Q: Hi Meredith,
I've recently found myself in an unusual situation, by my standards. About five months ago, I got out of a very messy relationship that had been on and off for a couple of years. Usually the "off" periods would be punctuated by the realization that my boyfriend had either been cheating on me, or lying to me about something important. Our breakups would last anywhere from two weeks to two months. I've since gotten over this relationship, and I'm actually feeling a lot stronger and healthier as a person than I have in a very, very long time.
But, over the past week or so, I've found myself thinking about a different guy that I dated during one of my off periods with my ex-boyfriend. The relationship with the guy took place over a year ago and only lasted about a month. While there had been a spark when he and I first met, when we tried to pursue something, the chemistry just didn't ignite. I can't say why I've been thinking about him, but I feel that there must be some connection between the breakup with my long-term boyfriend and my sudden renewed interest in the other guy. Can you explain what the connection might be, or why you think I would be suddenly thinking of the short-term boyfriend from last year?
– Blue Forgetmenot, California
A: You're thinking about him because he had potential – potential that you didn't see because you were blinded by your ex. Now that the blinders are off, BF, you're wondering about missed opportunities.
Contact the guy. Tell him that you weren't emotionally present last year because you were still tied up with someone else. Tell him that you'd like to have dinner (assuming he's single) to see how you feel about each other.
He might say no – and chances are, he's dating someone else. But it's worth a try.
The explanation is simple. Once we're really over an ex, we have major FOMO about all the people we ignored along the way. This guy is one of those people. You dated him, but not really.
Readers? Is the LW thinking about the guy because there was real potential? Or is the LW just lonely and recycling? If you were the guy, would you want to hear from the LW? Help somebody in California.
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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.