carry a torch for someone

carry a torch for someone

If you carry a torch for someone, you are in love with them but they do not love you. Note: The torch referred to in these expressions is a long stick with burning material at one end which provides a light. This kind of torch is sometimes used in processions or parades. What makes a woman so special that a man will carry a torch for her all his life? Note: The verb hold is sometimes used instead of carry. He never saw the woman again. And he went through the rest of his life holding a torch for her.
See also: carry, torch