Every day I receive many emails from readers who write me their stories, and I love reading them. But sometimes, someone sends me something that really strikes a chord in me.
I got an email with the simple subject line, “A new tool for the box” and it contained a self-recorded audio with an inspiring and uplifting message for all the break-up survivors out there.
I wrote back to thank him and asked for some more information about himself and his experience.
So he sent me this letter.
A letter that touched me on such a deep, emotional level that somehow brought back all the memories and emotions I felt back after my own breakup.
I’ve attached it below. It’s quite long, but I promise that you will find it very useful.
After you read it, don’t forget to listen to his audio message below.
As some of you may know, Marseille is the culture capital of Europe this year and the opening night was huge. It was literally impossible to get to Vieux Port, but we tried. Eventually we settled for a more spacious area in the back for some breathing room and to try to meet up with a friend of Hope’s who we were supposed to see in town.While waiting for him to show, I decided we should try to find a way into the middle of the action. It was only about a minute before Hope runs off in the middle of the crowd without telling me to try and find this guy she was planning to meet with.
Me not having a cell phone, completely lose her and go back to where we were to find her. After half an hour of walking around in circles through crowds looking for her, I eventually give up and go back home.
I call her as soon as I walk in to find out she is upset with me for going home, while I am simultaneously upset about her leaving me just for the possibility of meeting some other guy.
I thought I did the right thing by looking for her and then returning home to call her and try to regroup. This is one time I really wished I would have had a cell phone.
In any case, she comes home empty-handed as even her friend never showed.
Just to avoid a fight when she walks through the door, I go up to visit my upstairs neighbor and cool off, hoping she’ll do the same when she gets home.
I come back downstairs after half an hour to find nobody is home. I try calling her to no answer and eventually came to the conclusion she went back out (and probably with this guy).
So, I sit and do nothing for about an hour until a friend calls me asking to join him at a concert. Sure, why not, right?
Well, one too many drinks later, plus a couple of happy pills and I came home in a state I still don’t remember.
Yea, I was in the wrong for getting so messed up, but f*ck, I was upset too about the fiasco of the soiree.
A few days go by and I am ready to set things right, no more walking past each other like gunslingers in the apartment.
I set up candles, wine, massage oil, and a bunch of French and Romanian love music I’ve never heard of (but spent hours looking for and downloading all afternoon), plus a few of ‘our’ songs.
I was excited, I had also just bought a new couch that we had yet to make love on and was hoping to welcome it to the apartment properly.
She comes home and tells me she’s moving out, she had actually been planning it for a week already (before the culture capital incident) and was waiting to tell me until she was approved for the apartment.
Shock, Denial, Confusion.
It was still about a month before she actually moved out waiting to get approved for the apartment and then later just to have everything sorted.
To be honest, I really didn’t mind. At this point, I was in a way okay with everything.
I thought I was.
I told myself this was a long time coming and in the end it is for the best. For both of us.
I slept on the couch during this time, but for the most part we were both very civil about it, going about our days, still talking casually and living fairly harmoniously besides that bit of awkwardness that even the best actors couldn’t avoid.
I thought for sure when she finally left, I would spend a couple of weeks going out with the guys drinking and voilà I would be okay.
We obviously decided to be friends, it is something we both want. It is something we should have stayed as in the beginning.
We may have started as just lovers, but we found in the past two years that despite the culture difference, the age difference, and just other small differences, we actually were very much alike and seemed to have this mental connection that I don’t think I have ever shared with anybody else.
Unfortunately, as a couple we were just not meant to be.
Maybe we just met at the wrong time, or there are some other underlying issues that we had that kept us from reaching the full potential as a couple that we could have.
Self-saboteur, anyone? I will say this.
Hope was honest from the very beginning, she never wanted a relationship and despite her best efforts I eventually convinced her into one.
Even though she agreed to it, for what ever reason she did, I never quite felt like she let me all the way in.
This always got to me and led to me acting out in ways I have never acted before… ever. Which of course only gave her even more reason to keep her distance.
In any case, we tried to go straight into being friends, it was… difficult for me.
I thought it would be a natural transition, but I guess I was still in denial about the whole thing, because I just kept expecting her to come back home and stop playing this silly game.
Expecting to see her on the couch with the computer in lap when I walk through the door or wake up in our bed expecting her beside me. Thinking this whole thing was maybe just a setback, a struggle to build our relationship on truth and authenticity.
No more mask, false perfection. I didn’t know how to act.
How do you go on knowing the woman you love is just down the street and you can’t have her?
Drinking and drugs didn’t help, neither did emotionless sex.
My answer… writing.
Everything I wrote was either for her or about her. And so in a way, through my writing, I was with her.
Some of it I sent to her (regrettably), some of it I threw away, and some of it I have in a notepad that I may use for a laugh ten years from now.
After a month of being ‘just friends’ that occasionally still confirmed some sort of lingering feelings through physical affection, I was ready to get down on bended knee and beg her to come back.
That night, she was with somebody else. I will skip the embarrassing story on my part, but let’s just say I pushed her so far away she fell off the world… my world.
She decided it is best we do not speak for some time – a year to be exact.
Yeah, I f*cked up that badly.
She was definitely in the right for this, and I had been telling myself that entire month of ‘just being friends’ that I need to space myself from her in order to really let go, but I was weak, and in love, in other words, an idiot.
I suppose at least I can say, I did give the relationship all I had until the bitter end.
Are there things I could have done, that I should have done?
Maybe, but in the end, I doubt there is very little I could have done differently and have had a different result.
The fact is, I did then what I knew to do. Now, that I know better, I will do better.
It has been a month of no contact (besides a brief a phone call she gave me about mail at her old apartment where we used to live before moving into the apartment I live in now.)
I am much better now, and assuming she is not too upset about me writing all this, we will go back to being friends and at some point laugh about it.
Despite the difficult times throughout the relationship, I will definitely remember the good times.
I remember when I met her. Beautiful, mature, cool.
I was mesmerized and did my best not to show it. I knew I was falling in love early on, and knew she wasn’t.
To my credit, I did try to end things early. As did she.
Once I told her we should take space so she can get over her previous boyfriend, but a ‘late period scare’ brought us even closer together.
Later, she tried dumping me knowing I was getting too serious and she didn’t want that.
She sent me an email when I was gone one weekend with a friend to Lyon to say it was over, but when I got home and went to go see her in person about it, she admitted that she was so sure at that point it was what she wanted but having me in front of her, she changed her mind.
Things were easy for a while after that, I didn’t push the relationship issue and it was smooth sailing for a couple of months.
After about six months though, I knew I was in too deep and gave her the final ultimatum.
Why a man would force a woman into a relationship that doesn’t want one and she allows him to do as he pleases, while still getting time to spend with her would ruin such an opportunity.
F*ck if I know. Idiot Love thing again.
She did say okay to be a proper couple though. For the rest of the relationship I steadily let her more and more into who I was as a person and struggled to get closer to her.
I would write her poetry (albeit bad poetry), and she would just reply, ‘That’s nice’, then walk off.
At times, I definitely believed she confined herself too much by reason and logic, but that was not to say she didn’t love me at some point. She was never good at showing it, but there were times I knew.
It was always difficult for her to even say the words and when she did, it was almost like watching a child speak a foreign language. But knowing how difficult it was for her made it all the more sweet to hear.
The real memories I refuse to let go is how she would show it.
She is distant and a bit weird about affection, but sometimes it would overcome her like a teenage girl in love for the first time.
And that’s exactly how she acted. Cute, girly, bury her face in your neck and try to crawl in your lap.
And I loved it. I loved when she would let her guard down and be human.
It is not to say I didn’t have my doubts throughout the relationship, but there were times I knew I loved her.
The most recent, and the one that I believe made the break up the hardest was my trip to India.
In meditation, I finally let go of all the resentment I held for her and knew that she was somebody I wanted a future with, that she complimented me, somebody I wanted to work to be with.
She even said when I came back that she could see the change and was hopeful, happy even.
Unfortunately old habits die hard, and when your life is a pendulum swinging between boredom and fear, you are bound to trip up again.
And I did. And she left.
Other times when I could see the angel in her was when she was sleeping.
A night we slept out on the beach, we had an Apero earlier on, but we decided to make it all night.
I woke up in the middle of the night and just stared up appreciating the myriad of stars we were under, the sea’s dark horizon, the sand on my feet, and the pale surf crashing on the rocks then falling back into blackness.
Then turning to her, under that pink blanket, such beauty could house a goddess. Smoothing her tangled, brown hair and just thanking God for the world just as it was and no different, begging he would not tell me how the story ends.
I will hold on to these positives memories. And try not to relive them too much, as to not do too much damage to their origins.
Elementary school game. Say the word and pass it on.
Enough emotional mumbo jumbo, back to present day: I have been through ever emotion imaginable, some more often than others. Border-lining bipolar.
Over the past month I have had a lot of negative recurring images of her being with somebody else, dreams of a false hope for reunification, of being jealous of how easily she let go and moved on.
I have felt pain I have never felt before.
Ironically, comparing it to breaking my femur has been a useful tool to remind me that it will eventually go away.
Sure, you can’t even walk at first, but it gets easier with time. But to be careful, too much weight or a slight bump will send the pain screaming back with a vengeance.
I have let go now I believe.
It is not to say I no longer care for her. Only that I realize I can only control myself in this world (and barely at that) and nobody else.
I no longer let the past steal my present. I’m getting my shit together and going to spend a lot time on myself.
I need a break from women and relationships, I realize I have spent more time in one, than single during my 20s so far. That can’t be right…
In the end, it took a lot of time, a lot of digging deep, and a lot of getting perspective, respecting that she did what she thought was best for her and that my happiness is not dependent on her (or anybody else for that matter).
I can now officially let go of Hope with love and clear myself of these chains to the past and make way for a new future.
New career. New outlook. New Love.
An opportunity to completely rebuild myself from the rubble from the ground up.
Take care, Warren
I hope that you liked Warren’s story and audio message to you. Please share your opinion about it in the comment section below.