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LOVE LETTERS

I met him at a holiday party

... and went home with someone else.

Love Letters

Q. I recently met a guy at a holiday party. But he wasn’t the guy (I’ll call him Guy No. 1) I was expecting to spend the night flirting with. He was that guy’s best friend. Guy No. 1 is a man I’ve known since our first year of college. For the last few years, whenever we see each other, sparks fly — fleetingly. We spend a night together and in the morning, after we part ways, we don’t talk for months.

Guy No. 2 (the guy I met at the party) is No. 1′s dear friend. I’d never met Guy 2 before, but we spent all night flirting and chatting before I ultimately, expectedly, went home with No. 1. The next morning, I received a text from Guy 2 that essentially said “have a nice life.” Two days later, Guy 1 and I decided to keep things permanently in the friendzone. I can’t stop thinking about guy No. 2, even though I didn’t ultimately end the night with him. He and I are more compatible in a number of ways. But does a text that “wishes me the best” but says “I want to pursue a different relationship” really mean he’s done with this forever?

— Wishing The Best

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A. I have no idea what he means or how turned off he was by the night’s events.

I’m not sure you have much to lose by texting him one more time to see if he’d be willing to go out for coffee. You can say, “I had so much fun talking to you at the party, and I’d love to get together.” If he says yes, you can tell him — in the simplest terms — how you feel. You can explain that you have some history with his friend, but that it’s over. You can say you left the party wanting this — to spend time with the person you liked so much that night.

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Please know that he might not text back. Even if he’s open to conversation, he might not want to date someone who’s had this kind of relationship with his close friend. That would be understandable. Don’t push; ask once.

Also know that you didn’t mess things up with a potential soul mate. He’s just a guy who was cool at a party. This can serve as a reminder that sparks can fly with new people when you least expect it. You also learned that old routines can get in the way of something great and new.

Send the text, keep it short, and accept whatever answer (or nonresponse) you get.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

This is not going to work. Nobody (at least, nobody in their right mind) wants this much potential drama over someone they flirted with once. PRINCEHANS

Of course he told you to have a nice life — he was nice to word it so politely. If you want to know how he really feels, then yeah, ask him out. I’m thinking he won’t be so polite. HIKERGUYNH128

I am worried that if you do meet up with Guy #2, he will just use you as a friend-with-benefit too. LADYLADY

I disagree with Meredith, don’t pursue this man. It’s got nothing to do with what he did or didn’t mean by his text, but more because he’s your casual-sex-guy’s good friend. You do know that there’s millions of other men you could date who represent a fresh start, right? Go find them. LUPELOVE

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^Exactly. She needs to fish in a different pond. FREEADVICEFORYOU

Yes, he’s done with you forever. Don’t do what Meredith said. In future, try to get your act together. OUTOFORDER

Send your own relationship and dating questions to loveletters@globe.com or fill out this form. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.

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