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Dear Joe,

I had a boyfriend for four and a half years and I decided to end it not because I didn't love him anymore but because I had to make a decision about my future. Our relationship has been through all kinds of weather and I can say that I've survived throughout the years. He quit school, he was a womanizer, a drinker and he even went into drugs but still I stood by him. I guess, I grew tired of waiting - waiting for him to change. I had wished that someone would come my way and save me from this man whom I could have no future with. Until one day, my prayers were answered.

I saw Rico at the hospital where I was working. We were both medical representatives from two different drug companies. I liked him immediately but that was all. I didn't expect for anything more than knowing him. I didn't know his name until my friend introduced me to him. We were not close but we would smile at each other and say hello every time our paths crossed. One day , we accidentally bumped into each other outside the doctor's clinic and we had the chance to talk. He said he resigned from his company. I was so disappointed for I know that I would never see him again. I remembered what my friend told me, not to let an opportunity pass. So when he invited me to come with him to the mall I accepted it. We went to see a movie even if I was still going steady with my boyfriend.

Valentine's day came fast approaching then and he invited me for a date. He asked me if my boyfriend still calls me and visits me and then I said " I thought you knew ?" We had a misunderstanding, Joe. I thought he knew that I still have a boyfriend but he thought we just broke up. I still accepted the invitation, Joe. I thought it will be a great opportunity for me to get to know him better. We went out on Valentines day and that's when I knew I was falling for him. I suddenly got the courage to end my relationship with my boyfriend. I thought to myself that I deserve someone better that I too have the right to be happy. He opened my eyes Joe. That I should give myself a chance to be with the right person. I believed I have found it in him.

I broke up with my boyfriend the next day. I felt relieved but I also felt sad that I had to let go of a relationship I have nurtured for four and a half years. I stayed strong because I had to make a decision and that decision was for the best. I worry a lot about what the future will hold for me. He cannot be the one who can fill my needs. I know he loves me so much and I share the same feelings with him but I knew that love alone cannot make you happy.

I gave Rico a chance. He eventually became my boyfriend. Months passed and we were happy together. Though we only see each other once or twice during the weekend because we both have work, my love for him grew with each passing day. I was so proud of him because he was doing well with his job. I felt so blessed to be his girlfriend. He was extremely the opposite of my ex. And that was what I wanted. I love him so much Joe. He became very busy with his work but I was very understanding. It was this kindness that led him to drift away from me. I wasn't aware that I was starting to lose him. He felt guilty that he cannot return my affection. He said he can't go on to see me hurting because he cannot fulfill his responsibilities as my boyfriend. He cannot balance his time between me, his family which is his very first priority and his work. He said he needed time to fix himself. Joe, I never demanded anything from him.

If his family is his priority for now I respect that because that is how it should be. I was trying to work things out with him by coming to a resolution where both of us can be happy without breaking up. I said I understand and that I am willing to sacrifice. But what is the use of trying to save our relationship when he is giving up and not wanting me to stay. He was feeling guilty that he was taking me for granted. He said his actions were unreasonable. It really hurts Joe that I was being forced to let him go even if I didn't want to. And the thought that maybe he doesn't love me anymore was too much for me to bear. He doesn't love me Joe and I felt it but I was too scared to admit it. He came to me Joe, and now he is asking me to leave him. What have I done wrong?

It's been two weeks now after the break up. He still calls me. At one phone call, he said that he misses me. Why is he pretending to still care for me Joe? Why can't he just tell me the truth that he doesn't feel the same anymore that's why he chose to let me go? Why is he giving me false hopes when I know that he is never coming back?

Joe, I feel I cannot love anymore. Not after two unsuccessful relationships. I have tried my best but it seems it wasn't enough. What's wrong with me? The only thing I did was love. Did I love too much? Was I too kind and understanding? Is that what made it all wrong? Is that what made him walk away?

Joe, until now I am still hoping that he would someday come back to me. He said he just needed time. "I do hope that that's just what he needs" and I hope he still loves me "even if I don't feel it". I just wish that deep down inside of him he still cares.



Dear Diane,

I'm afraid I do not hold all the answers to your questions. For Rico, some things may have been better left unsaid. Work and family have always been favorite excuses by men who want a clean way out of a relationship. But, more often than not, reasons more personal than these underlie such sudden closure from a relationship. They, however, are more painful to acknowledge so men find ways to cook up something more acceptable.

Rico sent you signals that quietly conveyed his intentions. You were just probably too blinded by your affection for him that you missed out on the tell-tale signs that he doesn't feel the same way for you anymore.

In all fairness, though, Rico probably haven't fallen totally out of love. Maybe he just needed to buy a little more time to sort out whatever it was that kept him from holding on. Remember, a man would not quit for no reason at all . There must be a valid discernment why Rico turned his back on you.

You could speculate, Diane, and make up as many excuses that may either satisfy or disappoint you but none of these would come as close to the truth that lies hidden in Rico's heart. Give him the benefit of the doubt . he could have been true to what he already said but, on the other hand, he could also be as true to what he didn't say. Whatever it was that he kept from you may have been better left unsaid.

Diane, be strong. Others have had more than two failed relationships but never gave up. Even if it didn't last as long as you wished, you should be thankful that you have experienced how it was to love and be loved.

If love is a blessing when it comes then, it should never be a curse but a lesson when it leaves. The pain of failed relationships must be the stronghold with which we build new ones and the tears that we have shed should cleanse our hearts from the bitterness that wraps our world in darkness.

Diane, there are times when we just have to stop wishing and start living. Rico may or may never come back, But, that shouldn't be important anymore. What matters is that you have learned to accept your fate and stop living in the shadow of his memories.

You have a life to live. Don't let it depend on someone who minds only his own. Remember, just as when God opens a window when he closes a door . our hearts will find a way out of its miseries when pain shuts it off from everything else. Don't pin your hopes on someone who doesn't love you anymore. Believe me, there will always be someone more deserving of your care and attention.

There will come a time when we will have to let go of something important to us. Remember a love given is not a love lost. It is when we want to take it back that we lose it forever. Diane, give yourself a chance and love will grow in your heart again. It may not be there forever but cherish it while it lasts and be thankful that even for a moment, you felt it's presence and made you happy.


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