We chat at 1 today. And this guy loves us.
I'm a long time reader of your column. I'm also a big supporter of it, as it houses the only comments section on the internet (I can think of) that does not eventually devolve into a negative, combative area. Although your advice is always spot on, I think the most helpful thing for the letters writers is the comments section, where people share their own stories of love found, lost, and eventually regained.
I'm writing today because I would like to take advantage of those comments. You see, I'm very sad, and I'm in need of reassurance that things will eventually be OK. Here's my story: I am a gay male in my early 30s. I dated "Bret" for a year and a half before he ended things in October. We had a great relationship and we got along very well. At the time, Bret broke up with me because our future plans did not align. As time has gone by though, I can see that other things probably factored into his decision as well; he just didn't want to hurt me by articulating them.
After trying -- and failing -- to win Bret back, I cut all contact with him, as I need time to heal. The problem is that I am still very sad. Even though Bret and I broke up months and months ago, I miss him very much. Sometimes I feel like we are just on a break, and I find I'm reminding myself constantly that he is never coming back.
I've tried to do everything I can to take my mind off things -- taking classes, throwing myself into work, reconnecting with old friends, traveling, making summer plans, casually dating, etc. Even though I have definitely gotten better, and I know I will keep getting better, it's hard for me to keep hope alive when I turn the light off at night and have to face the enormity of what I have lost.
As I said before, I'm writing this letter to you to hear your perspective on what I can do to cope better, but also so I can read the comments section. I would love to see your readers' stories -- of how they went through something similar and are now doing really well. I think it would really help me a lot to be reminded even more that there is, in fact, a light at the end of the tunnel.
– Sad but (sort of) hopeful
We've covered this issue quite a bit in Love Letters, but I continue to post how-do-I-get-over-it questions because they're all different, and because I want people to know how common it is to be miserable while getting over a breakup.
You asked for specific stories, so rather than telling you that it takes time, that you'll meet someone else, and that you just have to stay busy (which you seem to know), I'll tell you a tale of survival. And this time it won't be about Draco Malfoy. We'll give him a break today.
I had a bad breakup in my early 30s. I was miserable about it. So I kept busy (wrote a book), waited for things to get better (more than a year), and stayed close to friends (forced them to travel internationally with me). I did all the things! But I just couldn't shake the sadness because I just missed him. I missed talking to him. I was sad. Very sad.
Eventually, I was over it enough for him to come back into my life as a friend, and it seemed to work. I was getting the friendship I missed, and that was nice. And then, just the other day, my sister said to me, "I want you both to be together again," and I responded, without thinking, "I don't. I don't want to be with anyone who has to be convinced to be with me." I realized at that moment that at some point during this process, I just hopped into the light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn't some new guy who got me there. It was just me. Me and my self-confidence, apparently. Me truly believing that if he doesn't feel the enormity of what he's lost, it's not right. I had said similar things a million times to make myself feel better, but suddenly I believed it. And I was OK with it.
I don't know if that helps, but it's a true story. I got over it and preserved a friendship, which is rare. There are some confusing and sad days that pop up every now and then, but that's to be expected. But 99.9 percent of the time I'm living in the light, excited about what's next.
That's my story. One of them, at least.
Readers? Can you share your stories to give him some hope? How did you really get over it? And when? Tell all.