Why Do We Love Those Who Don't Love Us Back? Part II

unrequited love

A little over two years ago I wrote a post entitled Why Do We Love Those Who Don’t Love Us Back? It is consistently my most-read post. When I visit my handy dandy WordPress dashboard, that tells me I haven’t written a blog post in months and 14 people viewed it last Tuesday, I see that one of the most common search terms bringing people to English Lessons is a variation of that question: Why do I love someone who doesn’t love me back?

This has fascinated me for these past two years. People Google that. A lot of people Google that. Unrequited love is a mystery we are asking a search engine to solve for us. I think I get why. Loving someone who doesn’t seem to return our feelings is painful, and when God doesn’t make the pain go away when we ask Him to, we ask Google. And then we land in places like my blog that do not wholly answer the question or heal your pain, but they do make us feel less alone. The power of this, this realizing your problem is shared by many others, can not be underestimated.

Two years ago my answer to the posed question was that this type of love mirrors the Gospel, and we can find solace in that and the fact that sometimes we just love people we shouldn’t and we can’t help it. I talked about my dad making me feel better by telling me, “You can’t help who you love.” Now that I’ve seen how many people responded to that post, needed to read that post, I realize that maybe my dad’s statement was so helpful because he was using the plural “you.” He wasn’t saying, “You, Andrea, are unique and can’t stop loving the person that broke your heart.” He was saying that none of us can stop loving the people we don’t have business loving. And that communal element helps heal us and give us what we need: the strength to move on or the strength to persistently love the unloveable.

I wish I had learned more about this subject over the past two years and had more to say right now. I wonder at how little clarity I’ve gained and how cloudy it remains. But here it is, what Google has to offer you as a result of your search. I hope you’re encouraged and I hope you come back in two years for Part III, where you’ll see that I’ve managed to learn even less about this stuff.


  1. Stacy on March 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I believe the reason we find ourselves in situations like this is exactly because it mirrors the love of God toward us. He wants us to long for His love more than the vain imitations that we seek from other fallen people so that He can reveal what real love is. Once He has our hearts completely He can trust us with a shadow of His love from someone else.

    Once we meet someone who is just as engrossed in loving God as we are then the love that can be shared between the two can will become one with His. Just my 2 cents…

  2. Christina on March 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I think it’s bc we as people are made in the same image of God. And God loves us unconditionally. Therefore, if one knows how God loves., they themselves will love the same way, unconditionally:)

  3. Amanda Ribeiro on March 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I love you and your family, Andrea! *-*

  4. tessadoghor on March 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I am going to go read it.

  5. A Thank You to the Patriots | highfiverson on April 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    […] to express that we move forward when we pursue Christ.  We pursue and fight for what is right.  We love those that don’t love us back.  We reset our hearts and minds to the things not of this world, where moth and rust destroy and […]

  6. Ley Robinson on August 10, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Yes it is very true that when you love someone and don’t love you back it really hurts, but we have to look at in the other side. Someone love us and we can’t love them back, so it’s the same feelings, both HURTS..
    GOD is LOVE

  7. Judy on January 18, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Yes, I found these 2 blogs when I googled ,”why do I love men who don’t love me”, and I’ve been sitting here in tears as I read the comments and yes it makes me feel comforted to see many others feel this way and I am not crazy which I was worrying about.

    5 months ago the man who I thought loved me cut off our friendship without saying goodbye and crushed my heart. I sent him am email every couple weeks but he didn’t reply barely. I felt worse about my self esteem with every desperate email I sent him but couldn’t stop myself.
    Finally after five months I ran into him on Friday and he came over and made a polite excuse for ignoring me but it was just more rejection..
    The only way I’ve found to feel better is to make myself stop thinking about him. Make myself not hope he will change his mind and remind myself that I deserve someone who treats me with respect and is healthier than to ignore someone. Then I realize I’m not healthy for wanting someone who doesn’t want me and I’m feeling angry at myself again…

  8. Sadiq Sheraze on May 10, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I have found myself immersed in love like this for a good amount of time now. Even though the person that holds my heart and my affection has moved on and shows little interest in me now, I have learned so much along the way. I am dating again, even though my affection for the new vessel of my love is not as fervent a flame of desire, I have found a conduit to transmit the love I have within myself. I also have discovered though my unrequited love, those aspects of myself that needed some compassion. Those parts of myself that needed to be understood and even modified in order to grow and evolve. I left a loving relationship that was easy and reciprocal, until my beloved passed my way. Without having known this painful sort of love, I would never have carried on with the adventures that life is now granting me. I am unsure sometimes if I will find someone that I love as deeply as that one that doesn’t seem to love me the way I desire to be loved in return, but I am growing in my faith that all of it is a masterful orchestra of teaching me about life and love and growth and sorrow. I can appreciate the all of the joy because of the moments of sorrow. I can know how to receive love because I saw how unrequited love looked like. Love has many forms and many faces, all of which are seemingly intended to understand. I am learning that there is not need to define love and to encapsulate it within the box of societal ideas. Love is great. It is what makes me happy to be alive. Even if you are in sorrow for 364 days of the year, that one day of love makes the rest of the moments worth the pain.

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