While I Cried on the Bathroom Floor–What I Learned from an Unrequited Love

About a week ago I cried–BAWLED–my eyes out as I had never done in my life over another person. And (check this out) true to my dramatic nature, I did it while on the bathroom floor. HA!

I’d known Him for years, and then one day he became something else–something of a mystery I wanted to unravel. He is beautiful, but his acute intelligence, lofty ideals, his artistic nature, his acerbic humor, and–yes–his tenderness did me in at last. I came to find that he was the person I wanted to laugh with, quarrel with, hammer out tough issues with, and even enjoy some nice silences with the most. He is by no means perfect, but I was sure he was perfect for me.

I’ve had my share of unrequited loves, so I thought I had learned my lesson. My feelings were my own, and I absolutely did nothing to push them onto him to force him to reciprocate them. It’s just my philosophy—love should develop organically—right? (Ok, so I’m really, really shy)

So what do you do when you realize at last it’s hopeless?

I’ll tell you what I used to do. Kids, beware. This is the BAD way to go, ok? Please avoid going this route

After you cry and complain to heaven, after you wipe your tears and snot with a Kleenex you wash your face and try to move on—after all that proceed by avoiding meaningful conversation. Seek to always be in large groups, never be alone with the person you are secretly in love with. If this happens, totally change from the person you usually are to being something like a robot. “Yes” and “No” answers are among the most effective means to kill a healthy friendship which was once rooted on common interests and was watered by stimulating conversation and sharing of ideas.

Second. Avoid physical proximity at all costs. Not only do you need to keep him at a distance so that your heart strings don’t strain every time you see him, but because Love, while (supposedly) being blind, keeps very careful watch (Thank you Dickens for this tidbit). You will feel jealousy every time he is with a female, be it a teacher, a co-worker, or the Starbucks barista (Can you see the unhealthy pattern emerge?).

Third. Focus on the negative. Searching for a negative trait or traits, focusing on them, and expanding them out of proportion will in part help you get over the attraction and admiration you once held for the other person and will replace it by something akin to scorn, but not quite so strong. Like some weed killers, this is effective not only in killing the weed, but also the flowers, because the joy of a friendship you could have still enjoyed will be—effectively—obliterated.

Do you see? When you are only focused in trying to protect your heart and your pride, you change something beautiful into a monster. And I was so tempted to do the same with Him.

I hope to God I never have to go through an unrequited love, but if I do I will do what I did on that cold bathroom floor, but in a calmer more rational and less dramatic manner. I hope

I prayed. I left these feelings of sorrow, bitterness, of loneliness, of anger, and of pain in the hands of Christ. I asked for peace, and for Christ to deal with my heart. I handed to him the key of my heart so that he would be the only one to open it in his good time when the right person came along. Because I’ve come to believe with my whole heart and soul what is written in the word of God: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:7

In my prayer, after asking God to deal with my heartache, I did something that would have been unthinkable in the past. I prayed for him and for the woman he loves. I prayed that theirs would be a happy union of mind, body, and spirit. I prayed that she would be the perfect companion to him and he of hers and that I may rejoice in their happiness, because if I did ever love him, that is the best thing I could have done. If my love for him was ever real, and if my heart can ever be described as loyal and true I had to do it. I want to believe that I can love in a godly, pure, disinterested way. That I can wish someone I love the best be it with or without me.

With the help of God I am slowly healing from this pain. I have to admit that today I felt a little pang when I received happy news about them (that is why I’m writing this now, and not on a Friday, Sunday, or Wednesday as is my schedule). Still, I am genuinely happy for them and I thank God that I can continue to sincerely wish them to have a bright and blessed future.

I am somewhat thankful for that episode in my life, because I’ve learned that if faced with an unrequited love I must hang on—not in vain hopes that the feelings are reciprocated, but as aspiring to a gentler, more exalted, and more selfless love. The love that God wants us to enjoy, because…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13

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