Let's start with an update of yesterday's letter. He emailed me last night.
So I finally grew a pair and called her up tonight. I finally brought up the subject of why we haven't dated. Her initial response was that we had never been single at the same time. Then when I asked about now, she gave me the one answer I didn't want to hear. That answer being that it would be long-distance and that she wasn't quite ready for that.
To further leave me a feeling of being stuck in purgatory (as one of the commentators put it) she said that she had thought about it in the past and certainly did not bat it down in the future. It's just ... distance! And unfortunately for me I can't really move. I'm locked into my job by contract until the fall of 2013. If you're wondering why she wouldn't move back up here, it is because she has had her heart set on moving to where she is for years.
I certainly don't mind where I am, and am very happy here -- I'd prefer not to move, but if we both find ourselves single in a couple of years I'll be heading there ... fast!!! And you were absolutely correct. Even though I'm not really in a different position than I was before -- we both think highly of each other (though I now believe I'm a bit more into her than she is into me) -- I feel MUCH better having talked about it (and things didn't get TOO awkward) and can at least move on to other people. The bottled-up feelings are pretty much gone and I can think clearly again.
And if any of the readers are wondering, I could have avoided this mess if I had just talked to her before graduation -- if we had gotten together then I would have been able to move with her. But that is getting into the woulda-coulda-shoulda that I should probably avoid.
Here's an update from someone who was overwhelmed.
My boyfriend and I have recently broken up due to his desire to focus on himself and reclaim his life. While on vacation, he gave into his drug addiction and was sent back to rehab for 28 days. He and I both felt that it would be best for him to be single during this trying time in his life.
Once he was released, I had to see him and we spent a wonderful weekend together. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, but we said our good-byes to one another and words cannot even come close to express the hardship I'm feeling right now.
I want nothing more than to see him healthy and strong. Despite his addicitons, immaturity, and disease, he is an amazing man and I will forever cherish my time with him.
If time weren't an issue, I'd wait for him-but I'm in my early 30s and nothing is guaranteed. If we are meant to be together, than time will tell.
And now an update from someone who was dealing with anger.
I followed your advice about my controlling, angry boyfriend and cut off all contact with him. His mother even reached out to me to ask if I knew anything about him because he had cut off contact with them completely. I told her I didn't know anything, and that was the truth.
I know that despite his problems there is good in him, and it's really hard to let that go. The better part of him treated me better than anyone else ever has. I miss him a lot. Because in the end our breakup was mutual, I don't have fantasies of him coming to beg me to get back together. I'm sure he has spun our story in his head and is moving on, glad to be rid of me.
I've been out of work this whole time as well. I haven't had any distraction from my thoughts about it all. Most days getting out of bed is a struggle. All my friends are moving on with their lives, getting married, getting having kids. And I'm all alone at the starting gate.
Everyone says this is for the best, but I feel pretty lost, M.
Here's an update from a person with a ticking clock.
I totally was jumping the gun when I wrote this letter. Shame on me. I actually assumed that I would be getting dates.
I've been attempting online dating fairly consistently over the past couple of years, and the ONLY emails I get are either from 80-year-old men or men who are my age but completely irresponsible, playing their guitar and looking for a woman who will support them financially and/or be their mom.
As for offline dating? Everyone my age is married, gay, or crazy. I've been to a number of social meetups for groups my age, both religious and non-religious, and have not met anyone who isn't in one of the above categories. I guess I was being a hopeless optimist when I wrote that letter.
I should add that for my online dating profile already unchecked the "wants children" box. So, the fact that my biological clock was still screaming had nothing to do with the fact that men were not interested in dating me. I can just see the commenters saying, well no wonder no one's interested in you, if at age 40 you still have that box checked!
(And it's not screaming anymore. It's a dying gasp, like the faint cry in a distant forest. I'm accepting my fate, because it's not like I have any choice in the matter.)
Here's a long update from someone who was hunting and fishing. And yes, I passed her an email from another reader.
In my letter, I expressed the difficulties of living in a rural community and being a single 30-something, trying to date online and otherwise. The bizarre twist was that one of your readers living in New Hampshire asked to be connected to me, since we shared similar backgrounds, were in similar positions, and had similar goals.
Well, it was hard to turn down the offer to "meet" someone after publicly complaining about the lack of single men. And while this did not pan out into a love connection, it was nice to hear from an educated single man living in the boondocks of New England. It made me realize my problem was not that unique. We connected via Facebook and shared some emails, but there wasn't enough there to really try to meet up (considering we still lived hours apart).
Most of the advice of your readers was a stern CALM DOWN. So I kept trudging along, dating here and there and trying to have faith that things happen on their own time. Mind you, this is still a difficult thing to do with the number of save the dates, wedding shower, baby shower, and birth announcements that show up.
Early in the online dating process (even before writing LL), I met "Adam", whom I shared several offline friends with. He and I pursued a friendship (even though I was crushing on him). I gave up on pursuing something romantic with him and decided to CALM DOWN and just enjoy dating. There is so much pressure on dating in your 30s! I decided to chillax and started to date people whom I connected with even if they had huge red flags in terms of long-term potential. I kept dating fun and didn't commit to anything (either in terms of a relationship or in bed).
Well, as you can probably guess, things turned around with Adam. Once I calmed down and started to have fun, I think I projected my true self. Our mutual friends couldn't be happier, we're sharing the holidays together, and we're madly in love. We have shared visions for the future which will (hopefully) pan out!
Let's end with a short and sweet one, shall we? It's from someone who wanted to get married.
I just wanted to send you a quick update to my letter that you ran last winter. After a couple of fairly epic discussions, my wonderful boyfriend finally popped the question this Christmas! A little bit communication and some more patience on my part was really what we needed!
Please offer some advice and good thoughts. Some of those people need it.
See you in 2012. Be safe. - Meredith