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Tell me please why the author decided to put a before love in the following sentence.

To begin with, in ruminating about your past love, or a love neither returned nor perhaps even shared with your heart’s desire, the object of unrequited passion is idealized.

I am aware that love can be used as a countable noun meaning someone's crush, but there it was used, it seems to me, as a concept.

1

The article a indicates "instance of". The implication of the article is that there may be more than one love in your life. There may be "loves" in the plural. The sentence goes on to differentiate between kinds of love, or at the very least between circumstances attending the love: love professed but unrequited, and love kept secret, not "shared", that is, not divulged or professed.

0

a love is being used here as a countable noun because when it is "not returned" it is implying that it is a crush.

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