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

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 (with permission)

This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

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  1. Thank you for this…you have no idea how much I needed to see this tonight as I was just told by the guy who I’d been seeing for 3+ years that he “needs a lot of changes in his life and could we just be friends?” and that he felt like he “needs to work on himself and that his life is not moving forward”…sigh!

  2. my tear fell, because it is true now i can feel it and all that was written here is true, that was happening to me now.. if he want to be with you he wil do everything just to be with you..

  3. What if he lives with me and has nowhere to go?
    It’s way easier if he leaves you. Or you leave him. But what if the situation keep you stuck together?
    Please if someone could answer?
    I’m fading fast.

    1. No answers, but I feel you. Same situation here. I feel like he’s only staying until someone else comes along.

      1. Hi Jenny,

        Yes, but the only difference is that, as hard that is painful to admit it, I can’t wait for him to find someone and leave.

        It doesn’t look likely to happen anytime soon. He likes me, gets along with me, we’re good friends, but I’m in love with him and he’s not with me.

        I wish someone knew how to deal with this smartly. Even if it’s painful to me, I believe both of us should get a chance of happiness, and so far the ideal way to get there is to separate and move on. But that’s not an option right now.

        How to cope while going on our separate ways is not an option right now?

    2. He will survive and so will you, let him go. Your gut feeling is always right, don’t delay something just because it is not convenient.

      1. Hi Kaz,
        Yes, I understand what you’re saying. But my situation is unique. He has nowhere to go. Trust me, we both know that we need to go separate ways. However, do have a good friendship, but the love is one way only. The ideal action from both of us IS to go separate ways. But my question is “what if we can’t do that?”
        There has to be a way. Without me suffering so much this unrequited love.

    3. I feel your pain. I’m living the same nightmare. And still love him. I keep praying things will get better, or I get stronger.

  4. Hello Me,
    Why would you want to be with someone who doesnt want to be with you?
    What are you afraid of?
    Why do you think or feel you have to be with this person.
    You can choose if you want to love someone or not….but you must also decide what love means to you and what it means for you to feel loved…are you getting what you need from them? You can decide if what they give is enough or not. You can also decide how much you want to give.

    Only you can be honest with yourself. And the truth will really set you and your heart free. All the best 🙂

    1. Hello Anon,

      Why would you want to be with someone who doesnt want to be with you?

      I don’t. Because of many reasons, I am stuck with him. He’s stuck with me.

      What are you afraid of?

      Of not being able to get over him because he lives with me and I’ll suffer endlessly.

      Why do you think or feel you have to be with this person.

      Many reasons. Main reson is humanity.

      You can choose if you want to love someone or not….but you must also decide what love means to you and what it means for you to feel loved…are you getting what you need from them? You can decide if what they give is enough or not. You can also decide how much you want to give.

      Sorry, I disagree with that. You’d probably had to be in my shoes to get what my dilema is.

      Only you can be honest with yourself. And the truth will really set you and your heart free.

      I am. My question was, what can I do if I’m stuck living with him.

      1. Hello me,

        It seems you have many options.

        1. Deal with it, let things start the same, you can leave things the way they are

        2. You say you are stuck with him for humanity reasons.

        Just because you have to live together doesn’t mean you have to BE together in a couple type relationship. You can be friends or roommates… but definitely not friends with benefits if you want to find another partner.

        3. You are afraid of not being able to let him go, allow yourself to let him go its OK… or are you afraid of losing him and being alone?

        If you can let go of the fear you can open your heart. You can still care for him but you don’t have to be with him.
        If you let go of the fear you can find a way to friendship… or a different way for your relationship.

        Relationships of any kind can be challenging at times.

        If you are not happy with the way things are only you can change whatever it is that will make you feel more content or happy.

        Change whether it be your body, the way you think or feel your job or whatever is hard, sometimes it’s hard just deciding exactly what you want to change.

        It can be uncomfortable. But once you work through all that the results will be well worth the effort.

        It’s OK to be angry or frustrated at feeling stuck.

        1. This actually helps. I know it’s cliche to say I need to focus on myself, but only now I actually got it. My health is in dire need for attention. I just have to fucus on doing it for myself. Not for anyone else. I can actually live with him, but I don’t have to be stuck with him.
          Boy, it’s gonna be hard. But something’s gotta give!
          Thank you, Anon!

  5. The person who played this role in my life just reappeared after 5 years.

    I am proud to say I told him “no.”

    I am prouder to say I meant it.

  6. I’ve been crying most of the day today because what was written above hit so close to home. The guy I’m involved with is currently overseas though we were talking everyday for the past month and a half. We were very consistent with calls, DM’s and checking in with one another all the time. As crazy as it may seem, I fell in love with him after finding out how greatly we meshed, how we’ve both been through the ringer in past relationships and how we both were seeking the same qualities in a potential relationship. We were going strong for a long time. Even though he opened his cam so he could show me who he is as well as show me that he owns a gym. He was honest, straightforward and real from the beginning. He asked me on a number of occasions to open my cam so he could see me though I’m all about 1st impressions and looking like a million bucks. When I told him that he wasn’t convinced. Long story short, we had a heated debate in regards to that matter and yes, he was livid at first, but I managed to calm him down and tell him it’s not worth it to get angry over something so petty. I even dressed up, did my hair and put on makeup and when I was out, I called him to tell him to open his cam so he could see me. He became very obstinate about the situation and told me he’ll never ask me again to open up the cam and even if I offered to open mine, he’s going to refuse. I know this is absurd and bizarre. He’s almost 35 years old and given this particular situation, he’s acting like he’s 10. If he doesn’t get his way, then he gets mad. Anyway, that night we had a long conversation and smoothed everything out. Things were fine the next day we talked but he disappeared the day after and started becoming a little distant. He sent me a DM and told me he got sick and went to the doctor to get checked. He sent me another DM the next day, telling me he had just woken up and after he showers he’ll give me a call. He never called that day. The following day he called me and hung up with me after a 3 minute conversation. Supposedly, he had a consultation with another doctor because he still wasn’t feeling well. Ok fine…I totally understand and I asked him to call me after he gets back home and again he never called. I noticed that he’s been active on FB Messenger that same night and never bothered to send me a message. The next day, I sent him a message asking him to please let me know how he’s doing. The messages were delivered but we’re not seen. He has been blowing me off for almost 3 days now and neglecting my messages. After the whole cam incident, even though I’m not at fault, we agreed to put the situation behind us so we can move on and work on our relationship. What seriously boggles my mind is why would he say something like that, if he truly didn’t feel we should continue? I honestly and sincerely care about him and want everything to work out but if I’m getting mixed signals and being mistreated, neglected, then I don’t know what to say or feel at this point. My heart hurts because I thought we had something special going.

  7. Just stopped crying after reading the above. Men do not think, respond, feel emotions as we women do.
    Don’t expect it.

  8. Thank you I needed to hear this, I have been breaking my heart over and over again for the last 4 years holding onto some hope that one day, the guy I love will be with me and realize I am everything and he feels the same. I have just recently after contacting him one last time, realized that he is just not crazy about me like I am him and I have to stop breaking my heart over and over again reaching out to him, he is never going to feel the same way about me that I do about him. I need to just learn to let it go and move on!!!

  9. This is exactly what I’m going through now. As if the article is specially written for me, to remind me of that. Yes, it’s easier if he is an asshole, but really hard when he is a good guy, the most humble, kind, genuine, gentle guy i’ve ever met in my life. One day, he just texted me and said he wasn’t someone who can handle a relationship and wanna go back to his single life. I still feel heart broken and could hardly let go. I know i’d never met a guy like him anymore. Thank you for this <3

  10. I can’t leave my babies, that is why I can’t be with her. But she doesn’t understand it, and is making me feel too bad. Do you women have something to say?
    She knew my reality.

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