The first few dozen people who show up to tomorrow night's pre-party will get a free bag of stuff from Boston.com. You gotta love free bags of stuff.
Q: Dear Meredith,
First of all I just want to say I really wish I could be at the party on Friday because I would love to meet the LL community (and it’s also a city I love)! Hope you all have a lot of fun!
I'll get straight to the heart of the matter. "Alex" and I have been really good friends for over two years now. We met while in graduate school.
We got really close when we both spent the summer of 2008 in DC. We did a lot of stuff together at the beginning of the summer and hung out every weekend. Later in the summer, he got with his old college friend but didn't tell me until the summer was over. After that summer I was a little hurt that he ditched me, but other things occupied my time and mind that following school year so I ignored it.
We were still close friends and it bothered me when he would talk about problems he would have with his girlfriend, but I listened and gave him advice. They broke it off January of last year and by that time I was really busy finishing up school and discovering my new love (Boston). I would say that Alex was my closest friend from school and we went on a lot of trips exploring MA together, but we were still just friends, though sometimes I wished we were more.
Fast forward to June, when I had finished school and was looking for jobs. I was over at Alex's place and out of nowhere he told me how he felt about me. I had feelings too and before I could think about it, I just told him how I felt and we started dating. We had a discussion about how it would be temporary since we didn't know how long I would still be in the city.
Neither of us are casual daters but I figured we might as well. I should've seen this coming but I didn't. I got a job across the country and I moved in October. Our relationship was going great except that I had moved so far away and we decided a long distance thing wouldn't work.
The problem is I miss him. It's been over 4 months and I miss him like crazy. We used to talk every week but it has usually been him calling me about a bad day. I don't like calling him because I know every time I hang up I start crying. My question is, should I stop being his friend because it hurts so much to even talk to him? Or is it unfair that I can't be mature enough to still be friends. We were really close before we got together. Is it possible to ever go back to that? Is there really any nice way to ignore someone or tell them you just can't be their friend anymore? I don't think we can get together because he'll be going overseas for a job soon and I'm not so sure he has the same strong feelings for me. I just can't be his friend anymore. It's hard because we were such good friends and it seems like the summer ruined it all.
– Just Can't Be Friends, CA
Thanks for the party wishes. We'll be thinking of you on Friday.
As for your problem, I'm not convinced that you're missing this guy like crazy for the reasons you think you are. Are you sure that this isn't about adjusting to a new place and missing Boston and grad school like crazy? You just made a big move. It's natural that you'd want to cling to what's familiar, including your best-friend-turned-almost-boyfriend. Consider that missing him means missing everything.
The friend thing is a real problem. Give yourself a break because it's not about maturity. You became romantic partners. It's impossible to go back to what you were. You need some space, and that's OK. Just explain to him that it has been too hard to let go and that you need a push. Even if he didn't feel as strongly about the summer, he should understand. You don't have to cut him off forever. You just need some time.
You broke up because of distance. That's the only reason. It's understandable that you can’t see him as just a friend. In reality, he’s more than that. He’s a friend with potential.
Also remember that it's easy to have a perfect summer love. But you're looking for something that can last all year. He's going overseas. He can't be more than a pen pal. Start getting to know your new home. Find some new friends who aren't going anywhere.
Readers? Should she cut him off? Can you go back to being friends? Is there potential for the future? Is this about missing him or missing everything? Share.
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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.