UK Relationships/what do i do?

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"Hey Steve, when I was 17 a girl stole my heart, yes, the girl of my dreams,the girl that got away... we started Dating and everything went great,we never fought, never had any disagreements and from the start I know she was "the one" she told me she felt exactly the same way.... 6 months have passed and I received an opportunity to travel America for a year... at the time I had no idea how important she was to me. I have confessed my love to her and her to me but I felt like I couldn't miss the opportunity to see and travel a country I've always wanted to, we agreed to breakup when the time comes but we never officials did it, after I left however, I realised what I mistake I've done.... she moved countries but we were still in touch, halfway through the year I start having dreams about her, I'd cry myself to sleep on some occasions... she seemed to be having the time of her life though as she is always seen with friends, partying and having a good time. We started talking less and less as each week passes by but my heart grew ever sore as the weeks pass by. After a struggling year and myself returning back to my country and she too for holidays we agreed to meet up, However it wasn't what I expected it to be, I confessed the amount of feelings I still have for her but she told me she has faded feelings like you'd normally expect a "breakup" to be. I wanted to see her as much as possible for the holiday yet she said she was only available for 2 days (even though she was here for a full two weeks) and her visits lasted a disappointing 2 hours or so... her response to me slowed, taking from hours to days to respond... it drived me insane because she's obviously online on Facebook every 10 minutes or so... after the holiday we rarely spoke, I'd msg her but she won't respond... so I felt i finally need to let go... I stopped msging her and over a period of time of about 4 months I've stopped thinking about her...it's been 7 months since I saw her and almost 1.5 years since we agreed to go our separate ways.. I moved country for college but it's been hard making friends, I've been stuck in my flat for 4 months in complete isolation, I'm always surrounded by people but I've never felt so lonely in my life... now back to the point.. I stopped thinking about her but she still haunts me in my dreams about once or twice a months if have the most amazing dreams of us two together and I usually wake up and start tearing, not because of being sad but because of amazing the dream was... but then I can't stop thinking about her again... now I have had about a dozen sex partners and 2 relationships after her but I'm sure it was just to fill the void for a time being a nothing more... now I am laying in bed at 4:30 in the morning, thinking about the dream I just had and about her and I ask you, what seems to be troubling my subconscious for these dreams to bring me back to square one almost every week? Is it because we had no official breakup? Is it because she's having the time of her life and I'm really lonely? Is it because I don't want another girl other than her? Is it because she's lost feelings and I haven't? Is it any unsolved problem? Is it because I chose travelling a country over her at the time? I need your advice, please for the sake of my mind (: I'm 19 now almost 20 btw... so it's been almost 3 years since we've met"

Answer
Hey Max

I think I can help by answering all of your questions with one answer.......Is it because we had no official breakup? Is it because she's having the time of her life and I'm really lonely? Is it because I don't want another girl other than her? Is it because she's lost feelings and I haven't? Is it any unsolved problem? Is it because I chose travelling a country over her at the time?
...................Yes

I don't mean to be over simplistic but you strike me as intelligent and analytical , so I think that you already basically know why you are behaving as you are.

Desire is a fundamental human condition. Its programmed in us. It was an essential emotional tool for stone-age man to procreate, to hunt, to get out of his hut in the morning. The flip side of desire however is longing - if we want something passionately and we are denied the object of that passion - it hurts. For everyone.

You're asking yourself "what if?" . What if things had continued in the perfect vein like before the split? What if she was "the one" and I've missed my chance at lifelong happiness? What if I never find anyone else that I can bond with like that?

Now can I please set your mind at ease. I've been talking to people about relationships for a long time , and I've been in a good number of relationships myself and there is one universal truth - there is no such thing as a soulmate. Hollywood and glossy magazines love to tell us that there are - but its fantasy. Don't buy into it. Put soulmates in the same category as boy wizards and heroes who kill a hundred men without getting shot. Great for fantasy but no place in the real world.

Please don't think I'm being unromantic. I'm not diminishing love - love is awesome and I firmly believe that two people can find a closeness , a bond, a love that can last a lifetime. But I also believe that if that bond breaks there is always room to find another who will thrill you , love you, delight you and excite you , maybe in different ways but just as fulfilling as before.

You are young Max , you will meet tens of thousands of people in your life. The idea that the only one for you was a girl you met when you were 17 years old is statistically, ridiculous.

Another thing is , if you are a bit heartbroken over someone - Facebook and Instagram are nightmares. They post totally edited facsimilies of life. I post on Facebook on 4 basic occasions - when I attend sports events, when I go on holiday, when I eat at nice restaurants and when its someones birthday . Anyone reading my Facebook timeline would think my life was an endless merry go round. And why , because people don't tend to post on Facebook "Spent the entire afternoon watching bad TV", "Had a stomach ache so didn't go out", "didn't sleep last night as I was running through regrets in my mind".

Which is a long winded way of saying, just because she posts parties and trips to the beach on Facebook, don't kid yourself into believing that she doest have problems, doubts, fears, pains and boredom just like the rest of us. She does.

So, what you are waiting on now are these feelings to totally disappear. Prepare yourself for the fact that they will lessen but may never disappear, our first love is a lifelong pang for many of us, but its just a memory. Its no substitute for love and sex and family and loyalty and trust and all of those things that you WILL find with someone else.

So you need to live your life, you're only lonely because you haven't given yourself the freedom to find comfort in other people yet. You need to open yourself to that because for people of your age , intelligence and social circle, loneliness if usually self inflicted.
Shine the light Max, and friends and lovers will come but you must be open to it. And don't always be looking for her replacement, for "the one" , just wait, it will happen.

Take delight in life, in yourself, in others , in things you love. Define yourself by the things you enjoy and the loneliness will go.

Good luck
Steve  

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Steve Wilson

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Any questions on families or relationships are welcome. As are any issues or problems that you have with communicating or simply being understood by those around you. I have voluntarily worked as a counselor in the past, both with individuals and families. I cant promise to have an answer to everything but will help as and where I can, without making judgements.

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Both a former telephone counselor with a well known international support organisation and a former police officer within a major UK city. I've helped with numerous issues and worked with individuals and family towards conflict resolution.

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Bachelor of Arts (Honours). I've received training in family and teenage counselling.

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