It's the 5th anniversary of Love Letters at the end of the month. I'll share some news soon about some upcoming celebratory events. In the meantime, here are some updates.
The first is from a recent letter writer who was a friend to her ex.
The advice and comments helped to put things in perspective for sure. You guys helped me to realize that even though I thought we had both moved on and could be close friends after our break-up, I wasn’t really giving myself a chance to meet someone new, and he wasn’t getting a real chance with his new girlfriend. I just got so used to his business being my business, and maybe I was keeping him in some sort of "well maybe in the future..." category. We still talk every once in a while, but I haven’t seen my ex since the letter was published.
I will say that the commenters seem to have an unnecessarily harping and mean streak sometimes, but I guess it helped.
And here's an update from someone who was going through a bad breakup.
Hi Meredith and LL Community!
When I wrote in, my ex had reached out to me seemingly wanting to repair our relationship. After his father passed away, he had been struggling with clinical depression and decided to date someone else. At the time, I felt (and sometimes still do) that I somehow needed to put my feelings aside and be there for him, regardless of how I was being treated, because of what he was going through. This is when you need your loved ones the most and I blamed the depression for destroying his support system and pushing away everyone that cared about him.
Anyway, it really, really helped to have the LL community call me a doormat. Thank you! Because I was. I wanted to let you all know there has been no communication since (including no social network stalking) and I have moved out of Vermont and to the San Francisco Bay Area. I have some fun roommates and new job. I'm taking care of myself now, and it feels a lot better than trying to help someone that didn't want it. Thanks everyone for your comments and advice!
And now an update from someone who saw sparks fly.
There were multiple elements to my issue, but mainly what you focused on was the acceptance that in reality, I may never obtain the closure that I wanted, but that it was important for me to accept the situation as it was and move on. Hearing that from someone outside my circle was important because I was less skeptical of the intentions than say a friend who is just trying to make me feel better. Though you also suggested that I open up and talk to someone about the pregnancy issue, which was something I had not done. That was where the friends really came in and helped me get through it all.
Reading the comments from readers was both productive and frustrating. Productive in the sense that I did get some good pointers and additional perspective. Frustrating in the sense that assumptions were made on their end that were not accurate, and potentially my own fault for not being clear in my message.
As I mentioned to you in the e-mail exchange before your official posting, I made a few efforts to express my feelings and desire to remain together, but obviously they did not go anywhere, and I let it go. At the time of the posting I was already in that stage, and after the posting of the letter I stayed on that path. We have not spoken or seen each other since we parted ways, which is unfortunate because we were such integral parts of each other's lives, but it's also the best course.
The lack of communication isn't a reflection of animosity on my part, but instead an acceptance of the way things are and moving on. I don't sit up at night longing for the past or idolizing memorabilia of our relationship, but every now and then a nostalgic thought crosses my mind. And then is dissipates.
It's been over five months now, and while I have yet to achieve what I had with her with anyone else, or even had another relationship beyond a few dates, I am optimistic.
And another update from someone who lacked sparks.
Firstly, let me say from the bottom of my heart thank you. You don't know how comforting your words we're to me in such a difficult time in my life. It meant more than I can express, so I'll just say thanks. Secondly, I am sorry for the loss of you mother. I wish their was something I could say to help with the pain of that loss.
After my last break up, I took some time for myself; hung out with friends, drank and ate most feelings :) Dated, a LOT. Towards the end of the summer I found myself frustrated with online dating; I felt like I was in Groundhog's Day, reliving the same date each time. I hadn't been keeping up with it as often, replying to fewer and fewer gentlemen until there was only 1. I told myself, I'll give this last one a chance, and then I'll take a break this winter; go into a "dating hibernation." But it turns out, that last one was a keeper and we've been seeing each other for just around three months now. It's been pretty fantastic; it's nice to have those butterflies again. This relationship made me realize that the boy who "lost the spark" wasn't good for me. He was just the first boy I had fallen in love with in a long time.
Happy Holidays LL readers.
And finally, an update from someone who wrote us a year ago.
Well Meredith, I took your advice. I let my ex become part of my past. It was not the easiest move to make with the holidays and New Year’s Eve coming, but it was something I had to do. For the next few months I spent time with my friends & family, and decided not to look back. I developed new friendships along the way. Although I was not actively seeking a relationship, I eventually started putting myself out there. Through some new friends, I was able to find a great guy. We've been together for about 6 months now and things are great!
Half way through this new relationship, I discovered my ex had recently gotten engaged...to the girl he broke up with last summer. My mom broke the news to me, unsure of how I would react or take it. I have to say I dreaded this day, knowing the guy who I used to think I would marry, was engaged. Although it was not the news I wanted to ever hear, it didn't seem to faze me as much as I thought it would. Of course, I had that feeling where my stomach dropped as I took it all in. But I have to say it only took me a few hours and a couple of chats with friends to realize I was okay and that I am so much happier now. My new relationship is not as complicated or stressful as my relationship with my ex was. I think being in a relationship while hearing this news definitely helped, but also the fact that I had moved on and forward was what I needed. Thanks again for your advice; it was nice to hear what needed to be done!
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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.