Unrequited Love

Why do we keep on giving to people that don’t give back? What s our inherent flaw that makes us
send that text message, phone call or gift to a person that just doesn’t appreciate it. What gives us
this rather obsessive behavior ?

I have a theory that it is tied to the variable payout. They have conducted studies on gamblers
and found out that the variable reward is the only reason we are entertained. Giving someone
something with constant payout, (i.e. a vending machine ) isn’t intriguing in the slightest.
Give someone a slot machine, and they never know when or how large their reward will be.
This is exciting and the few times you get the reward, you can’t help but justify all the previously
wasted coins.

Apply this to unrequited love. We keep pouring coins in, be it by time, money, or conversation.
We normally don’t get any reward. Our advances get ignored, humored or simply taken for granted.
Occasionally, we get little signs that make our hearts flutter. A few lined up slots, but no jackpot.
This keeps us pouring in more effort. The relation to gambling is there is an illusion of a pattern.
We get enough rewards so that we keep on playing. Our cells think they’ll figure out the pattern soon.
I think we justify all of the wasted effort in our minds, knowing that once that person just sees it –
just realizes what we already know in our hearts to be true, then they will come running. Like a
switch they will suddenly realize all the betting you’ve been doing for them and reward you.
Like a jackpot.

Problem is, this never happens. Ok, rarely happens. If casino’s suddenly switched the odds and
Gamblers knew they would never going to win. They would eventually quit. They would grow bored.
No variable pay out, no interest, no fun. All the people I know who are betting on unrequited love
need to stop. They need to realize that there will be no jackpot. The love is gone. The person
you keep pouring your heart into just doesn’t care anymore and will never have that epiphany you want them to.

I write this article as someone who has observed, someone who has loved, and someone who has unrequited.
From one direction, I see myself as the casino that never pays out. From the other, the addicted gambler
that knows one more coin will give me my dreams. Just one more coin, then she’ll notice. As an observer,
I’ve watched other couples fall to this trap. The one that wants, and the one that wants something else.
I write this in hopes that I’ll take myself off the table and step out of the casino once and for all. I advice
other people in similar situations to do the same. And of course, the casino won’t even notice your gone.

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