Talk:Unrequited love

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Unrequited love is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
September 19, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
Stock post message.svg To-do list for Unrequited love: edit·history·watch·refresh· Updated 2010-03-20

  • Overview, Literature and music sections need to be sourced and inline citations added
  • Formatting should be modified
  • Music section should be shortened or compressed
  • New sections should be created (i.e. section about statistics)

Quote appears twiceEdit

Just wanted to point out that the quote "The man who is loved by a woman is lucky indeed, ..." by Eric Berne appears twice in this article. Once in the top section, and once more under 'Advantages'. Reference 14 and 2. FrequencyZero (talk) 13:46, 2 April 2020 (UTC)


I agree that the use of describing friendship as a "fertile" ground for rejected love is making a an assumption. It can be used as a possible situation where this kind of love can occur but it not definite. I suggest that there be examples of this unrequited love told through time. Like in medieval literature which does supply a lot of stories like by Ovid. It can also be used to link to emotions and it would be more concrete so to avoid over generalizations. Beverlysvasquez (talk) 07:03, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Close friends?Edit

I don't quite nor requite get why this article needs to portray unrequited love as something that happens primarily with a close friend. This doesn't make any sense, and I know from personal experience that this is not neccessarily so. The article, it seems, gives and explains only one example out of what could be many, and as such is found lacking. MrSnappier (talk) 09:19, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

"even though reciprocation is usually deeply desired"Edit

The first sentence contains "even though reciprocation is usually deeply desired," presumable refering to the target's desire to reciprocate. This is not necessary nor researched. The meaning of unrequited love is that it is not recipricated. Period. The idea that reciprocation is desired in the target may be wishful thinking of wiki editors who have felt unrequited love. Seriously though, and edit is need to delete this, or perhaps make it clearer that it is not referring to the target's desires. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Removing negative POVEdit

I'd like to make some changes to this article. Mainly, I would be making additions for the sake of balance (ie. not making unrequited love sound inherently dangerous and harmful), regarding which I know I am supposed to be bold. However, there is one thing I'd like to delete, and it's my understanding that I should post about it here first:

The statement about unrequited love being the "opposite" of agape strikes me as pretty judgemental. I see it was initially written by the same person who created the entry and claimed "God, with His perfectly unconditional love, is the ultimate answer to a person dragging along with unrequited love", which leads me to think it was part of the propaganda (ie. "no flawed human could really love another person selflessly the way we should love God"). There is nothing to stop an unrequited love from being just as selfless as any other kind, and I consider the agape statement to be factually incorrect. (If one prefers to stick strictly with the definition of agape as referring only to love of one's creator, then, the statement should be removed on the basis of being non sequitur.)

I'll wait a little while to see if anybody wants to make an argument for the agape statement, and if not, make the change. -- Steve-o 04:31, 2004 Oct 28 (UTC)

I agree with the previous complaint, and would like to add "Therefore this love cannot be indefinitely sustained by the lover." to the "to delete" list.

Steve-O, is that really you? You should link here to your awesome website [even though you didn't publish my story :)]

The current description, up until the "In literature" bit is just awful... Pure original research and is basically saying "If you feel unrequited love, it is because you are inferior to the beloved and if you're friends right now you won't be soon." Which is, frankly, a load of crap. It seems to be very POV as well, the article currently seems to portray unrequited love in an entirely negative light apart from it's apparent "nobility" and the apparent very few people will be happy for their beloved despite the lack of reciprocation. I don't have time to edit it, myself, but surely this can't be allowed to stay? (talk) 22:55, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Ideas for additionsEdit

I've made a number of changes tonight, some of them significant, in one big revision. If anyone has objections to the changes, please say so. I have a couple further ideas:

  1. I would, personally, like to completely remove the reference to eCRUSH. In my opinion sites of that nature do nothing to help, and end up preying on the lonely while peppering large numbers of people with irrelevant "somebody likes you" email. However, that's just my own experience with it, so I don't want to simply delete it without seeing whether there are objections. Hence, the supplemental text I put in.
  2. I think that fantasies / daydreams are an important part of unrequited love, and probably deserve a paragraph, if not a whole section. Any opinions?
  3. As another user mentioned above, I have a website devoted to the experience of being in unrequited love. It is in some ways similar to Joelogon's site, which I added to the article. (Including the similarity that I practically never update it anymore.) I think it is useful, but, I don't want to be seen as simply tying to plug my own stuff. Does anybody else think an external link to my site is a good idea?

--Steve-o 07:46, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Under Music, add Donovan's "Catch the wind" -Jalburrito

I think the fantasies/daydreams may not be that important. They are a big part of limerence, so I'm not sure if they are a big part of unrequited love. -- Lord Airen 05:39, 23 December 2006 (UTC)


Is love that was previously returned, but is no longer, still considered unrequited love? I would think so, as it seems to match the definition for both unrequited and love. This would broaded the concept quite a bit to include former beau's. 18:45, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, of course. Unrequited love is just one-way love. Since people fall in & out of love, it can become one way when once it was mutual. 04:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


I was wondering if anyone could comment on eutheistic beliefs about a God's love for all of humanity, and how this might be a type of unrequited love. 23:45, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

as long as you follow the Wikipedia:No original research policy, you certainly could add it in. --Facto 03:05, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

See also limerenceEdit

was thinking about adding this to the see also section, since oftern the two are related. Should I? ~ crazytales56297 -talk- 02:08, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I also fell in love with a beautiful Pagan girl. She was everything to me. This was 5 years ago. She has 4 different children from 4 different lovers but I still can't stop thinking about her. Oh well. I moved a long distance away from her but that would not get her out of my mind. Sometimes I think about a science fiction movie that would remove unpleasant thoughts. They are depressing because I was so happy and engaged to be married to her and her family.

Actually, it has been done already: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A great movie, staring Kate Winslet and Jim Carey.

Incorrect reference?Edit

"Unrequited love can generally last a very long time, as long as a few decades. [2]"

I just took a look at the website to which that statement was referenced ( and it doesn't contain any information supporting that.

You're right, so I added a citation tagF17 06:00, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
That site was added by a link spammer. Feel free to delete it wherever you see it. Guy (Help!) 20:59, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Trust me, it can last a very long time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I believe you, I know it can last a long time. UnDeRsCoRe 20:58, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Simply from personal experience, combined with the time of the relationship itself, at least 5 years. And one source above in this discussion referenced it as eight years. Although weasel words shouldn't be used in most cases, consider adding "potentially" into the statement to note that although this may not be standard, there could be one or two people out there who have carried unrequited love for over 2 decades. Then add that the standard is likely under a decade. Bulmabriefs144 02:15, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

FWIW I have carried my unrequited love for 15 years now... if that is not "a long time" I do not know what is

I had her at one time, and all was right. Now she is gone, she clings to another, does she remember me? Why does she persist in dancing through my dreams? Would I that I could go back and do what I didn't to make her mine...Alas, you tell me tis better to have loved..perhaps..drb —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 7 December 2007 (UTC) -- an_unrequited_lover

What's with the picture?Edit

I don't want to have a long answer to this, so I'll be blunt: how the hell does the picture illustrate unrequited love? It's just a woman grimacing at a camera, with a man who happens to be behind her, dancing (I think). If no-one can provide a good, exhaustive argument, I'll take it off the article. From what I know, and have experienced, unrequited love is not just a picture moment, but something that lasts weeks at least; one cannot take a picture of a situation not dissimilar to the one presented in the picture in question and claim that it is of unrequited love. Also, he (from what I can see) doesn't even like her. He just happens to be dancing (or pretending to be making sexual advances) behind her.Daniel 00:21, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you 100%. The picture should be removed from the article. janejellyroll 00:22, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
The picture does illustrate unrequited love. Although unrequited love does "last for weeks" and is not a "picture moment", it is difficult to illustrate a period of time using an image. Thus, the best visual depictions of unrequited love capture moments that are symptomatic of the larger ongoing experience of unrequited love. In capturing a single moment that grows out of the longer-term experience of unrequited love, this image serves the same function as the painting below it, although it does so in a manner (in terms of setting, dress, and facial expression) that is more relevant to a contemporary audience. And your view on what the photo illustrates is, of course, highly subjective. To me, the man looks really interested in the woman: he wants to dance with her, he wants to talk to her. She, on the other hand, looks utterly disgusted. Perhaps she is not exhibiting her disgust to him out of a sympathetic impulse, but it is clear that he has different desires than she does. Actually, I think the different feelings between the two parties are far clearer here than in the painting that has long been part of this article. This may be a difficult concept to illustrate, but this picture rises to the challenge better than anything else I have seen. Wikiillustrator 20:30, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

An outside point of view stopping by -- the picture does not really illustrate unrequited love very well. I mean, it's sort of clear that the girl thinks the boy is a dork, but he looks like he's cheering at sports on television. I'm not convinced that unrequited love needs an illustration, but wouldn't someone staring wistfully out the window be a little bit more to the point? Cheers Dina 22:00, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Dina. I think the picture is a very obtuse illustration of the concept, precisely because the expressions on the people are so non-serious. They both look like they're goofing around. The painting doesn't illustrate the concept either, I would agree with Wikiillustrator on that, but the painting is pretty relevant since it's an illustration of a famous unrequited love which is discussed in the article. --Steve-o 05:11, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


What are the words for the person who feels the love and the person who doesn't return it? To 'unrequite' is to not return, so presumably the person loved is the unrequitor or unrequiter, and the lover is the unrequitee. The trouble is, those aren't elegant words, and i am not aware of any precedent for their use. Can we have 'unrequitess'? 'Unrequitrix'?

Hang on, let me check the OED ... okay, they have 'unrequiter':

1893 A. KENEALY Molly & Man-of-War 94 The story of an unrequited love, and a sight of the photograph of the unrequiter.

But nothing else.

-- Tom Anderson 2007-03-28 1505 +0100 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:05, 28 March 2007 (UTC).

Why Doctor Who?Edit

I mean I watch the show and sure it could be considered unrequited love, but why that example out of the millions on TV? Better to cite no examples than just that one, which many might not understand anyway.--Anguirus111 22:37, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Harry PotterEdit

Surely the unrequited love Ginny has for Harry in the earlier books is worthy of a mention on this page? -007bond aka Matthew G aka codingmasters 11:15, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

No, that is not worth mention. That's a crush or hero-worship, less than unrequited love. Snape's love is a way better example. BrainMagMo (talk) 16:44, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Clarification needed in first sectionEdit

Why isn't their anything on W. B. Yeats' life and his poetry? Hello! Jamie Pitt 7:54 am Dec 12th 2008

Cardcaptor SakuraEdit

I added about Tomoyo's unrequited love for Sakura in the TV section. This might be important since I didn't see it listed.. anyways. 06:35, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello, guess what? I will eliminate your contribution, because the case of Sakura and Tomoyo is a platonic love, as Sakura never realized that her friend was in love with her. The unrequited love refers to a refused love. Yes, this is cruel, but say good-bye to your text. Happy day. 23:00, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Urm, no. Platonic love is a love for a friend in a non physical sense. The way best friends "love" each other. It doesn't mean soemone that secretly loves someone else. So, that should probably be returned. Don't know the show and can't find the removal though so can't do it myself. 22:41, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
You can go to the history of the article (see beside edit this page). But I insist: Sakura never realized the real intentions of her friend Tomoyo, so it's not strictly correct to say that Sakura "refused" her friend's love. That's the main detail. Confusions like this one come because anyone is fool enough to have wrong and unrealistic impressions about his/her favorite series. That's, by the way, the reason I removed two series from the category yuri (lesbian japanese animated series, for the common terms). Misinterpretations are annoying sometimes, you know. Twicemost (talk) 06:39, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Just a listEdit

At present this article is little more than a brief statement and then a really long list of examples from usic and the arts etc. It is almost painful to read, could do with some major re-working I think. Anyone else want to help out here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lostsocks (talkcontribs) 17:21, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Even the list is littered with OR/POV. Many of the songs listed are dubious as examples of unrequited love, for example: Unchained Melody, whose theme can be summarized as "We've been separated for a long time but I still love you and I hope you still love me;" and Angie, whose theme is a love affair at its end, with no indication that either party doesn't love the other - indeed, the one breaking off the relationship explicitly says "I still love you." I think any statement that a given piece of work is about unrequited love should be backed up with a reference to the author or other credible source describing it as such, or else it's OR and/or POV. Rickmbari (talk) 14:26, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The Great GatsbyEdit

this article stares that in the great gatsby, he made his money from smuggling achahol during prohibition, however, if one is to read the novel, one of the biggest plot lines, is that no one knows how gatsby is making his money. can this please be reverted. thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I've moved the article because...Edit

Because while it was at one point a featured article candidate, it has degenerated into just a long list of every cultural reference to unrequited love anyone can think of, with the non-list content having been removed some time ago. It might actually be reasonable just to revert this thing back to a version from a year and a half ago, if anyone wants to resurrect the original article title. --Xyzzyplugh (talk) 05:59, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm in favor of reverting back to the featured candidate version. I'd love to see this as the featured article for Valentine's Day <3 (talk) 20:17, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I disagree that the list of cultural references is unimportant. It should stay. One of the reasons people look up "unrequited love" is because they have suffered it. Knowing that others have also--enough to write great literature or music--is a comfort to those who hurt.

Also, in the current age, we tend to "pathologize" any love that can't work out in a mutual-long term relationship, finding it somehow neurotic or unhealthy. But practically everyone has suffered from unrequited love at one time or another, and pre-20th century culture had a much more benevolent view of the condition. The sheer amount of art and music devoted to the subject testifies to how normal it is. I would like to see someone write about unrequited love from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. I suspect that the drive for pair bonding, on which unrequited love is based, is designed to last. It is a happy accident when "the love map" for both people matches, and they can recreate a mutual long-term arrangement. Even then, as we all know, 50% of marriages end in divorce.Athena47 (talk) 16:13, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

External linksEdit

External links on Wikipedia are supposed to be "encyclopedic in nature" and useful to a worldwide audience. Please read the external links policy (and perhaps the specific rules for medicine-related articles) before adding more external links.

The following kinds of links are inappropriate:

  • Online discussion groups or chat forums
  • Personal webpages and blogs
  • Multiple links to the same website
  • Fundraising events or groups
  • Websites that are recruiting for clinical trials
  • Websites that are selling things (e.g., books or memberships)

I realize that some links are helpful to certain users, but they still do not comply with Wikipedia policy, and therefore must not be included in the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:46, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Anyone else think this article is incredibly lacking?Edit

There's one, small paragraph on the subject at hand - the rest of the article is nothing but an unneeded list. An article should be about the subject, not what the subject has appeared in. (talk) 20:48, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

This article is so OR it's amazing it was ever considered for FA status. Aren't there any citable works that are relevant to this topic? BrianTung (talk) 22:31, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

If you're looking for something citeable, Robert Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy" deals extensively and insightfully with the subject. I am however to lazy to look up the appropriate passages, being as I am as enervated and lovelorn as everyone else that comes to this page presumably is. Buck up chaps, I suggest drinking until you can't feel feelings... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:02, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Article currently exhibits excessive OR, POVEdit

This article is a bit one-sided (ironic, yes) in the introductory description of the topic and could use a benefit from wider perspective. The first section reads like one person's original research or personal view on the topic. Please cite sources, and stick to the facts.

For example, a claim about the typical outcome of an unrequited love type relationship should refer to references, as the claim about a normal outcome, regardless of how much it makes sense to the author and regardless of how much he/she insists it is true, will ring of simple opinion which does not belong in an encyclopedia article unless it is quoted from a scholarly source or is immediately derivable. Antireconciler (talk) 14:18, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Still has the OR & POV problems; I've been trying to address some of the issues that have been raised on this talk page, but what it really needs now are some solid sources for a number of generalizations. DavidOaks (talk) 21:43, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Great ExpectationsEdit

Great Expectations should be added as a literary example in which unrequited love is the theme. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mixedmemes (talkcontribs) 06:14, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

== >—Preceding unsigned comment added by Sweetheart2009 (talkcontribs) 23:44, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

I strongly agree with the suggestion to add Great Expectations. Ed-Claude (talk) 18:53, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

On TVEdit

wouldn't ralph monroe and hank kimball be a good example of unrequited love? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sweetheart2009 (talkcontribs) 17:13, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

The article states "Nonetheless, the literary record suggests a degree of euphoria in the limerence associated with unrequited love, which has the advantage as well of carrying none of the responsibilities of mutual relationships." This doesn't make sense to me. Could the sentence be re-written without using the word "limerence"? Neither the page about limerence in Wikipedia or the Wiktionary definition of limerence were useful in understanding this statement. Thank you. (talk) 14:19, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree. That isn't exactly the most accessible line. Do you have a replacement line? Why don't you swap it in?--Abie the Fish Peddler (talk) 23:55, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

See alsoEdit

See also suicide? Really? Wow. Rob T Firefly (talk) 20:24, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

nice catch. I took that one and a couple others out. the section seemed too long.--Abie the Fish Peddler (talk) 23:37, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

All right, I think I'm gonna scream if another song is added...(proposals for the music section)Edit

I see a few options, I'm curious what everyone else thinks. One option is that we can trim it down, and set a guideline for what songs can be added, or how many. A second option is that we can give the section its own article, calling it "Unrequited love in music" or something else applicable. The only other option I can think of is to let it grow recklessly, which, according to me, has already led the section to the point of unseemliness. --Abie the Fish Peddler (talk) 08:52, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

I didn't scream. All right, maybe a little one, but I focused and thought of a temporary fix. I deleted all the songs with dead links or no links. But I think that's only part of the problem. I think there needs to be a category: "Category:Unrequited love songs". I shall create it. Unless I hear a peep from yous, first.--Abie the Fish Peddler (talk) 16:48, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
:-D Songs with links may be an indicator that they're more notable as songs in general in the absence of sources, although that they're "well-known instances" regarding unrequited love specifically might require more sourcing (which might keep the constant expansion down if people were reminded of this). Шизомби (talk) 06:07, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I like that. Good point. The songs should cite a source for their "unrequited love-ness".--Abie the Fish Peddler (talk) 09:13, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

This article is kind of ridiculousEdit

It looks like the latter part was written by a group of teenage girls. The 'music', 'film', and superfluous 'books' sections are either too long or, well, superfluous, as I said. I think only very famous or exemplary songs about unrequited love need to be mentioned -- only songs that meet a certain criteria, such as iconic status. Furthermore, those films are... what? Nearly every silly chick flick or rom/com is about unrequited love at first. You can not include every semi-famous instance of unrequited love. I mean, this is... this article is a mess. (talk) 17:44, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I heavily edited the page, especially the movie and music sections, and I added a section for operas and musicals. I especially think the music section needed some help, and I hope the songs I left on the list and added are sufficient -- if anyone disagrees, obviously feel free to change it, but I really don't think every single song about someone being sad about love needs to be in this article. If someone has a good suggestion for appropriate criteria, please share. I'll also probably return to add descriptions to the operas and movies. (talk) 23:29, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the title of this section, ISTM "unrequited love" is just a posh name for a romantic crush or infatuation (or limerance if you're a poseur). All four should be crushed together into one article. Examples are superfluous really since everyone has surely experienced this kind of thing. Well maybe one or two classic examples, just one to illustrate each possible outcome of unrequited love - good and bad endings that is - might be of value, but the tangled tale of love infuses so much of literature and music that it would take forever to ennumerate even just the ones that deal with crushes. Samatarou (talk) 21:11, 15 February 2013 (UTC)


If you're going to revert back to the old page, I think you should explain why. This article needs further editing, and the older article is unacceptable. Please discuss how reasonable revisions can be made -- my main concern is that included examples of unrequited love should be "classic", not just totally random. If you disagree with the choices made on the page, feel free to change them, but please discuss why. I wanted to take the first step in cleaning up the article, and I am very willing to further discuss the necessity of the sections on the page and the inclusion of any of the examples. Cami Solomon (talk) 05:46, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

A separate page for the music and other media section?Edit

I find it to be too big and should be expanded to a different page. --KeEtMc (talk) 21:54, 20 June 2010 (UTC)


Do we have an article about requited love or two-sided love or similar? Ranze (talk) 15:01, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Return to "Unrequited love" page.