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unrequited love

Unrequited Love and obsession

Are you feeling the devastation of unrequited love?  We have all been there; a broken heart and the dreadful pain that ensues.  Sometimes, things can go terribly awry after our beloved denies us.  Is obsession a biological force within us? In the book, Unrequited Women and Romantic Obsession, Lisa states, “Animals denied an expected pleasure will bite or attack.” Is obsession a normal biological response to unrequited love?  If so, what now?

Unrequited Love

My first breakup with a man was a nightmare. Chuck was my first boyfriend’s name.  Chuck was so possessive. Chuck would get so angry if I even spoke to another man.  We were having a high school dance that night, and he told me that he did not want to go to the dance.  He did not want me to go to the dance without him.  Like a loyal girlfriend, I stayed home.  I received a call that night from a friend saying that Chuck is at the dance with another woman.  What happened afterward was not a pretty picture.  I went straight to the dance and made quite a scene outside the dance hall.  Screaming and yelling at him in front of others.  With a final crescendo, I threw his going steady ring in the grass and said I never want to speak to you again. I was mortified and humiliated.  I went home and threw up.  My mother said, “You are ridiculous to let him do this to you.”  I had no idea what was happening to me.  I lost control. I could not stop thinking about him.  I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t eat.  Would somebody please tell me what is happening to me?

Unrequited Women and Obsession

Well, Lisa A Phillips does an excellent job explaining the reasons unrequited love can lead to obsessive love.  Lisa has recently written a book, Unrequited Women and Romantic Obsession.  Harper Collins just released the b on January 27th. In this book, Lisa beautifully weaves real life stories and research data to explain the trials and tribulations of unrequited love.

The stories of pain and anguish when the beloved denies his lover deeply resonated with me.  I felt such great compassion for those in these stories. Lisa describes it in her book, “There’s an emotional honesty in these moments – the unwanted woman is doing something instead of sinking into despair.  She is swept up by instinct, by the profound human need for attachment, which the era of romantic practicality has tried to reduce to a game.”

Romantic love is a powerful force in our lives.   Our culture celebrates passionate love.  Passionate love lights up the brain like cocaine.  Our culture doesn’t celebrate cocaine use.  Should we celebrate passionate love so readily?

Our culture celebrates, even more, unrequited passionate love.  In movies and in books, unrequited love is much more romantic than mutual love. In the tv series Friends, Rachel and Ross and their unrequited love were much more interesting than their mutual love.  The series ended when Rachel and Ross mutually exchanged their love to each other.

The power of love can create masterpieces in music, art, and literature.  Passionate love can transform us for the better or it can ruin our lives.  Lisa sums it up beautifully in these words from her book, “We may need to learn as individuals and as a culture, ways to honor passion by confining and using it instead of letting it diminish us.”

I see the pain of unrequited love in my counseling office on a regular basis. In this podcast, you will learn the following:

  • Lisa’s inspiration behind the book
  • Why people get so obsessed with the beloved
  • How society perpetuates unrequited love
  • Why women and men are treated differently when it comes to obsessive love
  • How Biology reinforces obsession in unrequited love.
  • Social media and stalking – the difference between stalking and constantly surfing Facebook to watch your beloved’s every move
  • How goal linking helps us to ignore how awful the beloved is behaving towards you
  • Heartbreak and social pain – Lisa will tell you why it hurts so badly when we break up with someone.
  • How to know when your love has become obsessive, how to stop it, and how others can help
  • What unrequited love can teach you
  • How unrequited love can transform you for the better

This book, Unrequited Women and Romantic Obsession, has already helped me in my practice with others suffering from the anguish of unrequited love.  I have passed it on to those in need and to those that want to understand the power of love.  It is a great book for Valentine’s Day and those unrequited lovers out there.  There are many of us suffering from unrequited love.  In Lisa’s book, research shows “93 percent of respondents had been rejected by someone they passionately loved, and just 51 percent of adults eighteen and older are married.”   I was stunned after reading these statistics.

You need to celebrate your romantic passionate love.   You can use your love to go out and create your masterpiece.


Unrequited Women and Romantic Obsession by Lisa A Phillips


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