Monday, June 16, 2014

The heartache of unrequited love: the other side

Hello people!

What is with the side eye kwa???? Someone does not use to abscond and abandon her blog ni? Abeg free me jare! Oya sorry! I was on leave and I became completely lazy and unable to physically drag myself before a computer to type for any length of time. Sorry! But I will be a good girl now that I'm back. There will be gist about the leave and other interesting things but for today, let's talk about something that really gets my goat!

Unrequited love!
Illustration by Doug Savage
The bastard brother of agape love.

It is a sucky form of love that creeps up on one and all at least once in our lives. When the topic of unrequited love is discussed, it is usually discussed from the the point of view of the lover; the poor schmuck, maker of big cow eyes when the object of his/her affection walks in the room, the one whose advances are cruelly rebuffed and  the one whose love is not appreciated nor reciprocated. No one talks about the least, not in any good light. The loved is usually perceived as some ungrateful monster who, if there was any justice in the world, should die alone in the Atlantic ocean, in a ghastly rape orchestrated by sharks.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am here to make a case for the loved in the tragedy that is unrequited love.  The unwilling recipient of the lover's affection is one of the most marginalized people in romance. His/her rebuff is taken for sheer meaness. But it seems everyone forgets that in unrequited love, the lover is, for want of a better word, a pest!!!

Picture this scenario, you know a guy, he is your friend. You have no desire for him to be anything else. You have made this clear several times. You've done all you can to communicate your disinterest in pursuing a relationship with this person , even going as far as willing your pores to ooze out disinterest. Yet, this person feels all you need is a little more convincing! Is there anything as irritating as that? Any time he comes to visit, unannounced of course, you spend every moment fending off unwanted kisses and unwarranted intimacy. It is not just irritating, it is downright upsetting!

Unrequited love like grief, comes in the following stages listed hereunder:

Stage 1- Indulgence: This is the moment where the loved realises that the lover is beginning to amplify the friendship in his/her mind. The lover begins to visit with the frequency of a stalker and is always trying to steer the conversation to topics of them being a couple. Like you are talking about colon cancer and the lover goes " You know how I'm Cancer and you are Taurus? I read somewhere that we are very compatible." and you don't even believe in the zodiac sign hokum! At this point, the loved is indulgent. He/she takes cognisance of the fact that the lover is a friend who is probably reading more into the friendship than there is and tries to let the lover down gently.

Stage 2 - Mild irritation: The lover doesn't let up. Even after quoting zodiac stats to persuade the loved, the lover sees that the loved is not reasoning along the lines he/she is being guided towards. The lover is convinced he/she just needs to ramp up the advances a little bit to the irritation of the loved. One of the things you find the lover doing at this point is intensifying phone calls, bb pings, whatsapp messages, facebook messages, inter-office chats, msn messenger short any form of social media messenger service will be utilised to further the lover's agenda. It's like the lover is making all efforts to burn him/herself into the loved's consciousness at all cost. It's 2 am. on a Tuesday morning and you get 30 PINGS! in the space of one minute. You finally open your groggy eyes and respond with a harsh "WHAT?" and in response you get " I woke up and was thinking about you. How was your night?"'s still on...I will return to sleep now and let you know in the morning, at a more Godly hour!

Stage 3- Full blown panic: So the intensified efforts to get and keep the loved's attention has failed woefully but the biggest weapon in the lover's arsenal is the willingness to keep trying. Enter the huge gesture. You know how in movies, a guy tries to win a girl and a wise character advises that he pulls out all the stops with a huge gesture. [See John Cusack's character, Lloyd in Say Anything with the boom box over his head or Richard Gere's Edward in Pretty Woman climbing up the fire escape holding a bouquet of roses between his teeth despite his known fear of heights.] So the lover follows in the footsteps of these great men (and women) and throws out a huge gesture.
It's your birthday and a few friends have thrown a surprise party for you. While you are still basking in the euphoria of surprise tinz, a voice rings out with the opening strains of Loving You by Minnie Riperton. You have to sit through three minutes of falsettos, mortified. It's been the longest three minutes of your life. Then the lover finishes with a flourish, kneeling at your feet and says something sickening like "Please be mine". You are so panicked by his/her boldness, that you don't know what to do. Ordinarily, the huge gesture is something you sigh about longingly, when it's done by Hollywood but now, you don't even know where to look and you wonder what you've done to bring such upon yourself. You urgently help the lover to his/her feet and drag them to a hallway where a heated exchange takes place with you stating emphatically that you don't feel that way about the lover, you've never felt that way and you will never feel that way and the lover urgently tries to convince you to reconsider, with something resembling tears in his/her eyes.

Stage 4- Complete annoyance: The huge gesture has blown up in the lover's face and the loved is filled with hope that he/she has put an end to the lover's madness. But, the lover has one more strategy: try to get everyone on your side, then, maybe the loved will see reason. So you return from work one day and you find the lover having a chin-wag with your father in your living room. He/she looks up and smilingly tells you he/she closed 2 hours early from work to hang out with your dad and how you never said how interesting your dad was. Let's put this in some context: for most people, their dads are the final arbiter. He's loved and respected with fervour. It is him, then God. He is treated with the utmost respect to the extent that you don't even let people into your house when he's at home. Not necessarily out of fear but out of respect. I can't even explain how mortified I would be if some random guy walked in and began to engage my father!!! I may have to slap the taste outta his mouth. What!!! Anyways, back to the analogy. Understandably, this is the final straw to break your camel's back. You plaster a grin on your face till your father excuses the both of you then you grip the lover's elbow tightly and march his/her oblivious ass out of your house with alacrity. You then proceed to give him/her the business!!! I never want to see or hear from you again and have you lost your mind?!?! are some of the things that will be said at this point. The loved storms back in leaving the lover looking dejectedly at the closed gate.

Stage 5- Thin line between love and hate: The lover goes home to stew in the rejection and recounts all the wonderful things he/she has done for the loved, rationalising that he/she did not deserve to be treated that way. Then you begin to see the bbm and twitter subs: folks be no one!/guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issue of life/before, I would have taken a bullet for you, now I want to pull the trigger/I wish it was as easy to unlove someone as it is to unfriend them etc. The loved sees these and is even more convinced that the lover is a crazy ass person and is glad to be well shot of them.

Unrequited love happens to us all and we've all been both the loved and the lover at one time or the other. Most people take their lot on the chin as the lover and move on after the initial rejection but most people go to great lengths to experience all the stages of unrequited love. It is not fun being on the receiving end of unrequited love...I promise you. It makes you who you probably aren't in real life. You become mean, abrasive, brash, unkind all in the bid to let this person know that it is NEVER going to happen for the both of you. The loved's initial reaction is to salvage the friendship and try to convince the lover that it is better to focus on the friendship than push a relationship agenda, but when the dust of unrequited love settles, there is no friendship to speak of and both sides go away resenting the hell out of each other.

I hope with these few points of mine, I have been able to convince you and not confuse you that the loved is not necessarily an evil, heartless, soul destroying person with no regards for the purity and sanctity of love.

Thank you.


  1. Oh, I get this...been in the shoes loved, actually I am still wearing that shoe.
    Everyday I hope the feelings he has for me will just go away...He is seeing someone now, but still lets me know that if i say yes, it is bye bye to the babe...I swear those kind of love gets pretty annoying.

  2. I so identify with being brash and unkind....i feel like I don't know myself. Stuff I would be inclined to do for a friend I start to second guess because I don't want the "lover" to read more meaning into my actions. It's frustrating...

  3. Story of my blessed life! The only difference being that I'm in stage 6 i.e. I've crossed the damned line! There are times when I fantasise about a world where one could get away with murder.

  4. Loooolll. This lover in your analogy is something else o. I just pity the loved.

    Mehhhhn those your subs are classic. I just couldn't hold the lafta. I really miss you, Madam Cherry.

  5. meanwhile the object of the attraction is getting their narcissistic supply via the attention of the lover.


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