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How do you MAKE yourself let go? My story...

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I found this site by accident, but it seems like it might be what I need; which at this point is emotional support. I have a secret that my friends can't really help me with, mostly because I don't want them to know.


12 years ago I was 27, my best friend's little brother was 16. We were buddies, friends even. He had a crush on me, brought me roses, teddy bear, et al; I politely rebuffed him. I loved him as a little brother/friend, but the thought of a relationship with him at the time seemed incestuous.


Fast forward 5 years, by now he's 21, and dating my one of my ex-roommates. He's tall, good looking (blonde hair, and the bluest eyes you've ever seen.) Things don't work out with him and my ex-roommate, and they move on; he starts hanging out with me again. (she is married to someone else now, with a baby.) Only now, I see him as wonderful and handsome and totally keepable, and he doesn't know I am alive other than as a buddy.


Fast forward 5 years, to 2006. We are still casually hanging out, going out on "friend dates". He is not dating anyone, and neither am I, and we start casually talking about some sort of hookup, although neither one of us knew what we wanted at the time. Somehow we ended up with a 4 month summer fling, in which I fell completely and totally in love with him. He was wonderful, loving, tender, gentle, and passionate in bed. But he wanted nothing else. No relationship, no dating, in fact we even stopped the casual friend dates that had been our trademark for years. Now it was all about the sex. He justified it by saying that he had warned me up front that he would end up using me if we forged into this pseudorelationship (which he did) and I assured him that I had no intention of falling in love with him, it just happened.


To make a long story a bit shorter, he finally stopped it, almost 4 months to the day after we started, stating that he couldn't be what I wanted him to be , which was a real live boyfriend. He didn't want to "date" me, and he felt rotten continuing a sexual relationship with me when he knew I wanted more, so he ended it. I thought I would die. I became almost suicidal at a point, went thru counseling, was put on nerve pills and antidepressants. We "hooked up" twice in the 6 months following that time period, the last time being February 2007. But then I met someone, and became involved with an older man, a kind man, who was good to me. He did everything that my friend didn't do for me, as far as dating, except the passion was non-existant. It was like dating my uncle. I just couldn't get my friend, my LOVE, off of my mind. I kept wishing it was him I was with, not this other man. Eventually I broke it off with the older guy last November. I could never quit thinking about my friend. He kept coming over to see me as friends, even though I was dating the other guy, and at one point told me that he had thought about the possibility of a relationship with me again, but decided it wasn't "feasible". Even told me that looking back, we probably could have made it as a couple but he just couldn't see 'forever' with me.


I still love him. I still think about him every single day. Two years after our summer fling began, he still haunts me. He's still single, and I see him/talk to him about once a month or so. I am close to his family, and still friends with his sister. They don't know. My friends all remember how devastated I was when he ended our relationship, and how much I loved him, and I hesitate to mention, I feel foolish perhaps, that after all this time, I still want him. Truth is, I've carried this flame for him for about 5 years now. We have a connection and a chemistry that is better than any I've ever known. He just gets to me somehow. Despite the fact that he told me he didn't love me, he told me he couldn't be what I wanted, he told me that he cared for me but that I didn't make him turn in to Mr. Knight in Shining Armor. He told me he used me. Despite all these things, I still hope against hope. I still pray. I've never held on to anyone like I've held on to him. And I don't know what to do. We are still friends, but I want so much more, and I can not tell him that now. Right now, I feel like I'll never love anyone again the same as I loved him. And I don't want anyone else. Now that I've been thru this relationship with this other guy, my friend thinks I'm over him, and I have to just let him think that; I felt so humiliated before, I won't do that to myself again.


I read another post about someone who couldn't let go, and it reminded me of me, because I still have this hope, buried way down deep inside me, that he'll realize one day what he gave up. That he'll realize those feelings he once had are still there. I know it's improbable. I know it's ridiculous. I know it's a waste of time and energy. But how do you STOP loving someone? How do you STOP hoping? How do you MAKE yourself let go of a dream?

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I have also wondered this myself. I told myself today that i didn't want my ex back at all but now the hope is creeping in again and its driving me mental.


I dont want to be the bearer of bad news but i do not think there is a chance with this guy at all. I think to him it was probably just sex and as he is still young he will probably meet someone soon if not in the near future and get married and have kids.


i think you should cut him out of you life and try to get on with things as best you can. i know it is hard and it's not what you want to hear but you need to do it I think. xx

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all i can say is that if he still see's you from time to time, he must have a bit of interest, other wise he'd be far, far away. i've always been a dreamer and believed in a happy ending. i had this situation once, and he never let go, everytime we'd see each other he'd say it was the end etc, and then he'd always come back, but it was never something serious, but when i got married, he was gutted, he was 10 years younger than me

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Even though I am guy I am very similar to the women above I am an optimistic romantic that everyone can find true love. I am in love with a woman who I think loves me deep down and she knows I have for the past 4 years. She asks me "why I love her?" "why she is beautiful?" I know there is something there for me I don't give up hope. With your "Buddy" in my opinion if he only comes back on occasion it sounds like there is still something there I doubt its love, more likely is he wouldn't mind using you again. Moving on is sometimes the best thing if you can do it, I almost did twice and I got pulled back in. I know love knows no age but go out meet new guys talk to them create a connection there will be another who will love you like you do him. Live a little, experience the world around you the world wont come to you, one must try to experience something in this world.

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Despite the fact that he told me he didn't love me, he told me he couldn't be what I wanted, he told me that he cared for me but that I didn't make him turn in to Mr. Knight in Shining Armor. He told me he used me.


This should be enough for you to let go. The way you stop loving someone is to turn that love inward, and love and value your own self more. Think about why it's okay with you to have a man tell you that he used you, and yet you still think he is a person worthy of you. Instead of focusing on how to stop loving him, maybe you should focus on why the standards you've set for yourself aren't very high. If you have held on for this long, maybe therapy is in order to explore the issues that got you to a point in your adult life where a man using you, and telling you he used you, is okay with you.

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I don't think you can ever stop loving someone. It always remains. All one can really do is learn to live with that feeling. You can never force someone to love you, they either do or don't. In an ideal world, everyone's love would be returned to the same depth and feeling. Yet it does not happen.


I realize that you love this guy, but he has expressed many times that he doesn't feel the same way about you. From your post, it seemed that your relationship was based purely on the physical aspects. True, you guys were friends, yet that stopped for a while after you guys broke up. He has told you that he can't be in a relationship with you, can't be the guy you want to love you.


This is very hard to accept. But accept it you must. From your own post, you seemed to have fallen apart when he split from you. Do you really want to go through that same pain again? Suppose you two renew your relationship, somewhere...you must realize that it will not be at the same level of attachment that you want and deserve. He seems to be pretty sure that he will not love you. So, why pursue it? In the long run, it would be much better if you don't go on that road again. I would also suggest that you (for the time being at least) break off all ties with him till you can handle being his friend without being reminded of how much you love him. That feeling will never go away, but you need some time to learn to accept that being with him is not a possibility, which will help you to move on, truly. I know this may not seem like it right now, but there is a guy out there who will be perfect for you. Someone made just for you. But as long as you keep on having this guy in your life, a constant reminder of what you love, you will never be open to seeing/being/giving someone else a chance. This love may not completely disappear...but don't torture yourself, holding out for a person who clearly will never return the feelings to the same depth that you feel. That would be a waste of energy and feelings on your part.

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Thanks to all for the sound words of advice. I feel sometimes as though I am in a vacuum, sucked back into the chain of loving him, and I have tried so hard to let him go. I dated someone else for 8 months, and he wanted to marry me, and I just couldn't...I couldn't stop thinking about my "friend". My boyfriend would kiss me, and I would see my "friends" face in my mind...isn't that horrible?? I felt like I was being so unfair to my boyfriend, when I still had those feelings for my "friend".

Yes, yes, yes, I agree in my mind that I need to let go, move on, accept it, get over it, et al....but how??

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My ex-roommate, the one who used to date him a long time ago, is one person who knew the whole story, and she asked him not to long ago why he didn't "go for" me, and he told her he already gave me a chance. (as in 10 years ago) And left it at that. I don't know why it's acceptable to me for his behaviour. Why do I still think after all these years he's the cream of the crop, even after what he did? What's wrong with me?? I guess deep inside I feel as though I'm not good enough for him, that's why he wouldn't stay with me. That's why he only wanted sex. And I feel like he is so worth the catch, in spite of that. Is that optimism or stupidity or blindness or what?

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i'm also struggling with the "how" on letting things go. i was talking w/ a therapist lately, and she was telling me a story of someone she once saw, and it was a woman who was married, had a child, and was divorced, and became a single mother. and she was very torn up about it, and basically blamed the exhusband for her unhappiness for 19 years. it was 19 years before she let go, and all that time she was upset with him for ruining her happiness and her chance at a family. whereas the reality was that he didn't ruin her chances. at some point over those 19 years, she could have theoretically become happy and remarried. the husband did that, let go and moved on and created happiness. the source of misery that she was wasn't real, he wasn't actively ruining her happiness, it was in her head. sure, he triggered the unhappiness, but he didn't maintain it over the 19 years.


i dunno, it was something i'm trying to take to heart. because yes, in the short term, it feels like the other person is responsible for how you're feeling. and that's a dangerous way to view it, because you're making yourself powerless. longer term, it is the individual who is repsonsible for how the individual feels, and it's dangerous sometimes to hold onto hurt.


not quite the same thing that you're going through, but there's something in there. for me, i didn't even realize that i'm still holding on to an event that's nearly 11 years old. i've had plenty of happiness in those 11 years, but i have also been plagued by depression from time to time, and in those times, life just seems so unbearably difficult. and on some level, i think i'm upset with this person for 'making' me feel this way over the last 11 years. and where i've got to go is a place where i realize that yes, this person triggered it initially. but now, 11 years on, it is me who is responsible, and i've got to find a way around it.


and in the near term, i'm having trouble letting go of love, just like you. how do you get rid of hope? you don't even really want to. it feels like all you have. and for a few moments a day, the idea that holding on to this hope is making me closed off to other sources of hope and happiness resonates with me and seems true. but mostly, it's hard to see it that way, and all i want is this person.


i really wish i had some answers for you, and i'd try to use them for myself. it's a battle, that's for sure. i wish you the best

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Thank you. There are days when I feel as though I shall never be happy again. There are other days when I feel like I can be happy and I do laugh and have fun, but I always know that I carry the hidden weight of him in my heart. George Jones sang "He Stopped Loving Her Today". Sometimes I feel like that will be me, loving him until the day I die. My life will go on, but TODAY I feel as though I will never love that way again, and some days I feel desperate to get it back. There are days when all I can think about is how it felt to be in his arms, hear him talk softly to me, just be in his presense. There is something about him that is magnetic to me. I am drawn to him. The odd thing is, physically he felt it too. He just didn't feel it outside of the physical realm apparently.

I pray about it a lot, and ask for God's direction. I have just about given up "trying" to get over him, don't think it's going to happen at this point, and wonder if I should resign myself that he'll be the only one in my heart til time ends. He may never love me, but I can't help that. Sometimes I hate it, really. Sometimes I hate the thought of loving someone (romantically) that doesn't know I'm alive much of the time. But I'm stuck. Or more so, he's stuck, in my heart, and I think about him, I dream about him, I'm like a school girl with a secret crush. I won't tell him, nor anyone else, but he's wedged in my head and my heart, and until that changes, I am just trying to live with it. Deal with it somehow. I love this man, truly and deeply, I know his flaws, I know his good points. He's been good to me, he's hurt me. We've laughed together, cried together, loved together, been angry with each other, had the whole gamut of emotions....and still here I am, and there he is, in my heart. And I haven't a clue how to begin to get him out.

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i really hear you. here you are, stuck. but when you envision letting go, it's kind of horrifying. it fills me with some panic. i was listening to some music the other day, and this song where the character sees what was truly a meaningful love, in a way that shows he's let go. and it was just an awfuly painful sound! heard the song plenty of times, but in this mindset, it was poignant. its like this person is so special, and it seems that to let go, you've somehow got to no longer consider them special. and i think that might be the trick, to somehow let them hold a place in your heart, where they still are special, but not 'active'. you let go, and you haven't tarnishsed the memories, or purposely devalued them, you just don't spend time iwth them. i don't know. somehow they will stay in your heart, but you've got to deactivate them. it feels cold and lonely to me when i envision it, and that's not helping

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The first step to getting someone out of your heart is to actually want to do so. You will never be successful at giving him up, if you "give up trying to get over him." From a personal point of view who's been there, it will be a uphill battle. You have to get this rosy image of him out of your mind and see him for what he really is: someone who is not going to commit to you, someone who only wanted to have a physical relationship with you, who told you that was all he wanted up front and even after spending time with you, you weren't able to change his mind. That shows that he is (at hte moment,...who knows about the future) not interested in a real relationship with you. You can hope and hold out for him if you wish...but that will not bring him back. I ask you, why do you want to waste your time longing for someone who has never given you any hope of ever seeing you in that way? I urge you to stop doing that...it won't happen over night...I know that, but actually make a commitment to get over him. That starts with shutting him out of your life, because you don't need him around as a constant reminder. Next, you need to start living again...for you...do something nice for you. Everytime you get the urge to think of him or call him or see him...do something to distract yourself (call a friend, read a book, go out for a run) anything that will distract you immediately. With time, you will find that you will think of him less and less and you'll need less distractions. Lastly, I'd like to say that no one is perfect. He is not this perfect...last guy for you. He seems that way because you believe it to be so. Try to take an objective look at your relationship and see it for what it was. He was only looking for the physical..nothing more. No one expects you to turn off your feelings....but you need to curb them. This is not some romantic song...this is life. There is no reaon why you should spend the rest of your life longing for someone till you die...you need to get out in the real world and make an effort to find someone. I'm not saying there is anything in living life alone, but it is wrong to put yourself through this emotional trauma over someone who doesn't even care for your feelings. Make the effort, and you will be successful. If you don't try, then no amount of words or advice from anyone will help you to let go. Simple as that. ONLY YOU CAN LET HIM GO.

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OK, not to play the devil's advocate or be argumentative, I am trying to look at this from all angles. Yes, Reilly, you are right, the first step is wanting to do so, and I admittedly am not sure I want to let him go. The "why" is the hard part. I guess what sticks in my head is that once upon a time he did have feelings for me, and I keep thinking whatever about me that made him tick might make him tick again. Sounds crazy I guess, but after he broke it off with me two years ago, I told him I didn't understand how he could say he'd NEVER love me...how did he know that five years down the line he might have a change of heart, and he said to me "well, when you put it that way, I guess I can't say never."

So that was all the little grain of sand I needed to build a whole sand castle in my mind that some day he might really see me and love me. And as I write this, yes I realize how utterly pathetic that sounds....and I feel bad for that.

The other thing is that shutting him out of my life is kind of difficult in a way. For one thing, superseding this summer fling we had was a friendship of many years. He was there for me and stuck by me thru thick and thin, and I really treasured his friendship. I just didn't expect to fall head over heels for him as well, although I knew I had feelings for him for years, I just hadn't let them foster into anything. There's this odd protectiveness I have in that I really don't want to hurt him or push him away out of angst over him not loving me. Which makes it all that much harder.

I hear what you all are saying, I just don't know how to make it work for me. And I'm scared. Scared of feeling this loneliness every time I look out the window wishing his car would be parked out front like it used to be. Scared of feeling bad every time he doesn't respond to my text or my email or doesn't call me back when I leave a voice mail. And scared of what it would feel like to let him go when he's been in my heart for so long. I'm scared, plain and simple.

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I understand your fear. Believe me, I have been there. And no, you don't sound pathetic, you sould like someone who is really in love. That is something to be proud of, not ashamed. But the reason why I'm urging to let go is because I know that it will not get easy if you continue to hang on to him like this. I loved someone very much. I've always believed that if you truly love someone and show them how you feel, how can they possibly not appreciate that and return your feelings. The problem is that they can! That's what took me so long to figure out. You can give someone all the love you have inside you, and still it will not be enough. The day you realize that it is not enough, you also realize how much time you wasted. I many emotions you wasted. The pain in that moment when you feel utter failure is far worse than anything. Perhaps you've felt that pain. Perhaps you have yet to feel that. But what I'm trying to say is that with each day that you hold out hope for his return, the more you try to find that one thing that made "tick" again...the longer you will continue to suffer. I know you're scared, but you need to do this for yourself. You need to get over this fear so that you can heal. This will be one of the hardest things in your life, but you have to do this. Why prolong the suffering? By trying to cut him off, you can heal and become a stronger person. Then, when you are stronger, there is no reason to let him back in, as a friend. Right now though, you can not be his friend when you still have feelings for him.

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Welcome to life where we have all loved and -not been loved in return. The truth is, you have to grieve this loss and until you do, you will not get over it. Grieving IS healing! A lot of people say it's not ok to move on with someone else but the truth is when you naturally begin to start looking at other men, you have actully reached a healthy phase of healing. (When you feel the sparks of enthusiasm and interests of others.) A time will come when your pain will lessen and you will begin to function normally again, and the tears will deminish all together. Certain events will re-open wounds for now but those wounds will eventually remain closed. Grief is work and we have to feel that pain to heal. We want that grief to heal us quickly......respect your own healing rhythm and travel in the right direction! The bottom line here is ...you are dealing with someone who has not made up his choices in life yet. He is far too young and immature for you and for this type of commitment.

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This is not the first time I have been told that he is not ready or mature enough to make any commitment choices. And truly his lifestyle proves this; ie, he still lives at home, Mom does his laundry, cooks for him, loans him money when he's broke, he doesn't pay rent, only occasionally mows the yard (his dad does it). His world for now revolves around work, fishing and camping. He is aware of this, and he and I have talked about this fact, and he makes no apologies for himself.

Still I can't help but hope that someday....


And that's what's killing me. Is that hope of someday.

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It almost sounds like you are more in love with the challenge of pleasing this guy rather than being in love with him. Could this be a possiblility? Imagine him saying ok "It's you and I forever"! How long do you think you would really be with him happily before you said "what in the heck was I thinking"?

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I have wanted to be with this guy for years...(he didn't always live at home with momma...) when we became involved a couple of years ago I was absolutely positively on cloud 9. I envisioned the white dress, black tux, church and the limousine...the whole shebang.

I guess what scares me, which kinda echoes what BlackBear said, is that I see him as the man I know he can be, the man he used to be, the man he still shows glimpses of...

there are things about him that drive me nuts, and I have pondered within myself...could I live with those things seriously?

But I always tell myself that if he loved me like I want to be loved, then those things that are mountains today wouldn't be so mountainous because we would be dealing with them together, and I would have the confidence to know he loved me. Even if he never changed, if he loved me, it wouldn't matter.

I'm just not sure how realistic that thinking is...

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I am so sorry about your pain, but friend I don't see anyplace in your story where you state that this man loves you. Sadly I am afraid that he is not going to give you the feelings you want and never allow anyone to use you for sex. Loving yourself is more important than anything. I have so many things to say to you, but don't think you will want to hear what I have to say, because your heart is in pain right now.


I wish I could help you, but at this time you are not ready.


This is a very disturbing post and giving some time and distance from this guy is best. I will say from what you wrote he has been upfront with you and seems he has no intension of giving you what you need emotionally and I don't forsee any future with him according what he has told you.


You are always welcome to write me anytime. Don't take what I have said wrong, but we are close to the same age and I understand alot more than what you may think.


I hope you find peace and happiness...Have a blessed day.

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Thank you dream warrior...please feel free to share whatever is on your heart. I am in a quandry about this man...it's so weird, because he's told me he loves me in the past (as a friend), he tells me cares about me, and yet most of the time none of his actions feel like love and caring. They feel very self serving. I dated someone else last year, and I got some space between me and this guy, but he still came over to see me, although I never stepped out of bounds of my other relationship, still he was in the picture. We've made this big pretense of "keeping the friendship intact" and it's like on the surface it's there, and we make a good show of it from time to time, but the ties that bind friends, the trust, the respect, the enjoyment of being together...I don't sense that on his part really. I'm not sure why he still comes around truthfully, because I don't feel that he values my friendship so much...I dunno. I love him, and am really having a hard time with letting him go from my life completely, you are right about that. Our lives have been intertwined for a long time now. I at least have finally come to the point where I can pray and earnestly desire God's Will in this situation...it didn't work out doing things my way before, that's for sure.


I talked to him yesterday and he says he is going to spend some time with me this weekend. I'm eager to see him, haven't seen him in over a month, yet worried that he will want to fall back into an old pattern of using me for his benefit, and then be done, and I can't go there with him anymore. So I'm a little apprehensive. Of course, he's also been known to cancel because something better came up, so it may not even happen...

I just want peace about this....

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