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Is there a Rewind Button on Romance?

Dear Philippa,

I still love my ex-boyfriend but he's seeing someone new. He wants to stay friends but seeing him with someone else hurts too much. What should I do?

�Meg, Albuquerque, NM


Dear Meg,

What you are feeling is totally normal. Its easy for the person leaving the relationship to still want to be friends after its over. But the one who is left behind has to deal with the pain. You can't be expected to bounce back right away and just turn into a congenial friend. If the tables were turned, he probably would feel the same way you do.

The solution is to take time for you to heal. Create some emotional distance from him and the pain. When the idea of dating other people seems OK again, you'll be ready to decide whether you want to be friends with your ex.

Realize that some love affairs just don't have a rewind button. They're great during the romantic phase but they never seem to work as "just friends". Rarely is the person who was rejected satisfied with just a platonic relationship and certainly not before the healing process is complete.

Focus on taking care of yourself. Let your ex know that you really appreciate his desire to keep you as a friend but you need some space for a while. Someone who really cares about you will understand.

Don't guilt yourself into feeling that you have to be his buddy and pretend everything is OK. You'll just end up feeling miserable inside and sending out so many negative vibes that you'll never meet anyone new. Show your strength and independence. Who knows, your ex might find this aspect of you very intriguing and decide to return to your relationship�if you then want him back.

Isn't it amazing that long after someone leaves us, and we move on, we often wonder why we were so devastated? There's something about feeling unwanted that makes us almost glorify the person who leaves us. Yet when we do the leaving, we tend to see the other person more realistically, warts and all.

If you start to feel emptiness inside from missing him, remember that eventually you will come to see this as an opportunity, an opening up of your life. You'll have provided the space needed for someone else to discover the wonderful woman you are.




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