I just recently separated from my wife of 15 years. Totally my fault. I was not totally happy in my marriage so I had an affair. Not the right thing to do, but can't change the past. I know that it will be a tough road ahead, but I made my bed and now I am lying in it.
Here is my dilemma. My high school sweetheart, who was also married, is also in the process of a divorce. We have started chatting again -- nothing serious -- but talking/texting/emailing. I told her that I did still have feelings for her after all these years. It was a great relationship, but it ended quickly when I went off to college. She agreed that there was unfinished business, but she did not want to be the reason that I got divorced.
Since I moved out, I have asked her out a few times but something always comes up. I am thinking I may be too sensitive? Maybe she does not want to go out, maybe she does -- but why does she not have the same time table I do? Am I crazy for being so sensitive? Every time I decide that I am not going to contact her, she calls or text me!
When we dated in high school she had seen a movie, Mr. Destiny. The theme of the movie is: "Would you give up everything you have ever had for everything you ever wanted?" At the time I said no, because she was what I had, but now is she everything I ever wanted?
– Mr. Destiny, Central Mass.
A: MD, one of my first rules about dating and marriage is: Do not compare your relationships to movies that feature Jim Belushi. Not even "About Last Night." Although I do love that one.
In real life, you're separated from your wife of many years and have no idea what you need. Instead of deciding that this high school sweetheart is the answer to your problems, get to know yourself. Think about what you've done and what's to come. Consider that you might need time to process all that's happened. You can't give up what you have for this ex like you're in a movie. No one is giving you that option -- especially not her. Please take some time off from pursuing a relationship and get into therapy.
And know this: In the real world, we all have unfinished business with exes and crushes. Life just isn't long enough to finish our business with everyone. What-ifs are normal.
The warm feelings you're having for her right now? They're fueled by nostalgia. That's why you're quoting '90s movies. Take some space, get back to the present, and deal with your loss. It's too soon to ask anyone to be on your time table -- because you don't have one yet.
Readers? Can you help Mr. Destiny? What's happening with the ex? 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.