How Can I Be Confident When I’m Losing The Love Of My Life?


My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 1/2 years and have been living together for 2.   I had been seeing some signs that he was not happy anymore but I just tried to always be cheery and helpful and make sure to be there for him when he needed me.

Two months ago he tells me that he does not want to live together anymore. He says that he has gone cold-hearted and doesn’t feel the same as he used to. This is earth shattering for me since he had just told me a few months before this that he had asked my father for his permission for my hand in marriage over Christmas. I thought things were slowly heading in the direction that I thought we both wanted.

Well, now it is moving time. I will be in my new place at the end of the month and he will be moving out next week. I just am so lost. I truly believe with my whole heart and soul that he is my soul mate. I cannot imagine my life without him in it. He told me last week when I came back from a work trip in NYC that for us to work that he really needs to see me be self-reliant, focus on my goals and (he didn’t out-right say this but) to stop being so insecure about myself.

I have never been so insecure in my life than I am right now. I feel as though I am losing the love of my life and I have no where to turn. I will be filling up my schedule very soon with going back to school and work is getting busier and busier- but the thing is that none of my goals seem worth it without him to come home to. What can I do to get our relationship back on track and rekindle that overwhelming fire that we once shared?



I’m gonna make this short. I’m gonna make this sweet. I’m gonna help you move on.

But this reality check is gonna sting a little bit. Ready?

He is not your soul mate.

He is not the love of your life.

You have plenty of places to turn.

You can imagine your life without him.

You will get over him.

You will fill up that hole in your life where he used to be.

Everyone has found someone who they thought was “the one” who turned out not to be the one. Everyone.

And, most importantly, you do NOT want to “get your relationship back on track and rekindle that overwhelming fire you once shared. “ Holy shit! Just reading that sentence makes me want to tie you to the bed until your senses have returned.

So how do I know all of this? I don’t know you. I don’t know him. How can I possibly understand the intensity of the love you shared? Aren’t I underestimating the connection you’re feeling? What if there’s no other man like this on the planet?

I know all of these things (as does everyone else reading this, by the way), not because I’m omniscient or arrogant, but because that’s life.

Everyone has found someone who they thought was “the one” who turned out not to be the one. Everyone.

Unfortunately, you’re experiencing this right now, which is undoubtedly painful and confusing, which is why you have to rely on cooler heads to set you straight.

You ever hear the phrase, “Love is blind”? Well, your love was blind. It was based on passion, not reality. Once again, how do I know this?

You moved in with your guy after six months. That’s not something people generally do when they’re thinking clearly. That’s something people do when they’re blinded by their belief that they’ve found soul mate love. And then they do everything in their power to preserve their soul mate love, even though it’s not meant to be preserved.

So, how do I know that it’s not meant to be preserved?

The second you let go of your ex is the second you can open up lasting love.

Because your “soul mate” didn’t want to preserve it! You’ve said so yourself!

I had been seeing some signs that he was not happy anymore.

Two months ago he tells me that he does not want to live together anymore. He says that he has gone cold-hearted and doesn’t feel the same as he used to.

I will be in my new place at the end of the month and he will be moving out next week.

He told me to stop being so insecure about myself.

It seems that, unlike you, your boyfriend has stopped coasting on your glorious first 6 months and has begun to see you more objectively. And, for whatever it’s worth, he sees you as weak and insecure. I’m not saying he’s right. I’m saying that this is the way he feels. Objectively, he needs a different woman to make him happy.

This is his right. Similarly, it’s your right — and mandate — to find a different man who is willing to put up with your faults, loves you unconditionally and never wants to leave you.

I know that’s hard to hear, since you want HIM, but if HE doesn’t want YOU, it doesn’t matter. Your ex-boyfriend is NOT your future husband.

But I can tell you one thing that should make you smile:

The second you let go of your ex is the second you can open up to lasting love.

I promise.

Thank you for your question, Leta. And if anyone else is reading Leta’s question and identifying with the painful process of moving on from your ex, please check out my bestselling eBook, “Why He Disappeared”.

You won’t be sorry.

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  1. 21

    Karl T,
    this is a place for women, and I very often wonder what are you and the other  men (there seem to be more than I would expect) getting out from writing on a blog for women.
    If you are looking for a way to better understand women let me share something you might find useful.
    Women like to share experiences with each other, also to complain about men, also to seek validation. This is only human, and civilized people show each other  at least a little bit of empathy in such exchanges. Being empathetic does not preclude people from giving good advice, on the contrary, it brings both meaning and consolation to another person.
    As for the phrase “he strung me along” – you need to recognize that save for Karmic Equation and a few more bold and enlightened souls here,   the goal of dating for women is to be in a relationship, the goal of relationships is to be married, the goal of marriage is to have a family (with children, or pets, or whatever you like).
    Women experience the natural progression from one step to another as a personal success, and when the progression is not kept, they experience the break up as both a personal failure and an attack to their feminine capabilities.   Men are also hurt by break-ups, but the big difference is that for a woman, there is also the societal expectation to get the succession right with as few trials as possible.   This is partly because of the biological clock, but partly a social construction according to which women who have had many sexual partners are sluts.
    From the point of view of women being together for 2 years only to find out that the man is [no longer] willing  to keep the natural progression to having a family together means   she has to go back to dating (unless she  wants to accept that she will be alone, but that was the previous post :-)).  Going back to dating  her “mileage” wii  immediately go up by at least +1, probably by many  more, by the time she finds her husband.   In the scale of male offenses, this is much worse than disappearing after a ONS, or after 3 months, and comes right before discovering that he was two-timing you for most of the two years.

    1. 21.1

      Great response!

  2. 22

    Leta, if you’re like me, you’ll be reliving all the sweetest and tenderest moments of your past times with this ex. You’ll be thinking to yourself “If he once loved me this much, then surely he still has some of that love for me, or someday I can rekindle it.” The answer is no. He does not love you that way anymore, and no, you cannot rekindle it by anything you try to do to make it happen. Even wild and passionate and tender love can fade away and disappear.
    Believe the more recent evidence. Believe that he doesn’t want to be with you anymore. Then make a resolution to yourself that you will be happy without him and dive into your next phase of life with energy. You said you would be busy with many things. Well then emerse yourself in them. Love yourself first. Reclaim yourself. See how great it feels. You can do it girl.

  3. 23

    I know you don’t feel “lucky” right now. But it should take about a year and a half to know if someone is a good bet to marry. So you only wasted a year beyond what should have been the cutoff. I wasted 5.5. years in my thirties — years I can never get back, years I spent crying and freaking out. I think I screwed up my adrenal glands, yikes. And no, it wasn’t worth it. Now I’m married to a wonderful guy; it’ll be eight years come New Year’s. I rarely think about the man who took me on that hideous emotional roller coaster. In a few years, you will rarely think about this guy because you will have long since moved on with someone new.   Someone better.   Someone SO MUCH better!   Good luck to you.

  4. 24

    @ Ruby #12
    “it’s always best to bring up any possible concerns. Too many people spend far too long pretending that nothing is wrong until they simply can’t take it anymore.”
    Yes. This*1000! I am honestly shocked by what I see out there, now that I am dating, listen to people’s stories of their past experiences, and have been through a LTR myself. I got married in my early 20s, to a man who was also in his early 20s and who, in retrospect, was a pretty bad match. We met in college, dated for a year, agreed to get married one day when we were both falling drunk, and just coasted on chemistry from there on until it was too late to back out of that marriage. We must’ve come across as a pretty awful couple, because on my wedding day, my mom walked into the room where I was doing my hair and makeup and gave me this advice: “at least, don’t have kids, because you two are going to get divorced anyway” We were married 18 years. We had some awful times, but we also had some good times. What we used to do on a regular basis, all the way until the last 2-3 years of marriage when we both gave up on it, was that we used to sit down and talk over any serious issues any of had, and come up with a solution that would work for us both and keep our marriage running. Keep in mind it was a very bad marriage, that finally fell apart three years ago, and none of our kids were even surprised about it. So I was shocked to learn that hardly anyone does this sitting down and resolving their issues thing anymore. People just get into relationships based on chemistry, then get out as soon as the buzz wears off. Or, like you said, they have complaints, never say a word about them, pretend that everything’s fine, then one day they say they cannot take it anymore and break up, and even then they still don’t tell their, now, ex-partner what exactly it was that they couldn’t take anymore. WTF people! If my ex-husband and I could sit down, articulate what we did not like, and work on it together, anyone can. I am honestly amazed by this modern trend of keeping quiet about anything that bothers you and then randomly walking out. These are grown people in their 40s and 50s. How do people manage to raise children with that mentality? how do they manage to have careers, and be in charge of other people at work, with that mentality? My ex-husband and I cannot be the only two mature adults in this world. There have to be others like us out there, but I haven’t met any of them yet in my dating pursuits. Maybe next time?

  5. 25

    Happy #18
    Sounds like you are contradicting yourself. You say there is no “one”, yet nobody seems to compare to your ex. If you’ve dated many men and no one holds your interest besides a long-ago ex, aren’t you making him into your version of “the one” by not letting him go? Perhaps you are still protecting yourself from getting so hurt again?

  6. 26

    Kiki, first off, Evan seems to want other men to comment on here. Share experiences and ideas. It helps round out the conversation. And frankly, I see plenty of other women engaging with male comments and some expressing thanks for hearing our voices. It can become something of an echo chamber when only one set of voices is heard from. I like diversity. I think it’s needed for a good life.
    Secondly, the phrase “he strung me along” is flat out inaccurate most of the time. It assumes a premeditation quality, and a fixed agenda, a place that only a small minority of men really are coming from. The reality is a lot more complicated than this most of the time. Men and women break up after multiple year relationships all the time for a wide variety of reasons, some of which aren’t clear to them until long after the breakup. Karl’s comment was harsh, and I disagree with him that this is solely a “woman’s complaint” – men use lines like this as well. But I do think he’s right in pointing out how that kind of thinking isn’t really accurate or helpful.
    It’s interesting. You seem to both be calling out the unfair societal double standards women face when it comes to relationships and marriage, and yet also basically agreeing to them. No one should be held to an expectation that they need to “follow through” on the progression of a relationship to marriage and children simply because they stayed with someone a few years. Nor should anyone be penalized for having a past with relationships that didn’t last. We should be rejecting these kind of notions, yet the way you frame it, men who break up with women after a few years are guilty of a major offense. And women are somehow damaged because the guy didn’t stay with her. What about all the women who leave after multiple year relationships? Seriously, I’ve been on that end of the stick more than once, and odds are most of the men here also have been there as well.
    I totally understand that it’s lousy to see something end after multiple years of investment. I’ve been there multiple times, as have most of the commenters here regardless of gender. I also get it that for women who want children, the time spent with someone who leaves or doesn’t work, for whatever reason, feels like a major loss. Or a waste even. It may even be true that the guy in the relationship wasn’t ever clear about what he wanted, hid issues that needed to be dealt with upfront, or generally struggled to do all the things needed to maintain a healthy connection. However, none of that can be reduced to being a player with a calculated goal to use a woman. Which is what the line “he strung me along” really means. It’s laying all the blame at the hands of a predator. Nice and tidy, but not realistic most of the time.

    1. 26.1

      I think the main issues here is that biologically men and women designed in different ways. Women tend to want to nest and bond emotionally, men want to spread the semen so to speak and separate emotions from sex. Equating men and women in relationships is not fair, because it’s not honest.

      So, women tend to think of relationships as time and emotions investment. I am sure men do too, but its way easier for them to bounce back and biological clocks are not ticking in their ears.

  7. 27

    Some men feel that it is in the best interest of everyone, men and women, to provide a viewpoint from the other (in this case, male) perspective.   I can only speak for myself, but that is why I post on here, and I would suspect that is the case for a number of other men on here.   I first learned about EMK when I bought a book of his on online dating years back.   The book was for both men an women, so I came upon his website due to that.   So, we are not just trolling.
    There are a couple of things in your post that you’re right about:   women like to complain about men and they like to seek validation.   However, no one is better off as a result of practicing that.   Posts like Angie’s in #10 don’t benefit anyone.   At best, they make the OP temporarily feel better, but they don’t really provide any tangible assistance for improving her situation going forward.   At worst, they inspire false confidence and foster bitterness towards men.  
    As for the “stringing women along” bit.   Perhaps it could be beneficial to view relationships for what they are, and focus on enjoying all of the good times that you have together.   Just because the relationship ended after three years, or whatever, doesn’t mean that it was a total waste because it didn’t end in marriage.   Another thing to keep in mind:   a man doesn’t owe a woman marriage.   He is deciding whether this person is a good life partner while he is dating her (just like she is with him), and just because he breaks up with her doesn’t mean he was stringing her along.   Things change, and he may have no longer saw her as a good match.

  8. 28

    If I understand it right, a man strings a woman along if he promises her things that he knows she wants, with no intent of delivering, just because he wants a warm body in his bed, hot dinner on the table, whatever it is he gains by keeping her around. For example, if he knows she wants a marriage and kids, he doesn’t want any of that stuff, but keeps talking to her about their future marriage and kids without ever making any concrete plans. That’s stringing along. Ending a relationship because one or both sides feel that it isn’t what they wanted, it has run its course, or for whatever other reason one or both people want out, is not stringing along. The idea that both people are obligated to stay in a relationship and progress from one stage to the next, just because they’ve already put in an X number of months or years, is ridiculous. It is a relationship, not a jail sentence of life without parole. I am in complete agreement with what Nathan said on this subject.
    Also, Kiki, you need to speak for yourself. Not all of us want another marriage, and many of us do not want any more children. If I met a guy who wanted to eventually progress to me having his babies, I’d run fast. If I met a guy who’d hold it against me that I was in several LTRs before meeting him, I’d run even faster. Not all men are like that.
    What people do and do not want out of a relationship, is something they usually discuss before they get into said relationship. Shouldn’t be any major surprises there. They might find out, later down the road, that they disagree on finer details of what they want their relationship to be like, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise after several years together that one of them wants children and the other doesn’t.
    I suspect that Kim’s ex might’ve truly strung her along, in the sense that I meant it here, because she says he “finally opened up”. This sounds to me like he was planning to continue being in a relationship with her, for whatever reasons, while thinking that she was needy and dependent and they had nothing in common; and that he’d still be with her if she hadn’t forced him to finally open up and tell her how he really felt.

    1. 28.1
      Dina Strange

      You seem to like running. Why to have relationships then? Just keep on running.

  9. 29

    I am aware that not everyone wants marriage and not everyone wants children.
    A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bycicle ;-).
    It still beats me why some girls get so upset when their boyfriends dump them, when they should be (Nathan and Chance, pls choose   one or more):
    A) be celebrating freedom
    b) focus on enjoying the good times they had together
    c) be undestanding that it is only fair that if women ever leave men, men also leave women.

  10. 30

    @ Karl T,
    Please, then, when you are telling us all how sick you are of women saying this or that, add the caveat that you are enlightening women rather than complaining that you don’t like what they’re saying.   It will help eliminate confusion, no?   And while I can’t speak for other women here, truth is often best served up delivered with some grace.

  11. 31
    Karmic Equation

    @Starthrower & Kiki,
    You probably don’t see it but I do. Even now both of you are trying to change a man, and he’s not even a friend or S.O. of yours. If anything, he’s an adversary, at least in this thread.
    If you try changing men you don’t know and don’t seem to like, what are you doing to the men you do know?

  12. 32

    Karmic, as I have already stated to you on another thread, I have no game.   I am a loser and completely un-datable.   I have 4 cats, 3 kids, too much body weight, student debt and a whole host of other flaws. You’re welcome.

  13. 33
    Peter 61

    The situation described in EMK’s piece at the beginning is weird.   Here is a man with a flatmate to share the rent, provide company, entertainment and sex, share the housekeeping and be a warm comforting body in bed and he’s telling her to leave. There is no mention of another woman!   This is surely a situation to maintain until a future wife is in sight?   OK, at 2 years the buzz has gone but he seems confident that he can get a replacement.   He’s in a tiny minority of men.   Perhaps, she is seriously difficult to live with and the self confidence issues are the least of her problems or are colossal.   He’s actually being nice to her by giving up his comforts without an alternative immediately available.   People who live together before marriage have a higher breakup rate.   Hmm.
    Why did he ask her father about marriage and not her?   It is curiously formal for someone already living with the daughter and the woman should have agreed first anyway.   Did the men get drunk together?
    @KArl T 11.   Perhaps Karmic was excluding those under 13 years old?   Nevertheless, 3 significant figures should be enough.   l hate recurring decimals.

  14. 34
    Karmic Equation

    If what I say makes you angry. GOOD. Refocus that anger and teach me a lesson. Go and do something about the things you can do something about.
    There’s nothing wrong about having 4 cats, 3 kids, student debt, and too much body weight unless you want to date people who have a problem with all that. Go out and find people who don’t have a problem with that and your problem is solved.

  15. 35

    Y’know Karmic, Evan has a way of using irritation and unpleasant truths to motivate his readers to change.   He has a gift and uses it well, even if there are areas in which I disagree with him.   On the other hand, your comments are designed to make me internalize a sense of failure and inadequacy, which has never motivated anyone to do anything.   I think that I know myself pretty well in 45 years and can assure you that I have not ever, am not now, or ever intend to date out of my so-called “league” as it were.   You are basing your comments on a set of assumptions about a person that you have never met, will never meet, and unless you have the ability to see directly into the heart of another through typing, will not know.   As far as I am concerned, if you and I were the only two women in the world and you could have every single man and I could have none, I would be fine with that arrangement.   I was merely calling myself a loser and unworthy for your benefit.   

  16. 36
    Karmic Equation


    It’s Evan’s job to make sure that women are motivated. It’s his livelihood. And he wouldn’t be good at it if he were untactful like me.

    “I was merely calling myself a loser and unworthy for your benefit.”

    It doesn’t matter if you were saying that for my benefit or not. I don’t derive any pleasure from you demeaning yourself.

    If you feel inadequate, it’s not because of ME, that inadequacy was there long before I started writing on the board. All I did was surface it. Now that it’s surfaced, you want to blame me for that feeling. You can go ahead if that makes you feel better. But that won’t resolve your feelings of inadequacy. Even if I never wrote another word, you’ll still feel inadequate at some point because of someone or something else. Face it and fix it. Then no one will ever have the power to make you feel inadequate again. Because it would be gone.

  17. 37

    I once read a story in advice column about a woman who wrote in to say that she had been left standing at the altar by her ex-fiancé. Understandably, she felt both devastated and humiliated at the time. She went on to write that a one year later she met the man who would eventually become her husband. This man turned out to be a much better match for her than the guy she was supposed to marry. She was so happy that the ex had dumped her, that she only wanted to thank him.  
    Girl, I know that you are in deep pain now, but you don’t know what’s coming. Think of this breakup as a blessing in disguise. Hold your head up high, wipe those tears from your eyes, smile, and keep on keeping on!

  18. 38

    The advantage of a man ‘stringing a woman along’ is having her in a nice little holding pattern, so he still gets to have her company and sleep with her etc knowingly having no intention of making a full comittiment to her. So he gets to have what is available whilst still really looking for someone else. Gettting all the benifits of her already acting and behaving like she is in a full and committed relationship whilst him actually not yet have made that comittiment.
    Sounds odd that a few weeks before he claimed to want to marry her though.

  19. 39

    OK Karmic you win. I’ve dealt before with people before who intentionally miss my point. Paint me as you will sad soul that I am. Have it your way and I shall retire to the corner, curl up in the fetal position, and babble “I am a loser I have no game” like a mantra.

  20. 40
    Karmic Equation

    Whatever makes you happy, Starthrower.
    FTR, winning against women I’ve never met online has never been the point of my posts about competition.

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