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Will I ever love a man again as much as I loved my first Bf?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Dating, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 October 2015) 9 Answers - (Newest, 30 October 2015)
A female United States age 26-29, *eh2014 writes:

I just broke up w/my 1st "real" boyfriend for whom I wanted to give the world to, I eventually found out he didn't care for me that much (he told me how much he loved, but I could feel in my gut he wasn't that in love), so knowing this would tear me apart I broke up. No I'm not a dumb lusty teen, I am an adult wanting to settle down. Since the break up I have been noticing other guys. flirting w/them etc. They seem like nice guys, good looking, but I don't feel the same. I feel as though he is the only guy that I will ever love that way and it kills me to think he is prob hooking up w/other women, while I have to settle for flirting w/guys and just missing him, I know there are many guys/girls that will love and cherish their partners. I work full time, work out, go w/family and friends, but I feel lost and every time I flirt w/another man I feel so guilty. Will I ever love another man like that? Please tell me I will, I have been struggling for the last month w/out my ex. In my best interest I am not in contact w/my ex because I know I would rather be totally blind then to see him w/other women.

View related questions: broke up, flirt, my ex

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (30 October 2015):

Fatherly Advice agony auntMeh2014 writes "I never pressured him to marry me, he talked more about marriage then me! He talked about saving money to marry me all the time, but made no effort."

That's not the important bit. That relationship is over by your choosing and for solid good reasons we all agree with. Many guys are good at saying what a girl wants to hear. That could even be called a social skill if it wasn't done dishonestly so often.

This is the important thing. You need to spend some time out of relationships. You need to not be confused by meeting guys and getting to know them until you have done some work on yourself. Fill your social time with hobbies and volunteer work. Your heart needs some time to finish getting over him. When you can flirt without feeling guilty, then you can start again. Thinking about him less will help.

Try this technique. When you start thinking about him or something that happened with him set yourself a specific time that you will allow yourself to think about that. I would suggest 3 minutes and work down. If you can't stop that fast start bigger. "wash that man right out of your hair"


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A female reader, Meh2014 United States +, writes (29 October 2015):

Meh2014 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I never pressured him to marry me, he talked more about marriage then me! He talked about saving money to marry me all the time, but made no effort.

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (29 October 2015):

YouWish agony auntOh boy. I thought this may be the case. I'm going to tell you a few things that I hope will help you in your next relationship, because I see some behavior that may sabotage your future interactions with guys.

If we turned this around, and instead of talking marriage, let's say the boyfriend wanted you to do something sexual that you were not comfortable with, like anal or BDSM, or prostate milking, and you weren't ready to try something like that. How would you react if his response was that you didn't love him enough? Or "if you love me, you'll go through the pain and make the effort"? Don't laugh!

If he pressured you, and got really upset, and pushed and pushed and cried and threatened to break up if you didn't go along with it, then that's manipulation, wouldn't you say? Of *course* you love him! You just don't feel comfortable doing that. He has the choice then to be patient with you and not push until you're ready, if at all, or he can leave you to find someone who is more compatible with his sexual tastes. But then again, it's a "what's the most important" situation. Does he love you enough to come to grips with the fact that some fantasies have to stay fantasy? OR, maybe in time, you decide to try what he's asking for.

Now, turn that back around. You wanted marriage, and he wasn't ready. That's a huge commitment, and it *is* a scary thing, no matter how much he loved you. But you can't push, act hurt, spend his money for him or tell him how he should live in order to get what YOU wanted, and to be weren't sacrificing to get what *you* wanted. He wasn't ready. That did not mean he didn't love you.

You hadn't even been with him for a year! That's not that long. You got impatient, to be honest. Many guys start proposing that soon! And, if he was the same age as you, the timing is off. He might have just gotten out of college, or is still in it, with student loan debt and figuring out his career. He wasn't in the place for marriage, and that wasn't because he didn't love you.

So, like the guy whose girlfriend told him she wasn't ready for the specific sex act he was asking for, you could have either been patient, or you could look for the guy whose values and timing make him looking to settle down. To give you an idea, the average age of a first marriage for a guy in the US is 29 years old. If he was the same age you are, then that's quite a bit younger than most guys marry. You're a bit younger as well, as the average age for a woman in the US for a first marriage is 27. Don't mistake me - you can marry at a younger age, but keep in mind that most guys your age aren't thinking marriage yet. One big indicator to show that a guy *is* thinking it is whether or not his friends are marrying. I'm guessing your boyfriend's buddies weren't.

I think you should be more patient. I think you blew up your relationship because he wasn't ready for what you wanted. I'm trying to be nice because you said he was your first real boyfriend, and inexperience plays a lot into your actions. But learn from them!

You CANNOT make a guy love you the way you think love should be expressed. You said that a guy who is "crazy in love" should make every effort and sacrifice to get married, and that's not true at all, no more true than a guy saying that if a woman was "crazy in love" should make every effort and sacrifice to do any sexual fantasy he asked for, no matter how painful or unconventional. Both instances are self-serving. Marriage is just a more noble thing to talk about rather than sexual adventure.

Marriage is what YOU want. It's also a compatibility issue. Some people simply do not believe in it. I think if this guy was the same age you are, you jumped the gun. I also think you jumped the gun because of the fact that you had been dating less than a year. You wanted the guy to live his life and spend his money according to YOUR wishes and expectations. Do not make that mistake again in a future relationship, or you'll blow it up the way you did this one.

I wish you the best in your future. Patience is essential in any relationship. You have to have some. Tears and pressure can be used to manipulate, but the end result will never be anything good, as you now know.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (29 October 2015):

Fatherly Advice agony auntMeh2014,

Thanks for the followup. I have some more advice.

This was your first real boyfriend and you are pushing for marriage. You are not ready for that. You do want it.

When you tell a man that you are hurt and he says you are too sensitive, this is a big red flag. It usually means he is abusive.

You project your priorities onto him. In other words if he doesn't do what you would have done, then you assume he is someway deficient and bad. This kind of thinking is a barrier to healthy long term relationships. You should focus on empathy and acceptance a bit more.

Yes indeed he thinks you are crazy. He is probably completely convinced after your break up. That is OK. You don't want him back, you don't want his attention. And his values and your values are not compatible. You made the right move. I'm still not sure about your reasons, but I won't argue with good results.


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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 October 2015):

I know for a fact that you CAN love another man as much, maybe for different reasons why you fell in love, but I know for a fact that Love can happen around the 2nd time, maybe third if you are brave and willing to get your heart broken again because love is filled with laughter and tears but in the end, you'd say it's worth it because life was so much brighter when you met him and it had helped you become a better person than you were.

I think I had a puppy love back in college (we were never bf, just friends), 10 years later it never went away, he admitted he liked me but he was too shy to pursue me and bec. I stupidly have a bf I didn't really care about, in the end he moved on and married someone else.

I hated myself for losing the chance to be with him and thought I can never meet someone that could make me feel the way he did. 2 yrs later after my heart-to-heart talk w/ the college guy, I met the man of my dreams. Problem was I married this guy who has been so good to me, a month before, and I didn't think I could ever meet someone I can love again.

Same story, this other guy likes me (maybe even loves me) but I ended it before it even started. There's never a day that goes by that I don't think of him but I could NEVER put that burden of him labeled as a "homewrecker" and so I respected his wishes of walking away. I may end up divorcing my husband but I will NOT pursue this other guy anymore because I love him. And I think he pushed me away because he really cared about me. I can feel that he did. I can see the sadness in his eyes when we said goodbye. Some things are just not meant to be.

IF you give yourself time to heal, love yourself first, don't identify your happiness through a guys affection for you, maybe you can learn from my experience. Love happens when you least expect it but it would be so much nicer when you've prepared yourself for it when it comes. Live your life as a single person.

Don't rush into other relationships like I did because I had very low self-esteem when it comes to men. The right guy will come, wait and fight for you. If I ever want to be with another guy again, it would only be for those reasons AND that I KNOW for a fact that I love him too.

True love happens if both people are committed to each other and love each other no matter what because anything less than that is a recipe for cheating etc.

Good luck!

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A female reader, Meh2014 United States +, writes (29 October 2015):

Meh2014 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

More details: This was the turning point in the relationship, when I knew for sure I would never have his respect or the level of care that I wanted. I had doubts for a few months, I don't take drastic action on doubts. I tried to address my doubts w/him, I let him know when I felt hurt. He always dismissed my hurt feelings as me being too sensitive or over analyzing the situation. One time he freaked out that i would leave him because he hadn't appreciated. He didn't lift a single finger to change. We talked about marriage (we went out for almost a year), he kept saying he couldn't afford to marry me, yet made not a single effort to save money (which he blew at the bar once a week and on cards similar to pokemon). When I sat down to discuss the future w/him he got very upset saying we were 2 independent people. He kind of egged me on to leave and threatened to leave me if I didn't stop treating him so badly, (all I did was sit down to discuss our future, he said I was turning out to be crazy because I was unhappy and he was perfectly content. He has absolutely no ambitions or goals and plans to sit at home and wait for that to come to him. This is why I broke up. I feel if a guy was totally crazy in love he would make every effort/sacrifice to try to get married (I was willing to make sacrifices) instead of spending $ on stuff that won't get you that far in life.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (28 October 2015):

Fatherly Advice agony auntMeh 2014,

There are two other issues besides your specific questions. If you will indulge me I'd like to address them. First Why you decided to derail your relationship. And Second Why you are not comfortable flirting currently.

I want to reassure you that you are not alone. First relationships are learning experiences. Everyone goes through breakups, you will survive this.

Whether or not you had enough proof of his lack of love for you, I am concerned about how you came to the conclusion to end the relationship. You say that in your gut you felt that he didn't love you enough. You believed this despite your strong love for him and, his reassurances that he did love you.

There are a couple of possibilities here. Something was missing that you need, you may not be consciously aware of what it is, but your gut (subconscious) defined it as he doesn't love me enough.

That is one possibility.

The other is the one that scares me. You began to feel strongly connected to him, you began to strongly desire a long future with him. Subconsciously you thought that for some reason, you aren't good enough, strong enough, pretty enough, to keep him.

So to protect your own insecurity your subconscious fabricated this idea that he doesn't love you enough. So you protected your self from him breaking up with you in some mysterious unknown future, by breaking up with him preemptively.

Now I don't know which is more true, you may not know, or it really could be that he just wasn't a good match. That is all over now, but you should use some of your thinking time to think about what was really behind that "gut" decision to end this relationship.

Right now you are tossed between two feelings. One you are jealous that he might be seeing other women. and Two you feel guilty when you try to connect with other men. One is an unhealthy emotion, the other is Healthy but will pass.

The jealousy is you thinking that you own something that you just threw away. You need to get over the idea that you own anyone. This attitude is hurting you and not restraining him. And, here is the worst part, you don't know that he is seeing other women.

You are jealous of the idea that he might be.

You seem to be reinforcing the Idea that you aren't enough to hold him so as soon as you let him go he is straight to the arms of another. In truth, he is shaking his head and getting over you , just like you are.

You feel guilty because you are in fact a very faithful person.

You are still in love with him. Because of this your heart does not want another.

You will know when you have left him long enough to accept another's attention. this will pass and you will find another who fill all of your needs, even the ones you don't know you have.


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A female reader, Slippers  United Kingdom +, writes (28 October 2015):

I agree with you wish .. ours hearts are able to live many people throughout our life time .. Each time differently than the last ..

At the minute; your heart is closed and shattered and your scared that the next person may hurt you as you have been .. The truth is .. They could ..but life is for living sweetie and just like a cold crisp winter .. spring comes along and melts all that ice and snow .. making way for a lovely summer .. and when your ready that's what will happen.

Even at say 25 .. you are still young .. and you may even look back at your first love with fondness and cherish those times but with more appreciation than sadness ( this takes time) and your next love .. well that awaits you ..

Don't force yourself to flirt if you don't wish too .. of course your going to feel alittle guilty .. This too shall pass ..

You; owe yourself to be happy .. mourn the loss as I said .. and let spring melt your heart when you are ready ..

Love awaits .. The world awaits .. be happy .. be kind to yourself .. take care sweetie, chin up .

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (28 October 2015):

YouWish agony auntIt's good that you're not in contact with your ex.

And there's a distinction between "Will I ever love a man again as much as I loved my first BF" and "Will I ever love a man again LIKE I loved my first BF".

The answer to "Will I ever love a man AS MUCH" is absolutely YES.

The answer to "Will I ever love a man LIKE" is absolutely NO.

We love different people differently. No two feelings for people are alike, and while you loved your ex intensely, and you'll love another guy intensely, the feeling will be specific to the one you're with. Some guys bring out the "out of control overdrive" love, and some bring out the "calm, strong, deep" love, and every kind inbetween.

But you can't make a guy love you the way YOU want him to. Love doesn't look the same for everyone. You broke up with the ex you were with because you didn't think he loved you, even though he said he did? Why?

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