Love of my life doesn’t remember me

Two years ago I met the most amazing man and haven’t been able to get him off my mind. He was everything a woman dreams of - cool, kind, gentle, generous and as dishy as a dish of top quality chocolates.

I was 26 at the time, and since that magical month in my life, which meant the world and more to me, I haven’t been able to settle down with anyone. I just have him on my mind all the time.

I wake in the night imagining that his breath is on my cheek again and his body is curled into mine. No one would imagine this of me. Everyone thinks I’m hard-nosed because I’ve got a tough job in a man’s world and I’m right at the top of it. Also, not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve not been touched with the ugly stick, I dress to kill, and earn a high five-figure salary.

This man was the first who ever got under my skin, and there haven’t been any since, although there’ve been plenty of takers. What happened to him? He disappeared, almost overnight, no warning, no forwarding address, no e-mails, no mobile, just blank air space. I must have cried for two months, solid, in private.

I knew I’d meant the world to him, at least he’d told me that, and I believed him. Then, a week ago, I found him again, in a restaurant, with a woman a lot older. I was with friends.

I said nothing, he didn’t notice me, but I couldn’t eat. When his lady companion left the table I raced over to him, almost in tears of happiness and asked where he’d been. He looked at me genuinely puzzled, and said, ‘Sorry, do I know you?’ I was stunned. I ran to the Ladies, and there was the woman he was sitting with.

I spoke to her and said I’d seen them together, and how was he and when had he come back to the UK because I thought he must have emigrated. I was shocked when she said, ‘He never left.’ I then had to go into some rambling story of how I thought I’d recognised him but was probably wrong, and was this man’s name X?

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She said that yes it was, and she was his mother, and that if I’d known him before what she called ‘the incident’ she’d be very happy to talk to me. I gave her my details, and she called me.

It turns out that he’d had an ‘accident’ she called it, where he’d burnt or destroyed everything he had and then just disappeared. He’d had on and off mental health problems all his life. The police finally tracked her, but there was no record of anyone else he knew. So he’s in a mental health unit, being cared for, and she was amazed at what I told her about our relationship.

He’s clearly wiped me out of his brain. I don’t know what to do. Do I link up with him again, try to make him remember who I am, and devote my life to the man I’ll never forget? Or do I just walk away, as this is a lost cause?

Barbara says: Sorry, as this is going to sound very harsh, but the walk option is the best. If you try to try to resurrect the relationship, it’s unlikely to happen. It’s been wiped out of his mind. You’ll end up being a needy hospital visitor who just puts further pressure on him to remember, and to try to live up to what you want him to do.

The time spent with you was clearly magic for both of you. But, sorry again, it’s over. Now you know what you value in a man, allow yourself to keep that in your store of memories. And keep looking for someone to love, again.