How to Deal with the Unacceptable Love for a Friend

Two friends have an unpleasant moment of silence.Unrecognized love is part of the human experience. At some point in life, most people will develop romantic feelings for someone who does not feel the same way about them. A study of high school students and students who found that love was irreversible was 4 times as common as mutual, equal love. This type of one-sided love is usually more intense than a past crash and often lasts longer.

The experience of rejection after you risk telling someone how you feel can cause great pain. In fact, some research has shown that the pain associated with rejection causes brain activity that is similar to that caused by physical pain. However, knowing that love does not respond, most of us may not make this pain easier to endure.

If you have ever loved someone who does not return your feelings, you may have tried to reach out to your friends for support. But what happens when the object of rude love is a friend? Managing the pain of unrequited love can be even more difficult if you are already close to the person you have fallen for. You may not understand how they can dismiss you when you share so much.

Over time, though, you may believe that it is more important to treasure the friendship you have than to wonder about other possibilities. If you want to maintain friendship through the challenge of unrequited love, you know that it is often possible to do so.

Keep in mind, however, that it is important to consider your intentions honestly. If you continue dating because you secretly hope that they will change your mind, you do not honor yourself, your friend or your friendship. In the end, this deception can lead to more pain for you and your friend.

Why do we fall for our friends?

Developing romantic feelings for friends is not uncommon. Love grows over time, and strong friendships that last for years often provide many opportunities for intimacy to flourish.

  • Friendship as the Gate of Love: Many believe that a strong friendship is an essential cornerstone of a romantic partnership and prefer to build a friendship with potential partners first. This belief could help create a tendency to view friends as potential love interests.
  • Proximity: People generally spend a lot of time with close friends. In the end it can be hard to imagine not seeing a particular friend often.
  • Common Hobbies: Friendships often come out of common interests. Having lots of hobbies, interests, or other things in common with one person can make them look more like an ideal romantic partner.
  • Mixed signals in a friendship: Some friendships are characterized by flirtatious anecdotes, physical affection, or other behaviors characteristic of romantic relationships. Mixed signals will not make you fall in love with someone if the attraction is not already there. But frequent contact with nicknames can ignite flames, as we say, giving the impression of mutual interest.
  • Attachment style: A 1998 study found that people with anxious / ambivalent attachment styles were more likely to experience unrequited love. Attachment styles are based on childhood. If your primary caregiver was unpredictable out of love or does not meet your needs inconsistently, you may unconsciously grow to relive this momentum in adulthood. In other words, you may be more likely to develop a romantic attraction for people who are unlikely to return your feelings.

Can friendship survive the rejection?

You told your friend how you feel. They apologized and said they just didn't feel the same way, though they appreciated your friendship. You agreed that friendship was important and assured that you wanted to stay friends. You feel sad and hurt, but you have tried rejection before and know that emotions will pass in time. In the meantime, how do you deal with frustration and pain while still spending time with your friend as if nothing had happened?

First, it is important to understand that your emotions are normal. It is normal to mourn, feel hurt, sad, confused, or angry. But it is also important not to direct these feelings to your friend. Unless they spray you or drive you, it's just as honest about their feelings as you are. Your boyfriend can't help you have Platonic love for you, just as you can't help having romantic love for your boyfriend.

When your boyfriend does not return your romantic feelings, they could both struggle to cope. However, friendships can recover from unrequited love if the situation is handled with care and maturity. What happens next is up to you and your friend.

Tackling embarrassment

Some friendships may go on but feel slightly different. You may encounter some awkward interactions or occasionally feel embarrassed about each other. This is not necessarily wrong – it can happen even though they both really want to remain friends. You may simply indicate that you both need time to recover.

According to a study published in Michael Motley & # 39; s Interpersonal Studies, friendships often end after a confession of unknown marriages when embarrassed or embarrassed. To avoid embarrassment, you can avoid the situation after agreeing that you want to stay friends. Instead, go ahead with it.

Envy is a common feeling and is not inherently harmful. However, it is important to manage jealousy in a safe and healthy way. Recognizing what you believe is often a useful way to get started.It may feel more natural to completely avoid your friend, but Motley's research suggests that friends who continue to talk and see each other are more likely to remain friends than those who stay away from each other. This does not mean that you do not have to give yourself some space. Even if you do not feel you need it, it can help to take time for treatment.

Your friend may also need space. If they look distant after telling them how you feel, think that they too may need to work on what happened. They may feel sad or guilty and wonder how to act to prevent your further harm. Give them some time. If you've been communicating daily in the past, after a few days you can send a casual message letting them know you're there when you're ready. Then wait for them to arrive.

On the other hand, your friendship could also spring up immediately. But this scenario may present other challenges. If your friend already has a partner or is dating before you fully heal the rejection, you may feel hurt and jealous. You may end up comparing yourself to their partner and anger or resentment may develop.

Envy is a common feeling and is not inherently harmful. However, it is important to manage jealousy in a safe and healthy way. Recognizing what you believe is often a useful way to get started. Open communication can also help. If this is not possible in your case, try talking to another close friend or mentor.

Transition Tips

If you are struggling to overcome rejection after an extended period of time, it may be best to stay away from friendship while healing. It can help you interact with your friend in group settings rather than one-on-one. If you find yourself writing or calling frequently, it may be best to take a break from contacting them.

If your friendship was characterized by affectionate gestures or flirtation in the past, it may be better for both of you to avoid this behavior, at least until your friendship has healed. Otherwise, you may give your friend the impression that you are not really okay with other friends.

It is common to feel a diminished sense of confidence or low self-esteem after rejection. Rejection can have an even more significant impact if your friend has supported other cases of convulsions. Reaching out to other loved ones can help when you have trouble separating the pain of rejection from your worth as an individual.

Meeting new people can also help. Trying to date, when you are still recovering from rejection, may not seem appealing at first. If you are still feeling heartbroken, you may not be ready to consider other potential romantic partners. But dating with someone for a short coffee date, for example – can really help you get started. Even if you are planning to keep things casual, some fun dates can distract you from what you are feeling. It can also help you realize that you have many romantic choices.

Get help with Heartbreak

Grief and jealousy often accompany rejection and heart, and it is not always easy to deal with on your own. Treatment is especially recommended when painful emotions interfere with daily life or make it difficult to think of anything else. If you are struggling, we encourage you to contact a mental health professional.

It may seem hard to believe, but you will heal in time. A therapist or counselor can support the treatment by helping you work through what you feel is productive. Our list of therapists can help you find a comforting mental health provider in your area.

Bibliographical references:

  1. Aron, A., Aron, E.N., Allen, J. (1998, August 1). Motivations for unqualified love. Bulletin of Personality and Social Psychology, 24(8), 787-796. Retrieved from
  2. Bringle, R.G., Winnick, T., & Rydell, R.J. (2013). The predominance and nature of genuine love. SAGE is open. Retrieved from
  3. Davis, S. (2018, October 22). Stress / ambiguity attachment style: An examination of its causes and how it affects adult relationships. Retrieved from value- doubtful-project-project-research-publications-and-like-action- precautionary- relationships
  4. Morain, C. (2009, January 21). Inappropriate love: How to stay friends. Retrieved from
  5. Weir, K. (2012). The pain of social rejection. Monitoring Psychology, 43(4). Retrieved from

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