carry a torch

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carry a torch

To be in love with someone, especially secretly and/or unrequitedly. I've carried a torch for her since high school, but I've never been able to tell her how I feel. Susan carried a torch for him for years after they broke up.
See also: carry, torch

carry a torch (for someone)

 and carry the torch (for someone)
Fig. to be in love with someone who is not in love with you; to brood over a hopeless love affair. John is carrying a torch for Jane. Is John still carrying a torch after all this time?
See also: carry, torch

carry a torch

To have longstanding feelings of love that are not requited: still carrying the torch for a man she knew in her twenties.
See also: carry, torch

carry a torch

To love someone, often secretly, who doesn't reciprocate the feeling. The torch of the phrase could mean the flame of love or a handheld flame that lights the way to spy on the object of your affection, who is probably with his or her current flame.
See also: carry, torch