Can we really be just friends?

I'm having a very hard time letting go of a boyfriend of a little over a year. It was the first "adult" relationship I've ever had. For the last couple of weeks he was distant, inattentive and annoyed with me. When we finally sat down to talk about it, he told me that he loved me but was not "in love" with me. I don't understand what that means. After a lot of crying, on both our parts, we decided to split. He still wants to be my friend. He says that was the most important part of our relationship. He still calls me and wants to talk like we always have. I let him because I miss him so much. Just to hear his voice gets me through the day. But I'm left feeling empty because it's not enough for me. He's getting what he wants -- a friend. I'm left hurt and empty. I don't know what to do. -- D

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Sherry Amatenstein

Sherry is the author of The Q&A Dating Book and Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. She has taught dating seminars, appeared as an expert... Read more

Dear D:

You're absolutely right: He's getting what he wants while you're getting raked over the coals. Yes, it's hard to let go of someone you're in love with. But as you're finding, it's ultimately harder NOT to let go when that love isn't reciprocated.

Tell him that if he cares for you as much as he says he does, he'll stop calling you and realize that you can't talk like you always have. Explain to him that the only way you'll get over him as a lover is if he's no longer in your life as a friend, for any contact serves as a bruisingly painful reminder of the past. If he does continue calling, don't speak to him, or hang up. He'll get the message and you'll get the space you need to heal.

Best of luck, and know that you can always call on your fellow iVillage sisters to help you get you through the days and nights.

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