Q: Hi Meredith:
I am in my late 20s and got suddenly dumped by my boyfriend of about 3.5 years. We met when I was 24, and he was my first love. While we had a bump in our relationship two years in stemming from his fear of long-term commitment, the time since that bump has been mostly great. More recently, this year, he applied to graduate school early-decision in the city where we currently live, and he told he me chose to do this largely for us. We spoke about building a long-term future together on many occasions, and he seemed very committed to our relationship. At a holiday party this past December, he announced to me and all of the other guests that he was looking forward to moving in with me and getting a dog together in 2013.
Then, after four weekends of apartment hunting in January, he suddenly broke things off. He told me that I wasn't the person that he wanted to marry, or live with, or date. I was blindsided, and we haven't spoken since then.
I feel that I was misled and lied to. At the time of the break-up itself, I was in such disbelief that I wasn't able to say much of anything coherent. The break-up conversation ended up being very one-sided. I am now carrying a lot of anger toward him and would like to write one last email to get my thoughts off of my chest. Everyone tells me this is a bad move, and that I should just forget him. However, I feel that by getting my thoughts and frustrations out in a brief email to him, I will be able to take real steps towards moving on and forgetting him. Do you have thoughts?
– Should I email?, Large East Coast City
A: I'm fine with you sending an email, SIE. This relationship lasted more than three years and you didn't get the chance to say goodbye. You were too blindsided to communicate. You were in shock. You're allowed to speak about this, whether it's out loud or in writing.
Just know the following:
1. You probably won't get any more answers about this breakup, no matter what note you send.
2. Writing won't necessarily bring you peace. It might even make you angrier.
3. He might respond by saying hurtful things.
4. He might not respond at all.
If you understand all of that and still want to write, go for it. I understand what your friends are saying, but this relationship was very long and you have some final thoughts.
My advice is to write the email and then sit on it for a few days (or weeks). See how it feels to have it all down on paper. Then ask yourself how it might feel to hit send. Maybe you'll find that just writing it is enough. Give yourself time.
For the record, I'm so sorry about this breakup. After this email thing is settled, I want you to focus on doing awesome things in your own apartment. That's the best way to move on.
Readers? In this case, is an email appropriate? Would she get any peace from sending a note? Should they talk in person? Are her friends right? 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.