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LOVE LETTERS

I can’t stop thinking about how he is no longer in my life

How do you get over someone you are still in love with?

Love Letters

Q. I fell in love with someone in March of 2021, and about a year later he told me it was best if we parted ways. He wanted to move to another state because he had a dream of accomplishing many hikes out there. Needless to say, I was crushed. We ended up long-distance dating for a few months, then broke up, got back together, and ultimately ended things for good at the end of 2022.

When we first broke up this second time around, I thought I wasn’t taking it as badly as I did the first time, but after finally hitting the milestone of a month apart, I find myself crying all the time. I know time heals wounds but I just can’t seem to stop thinking about how he is no longer in my life. It does not bring me comfort knowing that one day he will be a distant memory. How do you get over someone you are still in love with?

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— Unrequited Love

A. Think about how you signed your letter, because it sounds like your love was requited. You and this ex were together for a year and attempted long distance. You’re on different paths now, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t care. Don’t mess with that narrative.

Also, try not to force yourself to get over him. You’re still grieving the relationship, and there is no fast-forward button for that.

It should get better over time, but for now it’s about living with these feelings. Sure, you miss him like crazy, but does that prevent you from seeing friends, hanging out, and laughing? Sadness shouldn’t stop you from making new memories and connections. That can be a focus right now — planning things to do that will make you happy, even for an hour at a time.

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The other task is removing him from your routine. You won’t always know what he’s up to, and there’s no more checking in all the time. Use those empty moments to call people in your community and ask how they’re doing. Focusing on others can help.

Please know that he’ll always be important, even if he becomes a distant memory. You’re not going to have some sort of Eternal Sunshine or Men in Black mind-erasing event that will make him disappear altogether. Over time, your thoughts about him might become more vivid — and sweeter. Great loves stick around up there, I think.

You don’t have to let go, you just have to keep moving.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

It takes a lot more than love for a relationship to work out. In this case, there were not enough of those other things. Enjoy it for what it was, know that you will heal, and move on with your life. THATGUYINRI

He had his dreams, and you didn’t mean enough to him to have him part with them. Or, perhaps, a more positive spin on it is that your dreams weren’t aligned, so this was never going to work out anyway. The best thing for you to do now is to figure out what your dreams actually are (or for the cynics among us, figure out what your goals are, at least), and really make some effort toward pursuing the things that *you* find rewarding. PRINCEHANS

There are 8 billion people on this planet, and there’s no such thing as “the one.” Go meet some new people. MADVIBES

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Practical advice here: Go through your home and remove all mementos. Delete all e-mail, chats, contacts. Challenge yourself to get into new routines (as Meredith suggested) to force your brain to learn new things and not ruminate. All this is to say: Keep living your life and this too shall pass. PENSEUSE


Find the new season of the Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show. Send your relationship quandaries and questions to loveletters@globe.com. Columns and responses are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.

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