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When You Can’t Love Him Back

How you can handle unrequited love without feeding the flames

BY Joan Thatiah

Apr 09, 2021, 03:21 PM

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It’s interesting how for the Kenyan man, the idea of spaces that he is unwelcome in is completely foreign.

You will be woken up on a Saturday morning by banging on your neighbor Akinyi’s gate. When you wake up to inspect, you will find a man with a bag of shopping. He will stand there banging and hollering for hours and when you ask, you will be told that it’s a man who loves Akinyi but she doesn’t want to see him.
If you are Akinyi and you meet a man who would drink your bath water and who you feel nothing for, what do you do?

Don’t Lead Him On

When thrown into this dilemma two years ago, 33-year-old Kendi decided to string the man along.

“He was very generous. He wanted to pay my rent, boost my business and buy stuff for my daughter,” she defends her decision.

Somewhere along the way, she finally met a man she fell for and dated him chini ya maji for a few months. Trouble started when her newfound love decided he loved her enough to marry her and her family made plans for a formal introduction ceremony. The other man heard and showed up quite drunk on her big day.

“It was all very embarrassing. I almost lost the guy I wanted. I would not do that again,” she warns.

There’s the take-home, ladies. If you are not into him, if you would not want to be seen even crossing the street with him, don’t lead him on or take advantage of his affection to line your pockets.

What Can You Do?

Rejection hurts and there is no easy way to tell a man that all that warmth he feels in his belly when he sees you is one-sided. The best thing you can do for yourself and him is to be honest.

Buy him a nice cup of coffee, sit him down and tell him firmly that his affection is both unwanted and unreciprocated. Let him understand that the delusions he may have in his mind that if he keeps bugging you, you will fall for him are just delusions.

There are two mistakes that you are likely to make on this coffee date. In a bid to ease his heartbreak, you might find yourself trying to explain your decision. Telling him “You know you are a nice guy, it’s just that now is not a good time” or “I wish it was another time, I am seeing someone else right now.” Hun, stop. Explaining yourself might make him think that he can negotiate with you, that if he hangs around you long enough, he just might be able to talk you round to it. Tell your truth without sugar-coating it. He is a grown man, he’ll be fine.
Don’t try to offer him friendship instead of romance either. Checking up on him or letting him take you out for meals will just fuel his feelings making all your efforts counterproductive.

Most importantly, we are living in dangerous times. Spurned lovers are getting bolder and more violent, just look at the news. If your aspiring lover doesn’t take rejection very well and you feel unsafe at any point, call the cops.

Read: When Mr Right Has A Wife