3aib! And The City.

An everyday girl who happens to be a psychologist

Ask 3aib: Hard to Find Love Again

15th August 2016 - 5 mins read

Age: 22

Gender: Male

Message: I’ve been having this problem for a couple of years and it’s now changing the way I think and decide:

Had a girlfriend since I was 15. We grew up together in the same school. We were pure and cared about each other more than ourselves. She was perfect in everything. She sacrificed a lot for me. She forgave me when I made my stupid teenage boy mistakes. We had the best memories. So intimate. When I graduated I chose medicine and to study locally and not to travel abroad so we have close contact. Everything was fine until 2 years later in university when her mother told her we won’t accept his family, because of different social class or the famous stupid phrase “mo mnmuwa5eethna”. I was middle class, she belongs to the high-class society. So she decided best is to break up cause there’s no way were getting married. She got married 3 months afterwards and now she has a baby. I find it difficult to love another woman because I always knew I had the best version of a significant other. Few girls are fine, good looking, and have nice personalities that tell me they want to engage in a relationship with me but I know for sure I’m not able to love. I tried once and it failed miserably. 

Don’t get me wrong I love medicine, but now I believe I would’ve chosen something else and went abroad. 

Dear Male, 22,  

First of all, thank you so much for sharing your story, it resonated with me for a few hours before I could sit down and write you back. The truth is, the Middle Eastern region is very prone to these type of stories because appearances and standards are what rule the perception of what is acceptable. We could discuss the root problems of that school of thought forever but it will not lead to anything that could possibly console your heart. 

Psychologists often make the experience that breakups/divorce rank second to death in terms of pain, distress, fear, and many more emotions. The number of people who seek a counsellor for the first time in their lives because of the ending of a relationship is remarkable. While I would never compare it with the feeling of losing someone through death, what one goes through after a break up shows a lot of similarities. There are hopelessness and anger, grief and fear and so much more. If the relationship lasted a couple of years and/or started at a very young age - like in your case - the break up will ultimately change your life. Often you not only lose your lover but also your best friend. A person you shared hopes, dreams and growing up with. 

In your case, a sensation of powerlessness and helplessness adds to it. You did not lose her for something you caused but rather for something you seemingly are. The perceived society class you belong to determined the future of your relationship. 

While it is unfair to judge a story one-sided, we need to acknowledge that this must have caused alot of justified anger and sadness in you. We are a not asked where and when we are born, and how much money we have in our bank accounts when we do, nor who our parents are. They did not judge you for the person you are but rather for all the things you had no say in. 

From the little you have shared I can say, it is not easy to study medicine. The degree comes with a lot of sacrifices. It is definitely one of the harder studies of our world and comes with great responsibility regardless of the reasons of why you started medicine. It says a lot about your character and what you are trying to accomplish for yourself. You are actively working on improving your life. If someone cannot appreciate that then there is seriously something wrong. Above all, studying medicine was a way of staying closer to her which is an indicator of what a loving person you are. 

At first, we might believe that the parents caused the falling out and also persuaded her into marrying someone else shortly after the break-up. However, there are a few things I would like to highlight a) it does not sound like she really fought for you and b) accepting that parents might be against a partner is one thing, marrying just a few months after the break up is a whole new twist to the story. 

Why am I saying that? - Your inability to fall in love again stems from the fact that you are still glorifying and idealising her and your time with her. Leaving out the fact that she is the one who left you, will not help you. I am aware that forced marriages happen in our region; however, for the sake of your story line that does not really suit someone who was able to be in a relationship for two years, we will pretend that was not the case. She must have had some sort of freedom to be able to live that lifestyle. Forced marriages often show other circumstances beforehand. 

Now how can that statement help you? - There comes a time when you need to accept that the relationship ended. You might think you already did but the pain is still lingering and making it hard for you move on with your life. Turning a page is not easy as acceptance is the most painful and longest stage in the healing process. But acceptance is what will rebuild a new base for you to start a new chapter in your life. For that I suggest, you start being angry at her, not her parents. You can say: whatever her reasons were,  she let me down . And that is your reality because you are the one left alone. You could not rely on her when you most needed it. Understand what really happened without making excuses for her. She was not able to stand up for you and she went ahead and married someone else. That was a very poor decision of her. 

It will take you a while but you will realise that bit by bit you will feel better about it. Scars will remain but you will be able to live with them without blocking out the pain. Once your desire to have a loyal companion that goes with you through the storms of life, reoccurs, you will be open to finding someone new - that I can almost promise. 

As for your decision to not study abroad. That decision is unfortunately done but I suggest, see where life takes you. Finish your degree and explore possibilities for you, it is never too late to reverse old decisions by making new ones. The future can look bright ahead if you accept what you have now and you decide every day to make the best of it. Take one day at a time. 

I really hoped that helped.

Yours, 

Me