One of our dear, sweet readers is in a back and forth romance with a guy that disappears on her and then keeps coming back, and she's wondering what she can do to finally move on. She has signed her letter "Anonymous", so I've called her "Beauty".
Here's her story:
Good evening Jane,
I know that you are very busy and I looked through the posts and there isn't anything that really answers my question and I truly hope you could answer this. I am in a very unfortunate predicament and my heart really needs healing.
It all began two years ago.
I was backpacking across Europe when I met the one, who I believed and hoped, was my soulmate. We had this instant chemistry, something so rare.
He was with a friend and I was traveling alone, the three of us decided to travel together. We met in Venice, we would spend the day on the water taxi, he held me in his arms and from the very beginning, I had warned him that he shouldn't fall in love with me and that wouldn't be allowed.
Right away, he was afraid it was too late, he was worried he would never again meet someone like me.
A couple days passed and we were now in Rome, we still had not kissed. He brought me to the fountain of love, my eyes were closed and when I opened my eyes I saw this brilliant and beautiful fountain and we shared our first kiss. my oh my was it beautiful. We then kept traveling and about a week in, we needed to part ways. I knew I would never see him again, but he really made me feel the way no one had ever made me feel.
He just clicked.
Well, that all sounds beautiful until.... He ended up realizing he would never see me again and basically ditched me in Athens late at night... I was heartbroken.
He then messaged me saying he needed to see me again, whilst we were still in Europe. I forgave him and accepted. Of course he was not very mature, and kept me waiting for 5 hours at the port in Santorini... he never made it.
Months passed, and he decided to message me again, he had confessed his love for me and said he would do anything to be with me. We then started doing long distance (he lived about a one hour flight from my home town). We skyped once in a while, though he often had excuses.
He kept telling me he wanted to come see me, or that he would pay my flight to see him.
Well, he did neither.
I bought a flight and went to see him and stayed with him for two weeks. Met his family and spent two nearly perfect weeks with him. He seemed so doubtful, he often had this look in his eyes as if he was thinking, contemplating. He told me he loved me, I believed him and loved him so so much.
Fast forward a couple of months and he begins to ignore me, for weeks at a time. Thinking that was okay to do. Finally I tell him I can't sit and wait, he was supposed to come see me at Christmas, but told me he was not able to. He then kept me holding on by saying he loved me and didn't want to lose me and that he would try harder.
It was in October of 2012 that I said, I couldn't hold on to these broken promises anymore and that it was time for me to move on.
I have spent now two years, doing amazing things, working with children with special needs. Went to Kenya twice to work on projects for sustainability for local centers in Africa. I have done wonders. I was very happy without him, but still felt a bit empty, still missed him often and longed for the love we had.
He would often pop in and say "hey lets catch up soon, you always cross my mind and I miss you". I would respond and not hear back from him for months. He would then do that again and again.
This lasted two years.
One month ago, he contacted me.
He seemed to have grown up and seemed to really have a lot to say (he knew that I would be returning to Kenya for six months in November).
He told me that he loved me, that he has not and will never find someone like me and that he needed to find a way to get me back. I reassured him, saying that he had in fact never lost me. he was so pleased that I would yet again forgive him and give him another chance.
He explained to me that he had moved provinces, that I could finally go live with him and we could start our lives.
He was so quick to talk about having a family together and really starting our future. I was skeptical, but so thrilled. I would see him before leaving for Kenya then return to Canada to go live with him, and start our life together.
It was incredible, it was a feeling of ecstasy. I was in amazement. He had grown up and wanted to be with me. It was so easy for me to once again drop everything and go right back to him ... after everything he had put me through.
Well, this is where the story gets even more messy.
He then begins to act sort of different and I know for sure there is something going on.
After ignoring me for a couple of days he finally confesses that during those two years of not speaking to me, he had gotten a woman pregnant. This was just a couple of months ago and that she was in fact carrying his child as we speak.
He explained to me no more than the fact that she was expecting this baby and that he had moved to a different province wanting nothing to do with the infant.
This is a huge indication of what sort of person he is who can just pick up and leave when a difficult situation arises. He told the woman he would not help raise the child and left.
The fact that he didn't tell me this before telling me how much he loved me and that we would be together again just blew my mind.
Had he told me he had gotten someone pregnant and that he and she would not be together but that he would still take part in the child's life, I would have been a lot more understanding. Well he didn't even discuss any of it with me he just said "I am sorry for hurting you, you deserve better".
Everyone makes mistakes and I am a very forgiving person and so I said to him we can work this out we can talk about this. But he made this assumption without conversing with me, that I deserve much better and that I should just carry on.
He has not spoken to me since then. It has been a few weeks now and he has not said a word to me besides "you deserve better"
Now, my question to you sweet Jane, is how do I get closure, how do I even begin to just put this all in the past? You see it seems easy and I know I have a bright future, I am headed to Kenya in two weeks for six months to go seriously improve some lives out there.
I have a lot of people who love and care for me. But the love I have for him is unimaginable, I don't know how to see past this. I don't know how I can put him in the past and leave him there.
Please help me!
I just want closure, I want to know that it is the end and that I will not continue to look back. I have called him several times in the past couple of weeks and he refuses to talk to me. I know he also is going through a lot but he is just leaving me hanging...like he has from the beginning. It is almost like I am his safety net, he is afraid to lose me it seems...
I just want to be able to love again, to smile and feel as though I can put him in the past and look forward to a brighter day.
I just would love advice because I love him so much, my heart overflows with love for him, and he just leaves me hanging.
Oh the capacity we have to overlook and override the reality that doesn't fit with the stories we tell ourselves when we become the heroine in our own tragic fairy tale, Beauty! You are such a beautiful soul; so passionate, so full of life, so full of wanting to help the innocent, to make a difference in the world in such a meaningful way.
The depth of your love comes through so clearly; you want to make a difference in this rare soul you've stumbled across. He seems so close, you sense in him such a similar longing in his soul, too, if he could only get there himself. And this is why there is such a passion shared between the two of you. He senses in you something he longs for too, and within him, you sense that same pull too. And yet that pull has everything to do with something I've spoken about before in my posts about the Spark.
Something about him triggers in you a response so out of proportion to what the logical version of yourself would see in him, in this potential you keep coming back to.
To forgive, to have grace for, to accept, and to gloss over such important clues that are telling you the true story and giving you every possible red flag and warning sign for you to see clearly what you would be getting yourself into were you to follow your heart so blindly and become further involved with this man.
And yet I understand, Beauty. All too well, I do!
It’s the rest of the picture that only someone like you can see, only those of us who've played the part of the tragic heroine in the epic fairy tale that had the ending completely written except we forget that we can’t be the only ones writing it.
He has to want this, too.
And yet here he is, committing the worst of possible things that a man can do to show you how not on the same page he is with you. He dumps you, he lies to you, he stands you up, he disappears on you, he refuses to answer you – the list goes on and on.
This is where your focus must be.
On what he shows you about himself. On what he does, not what he promises or what he causes you to feel in your giving heart when you look at him as the picture of true potential. This is all about you, Beauty, not him. This is all about what you’ve created in your mind, not about what’s really there with him.
It’s the hardest part of letting go.
Recognizing that this is all about you. That there’s nothing loving about it on his end, and only unrequited love on yours. Why else do we struggle so much to let go? It’s because we don’t really want to. We don’t want to have to.
There’s a part of us that wants to hang on, that wants to keep seeing where the story goes, that wants to keep dropping in to find out what’s next. We’re waiting for that happy fairy tale ending!
You have such a full beautiful life in service to others which is the very best way to make you feel fulfilled. You have family and friends who love you, and adventure and opportunity all around you.
And yet, it is not enough.
Would anyone else do? We can set such high standards for ourselves, or allow others to set them for us, that no mere man can fit the bill. So we look for someone who seems almost out of this world to our own minds, who comes and goes, and disappears only to come running back like you are indeed his “savior” time and time again.
Even the amount of time that he has exhibited this type of pattern with you is confirmation that he is something of a lost soul that somehow needs your love to save him, and yet it is this very fantasy that we buy into that gives him so much power in your own mind.
And while your friends and family and anyone else you tell this story to will undoubtedly tell you to let him go and move on and never contact him again or allow him to contact you, when you are as enmeshed as you are with the fantasy of what could be if only he could see it too, the only way out is through seeing him clearly through your own eyes.
What can he really offer you?
You are an advocate for children. He wants nothing to do with his own child and thinks nothing of impregnating another woman and leaving her to have this child and raise his own flesh and blood alone. Who does that? A loving man? A kind man? Someone you could ever be truly happy with in the long term?
And so, to move on, you have to see for yourself who he truly is.
Write down everything he’s done to show you his true colors since you’ve known him. Write down everything he can’t offer you. Write down so you can see it so clearly on paper how easily he can disappear and ignore you, then tell you a story that will admit him back into your life.
And then don’t make this about trying not to contact him.
Reach out to him as many times as you need to so you can see firsthand for yourself what he is really made of. So you can see the reality and separate it from the fantasy that only you can see. Rarely can we get over someone like this without allowing ourselves to see as clearly as we can what they are truly made of.
Don’t run from it.
Face it. Face the reality of what your life with him would be like so that you can feel the power of making your own choice here. That’s always a part of this too. The feeling of not being in control, of not being able to have someone when we are offering so much and expecting so little in return, can trigger us to keep holding on to an even greater degree.
Only you know why you allow him to have such a hold over you, Beauty.
But it could be he holds the illusion of a love that you don’t have to commit to yourself. It may be that the idea of being with him allows you to try to rescue him - just like the children you are so passionately helping - that he falls into that category as well.
When we give and love and care so deeply, when we’re willing to forgive and overlook the most blatantly “wrong” of behaviors, this tells us so much more about ourselves than we can ever know. Let yourself see who you are, and what you deserve. Let yourself imagine what life with him would be. Because when you've seen enough, you’ll know.
Take back your power, Beauty.
He can’t leave you hanging if you don’t allow him to. Don’t doubt your own strength; with a word from you, he’s gone. It’s only in your own mind that you have to be sure this is what you truly want to have happen, and it will be.
You are just that powerful!
What do you think? Do you have any additional words of advice or encouragement for our dear friend Beauty? Share them with us in the comments!