I went to a lovely wedding in Philadelphia over the weekend. The most amusing part about it was that the DJ kept playing Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam's "Head to Toe" over and over and no one knew why.
Guess the song of the day.
Q: Hi Meredith,
I've been with my girlfriend for about seven years. We've talked about marriage and everything. We started dating in high school and spent so much time together that we kind of lost touch with friends. At the time, that seemed OK. We went to the same college, which is when I realized I wanted to connect with my friends again. This is where I think things started to go wrong.
I was spending more time with friends and less time with her, which started fights and temporary break-ups. I made mistakes but rationalized them because we were young. After college we moved in together, which started off great. But we fell into this routine, and we started hanging out with our friends more again and spending less time with each other. A year ago, we both questioned if we were still in love. A few months back, we agreed to move into separate apartments with friends. She moved in with a coworker, and I moved in with strangers from Craigslist, which couldn't have worked out better because my new roommates are great people. She said this move would put perspective on our relationship, make us appreciate our time together more, and not take each other for granted anymore. I agreed.
After the move, things got progressively worse. Not with me, but with her. She stopped calling me and paying any attention to our relationship. She told me she hasn't been happy for a while, mostly because of my actions and her distrust in me (which I understand). She wanted to take a break/break-up. I agree, I was unhappy at times, I questioned if I was truly in love with her. I haven't been the best person.
The time spent away from her since the move has given me perspective on my life and what I truly want. I no longer question if I'm in love with her. I've fallen head over heels for her … again! But she doesn't feel the same. She feels stressed, guilty, and sad for doing this to me. I don't want to pressure her into getting back with me because she feels guilty -- that's not right. She says she still loves me a lot, she says she can still see her self marrying me in the future, but she's not certain. I've been pouring my heart out to her, hoping something will click. And I feel like its just making things worse.
I've been finding ways to be happy, but those feelings are only temporary. I think about her constantly. I still have so much to say to her, I still have so much left in me to give to her. What should I do? She says she needs time, which I agree with. However, she thinks it's not a good idea to even talk. She is completely cutting me out of her life because she's confused. How does a person fall back in love with someone when they’re not around?
I know I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I'm ready to share the rest of my life with her. Should I keep fighting for her or give her all the space she needs? Maybe she just isn't in love at all anymore but can't admit it? I don't want to be the person saying that she's the one that "got away." Should I go for broke?
– Falling to pieces, Brookline
A: What does "going for broke" entail, FTP? It sounds destructive to me. She knows how you feel. You've spelled it out. It's time to stay away.
I know you're falling to pieces, but I'm not convinced that your discomfort means that you're supposed to get back together with this woman. You say that you've fallen head over heels "again!" -- but why? How? What changed besides her bailing on you?
My advice is to take a deep breath, hang out with those new roomies, and wallow when you're feeling sad. Accept that you're supposed to be miserable for a bit. I'm also advising you to admit that there's more to this wave of emotion than regret and desire. There's also confusion. Fear of being single. Fear of loss. Wanting what you can't have. Nostalgia. Sadness about the end of childhood. It's more than just a need to have her by your side.
Please take this time-out and use it wisely. You don't want to return to the relationship you had, which made it impossible for you to balance a life outside of her. Create the life you want -- with friends, hobbies, etc., and then see if she even fits into that equation.
I know it's difficult, but try to tame these feelings of urgency. It's best to make big life decisions about break-ups and love when you're not falling to pieces.
Readers? Does he actually want her back? Has she moved on? What can he do? Should he do anything? Discuss.
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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.