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Expressions of love are not always returned in kind. Even with the best of efforts, affection sometimes remains unrequited. But naming this disappointment allows our hearts to stay open to the love that is available.

We were created for love and desire for love to be a two-way street of giving and receiving.

But we don’t have to live long to realize this is not always the case. Perhaps a childhood crush had no interest in us. Or we realized a friend didn’t return the same loyalty we gave him.

Whether as a child or adult, in romance or friendship, unrequited love cuts deep and it’s hard not to feel flawed.

But sometimes unrequited love is simply unrequited love and there’s nothing wrong with us.

God is perfect in love and has not been exempt from this experience. It seems reasonable then that our imperfect attempts at love would also include this heartache.

Everyone has their own story and we may never know why our love was not reciprocated. But it’s important how we respond regardless of the other’s reasons.

The pain of unrequited love is a loss that must be grieved. And when we don’t, we tend to give less and less of our heart away in future relationships. Eventually all our relationships become shallow because we won’t risk being hurt again.

Naming the disappointment allows us to honor the loss and affirm that it mattered.

It still stings. But there is much healing on the journey of grief and our hearts remain open to the fullness of love that is available.

Feel your disappointment and continue loving wholeheartedly, as God redeems even the heartache of unrequited love.

Photo by chelsea ferenando on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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