What’s your love and relationship problem?
Ask Meredith at Love Letters. Yes, it’s anonymous.
I keep a file with updates from former letter writers, and I realized it’s been a while since I’ve run any. Some of these updates were aging, so I wanted to get them out there.
I know there are a bunch of people taking today and tomorrow off, so it seemed like an excellent time for these check-ins. We’ll be back with a new letter Wednesday.
Former letter writers, you can always send an update to [email protected] with “update” in the subject line. Let us know how we did with our advice, and tell us how you’re doing. It helps to know.
The first update is about someone who didn’t mention his girlfriend.
Not too long after I wrote the letter, the length and frequency of the calls abated organically. I was glad about that; looking back on it, it was definitely too much. While I understand the advice I got from you and everyone, I chose instead to let the interaction run its course. He drove 12 hours to visit me a few months after I wrote the letter – at the six month mark. It was magical. He took me to the nicest restaurant I’d ever been to. He respected my values. I was grateful to get the clarity, and really enjoyed every minute of the time spent. Since the visit, however, I have let the interaction taper off a lot. In the long run, I don’t think it’s going to work, and also, I don’t even know that I want it to.
Turns out that his girlfriend is two years older than me, so age has nothing to do with anything. His main interest turns out to be due to (please, not to sound arrogant, it’s just true) being able to communicate and discuss things at a much higher level than he can with his girlfriend. Also, while the two of us conceivably make a better match than he and his current girlfriend, I’m still not sure the two of us are a match. I have a big job and he’s a mechanic. While this does not bother me at all, I don’t know if deep down it might bother him or if it would come up as a problem later. Even if things were perfect, I acknowledge it would still be a huge risk for him to break off his current relationship that works and move here.
But, talking to him more, I see more deeply why I don’t even want a relationship between us to work, and that is because I see that he needs to stay where he is. While he and his girlfriend are not married, they do live together, and he is like a “father” two her two older teens. While that is enough on the surface to not continue, their situation goes a lot deeper than that. He is the glue that holds this family together, and I don’t know what they would do without him. I talk to him only once in a while now, only when there is a problem and he needs a voice of reason. I don’t see any potential change unless something dramatic were to happen and I’m not even wishing for this. I am happy to lend my support when I can but I can’t say it will ever be more than this, and that is OK.
The next update is from a letter writer who wasn’t getting enough from the relationship.
In brief: We have been over since last spring, and for good this time. I should have done it sooner, but we didn’t really see each other much anyhow. I was hesitant to even bring this issue up again, but something you mentioned in a recent reply to a letter writer struck a chord deeply. You said that you had more trouble getting over relationships with people who were wrong for you since you had spent so much effort rationalizing it. That was such a great answer!
I also wanted to credit the commenters who got it right in their replies. I love this column because of how honestly some people comment and how seriously you handle the questions. I think that I wrote in hoping to hear genuine responses and after filtering though the BS that is exactly what I got. SEENITOO: Hit the mark the closest when they said, “Of course he’s attracted to you, but alcohol was a probably factor and that he’s not interested in a relationship and just wants a good time.” (I also came to find out that he’s really hung up on a previous relationship that ended disastrously a few years before we even met.) BONECOLD: They pretty much summed it up by saying “Why even bother?” Exactly! DESIGNER 102: “The fact that he forgot birthdays and Christmas speaks volumes about him. Cut your losses.” Perfectly said! YOUR AUNT: “You can feel strongly for someone and it’s still not the right relationship. You can be friends with benefits or just friends, just make sure it’s what you want.” Friends with benefits is not my style! BIG SIGH: “Remind me what you are even getting from this relationship?” Aggravation and frustration. Thank you Meredith!
This update is from someone who wrote in 2016, which was right after some news about Ashley Madison and bots on the site.
Hi Meredith, Way back in 2016 I sent you a letter. The big catch was that I met this wonderful woman on Ashley Madison (no one believed it). But I again can tell you that is the truth. Also true is that we are still together eight years later! And yes, we are both still married. We spend time together almost every day. I am very close with her kids and friends. A very strange situation to be sure. But it works for us. Will we ever be able to finally break free and be together all the time? I hope so. But we both have complex lives and baggage. It is like we are both living 2 lives. I’m now in my 60s with heart issues. My biggest worry is I waste too much time not making my move and finally enjoying life! So often I feel stuck. Just wanted to give you an update! Glad to be Number 11.
This update is from the Nostalgia Crusher.
Nostalgia Crusher back again. I was listening to your podcast (catching up on it) and heard you say that you want updates to letters written in. Considering it is almost a year since I wrote that letter, a lot has changed. First, an edit, I got the timeline wrong in my letter, I meant to say that my friend and I met in college eight years ago, not eight years before I met my (now ex) boyfriend. My long-distance boyfriend and I broke up soon after I sent that letter; he ended things. Through a lot of therapy sessions – both with professionals and good friends (after finally opening up) – I realized my misplaced crush was due to the fact that my ex emotionally pulled away as my best friend emotionally leaned on me. We have not dated since becoming single (in fact we are both newly seeing other people, yay for moving on) and we are still states apart.
Lucky for you these letters are anonymous so I will give you a little juice as a friend. I visited a while back, and the tension I built up in my head was not there, and the crush subsided. That said, in the most cliché sense, seeing him interact with friends made me realize I want to date someone like him. A month ago he texted me, “Are you sure you are not secretly in love with me? t would be much easier than meeting people.” He apologized the next day and I told him how we are just friends. May the never-admitting-feelings-for-each-other commence into an exhilarating 9th year!
A last update from someone who could have used our advice a day sooner – but knows everyone was right.
I wrote in about the flakey man who keeps reappearing.
The night before you ran my letter, I did the exact opposite of all the good advice you and the commenters gave me: I went to dinner with him. It turns out everyone was right; I was harboring hope that he actually wanted a real second chance after all the reminiscing leading up to it. He didn’t. I think the clincher was the post-date text: “not sure why I wasn’t able to lean into it but thanks for your time and stories.” Very dismissive. At one point he even called me intimidating.
I did learn a lot on the date that helped let go of the nostalgia – he is still not divorced (shocker), told me the reason for his divorce was his ex “who just wasn’t fun.” He also implied that those failed attempts at reconnecting were my fault … sorta felt like gaslighting. So weak.
Do I regret not ignoring/blocking him earlier? 100 percent. Lesson learned the hard way to keep the past in the past. Thanks for all the good advice.
Have a safe and good holiday, everybody. See you Wednesday.
Have advice for today’s letter writer? Be helpful. Be clever. Get your comment featured here.Meredith
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