Is ‘One Sided Love’ Love?
LGBTQ+ Relationship Coaching
7 minute
LGBTQ+ Relationship Coaching
Read Time: 7 minute(s)

One-sided love, yeah, I’ve been there too. It’s not all romantic like in the movies; it can be downright frustrating and confusing. But it’s also a testament to the depth of our emotions and our longing for a real connection. I belong to the LGBTQ community, and I will share my personal experiences with one-sided love and how I found a way out.

My One-Sided Love Story

I used to think that one-sided love was some kind of poetic torture. Being deeply infatuated with someone who didn’t seem to notice my existence, let alone my feelings, was hurting. I was all in, pouring my heart and soul into something that felt so one-sided it hurt. Then I fell in love with someone who loved me but only platonically. In both scenarios, it was I who got hurt. And, oh boy, did I feel the pain!

The Pain of Unreciprocated Love

It’s tough when you’re the one doing all the feeling, all the caring, and all the hoping. You start to doubt yourself, wondering if you’re not good enough or if there’s something wrong with you. You keep dissecting and analysing every word, reading between the lines, hoping that maybe once they meant when they said ‘I love you’. The pain of unreciprocated love can be soul-crushing.

Also Read- What is and isn’t true love?

My Journey to Freedom

But here’s the thing: one-sided love doesn’t have to be a life sentence. I decided I didn’t want to be stuck in this heartache forever. Obviously, it did not come that easily to me. I, too, had to go through our typical one-year phase of crying, staying in bed, imagining them with someone else, and having my blood boil all over again.

I began working on myself and discovered a way out of the one-sided love maze.

Discovering Self-Love

One of the first steps I took was learning to love myself. I realised that my worth wasn’t dependent on someone else’s affection. It’s cliche but true: self-love is the foundation for any healthy relationship. Here’s how I went about discovering self-love:

  • Recognising My Own Worth: The first step was recognising that my worth wasn’t tied to someone else’s feelings for me. I had to let go of the idea that their validation was the measure of my value. Instead, I started to understand that I had worth, independent of anyone else’s opinion.
  • Embracing Imperfections: I also learned to embrace my imperfections and quirks in self-discovery. I realised that being flawed is what makes us human. My quirks, insecurities, and vulnerabilities are part of what makes me uniquely me.
  • Prioritising Self-Care: Self-love isn’t just about accepting and caring for yourself. I began prioritising self-care through regular exercise, doing things I loved, or practising mindfulness. It was a way to show myself the love and care I was so eager to give someone else. I also realised that self-care means doing things not necessarily easy but right for you. So, I identified my emotionally explosive reactions and took responsibility for them.
  • Setting Boundaries: One-sided love can sometimes lead us to neglect our needs in pursuit of someone who may never reciprocate. Setting healthy boundaries was crucial. It meant knowing when to say “no,” protecting my emotional well-being and respecting my limits. It also meant recognising the boundaries I needed to honour and respecting them by not delving into their personal and private life.
  • Reframing Negative Self-Talk: We all have an inner critic that can be particularly harsh in times of one-sided love. I started to reframe my negative self-talk by challenging those thoughts and replacing them with self-compassion. This shift in mindset allowed me to be kinder and more accepting of myself.

The Impact of Self-Love on My Journey

Discovering self-love was the turning point in my journey. It gave me the strength to pull myself out of the depths of one-sided love and to navigate toward healthier, more fulfilling relationships. It also allowed me to find contentment within myself, regardless of the external circumstances.

Building Emotional Resilience

I also learned to toughen up a bit. I needed to be emotionally strong to survive this rollercoaster. It’s not easy, but it’s essential. One-sided love can be a lesson in patience and resilience and teach you much about yourself. Being in love is exhilarating, but getting out of a love that was never yours requires ‘god-level’ resilience. So, I distanced myself from the woman I used to call mine. Not easy at all because when I saw her name on my Instagram stories views, it would mess me up. I would feel like reaching out again.

But remember, you are not where you were yesterday. And tomorrow, you will not be where you are today. Growth is non-linear. And that’s how I progressed.

Communicating My Feelings

Communication was another vital skill I had to develop. I learned to express my feelings, even when scared of the outcome. It’s not about forcing someone to love you back but about being honest with yourself and the other person. I could communicate my feelings to her without getting worked up or crying.

Also read- 10 Tips for Effective Communication in a New Relationship

Letting Go When Necessary

Sometimes, one-sided love is just that – one-sided. No matter how much we wish for reciprocity, it doesn’t always happen. So, I also learned to let go when it was necessary. It’s hard, but it’s a vital part of moving forward. You must understand that it took me a great deal of time. It may be different for you. I still think about it and feel the bouts of emotions. But trust me, with time and effort, you will reach the point where returning from it won’t take days or weeks!

Transitioning to Mutual Connection

Here’s the exciting part: you don’t have to be stuck in one-sided love forever. My journey from one-sided love to a mutual connection was transformative. I journaled every day. Writing down the things I wanted to achieve, the affirmations, my feelings, and everything that went downhill helped me see the world through a wider lens. It helped me identify my core needs and how I showed up in a relationship. I could see my problematic behaviours, emotional immaturity, and the patterns I needed to break.

While I worked on them, I started looking at people with a more informed view. It further helped me understand the kind of partner I wanted to spend my life with. The mutual connection I sought, I found.

A Personal Invitation to Healing from One-Sided Love

If you’re stuck in the one-sided love cycle and want to find your way out, I’m here to help. Together, we can work on understanding your worth, embracing your imperfections, prioritising self-care, setting boundaries, and reframing negative self-talk. This foundation of self-love will help you move on from one-sided love and empower you to create healthier, more balanced relationships in the future. I’ve been through it and know how tough it can be.

Together, we can work on nurturing your self-love, building emotional strength, and learning to communicate your feelings effectively. And if the situation calls for it, I can help you find the strength to let go.

One-sided love might be where you are right now, but it doesn’t have to be where you stay. Let’s connect and transform your one-sided love story into something beautiful – a real, mutual connection. If you’re ready, reach out to me for personalised coaching services.