I need some help…
I was dating a man for 6 months, my first ever relationship, he broke it off with me as he said I needed to date someone closer to my own age who can fulfill my dreams. I get the words but I still don’t really understand why he did it. That was a year ago now. We are still close friends, talk often and support each other through some tough times. My difficulty is that I haven’t let go, I can’t seem to move on, I loved him then and I love him still. He says he still loves me and is adamant I should find someone else. He recently started seeing someone else and it’s just crushed me. I struggle to deal with the reality that there is no possibility with him any more. I have dealt with severe anxiety issues in the past 3 years, I was on medication to get me through a breakdown caused by work. Now I am staring down that barrel again not just because of this friend but also the suicide of another friend, ongoing illnesses and full time university study. I start counseling again on Monday.
After all that mess, what I need to know is… how do I move on? How do I keep a normal friendship with a dear friend despite the pain? Is there hope for someone as insecure as me? I’m close to 30, desperate to be loved by a man and longing to have children…
Thanks for your understanding,
Trying to Figure it Out
the first thing you need to know is that i fully support you getting back into counseling and think that is great for you. well done.
however, this is the part of your email i want to deal with:
After all that mess, what I need to know is… how do I move on? How do I keep a normal friendship with a dear friend despite the pain? Is there hope for someone as insecure as me? I’m close to 30, desperate to be loved by a man and longing to have children...
“how do i keep a normal friendship with a dear friend despite the pain?” the answer to this one is easy, but you’re going to hate it and probably not like me much for saying it.
the answer is, you don’t. you say “despite the pain”, i say maintaining the friendship is the cause of the pain. he shouldn’t be telling you he still loves while he’s dating someone else. he shouldn’t be telling you he loves you at all if he’s made it clear he’s done with the relationship. that is selfish and insensitive on his part and instead of beating yourself up over it and lingering in this state of longing, you should be angry.
you should be angry at him and at yourself for allowing it to drag out so long.
you need to ask yourself why you are trying to maintain the friendship? what’s the point? it is not going to become what you want it to be and it is the single most powerful force holding you back from moving on.
and it is 100% self inflicted.
you have tied yourself to this man willfully. it’s like he’s the earth and you’re his moon. it is impossible to move forward when you have strapped yourself to what is behind you. you say you are desperate to find the love of a man, but you have blinded yourself to any other options by continuing to invest all your emotions in someone who has already rejected you.
you are going to have to let him go. if he truly cares about you as a friend, he will let you. if he is selfishly hoarding your feelings for himself, he will try to convince you to keep going as you are while making no changes in his own behavior towards you.
you need to distance to heal. he may be really decent, but until you learn to take your focus off of him, you’ll never be able to see what else might be out there for you. your fear of losing what little he’s giving you is keep you blind to the potential for any real fulfillment.
oh so sincerely,
any other thoughts for our friend?
p.s. this was heavy. so if you want to laugh, head over to my guest post at Stuff Christians Like. what i wrote is okay, but the comments…oh the comments…are worth your time. there were several people who REALLY hated me. Acuff himself had to weigh in to defend me. it was amazing.