In a Word ... Unrequited

There’s no accounting for bad taste

Who hasn’t experienced the grim pain of seeing a desired, would-be-beloved wander off with some eejit, ignoring the great prize that is our unrequited troth forever and ever amen? There is no accounting for bad taste. Worse, as time goes by, is to see same would-be-beloved and said eejit live happily ever.

I was reminded of this by a letter to our esteemed Trish Murphy from a man who heard himself described as “dull”. Rubbish. Dull people don’t write to Trish seeking help with relationships.

Personally, I’d rather throw my pen than write a letter describing myself as “a serial dater who has never been the one to end things” and who had recently been dumped by a girlfriend after a three-month relationship – “the longest relationship I have ever had”.

She then upped and started going out with another fellow who “barely ever left the county and has done very little if anything with his life but hang around local pubs and restaurants”. She opted for this wastrel instead of our letter-writer who is “well educated, very well read, have published academic papers in my area of interest, and I have had travel experiences that would make a good Netflix series”.


That was not all. He had “got lost while trekking through the desert, witnessed a carjacking in South America and narrowly missed arrest at a Thai Full Moon Party. I am good looking, I am articulate and I would have imagined that most people would find me interesting.”

What’s Not To Like? He asked she-who-had-dumped-him-for-the-wastrel. She was ... er ... frank. She answered “straight away”. The wastrel was “charismatic and charming and there is much more depth to him than there is to me”.

Well, I never! Since when did “charismatic”, “charming” and “depth” trump good looks, being almost arrested at a Thai Full Moon Party, or a carjacking in South America?

Our Trish trod softly in reply, quoting Socrates, spoke of “kindness, genuine interest, empathy,” and let it be known that emotional intelligence can also be learned.

But I was reminded of Robbie Burns and his wish that we “see ourselves as others see us!/ It would from many a blunder free us,/And foolish notion:/What airs in dress and gait would leave us,/And even devotion!”

Unrequited, from Old French requite, to repay/return ... plus `un-’ from Old English `un, a prefix for negation.