I can see how this could sound like a downer, but hear me out. Your boyfriend (or ex, or girlfriend) is not special. We can learn a lot about why and how we love by looking at the endings of relationships. Think about what you miss about an old guy/gal if they left you or about what you would miss about one that you are with now if they were no longer around. Get in it…sink in it. Feel all sad. No one is stopping you.  Now, come up with a list of five short answers to the following: NOPE, I'M NOT IMPRESSED. BUT TRY ME...WHY IS HE SUCH A BIG DEAL?

Now, I can’t predict exactly what you’re going to come up with but it may be something like the following:

He is/ was someone

  • to talk to at the end of a hard day (supports me no matter what)
  • to lay on the couch with (feel connected)
  • who thinks everything I do is cute  (unconditional love, affection)
  • will help me if I need help (dependable)
  • to try new things with (keeps me from feeling lonely)


Go back to lets say….two boyfriends/girlfriends before that one. Same deal. You really liked/loved them and missed several things. Think of what they were. What I’m trying to get at here is that no matter who you are with, if you are at a certain level of love (strong feelings, whatever), there are JUST A FEW OF THE SAME EXACT THINGS that make you feel that you really want to be with them, and don’t want to be without them.  I call these PRIMARY COMMON FACTORS of relationships. They are the things that make us stick around with someone and make us hate thought of letting someone go.


No, my boyfriend is totally special! He’s different. He talks about history and politics and we have these deep philosophical conversations and we try new things…it’s all VERY specific. True, it’s great that you have these shared moments. These special details are actually things that help you reach the feeling states of the common factors (those original 5 things.) Having great intellectual banter or sharing musical interests (what I call SECONDARY COMMON FACTORs of a relationships) for example draws you into a person and provides you with a pathway to experience the thing you are seeking (i.e., affection, unconditional love, support). The underlining theme that keeps you with him or makes you miss him…well, it’s the same darn primary common factors that will come up in every pseudo normal relationship.


The whole point of this is not to make you think that your boyfriend isn’t worth anything. I actually believe that he, like all humans is pretty special in some way. So this is GOOD news! Just know that if you are missing someone or are afraid of losing someone it’s about missing (or fear of losing) the PRIMARY COMMON FACTORS in a relationship à  Something that is NOT unique to that person. Something that will absolutely come to you again, the next time you fall in love. I think that’s actually pretty reassuring and pretty freaking wonderful.