In this counseling answer:
“Get occupied. See if he comes back. A lot of times they do, but they take a long, long time. He needs to think about what he wants. Who knows what might happen IF you give him the space that he needs to get in touch with what he needs on a soul level. If that is you, he will be back. If that is not you, then although you are deeply disappointed now, you will be OK. It is better that you are not together. One thing I find interesting is when a man does feel a woman in his soul, he rarely goes away for too long.”
As-Salam ‘Alaykum dear sister,
Thank you for trusting us in addressing your concern.
You are experiencing a depth of feelings that you likely have not experienced before. All of your desire to be match with a life partner, and all your vulnerability, hopes, dreams, and the way you imagined a life with a man were triggered by your experience with this man.
I don’t know how long you were with this man, or how well you knew him, or what experiences you actually shared with him were. If you did not really know him very well, and you did not have many life experiences with him, then you are likely grieving the loss of what you were holding on to in your imagination about what would transpire. You are deeply disappointed.
If, however, you spend a few years or even a few months with this man and you developed an attachment to him, then you are likely missing him in addition to feeling deeply disappointed that you do not have a future planned with this man. I first want to acknowledge these very real feelings that you are having.
Once you take your focus off of what you do not have in your life and explore what you do have, everything else in your life will shift also. When you open yourself up to the abundance of life, life will give you more. With that said, this man that you are hurting over right now might even call you again. Remember, women are often way ahead of the man, picturing a whole life with him including marriage, the place we are going to live, the division of responsibilities, and the children, While the man is still asking himself if he is feeling safe and comfortable with the woman!
The way to circumvent this common problem and to save yourself a lot of grief is to continue with your own personal life goals and refuse to focus on any man. That means ANY MAN until his focus is so much on you that he is not only perusing you, but he is serious, sincerely proposing to you and asking you to please give him your answer and a date for marriage. He initiates talking about mutual life goals and your future together.
Until a man is expressing his interest at this level, he is still just contemplating and trying to see what he wants, and how he feels. He needs space to figure this out. A man does not necessarily want to marry the woman who gives him the endorphin high making him feel like he is walking on air. In fact, that is just a sexual feeling and many men feel that way about a lot of women. It’s called lust. So they realize that it is just sexual.
Women, on the other hand, do not feel this sexual attraction as often, likely because of a biological need for selecting the “right” man to bear children with. Men are biologically wired to not be quite as selective – just pollinate! Now, this is just the biological level and men, since they have souls, need spiritual substance; a man has even a stronger need to be with a woman whom he feels emotionally connected to and safe with.
No woman has any power or control over when/if a man can feel safe and emotionally with her. To try and figure out how to get a man to do this or feel that will only push a man further away. He has good instincts and he knows that he cannot be emotionally safe with a woman who is trying to control him – especially how he feels! What you can do is to learn who you are as a woman, and be the pious and feminine women that you are, and be there for him when he does call. It is not about you; it’s about being there.
Most men will tell you that they do not know why they feel the emotional connection they feel. It isn’t anything the woman does. It just is, and a man’s soul is hungry for this connection. When a man feels this connection, he will peruse the woman until she marries him. This is love.
Given this natural order of things, a woman often mistakes biological endorphic attraction (sexual) attraction to be love. The reason is because if she is unaware that this is a biological phenomenon, and her body believes (she unconsciously believes) that the male biological being in front of her will give her healthy and strong children, then the sexual desire (that she mistakes for soul connection) will trigger all the emotional longing and need that the woman has and she will feel like she is in love.
I meet so many young women who have not been taught about this, and they get very hurt. They will engage with the man who does not love her, or who does not know if she is the one, and get her hopes up that her emotional needs will be met by this man who may not be able to meet her needs.
Yet, if you understand a woman’s true nature, it is to RECEIVE and RESPOND. If you want true love, then you must not fill up your time and days receiving false hope and false starts. Rather wait until a man is ready, willing, able, and wants to GIVE his love to you. When that happens, he will make it clear. Then you receive by accepting his marriage proposal. Until then, if you want marriage, then make yourself available for marriage, but not for anything less than what you really want to receive. Do you want to receive protection, provision, companionship, etc? Once you receive them, you will naturally give back.
With that said, don’t limit your options to just one suitor. Keep yourself pure and chaste. You don’t “belong” to any man until his heart “belongs” to you. Don’t have sex outside of marriage because you will become attached and your emotional needs will become triggered and you will be at risk of becoming “addicted” to a man who is not good for you, does not love you, and will never marry you. But do meet several good men, of good character, who have intelligence and some life goals with a plan for how they intend to care for their wife and family once they find the right life partner.
Stay available until the right man not only peruses you but proposes a real-life plan that includes real marriage (not the play pretend stuff that seems to be so prevalent nowadays). If you move forward with this attitude, you will set the stage not only to meet a good marriage and life partner but for a good marriage.
For now, you need immediate emotional emergency first aid and to get your focus shifted as soon as possible! Call three women friends and tell them that you need an emotional first aid support system. You need to have a couple of people who are OK with you calling them when you get the urge to call this guy whom you are hooked on – because you don’t call him no matter what! If you have truly done something hurtful and requires an honest apology and you authentically want forgiveness for what you did, with NO stringings attached, you can write that in a letter and make amends. But leave all relationship ideas out of the letter.
If, and only if, he has already made it clear to you that he loves you and wants you to be his wife, and what you did made him feel deceived, or betrayed, then you can let him know your heart feelings – and that you miss him tremendously – if that fits your situation. But if you have not really developed a real relationship with him… just apologize.
Now, try to remember what activities you were engaged in before you met this guy. Get active. Go for walks, listen to Quran and nasheeds, meet up with your friends, have lunch with your mother. Do three nice things for three different family members. Take out your calendar and mark an activity that you can engage in every single day for the next 30 days. For example: Day one, organize your closet; Day Two Call your mother; Day three meet up with your friend that you have been neglecting for the last three months; Day four make a list of life goals; Day five, get started on that book that you have been wanting to read; Day six start an exercise routine, etc.
Get occupied. See if he comes back. A lot of times they do, but they take a long, long time. He needs to think about what he wants. Who knows what might happen IF you give him the space that he needs to get in touch with what he needs on a soul level. If that is you, he will be back. If that is not you, then although you are deeply disappointed now, you will be OK. It is better that you are not together. One thing I find interesting is when a man does feel a woman in his soul, he rarely goes away for too long.
You mentioned shame. What is the shame? There is no time or room for shame. If you made mistakes, learn from them and move on. If you made the mistake of confusing lust with love, learn and move on. A sin is simply an act that causes destruction – whether out of ignorance or consciously.
Shame and guilt feelings are good when they wake us up. They are messengers that there is something wrong. But once we identify what is wrong, and/or what behaviors we need to change to live a better, happier, and healthier life, we don’t need shame or guilt. We can let them go; they served their purpose. Say thank you for the wakeup call and get on with the work of living.
Prayer is either for the purpose of worshiping and that result is becoming aware of the joy of knowing what an amazing Creator we have and serve. Or it is for the purpose of connection so that we can become who we are created to be and fulfill our given natural destiny. Or it is to receive guidance so that we can proceed in a manner that will bring us closer to Allah and help us to become better people and live better lives and to be more effective in our life work. Sometimes we also beseech Allah to give us what we believe we need in order to fulfill His will for us, be it sustenance, provision, emotional calm, spiritual enlightenment, or else. Do not let anything stop you from prayer or become a barrier to Allah. Pray!
Do not even entertain the idea of spending the time that Allah has given to you to use wisely on a man who does not recognize and honor this worth. If he does not recognize and honor your worth, then he may not be worthy of you. Consider who you are, where you are being guided to go in life, and what kind of companion you really want to attract into your life as a partner. Pray about these things.
I hope this helps and please stay in touch.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.