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Love Letters

Her Family and Friends Wanted Her to Talk to Other Guys


Q:

I recently broke up with my girlfriend who was way younger than me. We were a good match -- both carefree and adventurous -- and I thought I was giving her experience and stability, which she wanted after growing up in a broken home, having a chronic condition (which I tried to help with), and a crazy Mom who always put her down.

She always felt powerless, but she felt stronger over time in our relationship. She still lives at her mom, but stayed with me for long periods of time. Our relationship lasted (on and off) almost 4 years. We ended it because her friends and family didn't approve me being 14 years her senior. She is 27 and I'm 41, however we truly believe we were soul mates.

I'm an healthy, active individual who always surprised her with activities and events (plays, horseback riding, dining at dive bars and elegant places, concerts). I was always trying to keep her entertained and happy.

Initially her friends and family loved me, but during our off periods we would argue about help I needed around the house we shared (and I owned). Her family and friends found ways to make her see that we weren't right for each other. She didn't think we had what it takes to get married.

At the end, her friends started pushing guys on her, and she started communicating with them and I couldn't take that. She said she wanted to keep her options open, and that broke my heart so I ended it. I still love her and miss her. I ended up selling my house, relocated to a more downtown active area, and now I'm mourning my loss and trying to find my way to meet new people, which is very hard. Any advice to help me find my closure or meet new people would be greatly appreciated. Sometimes I wish to call her …

– In Limbo, Boston

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A: Closure is sort of a made-up thing in breakups, especially when one person wants to leave and the other doesn't. The best you can hope for is acceptance.

She wants to "keep her options open," which means that you have options too. You can use all of your energy to set up your new place and maybe join a few social groups around town. There are plenty of activities (MeetUps, sports clubs, etc.) Moving can be a lonely thing, but it's a great way to see thousands of new faces.

As you build a new life, please remember that this woman made her own decisions. She was 14 years younger, but she called the shots. I don't believe that her friends and family manipulated her into communicating with other guys. She wanted to see other people, and you're allowed to hold her accountable for that. The sooner you accept her role in this, the easier it will be to move on.

Readers? Did this happen because of their age difference or friends and family? Suggestions for meeting people? Suggestions for accepting this? What do you think about their relationship?

– Meredith