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Love Letters

Missing the face-to-face breakup

Q. I met Kyle when I was 13 (I’m 22 now). He was a summer fling for many years. Last summer, Kyle and I reconnected at home in New York and quickly started dating. We continued the relationship through my senior year of college while I was in Boston, which wasn’t easy, but I felt that the time and effort was well worth it. I had plans to move back to New York to be with him in May.

A few weeks before my college graduation (Marathon Monday, to be exact), Kyle very abruptly broke things off. Through a text. While under the influence of marijuana. He had been visiting me in Boston the day before this happened and everything was completely normal.

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We had a brief phone conversation after that, where he claimed to be extremely depressed and said the breakup was in my best interest. Out of fear of looking desperate, I cut ties. It’s been a few months since all of this transpired and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t still affect me. I feel like I was tricked into believing our relationship was a lot more serious than it was.

I would like some kind of official closure. None of the breakup conversations happened face-to-face and part of me wants that kind of conversation, just to humanize the situation. But he is in New York and I am in Boston, and I don’t know if the coordination would be worth it. Do I reach out? Or find closure on my own?

A. Kyle understood that your relationship was getting serious. He certainly knew that you were making life choices with him in mind. And that’s why he ended it — because he realized he wasn’t up to the challenge.

If you really need to see Kyle again, do it the next time you’re in New York for other reasons. I’m all for in-person breakups, but I can’t support you spending money to travel to see him right now. Just know that when you do eventually see him, you won’t get “official closure” because there’s no such thing. You might get a genuine apology or a lengthier explanation of his decision, but there’s nothing he can say to put you at ease.

I won’t patronize you by saying, “Oh whatever, you’re only 22.” You loved Kyle, and you spent a year getting excited about being with him. He really let you down.

That said, I’m glad he ended this before you moved to New York. Now you can make selfish decisions, which is exactly what you should be doing at your age. Where do you want to live? What do you want to try?

Please grieve this loss and then start thinking about what’s next. It’s a great time to be self-absorbed.

READERS RESPOND:

Unless you have a strong desire to let him see you crying, now months later, I don’t know what a face-to-face would do to change a thing.

Try to take the energy you are putting into wanting closure into moving forward.

Never agreed with Meredith more. So my advice is, “What she said.”

Column is edited and reprinted from www.
boston. com/loveletters.
Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com.
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