Moving on from an almost relationship can feel even tougher than a breakup. He was never really yours, but it felt like he was, so how do you mourn the loss of someone you never truly had? You start wondering if it was all in your head or a joke on his part and no matter how hard you try to move on, it feels nearly impossible to let go when there’s still so much unfinished business. Here’s why getting over an almost relationship is such a process:
There’s no closure.
With a normal breakup, there’s usually at least some level of closure. Both parties generally understand why the relationship is ending and that makes it easier to move on. Without that closure, it’s impossible to know where you stand. You grasp for a reason, any kind of clue that it was building up to this, but come up empty. In your head, none of this makes any sense — you thought you were building towards a real relationship, not ending things before you even got there.
You don’t know what to call him now — is he your ex or what?
Calling him an ex would be a downright lie, but what else can you tell your friends? You don’t want to admit that you’re heartbroken over a guy that you weren’t even properly dating, but it felt like you were a couple, so maybe you should refer to them as an almost-ex or a potential-ex. Still, it doesn’t change the fact he was never yours.
He completely led you on.
He fulfilled the role of a boyfriend; he called you “babe” and said sweet things and brought a pizza over for your movie nights. He made you feel special and full of hope. He gave you a taste of what it could have been like to be his actual girlfriend… and then he snatched it away so suddenly and so unexpectedly that it made you doubt it was ever there to begin with.
You invested so much time and energy in him and it was a total waste.
All those hours, days, weeks spent getting to know each other for no end result — no explanation, no apologies, no excuses, nada. You feel angry with yourself for getting so attached to someone who you weren’t even dating, but mostly you feel disappointed at the time and effort you wasted in a guy who really wasn’t worth it.
You opened up and let him in but he left anyway.
It doesn’t happen often that you trust someone enough to open up to them, but there was something about him that made you feel safe. You wanted him to understand you in a way that nobody else could. Still, he proved that he was just like the others and didn’t deserve to know you in this personal, deeper level when he threw it all away.
Your friends want to know the nitty gritty details.
Chances are, your friends will want to know exactly what happened. They will ask where he went, why you two aren’t talking anymore, what is going on – you name it. They don’t understand just how difficult it is having to go through everything that happened and revisit the memories and the pain. Plus, you also don’t want them to know how upset you are over the situation and how much it’s destroyed you.
You didn’t just lose a lover, you lost a friend too.
You’re not only sad about losing a potential boyfriend, you’re heartbroken over the loss of a friendship. Before you saw him as something more, he was a friend, and now that he’s gone, there’s a hole in your life where he used to be. Now you’ll inevitably go back to being strangers with history, and that’s incredibly sad.
Your mind just can’t let go of the what ifs.
You wonder if having that one conversation would have changed anything. Maybe you were too clingy and he didn’t like that, so he left. Maybe it was something you said that made him run faster than Usain Bolt. The unfortunate reality is that you can only speculate — you’ll probably never know the real reason.
You still hope he’ll realize his mistake and come back.
Even though you’re still angry and disappointed, you’re secretly hoping that he realizes he needs you and comes back into your life. Sure, things wouldn’t be how they were and you would need time to forgive and forget, but at least you could give it another shot. You could do things differently this time, but he ghosted you — does he really deserve a second chance?
He’s already moved on.
It’s surprising to hear that he’s moved on so quickly, and it only confirms that you didn’t mean anything to him. It’s also frustrating because you can’t verbalize just how upset you are without looking a little bit crazy. Why should you be so heartbroken? You were never actually dating. Except it does hurt —it hurts A LOT. However, you have to bury these feelings and try to move on.
You lose your faith in love.
Every person you meet will be compared to that one guy. You’ll look for similar personality traits and reject those who don’t fit the requirements. There’s the fear of history repeating itself and the constant fear that you’ll never be able to love someone again. You don’t want to put your heart out there for it to be broken again, but neither do you want to completely give up on the chance of finding your soulmate.
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