I'm used to developing unrequited feelings.
I always thought that it was much easier to be on the receiving end , because how difficult could it be to be loved? If the other person did not love me back, they shouldn't be affected by how I felt, right?
I lost one of my dearest friends--and, consequently, the first person I ever had romantic feelings for--because of this mentality. We were really close back then so I was well aware that he didn't see me that way. I was the one feeling the pain of rejection (not quite outright, but it was still the case) and he was causing it. I didn't see how he could be in pain, himself.
It turns out, the laws of action and reaction work in these cases as well. Especially when the dynamic happens between good friends.
Back to the present, it was a rather perplexed revelation that forced me to see things in retrospect. While looking for ways to comfort him, I was made to draw from my own experiences as someone who was on the "unrequited" end. It then dawned on me that in his case, both ends were, in a way, unrequited. Her love was unrequited, that one was clear. On the other hand, his friendship was unrequited as well. Sure, she was willing to be friends with him, but not without consequence to him. Interestingly enough, there was also a mutual rejection. While he rejected her feelings for him, she was rejecting what he was.
I was guilty of that with him.
In the same way he couldn't accept the love I had to give him, I couldn't accept that he would still tell me about the girls (not me) he liked, be caring and sweet as he had always been. Everytime he was himself, he was hurting me by showing me what I was missing. Everytime he treated me as the friend that I was to him, he was making me hope for something that should have been long decided to be unreachable.
I didn't realize how much I was demanding from him until it was too late.
I guess it's not just the girls who find it difficult to turn down those who're courting them.
I'm not sure how well I understand both ends of the spectrum. I'm even more uncertain of how well I explained it to him. But, the bottom line is, while it is difficult to love someone who doesn't love you back; it's equally difficult to care for someone who loves you, but you don't love back.