I met Chris over a year ago when he started working at my company, and after being friends for about a year, we decided to give dating a try. The first three months were a complete whirlwind -- we talked non-stop all day through Gmail and spent at least three nights a week with each other. Weekends were always spent together.
After a few weeks of dating he told me that I was everything he had been looking for and that he hadn't had these feelings in so long. About a month later, he told me he loved me. Having been through a very rough relationship a few years ago (cheating, mentally abusive, etc.), I was slow to express myself as openly as he did, but I knew that if I ever wanted to have a successful relationship, I was going to have to start trusting him and let myself fall in love. I ended up falling in love with Chris and he reciprocated those feelings. We started taking long weekend trips together, spending time with each other's close friends, and started talking about the future and long-term plans.
Four months into our relationship, I get a text from Chris saying he had something he wanted to talk to me about over the weekend. He then proceeded to tell me that there is something in his heart that is holding him back from committing to me and taking the next step. He said that he wanted to break up, that it had nothing to do with me, that he was sorry and that he loved me. I was completely blindsided and heartbroken. I tried for a week to get more from him. Was there another woman? He said no. How long was he feeling this? Not long. I begged him to work through this with me because I feel so strongly about our connection and what we have. He continued to shut me out and provide no information other than that his heart isn't in it. Four months doesn't seem like that long of a time but I truly thought that I had met my husband and that he felt the same about me.
While I want to just let it go and move on, I don't believe what he is saying to me. I think that he is scared of possibly getting hurt. I want to give him space with the hope that he realizes that he made a huge mistake. Our friends are just as confused as I am and are just telling me to move on. I know in my head that I shouldn't wait around for him and that he most likely isn't going to change his mind but there is something in my heart that is refusing to let go. On top of all of this, I have to see him every day at work and he just acts like we are buddies as if nothing ever happened. Should I just cut ties and let him go? Is it worth even holding on to hope that he could change his mind?
– Heartbroken and Confused
A: You have to let him go. It doesn't matter whether he's making a huge mistake or running away from you because he's scared. If Chris isn't making an effort to be a part of your life, you can't force it.
I understand that moving on is easier said than done. I'm sure that you're miserable without him and can't help yourself from fantasizing that he will come to his senses. But you have to start training yourself to care a little bit less. Every time you find yourself thinking about him for more than a few minutes at a time, turn on the television or make a phone call. Come up with some cool plans for the next few months that have nothing to do with him.
He failed at this relationship the minute he stopped showing up. You deserve someone who's there, even when it gets scary. Instead of waiting for him to change his mind, change yours.
Readers? Should the letter writer hold out hope? What happened? How do you get over something like this?