Why doesn’t he want to be with me now?

I was in a relationship for two years with a married man. I know ... very bad, not awesome. We were best friends for years, so I was aware of the disintegration of his marriage for a long time. Our affair happened. Then it ended. With no explanation. It just ended one day more than two years ago. I never got an answer as to why. It went from hot and heavy and I love you, to completely shut off in a 24-hour period with no fight and no reasons. It took a long time, but we became somewhat friendly again.

When I ask what happened, I still don't get an explanation. He'll mumble something about how it just wasn't working. I'll press for more, and he shuts down. He left his wife about a year after we ended. I have heard through the grapevine that he's dating someone (who I don't know, except through name recognition, and I doubt it will last). I am still in love with him and have never not been. I have always felt that the only problem we had was the obvious one. And that is gone now.

We text once in a blue moon. But that's it. Occasionally it will seem flirty – but only occasionally. We live in the same town and I haven't seen him in many months. He even surprisingly recommended me for a job within his company about six months ago, which I didn’t ask him to do (it didn't work out). I have felt at loose ends for more than two years. I can't get past this. It affects my life every day. I feel so strongly that we should be together. We are in our 40s, no kids. It's not puppy love. I have never had a connection like this with anyone. I have dated several men since. But I tend to keep my distance ... just in case. I don't know whether it's worth holding on to this dream, or what I can do to get over it. I've tried everything and no matter what, I keep coming back to wanting to be with him.

– Over


It's possible that he felt so bad about the affair that he wanted to start over with someone new. Or maybe this is about incompatibility, and despite all of that passion, he knew he didn't want the relationship to evolve into something more.

It's difficult to guess why this didn't work out. Also, it doesn't matter. The only thing you need to know is that he is content to keep you in his orbit without offering you much of anything. You might be feeling real love, but it's not reciprocated.

Getting over him requires believing that he doesn't want this in future. He has been willing to live without you, and has said nothing that suggests that you're his secret endgame. If you accept this breakup as the truth and allow yourself to feel all of the sad feelings, you'll have a better chance of moving on. It hurts. It’s miserable and disappointing. But those dream narratives aren’t getting you anywhere. If and when he breaks up with his new person, he might just find someone else (not you). Assume that will be the case.

Once you accept what's happened here, you might realize that you don't want the kind of person who ends a relationship – one that was a great risk – without warning or explanation. You might be in a place where you can remove him from your fantasies. Your goal right now should be taking him out of your narrative.

– Meredith

Readers? How can the LW remove this man from her fantasies for the future?