How to overcome the "love that never was," which can be a very potent fantasy.
Dear Dr. Romance,
I have read some of your articles and am very impressed. I am about to write about something that will probably be one of the most bizarre cases you have ever heard. About 12 years ago, I felt a strong attraction towards a girl who was in my high school. We both were in our junior year. It was instantaneous. I think she felt the exact same way towards me.
Due to everyday friction with my father, I was extremely bitter and angry during that time and there was no way for me to release my feelings. I was very tense about my studies and wanted to make sure that I get in my desired college. I was also very shy back then.
Therefore, I was extremely frustrated most of the time at school and I completely ignored her. I was too fearful and did not have the courage to approach her and let her know how much I was attracted to her. I could not even return any of her smiles. I was very hateful and barely smiled at anyone. She took it very personally. I was able to get the admission at my desired college which relieved me.
About a month before the end of high school, I decided to approach after the school and ask her if she can spare some time to talk with me at the local library. It was completely out of the blue and she was visibly surprised.
She asked me the reason and I told her that I want to talk to her about something important. She angrily walked away saying she is busy. We went to the same college, however we had different majors and the college was very big. We ran into each other about 4 or 5 times during the four years of college. I was really hoping she would come to me and ask what it is that I wanted to say after school that day. She never did.
Since we were in the same college, we could also have emailed each other. It sadly didn't happen. Because of my good looks, I was seemingly able to attract many girls in college; I am not sure if that played a role in me not approaching her. When I graduated, I had to move to a different state after college for my job.
I've thought about her off and on ever since and wondered what I should do. I found out through facebook recently that she had gotten married. All the feelings I had for her came rushing back and I began to vividly recall her every facial expression back in high school. I compare most of the girls I meet to her, and I just can't get her out of my head. So I am wondering if there is anyway that I can get over this?
I always seem to want to know if she ever thinks about me or feels anything for me anymore. I don't know why I feel this way about her after so many years. We nevertalked to each other (except for that very brief conversation after school). I have no doubt in my mind that she was intensely attracted to me and was very interested in me during high school. Since she is married now, I am not sure if it a good idea to tell her my feelings about her. It will remove a huge load off my chest, but I am not sure if it means anything.
I really wish I could go back in time and fix this.
No, it's not the most bizarre thing I ever heard, by a long shot. It sounds like you were a very self-involved young man, narcissistic and anxious about succeeding at college. So, yes, it was mostly your fault. She may very well have been interested back then, but few women will put up with such rejection and not lose their positive feelings. Now you are left with the "love that never was" which can be a very potent fantasy. Since you made most of it up in fantasy, based on a few ambiguous clues, you never had to deal with her as a real, human, and therefore probably disappointing person. Part of the difference between romance and real love is going through that period where we break through our romantic fog and begin to see the other person as they really are, and we ourselves are revealed to be a fallible human, also.
You never got past the fantasy stage with her, so she seems more wonderful than any real-life woman. I think you need to mourn the loss of this impossible dream, so you can move on to a real-life relationship. Try using the exercise "How to Write a Love Letter" at my website, which will help you release your feelings and move on. Then read the article "Surviving Loss and Thriving Again," which will help you understand your grief. When you've done that, there are many morearticles about finding a relationship that will work. The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again will help you move forward.
This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.