Q: Hi Meredith,
I'm not from Boston, but I've lived here on and off for the last decade and have come to really love this city. The problem is I can't seem to find a Boston guy that I like! I'm 29 and have been single for a couple years, since my last real (3-year) relationship. In that time, I've met hundreds of men (both online and in real life) and have gone on dozens and dozens of dates. (I even went on a "Dinner with Cupid" date. That didn't work out, either.) The guys like me, but I just never feel that "spark" with any of them. It's not a case of having an unrealistic 100-point checklist or anything like that; I'm just looking for a feeling, I guess, and I rarely feel it with any guy.
Looking back over my romantic history, the few guys who have given me that spark have invariably been non-Bostonians. Specifically, I have a major thing for California guys. Five years ago, I met a Cali boy while I was in Boston, and after dating long distance for a few months, I made the move to San Francisco to be with him. The relationship lasted three years, but we grew apart, and I decided I was over San Francisco and wanted to return to Boston. I've been back here for two years now, single but avidly dating.
Several months ago, I met ANOTHER San Francisco guy on vacation in Boston, and felt major sparks with him (for the first time in literally a year). Since then, we've visited each other cross-country a couple times, and text every day. I know I still barely know this guy, but he seems like everything I am looking for. He also seems to be crazy about me, though we're both very cautious and somewhat jaded from years on the dating scene. Both of us have done the move-cross-country-for-a-significant-other thing before, only to have it not work out.
My question is: should I move back to California? Not necessarily for this one guy, though obviously he's a major factor here. It's just that, as I look over my years of dating in Boston, the evidence seems pretty clear: I don't like Boston guys (as romantic partners). And when I do like a guy, he's always from California! I love Boston and my friends here and don't particularly want to leave, but I fear that I will be single forever if I stay. Is it crazy to think that my Mr. Right is waiting for me on the West Coast?
– California Dreamin', Boston
A: I don't buy your theory about Boston men, CD. It just doesn't make sense. There are like ... 300,000 guys here (right?). Some of them are Wahlbergs. There have to be a few potential partners in this city.
I think what's happening here is that really loved California and that you light up whenever you hear that someone's from your favorite state. I also believe that you loved your ex so much that you long to recreate that relationship -- from the initial excitement of meeting someone who lives far away to the big risk that came with the move.
You want to pursue this new relationship, so go for it. Start with visits. See if he'll visit you. Think about what it would be like to live out there again. Be honest with yourself about what waits for you.
There's no magic dating city. There are plenty of people in San Francisco who will tell you that there are just no prospects out there. You might move there and find that you're stuck in a fog (literally) with no boyfriend. You might wonder whether you missed out on meeting some great guys back here. That's why you have to just pick a place that makes you happy. San Fran seems to get you excited.
I have nothing against taking big, stupid risks for love, as long as you take care of yourself. If you make this move, please make sure you have a community, no matter what happens.
Readers? Should she move out there? Is this about Boston men or her feelings about San Fran? Is she just moving for any guy -- or for California? Is this about 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 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.