The majority of us will occasionally have day where we get punched in the heart. Depending on how attractive/charismatic you are (or in most cases the lack of such qualities) you may experience this on a number of occasions. I am of course referring to that oft mentioned feeling of unrequited love. If you have never felt this, then fuck you.
We’re obsessed with love and the loss of it, and the never having of it with particular persons. Just look at the history of song writing. Sorrowful love ballad after angry ‘why don’t you love me song.’ In order to understand this feeling it’s key to understand just what love is. Now the best minds throughout time have struggled with this one. It is in essence, what makes us human. There are infatuations, which can range from mild to severe, crushes, which are always mild… and there are the odd ones where you fall in love with an actress you’ll never meet and email her agent video clips of you weeping.
Then there is that feeling. The profound, inexplicable feeling that rests in your chest and drops down to your stomach and then shudders through you whole body. This is the real deal. This is love, and it’s scary and irritating and disrupts your sleep, and makes you late for work, then they say “why are you late for work?” And you say “I’m in love!” and they say “Well whatever, we’re docking your pay!”
There is no explanation from this. That is what makes it a truly human feeling. It is safe from the clinical eyes of the scientist who has a deep rooted obsession with trying to break things down into their constituent parts and give them long, sciencey sounding names. It is separate from lust. For when you get this feeling, sex is often far from your mind. In fact, you will be prepared to watch an entire season of that ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt’ sitcom with them, just to be in the same room. To give you an idea of just how profound that statement is, the ‘hit American sitcom’ is awful… it is, my flatmate watched the whole thing, and even when I wasn’t in the same room I was filled with the urge to smash some plates and use the shards to gouge out my own eyes. Words do not do this feeling justice, so to adequately describe it, I want you to start screaming. Not in a shrill way, nor a scared way an interrupted, disjointed scream that has no external cause.
Have you done it?
I’ll know if you’re lying… good.
Now there are two things you can do (technically three, but the third involves snapping and murdering everyone) when this intense feeling of love is not reciprocated by the unwitting vessel of your adoration.
- Act cooool it doesn’t really matter. It’s only feelings at the end of the day… nobody died (apart from you… on the inside) let’s continue with an amicable friendship. Push those feelings down, bottle them up until they mature like a fine wine.
- Go down fighting. List, in a reasonable way, all the reasons why loving you would be beneficial for everyone. Make sure they know just how you feel. Play them the above sound clip if needs be. Fight back against all their arguments. If they bring out the line ‘I just don’t like you in that way’ thinking that would be the end of it, grab a hold of their leg and scream “LOVE ME!” whilst oceans of tears leak from your besotted eyes.
Neither one does much to quell the potent brew of sorrow, regret and anger. Yes there is anger, anger directed at the world for being so cruel. Why give you these feelings if they will amount to nothing? Save to bolster record sales?
People will try to placate you, play down the tragedy that has befallen you.
“There’s plenty more fish in the sea.” Is what many like to say. Alas, this is an outdated phrase as, due to over fishing and pollution, our fish stocks are rapidly dwindling. The phrase should be “there ain’t many fish left! Fuck, what have we done?”
I get the point however; there are lots of people in the world (potentially incorrect use of the semi-colon there, please feel free to say so). The laws of probability dictate that no matter how unlovable you are, someone will be able to power through for the sake of killing loneliness.
When you are reeling from a shattered soul, a pulverised heart and a crushed mind this is not helpful, especially if it comes from the person you love.
There may be plenty of fish, but those stricken by love are taken by one fish. And, this phrase seems to forget the old adage: it’s quality, not quantity that matters. There is no helping at a time like this. The only course of action is to drink a lot and be alone with your self-pity.
In the weeks that follow, the outside world will become a terrible place. It’s filled with them. The happy people. The people that walk around holding hands with their significant other, desperate to show the world just how happy they are. Look! We’ve found love, isn’t that nice? They’ll parade this love before you, mocking you with it. Some will even go so far as to embrace – in public! Fuck them. They are bad people. Happy people are terrible people.
Every person you meet will somehow, unbidden, mention a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You, being bitter and twisted will enquire as to the quality. Hoping to pull at a thread that unravels their love, leaving it one ruined and smelly knitted love jumper. TAKE THAT LOVE!
But they’ll disappoint you ‘we love each other!’ of course they do, or worse – they’ll be in that content stage of a relationship, where they are effectively one person, their love doesn’t need to be spoken, it’s evident in the fact that they have week long arguments about washing powder. People who don’t love one another don’t waste time with such conflict.
Love is painful. It’s very very painful.
If love is what makes us human, I wish to be a potato.