My sweet, BEAUTIFUL, strong, independent friend...
Please stop beating yourself up. Please stop telling yourself that you're not over him. Please stop telling yourself you'll never move on because you compare everyone to him.
It's been a very long time now and you say you're finally ready.
I believe you were ready the first time you walked out his door.
I understand that you're still getting over it. Believe me, I get it. And I know that you hang on by talking to him and being with him when you can... You say you KNOW that isn't healthy behavior if you indeed want to move on. So you question yourself. You fight with yourself. You ask, "Am I really moving on?"
There is a reason you left him. There is a reason you hang up the phone in frustration when you talk to him. There is a reason your voice and your entire body changes when you talk to him. You are OVER IT.
You are disappointed. You are angry at him. Yet, you claim you are not letting go because you can't imagine a life without him.
Let me tell you what I notice:
You have him in your heart. Yes indeed. You always will. I get this. It is okay.
He let you down. In so many ways. You are still angry at him.
You are deeply disappointed in the amount of time you gave him and the future that you didn't get. I understand that you imagined your life differently than where you are right now. It was an investment that didn't pay off.
It is not HIM that you are not letting go of. It is the pain, the anger, the feeling of unworthiness. You are giving all of your energy away to something that no longer exists.
Why could he not choose a path that includes you? Why must he beg, plead, cry and act as if he would change the world for you but he couldn't give up the one single thing that pried you two apart? Weren't you worth it?
You are afraid to put your hope in someone else. What if THEY let you down as well? You loved so much about him but you're personifying all of those lovely qualities as if HE is the only man on the planet who has them. If someone just like him came into your life, you would pick them apart, from where you stand now. You wouldn't see the good qualities but every single painful reminder of why you left him in the first place.
STOP WISHING HE WOULD CHANGE.
If you indeed wish to be with him, accept him and the life you had together. Go back to the life that you claim made you miserable and find happiness there. You said he made you feel safe. You say you miss the safety.
Take all of the traits and qualities that you loved about him and put them on a blank slate. Stop saying HE was like this and I loved this about HIM. Instead, give yourself a blank page with these great qualities and allow someone else to not only meet those qualities, but to also fill in the gaps with new and wonderful traits that you never expected. You want to feel safe? Then ALLOW yourself to be vulnerable to someone new. How will you ever give someone a chance to surprise you if you turn your face away from everyone who isn't him?
It isn't him you haven't let go of. You are holding on to a thin cloud of who you thought he'd be. You are in mourning of a life that never came to be. You are wondering how anyone will ever love you and give you what you need since he didn't. You feel as if he failed you and you are now SCARED OUT OF YOUR MIND.
The way that you see him, he does nothing more than confirm, over and over again, an untrue core belief: That you are not worthy of being loved.
Let's try something else. The next time someone new wants to get to know you, do not pick him apart. Rather, when your mind begins with "Well this one's not HIM" or "What if this one lets me down as well", allow your heart to remind you that you are only frightened. Breathe into the fear. Nurture and give YOURSELF safety. When you realize that YOU have to power to give yourself security, then it will be easier to be vulnerable because you know you will always recover. In being vulnerable, you are taking a chance, yes. But that chance could lead to a greater feeling of safety than you ever had with him.
The love and the safety comes from you, starts from you, and reflects in your life.
Now look again at the person standing right in front of you. Is there anything there that makes you smile?
Start with that. Love yourself. Understand your fear. Take back your energy from expecting the worst or expecting the impossible from him. Hope for better. Then take a leap of faith that what you ask for is, quite possibly, right in front of you. If you'd only recognize what you saw...
I love you.
You will make someone, one day, an extremely lucky man.