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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Heartbroker vs. Hearthbreakers

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

The Hearthbroken Versus the Heartbreakers

Is it really “better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?”

Eh, hard to say. 

It’s nice to look back and say you were in love and it was great, but losing that love can sometimes be devastating; so much that you wish you had never been in love so that you don’t have to deal with the heartache.  You might wonder why it didn’t work out, if the two of you can give it another shot, and why he changed his mind about the relationship when things were so great?  It brings about the idea of unrequited love.  Having feelings for someone and not having them returned.  So many questions come with that—why doesn’t he like me?  Did I do something wrong?  Can he just give me a chance?  For some, it can be misery.  But what about the person on the other end?  The one who doesn’t return the affections of another?  It can be misery for them also.


Though the heartbroken are clearly devastated, it can be quite a difficult situation for the heartbreakers, and often times, they are overlooked, or seen as the bad guy.  Sure, it’s easy to look at them that way when you are distraught by unreturned affections, but there has to be a reason for their actions.  First, let’s examine the different types of unrequited love.

One example is infatuation.  A person has a crush on another and it builds to the point of fascination.  They may not even talk to this person, but they have a longing for them and build up an idea of this person that is not real.  If they do pursue it, they may be rejected, or find out that the person does not live up to their expectations, and instead of having a crush, instead, they are crushed.  Another is that two people are friends and one builds feelings for the other, but he just wants to stay friends.  She cannot contain her feelings because they have already gone beyond the friend level but there is no changing his mind.  The question arises, “how can we be so close as friends that he doesn’t want a relationship?”  It doesn’t seem to make sense.  One, that I have experienced recently, is when two people are involved, and things are going great, and suddenly, nothing bad happens to break it off, but he just isn’t as invested as she is.  It leaves the lingering question, why?  And most times, there are no answers.

In my case, I did not get answers, and that is what is so frustrating.  I wanted answers.  Things were going great.  We talked about a future.  I knew he had some other stuff going on in his personal life, and I wanted to be there to help, but he needed his space.  I figured he needed time and things would pick up again after that, but they didn’t.  I felt completely cut off, with no explanation.  I still had feelings for him, and thought he did too, but something changed and I didn’t know what.  I was, in fact, heartbroken, just as many people have experienced when a relationship doesn’t work out.

Whether it be a crush, friend, or in dating, when it doesn’t evolve into what we want it to be, there is some heartbreak.  But what is it like for those who do the heartbreaking?  Often times, we blame them, and wonder how they could do something like that to us when they once cared about us.  If we think about it though, it is hard on them too.  It’s not an easy thing to tell someone you don’t want to be with them anymore.  No one really wants to hurt another person.  So often we think of ourselves as the ones who have lost in a relationship, but if we really think, how many times have we been the heartbreakers?  We’re usually lost in our own misery, but take a step back.  I did, and I thought about the times when I was dating someone who was more invested than I was, and I knew it wasn’t going to work out.  I had to call it off.  They persisted.  I had to say no several times, and it wasn’t easy for me.  I felt guilty.  I almost wanted to keep dating them just because I didn’t want to hurt them, but it’s not fair.  In the end, I had to cut them out of my life, for my own sanity, and so they could move on.  But now I wonder how that affected them.  I suppose I have hurt people just as I have been hurt, but in the end, that is how the dating process goes.

It’s not easy, this dating thing, and people do get hurt and sad, but the next time you are heartbroken, remember that the one who broke your heart probably had a difficult time doing it, and it wasn’t easy for him either.  There was a reason for it.  And once you recover and realize that perhaps it wasn’t the right relationship, you can mend that heart and move on to someone who is ready to embrace it.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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