I Want Him Back

I am 53 and divorced.  I met the most gorgeous man 22 months ago and we had a wonderful time.  He is everything I have always wanted: witty, erudite, intelligent, charming, good company and we had a great deal in common.  He has 2 young daughters and wanted to keep them out of things, which I understood, I would have done the same had mine been younger.  He became my best friend and confidant.

2months ago he emailed me whilst away with his children and said he thought we'd reached the crest of the wave an were coming down the other side and that he wasn't go to see me any more.  He said we didn't need to lose each other entirely but that we should take a break.

I was gutted but wrote him an email thanking him for a wonderful 20 months, telling him I'd miss him but wishing him goodbye and all the best for the future.

I have been breaking my heart ever since and just can;t seem to get over him.  I have never, ever felt like this in my whole life before.  What an age to fall in love for the first time.

Can I contact him?  Should I?  How do I find out if he is missing me?  We have no mutual friends and may never see each other or hear of each other ever again.

Signed by: 
Lonely in My Heart
Answer: 

I feel how heartbroken you are. What’s so horrendous is that you didn’t see the deathblow coming. He blindsided you, giving you zero warning that there was discontent on his end. Then he made a one-side decision to end it, and via email, which was cruel and heartless.

One thing is sure. He had made up his mind that the relationship was over for him and he used the built-in separation provided by his vacation as his way of backing out permanently. The fact that he didn’t speak to you about what wasn’t working for him and simply said that the relationship had crested and was on the downside says that he had already made up his mind to walk and that he has no intention of looking back.

Since the relationship seemed so wonderful, I’m struck by the fact that you saw no signs that the relationship was not going along just fine for him. It seems like he was either a very good actor and pretended that the relationship was wonderful for him (and that he had no interest or ability to work on it) or he truly did find the relationship wonderful and ended it all the same.

As I reflected on both possibilities, I started thinking about why his marriage failed. Then I began to wonder if he’s the kind of man who can’t form and sustain a deep intimacyAn intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship. It can be defined by these characteristics: enduring behavioral interdependence, repeated interactions, emotional...(Click for full definition.), meaning that he eventually always pulls away; and perhaps he engaged in this same pullback with his ex, which ultimately ruined the relationship.

Or perhaps he became frightened of forming another lasting attachment following the break-up of his marriage. If this is the case, then he may have made up his mind to never become too deeply attached; meaning he plans to live his life from now on as one extended surfing vacation filled with fun and excitement. Then he exits the relationship once he’s ridden out the thrill of the first wave of passion.

It’s possible too that this man was even more sinister than a simple intimacy phobic or fun seeker. I had the image of Mephistopheles, the demon in the Faust legend. Could this man have been the devil himself, charming you, seducing and then murdering you in a devilish fashion? Does he hate women and is he a serial lady killer?

Or is he is the consummate two-faced coward? Did he hide his discontent and then skulk off without facing you?

Even though we’ll probably never know the full truth about him, I do know that no matter how lonely you feel you must never reach out to him. Doing so would be rewarding his awful behavior and disrespecting yourself. If he missed you, he would be reaching out to you.

At this point, all your focus needs to be on you, not him and the relationship. You need to grieve and above all learn from this experience. The most important lesson here is that you didn’t know this man well enough. He looked good on paper; you seemed compatible and you enjoyed each other’s company, but it doesn’t sound like you delved deep enough to discover who he was beneath his “beautiful” exterior. You didn’t know about his prior relationship patterns and you also assumed but never clarified that he what he wanted for himself in terms of relationships, commitmentFear of commitment is a common source of conflict for couples. Commitmentphobia is often most strongly apparent in romantic life. Generally, commitmentphobic people claim that they are eager to find...(Click for full definition.), etc.

Sadly, you allowed yourself to be blinded by his “package.” And, you nfortunately, your eyes were closed but your heart was wide open. You assumed he was as he appeared to be, and that you were both on the same page. Most of all you assumed that he also wanted a long-term gig.

I have created a tool that I call Critical Questions to Ask Before You Get Close. It’s a free download when you sign up for my free newsletter. This guide will show you how to keep your wits about you especially in the early stages of a relationship when your head is being spun around by sexual chemistry and infatuation . My guide will show you how to ask the right questions so that you make sure that the person you are dating or involved with is truly who he/she says he is AND is also on the same page as you.

Had you used this guide, you would have found out all about why his relationship with his ex and his other past relationships failed (noting if he put all the blame on his partners and took no responsibility for his role in the break-ups), whether he wanted a long-term commitment, whether he wanted to just have fun, etc.

In the future, promise me that you will “interview” your prospective partners with eyes wide open. I want you to promise not to give your precious, dear heart away to a man until he proves that he deserves to have it.   

While you’re at it, also download my free guide called Why Didn’t it Work out With Your Ex? This is my relationship post mortem tool that helps you evaluate your ex’s emotional baggage to understand whether he/she was truly ready for a relationship. This guide may give us some more answers to this puzzle.

I know you love this man and miss him. But the painful truth is you were in love with a mirage. This man wasn’t nearly as “beautiful” as he appeared. Yes, he may have been educated, witty, cultured and erudite, but all these qualities are useless if the man is too damaged or unwilling to form a lasting bond. A good man who is willing to devote himself to your happiness for the long haul is truly beautiful.

I’m sorry you were hurt. We won’t let this happen to you twice. Heal, and use my guides so you will be much more circumspect the next time around.

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