Happy July 4. Be safe tonight.
Our first holiday update is from a recent letter writer who was worried about the future.
I ended up breaking up with the guy I was seeing because the uncertainty was really making me unhappy. He took it pretty hard, which I thought he would. He called me later that night to make sure we were OK as friends and said that if he changed his mind about wanting a relationship, he'd call me. We occasionally texted for the next couple of months and I knew he was casually seeing (sleeping with) someone. Last week, he started telling me that he missed me and asked if he could take me out. Next day, he tells me that he might get back with the sleepover buddy. He knows I'm not happy with him (who texts that they miss you and then does that quick of a turnaround!). We'll be fine as friends. I just need him to know that I'm not like other girls he's been with who are OK being treated like this -- and to figure out what he wants, because I haven't been waiting for him and I'm not about to start. Thanks for the advice, Meredith! It's my decision too, and I decide to not be in this situation.
The next update is from someone who wanted guys to be more honest during breakups.
I wrote in last year asking why the guys I went out with didn't just tell me it was over. They would act weird and distant until I confronted them with the question, "Do you still want to be with me?" I had previously been in a long-term relationship and was dating for the first time in my 30s. In all honesty, I guess I assumed that in the adult dating world, people would be more honest and considerate. Now I realize that dating is tough and break ups are tougher no matter how old you are.
It's kind of interesting that Tuesday's writer asked how to do a breakup right. I don't think there is one right way to do a breakup. I do think it takes a lot of courage and compassion to do it well though. It's not easy, even for otherwise mature adults.
I think the biggest lesson I have learned (through my experience and reading Love Letters) is that if someone is not acting like they are all in, then I get to be the one who decides it's over. I'm not interested in being with someone who is just keeping me around because it seems easier than initiating a break up. I don't have to wait around for them to do the break up or even ask them what they want. I have the power to end a situation that doesn't meet my needs.
Also, I'm in a great relationship right now. So far, so good!
-- Not Waiting Around in Boston
And here's an update from someone who was worried about pictures and transitions.
Hi Meredith! It's been almost three years since I sent my original letter, which ended up being printed while I was on vacation without an internet connection. I found out then because a friend texted me saying, "Today's Love Letter sounds like you could have written it."
In any case, here we are, and he and I are still together, so I guess things weren't "doomed." I think the pictures freaked me out because they made it "real." There are now pictures of us together on both of our Facebook pages; it's not a secret, and hasn't been for a long time. We still live an hour apart, so we really only see each other on the weekends, but our day-to-day lives are busy and complicated, so it works. We are exclusive, but casual. At the time my letter was published, my child hadn't met him yet. I waited about six months before introducing them, but they get along really well, and the three of us have a lot of fun together.
I had a lot of healing to do, and he's still very patient with me. I don't know if I'll ever want to talk about marriage or permanence of any kind, and he's OK with that. (He jokes that I'm the perfect girlfriend, because I love football and beer, and don't want a ring.) The LL readers were great in their advice to not overthink things, and I do try to remember that. I've learned a lot from him about "going with the flow" and learned a lot about myself along the way. Life is good. Thanks to you and LL for the support.
-- Nervous Nellie