QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER:
I had and still have feelings for one man, but he secretly got married this year. I fear that is now the end, and I’m afraid to let him go. In him, I had found my best friend, and now I feel alone, lost and confused not knowing where I stand. Can you help me?
"Secretly got married," you say. Does that mean he tried to keep it a secret from you, or from everyone? I’m going to put this piece aside because I don’t think it matters as it pertains to you. Other than to say if you seriously referred to him as your "best friend," you’re delusional. In most cases, you confide in your best friend. You’re honest with your best friend. Your best friend doesn’t go and run off to secretly marry someone without telling you. I say in "most cases" because once upon a time ago, I was that someone who ran off and secretly got married, without telling my friends or family, but that’s an entire book of crazy. So I’m going to be as gentle as I can with this: you sound like a crazy.
I know what I should say here. We all have that gut instinct advice, where we dole out the textbook answers, reminding you that he made his choice, and you were not it. I could then highlight the fact that you use the words "fear" and "afraid" when facing the realization that you have to let him go, as if he were ever yours to hold. Then I could emphasize that you know exactly where you stand: on the sidelines, out of the picture. If I were to give you the textbook advice, I’d tell you that you’re wasting your time, and every time you pine over him you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. You’re pouring energy into a situation you have no say in, and for what? For someone who didn’t even choose you. You say you’re "afraid to let him go" as if he were ever yours to hold, but the question you should be asking yourself is "What am I afraid of?" You say you feel alone, but he wasn’t ever yours. You were alone the whole time.
Thats the rational textbook advice, to get the fuck over it, you’ve been knee-deep in a fantasy of a relationship. But from me, from the deepest, most childlike place I can find in me, all I can say is that I’m sorry. I know what it’s like to miss, to ache, to want something you can’t have. To regret. To wish you could take things back and do them over. I know what it’s like to hope that there’s a future, to hold onto the idea of "us" when you maybe never really were. I know what it’s like to still dream about him, to want to see him, even though you know nothing can happen. I know what it is to get all strung out crazy over a guy. The fact is, we don’t know what the future holds. I can’t tell you not to hope or hold your breath. But what I can say is that all the hoping and breath holding won’t change your reality now. So whatever the future has in store, it’ll be there. In the meanwhile, you’ve got to face today and live it like there’s no tomorrow.
GOT QUESTIONS? NEED ADVICE?
If you have questions or need advice on anything from where to eat to how to get over the bastard, just email your question to my advice email address.