Q. My ex-fiance and I ended our eight-year relationship last year, shortly after I moved out of town for work. I am now relocating back to Boston for work. I will be moving back into the neighborhood where we used to live, because it feels like home - I lived there for years before my ex moved in with me. My ex still lives in my old apartment, hence my dilemma: Should I give him a heads-up that I will be returning to the area? Though I have reached out on multiple occasions and would like to remain in contact, he wants absolutely no communication (it was a messy breakup). Given the size of the community, however, it is likely we will run into each other at some point. Is it better to let him know in advance that I am in the area so he can mentally prepare or just let things run their course?
MOVING BACK, Another State
A. He wants “absolutely no communication,’’ so that’s what he gets. Don’t reach out. Don’t make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. He’ll find out about your homecoming through mutual acquaintances. Or Facebook. Or by Googling you.
I should say that I’m torn about where you should live. I know that you’ve got dibs on the neighborhood, but you guys were together for eight years and he’s still in that apartment. Do you really want to have to drive by the old place when you buy groceries? Would it be so bad to have a fresh start?
You’d be doing everyone a serious favor by drawing a half-mile circle around the old apartment and finding a place outside of it. I’m not saying that you have to jump T lines, but if you were in Porter Square, can you move closer to Harvard? If you were in the South End, can you try SoWa?
It was a long relationship, and you were engaged. I just want both of you to be able to live here without running into ghosts around every corner. And it wouldn’t hurt to meet some new people on an unfamiliar street. MEREDITH
Let it be a surprise! Wooooooooo!! S0XGIRL
My ex lived three blocks from me, and I never saw him. Move back to your neighborhood. He doesn’t need a heads-up; he needs for you to not contact him. Honor his request. If you do see him and have to do more than nod your head to him, just say hello and keep it casual. You are no longer friends; you are exes. URSURLAGIRL
How about NO! How about you find a different community to move to? How about you get over yourself? How about you act your age? How about you just let it go and just move on with your life? Why were you even trying to reach out and to be civil? You didn’t end civil so why should he want to see or hear from you? There are plenty of other areas you could move to . . . Pick one!
Don’t tell him. He doesn’t want to speak with you. Also, I think that if you really didn’t care about him at all you would move to a different spot, even if only the next T stop down. I think there is something there or another motivating factor for wanting to move there other than “it feels like home.’’ I’m curious if you may actually enjoy running into him, and not because you want to just be friends. Maybe try to figure out your true intentions here, and do what is best for everyone.
Dibs on a neighborhood? She chose to move away. She’s moving back to the same neighborhood hoping to run into him. There is more than one wonderful neighborhood in Boston. LILY
Respect his wishes and don’t contact him. I just don’t understand why he is he still living in your old apartment. Why would anyone, no matter how sweet of an apartment it is, do that to themselves? It makes no sense. I bet he mutters a lot while he’s in there though.
Buy Champagne. Knock on his door. Say, “Feel lucky tonight, sailor?’’ Heck, I don’t know. Move where you want. You can’t live your life in fear of who you might run into (unless you owe money to a loan shark, that is). Does part of you want him to see what it is he is missing? Other than that I don’t really understand what you want. Oh, and he said no contact. What part of that don’t you understand? BZORN22
Go right ahead, move back into the neighborhood. Go see him and his new girlfriend out at the restaurant. Maybe you’ll run into him having a nice romantic walk with her and his dog on the first night of snow.
Gotta agree - try another neighborhood. And if your friends know you’re coming back, they’ll probably clue him in. But I’d say don’t reach out yourself. He doesn’t want that. And if you end up in the neighborhood and feel tempted to contact him, still, don’t. How does that feel to you? The greater the reaction to that, the more advisable it is to seek out another neighborhood.
Sorry, you left him and the neighborhood. You don’t get to have your seat saved. I get that it would be nice to move to something familiar, and I wonder if you kind of want to run into him. I mean, you did say you’d like to be in contact with him. Sounds a bit insensitive and attention-seeking of you, honestly. Leave the guy alone already. Create a new life in all ways. SOFTPATINAEdited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She chats online Wednesday at 1 p.m.