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"I lost the love of my life"

Please help me, I am so confused and can't seem to work things out in my head, it is making me depressed. This is so unlike me, I consider myself a strong person, out-going and open; But in my relationship (sorry I should say ended relationship) I am at lost on knowing how to respond and react with my Ex-boyfriend.

I have known my Ex as a friend for some years, and relatively recently (6 months ago)he told me about his feelings for me, expressing his attraction and expressing all his hopes and dreams, including wanting to be with me for possibly the long-term, even expressing a hope for settling down and having a family! I have always hoped for this, but he was in a relationship at the time, which he broke off a year and a half ago and he has not been dating until he said he wanted to be with me, - so you can imagine my joy! Everyone was happy for us, and they were very encouraging, and for the first time we were showing all, that we were couple, not just friends.

He is away a lot with the oil industry, so for many weeks I can only contact him via email or cellphone. I had no worries - the future looked bright, but as he returned to work, and the weeks past, I heard nothing, no contact; But I didn't worry too much, then the bombshell! - I received an email telling me that he thinks it would be best to stay friends, that he thinks 'I am someone special' (I quote)and wants to stay in contact with me-the reason he gave as not wanting us to be together,-was that he didn't want to move states and find work around my hometown(basically the opposite to what he expressed to me!). Even telling me he loves his work, when he originally told me he hated it!

I tried to play it like a coolgirl even though I hurt badly inside, and said I would like to stay friends and in contact with him, even telling him how much I appreciate him as a person and yes, I challenged (in a positive way)about his changed attitude.

I have not heard from him since I sent this email to him over a month ago. I have not contacted him, although I have been desperate to send a message, because a friend said to give him space to come round, that he is running away from himself/his own feelings, and has said too much, too soon and he has frightened himself off.

What does this mean?

Do I believe my friend, or is she just trying to be nice?

Will he come back to me?

Why does he do this if he thinks 'I'm special'?

I can't just move on, I am in love with this guy and because he has contact with my family, I will see him for many years to come. I feel so sad and I am going over every message from him, did I show him too much emotionally how I felt? I am embarrassed with having another failed attempt of my hopes becoming reality.

I'm constantly checking my mail for contact from him, this isn't me. I'm independent, with a responsible respected job and usually a positive person, but because of passed relationships and because I have been alone for a long time, I am insecure - I am even more so now.

Please respond, I think I am going nuts! And thank you for being there to ask.

17 Mar 2006
Name: Dolcie
Age: 33

Dear Dolcie,

My heart goes out to you. I know the sheer joy of thinking you’ve found your perfect person, only to have the happiness completely swept away from you when they – not you – decide that maybe it’s not meant to be.

Here’s the thing, though, I absolutely agree with your friend. Your ex is totally scared. Let’s look at the facts, shall we?

First of all, he was in a very serious relationship which he broke off a year-and-a-half ago. Aside from being terribly painful – we all know the ache of walking away from a failed relationship – you were the very first person he chose to date after that relationship. That means that for a year-and-a-half he was too pained to date anyone (clearly that relationship did a number on his heart and emotional well-being), and that even though he may not have felt completely ready to date again, he simply couldn’t resist irresistible, “special” you.

Because of that, I believe, like you with him, he’s had feelings for you for a very long time. And when that happens – when we date good friends – the relationship tends to move quicker than when we start dating someone random. Like you said, right away, he made all these assertions about wanting a future with you, a family with you, etc.  Did he mean those things? Absolutely. But, the lingering heartbreak of his past coupled with his time away from you (time away = too much time to think), has unfortunately allowed for negative and frightening thoughts to fester.

Think about it – he’s totally freaked out! Not only is he scared about getting hurt again (that’s actually the smallest part of it, I think), but in general, men are very logical creatures and he’s had a lot of time to think about the possible consequences of your relationship. You’re one of his closest friends, not to mention he’s practically part of your family, so in his mind, what happens if things don’t work out between the two of you? He ruins his amazing relationship (friendship) with you and your family!

It seems to me that that’s something your guy can’t possibly bear. Know what I mean?

Do I agree with what he’s doing? No. As a hopeless romantic I believe in loving boldly; when you find your soul mate you hold on tight and don’t let go. But in my putting myself in his shoes and attempting to be a realist and logical thinker, I completely get it. He’s afraid, plain and simple. He’s just utterly afraid.

So what do you do? Well, kudos to you for being as strong and independent as you are. I know a lot of women (myself included!) who wouldn’t be as cool as you and would little by little start the stalking process (an email here or there, then a few phone calls, followed by surprise visits. Not that I’ve ever done that or anything…).  You’re way is definitely the way to go – giving him space is great.

But just because you’re not dating right now, doesn’t mean you’re not friends, right? And friends communicate. And when things are rough in life, friends are there for one another. So be there for him, as a friend.

Keep the emails light and friendly, but show him just how confident and cool you really are by being an awesome friend. I know this sounds a little counteractive, but believe me, it’s going to show him just what he’s missing. He’s no doubt going to regret giving up such an awesome, kind, considerate woman.

But beyond that, you’ll truly begin to rebuild your friendship, and in the process, make him feel comfortable with you again and vice versa. This is key. You want him to realize on his own that if you truly love one another (which I think he really will realize; just because he ended things doesn’t mean his love for you disappeared), than even despite his fears and concerns, a romantic relationship between the two of you is worth going after and fighting for.

But in the meantime, I suggest light, casual, breezy emails. Be his friend, again, first. And hopefully once a friendship is rekindled, the next step (romance) won’t be far off.

Good luck!


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