How to get over an almost relationship

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I am a 22-year-old college senior. I recently had what I call a “situationship” end. (I’m defining “situationship” as almost like dating … but just not quite.) We'd been hanging out for about a year, we went on walks at night, we hung out with others, we were in classes together, and we even worked on a research project together last summer. We spent a lot of time in each other's company.

Eventually, I tried dropping hints. I asked to lean on him while we watched movies or shows. That moved to us watching things alone and cuddling on the couch. He held my hand, it was sweet. One night we decided to watch a show in my room, alone, on my tiny bed. He kissed me (my first kiss – it was strange but good).

I, of course, texted him that night suggesting he come over the next day, but personally felt a bit uncertain. He was busy that night, but we hung out a little more over the next week, but no cuddling, hand holding etc. Fast forward a few weeks and the conversation of dating came up. He said we had to have a talk and promptly ended things. I was devastated and confused. He told me that he had "lost the romantic feeling" and that I "wasn't as active and spontaneous" as he wanted to be.

Slowly we've worked back to being friends again, but after six months I still think I want to pursue a romantic relationship with him. I know I need to respect his wishes but I don't know how to get over my first almost relationship.

When we had our conversation he also used a lot of words like “maybe," and "for right now,” which makes it seem like he's not positive. I just would like some advice.

– For right now


Are you a good editor? If so, delete every "maybe" (use an imaginary strikethrough key) and turn the "for right now" statements into "forever." He's reserving the right to call on you for romantic attention if he changes his mind, but he has no plans to do that. It would be kinder for him to set clear boundaries to help you move on, but you can do that for yourself.

What happened here? Why did the kiss happen at all? My guess is that he likes your company. Maybe he thought about romance a bit, but not enough to pursue it. On a random night, he tried it. It’s possible he sensed that for you, this was a very big deal. A relationship with potential. But for him, it was more of an experiment – something to try that didn't have to mean everything. The two of you were coming to that kiss with different hopes and intentions.

I know you've worked yourselves back to friendship, but whatever you have with him now doesn't sound great for your brain. His return to your life has brought confusion and disappointment. It's making it hard to think about anything else.

Limit your time with him. Remember moments when you had crushes on others. Keep busy with activities that have nothing to do with him. Believe that a second kiss, with someone new, could be incredible.

– Meredith

Readers? How does one get over something that had potential? What might have happened here?