A friend of mine once told me, “Unrequited love has summoned some of the best art and writing in the world.” At the time she said it, I wasn’t in any frame of mind to appreciate it.
In my experience, unrequited love is waste of time and energy, focusing too much emotion on someone who would never give you the time of day. Besides, there’s been too many instances of unrequited love leading some people down a dark path; sometimes with fatal consequences.
However, in cases such as those, it isn’t really love that drives people to do what they do, it’s obsession. It’s a compulsion to possess something and keep it for yourself instead of sharing it with the rest of the world.
In my mind, unrequited love always seemed to be a negative thing. But then again, this was coming from someone who had a negative view of love and life in general.
Recently though, I’ve had a change of heart and a shift in perspective. I’ve always been a realist, which means that I tend to see things as they are or how they’ll end up. I’ve always considered positive people as living in denial of reality and looking at life through a rose-colored filter.
But as I said, I’ve had cause to reassess. Funny how traumatic events tend to do that.
That’s when I realized the difference between unrequited love and obsession: Intent. When you truly love someone, it comes from a pure place in your heart. There’s no jealousy, just trust. If you’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, of course, it’s gonna hurt.
Thing is, though, if you’re really in love, you want them to be happy, even if it’s not with you. The last thing you would ever want to do is hurt them. Speaking as a romantic, the function of love is supposed to bring out the best in you. It should inspire you to do things you thought impossible. I know it sounds naive, but I honestly believe that.
Love should be the one thing that sustains you in your darkest moments. Even if you’re not loved in return, it doesn’t matter. The very thought of that one person can be your strength.
It could be their words, the sound of their voice, or a picture of their smile in your mind’s eye. Sometimes friends can only be friends, but even in that, there is still a piece of them you carry with you, and if your feelings are true, it will always be enough. Who knows, maybe that patience will pay off someday. You never know.
It will always be your shelter from the storm. All you have to do is hold on tight. Just remember, not too tight. As a wise man once said, “That way lies madness.”
My friend was right- unrequited love can bring out the best in you; all you have to do is open up your heart and let it.
(Happy Birthday, Darrah!)