Question:My ex says his feelings for me are not as strong as before and that he’s sorry but he can’t pretend anymore. He says some days he thinks he wants me back and other days he just wants to move on because he doesn’t know if he’ll ever feel strongly for me again. He told me not to wait for him or put my life on hold. I told him we can just be friends for now, and he said he’s okay with that but can’t promise anything. He also said he is seeing other women and if that hurts me he’d prefer for us not to be friends.
I know in my heart that he loves me and there is a possibility that we’ll get back together. I need to believe this, it’s the only way I can keep going on. My question is, based on your experience on these matters, how long do you think I should keep my heart open for him before I move on?
The Love Doctor’s Answer: I’m sorry you have to go through this. This is probably one of the most difficult things about breakups. I believe you love him and there may be a possibility that you’ll get back together, but I have to agree with your ex, and say do not wait or put your life on hold. Now is the only reality that there is, and the reality is that for right now, he doesn’t feel strongly for you and wants to explore other possibilities.
He’s taking care of his needs (and not in a selfish way since he’s been honest with you) and I think you should too. I’m not saying you should deny your feelings for him and/or go out and see other men, but that you should take care of yourself by helping yourself heal from the pain of not being wanted. Not being wanted does not mean not loved. He may still love you, but loving someone and wanting to be with her (or him) are two different things. You need to come to terms with this because only then can your mind be free to see the options ahead of you. As long as you remain in this place of non-acceptance, your mind will keep coming up with all sorts of stories about a reality different from what is — and you’re likely to act on those stories other than on reality itself.
Give yourself the love you want from him and take care of yourself the way you’d have wanted him to. Once you fill that “empty” space he temporarily occupied, you’ll find that it doesn’t feel as bad as it does now.
My advice is ALWAYS KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN for love. No need to “close” your heart because if you heal well (in a healthy way), you’ll still be able to feel love for him and move on at the same time, if that’s what you decide you want to do. If you decide you want him back, work with what you have now as opposed to what you wish you had. But to be able to succeed, you must first take care of you. You’ll make better decisions and respond better (as opposed to just reacting) when you’re in a “good place”.
Also no need to cut of all contact because doing so only helps kill even the remaining “feeling” that is still there and that you might want to build on in the future. It’s harder to restart a fire from scratch — so to speak.