Illustrations by Shikha Sreenivas
Translation by Prachir Kumar
If I ask if you’ve ever been a one-sided lover, your answer would surely be yes, and if I just tweak the question a little bit and ask you whether someone else has ever been your one-sided lover, your answer would again be a yes. There’s a high probability that someone must’ve loved us one-sidedly, but never mustered the courage to express it, and eventually suppressed it within themselves. Every once in a while, throughout our lives, we also slip into a one sided love for someone. It’s not necessarily a one time thing, it can happen, again and again.
So, this tale starts with me loving someone one-sidedly and them having that same kind of feeling – of one-sided love – for someone else! If that were not enough, one gentleman who had been loving me in this one-sided manner for long, decided to express it to me around the same time. His confession bore no results as he was married and I don’t get involved with married people. But yes, I did hear him out properly, on the condition that he wouldn’t expect anything from me. He agreed. Many a time, just expressing the love you have for someone makes you feel lighter. This happened to him too. He said that he had been carrying this burden for a very long time and by sharing it with me, he felt a lot better, lighter. To tell the truth, I never thought that he liked me. Hence, I was quite surprised and even happy to know about it. He had all the qualities that I like in a man, he was sensitive and tried to understand what others had to say. I told him that if he had said the same things to me before getting married, then there could’ve been a chance. But now, there’s no hope. He heard this regretfully. He used to think, he said, that if he had confessed his love to me, then he might have lost me as a friend which he didn’t want to happen. We are still friends. I respect his feelings, but have clearly stated that I don’t feel the same about him. This is not the first instance when somebody has expressed their one-sided love for me. Another friend of mine did the same. But in such cases when I can’t reciprocate the feeling, I try to be as clear as I can and also keep in mind that nothing changes in my behaviour towards them. If they are my friends, I make sure our friendship does not get affected.
Coming to my one-sided love story. Like I said before, I know this ordeal, I have been through it. I got to know this gentleman through a dating app. I fell for him even without meeting him, and was confused about how to tell him about my feelings. The last gentleman’s courage at confessing his one-sided love had given me some courage. I asked myself, what might be the worst outcome of my confession? He might block me. I mustered all the courage I had and asked him to meet me. Quite contrary to my expectations, he agreed! I met him and spent some time with him and tried, in an indirect way, to express some of my feelings. After reaching home, I got caught with the feeling that I should not leave anything unclear. I messaged him saying “I like you very much”. I didn’t receive a reply, but he didn’t block me either. We both know that we don’t want to live with each other, he loves someone else, but he doesn’t mind me loving him in this one-sided fashion. We do greet each other once in a while and whenever I am missing him, I drop in a text saying, “I miss you”. What difference does it make whether he loves me or not, I love him and that’s enough for me. Believe me when I say this that confessing my feelings to him gave me a sense of calm which was missing for a very long time. Whatever irritability I had gathered into myself because of keeping my feelings buried, now vanished.
So what are you waiting for? Confess your one-sided love, but do it with care. The concerned person shouldn’t get the message that you expect the same kind of love that you have for them, from them. Another thing is that once you’ve confessed, you should be ready for all kinds of reactions from the other person, though it depends on their age as well. For instance, all the people I have spoken about, me included, have all crossed the age of 30. And we are also friends. Maybe if we had to deal with the same situation in our teenage years, we would have acted differently, but now we know something about how one should express one’s one-sided love. We’ve understood the difference between expressing the love we have and expecting the other person to just immediately fall in love with us because we opened up about our feelings before them.
So, express your love but don’t forcefully pursue the person or make them feel uncomfortable. If a friend of yours confesses their love, then don’t get agitated, listen to them. After all, they fell in love with you after discovering something good in you. Don’t treat them like a criminal.
As the poet Firaq Gorakhpuri writes,
“Koi Samjhe To Ek Baat Kahun,
Ishq Taufeeq Hai Gunaah Nahi.”
(If someone were to understand, I might say
That love is wisdom, not a crime)
Kashish deeply values the relationships in her life. She loves to be by herself and prefers to spend most of her time this way. She loves stories, poems and ghazals very much. She believes that every person’s life is a story by itself.