I am 45 and single, have never been married, and have no kids. Recently I reconnected with someone I had been very seriously involved with almost 15 years ago. She and I were coworkers when we met but lived in separate states. For two years we spoke by phone on a very regular basis on a professional level. She had to make occasional trips to my location, so we became friends. She had a young son and had been in the process of a divorce. During one of her trips to my location, we were able to spend time together and the relationship became personal.
After about three months, she asked to be transferred to my office. I knew that I wanted to marry her, but after her relocation with her son (who I had never met), she had issues with custody. Things got complicated and I got cold feet. I made the tragic mistake of telling her that I wanted to slow things down.
This hurt her terribly and damaged our relationship. Things suddenly became chilled, and within a few weeks I saw her walking out the door for lunch with another coworker. Long story short, our relationship deteriorated, we ended things, and she wound up marrying this other man. I left the company and went on to have another relationship that lasted for 8 years.
Fast forward to this spring. I needed to make some changes to my 401K and found myself having to contact my previous employer's corporate office. When I had the specialist on the phone, I asked her about some former coworkers and suddenly my ex came to mind. When I mentioned her by first name only, the specialist replied with her maiden name. Obviously she had gotten divorced from the aforementioned co-worker and I asked to speak with her.
We started emailing and visiting each other. We discussed making a life together and we both apologized for hurting each other so long ago. It was very special. I cannot remember having felt this way in so long -- to truly care about somebody, be so attracted to them, feel confident that they too want to make a future, and to also have a chance to correct the past.
But when I went to visit her a few weeks ago, things went wrong. I'm going through some career issues so I'm not at my best. We spent time with her friends and it didn't go well. We had trouble sharing the same space. I wound up leaving a day early because of weather. I knew that the chemistry felt off.
We spoke once briefly about an hour after I left and I tried to reaffirm my feelings and explain to her that I was willing to do anything to make this work this time. That's the last time we spoke. We went from speaking every day for a month and now nothing.
I've tried to contact her many times and have left messages to reassure her of how I feel. Flaws or no flaws, I know that I love her and that we were meant to be together. We've already lost so much time and at 45, I'm just not up for games. I'm making a big move for work soon and she had told me that she wanted to join me. I have no idea what's going on in her head. If she calls at this point, I can't say I'll be that excited to hearing from her.
– Déjà vu, Chapel Hill, NC
A: Move away. Go. This woman isn't your soul mate. She's just someone from your past. I'm not convinced that you guys ever had what it takes to sustain a relationship in person.
My big issue with your history (Part 1 and Part 2) is that you rushed it. You decided that you wanted to marry her before she was even living nearby. You hadn't even met her child. You didn't know her well enough to make any big promises.
And when you reconnected the second time around, you both jumped to more conclusions. You committed right off the bat. She told you that she wanted to move with you and make a life together. After just a few visits? That's a huge step, especially for someone with a kid.
After you get settled in your new home, I want you to date local. Get to know someone well before you commit. Don't rush it. Don't romanticize the unknown.
I understand that you're stressed about being 45 and single, but don't let that cloud your brain. You'll just wind up in a mess.
If/when she calls, just let yourself say goodbye.
Readers? Should I be more optimistic about this relationship? Will she come around? Any potential here? Thoughts about her? Advice for him? What should he say when she calls? 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 new novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith here and on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.