Q. I have been single for almost three years after getting out of a six-year, toxic relationship. I’ve been on several dates since then, but haven’t found anyone I wanted to pursue — until now.
I fell in love with a guy I met online almost six months ago. We started talking on a dating site, but we didn’t actually go on our first date until two months ago because I was working out of town. We hit it off really well and I wanted to pursue a relationship. It’s the first guy I’ve dated in a while that I actually wanted to call my boyfriend, partly because he treated me so well.
Three weeks ago we made plans to get together on Sunday — my one day off of work. All of a sudden he had a lot to get done, so I decided to have drinks with friends. I got a bit carried away. I made the terrible decision to call him drunk, and we got into an argument. I told him I was moving on. I felt terrible the next morning and kept apologizing, but he won’t accept my apology. He doesn’t want to see me or talk to me anymore. Please, what can I do to make things right again? I messed up big time and should’ve controlled myself; it’s not the kind of person I am sober. I feel like my heart is ripped open and it’s all I think about every day. Is there anything I can do?
A. If you apologized and explained yourself already, that’s all you can do. He made a decision. Now you have to accept it and move on.
I don’t know whether this kind of thing happens often or how you usually relax with friends. There were choices made — and then consequences. That’s how it goes. It’s also possible his decision was about more than the one phone call.
Regardless, it’s a lesson for the future; you don’t want to ruin good things by repeating what happened here.
I wish I could say something to make it all better — or some magic thing to make him forget. Instead, I’ll advise you to take care of yourself. That means thinking about whether you need help. You mention a toxic ex-relationship in your first sentence. If those years are still on your mind — still affecting how you make decisions — please seek counseling. If the night-out-gone-wrong has happened more than once, ask your doctor for resources for dealing with substance abuse.
I don’t want to jump to any specific conclusions about what you need. I can only say that when someone tells you they’re done, leave them be. After that, focus on health. Think about what makes you your best self and go from there.
He took your behavior as a red flag and rightly so. You need to learn from this lesson and move on in the most positive way you can muster. NANOSECO
It was a couple months, a blip on the radar of your overall life. Sure you liked him but you hardly even knew him. Learn what you can from this (I won’t state the obvious) and move on. MAJORISSUES
The “this isn’t who I am sober” thing . . . I have never met a person who became totally different under the spell of booze; it just magnified traits that were already there. You were resentful about this guy not spending the day with you, and you acted out accordingly. DANGLEPARTICIPLE
Find the latest season of the Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show. Meredith Goldstein wants your letters! Send your relationship quandaries and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Columns and responses are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.