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Love Letters

Back to distance?

A reminder as we wait for the new letters submit box: letters can come straight to me at meregoldstein at gmail dot com.


Q:

Hi Meredith,

I was in a relationship with my ex for five years.†It was the best relationship I've ever had. Two years into the relationship, we both got into our dream graduate schools. We decided to stay together in a long distance relationship and made a deal to see each other once every two months. We made it three years like that, but the whole time we were becoming less involved with each other's lives and less like a couple.

At the end of my program, I moved across the country to live with him, but it became clear that we no longer had the same plan. Every time I talked to him about moving back home, he pushed the target date back by another year. He also started spending very little time with me because "we're moving soon so I want to spend what time I have left with my friends."†We never actually made any real steps toward moving so I broke it off and moved closer to home by myself. I also asked him not to contact me so I could move on. It was the toughest thing I ever had to do because at the same time I was also grieving the loss of someone very close to me and it was like losing my whole support system all at once.†It's three years later and I've built up new friendships, a new community, and a great career.

The ex has just contacted me to tell me that he's interviewing for a job 2.5 hours away and that he'd like to get back together. The conversation was like old times and it was so easy to talk to him. I asked him why he doesn't look for a job in Boston if he's serious about getting back together. His reason has to do with the state laws for his profession. I can understand that -- but I'm worried that we're going to fall into old patterns.†

We're meeting up to talk after his interview in two weeks. Am I just repeating my past mistakes? Can a relationship work if we only see each other on the weekends? How can I make sure the plan to live in the same city actually happens this time?

Thanks!

– Am I crazy for trying a LDR again?, Boston

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A: The distance bothers me less than the fact that you've been broken up for years. How can you commit to being in a relationship with this person after three years of being on your own? He can't expect you to become his insta-girlfriend just because he's moving a few hours away. One great "old times" phone call isn't enough. You barely know each other anymore.

Getting back together shouldn't be on the table. You can do a coffee or a lunch, or maybe a drink if he chooses to drive into Boston. You can try some simple outings that allow you to get a sense of each other. If your plans become more frequent and you begin to fit into each other's lives, you can discuss what comes next. But for now, no jumping ahead.

Readers? Should she consider this? Why does he want to get back together? How should she proceed?

– Meredith