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LOVE LETTERS

I’m in a sports league with an ex. He won’t even acknowledge me.

I can’t fathom treating someone like a stranger after being so close to them. Any advice for coping?

Need relationship advice? Submit your questions for Meredith here.

Q. I’m in my late 30s and I’ve been living in Boston for 18 years. As a gay man, it always seems difficult to meet quality men who are also looking for a relationship. I’m outgoing, confident, love my career, love my family, and have joined many social groups. In those 18 years, I’ve only dated three or four people seriously. Most recently, I met an incredible guy over July Fourth last year in Provincetown. Essentially, I found love in a hopeless place, as Rihanna once said.

We continued dating for seven months. He was the first guy I introduced to my family as my boyfriend, and we even traveled abroad for a vacation. After that trip, he ended things. I was blindsided. He felt it was best to unfollow, block, and not speak to me for some time.

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Post breakup, I’ve been depressed, even after being supported by my friends and family. I found a therapist but as soon as I think I’m healed, I’ll see [my ex] out and all of my healing evaporates. For weeks, I’ve played in a gay sports league I joined with friends. Randomly, he signed up as well but never acknowledges me at matches. I can’t fathom treating someone like a stranger after being so close to them.

I’ve been trying to focus on taking care of myself through therapy, working out, and surrounding myself with friends. Many of the apps are a nightmare and full of people looking for short-term transactional stuff. Any advice?

– Hopeless

A. Give yourself more time to grieve, because this kind of breakup knocks the wind out of you. Having the support of friends and family — even a therapist — doesn’t erase bad feelings. It takes time.

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Also know that the guy who can’t be honest about his feelings during a relationship probably has trouble knowing how to behave after a breakup. He’s not equipped to be cool or empathetic at a sporting event. It’s possible he thinks that ignoring you is the best thing to do.

I wish I could give you a timeline for how long it takes to get over things. I do know that when you hit anniversary points, you make a new memory that makes the previous one that much older. I hope you did something fun on the Fourth this year. If not, keep planning.

Continue to do as many of these league-type activities as possible. Meet people through friends. Use the apps sparingly (no more than 15 minutes a day, let’s say), and pause if it feels terrible. Remember that there’s a difference between someone saying they want something transactional, and a person saying they want to have fun — because they might be open to more.

Stay busy with what makes you happy (and therapy), and I promise it will all start to change.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

This guy has serious barriers to emotional intimacy. Doesn’t make him a bad guy, but he was never going to be enough for you. You are an emotional connector. You seem warm. He probably really liked your warmth, but was ashamed he couldn’t return it (I speak from experience). Just give it some time. LITTLEPENGUIN456

It might help to get outside yourself and “the search,” and focus on giving to others — lots of volunteering and charity work to shift energies outward. AUNTTIGGYWINK

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Find the latest season of the Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show. Meredith Goldstein wants your letters! Send your relationship quandaries and questions to loveletters@globe.com. Columns and responses are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.