Q: I had been with my boyfriend for 2.5 years before he dumped me unceremoniously and out of the blue a few weeks ago (we're both 25 and have both been in serious relationships prior to this one). I was (and am) devastated. I love him with all my heart, and I thought he was the one. He told me he felt the same way. When he broke up with me, his reasons ranged from "I'm not good enough for you" to "I don't love you like I used to." I'm assuming the latter is his real reason and the rest were designed to soften the blow/his guilt.
Background: This has happened before, and when he asked for me back, he promised to be more committed, to love me like no one else could, and to make an effort when things got rough instead of running away.
Looking back, perhaps I can see signs that he didn't love me as much as I loved him. He was no longer as excited to see me as I was to see him, he lost interest in investing time, energy or money into our relationship, and I didn't feel like a priority. I attributed these things to normal post-honeymoon stage settling down and typical 25-year-old guy behavior. The good outweighed the bad by a longshot. We were partners in everything we did, we were in contact 24/7 and saw each other as often as we could, and shared a sense of humor I doubt I'll be able to find in anyone else.
What I need help with is this: How do you face rejection from the person who means more to you than anyone else? I was not enough to keep his love. How do I stop that fact from breaking my confidence completely? Mentally I can find no way around the fact that I love him to death, but he doesnít even want to talk to me (don't worry, I haven't contacted him since the breakup). People keep telling me we just weren't a good fit, but the fact that I thought he was fantastic makes me feel like I was the one who didnít fit. I have hobbies, good friends, a good job, a handful of a dog, and though I don't bike, I have a love for marathoning.
Even with all these distractions, though, I still feel like each day is something to get through. I know I shouldn't, but I use hopes that he'll come back to push down thoughts of him finding someone else and forgetting about me. I almost don't want to get over it. I feel defective, but the sense of loss has sucked all the joy out of my life, and the guilt of anything that I might have done wrong is all I can think about. Am I an over-emotional drama queen in need of major therapy? How do I become the kind of girl who doesn't need anyone, who can brush this kind of thing off and move on?
– Unloved, Somerville
A: You are not a drama queen. There is nothing wrong with you. This is supposed to be awful. It's supposed to feel like you're wading through a pool of bricks.
He was your best friend. He loved you. He just didn't want to spend the rest of his life with you as your romantic partner. After dating you for more than two years, he realized that he had to let you go.
Believe me when I tell you that he misses you. He is in pain. He probably can't even explain to himself why you weren't right for him. He just knows that he had to move on.
Instead of trying to figure out what's wrong with you, I want you consider all that's right. You are so magnetic and fascinating that a guy in his early 20s couldn't stay away from you. And you weren't easy to leave. This guy could have bailed for good after the first break up, but he just couldn't let go of your awesomeness.
He's always going to love you, even if he doesn't want to be with you. You're the woman he'll Google at 4 a.m. when he can't sleep. You're the one he'll ask about.
Meanwhile, you're still magnetic. You're still you. When you're ready, you'll get to share all of your awesome traits with the rest of the world -- and maybe somebody new.
It does get better. And you will find someone with a great sense of humor. Just stop making this about you. It's about your ex. And now you don't have to deal with him.
Readers? Is this about what's wrong with her? How can she make this about him? What will help her get over this? Can you give her some perspective? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a new novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith here and on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.