Magazine

Love Letters

If she has feelings for me, why does she keep dating other guys?

After being her rebound guy multiple times, he wonders if she’ll ever take him seriously.

Send your question to Meredith here.

Q. I reconnected with a former co-worker about six years ago. We had a fling until she decided to begin a relationship with another man. I had feelings of dejection. But in the end, I wanted her to live her life and let this love bloom. We remained close friends.

Her romantic relationship ended and she ran to me. I informed her I was not going to be her rebound. But . . . I decided to take a trip to Manhattan, and since it was around her birthday, I asked her to come. During this trip she brought up how she still thought about being more than friends. Being a hopeless romantic, I told her I was willing to give us a shot. Then she started seeing a co-worker she saw no future with. Why did she prioritize this guy over me?

Just a few weeks ago, after things fizzled out with him, she came running back to me. Against my instincts, I gave us another shot. And, as they say, history repeats itself. She ghosted me for a man she’d known for three weeks. They’re even “Facebook official.”

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I’d had enough. I removed her from all of my social media. I even uninstalled Hulu from my phone because I was using her account. The sad thing is I know it’s only a matter of time before she comes running back, and a part of me is willing to give her yet another chance. Why do I put myself through this even though I know it’s bad for me? Why do people keep relationships with toxic people? — Unintentional Masochist

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A. You’ve allowed her back into your life in the past because you’re hopeful, romantic, and open to the possibility that people can change.

But this time around, you’re the one who’s changed. For the first time, you deleted this woman’s messages and passwords. You admitted that even when she’s not your romantic partner, she’s not a great friend. The Hulu decision was symbolic, right? You don’t want to be connected to her anymore. You don’t trust her enough to have a password-sharing kind of relationship.

My advice is to continue setting boundaries and making new rules for yourself because you’ll probably need more of them. Maybe the next one should be about how much time you spend thinking about her. If you catch yourself imagining her return — playing it out in your head — call a friend and get busy with something else.

Also, treat yourself to some new accounts and passwords. It can feel great to start something fresh, even if it’s just an HBO GO account — or your very own Hulu.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

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On some level, you’ve enjoyed the ups and downs, the anticipation of rejection — this relationship thrilled you in ways others did not. So you need to go see a therapist and work on that drama addiction. JUST-ANOTHER-BOSTONIAN

You make the call. You set the boundaries and then relay them to her. You can’t be her lover, and you can’t be her friend. You take you seriously, and others will follow. Be strong. PINKDRINK

“So why did she prioritize this guy over me?”

Because you are her backup plan. MSENIGMA

I would’ve at least kept the Hulu. BAZINGANINJA

Meredith Goldstein’s novel “Chemistry Lessons” is now available.