Dear Annie, Tom and I went out for a few months. We had an extraordinarily passionate relationship. He was very loving and attentive in the beginning, but he lost interest over time. I did everything I could to please him, but nothing seemed to work.
He told me that he was ending our relationship because he couldn’t be the kind of boyfriend that I deserved. That made no sense, because from my perspective, he was exactly the kind of boyfriend I’d been seeking! He was everything I wanted in a man. I couldn’t get him to understand that he was already perfect for me.
He had a difficult relationship with his mother, which resulted in him struggling when he was involved in other intimate relationships. I’m OK with this; after all, almost everyone has some sort of pain from their past. Even though it’s been over six months since we dated, I miss him and would still be willing to be supportive in the event that we got back together.
I told him that my intuition led me to believe that we would be fantastic together. He said that a successful relationship consists of two people who want to be together. He told me that he is sure that he will never love me.
I did my best to stay away, but couldn’t help but call or email every once in a while. He has now made it very clear that he wishes no further contact with me. He won’t return my phone calls, texts or emails.
I still hope that he will come back because I don’t believe that he will ever find anyone as good as me. I think that one day he’ll recognize that he threw away the best thing he ever had. Despite this, I have decided that it is time to move on. I started dating again about six weeks ago. I’m on OkCupid and have an easy time getting dates.
The problem is that no one resonates with me like Tom did. I go out with these guys and I feel absolutely nothing except boredom during the date and despair when I go home. I worry that I’m never going to feel anything for any other man. What can I do to get over Tom? Or, maybe get him back? Nancy
You have two problems: 1) Getting over your break up and 2) not being able to meet someone new and interesting.
Chances are that you’re not going to meet anyone appealing until you’ve dealt with the first problem.
Because you haven’t let go of your hopes for a reconciliation with Tom, you’re comparing every man you meet to him—which means that no one except Tom’s identical twin is going to have a chance with you.
This is your fundamental problem with Tom: Whatever other desirable characteristics he may possess, he is not interested in engaging in a relationship with you.
It sounds like he was initially attracted to you and enjoyed your company. But he didn’t want to take it any further. Your hope that Tom is going to rekindle your romance is holding you back. He’s made it unambiguously clear that he has no romantic feelings for you, to the point where he insists on completely disconnecting. It doesn’t matter why he broke it off. Maybe it has to do with his relationship with this mother. Perhaps he’s interested in someone else. Maybe he’s not ready for a relationship at all. In any case, it seems obvious that he didn’t feel the connection in the same way as you did.
Whatever his reason, your first task is to accept that he is gone forever. This isn’t easy. It often feels like a death, because you are dealing with the finality of the end of a relationship that deeply resonated with you.
Treat yourself gently. It’s important to acknowledge the depth of your sorrow.
Set aside dedicated time to mourn each day until you no longer feel the need to do so. Write in a journal. Get exercise. Do something that brings you even a tiny bit of joy or satisfaction each day.
In order to move on, it’s best if you let go of everything that reminds you of Tom, including photos, jewelry and gifts. Disconnect from his social media. Rearrange your furniture. Do whatever it takes to make your home relaxing and inviting without having reminders of Tom lurking around every corner.
It’s hard to become involved with someone new while you’re still attached to an old love. Once you have emotionally disconnected from Tom, you’ll have an easier time opening up to a new man.