To encourage you to keep going.
To remind you to be strong.

Published on May 6, 2016 in Picture Quotes
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It’s a hard pill to swallow. But the truth is going to heal your heart a lot faster than simply letting it break over and over until you finally face what you knew all along anyway:

If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you.

There are a million possible scenarios here. It’s easier when he’s an asshole – selfish, only thinking of himself, using you to make someone else jealous, using you in general, treating you poorly, crushing you thoughtlessly, whatever. But it’s a lot harder when he’s a good guy, and you still have to let him go. When he tells you that you’re an incredible person, but he just doesn’t feel the same way that you do. Or when he really likes you, but doesn’t think you’re the one. Or when he just doesn’t feel as strongly as you do and he wants to be honest. Or when he can’t seem to make up his mind and feels confused, which he doesn’t yet realize just means that he’s afraid of hurting you, that feeling ‘confused’ just a softer way of eventually saying ‘no.’ If he wanted to be with you, he wouldn’t have had to make up his mind in the first place. It would just be an answer that he felt deeply in his gut.

But regardless, whether he’s a wonderful guy or an asshole or somewhere in between, this is about you, moving on. Because no matter what the situation was, no matter how well he treated you or how much fun you had together or how well you got along, he doesn’t want to be with you. And that’s the truth. And that’s going to be your life raft for the next several weeks or months, no matter how much you don’t want to grab onto it. It is what is going to eventually help you come to peace with the end of your relationship, or the fizzling out of your fling, or the ‘no more talking’ after you guys spent so much time ‘talking.’ It is the truth, and as ugly as it is, it will be the only thing that can help you move on:

If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you.

It’s easy to try to soften the blow. He needs time, or he just needs a little space, or he’s just afraid of commitment and I just need to reassure him, or he builds walls and it’s my job to kick through them.

But think about the way you feel about him. How easy and natural and obvious it feels. How you don’t even need to question whether or not you should be with him, because it just feels right in your veins. How, even if you were scared of committing to someone or getting hurt or opening yourself up, you were still willing to do it, because your heart had already made up your mind. You wanted to be with him, so you were. The decision was simple. It really wasn’t even a decision at all.

Now can you imagine feeling all those things but choosing not to be with him anyway?

That’s why your heart is broken. Because he didn’t feel those things. He didn’t feel that same certainty that you did, deep in your bones. And you can’t change that, and you can’t fix yourself, and there’s nothing you did wrong. It’s just the truth. His heart didn’t make the decision for his brain, because his heart is in a different place from yours. And that really, really sucks. And you just have to accept it. And that sucks even more.

Maybe you’ll get over this in weeks, maybe months. Maybe longer. It will hurt, some days will be horrible and some will be okay. But the smallest of silver linings is this: you can let your heart break once – instead of breaking it a million times by convincing yourself that he’s making a mistake or he probably misses you or you should call him. Love yourself enough to be hard on yourself:

If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you.

Written by Kim Quindlen

This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

45 Comments

  1. Equanya May 6, 2016 Reply

    This came right on time. Me and my Ex recently broke up. He’s told me he’s tired. But I keep forcing it. You are always on time. And you always email the right Lessons for me to learn. Thank you. I also Thank God for using you.

  2. Matt May 6, 2016 Reply

    Love is a two way street. If the two of you have an amazing love together, then you will work together to find a way to be together. Life is not simple if you are responsible adults, true lovers will be patient and supporting of each other.

  3. Johanna May 6, 2016 Reply

    Thanks, the right words at the right time…

  4. Yolanda May 6, 2016 Reply

    I really needed to read this one today. I really spoke to me. My heart is breaking. It is almost a month since the man I fell in love with told me he is moving to Hawaii and instead of wanting to try to work at our relationship from the distance he only thought about how much he move miss me and decided to break it off. It is the first time in my life I have actually decided to open my heart and let someone in. The first time I experienced love. I always ran from love. But this time I decided to stay. But he decided to go. Even after he was afraid I was going to leave him when we just started seeing each other.
    I appreciate this article because it is telling me what I really need to hear. No sugar coding, just the truth. “If he really wanted to be with me, he would be with me”. I have to accept that reality and let go of the future I had envisioned with him.

    Now, I need to focus on my healing and still keep my heart open to love. I will not let this experience take away what I have discovered. I have learned that I am capable of falling in love and that I do want love in my life.

  5. Pearl Lederman May 6, 2016 Reply

    true and you wouldnt want someone around that didnt

  6. Ann May 6, 2016 Reply

    Thank you…you clear my thought which has been bothering me for a while. Now I can smile and move on again.

  7. CN May 6, 2016 Reply

    This is what I really needed to read. I am so grateful to God for making me land on this.

  8. Ria May 7, 2016 Reply

    It’s now 1,5 month ago that he ended the relation and the pain is still there. I miss him so much. His excuse was that he didn’t have time. Poor excuse. If you really love someone,you make time for that person. He only lives for his job, nothing else matters. I hope that someday he’ll realise what he misses : love, a true friend, . . .cause otherwise he will end up as a bitter, old man.

    • cherry June 10, 2016 Reply

      Did you read the article.

    • cherry June 10, 2016 Reply

      He said ” I am confused” ,he said ” I might regret this, but its what I want” But he also tried to lead me on while seeing other girls months later.
      I experienced a Red Deer DBag.
      Have a nice life you 4 titted freako.

  9. Peter May 7, 2016 Reply

    I think this CAN be true. But in another case, I want to obey God and follow his guidelines for marriage and I also want to be with a girl. She doesn’t follow Jesus (yet, I pray, as well as for the selfishness of my heart). So I must choose to follow and obey my God or be with this girl.

    So you say if I wanted to be with her, I would be with her? Do you doubt that one can place his faith above his feelings? Want one thing more than another — but still want them both so bad it breaks his own heart?

  10. neetu May 7, 2016 Reply

    it really helped me

  11. neetu May 7, 2016 Reply

    it helped me…and i feel i have made up my mind to move on finally

  12. JO May 7, 2016 Reply

    wow this came at just the right time. someone I had loved since I was 17 yrs old. we had both ended up marrying other people but there was always this connection when we would see each other.well both our spouses passed away on the same day 6yrs. apart!! after 6yrs for me and 18mos. for him he came to my door and ask if we could get to know each other again. I was over the moon! went to church the next day and had lunch. I was so hopeful. then he never contacted me. I was so confused. so I contacted him after 2 weeks and ask him if he had changed his mind. he said no but for the next month I put in all the effort of making contact. I was so hurt and confused but the other 2 times we saw each other he seemed to be very loving. I was at his place the last time and we had made plans to go out for dinner the next night. later that day he called and accused me of spraying perfume in his bed and room while he was in the bathroom!! I was so shocked and hurt!! I would have NEVER done anything like that! then he proceeds to tell me it was just moving too fast and he would call me if he wanted to see me again! well that was over 4mos. ago now. now he has completely “ghoasted”. I feel like such a fool at my age of 66. he’s78. I am just devasted. I always thought that if we ever had a 2nd chance he was all in by the way he acted and the things he said when he would see me. I quess you really never know people. I don’t know if I will ever recover from the hurt.if anyone has any answers other than me being a complete fool. please input.

    • alter May 29, 2016 Reply

      Jo – it sounds like he was playing mind games with you. google Narcissistic personality disorder and see how much of that fits for him (the little you know about his behaviors). Only you can really tell – I had a 7 year experience with a person with this personality disorder so I of course may be off just having the propensity to see this in all behaviors, but when you read the descriptive factors you’ll get a feeling toward how accurate it is or not in your situation. After years of thinking I was crazy or did something wrong being able to identify why it happened was a tremendous relief.

  13. Sadwithoutyou May 7, 2016 Reply

    Well … I need some opinions and advices maybe… if possible please … My girlfriend and i broke up for like a twentieth time… Her mother doesnt agree our relationship…cuz i m also a girl.. We had a 3 years relationship… Now i m in a different country.. And she s not here with me even if she says she loves me …but she cant leave her mother alone there ( she was raised only by her mom from the age of 5 when her father died … ) ..what should i do ? Just cant keep living like this… Pls some opinions and advices…

  14. S May 8, 2016 Reply

    I am so glad to read this. It came at the most perfect time, and although a hard pill to swallow, I know I need to move forward. My ex fiance left me almost 3 months ago. We have 2 girls, and he keeps telling me that he wants to work it out, but his actions are not congruent with his words. I need to heal, but it’s so hard.

  15. JPS May 11, 2016 Reply

    Or maybe he wants to be with you, but you aren’t ready for the man of your dreams. Maybe he sees the person you could be and is willing to give you a chance, but instead of improving yourself, you concentrate on improving him. Maybe you need him more than you need God and if you do, then you are putting perfect expectations on an imperfect person. Maybe he wants to be with you, but you demand so much time that he can’t make it to work on time because you won’t suck it up and face the day while he’s gone. If you’re one of those excessively needy people, then you are shooting yourself in the foot with needs that grown ups should be able to handle on their own. Things like, “I miss you all day and can’t take it without you.” or “I need us time during your work schedule, and me time during your off work schedule.” … just maybe it’s not him, but it’s you. Work on your inner person so that your outer person doesn’t repel men.

  16. Jennifer May 29, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for spelling it our loud, I already knew ever since his finance condition have had changed for a higher ground, he’s attitude towards me changed also… Love blinded me, until I broken down. Take the truth and rebuild the path, for him leaving is also a gift to my freedom to love myself.

  17. Sneha May 29, 2016 Reply

    Its really helping me to accept the reality….thank you so much for convincing my mind…. whenever I miss him….I will read this again and again.
    Perfect line “If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you.”

  18. Missyou1141 May 29, 2016 Reply

    I recently split with my girlfriend . I’m a guy we had a rocket relationship that ended many times were were on an off for three years. It was a long distance relationship where I did all the commuting 3 hours there and back every weekend. Needless to say I put a lot into this relationship I asked her to marry me thinking it would make things better I love this girls but she could never trust me with anything because I made a stupid mistake 2 years ago was honest with her about it and she used it to control me … I ended thing 2 weeks ago I’m still messed up inside because I can’t understand if there was something different I could have done to have her trust me and not fight with me about every little thing that I did … no I don’t want you to go to your friends and family things we need to be together all the time we only have weekends together. .. I still love her but I couldn’t keep fighting with someone I love so much if your out there jacqueline I love u I’m sorry you will find someone who works for you

  19. Sameera May 29, 2016 Reply

    After reading all these comments I’m unable to understand why mostly women are only the victim of love .why god has made us so soft that we breaks down when somebody rejects us ? Why are we so honest and sincere with our relations ? Why these men don’t feel the same ? Why don’t thy get hurt or why they don’t miss somebody ? Are they like this by default ? Are we women like this by default ?

    • em May 30, 2016 Reply

      Sameera, FYI, we do. It’s just that we’ve had to deal with rejection from women ever since kindergarten, so we’ve become better at dealing with it. It’s a two way street believe me. Men go thru the same thing. Relationships that work are not easy. Keep the faith.

  20. candy cue May 29, 2016 Reply

    Please help me… i really wanted to stay with my husband i love him so much but he wanted a divorce… i beg him that we should try to fix anything just for the sake of our children but he is so mean… don’t really know what to do now… should I stay or leave? I love him always keep tryin to save our marriage how i wish somebody could help us save our marriage esp. Our kids was still young….

  21. Jerin May 29, 2016 Reply

    Splitting with the person I love,more than anything, is heartbreaking…changed countries for him as well…the reality, when I came back to the states, to shore up details, were insanely telling…the level of insecurities and the lack of trust were overwhelming…I dodged a huge bullet…no matter how right the relationship felt, and no matter how devasted I’ve been…it’s very true…his irrational fears cannot be my responsibility…and if he can’t trust me to sell my home…say goodbye to family and friends…and be with him…then I need to walk away…when there is no support for huge choices and decisions I’m making, then he really wasn’t in love with me…just what I could bring to the table in taking on his family and life and not any help in adjusting…my point is, when you are the only one making the effort, it’s time to step away and not confuse feelings with reality…very guilty of seeing what I wanted to see…so yes…if he wanted me there he would meet me halfway…he doesn’t…and I’m moving on…much rather accept that now…best of luck to everyone dealing with the pain…rather have the band aid ripped off…then waste years on self doubt

  22. JJ May 29, 2016 Reply

    She was my first love when I was in secondary school to be exact 18years old. At that time she was pregnant and we have to opt for abortion as she was a foreign student, we were too young and she was taking this pill to cure here pimples which stated if she was pregnant the baby will be deformed.
    There she left back to her country when she was done with her secondary school while I was conscripted to army.
    Within this 19years of time we still kept in contact till last month I invited her to a trip to Bali which she followed me back to my country for holiday.
    While back at my house everything was fine until she found a strand of hair which I kept from my ex gf thus she left my house in the night.
    It was like a drama until today which a month she didn’t allow me to contact her.
    It’s time I have to let go of the past, history and guilt. I did my best. I tried……

  23. Dee May 29, 2016 Reply

    My soul mate and I called it quits 1 week ago. This couldn’t have come in my news feed coincidentally. My heart breaks all throughout every day. His excuses for not relocating are many. I conclude that I’m not worth stepping out of his comfort zone. I must find a way to move forward. I’m 40ish and I have many years left for happiness. I just need to let go of this memory and allow myself to make more.

  24. Me&&Him May 29, 2016 Reply

    definitely hit the nail on the head with me an my old flame. but we’re always saying how much we like each other. im always dating the wrong guys.. and same with him and females.. but im always gonna be a “good friend” or “one of the guys” with him.. even though he constantly asks if im single. and my heart flutters whenever he texts me too.
    #stupidwithorwithoutyou

  25. Claire May 30, 2016 Reply

    Three years ago I met my sisters boss and we seemed to hit it off straight away. At the time I was married. I ended up leaving my husband for this guy.
    At first things seemed great! However has time passed by, he talked me in to leaving my job to work with him, in which in the end I had no choice on this matter. For someone rang my old boss saying I was working for a competitor!
    He promised me the world and at first delivered, however he started showing me up in front of staff and talking down to me. Over the last three years we have had big arguments it’s been on and off. I eventually walked out of work 23rd Feb 16 and never went back. I have a house to run, finding it hard to get new employment, don’t have a lot of money. And feel absolutely crushed and heartbroken. I am so down and depressed. Never felt so low. Plus I am about to turn 40 in three weeks. Reading this made me feel a little stronger. I just needed guidance. Thank you!

  26. Connie May 30, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for putting this right out and in the open at this time my husband & I separated 2 days ago & yesterday agreed on the papers I was starting right now on the wows me crying for him til I read this and those lil words is what he said to convince me that he was staying 2 yrs later 3 am he breaks in the back window and cleans me out he was a nice guy tuned selfish and not so nice

  27. Ella May 30, 2016 Reply

    this just came on the right time .. i was with my partner for 3 years , we had all happy moments together , coudn t remember any bad time . He left for his home country mid last year since his work ended already with the country we worked from . We messaged , talked often still. i spent the Christmas holidays with him and found out he was married and had 2 kids .. even so i forgave him , accepted him as he is coz you know love has no boundaries . Then mid March of this year , 2016 ,his communications stopped , no more calls , no messages , didn t even know what had happened. I didn t try to call him , and its been 2 months now , no communications . Maybe he had made a choice to choose. It is breaking me into pieces but that s what life is all about . You can never tell what comes next .

  28. Doreen May 30, 2016 Reply

    I was with a man for a year.. He visited me one saturday evening and we made out then on monday he broke up with me saying he needed space. Have been heartbroken and cant seem to get over it for 2months now. Reading this post has given me the strength to move on and stop calling

  29. Ron Naude May 30, 2016 Reply

    Heart moving articles

  30. Agnes Liem May 30, 2016 Reply

    Thank you so much. I really needed to read this today. It’s been almost two months since the break-up and I’m still heartbroken at my last failed relationship. I really wish I could have done things differently in the relationship and I really liked him a lot — but as my good guy and girl friends pointed out, I did everything possible and I could not have done any more. The truth is that he just didn’t love me and he didn’t want to be with me. Whether he was still hung up on the girl that got away for him…it really didn’t matter. He just didn’t want to be with me. As silly as this sounds, I have this page saved on my phone. I’ll keep reading it until one day, it won’t hurt anymore. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much this is helping me heal and recover. In the mean time, I have several new adventures in my life that I’m looking forward to. I do have a good life and I am not going to let my last heart ache (painful as it is) to stop me from accomplishing my dreams.

  31. JenKira June 10, 2016 Reply

    This came at a great time. My boyfriend of the last 8 years broke it off with me that he (loves me but doesn’t know how we will work) as we’re always busy and always apart. And so I realized after reading this the relationship for me was easy I knew I always want him, but in truth he never want me. After all only he is stopping himself from being with me! I am not stop him. So our hearts in different place! I will miss him. But sooner I let go of my love I
    Can hurt less and move on to happy relationship with someone who want me EQUALLY!

  32. Jonathan June 10, 2016 Reply

    Jennifer same name same problem… as if you were the one who break my heart… if you really love each other you both stand your ground. Make ways to improve and support each other… its not about money… love and relationship is valuable than the money… no alibis… as long as you both love each other and never give up…there is always a way… rather than leaving the one you love just for your thoughts of money…

  33. Sue June 10, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the article, specifically the words ‘if he wanted to be with you, he would be with you’. My boyfriend broke up with me eleven days ago and he failed to give me aqeduate reasons for his action. I know I gave the relationship my all, however I guess I was investing my energy and feelings on the wrong person. I can safely let go of him and his memories now, because I understand that he made a choice not to be with me.

  34. Sk June 10, 2016 Reply

    Life is so much better to be with someone who really cares about you. I have been with a man who was ambivalent about me for years. Now, I am with a man who treats me like his queen every day.

    Part of low self esteem is to want a man who treats you like crap. You believe that you don’t deserve better than the meager crumbs he tosses you.

    High self esteem means that when a man dumps you, or you leave a loser who doesn’t deserve you, you are happy, stong, and moving forward with your life.

  35. Ailen June 10, 2016 Reply

    I have no enough words to thank you. This words are exactly what I need right now. In my case, like you said, he’s a good guy but he just doesn’t feel the same way that I do… And it’s so fu**ing hard, because I only loved once before, and I thought he could be my window to love again… :'(

  36. Jhen June 10, 2016 Reply

    You need to be strong as always. Learn that there are certain things that you need to face in order for you to learn. Play the game of life. I know how hard to deal with the broken heart with the broken dreams.your dreams to grow old with someone. But hey, its not end of the world.. it hurts? Okay fine.. but stay in that situation in maximum time of 1 month. After that try to be a new person.. a person whos strong enough to deal with all the up’s and down’s. Learn that without this painful life events your life is so boring.. A man who destined to be with you will always find his way home to be with you for the rest of his life he may commit mistakes sometimes but he will surely do something to fight for you.. but if a man is not for you. Please dont beg. Dont make yourself pity woman. Dont be a fool to show how low your standards. Again if he is the one. He is..

  37. Sylvia June 10, 2016 Reply

    It hurts too much almost as if you no longer exist, I love him so much he made feel like I was the only flower in his garden, and now he has moved on without an explanation just moved on without a why… I pass by his house out of habit and I know I’m only hurting myself more. It’s hard to let go especially when you knew it was so right for you. This hit right on course, I am smart and I know what I need to do but it’s hard…letting go….

  38. Amanda June 10, 2016 Reply

    My husband left me at Easter after 37 years of marriage, it turns out he was playing internet games and had met a female on there and had declared undying love for, he went to see her in the USA recently and has put on facebook that they are 100% happy couple, she is his girlfriend and more gruesomely : “I am sorry that you are not still sore!” for all to see in the world. He is in his 60’s and she looks a lot younger, he is messaging nearly 150 females online and he is calling them all gorgeous and how pretty they are and how he wants to hug them. A friend is sending me these messages as she is able to “talk” to him as I need evidence for our divorce. He has always denied any impropriety but it is clear he is having an affair. I was in bits, indeed still have bad days mainly because he was a user, a feeder, a manipulator and indeed both psychotic and narcissistic in his behaviour which has only now been shown to me. He showed me little love and comfort, indeed his sexual attentions to me was basic and unloving and indeed I was as sore as she was! Every day I am finding more faults and am rebuilding my broken heart. The saddest part is that I likened myself to a beaten puppy who knows no different but to go back to the beater for another beating and seeing that as a crumb of comfort and love. I know I deserve better and am treating myself gently, I have to move and so packing up what I can. When he left, he knew I was disabled and he was my carer yet he yearned for the fantasy of this female and would not tell me that he wanted another. I cry for the love that was never there, for the companionship that was never there, I wish for healing and the pain to stop so I can start living. It is awful feeling so broken and yet am feeling stupid for crying over someone who patently does not want to be with me. These words are a balm to my open wounds and I know I will come through this and be stronger but it is a long hard journey with many memories waiting to jump out at me. I will come through this and hopefully a very kind true person will be waiting somewhere for me.

  39. Mor June 11, 2016 Reply

    I told my partner of 8 years on 22 May that we wouldn’t be seeing each other any more after he told me that he couldn’t offer me the life that I wanted. We live about 60 miles apart and saw each other when I organised something – a long weekend away,a trip to the theatre, a party. . . . .! Whenever he came to me he’d leave as early as possible the next morning (had work to do,or some other reason). I was expected to do the same when I went to his. I never met any of his family, he said he rarely saw them himself and it would be difficult to do. So,I didn’t pester, didn’t want to rock the boat! We spoke to each other every night and I just thought he was lovely. I loved spending time with him,and he knew that I never thought we spent long enough together. We got on so well,I really thought he was my soulmate. But, looking back he would only come to things he wanted to and I’d discuss with him before I organised anything. When I did a bit of a do for my elderly mother last year,he was otherwise engaged or poorly. I didn’t think at the time but he didn’t really do anything he didn’t want to do. 3 weeks on from me finishing our relationship I am finding it really hard. I have been worrying about the way I just said ‘we won’t be seeing each other any more’ and then ‘have a nice life’ because I didn’t get into any discussion. It has been a rotten few weeks although I’m not getting tearful as often as I did. It’s amazing what keeping busy does for you! My kitchen cupboards are tidied, and the house is ok too. My appetite has diminished and so I’ve started to lose a bit of weight. As we saw each other so infrequently I suppose my life isn’t that different really, but it is. This is the 3rd important relationship in my life and all 3 have ended negatively. This article has been put my way at just the right time – I won’t have the contact that I’ve been thinking I might (a little email or text) and I will move on. I’m almost 66 and can’t believe how naive, stupid and self deluded I’ve been. I’m an intelligent woman who deserves better, one day. I’m incredibly lucky that I have amazing friends and family (who also thought he was a lovely man) and I feel supported, if I want or need. I still think he was lovely, but I now realise he didn’t think as much of me and going our separate ways is the right thing

  40. Drew October 16, 2016 Reply

    I’m a guy; I read this (and did some pronoun switching) and felt a little bit better. I’m still ridden with guilt and anger towards myself. But thus really did help.

  41. Black and blue November 25, 2016 Reply

    JPS your reply is horrible!!! Your blaming her for everything without knowing enough about their relationship. Very negative and infair. She already feels bad and you’re bashing her yet even more. Very typical, always blame the woman!!!

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