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A man standing in front of a bench while overlooking the ocean | Source: Unsplash
Source: A man standing in front of a bench while overlooking the ocean | Source: Unsplash

75 Quotes for Unrequited Love: A Powerful Letter to All the Broken Hearted

Dayna Remus
Dec 02, 2022
11:20 P.M.
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Love is one of the most beautiful experiences we can have within our lifetimes, but with that beauty may come deep pain. Read the 75 quotes below to learn more about unrequited love.

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Many of us, if not all of us, have gone through the harrowing experience of developing romantic feelings for another individual only to find out they don't feel the same about us.

As a universal experience, musicians have composed songs about it, writers have waxed poetic, and artists have slaved over paintings to express the love they can not share with the individuals of their affection.

Unrequited love is painful, makes us behave in unpredictable ways, and sometimes teaches us tough lessons or new perspectives. Read the following 75 quotes to dive deeper into this world of all the love seemingly wasted.

 Daniel Radcliffe’s quote: "People do incredible things for love, particularly for unrequited love."  | Image: AmoDays

Daniel Radcliffe’s quote: "People do incredible things for love, particularly for unrequited love." | Image: AmoDays

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Quotes That Embody the Pain of Unrequited Love

"Unrequited love is like hitting your head against a wall that isn't there." — Shannon Wheeler

"Winter is much like unrequited love; cold and merciless." ― Kellie Elmore

"When you give someone your whole heart, and he doesn't want it, you cannot take it back. It's gone forever." ― Sylvia Plath

"Because what's worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?" — James Patterson

"The worst feeling is falling for someone and knowing that they won't be there to catch you." — Rashida Rowe

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Shannon Wheeler's quote: "Unrequited love is like hitting your head against a wall that isn't there." | Image: AmoDays

Shannon Wheeler's quote: "Unrequited love is like hitting your head against a wall that isn't there." | Image: AmoDays

"Living with someone you love can be lonelier than living entirely alone if the one that you love doesn't love you." ― Tennessee Williams

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"The sun's gone dim, and the moon's turned black for I loved him, and he didn't love back." ― Dorothy Parker

"To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have —to want and want —how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again!" ― Virginia Woolf

"I'd always secretly believed that a love as fierce and true as mine would be rewarded in the end, and now I was being forced to accept the bitter truth." ― Alma Katsu

"My heart no longer felt as if it belonged to me. It now felt as it had been stolen, torn from my chest by someone who wanted no part of it." ― Meredith Taylor

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Charles M. Schulz's quote: "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love." | Image: AmoDays

Charles M. Schulz's quote: "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love." | Image: AmoDays

"...which is when I decided I would never love anyone again because you just felt like an idiot when you put love out there, and it didn't come back your way." ― Karen Tayleur

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"Nothing grieves more deeply or pathetically than one half of a great love that isn't meant to be." ― Gregory David Roberts

"She had the look in her eye when you kick and kick at the door, and it doesn't open when you write a boy letters and letters, and he never loves you, not 'til the day he dies. Not even then." ― Daniel Handler

"The biggest curse in life is not losing your love, but not being loved by someone you love." ― Kiran Joshi

"I raised you so high that every other man on earth is now doomed to live in your shadow." ― Ranata Suzuki

Shannon L. Alder's quote: "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie." | Image: AmoDays

Shannon L. Alder's quote: "The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie." | Image: AmoDays

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"He was both everything I could ever want…And nothing I could ever have…" ― Ranata Suzuki

"Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love." — Charles M. Schulz

"She hated that she was still so desperate for a glimpse of him, but it had been this way for years." ― Julia Quinn

"The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie." ― Shannon L. Alder

"When you loved someone and had to let them go, there will always be that small part of yourself that whispers, 'What was it that you wanted and why didn't you fight for it?'" ― Shannon L. Alder

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Sanober Khan's quote: "The saddest thing is to be a minute to someone when you've made them your eternity." | Image: AmoDays

Sanober Khan's quote: "The saddest thing is to be a minute to someone when you've made them your eternity." | Image: AmoDays

"Unrequited love does not die; it's only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded." ― Ellie Newmark

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"There is an ocean of silence between us… and I am drowning in it." ― Ranata Suzuki

"Sometimes no matter how many eyelashes or dandelion seeds you blow, no matter how much of your heart you tear out and slap on your sleeve, it just ain't gonna happen." ― Melissa Jensen

"Unrequited love is the infinite curse of a lonely heart." ― Christina Westover

"It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love." — Gabriel García Márquez

Laini Taylor’s quote: "There was a man who loved the moon, but whenever he tried to embrace her, she broke into a thousand pieces and left him drenched, with empty arms." | Image: AmoDays

Laini Taylor’s quote: "There was a man who loved the moon, but whenever he tried to embrace her, she broke into a thousand pieces and left him drenched, with empty arms." | Image: AmoDays

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"Love unrequited is violent. He loves you so much that he's turned it into hate." — Lauren DeStefano

"Unrequited love is all right in books and things, but in real life, it completely sucks." ― Meg Cabot

"I think one of the most poignant things is unrequited love and loneliness." — Wilbur Smith

"The saddest thing is to be a minute to someone when you've made them your eternity." ― Sanober Khan

"There was a man who loved the moon, but whenever he tried to embrace her, she broke into a thousand pieces and left him drenched, with empty arms." ― Laini Taylor

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Positive and Uncaring Quotes about Unrequited Love

Charles Schulz’ quote: "There’s so many other things to write about than unrequited love." | Image: AmoDays

Charles Schulz’ quote: "There’s so many other things to write about than unrequited love." | Image: AmoDays

"Unrequited love is always a great thing." — Neil LaBute

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"I write about unrequited love in a very optimistic way." — Christine McVie

"Let no one who loves be called altogether unhappy. Even love unreturned has its rainbow." — J.M. Barrie

"Sometimes life sends us people who don't love us enough to remind us of what we're worthy of." — Mandy Hale

"I am sleeping with unreciprocated love, while the arms of hope wrap around me." ― Faith Herndon

Neil LaBute's quote: "Unrequited love is always a great thing." | Image: AmoDays

Neil LaBute's quote: "Unrequited love is always a great thing." | Image: AmoDays

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"I have to admit, an unrequited love is so much better than a real one. I mean, it's perfect... As long as something is never even started, you never have to worry about it ending. It has endless potential." ― Sarah Dessen

"There's so many other things to write about than unrequited love." — Lucinda Williams

"Being in love with someone who doesn't even know you exist isn't the worst thing in the world. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Almost like passing in a term paper that you know sucked, but having that period of time where you haven't gotten your grade back yet that kind of exhale where you haven't been rejected, although you pretty much know how it's going to turn out." ― Tonya Hurley

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"Unrequited love is so boring. Weeping under a blue-black sky is for suckers or maniacs." ― Alice Hoffman

Thought-Provoking Quotes about Unrequited Love

"When you love something, you have to make sure it loves you back, or you'll bring about no end of trouble chasing it." ― Patrick Rothfuss

Eleanor Catton’s quote: "But is it love when it is unrequited?" | Image: AmoDays

Eleanor Catton’s quote: "But is it love when it is unrequited?" | Image: AmoDays

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"You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot." — John Green

"As long as you're neurotic and crazy, he's great. But once he solves all your problems, he becomes the problem." ― Candace Bushnell

"Perfect behavior is born of complete indifference. Perhaps this is why we always love madly someone who treats us with indifference." ― Cesare Pavese

"But is it love when it is unrequited?" — Eleanor Catton

"Dignity will only happen when you realize that having someone in your life doesn't validate your worth." ― Shannon L. Alder

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 Louisa May Alcott’s quote: "Love Jo, all your days, if you choose, but don't let it spoil you, for it's wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can't have the one you want."  | Image: AmoDays

Louisa May Alcott’s quote: "Love Jo, all your days, if you choose, but don't let it spoil you, for it's wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can't have the one you want." | Image: AmoDays

"Unrequited love differs from mutual love, just like delusion differs from the truth." — George Sand

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"Maybe one day you'll understand that hearts don't intend to break other hearts." — Marisa Donnelly

"There's something funny about unrequited love—I suppose it's because we can all identify with it." — Charles Schulz

"When I talk about unrequited love, most of you probably think about romantic love, but there are many other kinds of love that are not adequately returned if they are returned at all." — Rosamund Lupton

"There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it." — Shannon L. Alder

 Alice Hoffman’s quote: "Unrequited love is so boring. Weeping under a blue-black sky is for suckers or maniacs." | Image: AmoDays

Alice Hoffman’s quote: "Unrequited love is so boring. Weeping under a blue-black sky is for suckers or maniacs." | Image: AmoDays

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"An act of love that fails is just as much a part of the divine life as an act of love that succeeds, for love is measured by fullness, not by reception." — Harold Lokes

"Love Jo, all your days, if you choose, but don't let it spoil you, for it's wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can't have the one you want." ― Louisa May Alcott

Quotes about Unrequited Love for the Heartbroken

"On the streets, unrequited love and death go together almost as often as in Shakespeare." — Scott Turow

"Besides, unrequited love is one of those things that all teenagers have to go through, right?" ― Wendy Higgins

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"I know I am but summer to your heart, And not the full four seasons of the year." ― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Scott Turow’s quote: "On the streets, unrequited love and death go together almost as often as in Shakespeare." | Image: AmoDays

Scott Turow’s quote: "On the streets, unrequited love and death go together almost as often as in Shakespeare." | Image: AmoDays

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"The knowledge that she would never be loved in return acted upon her ideas as a tide acts upon cliffs." ― Thornton Wilder

"With women who do not love us, as with the 'dear departed,' the knowledge that there is no hope left does not prevent us from continuing to wait." ― Marcel Proust

"You have never loved me as I love you — never — never! Yours is not a passionate heart — your heart does not burn in a flame! You are, upon the whole, a sort of fay, or sprite — not a woman!" ― Thomas Hardy

"All these years, I've had a story in my mind, the story about us that never really existed. And because of that story, I've kept you framed up on the wall in a little box of nostalgic moonlight." ― Cathleen Schine

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"Thus much and more; and yet thou lov'st me not, And never wilt! Love dwells not in our will. Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot. To strongly, wrongly, vainly love thee still." ― Lord Byron

Shefali Shah’s quote: "I feel that a film that doesn't end with a happy ending has a far bigger reach. It lingers on far more. Unrequited love stories have much more impact on the audiences" | Image: AmoDays

Shefali Shah’s quote: "I feel that a film that doesn't end with a happy ending has a far bigger reach. It lingers on far more. Unrequited love stories have much more impact on the audiences" | Image: AmoDays

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"Because by immortalizing the pain of my unrequited love, I am letting you go. This is me moving on the only way I know how." — Theresa Mariz

"I want him to see the flowers in my eyes and hear the songs in my hands." ― Francesca Lia Block

"I just like being as romantic as possible. I thrive off unrequited love. I've been in love in one way or another since I was 14. I go full-on in and get obsessive." — Tobias Jesso, Jr.

"I love the ocean, wide-open space, and trees, but I'm not a gardener or anything like that. I think I may be, eventually. I was raised in the city, so I don't have that skill set, but my heart is more with the dirt than the concrete. It's an unrequited love with nature; a one-way love affair." — David Duchovny

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"How do you make yourself not like someone?" — Louise Rennison

"I feel that a film that doesn't end with a happy ending has a far bigger reach. It lingers on far more. Unrequited love stories have much more impact on the audiences." — Shefali Shah

Miranda Kenneally’s quote: "When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special." | Image: AmoDays

Miranda Kenneally’s quote: "When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special." | Image: AmoDays

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"I'm the absolute queen bee of unrequited love." — Iris Murdoch

"I've decided to take this unrequited love and quietly put it away in a corner of my heart as a bittersweet page of my youth." — Shuu Maiko

"I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms ... on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane." ― John Green

Quotes about the Behavior That Stems from Unrequited Love

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"Always." — Severus Snape

Cassandra Clare’s quote: "Unrequited love is a ridiculous state, and it makes those in it behave ridiculously." | Image: AmoDays

Cassandra Clare’s quote: "Unrequited love is a ridiculous state, and it makes those in it behave ridiculously." | Image: AmoDays

"When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special." ― Miranda Kenneally

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"People do incredible things for love, particularly for unrequited love." ― Daniel Radcliffe

"Unrequited love is a ridiculous state, and it makes those in it behave ridiculously." Cassandra Clare

"I went to the University of Vermont because I had a kind of unrequited love for this high school girlfriend. She wasn't even at the University but at another school nearby. But I thought if went to a school near her, just maybe... I was really remedial about girls in so many ways." ― Ben Affleck

"Nothing makes a woman more spiteful than unrequited love." ― Miranda Devine

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Severus Snape’s quote: “Always.” | Image: AmoDays

Severus Snape’s quote: “Always.” | Image: AmoDays

"Always" is just one quote from the complex character Severus Snape from "Harry Potter." He used the word to express his undying and unrequited love for a woman who had died over a decade ago and for whom he went against most evil wizards of all time.

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He is only one fictional character of the many that have been used to embody this experience. Others, such as Eowyn and Aragorn in " The Lord of the Rings" and Eponine and Marius in "Les Miserables," also represented this painful right of passage.

Theodore Laurence and Jo March from "Little Women" is a memorable example, with Laurence, or "Laurie," who begged his best friend to marry him, but she did not feel the same. However, he ended up falling in love and marrying her sister, Amy March. Find out more about the March sisters by reading these quotes.

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