love part 2: mismatched feelings

Love part 1 was about timing. Part 2 is mismatched feelings (unrequited love scenarios).

Let me come out of the blocks strong on this one.

Nothing reflects wasted energy more so than mismatched feelings in love.

And I have a couple of facts to support that statement (although I have no nifty charts or regression analysis to support my “facts”).


If you don’t read any further you have the basic thought already.

That said.

Here goes.

I would imagine in our lifetimes all of us have cared for someone more than they have cared for you.

And the first time it happens (because you don’t know any better) you are confident, or hope, that “they will see the light” … given some time.

Bottom line here is how this goes.

(warning of Odd Logic coming up)

  1. If you are lucky you will have that ‘hope’ with someone who doesn’t see the light and ignores you (if not has the ability to vocally let you go) so you wander out unharmed.
  2. If you are unlucky you will be taken advantage of.


The wasted energy postulate.


All relationships take some work. And, yes, in the beginning the balance of caring may not be equal.

But significant imbalances in the beginning rarely ever evolve into a balanced relationship <sorry if I burst someone’s bubble with that little Life factoid>.

So you spend so much energy trying to balance it that it starts sucking the energy away from other things you could or should be doing.

At its worst it starts sucking the life out of your compassionate heart and bitterness (which always lurks looking for an opportunity) sneaks in the side door.


You are investing a lot of energy.

Is that wasted? Yup.

Think of it as trying to get an unmoving object that weighs a ton to start moving at the 100mph your own heart is moving.

It takes a shitload of energy to not only get the ton off a standstill but then also maintain some momentum to get it up to speed.

(there is my mathematical formula which I believe I saw on my SAT)


The toxicity of a mismatched feeling relationship.

Whew. I have never been in one but I sure know what it looks like.

Tends to involve someone who feels ‘lesser’ in some way or has some insecurities and holds on to a relationship despite investing more maybe not out of fear of not finding anything else but just that someone is showing attention and on occasion shows signs of returning the same level of love (the spottiness permits glimpses of traction desired).

The longer this relationship goes the worse it gets (for the one who feels lesser).


Worst case?

The one who doesn’t care as much just keeps on taking and taking and seeing how much room they can get (and the one giving keeps giving). Some takers move on but at its worst they stay because … well … why not? They aren’t investing a shitload of energy and they are getting a lot in return (that is toxic by the way in case you miss the definition).

The best case?

The lesser feeling partner gets more and more dissatisfied. They start ‘demanding’ more things. The one who doesn’t care as much just decides they don’t want to invest that energy and dictates an energy boundary. That is typically decision time for toxic relationship scenario one.

Is it a clean cut? Rarely (but one can hope).

Friends are probably bouncing around your door saying “you can do better” or “what are you thinking” and you are arguing the few glimpses you have seen as proof and … well … at some point the person who for whatever reason allowed it to happen sucks it up and gets out of Dodge.

Typically there is some transition “are you sure/am I sure” crap but it does end.

The person who for some reason may feel lesser about themselves is quite salvageable at this point.

Toxic learning? Yup.

But (and I am generalizing because it certainly depends on the depth and breadth of this initial toxic relationship) that person has seen the dark side and knows there has to be some light somewhere.

They now know mismatched is bad and avoids it like the plague.


There is a downward spiral step available if a onetime mismatched isn’t careful.


Toxicity of mismatched feeling relationship part 2.

Part 2 is about multiple mismatched feeling relationships.

So. Relationship one ended.

Maybe you moved into relationship two.

Ooops. Mismatched again (and you start investing energy again … that is not returned in balance).

More energy slipping away.

And another checkmark against a couple of things … trust in relationship partners … trust in personal choice … “lesser” feelings and some insecurities grow.

Uh oh.

Now momentum is shifting in a negative direction.

I don’t need to outline where this goes because just use e=mc2 on first toxic relationship discussion. This ain’t a slippery slope. This is cliff diving.

But. It happens.

Where does something like this go?

Lesser runs the risk of just becoming less a person (in more than just love).


Lets stick with love here.

What it really does is makes it a little tougher for you and the “right person” (and lets assume because I do believe in a number of ‘ones’ floating out there that the right one will wander by).

Because now the entire equation is about “reversing direction” AND “rebuilding speed” back in a positive direction.


Look. This isn’t like a bat and 100mph pitch analogy. Not that simple. This is about slowing a train down to a stop and then figuring out a way of getting the whole frickin’ love/caring/trust train turned around on the tracks and getting it going again.

THAT my friends is the toxicity of several mismatched feelings relationships.



Let me suggest two types of mismatched (or unrequited love) relationships:

1. Youth/immaturity (ignorance).

You just don’t know any better. Scan high school and tween and teen sites and blogs and they are all about unrequited love (or simply loving someone who doesn’t love them back or even notice them  …). Does it mean they don’t understand what love is? Nope. In fact I sometimes think some kids better understand real love better than a bunch of adults. It has a more pure feel to it.

But. Unrequited love and ignorance is an experience thing. Cause all you have to do is do it once and you gain the “wasted energy” knowledge frickin’ fast. How?

a. You invest lots and lots of energy showing your love, doing things and banging your head against the wall for days and hours and sleepless nights all in vain. In the end you have invested all this energy and got nothing in return for that energy. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand you are tired. And you received no value for your efforts. No matter how much hope you have the next time around you will be a little more hesitant to invest that much again. In my words? The experience has enlightened you.

b. You invest lots and lots of energy showing your love, doing things and banging your head against the wall for days and hours and sleepless nights and all of a sudden you ‘break thru” and they see the light. Good, right?

Uh oh. You have worked so hard. And invested so much energy. You are tired. Happy but tired. And you want to stop working so hard. And you want to re-energize. And, in fact, a part of you wants some “return on the energy investment.” Unfortunately the other person is fresh and isn’t really looking for all of that at the beginning of a new and (hopefully) exciting relationship. It takes a special couple to make it through this one.

Most fail at this point.

But. Suffice it to say. If you have invested all this energy and won … and then lost. Well. You have been enlightened.

The other mismatched love idea is ongoing.

2. Ongoing unrequited love living.

And this one is toxic.

This is all about people who consistently fall into the cycle of unrequited caring simply seeking to reconfirm failure or inadequacy or, I guess, fear of failure in relationships.

I would imagine the last and worst level of this is actually recurring mismatched relationships.

Falling time and time again into relationships where you care more than the other person.

I just don’t see that situation that often. Sure. It happens but most people just get so unhappy about that sort of thing after some period of time they just say “fuck it.” And swear off love totally (or some derivation of that hopelessness).


Mismatched love sucks (as in sucks energy).

To young readers?

Sorry. Only trial will prove this to you. Just pay attention. Learn. And understand that “loving with nothing in return” is SIGNIFICANTLY different than “loving and have lost” (which I seem to see young people confuse a lot).

But. Take heart in the attempt.

To older readers?

The good news it happens less and less with maturity.

Mostly because I believe communication gets better.

In youth the ‘unrequiter’ (not the unrequitee) just doesn’t say shit. Or maybe sends mixed signals.

In maturity we tend to communicate better.

Even minds that don’t tend to over think go a little out of whack when it comes to love. And that happens less as we get older because the information stimulus we receive is better (we get clearer direction from the one we may be having feelings for).

It could be as you get older everyone has a slightly better feel for what is right, what feels right, where a glimmer of relationship hope does exist or doesn’t exist and what you want. So it becomes easier for one who cares less to step up and close the door.


Unrequited love is a huge waste of energy.


Onto romantic love part 3 which takes a different type of energy investment (and a surprising amount given its foundation) but actually is a great investment of energy should all the puzzle pieces fall together correctly.

Love part 3 is about loving your best friend.

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Written by Bruce