chapter  11
28 Pages

Unrequited Lust

ByWilliam R. Cupach, Brian H. Spitzberg

Although sexual attraction anddesire canbepotent forces that initiate and sustainpersonal relationships, they also can create discontent, distress, and relationship conflict. In this chapter we consider the phenomenon of unrequited lust. We draw on diverse literatures to explicate the manifestations and consequences of unrequited lust, as well as the copingmechanisms employed tomanage it. The problematic nature of unrequited lust is illustrated in a variety of relational forms, including sexual tension in platonic friendships, sexual incompatibility in romantic relationships, sexual pursuit in cyberspace, sexual harassment in the workplace, and sexual coercion.