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Erin - I think everything you're feeling is normal and even natural. I went through something similar and I know how hard it can be. It takes time AND hard work and a desire to get past it, but you can if you want to.

In time you'll realize this guy wasn't right for you. Concentrate on you. Get back to you. Read a book you've always wanted to read but never had the time, treat yourself to a movie you've been wanting to see but haven't gotten around to it yet. This is a great time to explore new hobbies or interests or rekindle old ones. Through these hobbies you might even meet some new friends.

I know alone is hard, especially when it feels like it might always be that way. And truth be told, I can't really promise you it won't always be that way. But you can't let it define you. You can't walk around with a stamp on your forehead that says "Damaged Goods - Unlovable" Some people have one great love. Some people have several great loves. Some people have great love of another kind, other than romantic love is a significant other. I don't know which you'll have, but if you pursue your life with a positive attitude, make a point of being the best you that you know how to be, and live your life with passion and purpose and keep your heart open, what you were meant to have will come to you. I know I've said that a lot lately, and maybe I'm saying it to myself as much as anyone else here, but I really think it's true. Waht we end up with might not be what we started out wanting, but I believe that if we are good to ourselves and others, respect ourselves and the world around us we will have the live we were meant to have and we will find a way to be happy, or at least satisfied with it.
Thanks so much for your replies. I really appreciate it. Getting input and perspective really helps a lot. When P and I first broke up 2.5 years ago I did set out to make changes, to better myself. It was self preservation and staying busy. For a good six months I had to be busy all of the time or I would just ruminate, stress and be sad. Even when I was cognizant I was only making plans and doing things to pass the time, I worked to pass that time. I did everything you're supposed to do: I started therapy for the first time, moved into my own apartment, changed jobs for a better position, bought a new car, joined a book club, entered road races, took small vacations, learned to play golf. I spent time alone, with friends and eventually started dating. A year after I was in a good relationship with someone I really cared about and the thoughts of P faded a little. But as I mentioned, each time my then boyfriend and I would have a problem, I'd think back to P and how idyllic everything had been with him. When J and I ended things, I was sad, but knew I would never, could never be as broken and hurt as I was when P left me. It just is not physically or emotionally possible to go through something as difficult as it was for me to deal with. So while I mourned J and the end of the relationship I also was mourning P all over again. Two guys that didn't work out, two I had thought I'd have futures with, who told me they loved me, wanted to be with me, and then things changed. I can think of a million things that were wrong about me and J; we were so different. I can't think of really anything, any reason why P and I wouldn't work other than he wished simply not to be with me.

I am very much a detailed, proof first, by the book type of person. I can never fully grasp the things-will-happen-when-they-happen outlook. I wish I could be the girl who is filled with joy and contentment without a guy in her life. I envy that in others. But I'm not like that. I am content with my life in nearly every regard -- I have a great job, I have a graduate degree in my field (though not an MBA), I have good friends, nice things. But I feel 75% complete, 75% happy. I am independent and have decent self esteem, but I draw a lot of it from a relationship. And I don't feel whole without someone to love who loves me.
The main point is that I have spent too much time wishing I was living in the past. I am so afraid of being alone forever that I just focus on the past, on that time when I was happiest, with P. I do hope to have more love in my future, but what if I don't? I worry that six months or a year from now I'll be in the same place...lonely, waking up by myself each day, making plans, dating duds. It is so depressing to me to imagine that existence. Of course I compare myself to P's fiance. She is a great catch. And maybe I am too, but I know not in the same way she is. I am just so jealous that she gets him. And his family. And our friends. She's in the place I had, at his side at BBQs and dinner parties, doing the couple things. Our mutual friendships have faded, they're all 5-6 years older than me, married, with kids. When P and I were together I went to four sets of bridal showers, bachelorettes, weddings and baby showers. Seriously. We were the only unmarried couple in the group. And then it was over. I saw them every now and again, a few times for dinner, an email here or there. They got busy with their babies and families, maybe they felt more loyalty to P. I faded back. And I got sick of being the one always trying to make plans, to see them. It's been a year since I've seen them. They're not my friends anymore really. But she is in place now, he is part of a couple again, and she gets all of it -- my friends and him.

I know if I had someone in my life this would be an easier pill to swallow. I guess the issue is that I am doing everything you're supposed to do -- the counseling, the activities, the dating, all of it. I have been for 2.5 years. And the feelings are just still so raw and I still am not sure how to really move on from this. It's not a way to live but I really feel at a loss.

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