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Love Letters

Love Letters: Is He Giving Me False Hope?

Remember to include hometowns when you send letters to meregoldstein at gmail dot com.

I'm just pretending that this person is from the town in "Friday Night Lights."


Q:

Hi Meredith!

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half. We go to the same college and he basically lived with me for the year. Everything was so perfect. He was always the one who showed that he was in love. He was always asking, "Are you sure your not mad, babe?" He was the sweetest boyfriend a girl could ask for.

Then once summer started I noticed he got more distant. During fights he would get really loud instead of diffusing the situation like he used to. I knew that he was really busy with work and internships and managing to see his friends while he was home from college, but it hurt that he was only seeing me once or twice a week.

During the school year he plays football and was hardly allowed out, so he has been going out and having a lot of guy time this summer. Finally he asked for space, then a week later he wanted to break up. He kept saying how he wanted to be on his own but that knowing us, we'll probably get back together. He didn't give me any other explanation -- he just said it was nothing I did and that he just needed to be on his own for at least right now.

He is away hosting football camps so I know there are no other girls, and he even said I'm still his girl and that he doesn't want anyone else. When we talked briefly, he said how much he loves me and how this break up sucks. One of his friends told me that he said he just couldn't do what we had right now and that he wanted to experience college on his own, but when I told him not to contact me until he wanted to work on things, he said he would call me after football and that I was his everything. What happened? Is he just giving me false hope?

– Dumped Like Yesterday's Garbage

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A: It sounds like your boyfriend wants to be with you, but only when it's convenient for him. It also sounds like he has a serious fear of missing out. When he's committed to you he wonders what he might be experiencing if he were alone, and when he pulls away from you he wonders what he might have lost.

It's difficult to take a step back when you've been together for a year and a half, but that's your best bet -- to make this relationship a little less serious. Instead of making claims about being each other's everything, admit that you don't know what's going to happen because you're young and in school. Just say, "Hey, clearly we have strong feelings for each other. Let's just see what feels natural when you get home from football." Lower the stakes.

And in the meantime, do some thinking about what feels best for you. Do you like being on your own? What have you been doing with your time off from the relationship? You should have a full life, with or without him. If you don't have much going on when he's not around, you might be the one who needs to take some space.

Readers? Is he giving her false hope? Should they be together? Is there a way for them to stay together without being so serious?

– Meredith