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. I’m a little slow I guess, UT in my situation, if my wife was the one feeling this,holt shit is she wrong.I live her brains out.BUT IF this is just torture me time,forget it.I lice her

  2. Thank you so much, idk why this makes so much sense but it does. i have read so many things trying to say how to move on, but this just clicks. it doesnt matter if they are good or bad, she didnt love me as i loved her, and i have to move on. thank you

  3. These words cut to the core with raw honesty. Usually one to hide behind a smile, reading this article opened a flood gate of reality, sadness, and renewed loneliness. Perhaps it is too soon to read this as the nerve is still very much exposed, perhaps it is the perfect time. I do know, there is nothing healthy about living in a perpetual state of mourning so the struggle to force the heart to acknowledge what the brain knows and has known for some time is a very difficult battle that will take a tremendous amount of strength to accomplish and seem like a never ending uphill feat. After using all energy focusing on trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, one must dig deep in search of some energy on reserve even though so much more is needed.

  4. If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.
    Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior.
    Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.
    Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.
    Slower is better.
    Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.
    If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no, you can’t “be friends”. A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.
    Don’t settle.
    If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.
    Don’t stay because you think “it will get better.” You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.
    The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
    Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?
    Always have your own set of friends separate from his.
    Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you.
    If something bothers you, speak up.
    Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.
    You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within.
    Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are… even if he has more education or in a better job. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing less.
    Never let a man define who you are.
    Never borrow someone else’s man. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.
    A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.
    All men are NOT dogs.
    You should not be the one doing all the bending… compromise is two way street.
    You need time to heal between relationships… there is nothing cute about baggage… Deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.
    You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you… a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals… look for someone complimentary… not supplementary.
    Dating is fun… even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.
    Make him miss you sometimes… when a man always know where you are, and you’re always readily available to him – he takes it for granted.
    Never move into his mother’s house.
    Never co-sign for a man.
    Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.

  5. This is so true. What I thought was love just wasn’t there anymore. I have tried and tried to make things better to no avail. I messed up and went away. That space made him feel differently about me and not to mention he had an affair. But looking back now I think did we ever really have real love. I used to ask him “what do you love about me”. He is not an overly romantic guy so sometimes it is hard for him to express his feelings. He would say I love how well you take care of me and the kids. It was always about my abilities never really about me. Never specific either. I could say I love the way when we had our first child and the look on your face how you could not take your eyes off our son. My heart skipped a beat. I could see a sparkle and he was so afraid to touch him yet so anxious to hold him. I just knew this man was so nurturing and I was so proud. But for me. You make a lot of money and by me nice things. 20 years together 15 years of marriage. High school sweethearts. I paid my way thru college and he worked minimal jobs. I never worried because I loved. But when I had a crises and was down for two years. I still paid the bills and he cheats with someone 15 yrs younger, tells me he wants to leave, leaves. I find out about affair begs to come back b/c no money and wants to work on marriage. Every other day can’t make up mind what he wants to do. If he wants to stay or move where his family lives so that is why can’t get job now. Trying to find himself. I finally blew up last night and said this is not love. I don’t know what it is but I don’t trust him. He is not remorseful. I don’t have time for him to find himself. And like it says above. If he wanted to be with me nothing would stop him. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

  6. Thank you. Eleven years is hard to let go of and give up on. But this article makes so much sense; I totally connect with the words. So thank you again.

  7. Everytime you think.. but what if i do this or act like that maybe he will see me in a different way, maybe he will notice me this time. Everytime yoi give your self a glimmer of hope that he or she will want you if you change or if you do something rediculous, slap it out of your mind. Stop trying so hard for their love its not supposed to be taken or won over, its given. Become the best you, you can be and in time the best man or woman for you, will notice.

  8. This is an awesome on point article. The perspective is great. 23 years of marriage … highschool sweetheart six kids and constantly looking over my shoulder since the birth of the first child due to numerous affairs. It finally hit 1) He don’t want you 2) He don’t respect you 3) and ultimately he don’t want to stay in a committed monogamous relationship.
    I finally got it and gave the brother his freedom and walking papers.
    Also watch out for that mother-in-law who has hated you and the union from day one … not to mention the sister-in-law that feels the same. Pay attention and trust your senses and intuition (you know that gut feeling) it’s there for a reason and it can and should be trusted.
    Seek to heal. Get to know yourself. Love yourself enough to kick his ass out.
    #ijs #staywoke #loveyourself

  9. I am going through the same motion, not with a man but a woman. When we met my heart was so open for her, and I fell in love head over heels. Even my children started to love her and are very happy for us. Month later I realize she can’t out, maybe she never will. She can not show affection in public, even just holding hands. I love her more and more, but her not standing with me is destroying me, is breaking my heart. She tells me over and over, that she loves me and I am the only one for her. She says, she has never been out, despite 2 long time relationships with women, but that I give her the strength to slowly open up, the first time in her life. Love is love is love is…

  10. It’s very sad to see how many women believe that narrative which on the surface sounds so ideal and poetic but in reality is delusional and misleading. It only brainwashes women making them believe that they don’t need to do any work on the relationship and they should just wait for him to do the hard work. Also, it gives them a great excuse to justify why a relationship with X didn’t work out instead of self analysis and evaluation.
    Women, please allow yourselves to be happy by looking at your role in a relationship too, it is about two people working, growing, loving together.

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