I know there's no such thing as closure, but updates are always nice.
I was going to post updates and a letter, but I don't want to give you too much homework. These updates are more than 2,000 words on their own. And a few of them call for feedback.
Update #1, from the woman considering the Texas hook-up.
After you ran my letter, I tried to answer your question. Why was I intent on going to Texas to sleep with a friend whom I found to be, well, unattractive? The first answer that popped into my head was, "Because I can." That gave me some pause, and so I started thinking about whether going through with it was a smart decision. I got in touch with Mike and let him know that I was having second thoughts about going down for the purpose of hooking up, and that I'd be happy to get a hotel if that made him uncomfortable. He insisted that it wasn't a problem, that we were both adults and capable of hanging out in a no-pressure situation, and I shouldn't worry anymore about it.
I will tell you now this wasn't the case.
When I arrived, we went out to eat at a crappy cafeteria-style restaurant and rented some lame movies. He promptly put the moves on me upon return to his apartment. Honestly, loneliness, a desire for physicality, and some (unhealthy) thoughts of revenge allowed poor judgment to reign supreme, and I allowed the hookup to happen. We didn't sleep together, and the next day we went out and tooled around the city. That night when he tried to kiss me, I stopped him and gently explained that I wanted no part of hooking up again. There weren't any sparks. There were no feelings of guilt, remorse, regret, weirdness, etc.; it just wasn't for me.
Although he had been wonderfully understanding and mature on the phone about all of this, saying over and over that neither of us should feel pressure to do anything we didn't want to, in person he was not. He basically gave me the cold shoulder and silent treatment for the rest of the visit. I tried to engage him in conversation and suggested we do some activities together. I even introduced him to my other friends who lived in the area. Nothing worked. I asked him point-blank if he was uncomfortable with the situation as it stood, and I told him again I was happy to get a hotel if he was. He denied anything was wrong.
While seeing Mike wasn't as fun as I hoped it would be, it led to a great thing; I moved back to Texas, and I'm very happy. I realized during my visit how much I missed living here. Seeing my old friends, participating in my old hobbies, getting away from the weather in the Northeast -- these things were enough to spur my move.
A few of your readers wanted to know why on earth I picked Christmas day to fly and visit; didn't I have any family with whom to spend the holiday? No. Actually, I am estranged from my entire family, so I'm generally "free" to do my own thing on holidays. I'm also at an age where my closest friends are still going home to their parents' homes, and I don't like being the odd woman out.
And for the final part of the update, I've let my ex back into my life. After a month of him apologizing and asking for another chance, I've given it to him. I'm enjoying the relationship right now for what it is. I'm going to be taking a job with the government in about six months that will eventually take me overseas for about 70 percent of my career, and I couldn't be happier. This means an eventual end to my relationship, as I don't want to do international long distance, but I take comfort in the fact that it will be on my terms. As for things in Texas, the weather is beautiful, I've got great friends, I've got activities scheduled for almost every day of the week, and I'm employed.
Things are going A-OK.
Update #2 is from a reader whose boyfriend thought Rhode Island was very far away.
The job opportunity in Rhode Island fell through, but a similar job has come up. In fact, I have two job opportunities, both incredible, and I will have to make a choice soon.
My boyfriend and I broke up in March. He failed the birthday test. He was in Europe and didn't even call me on my birthday, making an excuse that he didn't have a phone (apparently he didn't plan ahead and didn't purchase an international calling card before the trip) and called me a couple days later and didn't even apologize for it. When he came home, he didn't attempt to make it up to me. He handed me a gift using that as a way to avoid the argument. It seemed like a cop-out and a couple weeks later I told him that I felt he wasn't putting in any effort with me and I was convinced he didn't like me at all in a way more than a friend. I also told him I felt I was paying for all of the ex-wife's mistakes as his guard was never fully let down. He had a night to think about if there was any truth to what I said, and he agreed with me -- he did cop-out, and we broke up. I felt used in a lot of ways, but I know I'm better off. One of the reader's comments said that I seemed like a great girlfriend and my patience and understanding was astounding and my ex had no return of that respect.
I wrote an email and he responded where he semi-apologized and wished me luck in my career. I responded saying that if he ever intends to date again, he really needs to have his heart open. I was ready to make him my everything and he wouldn't even let himself make me a "something."
So yes, I am single again and I always look as any relationship as an opportunity to learn. I did like his laid back nature, but he never would take full blame for anything and often told me that I had to deal with his ways. Being that closed minded and unwilling to change or see another's viewpoint is something I know now that I will never compromise with. Every girl has a check-list and one thing I refuse to uncheck is romance and an open-mind.
I hope I can find a guy who sees me as amazing rather than cool. A guy who feels blessed that I'm his girl, not a guy who refuses to profess that I am his girl. Through the whole experience with Love Letters, your readers got me to "value" myself more and see that I do really deserve better. For that, I'm sincerely thankful. Getting another's viewpoint (560+ viewpoints) helped a lot and knowing there was justification to be upset and I wasn't "just being a stupid girl" about all this, made me feel better.
If I ever have any other relationship problems, I know where to turn.
Update #3 is from the woman who was out of practice.
Thanks for the words of encouragement, I took most of your advice to heart and wanted to share what I have learned in the last six months. (Thanks for the info. on "Grooming Got Big" ... lots has changed in 30 years).
On the bright side, I did use an online dating site to meet eligible men and I certainly got a crash course in dating in this millennium. I found that I really needed to "know my audience" when I communicated with a potential date i.e. sharing too much of myself too early in the conversation, misreading their message and ascribing different intentions that are really there in their messages, etc. This led to some serious miscommunication and disappointment however I am a quick study and began to realize that I needed to hold my cards closer in this poker game of social dating.
I wasn't quite prepared for the initial dating experiences, but then again how does one prepare for something like that? My first date was with a seemingly nice, educated man who literally gave me the once over and within about eight seconds decided there was no chemistry and checked out. What a long disappointing cup of coffee that was! Other first dates included a "horn dog" who texted me after our first date making reference to sex acts he wondered if I was interested in, as well as a date with a guy that decided he wasn't ready to jump back into the dating scene yet (luckily we have become friends and enjoy spending platonic time together).
I also learned that by pursuing things I am interested in and challenging myself to try out new adventures. I have had a good deal of fun and have met some interesting people.
Probably the most important advice which you gave me and I have taken to heart is that my friends and family are my soul mates and through relationship with them I can continue to find much happiness and reason to be grateful.
Update #4 is from the woman who wasn't feeling at home.
Just wanted to give you a late update on me and my boyfriend's living situation. Not so surprisingly, your readers were right! Well, for the most part. There were a lot of naysayers commenting that my best bet was to just get out due to the fact that my boyfriend and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together, but luckily, they were wrong. I took the advice of some of your more optimistic readers and talked to him about the fact that I was still living out of boxes. I told him that I understood that we don't have a lot of time together and therefore don't really feel like spending the time we do have cleaning and unpacking and organizing. I asked him if he would be offended if I were to start shuffling things around to make equal room for myself. So with his blessing, I started moving myself in, sorting through his things (while not getting rid of anything, merely sorting it out into keep, maybe keep, and no-way-will-I share-my-space-with-this-stuff.) Now I have my space ... well ... our space and it’s great. Feeling at home in what was once my boyfriend's bachelor pad is a great way to feel. Now that I'm unpacked and all of our belongings have merged together, we feel more compatible than ever. We are still working on it and we are taking our vacations together this year, a good majority of it will be spent doing apartment improvements (painting, refurnishing, reorganizing) all to make it more OUR space than HIS. Thank you to you and your readers for making me realize I was really the cause of the problem by not telling him how I felt, and now I feel completely at home.
Update #5 is from a writer who was sad.
After the break up and the back and forth of talking/no talking drama, I basically told my ex that I would be moving on with my life and if he wanted to be a part of it (as a friend) it would be up to him to make that happen. I had done the majority of the work in the relationship (a big reason why it didn't work out) and I was done being the only one putting anything in and feeling bad about it. We went a few months without really talking intentionally (we would run into each other occasionally)--I started dating, moving on with my life and feeling good about it. I was starting to think I'd never hear from my ex, but recently while I was out of town he e-mailed me and asked if I'd like to get together. It took me a few days to respond since I was away and I could tell that it made him uneasy. I imagine it was the first time he realized I may have actually moved on without him. Anyway, I'll be seeing him next week for the first time in awhile. That's all I got!
Our last update is a little note from Wednesday's letter writer, who was quite negative.
Yes, we are gay males, to set the record straight. And the letter was written rather hastily in a fit of anger, which I am sure caused a great deal of confusion. If there's one thing I've learned from Alice -- don't drink and type.
There are many wonderful attributes about him (his dry sense of humor, his amazing culinary skills, his active lifestyle, and drive for adventure, etc), but if there's one thing I've learned from your answer and the comments ... I've focused too much on the negatives. I haven't just let myself be happy in a long time because I've been trying to "fix everything." Lesson learned, my friends ... lesson learned.
So ... thoughts? Advice? What do we think of our friend who messed with Texas? Why did Cold Shouldered and Confused's ex resurface? What do we think of Wednesday's letter writer's list of his partner's positive attributes? Thoughts on these updates?
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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.