I'm sitting here in my room listening to Panic! At the Disco, trying to fight old feelings for a man I met last summer.
What was simply a short summer fling quickly became more important to me. I basically tripped at his doorstep and never got back up. We hooked up for about a month and then I moved across the Atlantic for a job in France. I knew nothing could be serious between us so I never told him my feelings had become more significant. As I was adjusting to life abroad, I was also dealing with him constantly sending me Snapchats and texts about him and his new boyfriend. I'd wonder if he was trying to make me jealous.
Four months later, on New Year's day, I cut off all contact with him. I wanted to move on and it seemed like the easiest way. But it left me yearning to hear from him, wondering what he would have said if he had known about my love for him. These thoughts went on for three months. Then out of the blue, he messaged me explaining how hurt he was that I up and disappeared. That same day, I laid my feelings out on the table for him. We kept talking as friends for a couple of weeks, but for me it felt awkward after having confessed it all. Like, how do we just go on being friends after that? Isn't it clear to him that I want more? So I brought it up to him again – quite brashly – which didn't go well. He ignored my questions for five days until I told him to never reach out to me again, unless he’s ready to open up and talk.
Three months later, I am writing you this letter with thoughts of him still in my mind. He has since blocked me on social media, but through a business account I was able to see a new Instagram profile photo of him and a new beau. This left me wrecked. I have found ways to to distract myself, and I haven't let it get in the way of focusing on my career life. However, it has affected my love life. I compare every guy I meet to him. It’s become a hindrance. So... any advice?
– Thinking about him
Panic! At The Disco is good for this kind of longing. I imagine that Love Letters commenters can suggest more great music to go with unrequited feelings. Maybe we'll have a nice playlist by the end of the day. My contribution is: "Waiting for that Day" by George Michael. So good. "My memory ... serves me far too well."
As you listen to meaningful music and allow yourself to feel your feelings, please know that you might not be grieving love. I'm not saying you didn't love this man, but it sounds like you're more focused on what could have been. If only you hadn't left. If only you'd confessed you'd wanted more. If only he'd felt the same. The loss of potential and possibility can be more devastating than the end of an actual relationship. Are you comparing new people to what you had with this man or the fantasy of what you hoped your relationship would become?
If you're second-guessing your brash confrontation, please don't. It sounds like it served a great purpose. You learned that this man is not in the right place – geographically or emotionally – to meet your expectations. You also learned that despite your feelings, he's decided it's best for you to stay out of each other's way.
It's OK if you want to take some time off from dating, but try to stay busy with friends or activities. It's time to create some new memories. It's another summer, after all.
Readers? Will these feelings fade over time? How much time?