Love Letters

My homesick boyfriend said he was moving out, so I gave him a shove

I was hurt when he said he was returning to his old job back home. Now I worry I forced him out.

In Season One of her new Love Letters podcast, Meredith Goldstein explores what happens when love ends in a breakup. Listen to the podcast now, and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and RadioPublic.

Q. After a year of long-distance dating (we met online), including monthly visits, my boyfriend moved here from out of state. He said he would give it a year to see if he could handle being away from family. He got a job here immediately, which he hated from the start.

Four months later, he came home and announced he’d quit his job, taken back his old job in his home state, and told them he’d be there in three weeks. I was so hurt and angry that he would make this decision without me that I said: “Why wait three weeks? Get the [expletive] out.” And he did.

I feel guilty that maybe I overreacted and drove him out. I gave him the opportunity to reconsider, but his mind was made up.


By the way, he could have afforded not to work for several months and stayed to chill and get his head together, including taking several nice vacations we had planned. I think he just got homesick and bailed at the first chance he got. My telling him to get out made it that much easier for him. Thoughts? — Gone

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A. You didn’t drive him out; you just told him to leave three weeks early. Please don’t punish yourself for your reaction to his bad news.

From the start, you were excited to have him in town, but you seemed to understand that it was going to be a difficult transition. Even if he’d been desperate to move away from family, it would have taken him a long time to adjust to a new job, community, and routine. He’s the one who moved without coming to terms with how long it might take for a new place to feel like home. He’s also the one who made choices without you. You had every reason to be hurt and angry — he left you out of every equation.

This relationship might have worked online and long distance for a year, but it’s not great in person. He doesn’t share your priorities, and he has a very different take on what it means to have a partner. Be done with him and start thinking about what’s next.

— Meredith


He liked you when you were far away. He wanted to see whether things would work out if you were not far away. He found out he didn’t like you enough to put up with being away from family and a job he liked. The end. LUCILLEVANPELT


He had to have put in some legwork to have the new job all lined up, etc. He wanted to leave, and he didn’t want your input. ELLLEEM

Not necessarily — I’ve had old employers call up out of the blue and ask if I was interested in coming back. JUST-ANOTHER-BOSTONIAN

She said he hated his job since he arrived. I’m thinking he did try to talk to her about his concerns, and she refused to listen. CMF

He had a foot out the door even before he arrived. I’m afraid the only way you can take it is personally. He didn’t choose you . . . and you chose pride over sensibility. So it goes. VALENTINO

Submit your question to Meredith here.

Meredith Goldstein’s new memoir, “Can’t Help Myself,” is now available.