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I miss the turbulence

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  March 14, 2012 08:25 AM

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Q: Meredith,

I have loved Love Letters since 2010 when I lived in Boston and went through a really hard break up. I was with my ex, let's call him Brian, for 5 years. We were young and had the kind of love that consumes you in an unhealthy way. I was completely sucked in and obsessed. We were so passionate, loving each other one second and fighting uncontrollably the next. When we broke up I was devastated.

Soon after our break up, I met Nate, an older and more mature guy. Our relationship blossomed and we fell fast into a more mature, adult love. We live together now, moved across the country together, and 95% of the time everything is great. We drink tea, watch TV together and "make grilled cheese sandwiches" before bed. It feels very natural and grown up.

But then there is the 5% of the time where I miss the obsessed feeling, the fighting just to make up. I do not know if I am just romanticizing what Brian and I had or if I am just really missing it.

I am going back to Boston soon for a week and part of me wants to see Brian, to see if feelings come back. But is that crossing lines? Am I playing with fire? How do I ignore these feelings and appreciate what I have 100% of the time. Or is something wrong in my relationship that I feel this way?

– Will This Mess With My Head, Los Angeles


A: Brian isn't the issue here, WTMWMH. The issue is whether you want to be "grown up" and serious with Nate or whether you need more time on your own. Do you like the security of your life with this older, stable guy? Or do you need to be someone who's wandering around, looking for new loves, and experiencing the range of emotions that comes with dating?

My guess is that you're mourning the loss of your former, turbulent life because you know that you've moved on from it.

I base that opinion on your numbers. You told us that you're happy 95 percent of the time. That's like an A+, right? If your percentage was 60-40, we'd have more to talk about. If you were questioning things 40 percent of the time, I'd have to wonder whether you should be drinking tea and living across the country with some grown up.

If you're truly free from doubts about 95 percent of the time ... well, I'm just not sure it gets better than that. Three to five percent of us always wonders whether we should quit our jobs, sleep with other people, and move to a different city. You're supposed to have some what-ifs and daydreams. Pay attention to your percentage, because if it's really 95-5, you're in good shape.

And as for Boston, there's no need to see a guy who made you feel unhealthy. Instead, visit your old friends and think about how much you miss the rest of the life you left behind.

Readers? Should she see Brian for a basis of comparison? Is there a problem here? Does she want to be with Nate? Is her upcoming trip spawning these doubts? 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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