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I’ve been apart from my last boyfriend for a year. Over the Christmas period I suddenly discovered that he’s moved on. I haven’t.
I still hold a torch for him after four years together. I really messed up by leaving him, because I wasn’t in a good place at the time.
His social media this year shows that he’s very happy. Should I contact him to say that I’m happy for him? Deep down I’m hoping it’s all a facade and we can get back together.
Love Doctor’s Answer:
Romantic feelings for a previous partner can evaporate almost immediately if there’s been a bad break-up. However, it can take up to three years to overcome a split when it’s been amicable as the stages of emotions are similar to grieving.
Although you broke up some time ago, you’ve obviously not forgotten the good times with this man. Yet these are memories through rose-tinted glasses, just because you’ve yet to find someone else romantically.
It’s a start on the road to romantic recovery by admitting that you were the perpetrator for the two of you going your separate ways. This is playing on your mind, and obviously there’s an element of guilt as well as a huge dollop of hope that things can be rekindled.
In life many relationships draw to a natural close, for a plethora of reasons, and rarely can they be revived. Only if the couple are true soulmates can things be repaired, but that’s not a simple journey and needs pure commitment from both of you.
The festive season is when the media sugarcoats love and romance, so this is the time when things can be triggered for single people to harp back on when they were happy in a loving relationship. You have to decide whether you can be one of those exes who can accept a former partner moving on or not.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and as you’ve not moved on then you’re probably getting concerned that you could be single for some time.
We don’t all need to be in a relationship to be happy, but when you find true love things obviously feel good. That abundance of happiness together, as well as the desperation to speak and see your partner, are joyous moments that should be savoured.
As frustrating as it is for you to know that your former boyfriend has moved on romantically, it’s only going to prove painful if you keep checking out his social media channels.
My advice is to try to forget him, at least for now. Avoid bumping into him by ensuring you don’t visit any of your old haunts, skip the social media checks and definitely don’t get in touch with him.
Imagine yourself in his new girlfriend’s shoes, how would you feel if his ex was in touch to say how happy she was?
People tend to only contact each other when they want something. In this instance you are yearning for his attention, and wish him to know that you’re single but thinking about him.
As lovely as your gesture is to wish him well, and be pleased that he is happy, you are potentially going to cause conflict between him and his new lady.
Unless he’s eager to escape the clutches of his latest squeeze and race back into your arms, which seems highly unlikely, you are simply going to come across as mischievous.
By being tricky towards him, despite good intentions, this will only push him away from you and scupper any future chance of getting back together.
Patience is a virtue. If you truly love this man, and genuinely believe that one day you’ll be back together, then you need to play the waiting game.
It sounds like you have gone in totally different directions romantically. He’s bounced back from the heartache of you leaving him, while you still hold him dear in your heart.
As four years together is a considerable time, it’s understandable that you would wish to get back together. All you can do is hope that this latest lady is a short-term fling and, more importantly, a rebound relationship.
Although you should personally avoid looking at his social media posts, maybe get a galpal to intermittently check. If it all goes pear-shaped with his latest lady, that’s the time to offer to console him and be there as a friend — although you are obviously keen to recapture his heart.
You’ll soon know when you are ready for romance rather than rushing things by foolishly contacting your ex-boyfriend.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, you can always send an anonymous card to him. Don’t give a single clue that it was from you. If he is a good man then the only other lady that he could imagine this card is from could be you.
If you’re on his mind, and things are far from perfect with his new girlfriend — although it sounds that he’s immensely happy — then there’s always a slender chance that he will make contact with you.
Best to play it cool. Sit and wait. Don’t jeopardise his current relationship, but don’t underestimate your value by relying on potentially rekindling everything. There are other men out there that you could possibly find irresistible, and you may discover someone who is a serious upgrade.
Life is too short to hark back on the past, you may have “messed up” but you should have no regrets. We all make what we believe is the right decision at the time.
Now try to focus on the future and decide what will make you happy. If it really is this former boyfriend, spend time improving yourself by getting healthier, fitter and altering your appearance to how you want to be.
Enjoy your freedom, find some new hobbies, expand your social circle and live life. People will find your new, improved version amazingly attractive, so expect to have your pick of potential suitors.
If your former boyfriend continues with his lady, then you need to accept it and make the best future you can without him. Should he venture back into life then be ready to impress him, but don’t disrupt him now and just be patient.
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