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When You’ve Fallen for Someone Who Isn’t Right for You Right Now

Lovesick

“You have to learn to get up from the table when love is not being served.” ~Nina Simone

I completely fell for someone.

It was one of those instantaneous connections, the kind that movies are made of. That’s how it was in my head, at least.

But it didn’t matter, as I was moving to another city, traveling, and exploring by this point. There was no way anything was going to happen, because there was no space in either of our lives for it.

Almost a year later, we found our way back to each other. It was fireworks. Long conversations, physical connection, honesty. We carved out places for ourselves. I found that I didn’t have to play games, that I could be completely open with him.

I decided to make space for him in my life, no matter what.

There came a point when I asked him whether we were working toward anything more substantial, and though he admitted to feelings for me, he said that he didn’t have the capacity for anything serious.

It stung, yet how could I let go of someone who made me feel this way? The highs were so high.

We tiptoed around a relationship that stemmed from something real, yet became based on addiction and longing. It was a dangerous cycle of feeling broken when he left and high when he re-entered my life.

I knew he was working through his demons, too, and though I believe he cared for me on some level, he didn’t have the ability or desire to give me what I needed—his consistent presence, and the foundation for something healthy and meaningful outside of the honeymoon and infatuation stages.

I was taking what was offered to me, even though it wasn’t enough.

Whenever he’d come back into my life, I’d cling to him emotionally and our connection would be as strong as ever, yet I’d return home in tears, knowing that it would be a long time between ‘hits.’

I felt myself shatter and became prickly toward him when we saw each other, unwilling to properly communicate my discontent, since it came at the risk of one of us finally walking away.

We could both see I was getting hurt and that he felt stifled by expectation, yet neither of us had the capacity to shift our desires or leave, so we’d find our way back to each other again.

It was the perfect storm. Eventually, we had to hit a wall.

When we ended, it was not because I’d stopped caring, but because we were unwilling to shift what we wanted or could offer one another.

There was no drama of hurtful words—he had not lied to me or cheated, and I hadn’t been anything but upfront about how I felt or what I wanted. We just weren’t on the same page.

Even though the split felt counter-intuitive, we were in an uncomfortable stalemate. The only option was to walk away. I learned some important lessons, however.

Remember what you are willing to accept, and be honest with yourself about it.

At first, I merely wanted to know he had space for me in his life. I thought I could accept our off/on dynamic because I was in a place in my life where I was focusing on what I wanted to achieve outside of intimate relationships. But the more I was around him, the more I wanted something meaningful.

I began to strongly believe that we could be in a healthy and functional relationship; however, my belief didn’t change the present reality, which was only hurting me.

While it’s good to see how things unfold, if someone doesn’t treat you the way you want to be treated and the whole situation is bringing you down, you are doing a disservice to yourself by staying.

You need to take care of yourself before you allow anyone else in your life. No one is there to ‘fix’ you.

Because we had such an intense connection, I lit up around him. I felt like I was the best version of myself. Though he was someone I genuinely cared about, he inadvertently became an easy way for me to feel better and worthwhile, and I came to rely on that validation.

We were on shaky ground already, and my dependence on his fluctuating presence made the way I perceived myself even more tumultuous.

It’s difficult to have a healthy relationship if someone is filling a void instead of just adding to the great person that you are. The first step, however, is to believe you’re worthy outside of that connection.

I needed to learn to be happy with myself and my decisions without someone reassuring me. For me, that occurred by exploring the things I craved to my core: writing, traveling, reading, and meeting new people.

I committed myself to nourishing experiences, recognizing my own thoughts and habits, and behaving in a way that was kind to myself.

You can’t pry someone’s heart open, nor might you be enough to change them.

If someone doesn’t want to be with you, or doesn’t have the capacity to be with you, then there is nothing left for you to do but respect that decision and try to reassemble your life without them.

Both people need to be willing to make an effort and come to the table with open hearts and open minds. You can’t fight for something if it’s not on offer.

If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. But if it can’t now, you have to move forward.

There is a time to fight and sometimes, a time when you need to walk away. Instead of frantically searching for a resolution, sometimes we just need to get off the emotional roller coaster.

Whether that means taking time apart or splitting for good, there is opportunity in learning to live your life as best you can outside of your relationship. You never know what might happen down the line, but unless a shift occurs for the both of you, it is impractical to entertain the possibility of a reunion.

I’d love to say that my feelings have subsided completely, that I don’t feel a sting in my chest when I think of him, but that isn’t the case. However, I have enough self-awareness to know that we couldn’t continue that cycle, that I needed someone to be on the same page as me, and that I needed to grow and heal before I could be in a relationship—with him or anyone else.

Everything in our life is a reflection of the choices we have made, and once we’ve exhausted all possibilities, we need to start making new decisions.

Though it can feel counterintuitive, letting go of a love that isn’t good for you right now is an act of kindness to yourself.

Lovesick image via Shutterstock

Profile photo of M. J. Ross

About M. J. Ross

M. J. has a background in psychology and a keen interest in mindfulness therapy. She finds comfort in the universal familiarity of interesting conversation, Earl Grey tea, and good playlists. A strong believer in a well-rounded approach to well-being, she also develops platonic crushes on inspiring people and enjoys exploring new places in the world.

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  • Josh

    Thank you so much for this post and the timing it has come to me. I am currently in the process of getting over someone who I thought was perfect for me. I’m 30 and she was someone I actually had a crush on all through high school, but she always had a boyfriend. Over the course of my 20s I would see quotes or pictures of her on Facebook and I just had this hunch that if we were ever to cross paths sparks would fly. Sure enough in January last year we did and indeed sparks did fly. Our conversations were long and in-depth, the physical attraction was most definitely there, and we both felt good in how we made each other think and feel. There was just one problem though.. She was a single mother and at the time I was just not sure how to handle that variable of kids if we were to progress into an actual relationship. Ironically, I had just come out of a career path of wanting to be an elementary teacher but had reached burnout and just needed a break from kids altogether, so it put me in a tough spot because I really did have feelings for her. After a month or so into our connection I had to pump the breaks on where we were going. I took a break from seeing her, but then after a month we came into contact again and our connection was present and heartfelt. As the year progressed and the more I spent time with her, the more my feelings became stronger, but again I would have this feeling in the back of my mind that I couldn’t give myself fully to her because of thinking about her son. I didn’t want to only give half of myself when I knew she deserved more. This conflict eventually again caused us to drift apart until my birthday this year I decided I wanted to try floatation therapy (sensory reduction tank) to assess where I was at in my life. The experience was one of the most profound I had encountered and during my time in the tank I began to see what was most important to me in my life. I began to see that relationships were important to me and that I wanted to nurture and maintain the ones I already had. Of course, with this thought she entered my mind again and I began to see that what I felt around her was something special that I wanted to try to breathe life back into. I told her this year how I felt, but it was not met with the open arms that I thought it would. She had already moved on and to my surprise she was seeing someone. She had told me it was not the same connection that we had, but that things were going well. She had then told me that she was actually hurt and upset with me in the past because of my inability to see what we had and to not commit to it. I had played with her heart basically with connecting with her on a deep level, but then not fully committing. I realized this and then suddenly sank into regret which has been hard on me. We went another month not seeing each other until one day she left a voicemail wanting to hang out. I misread the tone of her voicemail and thought that maybe there was a change of heart and that maybe we could get together again. After a few weeks of finally getting on the same schedule to where we had time to hang out, we met only to find out that she is still seeing this other guy. When I heard her say this my heart just sank and then I felt stupid for getting my hopes up on the whole deal. I felt like a dog when their ears go down after they misbehave and their tail goes between their legs. For me, this feeling is one that has surfaced my whole life. I’ve dealt with rejection ever since my childhood in losing my parents at a young age. So when I fall for someone, its usually pretty hard. She then told me that even if we would have gotten together it probably would not have lasted and that she does not do well in relationships. All of this was a shock to me, but I knew I had to start the process of letting her go. I guess what hurts the most is that she has been the best girl I have come across in my life as far as a connection and attraction goes. I know better than to live in the past, but this one stings because of the depth of the connection we had and the reality that I just have to let go. I have been trying to tell myself every day that was it meant for me will find me. I could relate to your story in the part of just not being on the same page. She was really into me when I was not there fully and now the tables have turned. I know I just need to look at this as its not meant to be, but its just been a challenge for me.

    Again, thank you for this post. Hope you have a great day!

  • Jeanine

    This was a great post. 7 years ago, I met that person – the one with the instantaneous connection. We tried to make it work then, but we both had many of our own issues to deal with first. We talked now and then, until finally, 5 years and a whole lot of self realizations after our first meeting, I got to a point where I was able to let it go completely.
    One month later, I found myself across the table from him at a restaurant. 1 year later, we were engaged. And this year, we were married. We’re both older and wiser and learned what we, as individuals needed before we could have a healthy relationship together. It might not always work out this way – but I had to come to terms with it, take responsibility for myself and realize my own dreams before anything could happen, whether it be getting passed it entirely, or reconnecting with him in a healthy, mature way. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Josh, thanks for reaching out! Firstly, it is nice to hear that my words resonated with you, and thanks for sharing your own story 🙂 It sounds like you were honoring what you felt was right at the time when you said you didn’t have the desire or capacity to commit. However, while it is unfortunate that the timing didn’t work out for the two of you, it sounds like she needs to explore her present relationship and you have to let go and heal.
    I am sorry that it did not go the way you had hoped, but perhaps you have learnt more about yourself, and if or when a new love comes along, you will be ready for it.
    Maybe in the process of all this, your heart has expanded for a love you didn’t
    even know you were capable of! I think the hurt and regret is a natural
    byproduct of letting go, and I truly hope you get through this time and are
    being kind to yourself in the process.
    I am sorry about your parents, perhaps seeing a professional who can delve through the issues you mentioned would be a source of healing for you. I also like turning to comfort in the everyday things: remembering to take deep breaths, writing, and surrounding myself with great people and new experiences.
    I hope you have a great day, too, all the best!

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Jeanine, thanks for also sharing your story! I think that when letting go is the only option left, that is what has to happen. It is great to hear that letting go actually allowed you to grow into yourself and allowed for your relationship to flourish down the track. I hope everything is going well for you and your husband 🙂

  • Peace Within

    Heart break is never easy.You never know who you will meet in the future and what type of connection you’ll have. You know that saying, “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” As I healed from my heart break, this became true. Take care.

  • Lois

    Very good points, thank you

  • Lois

    Thank you for sharing

  • Lois

    I lost several years of my life when I was much younger, unable to let go of what was a hopeless love; it took me an equal amount of time to get back to being ‘me’ again… and then, then I did find true love, reciprocated love, and I found real happiness too. We have been together for twenty-five years, and been through several very hard and difficult things, but with each other’s love and support we have come through.
    This is a great post, I just hope people who are caught in the wrong relationship find your words of wisdom and advice!

  • raAnanya Karmakar

    I could relate to what you have said deeply. I broke up with someone whom I thought was “the one and only for me” , one month ago. He did not cheat, he did not lie, he was scared to tell me the truth… The truth that he had fallen out of love. Three months of dragging, bargaining, begging, making up and patching up created a hellish bedlam in my head untill i finally decided to put an end to this one sided relationship. Because i gradually realised that i was hampering my life for someone who no longer was the one whom i had fallen for. He changed and has no feelings for me. So , i have decided to live for myself now. I cannot see myself going through all that mental agony. Ofcourse, it hurts. But as you said,’ If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. But if it can’t now, you have to move forward.’

  • Cindy Wu

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your inspiring thoughts. This will heal millions of broken hearts. I truly believe what you have said. It’s easier said than done because we are vulnerable human beings. But I believe if we can get through the tough times with this positive attitude and determination, our lives will only get better. Cheers to the bright future.

  • Leyla S.

    M.J. Do you have a personal blog or website? I tried researching any other writings you’ve done after reading your first tiny buddha article “When you feel pressured and overwhelmed by possibilities” because everything you seem to write strongly resonates with me. It is almost like you are speaking directly to me and I thoroughly enjoy the message you are sending. So for that, I say thank you.

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Lois, thanks for sharing your story 🙂 I’m so pleased that you found reciprocated love, and that you’ve made it through the trickier times with the support of one another – there is strength in love like that. Keep well!

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Ananya! Sounds to me like you’re making a very wise decision to move forward with your life – its hard to walk away from what we want (or wanted), but sometimes it’s the only sensible option. You deserve more than a one-sided relationship! This could be a new chapter for you to focus on yourself, and who knows what the future holds? All the best 🙂

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Cindy, that’s kind of you to say, I hope this post helps people out there! It is not an easy process to mentally disengage from those sorts of feelings, but I think we need to stay true to what we need and deserve. Thanks for reaching out! 🙂

  • M. J. Ross

    Leyla, that was such a flattering question, thank you! I don’t have a personal blog or website at present but it is (potentially) in the works. Comments like that make me think I need to stop procrastinating, so keep an eye out 🙂 I hope things are going well on your journey, all the best!

  • Kelly

    Hi M.J., thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s been a year now since I broke up with him and there hasn’t been a single day passing by without me thinking of him. We were not together for a long time, but we had this instant connection, and we were committed to each other right from the start without even thinking about it. It just felt like everything felt into place. I had serious relationships previously, but never felt a physical, mental and emotional connection all the same with someone before. He told me he loved me and made plans for us.. But not long after that he started to act weird, breaking promises, making excuses, until one day he told me, he just liked being alone since he’s never really been single and it’s not because he didn’t think we could be long term. He broke me in pieces. So I walked away. He was still keeping in touch with me, texting me everyday for months after our breakup. I had hopes we could be together again, but at one point I had to be honest with myself that it was too painful staying in touch. It has all stopped now. It was my birthday two months ago, Nothing from him. I am in a good place now. I’ve found a new job which I love, I enjoy my life, pursuing new things and yet, there are so many moments when I am thinking “oh I want to tell him this”. Part of me feels so guilty that I am still thinking about him. I do want to fall in love again, have a relationship, find this connection again… I often wonder whether I am normal, grieving for someone for so long whom I only knew for such a brief period of time…

  • Shannon

    A connection is a connection no matter how short. Try not to judge it or yourself. I have been in similar situations to the one you describe.

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Kelly, I agree with Shannon. I think that there is no time limit when it comes to connection – feeling that way (falling in love) is going to shake you irrespective of
    the time you were together. if ultimately it is painful to keep someone in
    your life, then it is time to re-evaluate, and it sounds like you were looking out
    for yourself and honouring the kind of relationship you want. I truly believe that people who are meant to be or want to be in our lives in a healthy manner will find their way back; but, in such cases we have to focus on the present reality, take the lessons that we learned and live our life – and it sounds like you have been doing just that! Please don’t feel guilty about thinking about him; those thoughts are completely natural so be kind to yourself in those moments. All the best 🙂

  • Annie Anne

    I loved loved loved this post. Currently in the same position. Just walked away from someone who hurt me greatly and did not want to be with me any longer. It felt as if I was dragging him to even speak with me. We both have issues from our childhood and have opposite attachment styles. I’m more anxious and he is avoidant. I go closer to him and he pulls away further. Unless things change, we can not be together. I can totally relate to the “just wanting a space” in their life. However, I realize that I deserve so much more and If I keep holding on I will never have the chance to actually get that love from someone else. Thank you!

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Annie 🙂 It sounds like you were able to recognise what was going on (childhood issues do tend to resurface in adult relationships if not deal with) and do what was best for you. You certainly deserve to have someone who is excited to be a part of your life. Take care!

  • DJ

    I love and hate this post. Love the message, hate knowing what I too have to do to take care of myself.

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi DJ, I can appreciate that this is a fairly brutal post, take care!

  • carina gomez

    Hi, I and my ex boyfriend broke up about 7 weeks now. We’ve been together for 4 years. We had so many issues during in our relationship. We got engaged and eventually he changed his mind not to get married soon and told me he doesn’tc want kids. It broke my heart. He also told me that culture differences is another problem between us. When we broke up I beg many times. He told he doesn’t want to go back in to our relationship and he wants us to move on. I stayed another 2 weeks with him while I am looking for a new place. we had sex a couple times. He told me he just want us stay as friends.When I moved out, he didn’t txt or call but when we each other we are fine talking like a friend. Is there anyway that i can win him back? that was the question i asked my sister and she told me he have had an encouter with the famous love doctor and i contacted him and he prayed for my relationship and my boyfriend came back to me and my relationship was restored and now we will be getting married soon. Please get to know him and ask for his help on (prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com). The love doctor is the best and will help you 🙂

  • carina gomez

    Hi, I and my ex boyfriend broke up about 7 weeks now. We’ve been together for 4 years. We had so many issues during in our relationship. We got engaged and eventually he changed his mind not to get married soon and told me he doesn’t want kids. It broke my heart. He also told me that culture differences is another problem between us. When we broke up I beg many times. He told he doesn’t want to go back in to our relationship and he wants us to move on. I stayed another 2 weeks with him while I am looking for a new place. wex had sex a couple times. He told me he just want us stay as friends.When I moved out, he didn’t txt or call but when we each other we are fine talking like a friend. Is there anyway that i can win him back? that was the question i asked my sister and she told me he have had an encouter with the famous love doctor and i contacted him and he prayed for my relationship and my boyfriend came back to me and my relationship was restored and now we will be getting married soon. Please get to know him and ask for his help on (prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com). The love doctor is the best and will help you 🙂

  • carina gomez

    Hi, I and my ex boyfriend broke up about 7 weeks now. We’ve been together for 4 years. We had so many issues during in our relationship. We got engaged and eventually he changed his mind not to get married soon and told me he doesn’t want kids. It broke my heart. He also told me that culture differences is another problem between us. When we broke up I beg many times. He told he doesn’t want to go backc in to our relationship and he wants us to move on. I stayed another 2 weeks with him while I am looking for a new place. we had sex a couple times. He told me he just want us stay as friends.When I moved out, he didn’t txt or call but when we each other we are fine talking like a friend. Is there anyway that i can win him back? that was the question i asked my sister and she told me he have had an encouter with the famous love doctor and i contacted him and he prayed for my relationship and my boyfriend came back to me and my relationship was restored and now we will be getting married soon. Please get to know him and ask for his help on (prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com). The love doctor is the best and will help you 🙂

  • Marie

    Hi Annie, your comment really resonated with me, I’m in essentially the same boat right now. I’m also an anxious attachment style, and am constantly drawn toward avoidant men. There’s an excellent book called Attached (Heller/Levine) that has really helped me understand why anxious are drawn to avoidants, and how to recognize avoidants before getting hurt by them. Sounds like you know something about attachment theory already, but just in case you’re looking for a good read. I wish you all the best.

  • jen

    Wow! its surprising how many people have the same story going on.. i could relate myself with u in every word u typed.. and just recently i started the first step..”understanding what i am ready to accept”.. its been a week and its extremely hard but i hope it will get better.. i have been on this emotional rollercoaster for 7 months now and i m getting myself ready to let it go.. i never had the strength but i hope its for the best.. thank you for your words of wisdom.. it encourages me to hold on to my decision and to be strong..

  • Lynnie

    Great post!!

  • LaTrice Dowe

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! It’s difficult to call the relationship quits, especially when someone isn’t meeting you halfway with the expectations. I remember ending a relationship last year, and unfortunately, it wasn’t easy.

    My ex-boyfriend was on the verge of spending a few years in prison on a assault with a deadly weapon charge. It was impossible for me to want more in a relationship from him, since he couldn’t go out to certain hotels and restaurants. I felt that he was making excuses. I had to do a lot of soul searching, and discovered that I was settling for less. Reality hit me hard! I called my ex-boyfriend to let him know that we should go our separate ways. He was extremely disappointed, but I was disappointed. The relationship was at a stand-still, and we weren’t going anywhere! The break-up gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my expectations from a man and relationship.

    I have a new boyfriend now, and so far, he’s exceeding my expectations. I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but hopefully, it’ll turn out all right.

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Jen, thanks for reaching out! Letting go isn’t easy, especially as we realise we might not be receiving what we want or feel we deserve. Change is difficult, but it can be for the better in the long run. Take care 🙂

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi there! It sounds like you realised that there was a discrepancy between what you were being offered and what you wanted. I am happy to hear that your new boyfriend is exceeding your expectations, keep well 🙂

  • I’m experiencing a breakup, and this post reinforced the fact that I made the right decision – to walk away. There’s no point in holding on to something that was never yours to begin with. Having a flaky relationship isn’t healthy, and dampens the soul.

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Justine! I’m glad this post helped in some way; walking away is hard, but still the better option in an unhealthy dynamic. I wish you the best!

  • Designher

    Wow you just wrote my life as of last year…nothing dramatic no bad words and it would have been easier if there was someone else. It would have been easier to hate him then to love him so much as I do. But I have grown immensely. I have no significant other in my life but I remain hopeful that the right person will come along. I have to keep my heart open and receptive. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story.

  • M. J. Ross

    I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but enjoy the growth and the lessons you can take from that experience. I’m glad to hear that you’re keeping your heart open 🙂 All the best!

  • Annie Anne

    Thank you, I hope you are moving on at whatever pace you are comfortable with. You deserve to have the love you want. I will check out the book.

  • sherie.hernandez
  • lacy.escalan
  • Thank you for this post M.J. It is so crazy how we can at times become addicted to a relationship and crave a person even when we know how toxic it is to be with that person. I have witnessed this in the lives of many of my friends and I have experienced it for myself. There were so many times when I felt as if I was suffocating inside that relationship, yet I convinced myself that I could not be without him. I am thankful for growth. I applaud everyone who has gained the strength to walk away when the person or timing just isn’t right.

  • neethu nath

    But memories won’t go.. Its so hurting.. Why we have to fall in love with someone who won’t love us back? Its so cruel

  • Jenn Acuna

    Thank you so much for this post! I am going through this very thing right now and it is incredibly helpful to hear all of your words. I bookmarked the page so I can come back to it when I need it. Thanks again!!!

  • Amy Phung

    Hi Ananya, I’m in a similar position as you. I’ve been with who I thought was my “one and only” for the last five years and within the last month, we broke up. He didn’t fall out of love with me, but he didn’t love me enough to stand up to his father. His father is completely against him being with me and has been all 5 years of our relationship. I finally realized that I can’t be with him presently (or ever), so I decided to focus on me and do what’s best for me. I hope you find the happiness you deserve.

  • M. J. Ross

    You are most welcome Jenn, I’m glad that it has helped you on your journey. All the best!

  • M. J. Ross

    No, the memories won’t go, but the pain will lessen, I promise! The heart wants what it wants, my friend, but it is up to us to recognise when we’re not being given what we deserve or need! All the best!

  • Ananya Karmakar

    Sad that you are too going through the same situation. But you know what, I feel a lot better now since I have started implementing all positive thoughts and activities which I have acquired through advices from people who have been through this. I am sure you too will feel better and positive about the future. Every situation has a silver lining. Help this break up be a life-lesson to you and grow better and stronger. 🙂 Thanks for your wishes and the same go for you.

  • M. J. Ross

    You’re right, it is crazy, our addictions aren’t always good for us, and even love can be an addiction! It is so important to not remember to lose ourselves within the relationship and to remember our own self-worth… and be treated the way we deserve. I applaud everyone who can do this too; I think it is one of the hardest things to do. Thanks for reaching out 🙂

  • Bri B

    Great article! Your statement at the end, there’s a time to fight and a time to know when to walk away holds true for me. Sometimes walking away is so much harder than fighting. I’m usually the doer, the fighter, doing something. But walking away can be more powerful than we think.

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Bri! I agree; sometimes walking away is definitely harder than fighting, because it means acknowledging sometimes painful truths. Glad the words resonated with you, all the best 🙂

  • Cristina Garcia

    I appreciate this. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  • Kelly

    This post touched something in me… I am married to an amazing person. He is kind, gentle, committed to me, he is the perfect husband. But things that I deeply crave and need to feel love are not there… He doesn’t like kissing or touching – I am the opposite. His interests are few and do not coincide with mine. Most of the things I love about life are not shared with the person I want to share them with the most. I don’t know what to do. Do I keep working on this relationship or call it quits?

  • M. J. Ross

    You’re welcome, hope it helped! 🙂

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi Kelly, thanks for reaching out! It is up to you to consider what is being offered and what you want; whether it’s working with what you have already or choosing a different path is up to you. I wish you the best, good luck 🙂

  • papamak

    Hey there!

    Great post! I feel totally identified with what you wrote.

    I knew one guy 2 years ago via internet. We started talking by internet, but decided to meet each other on real life very soon. When I met him on person, for me it was an instantaneous connection: first words, and I realized he was the kind of person I liked. We met a few times, had some fun, but didnt get to know each other very much. I was leaving to another country and we both knew it, so as you said, there was no chance nothing was going to happen. We decided to just have fun for the period I was there.

    A couple of months ago, I came back home and decided to meet him again. There we get to know each other and he is everything I ever wanted. Actually, he is more than I was ever expecting from someone (fun, smart, adventurous, sexy physically and emotionally, open-minded, kind…) But most importantly, he had his life (and I had mine). I mean that, even when we were together, each one had its life, not needing the (continuous) admiration of the other one to be a full person. We didn’t need to do everything together as if we forgot who we essentially were. And that’s what I haven’t found in other people.

    Exactly as it happened to you, “There came a point when I asked him whether we were working toward anything more substantial, and his response, though admitting to feelings for me, was that he didn’t have the capacity for anything serious” with me. Since then, we both knew the truth, but that didn’t make it any easier.

    Again, exactly as it happened to you, “There was no drama of hurtful words—he had not lied to me or cheated, and I had not been anything but upfront about how I felt or what I wanted. We just weren’t on the same page.” I wanted to enjoy every single moment with him, ‘cos I’m fucking happy when we are together, and he enjoys being with me too. “I was taking what was offered to me, even though it wasn’t enough.”

    But I know that’s not good for my future me. I can’t share my life with someone who doesn’t (and apparently won’t) love me.

    So… Realizing that, I’m trying to focus on my own life, forgetting about him (in that way, or any way to be, I’m not sure) and having a great life. Actually, I like myself, I have fun, I feel like I wanna travel, dance, party, know new people, etc. But there’s a part of me that thinks it could be better. So I never get to the point of completely letting him go. So let’s say I got up from the table cos love wasn’t being served, but deep inside I doubt is I will ever find a table as good as that. Again, taking your own words: “I’d love to say my feelings have subsided completely, that I don’t feel a sting in my chest when I think of him, but that isn’t the case.”

    Looking around I see people in similar situations, but I always get to find a reason in order to let the other person go. It seems like in other’s lifes things can be white or black. But not in your post, neither in my ‘case’. No one has ever taught me what to do in such a situation. If he didnt feel anything at all for me, it would be easier. But admitting he had some feelings, even if they are not deep, makes it almost impossible to let him go.

    So, I assume I have two choices:

    -Be positive, trust myself and make a life pretending there will come a point where I don’t see him the way I do now (the problem here is that something is telling me that if I do that and after 2 years he runs into me saying he would like to try sth with me, there are chances I’d answer back. And that would confirm I was living a fake ‘I don’t need you’ life.)

    -Continue with my life as it is right now, until I definitively find a reason to let him go (which could be… I dont know… ages? Hope not!)

    Both are a little shitty…

    Anyway, this post helped me a lot.
    Thanks buddy!

  • M. J. Ross

    Hi there, I’m so sorry about the delay. Wow, seems like there were a lot of similarities. I think the best way is to live your life, because the truth is he can either come back or he won’t and you can’t bank on that. You can and should live your life to the best of its capacity (not waiting around) because if it changes or he comes back it will change organically. And if not, living your life to the best of your capacity will help attract the right kind of person into your life (whether its him or not) the next time around, even if it seems impossible right now. All the best 🙂

  • Juan

    I would love to be able to talk to MJ Ross, author of this article. How can I get in touch with her?

  • M. J. Ross

    Hello! Sorry about the delay. I don’t have a website at the moment, you can ask me a question here if you like 🙂

  • Juan

    Do you still feel the sting? I am married and fell in love with another. To make a long story short, we both loved each other, but now she wants to work things out in her marriage and we have entered the “friend zone”. I hurt being in this phase. I know immorally it is wrong, she is wrong for me, yet I still want her. We text everyday still. I am hoping the sting you spoke of, will go away eventually.

  • M. J. Ross

    Hello! I can certainly say that time helps, but I think it is hard not to feel something when you truly and genuinely care about someone…which I do about this person, even though it didn’t work out. I think the woman you’re speaking of wants to work things out in her marriage, which doesn’t really leave space for you at a romantic capacity as you’ve mentioned you’re also in the ‘friend zone’. I think what you’re going through is a question of what you want versus what you’re being offered; if it stings or hurts to be someone’s friend, then it isn’t a true friendship. This isn’t to say that you can’t be friends eventually, but you need to listen to what she is offering and make a decision as to whether your dynamic is maintainable with all things considered. You can’t break down someone’s walls or change their mind about you, and keeping communication can prolong the hurt for you. Losing love is hard by definition, but humans have more strength than we know, and are more resilient than we realise. I hope this helps, all the best 🙂

  • Sydney

    Hello! I am finding myself in a similar situation as you. For four months, me and a close friend of mine have felt something more towards each other. We have been friends for four years and somehow one day it was like we just noticed each other for the first time. But, there was a catch. He had a girlfriend. We called, texted, but never snuck around or became anything more. We struggled to figure out what to do, and eventually, I made him choose. I gave him time, and he chose her. I decided that it was time for me to walk away, and I did. But, through these past four months, we would always come back together, fight about this, rekindle, and he’d disappear on me again. One day I was fed up and cut him off, when suddenly he broke up with his girlfriend for good, and came back for me. We started to rekindle things between us, and started talking again, but a part of me is still afraid to let him in because he has hurt me many times before. My gut feeling is telling me to run in the opposite direction. Especially because he is moving cities in 3 months. I think I know I have to let him go, but these past four months, and all we went through seems pointless if I do. I want to stay with him, but I don’t know if he is right for me now. Help?

  • M. J. Ross

    Hello, thanks for reaching out. It sounds quite complicated! I suppose my priority would be sure that he has broken up with his girlfriend for good. Even so, he may need time to emotionally digest and move on before he begins a commited relationship with you; you don’t want residual feelings hanging around. I might have an honest conversation about where he is at emotionally, and see whether you guys are on the same page and have the capacity to make it work (especially considering he is leaving!). You deserve someone who will make an effort, and also has the emotional availability to. If not, then trust that if it’s meant to be it will happen and if not, then you have learnt some lessons that will help with the next person – whether that is him or not. I hope this helps!

  • Dave Pyne

    Hi

    M.J.

    I had to join in and comment after reading this because it is eerily similar to my most recent experiences. I am only 29 but I have ended up identifying as an addict… and even though I have left him and blocked his number probably more than 10 or 15 times, I have done so today after us getting back for a month. I needed that hit over and over, and when I’d get home I’d drink, 6:30am until the beer was gone.

    Before meeting a year ago my life had a lot of good health, energy, colour, magic and solid optimism. This relationship shattered that due to his hard and cold (unenlightened) persona. Mysteriously it was the best sex both of us have ever experienced, and that made it very very hard to stop the addictive cycle. I have been in tears for most of today and yesterday because IT IS SO EXTREMELY PAINFUL but there is a glimmer of hope lying in the faith i have in myself to commit from here on to stop drinking and remain strong enough to not go back yet again, opening up all those wounds again.

    Thank you for this article, I am so grateful to read this because every time we negotiated the dynamic between us I ended up completely doubting the reality of the situation and blindly sitting in it again and again (mind boggling!!), your article outlines the truth pertinently. Thank you

  • M. J. Ross

    Hey! I’m sorry for the delay, I haven’t checked this in a while 🙂 I have faith that you are on the right track; it sounds like this person wasn’t good for your soul, or at least has their own journey to go through before they can nourish you the way you need and deserve! Sounds like you have the awareness to make and sustain some positive choices. Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. All the best!

  • Lauren

    Thank you so much, I really needed this. This is very similar to my situation. I finally came to the realization that I have to walk away..because I’m only continuing to hurt myself the longer I stay in a situation I’m unhappy with.

  • InSearchOfHer

    Hey beautiful and like-minded people! First off, this post was the best and most accurate post, I can say, in all categories I ever read. Hit me like a heart attack, so thanks a lot M.J. for penning this down for us <3
    Secondly, I wanna brief it up and tell you my situation so that I could have a few words of sympathy at the very least from you generous people. In a line, to talk my past, she had cheated on someone with me and infatuation for the first two months we talked all led to illusions and fights and a big obvious mess .My heart was ripped open to pain and self-lowering of myself as a person which, which devoured my soul like fires of Hell on an everyday basis with a girl who was not even my type (It was my very first so I had no clue of how anything is supposed to go and she was everything evil). I had been in a boys' missionary school where I was in the making of (let me brag honestly!) one of the most complete lovers you'd ever find and then this happened when I stepped into pre-college. I hung onto this past of mine for 3 years but at the same time GREW in measure unbound and became more stable and understanding, but not patient 😛
    I never approach girls or send them friend requests or simply go talk to them even if I have a crush on them but no valid reason but I'm totally jovial when they come to talk for regular reasons. This is because I am a bit shy because of my boys' school background but more than that, it's because I want to have that "perfect-fairy-tale" with the one for me and I just cannot move around trying out relationships with girls, which is pretty much what you need to do in the first place towards finding her among people. But only due to the fact that any moment reiterated with the love of my life (wife) would remind me of someone from the past and I want to have that chaste little eternity with the One, I am afraid of getting attached with someone and then walking away getting hurt along with so many now-turned-bittersweet memories, finally ending up wasting both of our times.. I mean I just cannot keep on moving from one to another after I get into a relationship with one (because when you decide to say "I love you", it means something huge!) and not making her my wife. I am still 21 so this philosophy of mine is mocked a lot but is still rigid.
    The problem I'm facing now is the same, I got into a work group where this girl was from and we did not even talk until 3 months until after we started pulling each other's leg like we're childhood friends. And then after a month, a treat from my side became accidentally romantic, and so even if we didn't accept it then, it grew beyond friendship involuntarily and naturally with many such walks and meetups (nothing physical, meh!). Finally, I realized a lot of things that were stinging me on daily basis which I wasn't opening up about. We were earlier supposed to remain just friends( according to her) but later, I had to show both of us that we were just fooling ourselves. Among those many things were unreciprocated love, care, devotion, will to fight for each other and most importantly talk things out as she was only worried about her image(if she'd open up! :/) and we both knew our contrasting capacities of passion. Plus, career is a b***h and so we decided after many unresolved fights,( wait.. I decided for the both of us! Fuff, I am so tired doing it always when actually I'm that guy who can do it forever when fed with the love) that we cannot continue the same way or we'd end up losing focus now. This was what could be seen as OUR decision and in one way or the another, it was just a mask for the actual blur that exists. I don't know what she wants now but I do know from within, that I wasn't going to be happy with her ( I know I should compromise, but to what extent?) but I was afraid of losing that angel lest I'm unable to find someone better. I was also satisfied with myself as I had put in more than required in every way possible. So now we don't talk temporarily (once a week; so that we don't start falling for each other again) and I don't know how to go with it. No clarity of future is making me so uneasy and I am wasting a lot of time pondering upon whether I should make it work or break it off but at the same time ,annoyed, because she is so weak and is putting in no effort to resolve anytime. I don't even know how much she'll open up and how much happy she'll keep me if we end up together. And the culprit is I also as I want her to be in a certain way like a stubborn kid ..but it's only because I want to fall in love with her and be with her forever. She's not that far from perfect for me except for a few of these deal-breakers. I cannot live like this and if I walk way, it'll be like leaving your family because they have become cold to you. Time and her God-knows-why and girls-are-this-way silence become the reason of this little death where we could have been together and got to know each other's requirements better. I have no idea what to do anymore now when until a few days back I was very sure of walking away just like the post says.

    P.S. Your header lines are so accurate that they define my situation and remedy.

  • Collin Cash

    I am going through this exact scenario right now and this article really helped me! I sent it to him to read as well. Thank you so much!

  • Eamon Kerrins

    Totally describes my last relationship, but mine ended a lot worse. Its a shame that you can love someone that much and this is the outcome. But we have to learn to accept what we know is not for us, I fought hard to try and hold on, but it blew up in my face and left me in a very bad place emotionally and spiritually. I’m rebuilding now and I feel more myself than I did for months while we were together, I still miss her, but I know its always going to be the same.

  • Andy Tran

    I’m in this situation at the moment. my wife decided to have affair after being with her for 17 years. it’s has been a emotional roller ride for the last 2 months. she doesn’t love me anymore, even said I hate you to me which is very painful. I find it hard to let it go, we have 3 kids together. she still talking to him and seeing him. I find it hard waking up every morning and going through the day is tough. she gave me a utimatum for me to out by the end of April to move out but I can come back to see my kids when ever I want.

  • Chindz del Rosario

    I love this. I can related to each and every word you wrote. I was forced to turn my back against a relationship that wasn’t serving me. I held on to it until it was too painful. In the end he was the one who walked away and left me shattered to pieces because i was still willing to fight for something that wasn’t even being offered. I was left to pick up my broken pieces. I turned inward for comfort and solace. I went back and focused on my passion, reading, writing and travelling. And in the end I found myself. At the time when I was involve in the relationship i felt like I lost myself and him walking away was the catalyst for me to find myself again. So looking back, I am thankful that he was the one who walked away because I know I tried and give the best that I can. I may have lost him but I found myself and that is the best thing that could ever happen to you.

  • Andy Tran

    lucky you dont have 3 kids involve. I’m planning to leave and let go of everything and give her to back the kids. I’ve been a full time stay home dad for so long and for her to get where she is now in her career. in the beginning, she want to live together as friend in the same friend house, I didn’t want to accept. but it has gone to a point where the marriage is unrepairable. I’m have been suffering constant verbal abuses from her for the last 2 months. Im struggling to get through the day, and I can barely look after my kids. I don’t know what I’m going to do is right for my kids.

  • Grandma Muses

    Somehow, 2 years after this apparently first appeared, I came across your post. I am a little stunned as I could have written it myself – almost verbatim. Thank you for sharing your story, your pain, and your resolution that the most important connection one must make is to oneself.