Q: Perusing Google in search for dating advice, this site caught my eye just because of the word "Boston." I have this recent unnerving, temporary, and not-so-fair hatred for Boston because I was supposed to be there visiting. After living in and going to school in in Pittsburgh, I was ready to explore a new city. And even better, I was about to explore your beautiful city with somebody who had thought the world of me ... at least up until a little over a month ago.
The person I speak of grew up near me, but I moved away in junior high. We reconnected 12 years later through Facebook over the summer. We began talking all day and every day. Texting, phone calls, then the occassional Skype. He claimed he had never felt as strongly about someone as he did for me. It scared him a bit because he didn't want to set himself up to be hurt. I told him he had nothing to worry about. And in November, he flew to Pittsburgh from Boston just to see me for a few days. I have exes who thought traveling an hour to see me was a chore. I therefore knew this guy was something special.
On the last day of his visit, we had a heart-to-heart conversation, making us wonder what would happen between us after he left. It turned out that everything was fine. There was nothing to worry about. Our bond was even stronger than ever before and a week or so later we began searching for flights so I could visit him in Boston. Needless to say, I never ever saw the next thing coming.
A not-so-pleasant life situation happened in his family putting financial stress onto him, causing us to have to cancel my trip and him to question his own life and where he was going with it so he wouldn't run into the same rut his family had just run into. Maybe there's more to the situation than I know about, but correct me if I'm wrong ... when you question your life, that doesn't always mean you should question the people in it. I know there is uncertainty about our future and if we will ever live in the same city together, but I don't think that should change the way two people feel about each other. Unfortunately, it did for him. A combination of that negative situation and the uncertainty that was already lingering in the air created a sad ending to what I thought had been so real and promising.
He feels that he can't possibly commit or be with someone when he is unhappy with himself. He says he needs to figure his mess out and has turned to his friends for distraction. I don't want to lose him forever, but he just wants to be friends for now to take the pressure off of us as anything more. I am fine with it if it means I don't have to lose him. I am trying to forget about it and go on with my daily life because I know if it's meant to be, it will be. But a part of me still can't get over the drastic change that took place so suddenly. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and some space in hopes that he will figure it all out and everything will go back to the way it was, but I am still unsure they will.
What is your opinion on the situation? Do you think there is hope? Or should I completely rid him of my life and of my thoughts? He seems like such a different person now. And I don't want to be one of those girls who waits on a guy to come back to them and then find out they never will. Should I give up yet? Have I been a fool this whole time? Do you think he will treat every negative life situation like this?
– Worthless Penny, PA
A: "Do you think he will treat every negative life situation like this?"
That's a great question. You were learning about each other at the start of a relationship, and you discovered that he is unreliable, impulsive, and unclear. Who wants to be with someone who behaves that way just as things are getting good?
Don't hang on to the friendship just to keep him in the picture. You're not really friends right now because you're far away and clearly hoping for more. Instead, think about why he was so appealing. This man, while from your past, was something new and exciting. Maybe you should use some of your breakup energy to explore new cities on your own.
You say he's a different person now -- not the one you liked. That's your answer.
Readers? Any hope here? What happened? 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.