‘I feel embarrassed and a bit sad as I believed he felt the same’ (Picture: Neil Webb)
I’m struggling to process unrequited love.
I developed strong feelings for a colleague and, when I told him how I felt, it was a little awkward but he let me down gently.
I feel embarrassed and a bit sad as I believed he felt the same.
I keep going over that conversation and cringing, then daydreaming about being with him.
My last ex broke up with me after four months, saying he wasn’t ready for the commitment I wanted and this feels like salt in that wound.
What’s your advice?
One of life’s great secrets is that people aren’t usually thinking about you — they’re thinking about themselves.
‘It’s true of you here,’ says James McConnachie. ‘You keep going over and over how you came across but your colleague won’t be thinking about that, he’ll be thinking about what he said or did.’
Although you feel embarrassed, we don’t think feeling foolish is the biggest issue here. We think it’s fantasising.
‘It sounds as if you’re jumping to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with you, which is why your ex left and why your colleague doesn’t share your feelings,’ says Dr Angharad Rudkin.
‘If you look back at your last relationship with honesty, were there signs that it was going wrong? Perhaps it was out of the blue but it’s very likely there were clues that may not have seemed important in themselves but which, when put together, painted a bleaker picture.’
We also suspect you’re not the only person developing crushes from their living room.
‘Much of life in this time of Covid has been stripped away so it’s understandable that this crush gained momentum and gave you a thrill,’ says Rudkin.
‘However, in both cases you seem to have listened so hard to your own feelings that you were unable to hear the other person’s,’ says McConnachie.
To confess your feelings to another requires immense courage and, if those feelings aren’t returned, a period of mourning is always necessary.
‘The only people who profited from my training in unrequited love in my teens and twenties were the brewers and distillers,’ says Rupert Smith. ‘As I got older, I trained myself to fall in love with people who were available and interested in me. It’s saved me a lot of time and hangovers.’
We suggest you reflect on what you’ve learnt from both experiences.
‘Taking a step back from focusing on relationships will help you separate yourself from those unreal love affairs,’ Smith adds.
We predict that your eagerness for a relationship will diminish as lockdown eases, allowing it to become an aspiration rather than a necessity — as it should be.
Rupert Smith is an author and counsellor
James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)
Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist
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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.
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