Q: Dear Meredith,
What do you do when a former friend no longer responds to you, and you knew in the past that he liked you but the timing wasn't right? I can't help but feel sad when I think of "Vincent," a former friend of mine whom I met in Brighton three years ago.
To make a long story short, at age 16 I was in one abusive relationship after another (except for my third relationship, which was fairly neutral), and then my last few boyfriends used me for one thing. The cycle of the guy who wanted me for one thing lasted for 10 years (I'm 26, soon to be 27), at which time (2010), I met Vincent (soon to be 29).
I was dating someone at the time (who ended up using me for one thing), and many people, including my mom, told me Vincent liked me. I always told these people that I'd rather hear it from Vincent, but I think he was always too shy to say anything. Needless to say, after I dumped my last boyfriend, I told Vincent that I broke up with my ex. My hope was that Vincent would say something like, "Let's finally get together," but nothing happened.
And after a couple of years of friendship, we grew distant. I wanted so bad to tell Vincent how I felt about him, but words never came out. I was too ashamed about my past to open up to him, and I also knew that I was moving to Buffalo. So I decided to get my feelings out in a letter. I asked him a couple nights after I gave him the letter if he wanted to talk about what I wrote, and he said OK, but he basically told me he felt there wasn't much to talk about. I told him how I felt about him, but the worst was when I told him I thought we rarely talked anymore, he just asked, "Oh?"
Earlier this month, some mutual friends of mine and Vincent's held a barbeque farewell party for me. I was surprised to see Vincent, and surprise, surprise, he ignored me most of the time. I was shocked that he came and said nothing to me the entire time. Who comes to a "friend's" party and ignores her? I'm so angry and sad that I've cried a bit already. I know I should give him space, and that's the hardest thing, but sometimes I can't help but think that I missed "The One," but for a 28-year-old he's acting pretty immature. I feel like I won't hear from him again.
Two of my friends said he's probably confused and just needs some space. My mom thinks so, too. My parents probably liked him the most of any guy I've spent time with. Meredith, will I hear from him again? Is he confused? I know I hurt him bad, but I told him that when I met him I wasn't in a good place, but now I am. Buffalo isn't far from Boston, but the first thing he needs to do is man up and just talk to me. I told him I want to include him in my future. I do see him as more than a friend now, but maybe I'm too late.
– Blue in Buffalo
A: You didn't miss "the one." You're pining over a guy who isn't even talking to you.
It sounds like you've spent a lot of your past making excuses for guys who never earned your adoration. I'm sorry to say that Vincent is one of them. You didn't do anything wrong, and he's treating you like you're a bad person. You disclosed your feelings and he dismissed you. He hasn't asked to be included in your future. There's no reason to work him into your new life.
This is a good chance to break your cycle. Instead of inventing a fancy narrative about why he hasn't stepped up, make decisions based on his actions (or lack thereof). We don't know why he's ignoring you -- we just know that he is. That's unacceptable, so he's out of the running.
You're in a new place, emotionally and geographically. Get to know Buffalo and let Vincent go. And please consider that your urgent need to hang on to Vincent might be about hanging on to Boston. Moving to a new place is scary, but I promise you that you don't need a boyfriend to make it work.
Readers? Is Vincent "the one," a good guy, or just another man who hasn't earned her affection? How can she let this go? Will she hear from him? Is Buffalo too far from Boston for this to matter? Does she really like Vincent as much as she thinks she does? 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.