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Sometimes, you reach your hand into the bag of possible soul mates and you come out with a stinker.
BY sarah jaffe
Have a question for Miss Information? Send it to email@example.com. Submissions may be edited.
Dear Miss Information,
I’ve spent the past few years in love with someone who I have dated and then been the other man to while he was dating someone else long-term. Now he’s newly single again, but has already told me that despite my being his ideal man, he knows he can’t commit to one dude for the rest of his life. We have an undeniable connection and love – even my best friend, who can’t stand the guy when he joins me at group events, admits he and I are kind of soul mates. I won’t ever get this person, but we are too good to give up. Do I wait around and spend time with him until he nuts up and commits to me, or do I walk away from this intense connection? What the fuck do I do?
—He’s Really Got a Hold on Me
Dear Really Held,
Sometimes, you reach your hand into the bag of possible soul mates and you come out with a stinker. I don’t buy into the idea of everybody having just one possible lurrrve match and then dying alone if they don’t find them. It’s all bumping into the right person at the right time, and this can happen any number of times. What I’m saying here is this: I don’t doubt that you love him, and that he has many lovable qualities. But it sounds like loving this guy is shitty and painful, and you should probably find a way to yank yourself out of his orbit. Except you don’t want to, because when things are good they are just so damn good, am I right? Until, of course, the cold light of day, when you wake up alone and smitten and sick, and wishing you’d never met him at all. I believe this is what Leonard Cohen was describing when he referred to love as “a cold and broken hallelujah”. That song is really sad, no matter who’s covering it and nobody plays it at their wedding. You know why? Because this kind of love does not end well.
It seems like you know what you need to do (“I won’t ever get this person”), and just need to be told: you won’t ever get this person. If he’s made it clear that he can’t give you what you need, then it doesn’t matter how much he makes you laugh or reads your mind. Fold up your feelings for this guy, seal them with a kiss, and put them in a drawer to look back on later. You can’t have him, and you can’t change his mind, or you would have already. Even if you’re his dream man, even if he claims to adore you beyond measure, even if his love is written in neon when you stare into his eyes: he can’t be with you. He’s telling you his truth, and you have to take him at his word. When people really want something or someone as much as you deserve to be wanted, they find a way to make it happen. Walk away, dear reader. It won’t be fun to say goodbye, and it won’t be easy. But you will learn a lot. And it will make you stronger. There are better soul mates out there. Hopefully ones your friends like, and who won’t deny themselves their dream match.
Image via Flickr.