It is a painful emotion that can either devour you, or be turned around to take you to divine heights
In a freewheeling discussion on love and life over dinner at the residence of the charismatic Gudmundur Eiriksson, Ambassador of Iceland, at least three women categorically stated that they believed in onesided love that could carry on forever, with no hope of being loved back.
Along with most of the men present, I too was surprised, because one-sided love sounds more like a punishment than a happy state of being. To love someone who does not love you back seems like an exercise in disaster. I can understand such a love when there is some hope of it being returned in some measure some day, as happens in the movies. Or when you are, at least, admired in return. I can even understand a yearning for something you have shared and lost. But a love that continues with no possibility of return?
What good is a love that cannot be indulged in, celebrated, danced and sung to, a love that cannot enfold you securely with your loved one? A lonely love that finds no outer response is bound to feed on itself, resulting in frustration and emptiness. The Ambassador’s wife, the lovelyThorey Vigdis Olafsdottir, a psychologist and active participant in the discussion, agreed with me that a one-sided love is a sure path to frustration and obsession. It must surely be a very painful emotion, she said. She agrees with experts who opine that the pain is actually both ways – for the one who loves and for the object of that love. For the one who receives such a love, it is often very difficult to let the lover know that his/her feelings are not reciprocated. If the one loving you is someone close or someone you care for, it is not easy to hurt them by declaring your lack of love. Who doesn’t like to be loved or admired? So, more often than not, the receiver allows the situation to continue, giving the lover hope, thus making things worse.
At Ambassador Gudmundur’s dinner were three young, successful women — a poet, an advertising professional and a lawyer, who spoke of their belief in undying, unrequited love.