Q. I am still completely in love with my ex who lives overseas. It has been two years since we talked. Six months ago when I was traveling in the area, I wrote to him asking him to meet up. He saw my message but never responded. It broke my heart, but I haven’t tried writing again.
Two years ago, our whole relationship ended suddenly over a terrible miscommunication. He was traveling, and I was 3,000 miles away and still in school. Although we were experts at finding time to talk, this particular week was busy, and he went an entire week without contacting me. I was younger, more insecure, and used to his reliability. Without any explanations, I was worried that he was angry with me. At the end of the week, he e-mailed me a time to talk. When he wasn’t online, I started thinking the whole week was some sort of game he was playing. I worried that he was taking advantage of my time and attention and wrote him asking him to not call me at all.
A few days later, he wrote me a very nasty letter saying that I betrayed him by breaking up with him so suddenly. Surprised, I wrote back saying that I simply needed some space to think. I was tired of waiting for him to contact me, and I was worried he was angry with me. I asked him not to call for a few days so that I wouldn’t spend the entire day on edge, waiting for some explanation from him. By no means did I intend on breaking up with him.
Unfortunately, that’s the last I ever heard from him. We were so in love. I’m still wondering if I should have taken more of the blame. I’m still very much convinced that if he were just to look me in the face and realize what a big misunderstanding all of this was, we would be together forever. He was everything I ever wanted. What should I do? Write him and tell him that I love him still? Take the blame for the entire situation? Try to forget about him and continue on with my life?
A. No more soul mate talk. If this guy was your soul mate, he’d be with you. At this point, he’s just an ex who lives far away. He’s not your destiny.
You learned a lot from this breakup. You now know that there’s no reason to jump to conclusions about your partner’s intentions, and that prolonged distance can ruin a relationship. You learned that you have to be clear about why you’re upset and that you shouldn’t ask for space unless you really want it.
Take those lessons to your next relationship, because that’s what you need— a new experience. It’s easy to inflate your ex’s qualities because he’s not around. You can focus on the good without admitting that there were problems while you were together. After two years, it’s possible that if you looked him in the face, you wouldn’t want him anymore.
Rethink his importance and tell the people in your life that you’re looking to date. It’s time to try.
Good relationships don’t end over a silly miscommunication. Two long years have passed, he could have reached out, he could’ve responded to your note. He didn’t. You may have been in love — but it was a loooong time ago and I don’t think he feels the same. You say yourself you were young — well, you’re still young. And he’s still living overseas — it takes a very strong and dedicated couple to make that kind of long-distance relationship work, you don’t have it.
Two years later is a little late to send yet another e-mail, taking the blame for everything.
“We were so in love.” No you weren’t. People in love don’t have these kind of misunderstandings.
You needed more space. In an long-distance relationship. Isn’t that kind of like needing more sand in the desert?
I’d be willing to bet that more time has passed since you have dated than the amount of time you actually dated. You probably didn’t handle the relaionship well but long-distance relationships are difficult. Don’t be so hard on yourself about it. You didn’t ruin your only chance at happiness. Allow yourself to move on.
You’ve built up a fantasy in your head. If you were “so in love,” why did the relationship end? And for the record, you did break up with him. Maybe he was tired of your games. Maybe you weren’t overreacting at all, but reacting to something you knew was wrong but could quite understand at the time. This could be analyzed forever, but I think you need to stop ruminating. This is all irrelevant. You can’t make a person love you or want to be with you.
The fact that he didn’t respond to your latest communication tells me that perhaps he has found someone new. Look, it’s been two years. He has moved on. You should do the same and stop pining for him. As Meredith stated, learn from this experience and take those lessons into your next relationship.
Did he enroll in a monastery two years ago? Get trapped on a desert island? Locked in the bathroom at a Ruby Tuesday’s? Find himself in a Turkish prison cell? Unless he has spent the last two years under one of these scenarios, he has moved on and started a new life. The non-answer six months ago was his answer. The time to move on was two years ago. Stop living in your head about what could have been.
Don’t listen to these naysayers. I’m still completely in love with someone I haven’t talked to in five years. But you might want to choose a different path.
There’s a potential movie script here. Rachel McAdams playing the tortured soul mate pining away for her long lost love after two years.
“Should I reach out to my ex again?” No. #problemsolved
Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.