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    I am currently feeling miserable. Was in a relationship almost 4 years ago..did not worked..moved to different city..post that there were few email exchange from my side..still he decided not to do anything. I stopped it and then again after 6 months received email from him.. Then I decided to reach out to him and doom..again things were same. Point is.. He also tried reaching me on and off and that made my situation worst..though I always decided to move on but haven’t been able to do that till now. it’s been 4 yrs and feels terrible.. One week ago..I msgd him not to contact me at all but today feeling restless and I tried calling him..his number is switched off and now I getting too many thoughts… I am at loss what to do?? And more importantly..am 33 and still single 🙁 I am Indian..so it’s a big deal here…My situation makes me even more depressed..don’t know what to do..


    Hi buddha123,

    Well, you rightly told him it’s over. It was his choice to retaliate by switching his number off. But for all he knows, you didn’t call him at all! I have a feeling he will one day contact you again, if only by habit.

    You are single in your thirties and want to change that. That’s a whole separate issue, and that’s great! Keep it separate from your old relationship.

    There was a book and/or movie about a girl who went on 100 dates. After about 50 she met someone she liked. The trick is to not get attached, or you will end up with a guy like your old boyfriend. When you are actively looking and meeting a new person a week you become very good very fast at discernment. You will find someone based on the number game.

    Good Luck!


    Thanks inky..really appreciate your kind words.. Today just feeling horrible. Horrible about my present situation.. I have always tried to be optimistic but there are times when can’t handle anymore.. Not sure whether he retaliated or for some other reason..his number is switched off.. Since last 4 years..I am single..he popped up once in a while and things never really worked.. I tried moving on..meeting couple of people but somewhere I still feel the sadness of loosing him.. Now it looks high time.. Don’t know whether I will ever find someone..will ever marry or not.. My all logical ability seems to be not in control.


    Hey there. I have been where you are. It is a place of stuckness. Good news. You can get unstuck. I did. I had to gain a new perspective though.

    Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a beautiful book called “Fidelity.” In it, he writes about being “caught in the net of romantic love,” what is often called infatuation. For decades I was in love with falling in love — and strangely — that led me to be attracted to men who were emotionally shut down and therefore not able to return my affection — at least not for very long. I’m sure I appeared to be “too needy” to them. In fact, on the rare occasion when one of these objects of my affection actually bit the hook and wanted a real emotionally intimate (not just physical) relationship, I would hit the eject button. I was afraid of emotional intimacy because I never learned how to be in such a relationship. When the relationship failed, I would mourn its loss the way most people mourn a death. It felt like that to me. I realize now this was part of the roller-coaster ride and I was addicted to feeling those highs and lows. (This is commonly known as “love addiction.” There are 12-Step programs for it!)

    Understanding the root of my attachment was the first step to being able to be honest with myself about my mental and emotional attachment I placed on these men. The relationships weren’t healthy (just as the one you had was not — which you recognize.) In fact, my expectations were not based on realistic principles. I refused to see that these men were not available to me for various reasons. Finally, I gave up. Like you, I didn’t think I’d ever find anyone … and like you I finally saw and accepted that my “logical ability” was “not in control.”

    Re-read what you wrote. You know the answer! Wanting to be in a relationship is a very healthy desire. Not accepting the reality that goes with a given relationship makes us dissatisfied and emotionally unhealthy. Still it is so hard to let go of long-held ideas and habits even when we know they are harmful to us!

    Here’s what worked for me: I had to allow myself to see that my idea of a relationship was limited. I began to focus on what was real and healthy for me. And slowly I began to see that I had basically been dating the same guy (type of guy) for decades! Time to end the pattern.

    First I redefined what it would me to me to be in a relationship. I read a wonderful book called Centering and the Art of Intimacy (by Gay Hendricks) and it suggested that relationships are not about pleasing the other person or being pleased, but rather they are all about learning about our true selves. That was a huge eye-opener to me. It’s ok to want to be in a relationship. We need relationships — especially intimate, romantic ones — to help us learn about ourselves. This shift helped me to start seeing things I learned about myself through those crazy, roller-coaster ride, relationships. Sure, I felt like an idiot for not figuring this out sooner, and then I felt like a fool for mooning over guys who weren’t even what I wanted in a mate! But ultimately, I knew that I could and would move into a healthy relationship when the time was right. And I did.

    A lot of people told me to “look inside yourself for answers” or “take time to work on you.” And although I hated to admit it, they were right. I needed to take a step back and understand fully what was most important to me. No more compromises on those things! For example, spiritual compatibility was very important to me, but I had to know what I believed first before I could possibility date someone with the same sense for life. It took me years to discover this, but once I did, finding the “right” man was not hard at all. I also know that this Mr Right can’t read my mind or fulfill my every wish or need. I have had to learn how to communicate with him, have compassion for his foibles just as he has for mine, and accept that being in a day-in day-out relationship is going to be less like a roller-coaster and more like a merry go round ride. Less exciting but lots of fun, none the less.

    In closing let me suggest a new perspective for you that I learned: Be patient, because every set back is also an opportunity. This guy who switched his number off has done you a great favor. For whatever reason, you hung on to him for 4 years … now you are ready to move on. (Maybe within that 4 years, the right man for you was getting the exact place where he could meet you now.) I agree with Inky, this isn’t an ending, it’s the beginning. Bless this poor sap and send him on his way. When you find yourself thinking of him, say a prayer for him and then turn your thoughts to positive actions. You are now open for that next relationship and a chance to learn about yourself and how you can help others in this world.

    Rose Tattoo

    Thanks Brigid, I am going through the same discovery process you describe. I realize I’ve been dating men who weren’t opening to me because there is such a lot of fear inside me about not being enough and not being seen. I wasn’t opening to them in some ways, either. After 20 years of dating, I finally realize I need to step back and figure out what’s going on inside me, how to love myself regardless of my relationship status. I’m terrified because I’m almost 45 and what if I never find the partner I’ve longed for my whole life? But the roller coaster of love is just too much for me, it’s too painful and confusing. I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to feel. So I need to get my head on straight and remember the things I love about myself. I don’t really know where to start.


    Hey Brigid… I was pondering over for few days what you wrote. Love, relationship…this whole thing has become illusive for me. I feel unlucky in this matter..

    Don’t know why but I got in touch with him few days back. He has lost his job..so thats the reason he is stating for not moving ahead. But, if I ponder over past few years.. he has always stated reasons for not getting married.. His drinks..family problems.. there were always reasons. And now, even if he gets a job, whether he would want to work it out..I don’t know. I can’t even wait.. but I also feel terrible love for him.. I am not able to decide what to do. I can’t hold on because I am already past the age..here its a big deal you know.. and not even able to stop loving..


    Dear Buddha123

    I understand your problem. I gone through similar tough decisions. They were not easy, nor one-way no regret so don’t feel bad if you can’t decise easily. I am not going to give you any advice, wonderfull advices had already been given by fellow tinybiddhists. I am only going to provide you with some questions you should ask your self!

    Do you feel that you love each other and this is not a toxic relationship?
    Do you think the only think left to be made is a decision?
    Do you feel through these four years that the problem this relationship didn’t work out was financial, due to communication, or emotional immaturity? If it is emotional immaturity it means this relationship can’t work due to emotional reasons and neither of you has the courage to carry on with the splitting.

    Take care


    To some extent, it was a toxic relationship. He always had some reasons for not working out and when I decided to put my foot down, though he tried reaching me, I don’t think he made full effort..could be because of his own ego issues.
    I need to take up a decision. My personal life has been in shatter since long time and this loneliness and future uncertainty does make a feel depressed.
    You rightly mentioned. All the three reasons were behind this failure.

    Your questions have helped me to put my thoughts in order..even since last few days, I am thinking.. even when he had a job, there were problems. So, even if he gets a job, don’t know whether issue will resolve. He always maintained that he doesn’t want me to be part of his problems. But I feel, if we want someone, we resolve the problem… I tried moving on many a times but always pulled back and now I am at fix..what to do.Emotionally, I still have that longing somewhat..

    Dr Sai Deshmukh

    Hi Buddha123,
    I live in India and understand perfectly well the social pressure to get committed before 30!
    I had a similar traumatic experience in a relationship. I fell in love with a guy almost two years back from my hometown. We had known each other for almost 4-5 years and it was spontaneous and natural to follow the heart and fall in love. It was a long distance relationship so things were a bit edgy, managing times, talking etc. He always had a reason of not having enough time, I respected that, being a lawyer he had erratic schedules. But then slowly i started realizing he always had time for his mom, taking her to movies, malls etc. He has been raised up by his widow mom. He lost his dad when he was 8. She is super successful in her career and has a dominating personality. Our fights used to revolve around same topic, no time! Whenever he had a fight with his mom which was quite often he took it all on me, threatening me with suicides or dumping me.
    It was always this melodramatic, I used to be the “sensible and mature” and he played the drama queen. There was no scope for my tantrums, not even getting a chocolate on my birthday. His mom took so much toll on his emotional front nothing was left for me. Still I knew we loved each other and every time I decided to give him a chance.

    Around February last year he introduced me to his mom and we got engaged in April. I hoped that post this event we will get closer, but reverse kept on happening. Now I think I committed a huge mistake to let go of things, the drama he & his mother put up and even ruined the beautiful day of engagement for me. The temptation to not let go, stick to the deal was taking a toll on me and personal well being.
    My parents were very cool and supportive about my decisions since the beginning and they even welcomed my guy with big smiles into their lives. They never bothered about my dates and stuff and hence I found my future mother in law’;s interference a bit too much to take.

    I decided my career, jobs everything keeping my fiance in mind. I even moved back to my hometown to take up a job and start a family with him even though it meant sacrificing my career big time. But in my last week away from home, I realized the woman was behaving more than abnormal probably because I was shifting back.. I don’;t know I started becoming paranoid. But my fiance didn’;t help much. He sent me another bout of suicide notes and the reason as always was a fight with his mother. I couldn’;t bear it anymore, I called off the engagement. The guilt, pain part was excruciating. I thought my guy would at least try to reason out, his mom would at least shout at me for spoiling her boy’;s life but nothing!
    He gave a reason his mom is hypertensive and cant take this big news, so he would break it up gently to her. I am shattered! His love has gone still he uses his mom as a reason, or as an excuse, no idea. I never wanted him to leave his mom and come to me. I had become good friends with that woman and we used to chat and gossip like girls. I tried my best to adjust in that household, in that weird mother- son dynamics but I lost my patience. It took me two years to convince that guy, talking over the phone is normal and healthy for couples.

    The harm is done. Its over, I am on a job hunt, trying to get life on track. People at my place are actually relieved I am saved from that terrible household with all the crazy fights and allegations. Going back to Mumbai city but I just pray next girl the guy meets at least he realizes the value of a life partner. But the pain has left me hollow. I try hard not to be bitter but the worst part is sitting at home without a job for a guy who probably never valued me!

    What I have learned is, a relationship is supposed to make you smile, when you end up with just tears of frustration and self doubt on a daily basis, its a lost cause. If you have cut the cord, go ahead in life. The temptation to turn back is too huge to ignore, I still doubt with what ifs.. but eventually cracks from the glass never disappear.

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