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What To Do When You Love Each Other but Can’t Be Together

Sophie Simons
December 7, 2023

While love is supposed to “conquer all,” that statement is simply untrue. Two people can be entirely consumed with what feels like an undying love for each other, but there are circumstances that are unconquerable, keeping them from being together and fulfilling the partnership.

These circumstances can range from anything as serious as marriage, differing beliefs or values, distinct life goals, or being separated by a distance with no possibility of that changing in the future. No one can genuinely live on merely the emotion; there’s much more involved with being in a loving relationship including spending time developing a connection and establishing a bond that will deepen over time. 

These come with being together. If things are making that impossible, whether physically or in overall mindset, love won’t be enough; heartbreak will be beyond either person’s control. When you recognize that the intended relationship meant to last forever won’t happen, each of you needs to find a way to come to terms with that realization and move forward separately.

That doesn’t mean you can’t keep this feeling in your heart for as long as you need to. Perhaps one day, you’ll find a way to make it work, or you’ll find love that is fulfilling on every level, and this will eventually fade.

What Should You Do When You Love Each Other But Can’t Be Together

Love implies an infinity that’s not always possible between two people. Many variables exist regardless of the attraction people find when they meet. You don’t know anything about the other person, nor do they know your details. The funny thing about love is that often, even when you do, you don’t care because the feeling is overpowering.

For instance, if the other person is married, you reason they must be unhappy; there has to be something tremendously wrong in the marriage or with the spouse for this person to be able to fall in love with someone else. This is the emotion of talking.

If you meet and have a whirlwind romance only to find out you live a considerable distance from each other, the mindset is that you’ll be able to make it work despite the fact there’s little likelihood for either of you changing locations. These are the feelings speaking.

Logic and reason go out the window when you’re in the euphoria of falling in love with someone with whom you believe you’ll spend the rest of your life, only to find that you might be threatened. Then there’s panic and a struggle to convince yourself and the other person that it will work despite the odds. 

Love is never the problem; being together is where the issues lie. What can you do to deal with the inevitable? Here are a few tips.

1. Try to understand why you can’t be together

Love can’t overcome all obstacles, as many people want to believe. Perhaps these barriers aren’t as difficult as you might believe if you were to take the time to fully understand what’s keeping the two of you apart. Instead of merely recognizing what they are, dissect them to try to find a genuine resolution. 

If family members are an issue, try to figure out what it is that they may not like; perhaps it’s a misunderstanding, or they haven’t taken the time to get to know who you are fully. You might present a particular image that goes against their cultural or religious beliefs without you understanding that.

Instead of guessing, reach out to the person you love to find out facts. If they want to be with you forever, they will help you figure out the issues. Despite things being complex, the effort will be worth it. Still, it’s vital to understand that with effort, you might find there’s nothing possible to fix the situation and allow peace of mind with that conclusion.

2. Look at your future 

You need to consider your future with or without each other and what will be good for you in the long term. While you want to hold on to what feels good in the present, you’ll need to decide if you can wait for a significant period of time. Will you be willing to bring this person into your life in a friend capacity? 

Would you prefer to have them removed entirely so you can grieve and heal properly? What’s better for each of you individually? One might feel a certain way while the other feels distinctly differently. It’s important that you communicate the healthiest way to move forward. 

One of the best ways to look at it is to think of the best version of yourself when this was and how you can accomplish this place again. Consider what that person’s opinion would be about your current situation and how they might handle things differently.

3. Release your emotions

Each of you will be in a constant flux of emotions, with one moment being a euphoria of happiness and love while the next is despair in not being able to share those feelings consistently. Many people tend to hold their feelings inside, which can be extremely debilitating. 

When you’re dealing with unrealistic expectations that you don’t fully understand or know how to handle, it can send you into an emotional rollercoaster. A priority is to not only face those feelings but release them so they become somewhat manageable. 

This will require a support system, perhaps a class or a workshop, maybe a professional counselor with whom you can vent the emotions and get these out of your system. This helps to clarify the duality of your circumstances and will allow you to come to a more straightforward resolution.

Final Thoughts

Love isn’t a problem, but it’s not an all-encompassing solution. There’s so much more that goes into a forever relationship. The twists and turns that complicate love determine whether you can be together. Some loves will allow it, and some won’t. 
How you handle a love that simply won’t allow you to be together will decide your path to self-growth and help you understand love in its entirety, intimacy, and what it means to you.

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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