Anne in New York writes:
I can’t seem to move past my ex-boyfriend, Matt. I try to go out, have fun on my own, but the more I see, the more I feel he was the right one for me. Do you see anything happening for us in the future? Is it possible he feels the same way? Please help me to have some clarity about this relationship as I have been suffering now for more than 20 months and feel a part of me is missing. Please let me know if you still see things working out.
It can be quite challenging to try and keep the forward momentum of life flowing when we can’t stop thinking about the past. Even though it feels like a part of you is missing, you have to start believing that you are whole, because you are.
You and Matt are currently on separate paths, and those paths have to be followed. Part of the challenge that you face is adjusting to life without Matt, which means focusing more on how things are rather than how things were. I’m not going to downplay the depth of love you still have for your ex, but I am going to encourage you to quit hiding behind it. Currently, the loneliness gets to you, and reminiscing about all of the good things of that relationship is creating a void in your world that you believe Matt, and only Matt, can fill. It is this way of thinking that causes you to suffer more deeply. Love him, miss him, and remember – but don’t let these memories and feelings continue to hold you still.
This relationship will get a second chance, but that opportunity presents as quite some time away. Even though this may be what you want more than anything, by holding on so tightly and living each day in waiting, you aren’t changing anything – it is still a matter of time. Unfortunately, it could be as far out as a couple of years.
Each of you is still learning and growing – facing challenges that are part of your life’s master plan. It is through these individual experiences and personal growth that each of you will come to more fully understand the relationship you had, and successfully come together and create the relationship that should be. Sometimes, there are no shortcuts. By so actively waiting for the day when Matt is open to reuniting with you, you are missing out on some of the things you are meant to experience.
While other guys aren’t going to stack up to your memories of Matt, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be open to giving them a chance. Matt currently isn’t sitting around letting life pass him by, he’s living it as fully as he can. You should allow yourself to do the same. Being open to new people and experiences is part of what helps us heal and grow, along with the passing of time. While it’s still going to hurt for awhile, decide to work through the pain by appreciating the life and opportunities you have now, rather than prolonging your sense of suffering by wanting and wishing things could be different.
The day will come when you feel complete, and you realize you aren’t waiting anymore. As irony would have it, once you are done waiting, Matt will once again be knocking at your door.