Q: I just broke up with my girlfriend of about a year because she wanted to step back in the relationship and have the possibility of dating other people. I am a 34-year-old man who is set in his career and she is 25 years old and just finishing up grad school.
When she first told me how she felt, I was taken aback. The first night I was fine, but I thought about it more and I just felt it was the beginning of the end, which is why I broke up with her. We had broken up once, a year ago, when she went back to her ex-boyfriend. During the relationship we had our ups and downs, but I thought we were happy. Whenever she doubted the relationship, we communicated what we wanted and we were good. Even though I thought we were happy, we weren't having sex as often as before and I chalked it up to her being tired because of school, work, and her addiction to over-exercising.
We still go to the same gym and sometimes run into each other. I always think about what could have been since we did talk about marriage and kids. We even glanced at wedding rings. Was I selfish in not giving into her request or did I make the right decision?
– Lost, Boston
A: You made the right decision, Lost. I'm sure of it. You guys had already broken up once. Despite all of the good things (and talk of wedding rings), she wanted space and to see other people. She let you let her go. That says it all.
You were not selfish. You did what was best for you and kept it honest. You saved yourself from unnecessary pain, so please don't second-guess your gut.
Try not to think about the what-ifs, because I Iím pretty sure all you missed was more wishy-washy behavior. Start thinking about what's next, and please, join a new gym. A fancy one with cool machines. The real issue is that you're running into her and getting confused. It might be nice to have a change of scenery.
Readers? Did the letter writer do the right thing? Was this a selfish decision? Did she want the letter writer to break up with her? New gym? Why is there any second-guessing going on here? 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.