Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
It is evident that this situation is causing you much pain. You were best friends with another man for many years but once your families found out about this you had to break off the friendship for now until your studies are complete. After which time you have promised yourselves to one another. However, the pain you face now is being without him in the meantime.
The first thing to un2here is that you have done the right thing in going your separate ways. A relationship like this with other than your spouse outside of marriage is not acceptable. As you have seen first hand such relationships can easily lead to the development of feelings beyond just friendship. It is such feelings that can quickly get out of hand and lead to sin. Therefore you have done the right thing in walking away ow before even bigger sins were committed etween you.
It is these strong feelings that you developed for him that has lead to the feelings of sadness that you are experiencing in his absence as you wish to be with hi again. Keeping this in mind you should realise that any du’as you make for you to get married to him will be tainted by the feelings that you have for him. Even if he is not meant for you and all the signs point to the same then you will be blind to them as a result of your feelings for him. You will not notice any signs that suggest that you should not proceed with marriage to him, or you will take those strong feelings you have as a sign that you should therefore leading you to distorted conclusions. For example, you say that he is a good man with good character and behaviour, but are your positive interpretations of him solely a result of your feelings for him which also mask that negatives too? It would normally be suggested to make istikhara on matters like this but it is likely that you correct feelings may distort any genuine conclusions.
A way to overcome this would be to introduce a third party. Someone to represent you and have your best interests at heart. Let that person analyse the situation with neutral eyes not being biased by their love or feelings for him.
If this person is also in agreement that this man is a good man and a suitable spouse for you then perhaps you might push for an earlier nikkah without having to wait until your studies are complete. Whilst it is desirable that they are complete first it is not necessary and if you are sure it’s the right thing to do on the advice of your loved one too then it is not necessary to wait to perform the nikkah. If he is the good man that you say he is then he certainly has the most desirabke characteristics of a spouse. If this is the route you take then do make sure to proceed with caution. The fact that you developed the feelings before hand and that your parents knew of this relationship may cause difficulties in your marriage such as a lack of trust between you due to having had a relationship with each other outside of marriage there may be fear that the other spouse could do the same again with someone else. The same feelings may be present in extended family members also.
May Allah guide you to. Make the best decision for yourself and that which is most pleasing to Him. May He grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.
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