How can we avoid going from 0 to 100?

Dear Meredith,

My ex-boyfriend (and first love) and I (both 25) broke up a year ago due to an impending nine-month deployment. We didn't talk much while he was gone, but met up when he returned. Sparks were definitely still there and we decided to jump back into a relationship. I halted it a couple of weeks in because it felt too fast, and I've been moving forward on my own, not thinking we would get back together anytime soon. I've grown a lot in the last nine months and I didn't feel the same as I did the first time around, which was very confusing because I know I love him and could see a future together.

I don't think I'm in love with him right now but I would love nothing more than to be in love and in a relationship with him again in the future. The issue is that he is a six-hour drive from my city, and it's unlikely he'll be able to move closer for three to four years, and we both agree I can't move to him.

How does a former couple restart a relationship without going from 0 to 100? Clearly it was too quick for me the first time and it didn't feel right, but I know deep down this is someone I could potentially have a future with, and I would love to! I just need to fall back in love with him first. Do we wait and see how life unfolds and keep going on our separate paths for now? See each other on occasion when he comes to my city and see how I feel? I'm not sure how to proceed.

- Too Fast

"Do we wait and see how life unfolds and keep going on our separate paths for now?"

Yeah. This seems like the best plan. You're not super excited about this relationship right now, which means there's no motivation to deal with a six-hour drive. Also, it's difficult to make that trip and then keep it super casual. That kind of distance is for couples who know they want to make it work.

For now, live your life on your own. Enjoy your independence. Do not feel guilty.

As you move on, do not push yourself to imagine a future with this first love. You felt sparks with him because you share so many good memories, but he can remain an important and lovely part of your past without being your plan for later. You are capable of falling in love with someone else, and if you do, that's OK. Be open to committing to an entirely different person.

As you travel your own path, give your ex some space. Don't mention any future visits. Let him let go.

– Meredith

Readers? Can the LW fall back in love?