I’ve always been captivated by unrequited love or the fear thereof. Apparently I’m not alone according to wikipedia which states 98% of us feel it at some point in our lives. Because of this, it seems that unrequited love is love, actually. Whether it’s a relationship that’s not reciprocated 50/50 (does that exist?) or a relationship that cannot be realized. Unrequited love is love, actually, more often than not.
The film clip above is from Wong Kar Wei’s “In the Mood for Love”. In the scene two unrequited lovers pass each other out in public. This scene is used as visual and musical motif throughout the film.
The inability of the unrequited lover to express and fulfill emotional needs may lead to feelings such as depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and rapid mood swings between depression and euphoria. A universal feeling, by some estimates affecting 98% of all people during their lifetimes, unrequited love has naturally been a frequent subject in popular culture………
‘There are two dark sides to unrequited love, but only one is made familiar by our culture’ – that of the lover, not the rejector. In fact research suggests that the object of unrequited affection experiences a variety of negative emotions on a par with those of the suitor, including anxiety, frustration and guilt. As Freud long since pointed out, ‘when a woman sues for love, to reject and refuse is a distressing part for a man to play’, and vice versa. The role of the rejector will often force them to ‘feel morally repugnant and guilty’; and whereas the unrequited lover may always retain some hope, ‘the rejector’s potential outcomes are nearly all bad’.