Q. I met my girlfriend eight years ago, in college. We fell in love, have traveled the world together, and supported each other as we’ve pursued our dreams. I’m 29, she’s about to turn 30, and we have all the same friends. Two years ago, we bought a place together.
We have been happy and deeply in love the entire time, and are compatible in terms of values, passions, and interests. Or so I thought. Weeks ago, out of the blue, she said she wasn’t sure how she feels about me anymore. We wrote a list of things to improve our relationship, but after a week of trying, I asked how we were and she said she was still unsure. I reacted emotionally and said I would do anything for her. It got very heavy, so she asked for some space, although it seems like she has made up her mind already.
I think I started to take us for granted. I was so comfortable and secure that I forgot to treat her with the love, respect, and commitment she deserves. Little things like housework, making an effort to impress her, going on dates. Now we are on a break. I’ve written a letter with my feelings that also acknowledges I haven’t shown her the love she deserves. It also says I’m upset she didn’t talk to me about how she was feeling. Should I send the letter? Any advice is much appreciated, as I’m currently in Dante’s First Circle of Hell.
A. I would send the letter. I don’t think it can hurt.
Right now, you’re both making big decisions. She might as well have all of the available information as she figures out what’s next. If you agreed on some sort of no-contact rule during this break, you should respect it, but if the idea of “space” is more general than that, there’s nothing wrong with written communication that might clarify your future.
Let her know you do hope for an end to Circle 1. You can’t stay in limbo forever.
For the record, I can also make a case for not sending the letter — to see if she comes to any conclusions on her own — but you’re not trying to play games here. Your gut is telling you she’s already made a decision about this relationship. You want her to change her mind, or — at the very least — make this ending final so you can move on.
I would send the letter just so she can’t say that you weren’t even aware of some of the things that may have bothered her. OBSERVERATLARGE
My advice would be to not send the letter — and proceed with untangling yourself from her. THENURSE
You know what sounds like the first circle of hell? Having to spend every day for the rest of your life thinking about whether you did enough chores, went on enough dates, or put in enough effort to please her. If your “every day” isn’t the right fit for her, you’re probably better off in a different relationship. PMCD101
boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.