The Pain Of Being In A Non-Mutual Relationship

Just to clarify what I mean by this, non-mutual means the feelings are only felt by one person hence not being returned by the other in the relationship. It’s a sad state of affairs and one I have experienced myself in previous relationships. So why do we get into these relationships when we know our love isn’t being reciprocated?

It is often hard to see that the person you are with doesn’t feel the same way anymore or never has. One person is left doing all the work and making up excuses for the other. It is only when we can think of no more excuses or get tired of doing all the work that we finally begin to see how we are being played. It hurts too, it hurts that you thought there was something once there, a spark between the two of you, it hurts that they no longer care but what hurts the most is the fact they aren’t doing anything about it and are pushing you away in the hope that you will give up too and end it first.

Friends and family realise it first but you don’t listen to them. You still believe yourself to be happy so why can’t they just accept this and let you get on with your life. What you don’t realise is, they are watching from the side-lines and are in a better position to judge your relationship than you are. In fact they probably know your relationship better than you do. They know how you act around each other, the unconscious signals each of you send off and what you do when you’re apart. So you should listen to their advice because if your friends and family don’t like them then they probably aren’t worth your time.

My first relationship was non-mutual and I was sure I could make this guy like me. I made initial contact through Facebook and dropped very non subtle hints about meeting up. The result was it was awkward. We had nothing in common and nothing to talk about. Even surrounded by my friends there wasn’t enough to sustain even a friendship. I was oblivious though and fooled myself into thinking we were good for each other. This lasted for about two months until he broke up with me and devastated, I went over every conversation we had (and believe me there weren’t many) trying to figure out what went wrong. My family and friends didn’t mind him but they didn’t rave about him and we never really argued but the fact was we were from different social backgrounds. Where he was happy stuck in an easy and unfortunately dead end job, I wanted to go to university and meet new people. While he was happy going down the pub every evening to get drunk, I was happy to BBQ on the beach and go to the pub at weekends to see my friends. It just wasn’t right.

There have been others where I have been the one not reciprocating for which I felt bad but I let them know after a few dates. When the feelings aren’t there you can’t pretend. You always wonder if you are making a huge mistake though. When they seem to be doing everything right and are perfect to you but you just can’t seem to appreciate it, you start to wonder what’s wrong with you but if in your heart if it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. I realised I wasn’t in the right place to get into a relationship and had to concentrate on looking after myself since I’d just moved to Uni and was still finding everything quite daunting. I just didn’t have the time to think that way.

The most frustrating was someone I fancied for about a year and did nothing about, told me they felt the same when I was in another relationship. I couldn’t believe it, I was secretly chuffed but knew I wasn’t going to do anything about it since I was happy with someone else now and they had missed their chance. It got me thinking, if I had just said something a year ago, would things be completely different now?

I’ve had a small taste of heart break, some more than others when I was stupid enough to think everything was fine and friends and family were flat out telling me it wasn’t and I chose to ignore them.  I eventually listened after being let down again and again and always forgiving. I didn’t feel anything towards them when they asked me out, so it was about forcing myself to love them which wasn’t healthy. I didn’t realise that I’d become someone that my family didn’t like, that my relationship was built on sarcastic comments that became snide and that we never agreed on anything. I finally put a stop to it after so long and realised I could do and definitely deserved better. Again, I thought I was probably making a huge mistake and maybe we could work things out or try again otherwise I’d probably be alone forever but I stayed strong and ended it.

At first I was miserable and just wanted company again but I realised I had learnt so much about myself and the ability I had to move on from these experiences, that I started trying to enjoy life again and build up some self confidence that I knew was lacking in my usual bubbly self. Now, in a relationship once again I am happy and feel a lot more confident in the fact that nothing is going wrong and I am grown up enough to handle whatever comes my way and not make the same mistakes. As Stephen Chbosky said: ‘We accept the love we think we deserve.’



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