What is requited love?

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In this blog we will discuss what requited love is

We will also briefly discuss why reciprocity in love and relationships are important, what unrequited love is, and how one can cope with unrequited love. 

What is requited love?

Requited love refers to love that is reciprocated by the people involved where both or all parties feel the same way about each other. 

According to Urban Dictionary, requited love is,

“… something that is complete in itself which means it is reproduced and reciprocated by both the partners.”

Based on this definition both or all individuals feel attraction and attachment to each other and are able to share equal and reciprocal emotions of love and support for each other. 

Vocabulary.com notes that,

“…To requite something is to return it.”

Requite is often used in the context of love where if someone experiences requited love. It means that someone you love also loves you in return and in the same way as you love them-if you love someone romantically, they also love you romantically.

Why is reciprocity in love important?

When it comes to romantic relationships or love shared between two people, reciprocity is important for a relationship to thrive and for each individual in the relationship to feel love and care for. 

Reciprocating love is understood to be an important and crucial part of intimate relationships and it is what allows partners to feel like they are part of a whole, equally valued and cared for. 

Reciprocity in relationships is difficult to attain in partnerships or romantic relationships when one of the persons does not share requited love or when there is power disparity between the partners. 

For example, it will be difficult to maintain and develop when one partner is considered to be or acts like they are superior to their other partner. 

For a relationship to be requited and reciprocate important and valuable feelings, cooperation, communication, and empathy is needed.

Partners will have to learn how to communicate with each other about their emotional needs within the relationship, empathise with each other for their experiences, and finally, cooperate with each other to build connection and nurture feelings of love for each other. 

To maintain and healthy requited love with each other. It requires awareness of what constitutes a healthy relationship and more importantly, it requires people to be invested in their relationship- to make it work, to build stronger communication, healthy boundaries, and share healthy interdependence. 

For this, a requited love requires commitment from both partners to work at building and maintaining these aspects of a relationship. Reciprocated or requited love and emotional investment and contribution by each partner and for each partner is necessary for any committed relationship to be sustained and to flourish. 

How to build reciprocity and requited love in relationships?

To create reciprocity in a requited love for any relationship requires the following:

Responsibility that is accepted and maintained for the creation of a committed relationship by both partners. This means that both partners take equal credit and blame for successes and limitations within the relationship.

There needs to be an interdependence of both partners to each other that is healthy in the sense that boundaries and clear, they are able to support each other without the need to be dependent on each other. 

Emotional maturity needs to be developed in each partner to establish acceptance of responsibility in any required relationships and this takes awareness, time, personal work for one to develop emotional maturity. 

Communication is another important part of a reciprocal relationship where partners need to talk about their values, beliefs, and their own ideas about what a healthy relationship is- this process involves setting boundaries so that both parties are aware of what the expectations are.

Respect is another important part of a reciprocal relationship where the partners are able to respect each other’s values, beliefs, expectations as well as respect that everyone is different and some can and cannot meet these expectations. The respect has to be reciprocal- both partners respect each other in terms of philosophy, profession, principles, intelligence, creativity, parenting, and personal growth processes.

Acceptance in terms of honesty with themselves about their limits, their fears, and their growth as human beings as well as honesty with their partners about their experience within the relationship. 

Equal exchange of effort is another very important building block of intimacy within the relationship where both partners are putting equal effort and not just one person doing all the heavy lifting. 

Negotiation of reciprocity related to the exchange of effort related to emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy through ope and honest communication about values, beliefs, boundaries, and comfort zones are also very important. 

Dealing with Negative reciprocity where behaviours from one partner has had a negative effect on the other partner which lead to he or she reciprocating with a behaviour that has an equally negative effect is also an important aspect of intimate relationships- partners has to discuss how to respond to such situation so as to prevent further damage into the relationship- even if it means working with a professional couples counsellor.  

What is unrequited love?

Unrequited love is love that is opposite to what requited love is- meaning that the romantic feelings that you have for someone are not reciprocated, meaning that they do not feel the same way for you. 

They might love you platonically and as a friend, support you as a partner however, they do not have romantic intent and feelings towards you like you might have for them. 

Basically, it refers to love that is not returned or rewarded and it is a one-sided experience that can leave one feeling pain, grief, and shame.

Unrequited love may manifest in different ways and a person can experience unrequited love through various situations such as:

  • Loving someone who does not return those feelings
  • Pining for someone who is not available
  • Mutual attraction between people who are both in other relationships
  • Desire for an ex after a relationship has ended

Unrequited love can leave a person feeling hurt as their hopes and expectations are not reciprocated, one might feel grief at the loss of all the possibilities of the future they had hopes for or the loss of the person who begins to distance themselves from the person, or shame for being alone in the experience of loving someone who does not feel the same way. 

How to deal with unrequited love?

Here are a few things that you can do to deal with unrequited love:


The best thing you can allow yourself to do when you experience unrequited love after you have confessed  is to give yourself grief. This will involve you taking effort to acknowledge your emotions and your feelings no matter how painful or vulnerable you might be feeling. 

You will also need to accept the loss of the relationship and the pain you’re feeling instead of pretending that you are unaffected. 

Take time out of your day to grieve, let yourself cry, get angry, and experience all the uncomfortable feelings that you are feeling without judgement- write about it if you want to, use art to express how you feel. 

Allow yourself to lie in bed all day to cry if that is what you need. Letting yourself grieve is a way to care for your own needs. 

Spend time with friends

Once you feel like you are up for it, take time to seek out support from your friends, family, and loved ones. 

Talk to them about how you are feeling, allow them to get distracted while doing fun things together. Let them provide you company when you do not want to be alone- take effort to reach out to them. 

Allow yourself to feel loved by people who genuinely care for you and seek out new meaning from these positive and healthy relationships. 

Focus on self-care

When you are struggling with unrequited love, you might find it hard to take care of yourself- you might find it hard to eat, wash, wake up, and do other basic things. 

It is okay to allow yourself to let yourself go for a few days but making the effort to stick to routine and structure in your day to day life can help you move forward. 

Taking care of your physical needs is very important as it is a way to care for yourself. Taking care of your emotional needs is also important and you can work towards emotional self care after taking care of your physical needs first. 

Attend to your emotional needs

Take to a professional if you think that you are not getting enough support and guidance from your friends and family. 

Meeting a professional to talk about your depression, grief, and loss of the relationship is something that you can give yourself as an act of self-love and self-care. 

Get in touch with a therapist or a psychologist and take effort to work with your emotions, grow towards self-acceptance, and move towards rebuilding yourself and your resilience. 


In this article we have discussed how long depression can last after a break up. 

We have also explored what affects how long depression lasts, what depression is, as well as how one can cope with post-break up depression. 

FAQ related to requited love

What is the difference between required and unrequited love?

Requited love refers to love that is reciprocated by the people involved where both or all parties feel the same way about each other. 

Unrequited love is love that is opposite to what requited love is- meaning that the romantic feelings that you have for someone are not reciprocated, meaning that they do not feel the same way for you. 

What causes requited love?

Requited love is caused by mutual acceptance and expression of shared feelings that are equal and the same. Meaning that the person you feel romantically for also feels the same way for you.

Can unrequited love ever become requited?

Yes, it is possible that someone who does not share the same feelings for you now might grow to feel romantically attracted to you- discussing the possibility of this with that person could be a good place to start. 

Is unrequited love unhealthy?

Unrequited love is not a bad thing, it is a normal experience that one has at one point in their lives however, it can become unhealthy if the unrequited love costs you your ability to engage with other people, open yourself up to other possibilities, and causes you with withdraw from other people. 


Clarke.J. What Is Unrequited Love? Verywellmind. Retrieved on 20th March 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/unrequited-love-4175362#toc-types

Relationships and the Importance of Reciprocity. Good Therapy. Retrieved on 20th March 2022. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/relationship-reciprocity/

Requite, Vocabulary.Com. Retrieved on 20th March 2022. https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/requite#:~:text=Requite%20is%20often%20used%20in,injury%20wants%20payback%20for%20it.

required love. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved on 20th March 2022. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=requited%20love

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