Sometimes we just want to hear loving, confirming words from someone. Those three words, “I love you,” can make us feel secure, valued and at ease. But, “I love you” doesn’t always translate to, “I want to get back together.” In other words, you can still love someone even if you know it’s over, and he can still love you, even though he knows it’s over. That can be so painful. How do you move on when you still love him? How do you cope with knowing that the friendship is there but the loving connection is gone?
A writer recently reached out with her story, asking “How do you move on when you still love him?”
So, I told him I love him in a text and he said it back to me in a text but then he said “let’s leave things as they are”, ie separated. Then he wrote “because I don’t want to misrepresent anything.” So, it’s over obviously. Now I need to move on, but how? He was my best friend. Very limited in the way of friends.
My advice to this woman, and to all who have loved and lost, wondering how to move on when you still love him:
You were loved. You are loved. You will be loved again. When marriages or relationships end, there is often a large void. Suddenly, you don’t get to hear those confirming words on a regular basis … You don’t have that person in your “favorites” on your phone, who you can call when you’re feeling lonely. Instead, you are left thinking about all that you have lost.
But, the truth is: That love you shared doesn’t just evaporate. While the romantic love goes away, there often is still a deep feeling of caring for one another that can last a lifetime. You got confirmation of that in his text response to you. Him telling you that he loves you is a reminder that someone is out there rooting for you.
Just because you have decided to end your marriage does not mean that the friendship and love for one another that you built over time simply vanished into thin air. It often lingers and even grows in some instances.
So, feel confident knowing that you do have this friendship and caring for one another that won’t just go away. As a matter of fact, I believe he honored that friendship by clarifying for you that he doesn’t want to misrepresent anything. That is a true friend. He will not mislead you or confuse you. He has let you know that he loves you, but that he is still moving forward with the plans to be apart from one another. I believe that’s a gift that he gave you.
Now, you might want to look at why you sent that message in the first place. Were you feeling lonely? Did you need confirmation that you were loved? Are you having doubts about ending your relationship? Are you wanting to cling to him simply because you have no one else? Take some time to truly ask yourself those questions.
Then, look inward for the comfort that you seek. Don’t look to your former partner to validate you or to give you a full-feeling life. Instead, start putting in the effort and time to meet new people and to make new friends.
It’s not easy to put yourself out there, but it’s so rewarding once you take that first step. If you start remotely (as you most likely have to do these days), that is a good way to ease into new circumstances. Try a remote book club or a remote art class or whatever it is that piques your interest. Then, as the world opens up again, go to a dance class or a coffee shop or a book store and be open to meeting people.
You will be fulfilled by throwing yourself into your own interests and passions and also by meeting like-minded people while doing so.
Stay confident, love yourself and know that in so doing, you will also be putting yourself on a path to hear those words “I love you” by new friends and one day a new romantic partner, as well!
Amy Lee Kite is an author, blogger, poet and editor. She received her master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism and has had numerous articles published over the years. Amy has always turned to writing to work through anything that is happening in her life, including her parents’ divorce and her own divorce.
She has published three children’s books on tough topics, including “Divorce: What About Me?” Her most recent book, “Goodbye, Gus” is about the loss of a pet. Her books are available on her website and on Amazon. To learn more about Amy, visit her website: www.amyleekite.com; follow her poetry and writing on her Instagram account: @amyleewrites and follow her on Facebook.
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