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I recently turned 21. About two years ago I was in a serious relationship with this guy I met on a dating app. We hit it off instantly. We did not meet for seven months, but when we did, we fell in love.
After more than a year together, we decided to break things off. We ended up talking for about three months after, but it only brought us pain. We knew the love had become one-sided; I loved him and he didn’t love me. We came to an agreement that we would discontinue daily communication, and he would return when he was ready. I was devastated. Ultimately the days turned to months and I never heard back.
I tried moving on, but no matter who met, I wanted other people to be just like him. That led to a lot of heartbreak. Eventually, he did reach out. It was only to let me know he had moved on and he was happy, that he no longer loved or missed me anymore and that I should do the same. I also failed to mention during those months of no communication I would send monthly updates on my life.
After he told me to let him go, I did for a while. I picked myself up and started fresh. A couple of months went by and I met a guy who was a dream and really sweet. One day he invites me to his job (he works in a restaurant). As I’m walking through the door, I see my ex. At that moment, I knew I was not fully and completely over him.
I let the guy I met go, out of respect, because he did not deserve that. It has been four months and I am currently thriving now. Everything I thought I was not capable of doing, I am now doing. The only downside is the person I want to call is my ex, the person I want to hug when I am stressed is him. I can manage without him but I still am unable to fully open up to anyone else. Why do I still want it to be him? Any advice?
You got used to telling this person everything, even after you broke up. He remained part of your routine, thanks to those monthly updates. That’s why you think to call him whenever you’re having a big feeling. Really, you never stopped.
This is a great time to change up your cycle. If you want to talk to someone about your accomplishments, call any friend or family member who cares about you. Do not daydream about what you would tell your ex and play out how he might respond. Stop the pattern the minute you recognize it, and then find someone who will answer you in real life.
Sometimes I think that when we get too creative about what we wish or believe our exes might do, those fantasies begin to feel like memories. They’re not.
One thing to consider is that you might not be over him 100 percent before you meet someone new. You don’t have to expunge someone from your life, all feelings of love included, before you can be open and fair to someone else. If you remove the pressure to be done with this ex, maybe you could be notice nice things about a new person. Thinking about an ex while dating others is OK, within reason. Just pay attention to who’s showing up for you, and you might start shifting your priorities.
Readers? Do you have to be 100 percent over an ex before falling for someone new? What should this LW do about these feelings?
Have advice for today’s letter writer? Be helpful. Be clever. Get your comment featured here.Meredith
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