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Do I have to cut him off completely and just accept it?

Tagged as: Breaking up<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 November 2010) 4 Answers - (Newest, 30 November 2010)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

We didn't mean to fall in love, but it happened. He was my first love, too. The problem is, I'm 20, he's 36, and he was my teacher at my former prep school. We obviously cannot be together, and when we realized that the feelings had progressed way beyond friendship, we mutually agreed to part ways. This was not a weird, perverse relationship (although it was obviously a secret). He is not married or in another relationship. Absolutely nothing happened while I was still a pupil at this academy. Our relationship began to develop during the summer after my graduation/ before university, but it was not sexual. We became best friends who ended up falling in love, and even though we would both have liked to make it physical by the time we cut it off, he was never looking for that. In other words, this is definitely not a case of the older man taking advantage of the naive young woman. We respected each other and the situation too much to allow ourselves to let that happen.

So anyway, I have one of his favourite CD collections. I feel that I should give it back because 1) people say you're supposed to get rid of things that remind you of him, and 2) I feel guilty for keeping it by accident. I have to go back to my academy in a few days for a function - although I will not see him, thank goodness - and I have vowed to myself I will never go back there again after that. There is a way for me to leave the CD collection inconspicuously, and I'm not sure if I should attach a note saying like "Sorry for keeping this, Love always, ----". Or I could just leave it with no note. Or I could keep the CDs and he would never know I was there. We have had no contact whatsoever but it's been 6 months and I still miss him terribly; I think of him every day, all the time. On the one hand, I want him to know that I will always care for him. On the other, I don't want to cause him any fresh pain - I know he's having just as hard of a time "forgetting" about me as I am having "forgetting" about him.

Basically, I recognise that the CDs are an excuse I am using to try to get some closure. But maybe I will never get closure. It's just been really hard because nobody except us knows that any of this has happened. I will never tell anyone because I feel they would be very judgmental. I never expected myself to be in this situation and here I am, stuck and conflicted. What should I do about the CDs? I guess I just need some advice in general. I realise we probably both made a mistake - however innocent - by letting this happen. Also, there is no chance of us defying social norms and making it work, so as much as I would like to believe that "age is just a number" and that it would work out, it just wouldn't. We're at different places in our lives and he feels the same way. But thank you for reading this and for your mature advice.

View related questions: best friend, my teacher, older man, university

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 November 2010):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for your thoughts. We both just considered pursuing the relationship out of the question. We would be put in a very uncomfortable situation with our families... neither family would approve (especially because we have kept this a secret). My best friends had him as a teacher as well, and he has friends that work at the academy. I would lose so many people important to me. I find that people my age, including my friends, are very against this sort of thing unless they have been in a similar situation or are exceedingly open-minded. Occasionally, when this sort of topic comes up amongst my peers, I casually and hypothetically ask what they think. The reactions have been very discouraging and I think "it's a good thing I never told them."

But I guess your comments have made me realise that we are not willing to give up everything for each other. Also, I do believe that people can have more than one love throughout their lives. As difficult as it is, I have faith that I will find someone else eventually, although I think I won't ever fully "get over" him.

But I will see what the future brings and won't rule out the option of continuing our relationship. Thank you again.

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A female reader, largentsgirl89 United States +, writes (28 November 2010):

largentsgirl89 agony auntI am not understanding why you two can't be together. I understand that you two are in different places in your lives and possibly don't want to be together, but that's a different story.

You are 20, which is legal age (right?) and he is 36. You are both adults and fully capable of being with each other if you want to, why do you think it won't work out?

IF you two truly love each other, then you would find a way to make it work out.

Good luck.

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A male reader, Advice_man United States +, writes (28 November 2010):

Advice_man agony auntAlthough I understand your worries because of the age difference, i don't think this should be the main reason for a breakup. It's really hard these days to make a succesfull relationship and if you found someone that you click with, he is mature, there is mutual attraction and you get along great it's a shame to break up just because of age difference. Especially him respecting you and not putting any presure for sex, this shows strong character and intergrity.

Please share your thoughts and worries with us, answering what I commented...

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 November 2010):

Look here is the thing. The cd's are just a reason to see him again or get closure like you said. Im not trying to tell you that you made the wrong choice but if you guys truly love each other you guys should have at least tried to make it last. Love like that doesn't happen often. And as far as age goes, it is just a number. My boyfriend is 36 im 24. We are at different points in our lives too but we have a deep understanding of what each of us wants and we accept that. Back to the cd's. I think you should return them and a note is not a bad idea. just keep it simple and don't put anything that would open new wounds. Best of luck to you.

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