I regret ending the relationship before I knew more

Dear Meredith,

I'm a 20-something, career-focused religious woman. This summer, I met a wonderful man on a conservative Muslim matchmaking site. For the first time, I felt comfortable speaking to a man who shared my religion. In every other past encounter, I felt suffocated. I intend to marry someone who shares my faith.

With him, conversation was easy and I felt entirely myself. We only spoke on the phone a number of times before I cut things off. I ended it because it seemed we would not be able to relocate for each other in the future due to the nature of our career choices (I will be pursuing a specific doctoral program soon).

Admittedly, I think I brought up big questions too soon and I made him feel pressured and nervous. My thinking was that if circumstances could not change, perhaps getting to know each other more would be futile and lead to hurt feelings down the road. But I am already hurt, and in retrospect, I think I made a rash decision. I have let some time pass to see if I would get over him and move on, and my mother encouraged me to start getting to know new people. The problem is that even though my decision was a logical one, I only want to talk to him. I have no interest in others. In fact, the more exchanges I have with other men, the more my certainty increases that he is right for me. I'm realizing I was too calculating. I should have considered that it was worth it to see where things could go.

Should I tell him the truth? Should I tell him I want to try again? I'm not a fickle person, and I feel embarrassed by the prospect of expressing a change in mind. I also fear the sentiment is not mutual, although we are on great terms and he will always respond to me. Thanks so much in advance!

– Lots of love


You should tell him you'd like to try again, and that you're willing to admit you don't know what the future might bring. You can explain that it's in your personality to seek out logical plans and final answers, but you've learned that with relationships, you can't aways get them. Nothing is ever that simple.

Please know that you should not overstate your goals when you reach out. Round 1 of this courtship taught you that you can't expect to map out your entire future with someone after a few phone calls. Similarly, you shouldn't assume that if you try this again, you'll be reuniting with your soul mate. You don't have to proclaim your love or imply you're 100 percent in. A second try is just that – it's another great chance to figure each other out. Don't make promises and declarations before you know what they mean.

If he turns down your offer and says he's moved on, please know that all is not lost. There are other men out there who can be right for you. If you find that you don't want to interact with any of them, it might mean that you need to take a break. You can give yourself some time to be sad about this loss before you can move on with someone else.

– Meredith

Readers? Should the LW reach out about this change of heart?