He charmed me, I was totally crazy about him, and it broke my heart when it all fell apart even though it never fully came together in the first place. He may have been hard to get over but that doesn’t mean he was the one for me. It took years for me to realize that it was best we went our separate ways, even though my feelings lasted much longer. Here’s why it sucks so much:
You never get true closure.
When you’re never official with someone you fall for, the lines get blurred crazy fast. One day you’re talking constantly and the next, he’s gone—but was he really ever yours? Having a connection with someone and realizing they completely slipped through your fingers in the worst feeling. How do you explain your broken heart to friends who didn’t know him as your boyfriend?
You confuse who they were with who you wanted them to be.
Without the actual time and commitment of being in an official relationship, it’s easy to get stuck on cloud nine with your feelings. The way you remember them isn’t their rawest self—you never saw the frustrations, brokenness, and faults that come with a relationship. Their attractive features are forever etched in your mind as who that person was, and that depiction of them is sadly only half the story. You fall in love with the fantasy, not the humanity and can’t snap out of it.
You get stuck in the honeymoon phase.
When I think back on the early days of every potential relationship I had, the first months were so blissful. Simply hearing from them every day and getting to know their story was addicting and made me fall in love so fast. Over time, you come down to the reality that they aren’t knights in shining armor, just men, but sometimes you don’t get the chance to come off the honeymoon high before everything cuts out. All of the sudden, you have a heart full of feelings and no one to give them to. Unloading those feelings can take serious time and meditation.
You still feel connected even when you’re trying to move on.
You think of the sweet things he told you, the honeymoon high of watching your feelings for him come to life—and it sticks with you. There might be a wonderful, thoughtful, even better man sitting right in front of you and you still end up blind to the feelings from what could’ve been with the almost-lover. You try to love someone new but can’t shake his memory without a fight.
There are so many questions left unanswered.
When all the feelings and effort vaporize into nothing, it leaves you with a head full of questions. What happened? Did I mess something up? Was he lying to me? Did I not know him as well as I thought? The questions try to haunt you day and night to no avail because he won’t be there to clean up the pieces left behind when things go south. Or, if he does, it’s painful and never the answers that satisfy your heart and give you peace.
You have a hard time trusting the next person.
He said you were special to him and maybe you were. He said he’d be crazy to let you go but he did. You put all your trust into this person that they’d take it to the next level with you and it all fell apart. The next time you hear someone making promises to you, you’ll hesitate and question if it’s real this time. You’ll be looking at him and thinking of the almost who told you the same thing.
You only have so many memories with them.
When you grieve a breakup, you replay all the memories in your head—the good, the bad, the ugly. Reliving those times and emotions helps you get over the hump of losing them from your life and gives you peace, but what happens when they only took it so far? You have memories of the beginning—the first dates, the conversations—but it stops there. You replay this small memory bank over and over hoping for closure but it’s just not enough.
You wonder if there’s something wrong with you.
You start to wonder if he really meant everything he told you but he saw something in you that changed his mind. Maybe you have a weird quirk or he saw a little bit of crazy in you—maybe he just decided something was off. You end up balancing the weight of believing you messed it up. Maybe he’d have stuck around if you weren’t you, but you can’t let yourself think that way.
You wonder if the timing was off or if you just weren’t meant to be.
Could the almost-boyfriend be your soulmate, meeting at the wrong time? Was he really the one or is your mind playing tricks on you. Should you be happy you dodged a relationship with someone who wasn’t for you or is it the tragedy of having the love of your life slip through your fingers? There’s no real way to know, and that can keep you up at night weighing which one it was.
The mystery of “what if?” still lingers.
No matter how well you come to terms with the fact that he’s gone, the curiosity in your heart still wonders, what if? What if he kept true to his promises? What if you stuck it out for the long haul—how would your life be different? You had to have put his last name behind your first at some point or wonder what it would be like to do life with him, and those dreams don’t just die when things fall apart. They live on until you decide to look forward at what still could be for you without the almosts in your life that didn’t make the journey with you.
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