What I Learned from not Being Loved Back.

Via Salma Shehab
on Feb 17, 2015
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unrequited love, grief, alone, yearning

I have loved you. I laid my restless lips on yours. You asked me to wrap my legs around you.

I did, in ecstasy—waiting to be devoured, to be taken.

Your warm place has always invited me to stay. We saw lanterns in the sky and dearly enjoyed dancing under the moonlight. You asked me never to stop singing, we spun and twirled in circles, we danced our grief and loneliness out, you danced my love out.

You told me that silence never felt that good with anyone, and I awaited our next silent meeting. It was one painful wait. You brushed me with your light and showed me the way to pain and back, bemoaning your existence and mine.

We shared it all.

You taught me well about being spiritual, you mentioned “Tao” and “God.” You mentioned “her” too, a lot. So I taught myself how to keep my distance. I taught myself the meaning of letting go when you want to hang on so much. To live with the pain that has always been feeding on your sentimental heart and slow breath, live with it alongside tears of pride and missing someone so much, he could be in front of you and you’re unable to show your yearning, dammit. And oh, how I disgraced myself pining for your scent many more times than my body could find ways to express.

My unrequited love, you taught me to love you, so efficaciously and skillfully you did. And I taught myself to undo it.

To anyone who has endured a similar experience, do me a favor, don’t waste your time waiting for somebody who isn’t ready. Even if all the stars are aligned and directing this path of endless suffering, don’t do it. Know your worth, it’s never too late, and know you’ll be guided to the exact lessons you need to move on and breathe again.

There’s no use for the crackling of your heart beat and your reluctance to release yourself from tears and wails.

Your heart is a skeptic, she knows better…don’t ignore her.

Remember, you will be loved.

Spring will come again sprouting blossoms of what autumn took away from you. Move. Okay? Go.

Set yourself free.

Here’s a fragment of my past hurt, before I healed from its madness:


Subtly touching my aching lungs with your slight fingers
Covered with wounded bone, you cracked what was left of me open
Taking root and spreading…in every cell that called for my longing, broken being
If there were signs for me that such grace would fade away, that you no longer would linger,
I would walk away.
But no, not before the dreadful trembling
Not before extending my limbs, crawling against your body, finding my way to kiss you
Not before I capture the thousand stars in your eyes and pray to them to save me
Not before I ache and fall and twirl in grief and madness
{At night. With you}
Not before I spill your coffee, not before my tears fill your pillow
And my fragile heart ceases beating one too many times while you hold me
Not before I collapse, cut my throat open, shout at you thoughts of clinging and melancholy
Not before you tell me you don’t love me
Not before I fall for all the ways…you manage to kill me.



My 5 Tricks for Coping with Unrequited Love.





Author:  Salma Shehab

Apprentice Editor: Renee Jahnke / Editor: Renee Picard

Image: Dee Ashley/Flickr

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About Salma Shehab

Salma Shehab feeds on poetry. She’s a writer of soul, hurt and love. Walking is her retreat, a warrior at heart. She’s not afraid of silence or slowing down. When she’s not doing yoga, you can find her trying to cope with her beautiful-sometimes-dangerous hyper-sensitivity. You can come say hello, or discuss your fears and deep feelings with her over coffee on her facebook here.


24 Responses to “What I Learned from not Being Loved Back.”

  1. Homer says:


  2. Salma Shehab says:

    All my loving!

  3. Nouran says:

    this is just a stunning article though it is a heart breaking fact , I just love it.

  4. naumid says:

    This came to me right when I needed it – thank you so much. My heart does know and I just haven't been brave enough to listen to her in case I let go of my unrequited love and fall with a very hard and heavy thud to the ground. Yet every day that passes I feel myself dismissing my self worth, my needs and dignity greater than the one before. Thank you for reminding me that 'Spring will come again sprouting blossoms of what autumn took away from you' I'm sure I'll read this article several times over the coming weeks.

  5. Salma Shehab says:

    I'm so glad you loved it ..


  6. Salma Shehab says:

    I am so happy it resonated with you. It means so much to me. I just want you to know that you'll come back stronger after this, you've already realized your dismissing your self worth by just acknowledging that. And that's enough for now.

    Hang in there,


  7. Carly says:

    Absolutely gorgeous.

    This is my life right now…coming out of a long haul relationship with someone who wasn't ready.

    My heart to yours <3333

  8. Salma Shehab says:

    I am so happy it resonated with your soul.. Stay strong..

    Thank you <3


  9. Swetha says:

    So beautifully expressed… 🙂 Thank you for sharing. Love

  10. Salma Shehab says:

    love back to you.. thank you.


  11. Brittany says:

    Such wisedom, written so beautifully. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Jesseca says:

    God. I needed this. I want to print it out and put it on my wall.

    My heart has been on fire for some time and reading this gives me a bit of peace.

  13. B. says:

    Hard words to swallow. Beautiful words that my heart needs to hear and face. Thank you, thank you.

  14. Marianna says:

    I'll do you exactly that favour. It's great, you put into crystal clear words what many, many of us feel. Moving on, the hardest it seems the most recommended it is!! love M

  15. Harriet says:

    A beautifully written article. With such grace and compassion for the heart. Mine is aching… I try to feel the physical part that aches. Alas, I cannot.

    I returned to a lover from 33 years ago. My first and most intense true love. Seeing him for the first time in 33 years (just three days ago) was an out of body experience. Leaving yesterday evening was heartbreaking. I feel like the same broken little girl of seventeen. I am sad today and I pray for healing. I know it will come, but for now I just sigh…

  16. sulaiman says:

    The true meaningful way is to recognize himself in others . our relationship bring fruit only when we are truly aware of what others needs . nothing is loss when we give love to others but instead we rectify our own selves . love to All

  17. Garima says:

    Reading this felt like, my own hearts feeling n pain is pinned down, left me wondering how can someone else understand what I feel too, thanks for this article.. Love it

  18. Salma Shehab says:

    Thank you for shedding this light with a new perspective.. nothing is lost .. yes 🙂

    Love back to you.

  19. Salma Shehab says:

    THANK YOU. Love. Salma

  20. Muhammad Sami says:

    Has your heart became stronger than before? Can you prevent such experiences again from happening again?

  21. Daisy says:

    Been there. Am there. Leaving there. He cracked me wide open and left me gasping and yearning for so much more. Over and over again. But he cannot love anybody, really, and the price is too dear. Love and care for self is paramount. Such a journey. Onward and upward. I don't know the future but it has to be more than this.

  22. not so gentleman says:

    if there is a blank space above..its because im speechless

    love u salma

  23. Salma says:

    Yes it has 🙂
    No you can't.. but you can choose to stand and face issues.. you can choose to stay with pain and rise above with grace.. or you can choose to walk away with pain and humble pride 🙂

    you can choose to be present.. float.


  24. Salma says:

    Thank you <3 .. love you too:)