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Q. I met someone online in February. He lives in a different state, so my initial thought was “this won’t go anywhere.” But he seemed cool, so I gave him my number. We talked for a bit, but I wasn’t really interested. He wasn’t my type physically, but I continued to talk to him. The more we talked, the more I opened up.
Finally, we met up, and I really liked him. But something just felt . . . off? It felt as if we had been friends forever — but just friends. After he left, I asked him if he was attracted to me and he responded, “I had a great time but I’m sorry, the attraction isn’t there to be intimate.” I responded, “I’m glad we’re on the same page.” We stopped texting.
But I missed talking to him. I sent him a Snapchat of headphones he had recommended (that I bought) and realized he had deleted me. I texted saying I just wanted to thank him for his recommendation.
He added me again and we decided to be friends. He tells me about the women he dates, and even though I don’t really like hearing it, I feel as if it makes this a real friendship. But the thought of him meeting someone else and disappearing really bothers me. I’m not interested in talking with or dating anyone else. Whereas he’s actively dating, I’ve never been one to do that. What am I doing?
— The girl who doesn’t date
A. You are in love with the phone-based version of this man. You like calling and messaging, and his constant communication makes you feel as if you have a partner.
Getting over a phone love is difficult because it means abandoning the fantasy. It also means grieving the constant contact, which is a big thing. I’ve had people tell me “I don’t miss my ex — but I miss the texts.” They mourn the messages and the attention. Without e-mails and texts (and snaps, I guess), they have to reset their whole routine.
The best way to get yourself unstuck is to delete this guy from all apps, then set boundaries. Tell him you need space and that the frequent messages are probably bad for both of you. He’ll get it if he’s a real friend.
You call yourself the girl who doesn’t date, but the truth is that you met a man online for romance. You don’t feel you’re great at dating, but if you read this column, you know that almost no one does. Get back online. Communicate with local people, and try to meet in person — for a reality check — as soon as possible.
You’re better off not being friends with him.
You were interested in him only as a friend, and he felt the same. The summer is here — start making plans to get out of your rut and meet people in your local area.
You’re missing the attention and the fantasy. To be blunt, I also read a bit of bruised ego subtext in your letter.
You’re forgetting that you never really wanted to be with this person. You didn’t lose anything.
boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to email@example.com.