It's been 20 years since my gf and I broke up. My love hasn't faded. She has a mono life with her wife and is very happy and secure in it.
A couple of years ago I contacted her, because not having her in my life has never stopped hurting.
What makes it possible for us to communicate is my acceptance. It does take a little mental gymnastics if you arent there-to get mind and actions in alignment. But it can be done.
What I do is love HER.
THat means loving her where SHE wants to be (not with me), loving her doing what she wants to do (again not with me).
It means not asking her for more than she can give. In this case, thats a few texts every few months and a written reply to any letter I mail.
Loving her means helping to promote whatever it is that makes her life wonderful TO HER and whatever little things she asks of me that help her be the best version of herself.
It does not mean asking her for the relationship I want. Because I already know its not what sshe wants (loving myself means getting my relationship needs met from someone who DOES want that type of relationship).
It does not mean telling her "i love you" frequently-that makes her uncomfortable. I can think it but BEING loving to her means keeping the thought to myself.
It does mean asking (sincerely) after the welfare of her family and pointedly and purposefully NOT creating havoc in her current relationships.
It means not getting all up in arms if I dont hear from her for a few months-but still sending a "Hope your bday is fantastic" message through the silence.
Bottomline, it meant reminding myself, daily for many years, until it became habit, that loving her meant giving her what she needed (which was distance and space from me with no requests for more in return that what I would deem an acquaintanceship).
In no way does this mean being a doormat. I have romantic needs, but she can't meet them. She doesn't try to act like what she gives me should fulfil the role of a life partner. She acknowledges that it is nothing of the sort and she fully expects me to get my needs taken care of. She asks after my life partners with care and concern.
Sometimes a specific type of relationship would be unhealthy to one or more people because of their differences. Thats ok. If you love them, you foster them finding the life that is healthy FOR THEM. You don't try to alter them into being in that type of relationship with you.
I wish you great luck. My life regained a beautiful North star when she and I began communicating again. Its been wonderful to get to know her again-as the person she is today. I would die for her, and she knows it. Though she can't fully understand it. But she appreciates that I don't have expectations of her based on the fact that I love her so deeply.
"Love As Thou Wilt"