Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Unrequited Love Hurts No Matter How Old -- or Young -- You Happen to Be

Hey, Terry!

Thank you for all your amazing emails! Really, they've helped me a lot! Even though I'm just a teenager, I go through all that bullsh*t guys and men give us, and I hate being used and taken advantage of.

But I have another issue, and its one-sided love. I've loved a guy for almost 8 years, ever since we were little kids, and we grew up together. He acted like he loved me back, and he would always ask me to do everything for him, and I did and he never said thank you or showed any kind of appreciation, and I feel really bad because I know he used me, and all that love I've had for him for such a long time was for nothing. But I moved on, I think....

I mean I stopped doing things for him and even talking to him, and now he's in a relationship with someone. I can't stand it! I just hate seeing them walk together or hold hands. And the thing is I can't love anyone else but him. I don't know why. Maybe its because I'm so used to loving him? Please help me! I'm so depressed.

-Sick of it

Dear Sick of it-

The guy you describe sounds like an opportunist. That doesn't change the fact that you care for him, but I suspect that one of these days you'll realize he was never worthy of your affection in the first place. You'll run into him on the street and think, "What the heck was I thinking?"

In the meantime, you're in pain. The best way to get over it is to let yourself feel it. Then write down a list of the things you didn't like about this guy (come on; you know there were at least two). We tend to attribute all sorts of glowing qualities to the objects of our affection, especially when they're with someone else, but the truth is nobody is perfect. And this guy certainly isn't.

Every time his face wafts into your mind, whip out that list and remind yourself how annoying he could be at times.

And, instead of beating yourself up because he didn't choose you, consider the possibility that he did you a favor. He's somebody else's problem now. Also consider the possibility that time wounds all heels; perhaps someday someone will use him the way he used you. (Hate to sound vindictive, but it really is critical to treat others as you would have them treat you. Apparently, nobody told him.)

You know what they say: What goes around, comes around. Karma's a bitch. And, as my mother used to say, "Life has a way of catching up with people."

Treat yourself kindly. Write down a list of the things you like about yourself. Write a list of the things other people like about you, as well. Read it every time you start to feel down.

Consider the fact that you have a great deal to offer the boy or man who will be lucky enough to catch you.