When you love someone and they don’t love you back, it feels like your life is over.
Even when you try not to build up expectations, the disappointment is intense.
I know because it’s happened to me, and deciding whether or not to stay friends was a difficult decision.
But I’m convinced that I ultimately made the right decision, which I’ll share with you in this article.
Should you lose a friend because of unrequited love?
Here’s the thing about unrequited love:
You want to do everything to be around this person and win their heart, yet the idea of being friends with them seems like a cruel second place prize or some kind of a let-down.
Try as you will, it’s hard to shake the feeling you’re not getting what you want.
The truth is that it’s not easy to decide whether to remain friends with someone you’re in love with, even if they give you the option.
The basis of any successful long-term relationship is honesty, trust, and communication.
This is why it’s vital to be completely honest with yourself and the other person in this situation.
If you’ve told a friend you have romantic feelings and they don’t feel the same, you may feel like giving up on love altogether.
Like Crystal Raypole notes:
“Experiencing rejection after you’ve risked telling someone how you feel can cause a great deal of pain.
In fact, some research has suggested pain associated with rejection causes brain activity resembles that caused by physical pain.”
Avoid making this one common mistake
Unrequited love is a gut punch that seems to demand a rapid reaction.
You want to run away, try to “give it time” and be friends, or just collapse in a heap.
But one of the most common mistakes people make with unrequited love is black-and-white thinking.
“I didn’t end up with who I wanted and it’s always going to be this way” becomes your mantra.
I know it all too well.
That’s why it’s crucial to take an honest look at your views about romance and love and make sure that past disappointment isn’t driving your decision now.
Whether you decide to stay friends or not, don’t let it be a snap decision because of how hopeless you feel about your love life.
So let’s do a diagnosis:
Do you feel like you’re never really succeeding or ending up with who you should be? Is that pushing your reaction in this situation of unrequited love?
In other words:
Is your love life stuck?
Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next, especially if you’re facing rejection.
I know that I was always skeptical about getting outside help until I actually tried it out.
Relationship Hero is the best site I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talking. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations like whether to remain friends with someone who doesn’t love you back.
Personally, I tried them last year while going through the mother of all crises in my own love life.
They managed to break through the noise and give me real solutions.
My coach was kind, they took the time to really understand my unique situation, and gave genuinely helpful advice.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
Click here to check them out.
Consider your options
When you’re on the receiving end of rejection, it’s key to consider your options carefully.
If the other person is open to remaining friends, then the ball is now in your court.
Make sure to think about the pluses and minuses of being close with this person in a non-romantic way.
Here are some vital things to keep in mind.
If you stay friends…
If you stay friends, things will not be the same as they were before.
As I said earlier, honesty is crucial. This means that you need to be fully honest with yourself that staying friends will not be a bridge to ending up together romantically in the future.
Has it happened before? Of course.
But you are on a fool’s errand that’s almost certain to end in disappointment and even worse heartbreak if you try to use the friendship as a way to still eventually have your love returned.
This is also about respect:
If your friend has told you that they don’t feel the same, then you need to respect that and believe them.
If you remain friends it is because you value the friendship deeply and see its merit on its own without any chance of romance.
It also means that you need to be prepared for a scenario in which you are friends and this individual starts dating and getting seriously involved with someone else.
If you are ready for all of that then staying friends is something you should seriously consider.
If you end the friendship…
Should you lose a friend because of unrequited love? That’s the core question of this article.
If you do end the friendship and lose this friend, or they decide to end it, it’s going to be hard and it won’t always go smoothly.
Keep in mind that ending the friendship and letting this person go needs to be for real.
It can’t be a gambit, as that will make you lose self-respect and likely make the other person lose interest in being friends.
In other words, you can’t say you don’t want to be friends anymore or agree to end the friendship just to test their reaction or try to guilt the other person or make them feel lonely and cave to your desires.
You need to really be willing to end the friendship and do so firmly and amicably, moving on from talking and communicating.
If not together romantically making you feel too uncomfortable to be friends, it’s important, to be honest with yourself and the other person.
As I said earlier, I know how it feels to have to decide whether to stay friends because of unrequited love.
To be honest, it’s happened more than once and is a pattern that I realized was happening due to unconscious behavior on my part.
After talking to Relationship Hero, who I mentioned earlier, I was able to bust through a lot of the inner patterns that had been holding me back and keeping me stuck in unrequited love situations.
The first time it happened I was blindsided and wouldn’t let the situation go. I wanted to stay friends at all costs, and even learned German and traveled overseas to see if there was “more” under the surface.
There wasn’t. At least not on her side!
Several years of friendship had been a lie, I realized. I was just chasing ghosts and trying to convince myself she felt the same when she’d never indicated that she had any deep feelings for me romantically.
Trying to stay friends when I really wanted to be more than friends made my self-respect and self-esteem suffer massively. I felt like crap, and I expended huge energy and effort chasing after somebody who didn’t want me.
This time could have been spent noticing women who I might have had a relationship with instead of chasing “the one” of my imagination…
The second time in later years, I was dating a young lady who I fell for once again. At a certain point the connection fizzled out and she had no interest in dating anymore.
I was upset and hurt over it, but I ultimately turned down her option to remain friends.
I believe it was the right decision because it was based on honesty.
I didn’t want to just be friends, nor did I want to live my life in hopes of a future different scenario and base the friendship on false foundations.
I believe that deciding not to stay friends can often be the right decision, particularly when you are dealing with something as hurtful as unrequited love. This situation hurts badly, and remaining friends with somebody who made you feel that way is generally not a great idea.
As much as it may pain and depress you, it’s often important to force yourself to walk away.
Cutting through the confusion…
It can be so confusing dealing with unrequited love.
Not only are you in pain, but you are being pulled in such opposing directions.
You want to run away and hide from the disappointment and agony you feel, but you also want to stay close to the person you still have feelings for.
As I said earlier, Relationship Hero really helped me sort through the conflicted feelings I was having over unrequited love and staying friends.
Their coaches also helped me untangle the patterns in my behavior that were unconsciously causing me to fall into the same awful situations.
Another thing I highly recommend is a free video about finding true love and intimacy that really opened my eyes.
Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?
Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…
Johann Goethe’s 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther plunged the whole continent of Europe into hopeless despair over the tragedy of unrequited love.
As Werther says:
“In happy ignorance, I sighed for a world I did not know, where I hoped to find every pleasure and enjoyment which my heart could desire; and now, on my return from that wide world…
How many disappointed hopes and unsuccessful plans have I brought back!”
Don’t I know it…
When you’re dealing with unrequited love, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like loving somebody who doesn’t love us back.
All too often, we fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.
We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture a love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to the torture of unrequited love and knowing whether to remain friends with someone who disappoints us.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Click here to watch the free video.
What should you decide?
Each situation is different and each friendship and relationship is different.
Speaking on principle I would advise generally not remaining friends with someone when there is unrequited love involved.
However, as I mentioned there are situations where staying friends can be a beautiful and genuine experience as long as you don’t try to use it as a bridge to love and value it for the pure friendship it is.
Unrequited love is not going to hurt. The key is what you do with that hurt.
And the decision to remain friends, like every other decision, should be one based on radical self-honesty, authenticity, and respect.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
Click here to get started.