9) Unmatched hole fillers.
Occasionally a love partner finds another who is more unbelievably perfect in some crucial areas. The rest of the relationship may not be as rewarding, but the experience of total satisfaction in that one place is overwhelmingly fulfilling.
Once they have that experience, they feel they can never again go without it, and significantly narrow their future options. When rejected, they become hyper-focused on getting their partners to return, offering any sacrifice to make that happen.
10) The truly agonized stalkers.
Sadly, there are people who cannot give up their romantic partners, no matter how clearly they know that the relationship is over. Even when the other partner avoids, ghosts, or openly humiliates them, they still won’t, or can’t, give up.
There is a multitude of reasons why people hurt themselves this way. They might feel they have no other place to go. Or, they feel they will never find someone so right for them again. Perhaps they choose partners who can never love them the same way in return, and yet can’t accept that finality. Maybe they watched a parent continue to sacrifice without reciprocity, believing that it was a noble way to behave.
If the pain is great enough, they might stalk, punish, or intrude, unable to stop pursuing that broken relationship. No amount of self-degradation or humiliation seems to ease their pain or keep them from trying to stop their fate.
Unrequited love is painful and demoralizing. It is only human to try to alter the aftermaths of lost hope.
Many relationship seekers who experience repeated rejection become weary cynics, risking less and less in every succeeding partnership. They stop believing that love relationships can ever work out because they can’t afford to be hurt again.
Once understanding why those situations happen, many can learn to choose better partners, face the realities of what relationships offer and cost, and increase their capacity for resiliency if the loss is inevitable. Only then, can they understand that the more one loves, the more painful its loss? There is no other possibility.
Every relationship seeker must decide how much to risk when seeking true intimacy. To achieve the most beautiful outcome, he or she must give up the prior goals of holding on to love at any price, and create in its place, an authentic and real relationship regardless of what the outcome might be.
Written by Randi Gunther Ph.D. Originally appeared in Randi Gunther, Ph.D.