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Should I see him again?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  December 11, 2009 02:31 AM

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My cousin in L.A. — my aunt's daughter — got so much out of your responses yesterday. Thank you for all of the thoughtful answers.

After reading some of your comments, she and I went to see "Fantastic Mr. Fox." I had no idea it would be such a Love Letters movie. Apparently, even foxes can mess up their marriages.

Today is about cutting ties. Please come up with clever responses so I have good reading on the journey home. As far as I know, there's internet on my flight.

Q: Two years ago, my ex-boyfriend and I broke up. We started dating when we were 16 and dated for 9 years. We attended separate colleges and managed to make it through all four years together. I then attended grad school and moved to Boston so we could be finally in the same city. I wanted to live with my sister for a year before we moved in together so that I could experience living on my own. We lived a block apart and everything was great. After that year passed, we went shopping for wedding rings and talked about moving in together, but he started becoming more and more distant the more I talked about it. Looking back on it, I was probably pushing him away by talking about it so much. I just didn't understand what he was waiting for. The more time that passed the more angry I got that he wasn't making any moves towards us moving in together or getting engaged. He finally had enough of the petty arguments I was picking and we broke up.

For the past two years, we've met up every two or three months and start hanging out again. Things will be great, but I always find myself in the same position waiting for him to decide when and if he's ready to move forward in the relationship. It leaves me feeling so insecure and confused as to what I mean to him and the situation repeats itself. I've had a few relationships since we broke up, but honestly, I still love my ex and want to be with him. We are supposed to meet up next week, and I just don't know if I can emotionally handle meeting up with him or cancelling. I don't want to pressure him about anything but find it hard to not act hurt and confused as to what's going on when we meet up. Yet, I don?t want to give up on the relationship. My friends would be upset if they knew I was even thinking about meeting with him as they've witnessed how upset the situation has made me the past few years. Should I go meet up with him? Or do people really not change?

– Confused in Cohasset

A: CIC, don't go — unless it's to say good-bye.

This isn't about whether he's capable of change — it's about the politics of this relationship. You've always been ready to make the big commitment. He hasn't, but he's not willing to lose you. I get that. He cares about you. But that's not the point anymore. He can't give you what you want and someone needs to set a boundary.

You have to assume that what he's offering now is all he'll ever be able to offer. I know it's easier said than done, but you have to explain what you want one last time (in person or by e-mail) and then walk away. Tell him that if he decides he can meet your needs, he knows where to find you. Make it clear that you can't do the wishy-washy thing anymore and that your relationship has become more about winning him over than love between two people. Because it has, hasn't it?

You managed to have a relationship or two during your off-time, which I find both puzzling and promising. Start thinking of yourself as a single person — because that's what you are. I believe in the whole set-things-free-and-see-if-they-come-back thing. If your guy does come back, great. If he doesn't, fine. At least it was on your terms and you took care of yourself.

Readers? Thoughts? Should the letter writer see this guy in person? Will he come around? Share.

– 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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