Q: Dear Mere,
I have been dating this guy -- let's call him Jake -- for about six years. We grew up in the same town, hung out with the same group of people, and we just clicked. Our relationship started off far from perfect. I cheated on him with my previous ex, who was my first love but also cheated on me. That one mistake has haunted me ever since.
Jake and I got past my cheat (or so I thought) and started off fresh. I was loyal, honest, I spoiled him, and went above and beyond to prove to him that it was a mistake and that I would never put him through that again. For a long time, things were going awesome but I learned the hard way that the sun has to set at some point. Jake started to become this whole different person. He wanted to hide me from the world and have me when it was convenient for him. Before I knew it, I had given up everything -- my friends, my social life, my time, everything for this kid who couldn't possibly still love me. He would break up with me repeatedly and I would apologize for doing nothing.
After a while our relationship became nothing. I gradually started going out again and experiencing life. One night at a party I took a leap and started talking to his other guy, Ray. I found him so attractive. We started a text relationship after the party which later led to meeting up, first kiss, the whole nine.
For once I wasn't crying myself to sleep. I was smiling again. But like I said, the sun always sets at some point and Jake got wind of this "new guy" and all of a sudden demanded answers. Jake admitted to his mistakes and was all of a sudden saying things I always dreamed he would say.
Jake and I are now back together. We encounter rough patches here and there but our relationship has dramatically improved. I smile, laugh, and can honestly say I am happy. But here's where the mixed feelings take place. Ray and I ended on a civil note. I apologized for rushing things with him. But I find myself constantly thinking about him and regretting my decision to go back to Jake even though I am happy. I just feel like sooner or later, the sun is going to set for Jake and I again and it's killing me waiting for that day. Did I make the wrong decision?
– stuck between two, south boston
A: I don't know if you picked the wrong guy, SBT. If you had stayed with Ray, maybe he would have turned into a jerk, bored you, or moved away. I have no idea. But I understand why you're having second thoughts about Jake. You know how bad it can get with him. Ray never wronged you.
The trick is to trust yourself. You picked Jake because you needed to know if it could be good again. And that's that. If "the sun sets" on the two of you this time around, you'll be able to walk away with your questions answered. And you certainly won't stick around if it starts to get bad again. You've learned that lesson.
If you had written this letter when you were deciding between the two guys I might have had a different answer for you. But you've chosen. And at the moment, you're in a relationship that makes you smile. Get off the what-if hamster wheel and enjoy it.
Readers? Should she drop Jake? How can she forget about Ray? Did she make a mistake? Help.
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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.