Q: I'm an early 30s guy who tried out a dating site years ago. The first person I met was the cool girl, we'll call her Miranda. She was finishing up her master's while teaching and I was already working full time. We seemed good for each other, went on dates, hung out, enjoyed the company. For whatever reason, it didn't work out. We were never "official" so nothing really ended. We've stayed in touch through email/text/FB throughout. She moved out of state and has been with a guy on and off. Meanwhile, I went back on the dating site and the next girl I met is the one I am now engaged to.
Recently, Miranda and I had a sort of soul cleansing text-a-thon (we had both been out drinking) where we both opened up about feelings that never really got put out there five years ago. She regrets that we didn't keep at our budding relationship and I have always regretted the same thing.
I love my fiance and nothing would turn me away from her. This isn't a morality question, i.e., "What should I do, stay or try with Miranda?"
This is a human dilemma of how do I get Miranda out of my head, because despite my love for my fiance, the "what if?" with Miranda is always present.
– Reading my Miranda Rights, South of Boston
A: I read this letter and I thought, "Woulda, coulda, shoulda." Maybe Miranda had the potential to be great for you, but she never committed. And instead of running after her and disclosing your feelings, you hopped back on the dating site.
What-ifs are annoying, but I'm not convinced that you even have one. You and Miranda dated and were able to walk away from each other.
Consider yourself lucky to have a "one that got away." It makes for a good story. But that's all she is. Someone you were more than happy to let go.
You have the right remain content and confident about your choices. (Sorry. I had to.) If you had wanted Miranda to be more than she was, you wouldn't have been able to move on so easily. You would have chased her.
Redefine her in your head and you'll stop thinking about her.
Readers? Is he as sure about his fiance as he says he is? Should he be allowed to contact Miranda? Is there a real what-if here? And -- is it relevant that he's only dated two women from the website and fallen for both of them? 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.