Have you ever experience it? Or are you on the receiving end and unable to reciprocate it?
What is unrequited Love?
Unrequited love or one-sided love is love that is not openly reciprocated or understood as such by the beloved. The beloved may not be aware of the admirer’s deep and strong romantic affection, or may consciously reject it. Some say that one-sided love is better than none, but like half a loaf of bread, it is likely to grow hard and mouldy sooner.
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche considered that “indispensable…to the lover is his unrequited love, which he would at no price relinquish for a state of indifference. According to Dr Roy Baumeister, what makes a man or woman desirable, of course, is a complex and highly personal mix of many qualities and traits. But falling for someone who is much more desirable than oneself, whether because of physical beauty or attributes like charm, intelligence, wit or status, Baumeister calls this kind of mismatch “prone to find their love unrequited” and that such relationships are falling upward. According to some psychologists, opposites do attract, but it is not possible to attract those whose moral values are different
On the other hand.
The inability of the unrequited lover to express and fulfil emotional needs may lead to feelings such as depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and rapid mood swings between depression and euphoria. ‘There are two bad sides to unrequited love, but only one is made familiar by our culture, that of the lover, not the rejector. In fact, research suggests that the object of unrequited affection experiences a variety of negative emotions on a par with those of the suitor, including anxiety, frustration and guilt. As Freud long since pointed out, ‘when a woman sues for love, to reject and refuse is a distressing part for a man to play.
So what does that have to do with today 25th January if you are Welsh? St. Dwynwen.
Who was St. Dwynwen?
A 4th-century Welsh princess who lived in what is now the Brecon Beacons National Park. Dwynwen was unlucky in love, so she became a nun and prayed that true lovers have better luck than she did. We celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day – 25 January – in much the same way as people mark St Valentine’s Day on 14 February.
How did she become the Welsh patron saint of lovers?
Dwynwen was the prettiest of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with a local lad called Maelon Dafodrill, but King Brychan had already arranged for her to marry another prince. Maelon took the news badly, so the distraught Dwynwen fled to the woods to weep, and begged God to help her. She was visited by an angel who gave her a sweet potion to help her forget Maelon, and turned him into a block of ice.
God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; second, that God helps all true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. In gratitude, Dwynwen became a nun, setting up a convent on Llanddwyn Island, a beautiful little spot on Anglesey. Her name means, ‘she who leads a blessed life’.
Incidentally, as well as being the Welsh patron saint of lovers, she’s also the patron saint of sick animals. So if your budgie’s unwell, try praying to St Dwynwen before calling the vet.
What happens on St Dwynwen’s Day?
Quite simply, it’s the most romantic day of the year in Wales. Exchanging cards and gifts, gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over candlelit dinners, take long walks on deserted beaches, run through meadows in slow-motion while holding hands, carve lovespoons, catch up in front of roaring log fires, and put on our smartest underwear. Just in case!