Very often the first romantic love that we experience is one that is unrequited. It may end up being someone you’ve been friends with for years, or a person you’ve had in your class the last year, or someone who works at a local store where you live, but it will usually be somebody you come in contact with on a fairly regular basis. As time goes on you may build up in our mind’s eye what being in love with them would be like, and in areas where you are not certain what the other person is like, your imagination will fill in the blanks. On an extremely rare instance, you might get up the courage to tell them how you feel, but because of the lengthy time you’ve built up the idea of a romance with them in your head this tends to be fumbled. However, most of the time you never summon the fortitude to tell them how you feel.
Over the years as you grow older there is a tendency to dismiss these unrequited loves as you experience various romantic relationships, but the truth is you shouldn’t. Unrequited loves are very important to your development and from them there are many lessons you can still learn. It is with an unrequited love that you first discover in a concrete way what you hope the love of your life will be like. When your imagination is used to paint a picture of what they are like what is actually happening is you are projecting what attributes you want a romantic partner to have.
It is also with unrequited loves that you first start to be able to discern better what you hope another person is like versus who they actually are. As time passes, and the love for the other person continues unrequited, typically you will start to take a critical eye to them and realize while a lot of what you thought about them is true, there is a lot about them that is completely different. Hence, it is from experiencing an unrequited love that you first develop the ability to size up whether a person is being genuine towards you or deceptive.
Unrequited loves also often teach you about what it is to sacrifice for love. There comes a point where you find yourself having to move on from your unrequited love because you come to realize that they will never feel that way towards you. So you give them up, and go off in search of someone else who will feel that way about you. Making that sacrifice is very difficult, but an important one because later on when you do find that special someone you understand on an emotional level that in a relationship it is important sometimes for each person to give up something to make it work.
Your ability to figure out whether someone has feelings for you is also developed when you go through this experience because you are very closely scrutinizing them to see if there are any signs that they have feelings for you. You examine what they say, how they say it, their actions, and their body language. Also, if your experience goes on for a while, you’ll likely see them dating someone else, and see how all of these things change when they do have feelings for somebody. This will allow you to make some generalizations about the opposite sex and have the beginnings of the knowledge needed in order to be able to understand how someone could express they are interested in you.
There is no doubt that experiencing an unrequited love is quite painful emotionally as often you have to see them romantically interested in someone else. It may even go so far as having them confide in you about their feelings for another person. However, even from this you can learn a great deal since to spare yourself further emotional pain you learn how to start setting boundaries when dealing with other people. You will also learn various coping mechanisms for dealing with a broken heart, which will be very much needed over your romantic life. However, because in many ways an unrequited love is unfulfilled you are able to try out various ways of dealing with your heartbreak without it impacting you in a negative way.
Lastly, the most important lesson of an unrequited love is that if there is someone you want to be with you learn that the only way it’ll happen is if you tell them somehow. Thus, you realize that you need to take a chance and allow yourself the possibility of being hurt if you ever want to find love.