How to Get Over The Last Man Who Broke Your Heart

How to Get Over The Last Man Who Broke Your Heart
I invite you to think of the last time you were emotionally invested in a man.

It could have been a promising prospect you met online, it could have been your boyfriend of five months, it could have been your fiancé.

The common denominator is that this man, who took your breath away and gave you hope, ultimately left you.

Because you weren’t the one who ended things, your feelings remained as strong after you were dumped as they were before you were dumped.

I know how it feels. Most people do. You stake your dreams on the integrity of your relationship, only to find out that he had eyes for someone else, that he had major issues with you, or that he wasn’t ready to commit to you.

This can be devastating. It can make you mistrustful. It can make you lose faith. It can stop you from dating entirely.

But the hardest part is how, far too often, you never quite get over him.

Because you weren’t the one who ended things, your feelings remained as strong after you were dumped as they were before you were dumped. It makes perfect sense. He might have broken up with you, but that doesn’t mean you love him any less.

This exact scenario happened recently with my client, Wanda, who was still recovering from a short relationship with a man she met on JDate.

They had gotten physical after 5 dates, took down their profiles, and gave an exclusive relationship a shot. Two and a half months later, he broke things off. Said he wasn’t feeling what he thought he should be feeling. Said it wasn’t her fault. Said he wanted to remain friends.

So Wanda has remained friends with her ex – and has remained in love with him as well.

Needless to say, it’s extremely hard for her to move on. Every new man gets unfavorably compared to the ex. It’s not that she’s wrong; Wanda can’t help herself. She felt that dizzy, passionate, “in love” feeling, and even though the ex is gone, the feeling still lingers.

But should it?

Hell, no!

Wanda’s is wondering about how to get him back. She’s hoping that their friendship turns back into a relationship. She’s “dating” but not really giving herself to the process.

In other words, she is pining for the return of a man who does not love her unconditionally.

Talk about a bad plan. Then again, you’ve probably done the same thing. If you’re still holding onto a man from your past, my eBook, Why He Disappeared will show you how to instantly let go.

But let me ask you: don’t you think your future husband should love you unconditionally? Wouldn’t you figure that this should be a pre-condition for any man who’s going to spend his life with you? I sure do.

In fact, if I’m building the perfect man, I’m starting there and working backwards:

1)    Most important quality: Loves you unconditionally. Will stick by you for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do you part.

2)    Second most important quality: Everything else – height, weight, age, income, education, etc.

Yet all I hear about, over and over, is the amazing, tall, cute, sexy, charismatic, funny, successful guy who breaks your heart when he doesn’t want to commit to you.

Face it; your ex isn’t as great as you think he is.

…He was willing to let you go.

Well, guess what?

That guy SUCKS!

Your husband DOESN’T leave you.

Your boyfriend’s willingness to leave you IS his fundamental flaw.

And you’re holding onto an idealized image of him – hoping he comes back.

Why? So when you get him back, he STILL doesn’t love you unconditionally?

Face it; your ex isn’t as great as you think he is. It’s not that he’s not a great catch on paper. But in practice, he’s a terrible life partner for you for one reason.

He was willing to let you go.

Now it’s time for you to let him go.

Same thing with any man who broke your heart in the past. Let him go.

Only then can you open up to true love – the kind that endures forever.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Denise

    Didn’t we just have an entire blog post on this subject, with everyone telling the 48 year old woman in question that she was nuts for wanting to date a 30 year old?

    #63 Ruby

    Haha, yes we did!  I believe the premise of the answers were based on the fact that the OP wanted something more meaningful with this young man.

    The situation is the same with Michelle.  She wants kids and he didn’t.  I guess he’s changed his mind and does want kids now?  A older man must realize with this a  younger woman.

    There’s always exceptions and people who are willing to make major compromises.

  2. 62
    Karl R

    Ruby said: (#63)
    “middle-aged women constantly get the message that they are over the hill and that nobody wants them, not even men their own age.”
    Diana said: (#65)
    “I did feel dismay because it only confirmed what I believe to be true in many (not all) instances: men close to my own age of 50 are not interested in women their own age.”

    I most often hear this message from those middle-aged women. After that, I hear it from articles specifically targeted toward those middle-aged women (in periodicals/websites with a predominantly female audience).

    Then I look at the middle-aged women I know. Many of them are dating. Others are being pursued by men (who those women aren’t interested in). The men who are dating/pursuing the middle-aged women cover a broad range of ages (older, younger, the same age).

    Women may be constantly getting the message that nobody wants to date them. Apparently, somebody forgot to tell those men.

    Ruby asked: (#63)
    “Didn’t we just have an entire blog post on this subject, with everyone telling the 48 year old woman in question that she was nuts for wanting to date a 30 year old?”

    She was primarily attracted to men (plural) around 30 years old, and wanted to know what was wrong with having a serious relationship with one.

    I told her that she was nuts to restrict her dating to a tight age range that much younger than her. If she has found a man who is that age and there is mutual interest in a long-term relationship, I would tell her to give it a shot. (In both cases, I’d give the exact same response to a man.)

    Diana said: (#65)
    “And as long as there are younger women who are willing to take an interest in the older man for the financial security, etc. that they can usually offer, then the men will keep on looking.”

    That’s a convenient excuse.

    My favorite hobby is dancing, and the dance floor displays the complex interaction of attraction hundreds of times each evening.

    A couple weeks ago I was at a national dance competition. Lots of people were dancing with partners they’d never met before. If I don’t know whether you’re a good dancer, what will influence my decision to dance with you? Primarily attraction.

    Did men gravitate toward younger women? Of course. Did they gravitate toward attractive women? Of course. But you could observe a lot by watching how some women (older and less attractive) were getting asked to dance a lot more than their peers.

    I saw one woman (redhead, mid-50s) who never got asked to dance. She sat at the back of the room scowling at everyone. Another woman (blond, about 70) was asked to dance all the time. Both women competed at the novice level, so why was the older one more popular?

    In order to ask the redhead to dance, I would have to squeeze past six tables … for a woman who was scowling at everyone. The 70 year old, on the other hand, was sitting 5 feet from the dance floor and smiling at the men as they stepped off the floor. Who do you think was easier to approach?

    Before you claim that you’re easy to approach, I’d like to add one comment. I believe the redhead wasn’t aware of how her expression appeared to others.

    After the competition, I suspect the redhead complained that all of the men spent their time dancing with the young women. I also suspect that she didn’t notice that a woman 15 years older than her was 100 times more popular.

  3. 63
    Diana

    I know this is semantics, but he doesn’t marry you because you’re the kind of woman men can’t resist. You could be quite resistible to a lot of men, but irresistible to just one man. I mean, if you’re the type of woman that no man can possibly leave (which is impossible), then you wouldn’t have to worry about them leaving, right? ;)
     
     

  4. 64
    Ruby

    Karl R #67
     
    Most of the middle-aged women I know are not dating. When I look at dating profiles of middle-aged men, just about all of them list an age range that goes 15-20 years younger, and many wouldn’t consider dating a woman even a year or two older. The options are definitely fewer, not impossible, but fewer. I do think men and women are much more open to the idea of an older woman with a younger man than in the past, even if it’s just a few years younger. And of course, as you say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
     
    As far as the 70 year old is concerned, sure, a 55-60 year old man might ask her to dance, but is he going to ask her for a date?

  5. 65
    BeenThereDoneThat

    In my experience with on line dating, most guys will list a an age range that is 20 years younger to 1 year older than themselves. 

    The majority of men who contact me are between 20 – 32 and 55+.  I’m 41.  It is uncommon for a guy 35 – 45 contacts me. 

    I am dating, however.  I have two dates this weekend and one next weekend.  Any one of them my age?  Nope.  25, 29, and 32.   

    I date people, not ages but I hear ya, Ruby.  And I don’t think i’m the only one.

    1. 65.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @BeenThere – You sound like a passive participant in your own love life, as if you have no say in what goes on.

      Stop going out with children born in the 80′s and initiate contact with men from 40-50 who have kids. 25% will write back to you. Now you’re in business and not wasting your time with boys who want to tell cougar tales.

  6. 66
    Diana

    Karl #67, thank you for sharing what you have observed and experienced, and that there’s hope. :) The dancing environment is indeed a great way to meet individuals of all ages who share a common interest which I have no doubt may lead to dating between various age groups. Alas, I am not a dancer. My comment was intended to be in regards to online dating profiles of men my age or close.
     
    I am curious though as to what you felt I was making an excuse for. To know me is to know a fairly quiet, attractive, introspective and artistic person who complains little. I am also not the type to hang with gal pals and complain about how no guy my age is interested in me. I grow tired of listening to others paint all men as dogs, etc. At this moment in my life, I am focused on interests other than dating which perplexes people that I know. It’s always, “Why aren’t you dating or are you dating or do you have a boyfriend?” Sigh.
     
    I do love this blog though, and I appreciate your response.

  7. 67
    BeenThereDoneThat

    LOL I am definitely a pasive participant!   In fact, I’m on a dating hiatus.  I know it doesn’t sound that way.  Sometimes you have to take a break from the dating world.   

  8. 68
    Diana

    To BeenThereDoneThat #70, this has happened to me, too. I am not interested in dating the boys nor the geriatric.

  9. 69
    Diana

    But I don’t want to date right now anyway. Sorry for the double post, Evan.

  10. 70
    Karl R

    Ruby asked: (#69)
    “As far as the 70 year old is concerned, sure, a 55-60 year old man might ask her to dance, but is he going to ask her for a date?”

    Maybe.

    Let me turn it around, if a 55-60 year old man won’t even ask the 55 year old redhead to dance, do you think he’s going to ask her on a date?

    The 70 year old has a much better chance. She’s getting her foot in the door. And the 65-75 year old men are also asking the 70 year old woman to dance.

    Ruby said: (#69)
    “When I look at dating profiles of middle-aged men, just about all of them list an age range that goes 15-20 years younger, and many wouldn’t consider dating a woman even a year or two older.”

    That’s online. Get those same middle-aged men in a room with women and their behavior changes.

    The 55 year old can sit at his computer, pull up a list of 2,000 women aged 35-40 in his area and think, “There’s a good chance that at least 1 in 2,000 will find me attractive.”

    Take the same 55 year old when he’s at the aforementioned dance competition. The 35 year old woman is willing to dance with him, and enjoys herself during the dance. But as he watches, she also enjoys herself with the 40 year old men, and the 30 year old men….

    Suddenly his odds for a date look worse than 1 in 2,000. So he starts giving a more serious look at the women close to his age, and he notices some of them whom he likes and finds attractive. And he doesn’t feel like he’s competing with all the younger men for them.

    If a man thinks your attractive and he likes you, he will consider breaking his normal rules (older, younger, kids, no kids, etc). I’ve broken my own rules more often than I can conveniently count.

    Diana asked: (#71)
    “I am curious though as to what you felt I was making an excuse for.”

    You implied that the availability of younger women causes a man to avoid dating his own age (or older) and keep looking for someone younger. Three years ago I was dating a woman 11 years younger than me. I am quite certain that I can continue find and date women younger than me. They are available.

    My current girlfriend is 16 years older than me, and we’re discussing marriage at this point. I didn’t exhaust the pool of women younger than me. I’m with my girlfriend because she’s a better match than any woman I’ve dated (of any age).

    It’s easy to look at someone younger and hotter who has more options and say that it’s the availability of young hotties that prevents people like you from getting dates. It’s a lot more informative to look at the person who shouldn’t have the advantage over you, but has the advantage despite being older and/or less attractive (and these people exist, even online). Learn that person’s secret.

  11. 71
    Denise

    #76 Karl R.

    That’s online. Get those same middle-aged men in a room with women and their behavior changes.

    I have to agree with this; consider thinking of on line dating as the secondary way to meet men, not the primary way.

    #73

    So true! 

  12. 72
    Diana

    Karl, I appreciate your explanation, but I may have given you the wrong impression. Even though I have my opinion about the older men wanting the younger ladies and vice versa, I don’t view the younger women as preventing me from getting dates. There isn’t anything preventing me from getting dates, if that is what I so choose. And if there were, I’d say my having children living at home is a bigger turn off for some men. But this doesn’t stop my feeling dismayed when I see so many online dating profiles of older men in search of significantly younger women because, clearly, I cannot change my chronological age, and I won’t fudge my age either.
     
    As for trying to learn another woman’s secret, that is so not me, and not necessary. I have turned down dates with younger and older men.

  13. 73
    Ruby

    Karl R #76
     
    I do agree with you. Real life is quite different than hypothetical online dating, and the lists we make of qualities we think we want, or are SUPPOSED to want. And nice to hear from a man as open-minded as you!

  14. 74
    Andrea

    @Ruby #63, the women was told it was silly for her to assume that all men her age were somehow “too old” for her, and also that it was silly for her to expect loads of 20-30 year old guys who wanted a serious relationship with her instead of their own personal tale of cougar loving. She might want one, but she seemed surprised that she didn’t have 500 emails  like a hot 25 year old, and that her young flings didn’t want anything long term.
    So she basically wanted a 45 year old in a 25 year old body, who was ready for a serious relationship (she was separated and not divorced by the way) and was convinced that her 48 year old body passed for 28.
    Advising one 33 year old woman about her relationship about a 50 year man is not the same thing at all.
    The number of 33 year olds, male or female, who WANT a serious relationship with a 50 year old man is small, and I think that it’s been said time and again to older men and women who write in to this blog who proclaim that they are too vibrant, young looking, and active for people their own age that they are pursuing a strategy that has a low probability of success, and that they are at least mildly narcissistic. The advice is consistent whether the person writing in is a male or female.   Nothing in this thread contradicts that.
    By the same token, if you have an otherwise healthy relationship with someone who is older, less attractive, less educated, etc. than you, you aren’t going to be advised to abandon it purely for those traits.  It’s only when those traits impact the health or viability of the relationship that people are actually advised to consider moving on (remember, you can’t change anyone, you can only control yourself).

  15. 75
    Andrea

    @Diana, #65, there may be loads of 40 year old men whose age preference dips to the late teens or early 20′s, and 50 year old men whose age preference dips into the late 20′s and early 30′s, but I would wager that the number of women doing a search for them, or who bother to respond to them is quite low.
    It’s the online medium that makes the dating world look like a buffet to a lot of men (and women).  But just because you can email 500 25 year olds does not mean that one will date or marry you.
    For me it’s pretty simple.  If you are old enough to reasonably date my mom (who is married anyway) then I am not responding.  Enough younger women have good jobs and educations and don’t need to be impressed by an older man who might be financially secure.  They aren’t on average going to be better looking, so what is the appeal?
    Too many women I know have been making a 6 figure income for quite a while, so there is NOTHING appealing or compelling about an email from an old man. And even if they made less money, they still have the option of being with financially successful men their own age (and sometimes even a little younger), and truthfully, some women are clever enough to see potential in the men their own age, even if they aren’t making lots of money yet (if that is even important to them).

  16. 76
    starthrower68

    If I might return back to the original subject momentarily, I just picked up a book by Dr. Henry Cloud called Necessary Endings.  I’m still in the beginning but it’s premise is that endings are a part of life and even necessary so we can grow and move on to something better.  If I’ve shared this quote before, forgive me, but he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose (Jim Elliot). 

  17. 77
    Ms. Trace

    To Karl,
    You are a great addition to this community! Love your responses. I certainly agree that if the person you are dating does not choose you, then he’s not the right person and it’s not the right relationship.  I just don’t think it’s helpful to think of the other person as an emotionally unavailable, sucky guy.
    To Evan,
    OK, OK, I’ll buy your damn book.
    Agreed that we can only control the things that are within our control. Your choice of Michelle as a “success” story is not exactly inspiring.  I’m actually in my 30′s and to be honest with you, there is very little I can do wrong when men in their late 40′s and 50′s are interested in me.  I would prefer  men closer to my age, but it’s a bit harder.  The last guy I went on a second date with ( 35 years old)  flat out said that “the problem with dating women in their 30′s is that they are only interested in marriage and children and don’t think of dating as “fun”.  All this without even asking me anything about what I really wanted out of life.
    My last boyfriend was younger than me, and one of the reasons for breaking up was that I was not sure about the children thing and we didn’t share the same vision for our futures, however compatible we were. He was the one who wanted marriage and children.  He wasn’t looking to fall in love with me when we first met, but that’s just what happen. So to all older women out there: you can take a chance on a younger guy.
    I also would most certainly spend time on quick, short, hot flings if the guy was a young, yummy stud- even if he didn’t want to commit to me.  Just enjoy it for what it is. Why does everything have to lead to marriage?
    But, based on some of Evan’s latest responses, I can expect him to say that I’m just wasting the last years of my youth on men who won’t commit.
    I am open to dating older men- if it was the right match.  Look, I understand that acting like a bitter sourpuss isn’t going to land me a quality guy and that I need to be open a wide range of different men.  Older women need encouragement, not another story of how a “wise” woman found love with a man 15 years her senior and how “lucky” this guy feels.
     
     
     
     

  18. 78
    JoJo

    Although I am happy for Michelle, there is something about this story that is not convincing to me.  She’s a young woman who was interested in having children.  The 50 year old man didn’t want to have children.  When it comes to this topic, I feel that there is no compromising because it’s very black and white to me.  Someone should not be deprived of having a child if that is what they really want.  By the same token, someone should not be put in the position to have a child just because the other person wants one.  I feel that this is something that should be discussed early on.  Evan, isn’t it a bit deceitful to advise Michelle to let the man fall in love with her before she expresses her desire to have children?  I understand the concept of letting the person fall for you before revealing certain things.  Why have a man, or for that matter anyone, invest so much time in someone to find out that they don’t share the same desire of having children?  That is just a huge sacrifice and a major compromise to be made.  Unless, the 50 year old is limiting his dating pool to way younger women, then he’ll have to understand that most younger woman might want children.  And, if Michelle wants to date only way older men, then she’ll have to understand that most men this age don’t want children.
     
     

    1. 78.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @JoJo, who wrote: “Evan, isn’t it a bit deceitful to advise Michelle to let the man fall in love with her before she expresses her desire to have children?”

      Huh?

      She always expressed her desire to have children. She just didn’t try to impose her will on her boyfriend in the beginning of the relationship as a litmus test. This allowed him to fall in love with her and WANT to have kids with her.

      There’s a huge difference between “not issuing ultimatums” and “being cool”. Michelle chose the latter and now has a man who loves her. Sounds like a good plan to me.

  19. 79
    Karl R

    Ms Trace said: (#83)
    “Your choice of Michelle as a ‘success’ story is not exactly inspiring.”
    “Older women need encouragement, not another story of how a ‘wise’ woman found love with a man 15 years her senior and how ‘lucky’ this guy feels.”

    I think you’re completely misreading what Evan is saying.

    My girlfriend is the most amazing woman I’ve ever dated, even though she is 16 years older than me (and my normal inclination is to date women my age). Anyone who ends up with an amazing boyfriend/girlfriend is lucky, regardless of whether their partner is 16 years older, 16 years younger, or anywhere in between.

    You think the story about Michelle isn’t “inspiring” and fails to provide “encouragement”, because the woman ended up with someone 15 years older than her, instead of someone her age or younger.

    Ms Trace said: (#83)
    “To Karl, You are a great addition to this community!”
    Ruby said: (#79)
    “Karl R, nice to hear from a man as open-minded as you!”

    For the sake of this conversation, let’s assume that I’m a good catch. In addition to the traits you two approve of, I have some additional traits which attract women (tall, thin, still have my hair, great dancer). I’m a “good catch” (at least hypothetically), and a woman 16 years older than me has ended up with me (and she feels lucky to have me).

    Three years ago I was dating a woman 11 years younger than me. Except for one dealbreaker (she wanted kids, I didn’t) we were great together. When I was dating her, I had all the traits that I have now. If this younger woman hadn’t wanted kids, we’d probably still be together (and she’d presumably feel lucky to have me).

    I don’t think I go from being a great catch to being a mediocre catch based on the age of my girlfriend. Especially if both women think I’m a great catch.

    Ms Trace said: (#83)
    “to be honest with you, there is very little I can do wrong when men in their late 40′s and 50′s are interested in me.”

    In my opinion, that’s what made both girlfriends (16 years older and 11 years younger) amazing girlfriends. There was little that I could do wrong in their eyes. That’s a complete contrast from my first serious girlfriend (3 years younger) where I could do little right in her eyes.

    Ms Trace said: (#83)
    “The last guy I went on a second date with (35 years old)  flat out said that ‘the problem with dating women in their 30′s is that they are only interested in marriage and children and don’t think of dating as “fun”’.  All this without even asking me anything about what I really wanted out of life.”

    So for this guy, you’ve already done wrong, even though you haven’t done anything yet.

    The way I measure things, the guy who believes you can do little wrong sounds like a good catch, even if he is in his late 40s or 50s. The guy who finds faults with you at the smallest detail, he’s a terrible catch, regardless of what age he is (or how hot he is).

  20. 80
    Ms. Trace

    Hi Karl,
    Thanks for taking the time to response. Great reading your perspective on things. If I find myself nitpicking a guy, then I know that it’s not the right relationship. I’m just in a place right now where it seems like the only men nitpicking me are those close to my age, whereas I am not even nitpicking them.
    As for Michelle’s story, I still think that it’s a great celebration of love in general, but for most readers of Evan’s blog, it’s not the best choice as an example. Men in their 50′s regularly show interest in me and don’t hesitate to say not-so-nice things about women their own age. Since it’s so easy for me and a lot of women in their 30′s to land one of these older men ( even tall and rich,), I wonder about the necessity of using a dating coach to make sure you don’t screw it up in these kinds of situations.
    Karl, most men out there in the dating pool aren’t like you.

  21. 81
    JoJo

     Evan, understood.  It wasn’t clear to me that he already had been aware of her desire to have children.  I thought he was kept in the dark throughout the relationship and then was told once he fell in love. 

  22. 82
    Sarahrahrah!

    “… let the jerkoffs walk.”
    Brilliant, Evan!  That one’s going on my mirror. (:-D

  23. 83
    Joey

    I’m gonna say sometimes second chances happen.  Thats what High School reunions are for, rekindling the relationship with exes.  Depending on her age, why is she in a rush for marriage.  There are plenty of content single people.  Besides, maybe she is not wife or marriage material yet, she should work on making herself more appealing to him, perhaps sharing hobbies.  Maybe he felt he was being rushed into a marriage with her, but after a year or him dating the wrong women, he will come crawling back.  Keep the door open, but grow yourself, and survive as a strong independent woman.

  24. 84
    Susan61

    I just came across this site/blog.  I’m amazed at the similarity of the stories here to what I’ve been going through.  My story is I fell in love with one of these very good looking men who wants to date a woman 20 years younger.  I am turning 50 this year, he is two years older.  Naturally he dumped me – twice.  Admittedly, I was a fool for giving him a second chance but I loved him. I know, stupid.  Believe me, I have suffered greatly beating myself up for my mistakes with this one.   I did not realize what the real problem was until I saw him lying about his age on a few dating sites (by 6 years) and advertising for women 7 – 20 years younger.  And no, he doesn’t want children.  So it’s clear he won’t (and this is true for many in shape, attractive men 50+) EVEN CONSIDER a woman close to his age.  Yeah, as EMK says, he SUCKS.  The problem is, I’m just not attracted (and never have been) to much older men.  I’m attracted to men close to my age but as an almost 50 year old woman, my dating pool is rapidly shrinking.  A man who is 12 years older than I, extremely wealthy and a nice person but doing through a divorce, was very interested in me.  I just am not attracted to a 62 year old and yeah, we women can do the math too.
    I can vouch that the age problem is REAL for women over 45.  The worst part of my situation is that I work part time with the guy who broke my heart and I haven’t wanted to leave the situation because of pride and for career reasons.  It’s been a really difficult 2.5 years and I think I will leave the situation I’m in after this year.  Because despite the fact that he SUCKS and he doesn’t want me, and is holding out for a much younger woman – which he WILL find because he is attractive, sexy and in excellent shape and dating is even tough for women in their 30s – I am still very attracted to him. I thought our chemistry was off the charts.   And yes, I understand this is MY problem.  I will read EMK’s book and hopefully I’ll instantaneously get over what happened with him.  I think not, though.  I think I have to remove him completely from my life if I hope to ever have another relationship again.
    I am an attractive woman in good shape and it’s depressing to be turning 50.  I try to remain positive but I have been alone for the last 2.5 years.  Online dating is the worst, as all the men my age (the attractive ones who have kept themselves in shape) are not interested in attractive women their age.  I also hate the lack of privacy and having to post my photo for the entire world to see.

  25. 85
    Violette

    I was dating a really great guy for 3 years (I am 51 and he is 49).  I participated in holidays with his family, spent time with his children (10 and 12 yrs old) who both love me and I love them.  We had a very close relationship, never had any fights but did have some discussions about certain issues that we resolved.  The biggest problem is with his schedule and ability to give time to the relationship.  He travels constantly for work and spends ten days a month with his kids who live two hours away from me.
    For about the last six months of the relationship his work increased and our time together got less and less.  I know he was exhausted and overwhelmed and I just let him go the way he needed, although I did let him know that I missed him.  I do not nag or bitch.
    At New Year’s we started to have a conversation and he just blurted out that he had been thinking of ending our relationship.  He came and talked to me a few nights later and just told me that he did not have the “passion” he once felt for our relationship and that he needed to focus on his business and wanted to end our relationship.  I think he is going through midlife crisis because he was questioning where he is in life and I know he is feeling overwhelmed and desperate for some kind of relief.  He says he still loves me and finds it hard to imagine not talking to me and seeing me.  But he can’t cut out his work or his kids and I was the only thing he could sacrifice.  He more than once made reference to the “responsibility” of our relationship.
    It really bothers me that he thought about it for so long and then just sprang it on me without giving us the opportunity to try to work through it.  His only answer to me has been “when is the right time?”  This is a repeated theme in all the midlife crisis stories I have read, a completely off-character change that was not expected.
    I have been enforcing no contact for about a month and he has texted me a few times asking me how I am.  I wonder if he just wants to be free of the guilt by knowing I am better or if he is really missing me and might want me back.
    I know that people here have posted that if he leaves he sucks.  But this is really a good man, who is a great father and was incredibly good to me for three years.  I thought we would be together forever.
    I don’t plan on waiting around, but I also am not interested at all in dating anyone for a long time.  He was the “good guy” who wasn’t supposed to to this to me.  How can I trust that the next guy won’t do the same thing to me?
    I have been through a lot of relationships and I feel so tired of trying to find someone who really sees ME.  I just want him to stop being crazy and come back.  I know for sure there is no other woman.

  26. 86
    Lily

    Violette,
    I am in the exact same boat as you. But I dated my man for 8 (EIGHT) years. We had AMAZING chemistry and compatibility. We both have 2 children, who love each other like siblings, I am very close to his 2 children who consider me their step Mom. But out of the blue, with no discussion, he announced to me “From here on in let’s just be friends”. He had turned 60. A few days later he was dating a woman we knew from Church, 15 years younger than him. He has been with her for 1 1/2 years now, and I still miss him terribly. I have been meeting people on Match but no man measures up to him. It has been hell. My life was so wrapped up in his, and now he attends the events we used to attend together, with her. She is rather frumpy, not as attractive as me, but she does have the advantage of being a lot younger. I am still in the dark why he wanted to end what I thought was a wonderful, close, loving, passionate relationship, but realize the lack of communication must have been THE problem between us. What I thought was wonderful, he considered disposable. This might be the situation with you and your ex-what you thought was great, he obviously did not, otherwise he would still be with you. A hard truth to swallow. It hurts like hell to be rejected by the man you love, and it is hard not to beat yourself up over what you must have done wrong. I think what EMK tries to get us to understand is that we have to concentrate on how he makes us feel, not solely on how WE feel about HIM. My ex has made me feel not good enough, like a loser. I don’t like feeling like this. My only choice is to focus on reality, not on my fantasy of who I thought he was.
     

  27. 87
    Jane101

    @16 Kim
    This is what I did to get past the pain.

    PRACTICAL SEVERANCE
    1.No contact.
    2. Delete reminders and give away the gifts. (I hung onto the expensive knife set though!).
    3.Dont talk about the past to kind friends.
    4. STOP all negative thought spirals instantly – STOP all over thinking, over analyzing, replays , fantasies etcetera.
    5. Get rid of photos , emails etcetera

    SELF LOVE
    1. Meditations on joy and loving myself daily.
    2. Exercise , plenty of sleep, minimize booze, no drugs etc.
    3. Read inspiring self development books .
    4. Massages , mani-pedis , make up sessions in a store , soaking up the sun….an amzing vacation..

    MOVING ON
    5. accept every invitation
    6. change everything about your appearance , clothes , hair colour, style,nail polish
    7.Be around people – volunteer , take a course,languages, singing , learn pole dancing or Zumba :)
    8.Visualise the new exciting things you want in your life , eg travel, new job, new home etcetera , and take steps towards new goals.

    After doing all this I managed to change jobs, move location, spend more time with my kids , survive a major illness, make new friends , go to Europe and get back to old joys. Whilst i dont feel neutral about him yet I am really enjoying my life and dating widely with a genuine smile.
    Good luck!

  28. 88
    Jane101

    My take on the guy that is keeping his options open by random texts or even dates now and then is , fine by me , as long as I am not in love with him and never have been. Otherwise, its just dates and contacts and socialising and I will decide if it feels good to engage or not.

    I will file him in the friends basket , I will not sleep with him (or else I might fall in love with someone unavailable ) and I will enjoy the contact if it suits me at the time and if NOTHING BETTER COMES ALONG meanwhile.

    So a guy that does this sort of stuff loses leverage with me instantly , loses any prospect of sex with me and will only ever be a casual friend.

    If I ever was in love with him or felt other strong feelings , negative or positive for him, then NO CONTACT, no response , no interaction. Otherwise I am just playing games with my own heart.

    Its all about me.

  29. 89
    Peachy

    The first time he dumped me without notica wa because he got a notice from IRS that he may owe $140k. Freaked home and I let go.  He contacted me six months later after he rec’d a Spam e-mail from me.   

    Wanted to come over and we reunited.  Everything great until I said the three words of death.  I love you.  Hell, we are 60 and 62. So he broke up with me because hecdicn’t feel the same spark with me he felt when he fell in love with his wife at 20 in college.   Really?   

  30. 90
    JD

    Thanks for this Evan.  I reread your post because I have my first date after a pretty horrific break-up. My ex-fiance canceled our wedding on the phone (we were long-distance) and didn’t want to see me or explain his reasons.  Less than 24 hours before, he had told me that he loved me and couldn’t wait to marry me (our wedding was just 3 months away, invitations were out, and everything was set–I was quitting my job, selling my house, moving my children, and looking for another job).  We had known each other for over 32 years and had been friends for a long time as well as dated in high school, college, and even grad school.  I was shocked and devastated.  He was 47 and never married.  He had a habit of bolting when things go too serious.  I just never expected that he would do that to me, to us!  Any way, it’s been hard to get over him, but you explained it pretty well….he left and didn’t want me.  That makes him not right for me. I deserve someone who can love me unconditionally and through the difficult times.  I just needed to read it again.  Thanks Evan!

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