Tweaking some minor details, this letter writer could have been me a couple of years ago… I love the advice! Very sensible and near the truth.
Hi, Ms. Aileen,
I’m in my early 20s and working here in Manila. I just broke up with the love of my life a few months ago; there wasn’t a formal break up, but I knew. He told me he found someone else, a woman that he works with. I was devastated, but I let him go. But deep in my heart and in my soul, I still know I love him.
Are there ways to win him back?
*Names and some details have been changed.
First of all, I’d like to congratulate you for having the courage to let go of a relationship that ended. I know how hard it is to try to forget someone you love and the dreams you two had about building a future together.
Now, before I answer your question, I’d like to ask you to do two things first: (1) revise your love story, and change your label for him; and (2) decide on what you really want in a relationship. Read on for more on these two tasks.
1. REVISE YOUR LOVE STORY, AND CHANGE YOUR LABEL FOR HIM.
Weng, you need to redefine this relationship as well as what this guy means to you. I strongly advise you to please make this the very last time that you’ll call him “the love of your life” for two important reasons.
The first reason is because it’s obvious from what he did that you are not the love of his life. I’m sorry—I know it hurts to hear this. And I have no doubt that you meant what you said in your letter: in your heart and soul, you do love him. But the fact is, in a relationship that will truly make you happy, he has to love you in the same way too.
And this guy doesn’t.
You wrote it yourself: he chose someone else. So it doesn’t matter if you had the most wonderful relationship with him, or if he was the “perfect match” for you. Your relationship is now over, and he felt this woman is the perfect match for him, so stop giving him a title or label that you should reserve for the guy who will make you the love of his life because that’s the guy who will deserve nothing less.
Here’s another reason you should take this “love of your life” label away from him: It will serve as an unwritten promise in your soul that you will subconsciously feel compelled to keep. Giving him this label in your mind and heart will keep you stuck: you will find yourself inexplicably unhappy in any future love relationship you might have because, after all, this guy that got away is “the love of your life.” In your heart, any other guy won’t be able to live up to him and the relationship you had together.
Please decide to love yourself better than this.
2. DECIDE ON WHAT YOU REALLY WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP BEFORE THINKING ABOUT “GETTING HIM BACK.”
To answer your question, yes, there are ways to get him back. They take at least three months worth of coaching and committed action to learn and apply, but there are, and they do work.
But the more important question you really need to ask yourself is this: Do you really want to?
He’s already proven that he can be unfaithful, and he has already chosen someone else over you.
Would you really want to spend your life with a guy like that, someone who has the capacity to wound your heart in this way? Is that what you really dream of for yourself—one of your highest goals for a love that lasts for a lifetime?
Please really do think about this, Weng.
This doesn’t mean that your entire relationship was a waste of time, though, or even a mistake. And this doesn’t mean that he never loved you during the time you were together.
This does mean that you are worthy of love (because he loved you during the time you were together), and that if this guy can find you attractive, then it most certainly means there will still be a number of men out there who will also find you attractive and fall in love with you too.
I know how hard it is to believe this right now, how scary it feels to start believing that you could be loved like that—again—by someone else. But all around you, you’ll find evidence that this does happen, and the sooner you let go of this past relationship, the sooner you can heal and make yourself ready for the next loving relationship that comes along.