No matter how you yearn for someone to love you back in the same way you love them, is it realistic to think they’ll suddenly fall madly in love with you? Probably not. Yes, I do believe people can grow to love each other but I think too many settle because they think “This is as good as it gets. I may never find anyone else to love me.” I’ve no plans to settle and I want reciprocity. In other words – I love you and hopefully you love me. I’m sure there are those who’d say I’m silly – that you have to compromise. Sure, we can negotiate but there’s no negotiating on the love thing. You either do, or you don’t.

So who says love has to be reciprocated? It would be nice now, wouldn’t it? I think of how God must feel when we don’t return His love. I have experienced unrequited love several times. I never thought I had to be careful with love or ration it out according to who I thought deserved it. I just loved and hoped it would be returned. It had to be! But the harsh reality is, sometimes it isn’t. And it aches. It aches like the pain of a million men.

Now wait a minute. Unrequited love can be tough on both people. The person who feels strongly is in turmoil because they want so much to have their love returned. They profess their love and get nothing or try to prove how much they care – and get nothing.┬áThe object of this person’s love may feel stressed or emotionally strained for a number of reasons: they know they don’t feel the same, they’re afraid to admit it, they don’t want to hurt the other person or they just like knowing they are loved.

So how do you deal? Whether you’re the giver of love or the receiver, you must be true to yourself. If you can’t get them to “see the light,” stop expending your energy on them and use it on yourself. If you’re on the other side, be clear with the person from the git-go. If you have no intention of being romantically involved with them, tell them – this way they don’t wonder.

I am by no means saying that someone who doesn’t feel the same way you do about them is not worthy of your love. They’re worth every bit. But you are worth more. You can’t choose who you love but you can make a marked effort to have it be you.