There's always a silver lining, even when pain seems unbearable. And, yes, dear wonderful ladies, we've all been there. We loved without feeling love in return. And survived!
Unrequited love is universal, devastating, and it strikes when you least expect it. No matter how hard you try, the guy you love dearly doesn't love you back. Though you tend to romanticize things, most of the time, there's false hope. And that leads to further disappointments and ugly crying to your best friend in the middle of the night.
There is nothing so mortifying as to fall in love with someone who does not share one's sentiments.
― Georgette Heyer
If you're not in a healthy relationship, you should walk away gracefully. But you're still hopeful. If you lose weight, he'll love you. Or if you learn how to cook his favorite meals. Perhaps you should change your hair color, or pay for lessons from sex experts. You get the idea, but here's the thing: you can be the prettiest, smartest woman on the planet, and none of it guarantees that he'll love you.
Real love vs. illusion
Can you truly love someone if they aren't interested in a real, mature relationship? Well, that's a tricky question. On the one hand, you can fall in love with that guy. But love? That's more complicated since love is a mixture of romantic feelings, passions, respect, shared interests, and much more. But, yes, past patterns and failed relationships can make you feel like you're in a one-sided relationship.
The real question is: do you love him, the way he is? Or, do you merely have this picture of an ideal partner, and he's the closest thing you got so far? So far, being the key phrase here. You can make a cookie out of scratch, but love's a whole different thing. You're most likely hopelessly devoted to an illusion, so now what?
The way you were
Some relationships fall apart once one of you falls out of love. It's not an overnight decision, though it may seem that way to you. People can be great at hiding their true feelings until they are ready to make peace with them. Can you bring him back?
Once the trust is broken, things go downhill. Let's say he says he loves you, and nothing has changed. Do you believe it? Can you honestly and without a doubt say that you're not living in fear of facing that pain all over again? This guy did it once, so obviously he likes to changes his mind. Picture him pulling the same stunt ten years later. There is your answer.
People do change
Men can change, but they need to want to make sacrifices and to have some selfish reason to do so. You won't change because your friend told you so. And no matter how much you love him, it's not enough to turn him into something against his will. Unless you can pull a personality transplant, you can either live in pain or cut the cord and again, live in pain.
Your man could still be going through a phase. But you have to have enough trust and to be resilient, to get to know what's going on. Maybe his stress, work, or family-related problems has nothing to do with the two of you. But, if that is the case, why is he abusing the person who adores him? Ask. But, somewhere, deep in your gut, you already know.
You can live without him. You can be and do whatever you want, and heal for as long as you need. You can do this, trust me. It may seem like you're entering the gates of hell. And worse, to be fair. However, that feeling won't last forever. Nothing does. Take step by step to overcome your addiction to the man you used to call your everything.
The worst thing: to give yourself away in exchange for not enough love.
― Joyce Carol Oates
Even if you call him, if you beg him, don't be too hard on yourself. The more you punish yourself, the more your self-worth goes up in flames. And you already lost so much, so why lose even more sleep over something you did out of pain? Forgive yourself, but forgive the guy as well. You loved him for a reason. And now, you have to let go. Acceptance is the first step to moving on. To where? Don't worry about that now, merely keep reminding yourself that you're worth more.
The ultimate love is you. My heart breaks for you, but that's after my fair share of heartache. It's a journey, and I promise you will be alright!