“Eleven Hints for Life” – 1 of 11

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return. But what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel. – Unknown

This is the first of 11 posts based upon this little string “11 Hints for Life” that I found while searching for quotes and saying about life. You can go find all 11 now if you wish by just Googling the title; but I intend to take them one by one and delve a little deeper into each one.  Most of them tend to revolve around relationships that one can have as we go through life.

The first hint can be viewed from many different angles, but the result is always the same. Whether it is a parent or sibling or it is a potential life mate. The point is not to wait to tell them that you love them. It is always especially poignant to hear someone say at a funeral, “I never got to tell him that I loved him.” That happens a lot in families. We grow up and grow distant. We get involved and focused upon ourselves and our lives and often forget to tell those who raised us that we still love them, until it is too late. The same can happen with brothers and sisters.

In most of those family cases, it’s not that you aren’t loved in return; it’s really that both of you have just forgotten to express that love to each other. The enemy of love is not hate, it is apathy. Stay in touch and never miss an opportunity at family gatherings or wherever to let those that you love know how you feel.  Don’t let family funerals become “coulda, woulda, shoulda”-fests about never getting to say “I love you.”

But what of those who aren’t family and for whom we feel that we have love and yet cannot seem to find the way to express it to them.  The reluctance to express your love for someone is usually driven mainly by the fear of rejection; the fear of the embarrassment of laying your heart and soul open and on the line and having both trampled by rejection.

I recall one of those pop-up proposals that sometimes make the news or which occur in the middle of an event of some sort and are captured on video for all to see later. In this case the young man dropped to one knee, opened a ring case and asked the young lady, “Will you marry me?” She said, “No.” Wow, how must that guy have felt? That is the nightmare that we have that causes the fear of expressing our love in the first place.

Unrequited love is often a misguided, one-sided affair that is mainly in our minds. Many times, especially in the young; it may really be lust or infatuation and not really love. Love takes time to develop and mature. The old saying, “It was love at first sight”, is not really true. It could be that you like someone at first sight or even were attracted to hen at first sight, but love – I don’t think so. Love comes from below the surface and you don’t get below the surface on first sight.

A relationship that can eventually turn into mutual love can also start out horribly out of sync. One party can be way ahead of the other in the relationship and in their feelings, at least in their mind. It is important to understand that when it happens and to try to get a handle on where the other party is in the relationship. You can’t just walk up to someone who may barely know that you exist and blurt out, “I love you.”  That’s not what the opening quote is trying to say. Getting up the courage to eventually say,” I love you” starts with getting up the courage to say, ”Hi, my name is…” and goes on from there. Give love time to develop in both parties. If it is meant to be, it will be. The first step to love is friendship.

Unrequited love may also be a consequence of the circumstances. Perhaps the person that you feel love for is already in a relationship with another. You have to accept that and move on. If you can, file those feeling s away, in case you need them again in the future. Think of how many stories you’ve heard about people getting back together after both had separate lives with others, yet they still had love for each other somewhere in the backs of their minds. By the time that they got back together they were also mature enough to really understand what love is.

Obviously, dealing with unrequited love is easier said (and written about) than done. Thousands of books, articles, poems and songs have been written about it, but is still hurts when it happens to you. It is important that you accept that and move on with your life, rather than letting your feelings for that person become an obsession. Obsessions tend to be crippling things that do no good in our lives. We have all at least heard the term stalking. Stalking is what can happen when unrequited love becomes an obsession. Have you ever heard of a good ending in a case of stalking? If you are at that tipping-point in an imagined relationship or have already begun to stalk someone, it is time to get some serious help. Fortunately, things don’t usually go that far.

So, I guess the bottom-line hint for today is to find a way, the best way for the situation, to let those that you have love for, know of your feelings. You may have to work at it, if the relationship is out of sync to begin with or it may just be something that you need to say to a family loved-one at every opportunity that you get. Either way, don’t end up regretting that you never told that person that you loved them.

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