Q. Hey Mere,
My boyfriend and I broke up more than three months ago, after dating for three years. It was not mutual and I was pretty shocked. We’re both in our mid-20s and had talked about spending the rest of our lives together. I thought of him as the one.
Last summer, he moved a few hours away for a good but temporary opportunity at his job that he couldn’t pass up. He was very busy, and unless I drove to him, we wouldn’t see each other. I loved visiting him. But on a regular day, it would take him hours to respond to me. Sometimes he’d be out with work friends and couldn’t talk, other times he would just apologize and say he was too busy.
At first, I was happy he was having fun. But then we’d have stupid fights about it and I resented him. We ended up fighting so much he felt he had no choice but to end things. He kept saying it felt like he wasn’t making me happy.
We took a few months off, but now we’re talking every day. He’ll be living back near me in a few months, and we both want to get back what we had, but there’s a lot in the way. I have a very hard time trusting him after how he ended things (it was over text). I’m not sure he truly wants to put in effort to fix it.
Do you think trust is something I will ever get back? How do I know this situation won’t happen again? It felt like he lost interest in us a little bit.
— One more shot?
A. I do think trust is something you can get back. I also believe in breaks. Sometimes you have to hit pause on a relationship in order for it to survive. The only real problem I see here is he broke up with you by text. He needs to know that if there are issues in the future, he has to talk about them face to face. Be clear about that.
The real trick to making this second chance work is accepting that you won’t be able to turn back time and be what you were before he left. The break was short, but you’ve had different experiences on your own. Don’t try to re-create; instead, get excited that it could be something new. Also try to steer clear of talk about him being the one. You’re two people in your 20s who are figuring out whether you can grow together. You care about each other a lot, but at the moment, that’s all you know.
You should examine your own behavior here — it sounds like you said you “were fine” with things that you were not at all “fine” with. JUST-ANOTHER-BOSTONIAN
The dude ended a three-year relationship with a text. Says it all as far I’m concerned. SLIM-DOES-BOSTON
Agreed. He did not consider her a priority after he moved away. I’m not convinced he will change that when he moves back. EASIERSAID
Give her the bad news over dinner out in a busy restaurant. That way you know she won’t make a scene. It’s foolproof, I tell ya. Foolproof. HARRYRPITTS
The one . . . what is it with supposedly grown people who still believe life is like Sleeping Beauty or some other fairy tale? ROAD-RUNNERColumn and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.