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My ex won't acknowledge me

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 1, 2011 08:30 AM

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I'm giving away two sets of tickets to the Friday night performances of "Mortified". I'll be reading at the event -- from a journal I kept for a few weeks when I was 6. If you want the free tickets, e-mail me at meregoldstein at gmail dot com with "MORTIFIED" in the subject line. Tell me why you want the tickets and who you'll bring to the show. I'll pick two winners and e-mail them by 6 p.m. today.

And we'll chat at 1.


Q: “Jeff" and I were together for two years. Although we had arguments, we shared a very deep love for one another.

However, toward the end of our relationship, we began arguing more regularly. The stress of work, roommate issues, etc., began taking its toll on us. Jeff ended the relationship despite the fact that I wanted to give it another shot.

Flash forward months later. Jeff is in a new, committed relationship and I'm still on the dating scene. I miss him. I miss him a lot. And although I have done the whole "keep yourself busy" breakup routine, I always seem to revert back to thinking of Jeff.

It doesn't help that I see him quite often. We live near each other and frequent the same bars and restaurants. We agreed at the end of our relationship to be friends, but every time we have seen one another, he has acted like a complete stranger. He has gone well out of his way to avoid me in any situation.

What's strange is I don't know why he is acting this way. I've been respectful of his new relationship. I never call or text him. I have sent the occasional e-mail when I heard through friends he had been promoted, or a note wishing him a happy birthday, but nothing serious. Just a quick, "Hope you're well" and that's all.

The reason I am writing is because in the time we have been apart, he has done nothing of the sort for me. Yes, I realize he has a new girlfriend, but I know for a fact he was friendly with all of his exes and would speak with them once in a while when we were together. It hurts to go from talking every day and seeing each other frequently during the week to never speaking at all.

I feel as though the years we spent together meant nothing to him. It seems like I have turned into an enemy, and I don't understand why. My friends have told me I am better without him and that I should focus on myself. They also have told me that he is insecure and immature. One of my friends suggested that he could he be acting this way because he is not over our relationship. If he was secure in his current relationship, I would think he could at least say hi to me when he sees me. What's his problem?

– Has he moved on for good?, Cambridge


A: He probably has moved on for good, HHMOFG, but that's not really the issue here, right? You want to know why Jeff isn't acknowledging you when he sees you in public and why you're not getting the obligatory birthday e-mail. I can't read his mind so I'm not sure.

It could be that he's not over the relationship and that he wants to make sure he doesn't slide back into it. It could be that he's trying to make life easier for you by not leading you on. Maybe the new girlfriend has asked him to keep you at a distance.

No matter the reason, it's for the best. Because if he did send you a friendly text, e-mail, or birthday card, you'd be hopeful, right? You'd be confused. Because you're not over him. You're not looking for a friendship.

For now, his behavior is a gift. It would be much worse if you were wondering, "What did he mean when he sent that e-mail?" Or, "What did he want when he smiled at me at the bar?" It's better that he disappear for now so that you both can mourn. It's only been a few months. The wounds are fresh, and no matter how he's behaving, this is a difficult time for both of you. He'll come out of the woodwork when he's ready.

As you mourn, ask your friends to try some new venues with you. It's a big(ish) city. Get a change of scenery.

Readers? When will he contact the LW? Is he doing the right thing by ignoring her? Does his silence mean that he still wants to be with the LW? What does it mean that he's already in a relationship? How can the LW deal with his behavior? 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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