Please help me, Papabear :(
I am trying to recover from my date bringing us back to "just friends" status about a month ago. And he says he thinks we shouldn't go further anymore at all.
I don't know if I can handle that, Papabear.... I really loved it to be with him :'( sometimes it hurts just to be with him. He says he wants to stay friends with me, and I'm not sure ... somehow my life still wanted me with him somewhere.
Papabear, I need help to let go. I don't want to get hurt anymore. I want to get him out of my pain, but still be his friend.... That's possible, right?
I don't want to get plagued all my life, wondering "what if." I want to find someone who will love me, I wanna start dating and loving again, and not get hurt when I see him happy with someone else. :'(
I need help—what do I do to let go, to forgive him and forget all the pain he caused me by not being my mate?
I know it's possible for us to be friends again for real.... I once regarded him as my "bro" but after we dated and it didn't work out, I dunno what to do.
Please help, Papabear.
--from BW Mena
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Papabear feels your pain. Your situation is similar to one I have gone through, though not exactly the same. As many of my readers know, I am divorced, yet I still care very much about the woman who is my ex, even after realizing I am a gay bear. We both realized that, because of my sexual orientation, continuing the marriage was no longer feasible. While the breakup was very painful, it had to be done.
It was actually a very amicable divorce. We came to an agreement on how to split the assets, and we parted friends. I even helped her paint her new house after the breakup, and she has been supportive of me, as well. So, to answer your question, yes, it is possible to remain friends with an ex.
During times like the holidays, it can make me very sad and nostalgic about how things were and, as you say, the “what if” of the future that never happened. The problem with this is sometimes I idealize the past. It’s wonderful to remember the good things, but it wasn’t all good, and if I am honest with myself, going back really isn’t an option. I can’t go back to an idealized marriage that really never existed; and if I did manage to go back somehow, I would only find myself becoming discontented again in some way.
What I’m trying to say, BW, is that there must have been a reason why the person you love just wants to be friends now (don’t undervalue friends—true friends are almost as rare as true loves). He sees you as a good person, someone he would like to be a friend with, but he is looking for something in a mate that you just don’t possess. That doesn’t mean you aren’t lovable, just that you aren’t the match for him.
So, you see, your dreams of “what if” are just as illusory as mine. There is no chance of a “what if” because he doesn’t love you the way you love him.
At this point, I need to pause for a moment. I find it peculiar that, at the beginning of your email, you call him “your date.” Is that an odd typo or a Freudian slip? A date implies that you weren’t even at the serious stage of a committed relationship yet and were just, well, dating. If that’s the case, then you are being a little overdramatic here because we’re not talking about a painful breakup between two lovers but, rather, simply two people who were dating and you, clearly, were more into him than vice versa. The other guy was just “testing the waters” at this point and concluding that he would like to date other people to find a deeper relationship.
Reading between the lines, you might have actually driven him away by being too intense, too fast when he wasn’t ready for it. Is that a possibility?
Either way, the result is the same. The guy likes you, but not to the point of wanting a loving, committed relationship. Young love can be intense, and painful, but this experience will hopefully mature you a bit and help you realize that not every relationship works out. In fact, given statistics, the majority of them don’t work out.
This was not the guy for you, BW, but Papabear is sure that, with time, you will find someone in your life who loves you as much as you love them. Start seeing other people. Stop obsessing on the woulda, coulda, shoulda, and the pain you are feeling right now will subside. Who knows? You might even discover at one point that the guy you had a major crush on is really not what you thought. At which point, you might think, “Whew! Dodged that bullet!”
Life is about experiences and learning from those experiences. Take notes, remember the lesson, maintain your friendship if you can, but don’t worry if you can’t. That’s life, BW.
Wishing You a Greater Love in the Near Future,
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