myself that I love him like my brother. It doesn’t take away my fear of losing him…or sharing him…and what’s worse is now that I have attempted to start dating again (after a bad breakup) I find myself sabotoging these new relationships subconsciously.

    What woke me up was specifically last night, my date and I grabbed drinks at a bar and I was going on and on about my best friend and what a great guy he is. I don’t know how to stop this…we have the same group of friends so I am always around him…and pulling away seems like it might rip my heart in two at this point. What do you think?

  6. Hey Chiara,

    It seems so easy reading about it, but the truth is…. I just simply don’t seem to be able to get over this one guy. I do my best, and every day I reassure myself that there is someone out there who does love me and that I shouldn’t be wasting my time. But less than a minute later I would find myself checking his Facebook page. I wake up with this guy in my head and go to sleep with the same thoughts. I just get so tired of myself. I keep convincing myself that he must like me a little bit, even though I know he’s not interested. Why is it than that I keep myself happy with telling those lies, to keep my heard from bleeding maybe? And now I just read on twitter (I’m a stalker, I know) that he will be abroad for more than a week. I already feel lonely and depressed, why is this so hard?
    How amazing would life be if we could make people love us…

    Thank you so much for this post. I could really see myself in your story (well at least the first part, getting over him still seems like an impossible problem)

    xxxxxx Rose

  7. I dated a guy for about 5 months, I totally feel happy whenever i am with him. We got along great never fought but one night, i had much drink on me and then got a little jealous and then embarrassed him in front of his female friends, Because of that he broke up with me right there. For the first week i tried to do everything in my power to get him back but all were in veil. Till a friend introduce me to this great man called Dr.Sango of [email protected] I was surprise when Dr.Sango told me that my lover will come back to me within 3 days. But the good news is that my lover is really back to me now all thanks so much Contact Dr.Sango on [email protected]

  8. This is a testimony that I will tell to every one to hear. I have been married four 4years and on the fifth year of my marriage, another woman had a spell to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until I met a post where this man DR OLOKUM have helped someone and I decided to give him a try to help me bring my lover back home and believe me I just send my picture to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told me, I saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he have come to me and the kids and that is why I am happy to make every one of you in similar to met with this man and have your lover back to your self. His email: [email protected].

  9. Wow I relate to this article so much, it’s basically what’s been happening in my life lately ! Thank u so much ,I enjoyed every word and I think it’s going to help me get on my feet again , God bless you !!

  10. I want to use this medium to tell the world about Doctor JATTO who helped me in getting my lover back with his powerful spell, my ex and i where having misunderstanding which led to our breakup though i went to beg her several times to please forgive and accept me back because i know i offended her but each time i went i away feel more deeply in pain and agony because she away walk out on me and would not want to listen to what i have to tell but on i faithful day as i was browsing i came arose a testimony of a woman whose problem was more than mine and yet Doctor JATTO helped her with his spell so i was happy and also contacted Doctor JATTO for help via email [email protected] and then told him my story but the only thing he said was that i will wipe you tear with my spell so lucky for me everything want well just as he promised and right now i have got my fiance back and we are both living happily. there is nothing Doctor JATTO can not do with is spell and just as promise my self i will keep testifying on the internet of how Doctor JATTO helped me.Are your problem greater that mine or less i give you 100% guarantee that Doctor JATTO will put an end to it with his powerful spell, contact Doctor JATTO for help Via email [email protected]

  11. This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me..My name is Olivia Jane Mike, and I base in London.My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called papa Justus who i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he
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  12. My life entirely changed since I met Dr. Ekuma by chance on internet! All my dreams has been turning to real, it’s unbelievable! My Husband came back to me within 48 hours as you said and… I didn’t expect the spell would work so fast. After been scam by lot of spell caster’s promising me false hope not knowing all they really wanted was my money. I want to express my warmest gratitude, Dr. Ekuma I’ll never ever forget all the happiness you gave me. You are truly a man of your word. I highly recommend Dr. Ekuma to you for whatever problem you are experiencing whether is love, money or psychic powers. He is powerful. You can contact him on ( [email protected] From Flora Dee… UK England…….,

  13. Hello. My name is Christopher. I imagine this was written for women, but please allow me to learn and grow from this very important blog. I fell in love with my best friend who unfortunately does not love me back. We are both good people, but because we are such great friends I have to be apart of conversations where I have to hear how great some other guy is… or worse … her sex life. I am hurt and sad. I am so sure she is the one, but little by little I see that I could waste my life waiting and hoping for her. After reading this blog I now know this is not what I want to do. Everyone deserves to be happy and letting one person out of the millions of people in this world have a say in how you feel in ridiculous. I think this blog was the push I needed to move on. It is hard and my heart can’t keep breaking. Thank you for this beautiful insight. To those who are trying to figure why love has to suck sometimes, man or woman, please know that you are not alone. We are all different and we all deserve to be happy. My parents have been married for over 25 years. My best friend just got married and I see so much love between him and his wife. Love does exist! I’ve seeing it:) Just because we don’t have it doesn’t mean it’s not real. That should be enough reason to smile every morning. Ellie Goulding said it best… Anything can Happen! Do not lose hope you hopeless romantics. I can’t believe I started writing this with tears in my eyes thinking about the girl I’m in love with… now I’m smiling because I can see all the wonderful possibilities that can happen. We will get through this:) When I do meet Mrs. Right I plan on giving her a good punch to the face for making me wait so long haha J/K! Don’t expect anything, but hope or everything:)

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