Moved home, fell in love

Chat at 1 p.m. 

Dear Meredith,

About six months ago I moved back to my hometown in Maine after ending my relationship with my fiancé. The move home was for financial reasons and to figure out my next step. Would I move far away? Would I start over somewhere else?

I had been single for about a year, but within a few weeks of being home, I reconnected with a former high school classmate of mine who had stayed local all these years (we are in our late 30s). We instantly began a romantic relationship that we both were very excited about. I had not felt that type of a connection in any recent memory. Within a few months, though, I learned that he had substance abuse issues. Nothing I noticed at first – drinking alone and cocaine use when we went out to bars (I never noticed until one day he said he went into the bathroom to sober up). He had lost his license, and with that his self-esteem. He immediately pushed me away and told me that he can't date me in his current situation, and that I was too good for him.

I did not hear from him at all, complete silence, for weeks. I remained quiet and never reached out, but every now and then he'd send a text asking if I hate him, or saying that he missed me, or accidentally calling me and hanging up. At this point I had moved on and was beginning to date someone else, but he was always on my mind. A few months later I ran into him at a restaurant and he pulled me outside to talk. He apologized for his behavior but said he couldn't take on a relationship. I stopped dating others since I realized I was only dating to distract myself while waiting for him to come around, and that's not fair to the other person. So here I am, casually spending time with him, hoping he'll get the help he needs, and hoping that I can be with him. I have always been a strong person when it comes to relationships and cutting ties when they're not healthy, but he has ruined that, and I don't know how to break free. Do I trust my intuition that he is worth the wait/fight? Or am I clouded? Please help.

– Broken Mainer

Sounds like you forgot your original mission. You were supposed to move home to save money and figure out your next move. With or without this guy, your goals are the same.

Trust your original intuition and start thinking about the big questions. "Would I move far away? Would I start over somewhere else?" Spend some time daydreaming about the possibilities.

Also think about talking to a professional. You're going through some major life changes (the end of an engagement, a major move, and a breakup). Wouldn't it be great to use this time to talk about what it all means? Therapy might help you move on from all of it, so you can feel good about what comes next.

– Meredith

Readers? How can she get back to her original mission? What about her intuition?