Advice Column: Response to “Hurt”

Dear Hailey,

I believe I am deeply in love with one of my best friends. He plagues my thoughts when I’m awake and then is in my dreams. I can’t seem to get him out of my head. I feel like I’m going insane. When I am with him I’m so happy, but when I am away I just want to lay in bed and not move. He has started seeing someone and is happy, which I want him to be happy, but it hurts even more. I can’t tell anyone about it because my friends are also friends with him and I don’t want to lose him or them.

In your experience is this what it’s like to love someone? It’s worth enduring the pain to feel the good when I’m with him. I want everything to go back to how it was before my emotions changed. How do I stop seeing him this way?

Sincerely,

Hurt

Dear Hurt,

Love can take many forms, it is a unique experience for every individual, and can even feel different for the same people in different relationships, or at different times in different stages of the same relationship.

Are you familiar with the term “unrequited love”? There are many definitions out there, but I find this one from Verywell Mind to be both accurate and descriptive: “There are times when we have strong romantic feelings toward someone, only to find out that they do not feel the same way about us. That is called unrequited love—love that is not returned or rewarded. It is a one-sided experience that can leave us feeling pain, grief, and shame.” From your description, this situation fits the definition of unrequited love. 

There is no denying that love can hurt. The people we care about can hurt us more than anyone else, because they are allowed behind the walls and defenses that we keep up for the rest of the world. And sometimes it hurts to even consider losing someone that we love. But the hurt you are describing isn’t typical to a relationship. You feel hurt because your feelings are not returned, because you feel stuck. The way we feel about someone when we are away from them speaks volumes about the health of the situation for us, and feeling how you describe when you are apart from him is not healthy. 

As far as falling out of love? Do what you can to remove your rose-colored glasses. What are his flaws, his less than desirable qualities? Look at the facts, look at the situation in a removed way, as if it were happening to someone else to gain perspective.

It’s also important to recognize that while you don’t always get to control the thoughts and feelings that present themselves in your mind, you do have control over the thoughts you choose to entertain. Meditation and other mindfulness exercises are great ways to become more aware and intentional about your thoughts, and this can make moving forward easier. 

You are also allowed to give yourself distance. You can take some space for yourself to gain perspective, but also maintain the friendship. 

I wish you luck,

Hailey

Posted in Q&A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *