Q: Dear Meredith,
Shortly after graduating from college, I made a terrible mistake and broke up with the love of my life. He was my best friend and though we were young, we had an incredible bond that I thought could take us through the ups and downs of a long-distance relationship. We began dating at the beginning of senior year, which meant that in less than a year we were forced to jointly confront a major life change. We spoke comfortably of our future and how we dreamed of moving to a new city and starting our new "adult" lives together. My boyfriend had already tacked on another minor and was forced to stay in school for another semester, so after graduating and realizing that I was too broke to chase my dreams where he was, I decided to return home to Boston to save up money for grad school. We spoke every day and were supportive of each other's new goals.
I eventually found a temporary job and new friends to occupy my time and gradually, our relationship began to deteriorate. Our conversations were still the highlight of my day, but I had a hard time finding time for him in my new life. About halfway through the summer, I realized how unfair I was being and decided that the best thing was to end the relationship. He had a feeling that something wasn't right, but was still devastated and said he that he "needed some space," which I completely understood. We ceased all contact and I was honestly unsure if I would ever hear from him again. About a month later, however, he sent me an email just to check in and see how I was doing. I responded and we had a small back and forth. Then, in September, I found myself back near school for alumni weekend. We ended up meeting for coffee and I was reminded of just how wonderful he really is. Even though I had been so terrible to him, he was still the charming, sweet, goofy guy that I had always loved. I cried the whole way home.
Now, several weeks later, we have had a few conversations over text message where I hinted that I wasn't happy without him and I just can't get him off of my mind. I know that I want him back in my life but I don't know how to go about doing it. Things would be incredibly different if we were in the same city but that still might be a year down the road. It's not like we can casually meet up to chat and I feel as though a spontaneous phone call is probably a bad move. How do I show him that I am sorry and still love him and care about him? Especially without being too blunt. Am I over-thinking this?
– My Head and Heart Hurt, Boston
A: You can tell him that you want to visit him with the hope of getting back together ... or you can be sad and nostalgic and let this go. And really, if the idea of getting back together seems too difficult right now, that's your answer.
Some couples would be cool with a long-distance relationship if it meant that they could be together in a year. But you needed space -- until he was right in front of your face. Alumni weekend wasn't reality. I'm not convinced that you want to be in a relationship right now.
Of course, if I'm wrong and you really believe that you want him back, you can call him up and ask him for a second chance. Do it now and be blunt. There's no harm in asking. Just don't wallow in the middle. Don't think about how you can save him for later. Don't send hints via text because hints are the worst. Your job is to be clear about what you want so that no one has to guess.
Readers? Does she want him back? Should she tell him how she's feeling? Does alumni weekend count? What about the hints? 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.