Heartbreak

Why You Only Like Guys Who Don't Like You Back

Photo: Evgenyrychko / Shutterstock
annoyed man pushing away woman trying to lean in for a kiss

Falling in love is blissful when the feeling is reciprocated, but what about when it isn't?

As much as we may wish it to be otherwise, some people may not want to be with us in the way we want them to be with them.

Yet some women find themselves facing the harsh reality of unrequited love not just once, but in a pattern of attraction and toxic relationships that repeats itself over and over and over again.

Why do some women keep falling in love with men who don't return their feelings?

RELATED: 7 Reasons Why Men Ghost Women (& What To Do When It Happens To You)

Unrequited love is awfully difficult for some people to accept, no matter how obvious it may be.

4 Common reasons why you only like the guys who don't like you back

1. You're projecting what you want to be true.

Projection is a term that’s often used in psychology to describe the ways in which we tend to see things in another person that don't apply to them.

In old fairy tales, projection was depicted by pixie dust or other sorts of magic that would charm characters and awaken their feelings of true love.

In real life, projections operate more strongly when we are admiring a person from a distance. We don’t get to see the “flaws” that would become more obvious if we were to live with the person day-to-day.

2. You unconsciously enjoy the drama.

Some people become attracted to the chase. It can become so intoxicating that they prefer the pain of unrequited love to the sacrifices involved in a real relationship. The fantasy becomes more important than its fulfillment.

The culmination of a love relationship can bring us back to a sobering sense of reality. The glamour fades and mundane life sets in again.

This is the appeal of unrequited love for some people. If they prolong the chase, they don’t have to face the anticlimactic sense of coming down off of the romantic high. It stimulates high drama, providing the ideal antidote to any boredom that may be lurking around in our lives.

RELATED: If You Have An Insecure Attachment Style, You’re Probably Sabotaging Your Love Life (Here’s How)

3. You have a fear of intimacy.

Some people make a habit of avoiding real love as a way of protecting themselves. They shy away so they won't get hurt.

Prolonging the search for love — in this case, pursuing it when it’s unrequited — becomes a way of keeping the sensation of being in love without the risk.

Chasing after the impossible person turns into a bargain where we satisfy our longing for connection and our need to protect our vulnerable feelings at the same time.

Remaining fixated on someone who doesn’t love us allows us to feel the intensity and passion involved in a relationship without the risk of commitment.

4. You're stuck in the past and are avoiding moving forward.

Often times a fear of love is rooted in our past. It can involve painful experiences and disappointments.

It can reflect the negative impact of sexual and/or emotional abuse. It can even be a byproduct of peoples’ inborn sensitivity.

RELATED: 5 Ways Your Dad Is Affecting Your Relationships With Men — For Better Or For Worse

Any of the conditions noted above can bring allure to a situation involving unrequited love.

Caught in its painful cycle, we can taste passion without being swept away by it. We can nurture our desires by always keeping ourselves one step away from fulfilling them.

If you are pining over someone who is not returning your love, I urge you not to waste your time anymore.

If you really desire a relationship, remember that it will not happen without two people having the same feelings at the same time. It is difficult but necessary to take a look at yourself know what is holding you back from finding love.

Take a risk, be vulnerable and take a chance on real (and reciprocated) love.

There is nothing like having a partner to share your life with whom you can count on, is emotionally available to you and more than willing to love you back.

RELATED: What To Do When Your Ex Reaches Out Again After Breaking Up With You

Dr. Marni Feuerman is a therapist and author with a master's in social work and a doctorate in clinical psychology. She focuses on couples therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, trauma, and attachment.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!