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Love Letters

She dumped me because I wouldn’t visit her during the pandemic

Did travel fears end this long-distance relationship, or was it something else?

I’ve been in a relationship since mid-March. We were friends/acquaintances who’d just outed our mutual crushes on each other. We decided to commit because neither of us believed in seeing multiple people — and then came COVID-19. We ended up in Massachusetts (me) and Texas (her).

We talked every day, and would do FaceTime dates. She kept wanting me to visit, but I didn’t feel comfortable flying. In May, she traveled back to New York to move out of her apartment. I stayed here because again, I wasn’t comfortable traveling even though I wanted to see her so much.

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End of June came and I could tell she was drifting away. She said she wanted an open relationship because what we had was only online. We also are eight years apart and at different points in our lives. It hurt because she said our relationship is just infatuation. She said we shouldn’t talk for a while. It’s been three weeks and we have plans to talk at the end of the month. I know there are still feelings there, even though I’m pretty sure she is seeing someone else. I should have made more of an effort to see her and I know I can’t use the pandemic as the only excuse.

– Different places

A. To be fair, the pandemic has been a pretty good reason not to see people. At the start of the spike, it wasn’t easy to feel good about hopping on a plane.

That said, the trip to New York might have been a little easier. Maybe she could have come to you. Perhaps her engagement with the world felt risky to you, but it says a lot that you didn’t talk with her about how to make a safe visit possible. As in, “How can we get to the same place without increasing our risks of exposure?” Many couples have figured it out. I want you to think about why you weren’t working with her to come up with a plan.

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I’m wondering whether this was ever more than a crush. Maybe you were satisfied with FaceTimes and messages.

I guess you can talk at the end of the month. But if she’s seeing someone else and you wouldn’t want to make an effort to be with her in person now, give yourself a break and allow yourself to let go of whatever you had six months ago. You don’t want an open relationship. I’m not convinced you want anything more than someone to look forward to seeing eventually. She’s not the person for that. She wants something now. You’re in two different places in your pandemic lives.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND

You just miss the fun online pandemic entertainment that filled a void in your life. Definitely look for someone local and maybe closer in age. AUNTTIGGYWINK

If it was anything more, you would have gone to see her. You would have NEEDED to see her. You didn’t because you don’t feel that strongly for her. CONCERNEDCITIZENONDUTY

Not traveling during a pandemic lockdown was the right decision. Stop beating yourself up and let it go. OUTOFORDER

Go outside and meet a local person. Wear a mask until it is time to take it off. SUNALSORISES

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Catch Season four of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.