I'm in my 20s and I can't get over this one woman. We were best friends for a year, but once she got a boyfriend I realized I had stronger feelings for her (because, of course). I eventually told her she was the first person I think I've truly loved, and while she said she had feelings for me too, she stayed with her boyfriend.
They have since moved out of state together for her job, but I can't get her off my mind. I have gone out with a few women in the months since she moved, and even though I had a connection with some of them, I haven't felt anything similar to what I felt with my friend. My question is: Why can I not shake her from my mind? How am I supposed to move on, especially knowing there's little chance I'll get to be with her?
The idea of dating in "the real world" still confuses me, as it seems most all my friends and family meet their significant others simply through friends and not own their own.
– Missed my chance
You're having trouble shaking this woman because you never dated her. You're comparing real-life experiences – strange, awkward, genuine first dates – to your fantasies. That's not fair.
Remind yourself that a real relationship with this woman might not have met your expectations. You desired her, and you fell for her as a friend, but everything else is a guess. You can't assume she would have been an ideal partner.
You say you don't know how to meet people, but you learned from this woman that you like to get to know someone over time, to have a strong friendship that leads to love. That's OK; not everyone is great at quick connections. Maybe you should be looking for new friends, as opposed to girlfriends. That might be your path to romance.
Just try to act on your feelings when people are single. For obvious reasons.