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Ok, let's take this scenario: Tom and Mary work in the same company. Tom really likes Mary and he wants to love Mary and has very strong romantic affection toward Mary, but Mary always refuses him and has never given any attention to him.

Over time, Tom starts to get depressed since he thinks about his love for Mary all the time, but Mary doesn't care about him. He cannot get Mary's image out of his mind and that makes him depressed.

So, I don't think the word lovesick is suitable since

lovesick = in love, or missing the person one loves, so much that one is unable to act normally

So, lovesick could be two-sided love, but in the above story, there is only one-sided love.

I found the term unrequited love or one-sided love on Wikipedia. However, that term does not express the sickness of the one-sided love.

So, how do I express the idea that a person got sick because they love someone very much but does not receive any attention from that someone?

marked as duplicate by Drew, Chenmunka, Vilmar, Mari-Lou A, tchrist Apr 10 '15 at 11:16

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  • 3
    "Mooning" is a slightly dated term for the activity (not to be confused with the sort of mooning where one drops their drawers). – Hot Licks Apr 3 '15 at 12:40


From the free dictionary:

miserable because of unrequited love or unhappiness in love


On its own unrequited can apply to any gift or service not repaid or rewarded. But I think unrequited love is the term you need, and that it carries a strong enough implication of the accompanying 'sickness' for the use you suggest.

Renaissance sonneteers talked of unrequited male desire.

The OED says, in its second sense for the word unrequited: 2. Of a feeling, esp. love or desire: not reciprocated, not returned. In later use also applied to love, desire, etc., which is thwarted or remains unfulfilled for reasons other than lack of reciprocation. –

  • "Unrequited love" seemly means "one-sided love", in wikipedia, it doesn't say the person got sickness cos of that "Unrequited love" – Tom Apr 4 '15 at 1:09
  • I believe that in everyday usage there is an implication of pain. But perhaps that is just my impression. One of the glories of the English language is that it is open to interpretation, which allows for flexibility and movement in meaning over time. Though it is difficult to see how unrequited love would not involve at the very least disappointment. – WS2 Apr 4 '15 at 8:02

"He cannot get rid of Mary's image and that made him depressed", makes me think of "obsession".

"His love for Mary has turned into an obsession."

  • obsession (noun) "a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal" Merriam-Webster
  • Tom was fascinated by Mary and tracking her every move had become an obsession.
  • My mother had an obsession about cleanliness.
  • Tom's love for Mary approaches the level of obsession.
  • Money is an obsession for many people.

The love is not mutual.

If you don't receive any attention- you can call it " nonreciprocal" love.


  • There's an expression specific to love to mean nonreciprocal: unrequitted love. – Kris Apr 3 '15 at 14:28
  • @Kris, and it was mentioned by OP, so I gave it a miss. – Misti Apr 3 '15 at 14:44

Unrequited - (Of love) not returned by the person you love.

  • This is already ruled out in the question. Is there any reason you bring it up again here? It does not seem to fit the request. – Matt E. Эллен Apr 3 '15 at 20:43
  • No, my apologies for not reading the entire context OP had given. I only read the title and unrequited popped up in my mind. I still believe it's a felicitous term for OP's context, whether you and OP are going to agree, that's another matter. :) – Andy Semyonov Apr 4 '15 at 7:46

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