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Feeling the burn

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  November 30, 2009 09:25 AM

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Hope you had a very nice weekend. Sorry I'm late. Computers were down here. If you missed the last letter and the bartender update, they're here.
Let’s begin.

Q: Hi Meredith (and everyone else ;-),

I have an interesting situation. For a bit of background, I’m 28 and have been dating pretty steadily since I was 17, including one 7.5 year relationship that ended about a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve seen a few different guys. I don’t really have a hard time finding guys to date, but I don’t believe in leading guys on when I don’t see it going anywhere. I guess you could say I like the ‘spark.'

The first week of the football season, I threw a party. All of my friends, both girls and guys, are big fans. Usually when I throw parties, everyone is invited. One of my male friends brought his boss. When they walked through the door, it was like someone kicked me in the chest. I haven’t been that instantaneously attracted to someone ever. I literally made an excuse to walk away from the front door because I needed a moment to catch my breath. We spent the day pretending not to look at each other while not being able to take our eyes off one another. At about 6, he got a phone call. It became clear very quickly that he was expected somewhere else, and not single as I had hoped. (This is the point where I’m definitely not proud of my behavior.) He had taken the phone call in the bathroom, and I waited in the hallway for him to come out. We went into my bedroom, ostensibly so he could meet my dog. I looked at him and asked him what his situation was, and he said it was complicated, but asked for my phone number. We did kiss a couple of times (there was drinking, but it’s really no excuse).

He left shortly thereafter, and I got the story from his friend. He apparently had been in a 7 year relationship, left it to be with someone else, and then realized that was not what he wanted and moved back in with his old girlfriend. They are still together, but both of them realize that they’re not moving forward or getting married. And he hates her family.

He texted me 15 minutes after he left, and we texted each other for a week straight (not exactly the cleanest texts in the world either). The next weekend, he came on a scavenger hunt with my friends and me. The more time I spent with him, the more I felt the connection not just physically but emotionally. We skipped out on the end of the scavenger hunt and ended up back at my place. I don’t usually move so quickly, but I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the best sex I’ve ever had. We had both fallen in deeply, very quickly. We actually had a conversation about how we didn’t believe in soul mates, but we thought that we had found ours. Fast forward two months, and I hadn’t seen him nearly as much as I would have liked (but I knew he still wanted me). He told me that he was searching for apartments, but after a trip home to his family he seemed to be reconsidering his current relationship. I told him that I would support whatever he felt he needed to do, but I found myself completely unable to not want to be with him.

A month ago, I told him that I was going to disappear until he had his other situation figured out. After all, it had only been two months and if he came back, fabulous. If not, then I’m sure there’s someone better out there for me. There’s been no contact since – he didn’t even respond to that message. But I seem unable to let him go. I keep fighting with myself – do I go see him? Do I tell him I still want him? Or do I just chalk it up to a mishandled situation, and learn from it?

– Strangely Still Heartbroken, Brookline

A: SSH, there are certain people who give off a strange magnetic vibe. They’re exciting. They’re electric. They buzz.

Some of these electric people use their powers for good. Some don’t. Some don’t know what to do with their powers and wind up hurting people along the way. I’ve found that many of these electric people work in the entertainment industry. It seems to be a good fit. They don’t mind attention.

You met an electric, magnetic, buzzing person. Sadly, I’m not so sure he’s one of the best ones. He sounds confused and cowardly. To say he “mishandled” things … well, that’s being very nice.

But know this: The heartbreak you’ve described isn’t really heartbreak. It’s disappointment amplified by rejection. It’s the letdown that comes after you’ve been dropped by an electric person. Start defining it correctly and you’ll probably be able to get over it faster.

Keep reminding yourself that he was all buzz, no bite. I think that’s the lesson here – sparks aren’t enough on their own. Sometimes they’re just false advertising.

You sound pretty electric, yourself. You’re social and independent. You’re funny and passionate. Now you know that you should always use those powers wisely.

Readers? Is it her own fault that she got burned? Can these electric people ever sustain their spark? How can she get over this? Share here.


– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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