I was in a relationship which, though it wasn't perfect and I wasn't always happy, I was relatively satisfied with. Then, as things were beginning to progress in the physical department -- they never really were very promising in the emotional area, unfortunately -- we had a huge bust up due to a rather unnecessary misunderstanding. Now, the man I'm absolutely madly in love with refuses to even answer my emails, let alone talk to me. All my friends think I should back off, leave well enough alone and move on. But I've never felt like this about anyone before and I don't want him to hate me forever. What do I do? I know that I am more to blame than he is for the bust up, and I want to fix things, but everyone says I should just give up. What do you think I should do? Please help.
Rubaina, Denver, CO
As much as we wish it was otherwise, we absolutely can't control what anyone else feels, does, thinks or chooses. I assume you realize that the relationship is over -- that his perception of it was never in alignment with yours? I'm not sure why you'd be relatively satisfied with a relationship where the emotional aspect wasn't "promising." I suspect you're dealing with the very human tendency to idealize that which we no longer have. Note the difference in tone between saying you were "relatively satisfied" and are now "madly in love." Something doesn't quite fit. I'd ask you to explore the fears that have emerged since your ending with this man. Is it that being with someone -- even if it wasn't a good match -- is better than being alone? I see evidence of something like that. But, regardless, there is no fixing this misunderstanding now. Remember that he doesn't see it the same way you do, and the more you push the more he retreats. Can this rift be soothed? Yes. But not now and not by anything you can do in the physical. You can drive yourself crazy about this for as long as you want to, but I recommend that you turn your attention from trying to get him to understand you, and focus instead on something positive in your own life. By distracting yourself in a positive way, and then imagining him well and happy, the tension can diminish and one day the bad feelings between you can transform. There is nothing to be gained by remaining stuck on what was, and much to be experienced (for yourself -- this isn't about him) by shifting your gaze to a new direction. Take a deep breath and follow your friends' advice.