Q: Meredith and Faithful Readers,
I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 4 months. It doesn't seem long, I know, but I fell for him hard and fast. He was the first guy who didn't play games. He was open and honest about his feelings for me, and told me that he "saw a future with me." He was kind and affectionate and did things for me because he wanted me to be happy. I've never had a relationship like this.
A little over a month ago, I noticed a change. He was slightly more distant, and our sex life was dwindling. Then it came to a dead stop. I tried talking to him about it. From what he said (which I later realize I misunderstood, or he failed to communicate) is that he had been in a rut and not feeling himself. So I tried to not put any pressure on him and looked for creative ways to help him out of his rut. But nothing changed and he became more distant.
Everything culminated in a very long and difficult discussion that led to me finding out that he had simply lost the spark. He found me attractive, wanted to be with me, and wanted to care for me, but romantically, there was nothing there. I couldn't (and still can't) understand this. I thought of some solutions that might work, but it felt hopeless. How do you make someone like you? And so we broke up.
I feel crushed and devastated. I feel like we didn't try -- we just both agreed that it was easier to break up. Is it possible to get that spark back when everything else was great? Has anyone heard/been through anything similar? Is there anything I can do to save this, I'm not ready to let go.
– Heart Broken, Boston
A: You did the right thing by breaking up, HB. Do you really want to deal with this problem at four months? Do you really want to have to force this guy to like you? Sticking it out would be horrible for your self-esteem. You'd feel even worse than you do now.
For the record, I understand why you feel so terrible. Short-term breakups are a special kind of awful. You didn't even get the chance to get annoyed with this guy. At four months, it's still hopes and dreams and firsts. He went and pulled the rug out from under you in the middle of all of that bliss. You miss the rug. I get it.
You can't force a spark. It's time to mourn (a little) and hang out with friends. It's time to take him out of your narrative and start over. I'm sorry.
Readers? Can you recreate a spark? What happened here? Why are these early breakups so awful? Can you answer her questions? 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 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.