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Do I really love him?

Question:

Trevor,
I have been with a boy for about a year now and am convinced I love him. I have given up my virginity to him at only 15 and I am not proud of it, nor would I ever redo the day it happened. He broke up with me 4 months later saying he needed time to himself, but now he has no time for me it feels like. I love him. I know I do. Or at least I think so. I can’t go a day without thinking of him, I always want to know what I did wrong. I stop eating for days sometimes because I feel like I’m not good looking enough for him.. I know this makes him seem like a bad guy, but what do I do? I’ve tried being with other people but I WANT ONLY HIM. I need help fast because I don’t really know what to do with myself anymore.
Sincerely, Rebecca. The one who loves him.

Original letter submitted by:

Answer:

Dear Rebecca,

Some may call what you’re going through right now unrequited love.  You have intense feelings for someone who doesn’t share those feelings back for you.  It’s unfortunately a very painful experience.  Individuals often feel like they can’t imagine the rest of their life without that one person.  Things just aren’t the same anymore.  The good news is that what you’re experiencing is a common phenomenon.  There will be a surprisingly large number of people around you who will be able to relate with your hard times.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with the musical Les Miserables, but in that musical there is a character named Eponine who suffers from unrequited love.  She sings a song called “On My Own,” wherein she beautifully expresses her sorrow.

I’m afraid that I won’t be able to give you news that you probably want to hear.  Anyone dealing with your situation wants to hear that there is a way to get the guy to fall in love with you.  The answer for you might be simply distance and time.  I’m sorry that I can’t give you a love potion to make him fall in love with you.  But before I get into greater detail, I would like to say something else.  During this time it will be easy to feel like you aren’t good enough, good looking enough, or what have you.  It’s natural to feel that there was something you did wrong that made him leave you.  But I want to tell you right now that that isn’t true.  If you look at the facts, even if you regret giving up your virginity to him, you were still good enough that he would want to sleep with you.  You were good enough for him to be with you for four months.  Don’t try to find the fault in him leaving you.  The love that you have for him just goes to show me that you are a beautiful young lady, capable of caring so dearly for someone else.  That goes to show me that you are more than good enough, and anyone would be lucky to have you in their lives.  Plus, romantic love isn’t something that is typically a conscious decision.  There was nothing you did wrong.  You just have to wait and find that right guy who has his eyes open enough to see it.

So now I’m going to give you a hard pill to swallow.  The key to getting over him and getting back to feeling normal is to try to remove him from  your life as much as possible.  Yes, I know that you don’t want to jump at the chance of ‘getting over him,’ but I’m sure it will make you feel much better in the future.  Tell yourself that there is no hope in you two getting back together.  In this way, your mind won’t be able to play tricks on yourself in waiting for a chance, and if he does indeed want you back it will be a pleasant surprise.  Try to distance yourself from him as much as possible.  Remove his number from your phone, remove him from Facebook.  If you’re in the same circle of friends as he is, try to be in situations where he’s not there.  If he is there, be nice about it, make him feel like everything’s okay in your life; be cordial.  You don’t want to come off as too needy in those situations.  If you catch yourself thinking about him, try to think about something else.  And think about it, high school is a great time to be single and enjoy your life without having to be in a relationship.  Enjoy the company of your friends, your studies, and your activities.  Focus on getting into colleges.  You’ll find much better quality (smart) boys there, and much more of them.

I hate to say it, but in time you’ll feel much better.  I know it’s hard to believe right now because your emotions are so strong, but trust me on this.  Remember that there are so many wonderful things about you that are independent from the guy.  Don’t forget that you have much more about you that might be hard to see during these times.  Keep your friends and family close.  Remember that there are people around you who can relate to what you’re feeling – a trusted adult, a close friend, perhaps the school counselor.  If you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to contact us at the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.  There are lots of article online that might be able to help you with some tips, like the one here: http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/how-to-handle-the-pain-of-unrequited-love/.  You are still fifteen years old, you will have many more opportunities to fall in love.  The first is always the hardest, but you will make it through!

Sincerely,
Trevor