Get Over Teen Soulmate
Q: I know that this is going to sound odd coming from a 19 year old, but I had a seven-year relationship with a girl that I thought was my soulmate. We met when I was 12 years old, and I loved her with everything that I was, and the big problem is that I still do. She broke up with me. Towards the end of the relationship she was starting to act weird, would come up with excuses not to see me, would say things to hurt me, and basically do some really mean things. I always tried to work out the problems; anything she came up with, I had a rebuttal. But like I said, she ended it. For the last two months, I have lost my job and I haven't had one night of peaceful sleep. Every night, I dream about her, about her leaving me, about all the good times we shared, and just seeing her beautiful face. In the mornings when I wake up, I don't want to get out of bed, but I don't want to go back to sleep either because I know that I'll be haunted by her face. I feel that my life is basically over.
Between my former job, and dedicating all of the other time I had to her, I've lost all of my friends. I am jobless, friendless, and alone. Please tell me what I should do. I am completely lost. -- John, 19
Dr. Susan: I hope there is a relative or some other adult you can trust to share your feelings with. A counselor from your high school, or a doctor or counselor at a free clinic? If you do only one small thing, find someone you can talk to about your swirling emotions. You're going through something very traumatic, and at your age, those feelings can lead you to do things you would regret terribly. I understand that you loved and still love this girl with all your heart and being, and that you are having enormous trouble letting go of her. Sometimes individuals depend so much on another person that their entire development just stops. Rather than learn who they really are, they take great comfort in having found this one other person to blend with. It feels great, while it lasts, but when it ends, it's utterly devastating. Of course, that's true of losing a love at any age, but when you're as young as you are, there are special dangers. Your perception of the entire world is all mingled with your relationship with her. For a while, it feels worse than losing a mother, a twin, or half of yourself. I hope you will be strong enough to make a few baby steps to reach out and make contact. You are NOT as alone as you feel right now, and all is not as dark and hopeless as it seems. Search your local phone book for community resources, a real human being to talk to.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.