Dear Steadfast Lover,
You are stuck in a continual emotional loop known as “The Honeymoon Phase.” Why are you stuck in this loop? Because you never got any further than a couple of months with this girl. “The Honeymoon Phase” can go on for months, or even years. Just to clarify, this phase of the relationship is when everything is so new and feels so euphoric that even when things go wrong, they still feel so right. My point is, that without being in this relationship for the long haul, you have no idea where it would have gone. All you know is that it was emotional and wonderful and full of adrenaline. Now there is no way for you to have taken the next step to figure out how deep your feelings for each other would have (or could have) gone. This is one of the most difficult things facing any relationship that has ended too early. The “what if” factor.
Yes, the “what if” factor. Is the grass greener on the other side? Or will it wilt and turn into a barren wasteland? In other words, you don’t know if this relationship was “the one,” and you probably never will. Being that connected to another person in a Soul-Mate-like way is not only euphoric, but addicting. Like any substance, people can be as addicting as, say, heroin, but can also be just as hazardous to your health. You were addicted to each other. Not to say that it wasn’t a form of love, but I don’t believe you fell for each other in that Romeo-and-Juliet, love-at first-sight way. Love takes time to develop, and is something that lives on through the most difficult of life situations. Which brings me to this abusive ex that she was dealing with. First of all, I hope that she has reached out to the community and found our local battered women’s shelter for counseling. ANY kind of abuse is not OK. And verbal abuse can be one of the worst kinds of abuse; because it doesn’t manifest itself as something physical, even though the victim is bleeding on the inside. For this girl to know that she couldn’t give you the very best of herself because she needed to work on her emotional damage, is about the most mature thing anyone can do. Which made you care for her even more.
I am going to tell you something, and I want you to apply it to every part of your life when things seem like they are going straight down the toilet. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. It sounds so elementary, but it is true. Look back on your life and think about the cause and effect of what has lead you to where you are. There is a reason you are not with this girl anymore. It is not time for that. It may never be time again with her; but now you have learned exactly what you will feel when you know that there is something there beyond a surface relationship. You know you have it in you to have a deeper relationship with someone, and now you will be able to recognize that feeling again.
Now for the next dilemma. It sounds like you will be seeing her again because you have shared social circles. This is where the hard part comes in. I can’t just tell you to stay away from her, or to hide in your home while your paranoia eats you alive at the thought of running into her. I want you to MOVE ON. If you stay hung up on this girl and mope about her for too long, you will enter a phase of emotional decay. That said, there is one healthy thing I do want you to do. Give yourself time to mourn. You did lose something and someone very important; and even though she didn’t die, you still lost someone. Mourn her and what you lost, and take the time you need, but keep going. Trudge on! Let her go. If she wants to connect with you, she will. Don’t initiate it any more, and DON’T let her consume you. You are right to not have contacted her since May. She only has as much power over you as you give her. Remove anything that may be tempting or make it easy to contact her. Erase her number from your phone, and un-friend her on Facebook. It is far too easy to drunk-text, or stalk your ex’s social media pages (I admit guilt to both of these things). Then, when you do run into each other, it will be a genuine meeting, with no expectations, grudges, jealousy, or emotional hangovers from things said in the heat of the moment.
It sounds to me like it’s time to focus on your career and establish yourself in that area of your life. Take the time to mold your life around your ideals and your future. The ladies will come and go, but now is the time for you. Be selfish, take risks, and enjoy yourself along the way. Your path may cross hers again, and it may not; but one day, you will wind up with the lucky lady that you are supposed to be with.