Dealing with two breakups

Dear former letter writers: Please send some updates for the holidays. Email them to meredith.goldstein@globe.com, and make sure to tell me what email address you used with your original letter so I can be sure it's really you. Tell us whether we gave good advice and what you're up to now.

Dear Meredith,

I broke up with my boyfriend of two years. We're two years apart and both attending universities, but we're on different coasts. The distance wasn't a problem, although it was hard. It began with my falling behind in school, and one of my dearest friends who basically gave me a slap in the face (not physically) about my work ethic and my future. This friend doesn't like my boyfriend, just as a person I guess. He's a great guy with lots of friends and basically your average male, but she started to dislike him because it seems I've changed since we started to date. I wound up breaking up with my boyfriend – and the confrontation with my friend changed that relationship, too.

I'm not sure if I made the right decision. After that confrontation with my friend, we're no longer close, making me feel even more depressed and anxious about the future. She and my boyfriend were the closest people in my life, but now they're both gone. My boyfriend made me very happy, and I know it's foolish to say this, but I really think that he might have been "the one."

I'm not sure whether I should ask him to get back together or just stick with it and move on. My life is messy at the moment and basically I told him that I "thought I should be alone at this point in my life, and being in a relationship might hinder me from the best I can be right now." Even though the space is forcing me to do other things that I should be doing, I feel depressed, heavy, and unhappy. I miss him. Did I make the right decision? What should I do?

– afflicted conflicted


I can't figure out whether you'd thought about leaving your boyfriend before your friend gave you that verbal slap. Had you been having real issues with the relationship? Had you thought about being on your own before she spoke up? If a breakup hadn't crossed your mind before your friend became your adviser, you need to think about why you were swayed and how you came to this decision. This is a good opportunity to learn about yourself.

I understand why you want to call your ex and make it all better – and maybe that will be the right move later on – but if you're really interested in becoming the best you can be right now, you have to figure out ways to be less lonely outside of your romantic relationship. You don't want to have your whole life wrapped up in one friend and a boyfriend. You need more things to do, more people to see, and to be confident about your work, no matter what. If your life wasn't growing with him in the picture, you need more time on your own.

Work on the friend stuff first. See who else is around, and maybe reach out to your ex-friend to say, "What happened here?" Even if this journey leads you all the way back to your ex-boyfriend, it'll help to feel better about the rest of your life when you get there.

– Meredith

Readers? Should she ask him to get back together? What is she missing?