Ten years later, we’re still hooking up

Hi Meredith,

When I was about 14, my family moved to a new state where I had no friends, no family, and it was quite the culture shock. One of my classmates at the time saw me at school and ended up messaging me on Facebook. We became infatuated with each other and fell in love. We dated for a few years and did everything together, but because we were so young, we broke up. He went away to school and we knew distance would never work.

Fast forward 10 years and I'm a teacher and he is still finishing med school. To this day, we still go on dates when we're both home, and we even hook up sometimes. We've been doing this on and off since we broke up. Sometimes we'll go years without talking because one or both of us is in a serious relationship, so we respect that. But when we know we're both officially single, we'll meet up for drinks or more. Before, it felt like a casual relationship, but recently it's become more than that. This past summer we've been hanging out more, and even went to see each other's families and briefly talked about how we still have feelings for each other.

The most recent development is that I moved away for a new job, and he bought a plane ticket to see me next week. I am very excited to see him and show him around my new city. I dated many guys after him and even lived with one for a few years, but I've never felt the way I feel about this man. I always thought it was just puppy love and that I would just get over it or meet someone new. But every time we see each other, our relationship progresses.

We watched each other grow from kids to successful adults. No matter who I've dated, he's always been in the back of my mind. My question is ... do you think it's normal that I still feel this way about someone after 10 years? Should I just move on with my life? Do you think I should tell him how I feel when he visits? I have never really expressed my real feelings because the fear of long-distance (and my pride) gets the best of me. I am confused about why we keep coming back to each other after all of these years.

– SOS


"My question is ... do you think it's normal that I still feel this way about someone after 10 years?"

Sure. It makes perfect sense. It's not as though you're pining for someone you haven't seen since high school. You have a strong bond with this man, and you never really let each other go. You've supported each other from afar as you've become grownups. You still care about him because he's been in your life this whole time.

"Do you think I should tell him how I feel when he visits?"

It might help. You can let him know how much you love spending time with him, and that you've been thinking about what it means that you still want him this much after all these years. If you have a specific request (are you ready for a long-distance relationship?), make that clear. At the very least, ask when you can see each other again after this visit. I know it's scary, but this this is the same man who's cared about you for a decade. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with him.

You say you're puzzled about why you keep finding each other. The answer is that you both keep looking for each other. Talk about why.

– Meredith

Readers? Any reason to move on from this? What should the letter writer tell this person?