A note about next Thursday's (Dec. 15) gathering: You're invited to attend a Brookline Booksmith party for Sophie Blackall, who illustrates Missed Connections she finds online. (I've sort of fallen in love with her stuff.) After her book signing, Finale in Coolidge Corner is hosting an after-party for Love Letters readers. The night is free and I'd love for you to join me. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org with "Missed Connections" in the subject line. You can enter your own Missed Connection for Blackall to draw here.
And ... we chat today at 1.
Q: Meredith, I need advice.
Background: Years ago, I was in a FWB relationship with Miss X. We met in college and were off/on for about a year. I never really made the push for a proper relationship. During one of our "off seasons" she got a boyfriend. We remained friends but I had decided I wanted a relationship with her. I was basically waiting for them to break up.
Once they did, our FWB thing continued, but I made my intentions known. She said she wasn't ready to get into another relationship, so I told her I'd wait. I then backed off and we didn't hang out as often.
A few months later we were at a club with a group of friends and she starts dancing with some guy, then kisses him, then leaves with him ... right in front of me. I was very upset and didn't talk to her for months. They wound up dating for a few years.
We talked months later. Apparently, she took my backing off as a loss of interest. (I didn’t believe that.) She knew I was interested, but I now think she has issues with needing attention from men. So the space I gave her probably drove her to seek attention elsewhere.
Her relationship with that guy ended badly. She moved out of state for a while and we hadn't kept in touch. I eventually met someone else ... Miss Y. She's great, and loves me to death. Been together 2 years.
Now: During my current relationship with Miss Y, I still carried around my anger for Miss X for a while. Recently I've accepted some responsibility for my role in the debacle. I didn't put up a fight for Miss X, and I honestly think it would have made a difference. Instead I just turned away and gave up. My anger with her has become regret for my own lack of action.
So Miss X is back in town and single. We wound up at a mutual friend's house and talked. She confessed how terrible she has always felt about what she did to me, and she wants to be friends. I told her this is difficult for me because I still have this regret, and my feelings for her still exist. She said she has feelings for me too. So which is it that she wants?
The truth is, I haven't been very happy with Miss Y for a while, so this makes me think even more about a potential reunion with Miss X. I don't know if Miss X wants just friendship, or if she's trying to give me the chance I never got before. Or maybe she's just single, unhappy, and looking for that male attention again.
I have no intention of being unfaithful to Miss Y, but I'm very tempted to find out where things could go with Miss X ... which I realize is a risk given her track record. I just can't help the physical attraction and feelings I still have for her. I still wonder ... what if? I'm not sure if I can let that go.
Do I see what Miss X wants, or try to make things better with Miss Y?
– Mr. Z
A: Z, my gut tells me that you should carefully break up with Miss Y and then spend some time alone. You're done with Y. She loves you to death but you don't reciprocate. And X? She says she wants to be friends. You have feelings for each other -- but they're old ones.
Let X be a catalyst for change. She's made you more self-aware about what you need to do about Y and she taught you that you can't be passive-aggressive about your feelings.
After you've spent some time with yourself (and without female attention), figure out if there's an A, B, and C. Please don't limit yourself. There are more than two people in your world. Start getting to know them.
Readers? Was he really responsible for what happened with X? Could there be a future with her? What about Y? 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.