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I rarely feel a special connection

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  April 14, 2011 08:30 AM

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A note from yesterday's letter writer: "I can't even begin to express how your advice and the words of your readers have uplifted me today. I am seriously in awe at the kindness and compassion of strangers right now."

I'm in awe of us, too. As usual.


Q: Dear Meredith,

I've read your column for the past few years. For the most part, the LW's problems seem to have had common sense solutions. It's funny how those common sense solutions seem to go out the window when you are the one stuck in the middle of a problem.

Who I am: 25-year-old female, college graduate, extremely active, and changing careers. There isn't much I haven't tried when it comes to activities (still haven't bungee jumped or scuba dived). Overall life is GREAT.

However, I feel like I've done something wrong -- or am not doing something right -- in the relationship department. I dated guys often in high school and college, typically for only two months. I have never cheated or been cheated on but my longest relationship to date is only nine months, and while it was with a guy I saw myself marrying, most of our time together was long distance. We ended our relationship three years ago but are friends and talk every so often. No, I would never get back with him. He wanted me back a month after we broke up but I had met someone else, a girl. She and I only lasted two months because I was moving.

Over the past three years I've managed to casually date women and have had the opportunity to enter into relationships but it never felt right so I declined. My main dilemma is that only about four times have I felt that indescribable "connection" to someone. But when that has happened, dating never lasted more than a month and the other girl always ended it. This happened to me very recently and I'm more than bummed. I'm at the point where I am happy with who I am, what I'm doing, and where I am heading in life. I've reached a point where my friends and family aren't enough. I want someone special. That unspeakable special connection so rarely happens for me that I'm losing hope and patience. How does everyone else seem to fall in love more easily than I do? Am I broken? I'm guessing writers are going to suggest therapy.

– Losing Hope But Not Giving Up, Southern Mass


A: My guess, LHBNGU, is that no one's going to suggest therapy. Because here are the important stats:

Number of times you've dated someone you thought you might marry: 1

Number of times you've felt an indescribable romantic connection with another human: 4

Number of years you've been alive: 25

You put it best: There's an easy, common sense solution to most problems, and your solution is to be patient. Your stats make you pretty normal, even if the people around you are falling in love more frequently. Whether you date men or women, you can't change 25. At 25, you're in the thick of the first wave of people finding life mates. That can make a single person feel pretty insecure. But eventually you realize that there's a second wave. And a third wave. And a fourth. Some people ride more than one wave.

So keep dating. And find some single friends who make you feel normal. And (drum roll please ... this is a first) don't run to a therapist. Just go be 25 and date pretty girls or boys until one doesn't want to let go. You're just bummed because of your most recent breakup. It'll get better.

Readers? Any advice for this 25-year-old? Does the gender of the letter writer -- or her dates -- matter? Is her old ex relevant? Is this recent breakup the real problem? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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.

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