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LOVE LETTERS

Can this infatuation be saved?

She’s — hopelessly — crazy in love, but he doesn’t feel the same

By Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / May 7, 2011

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Q. I’m in love — hopelessly in love. Certain people have even thrown out the term “obsessed.’’ I’m reasonably certain the man (we’ll call him Adam) loves me, too. I just don’t think he knows how to express it. Or maybe he’s afraid of being vulnerable? I don’t know. Here’s the back story:

We met almost a year and a half ago. It was instant chemistry — love at first sight for me. We consummated our attraction that very night. I know what you’re thinking, but we couldn’t help ourselves! Our love and affection and friendship grew.

But he would never call me his girlfriend. In fact, he flat out told me that he didn’t want to be in a relationship with me. And I know he was also seeing a few other girls. He’d see me every week, hang out, laugh, and confide in me. Isn’t that a relationship? He said it wasn’t. But why else would he keep coming back to me? I say it’s love. I’ve been in love before. I was even engaged once (it didn’t end well, but I’ve learned how to cope with disappointment). Adam and I are both in our early 30s. We should be able to settle down together.

Sadly, he entered into a relationship last summer, and it broke my heart. I tried to be OK with it, but I just couldn’t take it. I eventually found my own distraction, a nice single dad I met online, but he was just . . . blah. He was no Adam. And I eventually ended that relationship.

But then you know what? Adam broke up with his girlfriend, too. I couldn’t believe the timing! We soon found each other, and it was like we’d never left. I thought for sure it was meant to be this time.

And then I learned he started dating a new girl. And he really liked her. And I was cast back aside. Just like that.

Present day: I don’t know what to do. We end up running into each other a lot, given that we share the same social circle. This also means that I have to see him with the new girl. I’ve enlisted my friends to give the girl the cold shoulder, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect (in the past, I’d even had my friends help indicate to newcomers that I had dibs on Adam, but that didn’t work out too well either).

How do I get him to admit that clearly I’m the one he’s supposed to be with? It seems so obvious to me.

CHASING ADAM, Somerville

A. I don’t want you chasing anyone. Chases are exhausting. There is no need to work so hard to mark territory that isn’t yours.

Do I think Adam loves you? Not like you love him. He certainly doesn’t give you a whole lot of respect. He likes you enough to spend time with you, but he wants to settle down with someone else. I’m not convinced at all that he’ll eventually wind up in your arms. He’s treating you like a placeholder.

You must start looking for someone new who is proud to call you his partner. The begin nings of relationships do often involve chasing, wooing, convincing, and wondering, but it’s supposed to get a bit easier once the relationship gets going. This guy has been fighting you from the start. His actions and words indicate that he’s not yours. I want you to find someone who is.

Your homework is to stand in front of a mirror before bed every night and say, “Adam is not mine. I don’t have dibs.’’ Because he isn’t — and you don’t. Go out and find something better. And tell your friends that you want their help.

MEREDITH

READERS RESPOND:

You say “I don’t know what to do’’? Well, here’s what you do: Stay away from Adam, don’t date him, and don’t obsess over him. Don’t imagine a relationship where there is none. Get a reality check from probably everyone who knows you and move on. HMSBS

You have a problem, but Adam isn’t it. Find a therapist, and figure out who you are and why you want to stay in a toxic relationship. Also find a new social circle. People who know you probably think you are a whack job. It’s time for a fresh start. ORCHIDKITTY

While this letter sounds fake, I somehow don’t think it is. This level of crazy is more than possible. Letter writer, he does not love you. What you thought was love at first sight was no more than lust, which explained why the two of you went tumbling into bed together the first night you met. You’re too old to be acting like this. Please get your head on straight and forget this guy. He only wants you for sex.

REDWOLF68

Is this a joke? Are you playing us? You’ve enlisted your friends to give Adam’s girlfriend the cold shoulder and you’re in your early 30s? Where’s your pride? You’re making an absolute fool out of yourself. You are in love with someone who does not reciprocate that love. Sounds like he likes you as a friend only. My advice is to leave him and his present and future girlfriends alone. Move on. MALLOOW

HE’S. JUST. NOT. THAT. IN. TO. YOU! NATURALGINGER

You are not in your early 30s. You are in middle school.

JEEPERS-CRIPES

I’m not about to call this girl psychotic or a stalker. Yes, obsessed. Entirely too obsessed. But I am a girl who traveled all the way to Manhattan Beach to see if I could “run’’ into Christian Bale in the 1990s. I can’t judge. Here’s how I see it: You want to obsess about this guy. Continue, but do it in a way in which you get the good end of the deal. Work out, learn to rock climb, go to graduate school, learn to play the guitar, try trapeze, go to Europe, practice yoga. Do everything you possibly can to make yourself completely, utterly, knock-out gorgeous, irresistible to Adam. Get him back. And dump him. SALLY

Edited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com. She chats online Wednesday at 1 p.m.