Throughout history, unrequited love has inspired ballads, arias, poetry, drama, and literature. Almost always, however, the tale of the "star-crossed lovers" has been told from the point of view of the heartbroken pursuer. This illuminating new work explores unrequited love from both sides--that of the aspiring and eventually brokenhearted lover, and more unusually, that of the beloved, unwilling rejector. Based on systematically collected first-person accounts, Breaking Hearts shows how radically different and often contradictory the two experiences actually are. Blending scientific research with vivid narrative, the book utilizes current psychological theories about relationships, interdependence, attachment, and communication to provide careful analysis of the sometimes amusing and often heartrending stories people tell about their love lives. The central focus is the subjective experience: what it feels like to love someone who does not love you in return, and what is it like to be pursued by someone whose attentions you wish to discourage. Demolishing past theories about human fulfillment coming from loving or being loved, this valuable counterweight to traditional studies explores the other, darker side of love to show that it is the mutuality of affection that is crucial to happiness.
The Two Sides of Unrequited Love
Emotions and Social Behavior
Mind, Body & Spirit