At first, they will convince you that they are over her. She broke his heart, shattered it into a million little pieces, and he can’t forgive her for it. So you will convince yourself that he cannot still be in love with someone who hurt him like that. You know that you are better for him, and he knows that you are better for him. So you dive into each other, each of you hoping that this new relationship will help him forget about her.
You will have fun together. You will go on dates and laugh and meet his friends and he’ll meet yours and you’ll get drunk and you’ll think that maybe, just maybe, this could work out the way you want it to. But the only time he’ll get even close to opening up to you is when he is drunk or high, and even then, he only lets you in the slightest bit.
You begin to want more. You knew you would have to wait for him to come around, but months have passed and everything is still superficial; something is just missing. You long to heal his broken heart. You thought he would be ready to move on by now, but he’s just not. The rare times her name comes up in conversation, you see the brief pang of pain flutter in his eyes. His hurt hurts you. What hurts even more is knowing that he wants to be over her just as badly as you do, but something keeps him holding on. Perhaps there was no closure; perhaps he is waiting for her to come crawling back to him; perhaps it is just his pride that keeps him from going back to her. You are just the placeholder until he decides what he wants to do.
His emotional distance makes you dig your heels in even harder as you resist the fact that this man is so close to being yours—that if you had met at a different time or place or universe, things may have been different. All you want to be is enough, but you will never be enough because you will never be her. And no matter how good of a person you are, or how compatible you are, or how well you treat him or how much you make him laugh, he will never love you the way he loves her.
So, after what feels like a lifetime of stubborn attempts to try and win over this man’s heart, you will finally begin to accept the truth: he is still in love with his ex, and you can’t change that. It will hurt. You will kick yourself a thousand times for trying to mend his broken heart, for getting involved with him when you should have known better.
Maybe he will get back together with her one day and they will live happily ever after, or maybe he will move on from her on his own terms in a few weeks, or months, or years… and maybe then you will get a second chance with him when the timing is finally right.
As they say, the two things you need for love are chemistry and timing. But timing is a bitch.