It’s been just under a year since Tom Cruise’s divorce from Katie Holmes. But while he has kept busy with work, nothing has yet extinguished the torch he still carries for her.

“He knows he will never have her back,” a friend of Katie tells Closer, “but he does miss what they once had — and what might have been, raising their daughter together.”

Tom, 53, was famously married twice, to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, before he and Katie tied the knot in 2006. But the Dawson’s Creek star, 35, was the one who truly stole his heart, especially after Suri, now 8, came into their lives.

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Tom with daughter Suri in 2012

“He’d never been so in love,” a friend says. “And it was multiplied to the tenth power by Suri.”

Still, he’s not giving up hope of meeting his soul mate. “Tom is very much interested in finding a true love,” a friend says. “He likes being romantic and doing all the great romantic gestures.”

Tom’s had a few dates, and “friendly flirtations” with fellow Scientologists Laura Prepon (which his rep denies) and Elisabeth Moss, but, the friend notes, “he’s not interested in going from girl to girl, and he’s told friends who try a fix-up to not bother unless it’s someone he could get serious about.”

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When he does find love again, Tom won’t wear his heart on his sleeve like he did with Katie.

“He knows he made it hard for the public to swallow and be happy for him when he started dating Katie,” a friend says. “And yes, he does regret the couch-jumping on Oprah to proclaim his love.”