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I've been listening to your podcast since the beginning of 2020. I'm 20.
Through the entirety of high school, I dated a guy only for him to move halfway across the world for college and date someone else. (We can call him M). I have had plenty of rebounds after him. I was lead on by one guy who told me he loved but ultimately used me for sex. (We can call him L). But despite all this heartache over the last three years of my life, I find it most difficult to get over my ex from college.
This breakup is with someone who I believe to be my soulmate. (We can call him N.) We started as friends. There were some complications along the way; we were both pursuing different people. I was with L and he was with someone else. Then I had a small thing with both of his roommates. Nothing official, but one roommate caught feelings for me when I was started to get serious with N. (I think I move too fast between people because I do not like being alone for too long. I like to test the waters). This created a lot of drama for us, especially for him, but we knew what we wanted. We started dating officially right before coronavirus struck hard. We dated all the way through quarantine, up until last month – because he said he needed to work on his mental health. This breakup came as a shock to me because the hours leading up to it we were kissing, being affectionate/ intimate, and we even went on a picnic. He claims he does not feel good enough mentally to be my boyfriend. I've tried to tell him that I will stand by him through this and that it doesn’t have to be the end, but ultimately we want two different things. He wants to be alone right now. We still talk close to every day, but it's a different dynamic. We still love each other, but it's really hard. He's my best friend, more so than my long-term high school ex was (whom I even thought I was going to marry.) I thought both M and L were my perfect matches ultimately until I met N. Everything was effortless with him.
I was wondering if you had any advice for getting over someone like this? It's not the relationship that ended us, it was his depression. Now I feel I've grown depressed in his absence. Do you believe that if it's meant to be, he will come back? I know I am young still, but I genuinely do not feel like I will find someone more suited for me than N.
I understand if you can't respond to this. I just wanted to let you know that your podcast has helped me, especially the first season, get over M and L. I’d say it even gave me the courage to pursue things with N.
First, listen to Season 1 again (that's the breakup season).
Second, remember that this breakup is brand new – and that you did not see it coming. And it's happening during a global pandemic! You're supposed to sad and confused and a bit shaky about what it means. You shouldn't expect to find any big answers one month in. No one knows whether he'll come back; it's too soon. It's better to ask yourself how you can stay occupied and healthy one day at a time.
Breakup time is a lot like quarantine time, I think. It moves slower … hour to hour. You ask yourself, "What feels healthy for me in this moment?" The best thing might be to end communication with this ex, at least for now. I understand you're worried about him, but if he needs space, tell him to take it. You can't be his emotional support system because you need your own. Explain that if this ending is real, you need to take care of yourself and that you hope he gets the help he needs.
I know you might not believe this, but N wasn't everything. Or effortless, apparently. You made this point yourself. You thought M was the one. Then L. But N became more important. Imagine how someone else might surprise you all over again. It could happen.
Readers? Is there more to come with love? How do you define a breakup that seems to be about someone else's state of mind?