Most of us at one time or another have experienced unrequited love. By definition, unrequited love is when the love you feel for someone is not returned. In some cases, it is because the other party isn’t aware of ones feelings, as in a secret crush. No one is rarely in a hurry to deal with rejection or making a friendly or professional relationship awkward. So, if there’s even a hint of putting that relationship in jeopardy, a person may choose to keep their true feelings to themselves. In other cases, the person who is the object of someone’s affection is well aware of these feelings. The person in love has expressed his or her feelings in some way that leaves no room for doubt regarding their heart. It is a huge risk on the part of the person in love. It has put them in a vulnerable position of openness and again, their is always the possibility of rejection, embarrassment and awkwardness.

Usually, when you think of love in this way, you don’t necessarily equate it with domestic violence. However, those who are or have been in an abusive relationship are or have been dealing with unrequited love in its truest form. One of the biggest errors that a victim of domestic violence  makes is to put all of their love, attention and affection into a partner that does not love,  care for or respect them. Speaking from my own experience, I loved my aggressor more than I loved myself. I enjoyed being married and what the institute of marriage represented. I desperately wanted these same feelings to be reciprocated. I found myself holding on to the idea of being loved, even though I knew that the relationship I desired was only in my head.

If a man/woman loves you, they will not hit you. They will not belittle or disrespect you. They will support your dreams and aspirations and offer guidance & constructive criticism. They will not be ashamed of you, nor will they do anything that would cause you to be ashamed of them. Love is an action word for which bullying, degradation, sexual assault and abuse of any type play no part in its definition.

If you love yourself as much as you love your abuser, you’ll come to realize that the relationship you think you have actually does not exist. People tend to be fearful of leaving a bad relationship because they will lose the love and affections of their partner. What you have is a fantasy that is hard to let go of, because once you do that, your situation becomes real. As humans, we enjoy the company and companionship of others. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is a healthy part of living. However, when that need requires that you sacrifice your emotional safety, it is time to reexamine your definition of love and self worth to see if  it’s truly in alignment with the relationship for which you may be involved.

Establishing a true love for self will help to establish boundaries of what you will and will not accept in a relationship. Daily, you should find yourself saying that you are beautiful, smart, funny & intellectual. Involve yourself with others who will assist with encouraging self love and respect. Remove your name from the pity party guest list. The ability to love is a beautiful quality to have. The key is to protect your heart so that love is given and received in the way that you desire, but also the way you deserve.