Mailbag: I Can’t Get Over Him


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Can get over him

Hey Rachel,

I am in desperate need of advice and you seem like a badass who tells it like it is.

It all started during the end of my senior year in high school. I was ready for one last summer with my high school friends before college started. One night at a party, I was talking to a guy I was kind of friends with when all of a sudden he leaned in and kissed me. After that night, we started talking more and became friends with benefits. We actually became better friends because of it. We would hang out and hook up with no strings attached. I told myself that he meant nothing more than a friend to me, even though deep down I knew that was a lie.

The night before we both left for college he snuck over to my house. We sat on my back porch and talked for a while until he had to go. We stood in my driveway and he gave me one last hug, he squeezed me tight into his chest, neither one of us wanting to let go. He gave me one last kiss, and then he was gone. I was pretty sad, but I knew that once I got to college my summer fling would be easy to get over. Except I was wrong.

A few nights into college he (drunk) texted me that he couldn’t stop thinking about me and that he missed me. My heart nearly exploded when his name popped up on my phone, because I couldn’t stop thinking about him and missed him. I knew he wanted to date. He told me he couldn’t even hook up with anyone else because he only wanted me. But this was not part of my plan. I wanted to go to college, have four years of crazy parties and casual hookups and only after graduation did I want to settle down and get a boyfriend. And then he had to come along and ruin everything.

We continued to text, talk on the phone and Skype and man did I fall harder for him than I thought was even possible. This continued for awhile until I heard rumors from my friends that he was hooking up with and talking to other girls. It shouldn’t have hurt because we weren’t even dating, but it did. It hurt a lot. He started talking to me less. I don’t know if it was in my head, but I felt like I was losing him. I thought he was going to end things. I should have just told him that I liked him and didn’t want to lose him, but I was stupid. I thought if he was going to end things with me anyway then I might as well end them first.

I told him we should stop hooking up, that in the beginning we just missed each other, but it was time to move on. And he agreed. I think I secretly wanted him to fight for me, to tell me that what we had was more than a hookup, more than just missing each other. But he didn’t. I tried everything to get over him. Seriously, everything. I’ve had things with and talked to other guys, but at the end of the day, the only one I wanted was him. I couldn’t get rid of my feelings for him. So I just shoved those feelings down and figured, if I denied them long enough they would just go away.

We’re still friends, best friends actually. But it’s been three years and I’m not over him.

He makes me laugh harder than anyone else and when I’m having a shitty day he’s the only one I want to talk to. You know how when you have a long day at school and you finally get home, put on sweatpants and lay in your bed and you’re just so happy and comfortable? That’s how I feel whenever I’m with him. Over the years, there have been a few occasions when we’ve both had one too many drinks, and we end up hooking up. After the hookup, we would just act like nothing happened. Hooking up with him made it harder to get over him, but once the alcohol got into my system I literally felt a gravitational pull toward him. I swear he could sense right when I was about to get over him because I would get so close, but then he would send me a text asking about my day or a funny snap and the wall I built up around my feelings would come crashing down.

Earlier this year he called me, he was obviously belligerently drunk, but he told me he loved me. It was a Friday night, so obviously I was drunk too and told him I love him back. But the truth is, I do love him. And I think I will always love him. I know he was too drunk to remember that phone call, and I was too scared to ask him about it. I was scared that he didn’t mean it, that it was just the alcohol talking. But I was also scared that he did mean it.

Because I want to spend the rest of my life with him. nd I was so hurt by him when he wasn’t even mine. I’m scared that it wouldn’t work out, and if it hurt that bad to lose him when I didn’t even have him, I cannot even comprehend the pain I would be in to have him and lose him. I know I should’ve just grown a pair, but it’s too late now. That call was 6 months ago. And I guess he moved on because he has a girlfriend now. When I found that out it physically felt like someone ripped my heart out of my chest. I wish I could say that she was ugly, or mean or stupid, but she’s not. She’s actually pretty great. But now I don’t know what to do.

I’ve been trying for 3 years to get over him, and I honestly feel like I never will. I know that I’m holding on to that tiny sliver of hope that maybe one day, we will be together. But holding on to that hope is destroying me. I need to do something. If I tell him, it could ruin our friendship, and I can’t imagine my life without him. It could also ruin his relationship. That isn’t fair to his girlfriend. I had my chance, I was too scared, but she wasn’t. And they’re happy together. But I also feel like I can’t just be his friend anymore. It hurts too much to only be his friend when I want so much more. Do I just accept that fact that I met the right person at the wrong time, that we weren’t met to be, give up all hope and cut him out of my life? Do I tell him how I feel and risk losing him forever? Or do I continue to torture myself by being just a friend because then, at least, I have him in my life?

Thank you,
I Can’t Let Go

Dear Never Let Go,

Once upon a time, I had this best friend. He was funny and nice and he *got* me in a way no one else did. For years, we would hang out, call each other at night, and tell each other everything. He had a girlfriend. I had a boyfriend. Eventually, however, he spoke up and we got together. And it was really great until it wasn’t. We dated. I thought we were going to get married. Things were perfect. He cheated. I forgave him (lol). We tried to keep being together. We broke up. We couldn’t be friends. We no longer talked and have blocked each other on social media. And I couldn’t be happier.

I don’t mean to depress you, but it happens. It happens to a lot of people. We have this guy. This one. And something happens and we can’t be together. It’s hard and it’s painful and it feels like the world is ending. But it’s not. It’s just life. That’s how life is supposed to work.

Since you want me to “tell it like it is” I’m going to throw some major truth at you. Ready?

You need to get over him. I know you say that you’ve tried. But have you? Have you really? You still talk. You still hold on to this hope. But the truth is, people grow up. People grow apart. Maybe someday your paths will cross, but you’ve been holding onto this person for far too long. And I know you think he’s the one. But guess what? There’s no such thing.

Because in your life you’re going to have multiple people you think are “the one.” And for that time, they will be. And you have to love them fiercely and give them everything. And then be open to whatever the next phase of life has to offer. I don’t mean to sound like such a hipster. But the truth is, there’s someone else out there you should and will be with. Maybe multiple people. And these people are going to make you realize why it never worked out with him.

But until you let go, you’re not going to find them. You’re not going to find happiness.

So you have two options. Tell him how you feel. Do it. You’ll stop wondering and can move forward. Or, you can just stop. Stop holding on. Stop keeping a friendship when it hurts you. Stop stalking his social media and wishing you were his. Maybe someday you’ll find each other again. But until you walk away, he has no reason to come after you. And unless you tell him, he might never know.

Your person and your happily ever after is out there waiting. It’s just probably not the guy in front of you who hooked up with other girls when you were together and has a girlfriend. I’m sorry, it’s just not. It’s not the guy who takes you for granted because you’re always there and it’s not the guy who either doesn’t care or never grew the balls to tell you. And if it is that guy? He’s not ready to be with you.

Give him, and you time, and go live your life. It’s time to stop being on hold, and start making shit happen. Trust me. You got this.

Image via Shutterstock

(yeahokaywhat) Aspiring to be the next Tina Fey, Rachel spends her free time doing nothing to reach that goal. While judging people based on how they use "they're" vs. "there" on social media, she likes eating buffalo chicken dip, watching other people's Netflix, and wearing sweatpants way more than is socially acceptable. Hate mail and puppy videos can be sent to:

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