“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, p. 687)
Valentine’s Day is one of the most fun days of the year if you’re in elementary school exchanging cards and candy. It can also be a special day for lovers, especially the newly in love who can’t stop thinking about each other and want to spend every second together. Even couples who have been together for a long time may celebrate or simply wish each other a “Happy Valentine’s Day, hun,” with a peck on the cheek and a hug.
But for those who don’t have a significant other it can feel like the loneliest day of the year. It can be especially excruciating if you long to be with a particular someone who doesn’t share the same feelings.
In my lifetime I can remember 4 serious cases of unrequited love that I suffered through. Two of the four were boys I developed a crush on in school; one in middle school, one in high school. I thought about these boys all day long; Does he ever notice me? Will he talk to me? Would he ever feel the same way about me? The other two boys were good friends of mine at different times in my life.
One of these friends in particular, I thought was seriously the one. I was attracted to him, he was smart, loved to read, loved the same music that I did, played piano beautifully, so witty – I was totally smitten and miserable because he didn’t feel the same way. We stayed friends for around 7 years or so; through dating and breaking up with other people, through going in different directions during our college years, but my love for this boy always returned full force. Eventually, we admitted that we both had feelings for each other and we did kind of date, but it never blossomed into anything permanent. He went on to pursue a PhD. (and a different girl) and I was left with a broken heart. However, my eyes were opened and I finally accepted that we were not the same in some pretty significant ways, ways that really mattered to me, and eventually, I was able to move on.
In my current WiP, two of my characters are experiencing a bit of unrequited love. The pain and heartache during those brooding days and tearful nights I lived through, along with the many journal entries devoted to these perfect-in-my-mind boys, have given me much experience to draw from.
Though you may have experienced or may be in the throes of unrequited love, you never know when the love of your life might find you. Remember how I mentioned that I had another friend I was pining after? While I was lovesick and brooding daily, two friends asked me (separately) if I would go out with a friend of theirs because they thought we’d be a good match. After much reluctance on my part (mainly because I was waiting for my guy friend to come to his senses and realize he wanted me - didn't happen), I said ok. We went on our first date, less than 2 years later we were married, and have been happily married for 16 years. You just never know!
Happy Valentine's Day!