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In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
A week ago, I ended an eight-month relationship with “Matt.” We have a great connection and care deeply about one another, but I felt that Matt had very little time and effort to put into the relationship. Finally, last weekend, I took a leap of faith and didn’t make plans for us, in hopes that he would make an effort to see me. He texted me throughout the weekend to say hi, but never made a concrete plan. Sunday afternoon rolls around and I realize that I’m in a relationship with someone who isn’t making a sincere effort to be with me, that I’m unhappy and I need to stand up for myself. I went to his place and expressed all of my concerns, plainly stating that I want a relationship with someone who wants to see me and is excited to be with me and to include me in his life. The guy who didn’t express emotion over the previous eight months burst into tears, shared that he’s unhappy — not with me but with his job and other life circumstances. I encouraged him to work on his own happiness, and told him that I care about him and want him to be in a better place, whether that’s with me or not.
We parted ways amicably. And then came the texts — saying we made a mistake and that he misses me. I told him that this communication is what I wanted in our relationship and didn’t have. He apologized. I suggested that he take some more time to see if he truly felt we made a mistake, or if these comments were more out of emotion. He’s now contacted me twice in the past week to “hang out.” I’ve replied by telling him I’m not ready, and that I do want us to have a friendly hang-out down the road. I also said: “If you want to talk about the relationship, I am open to that.” On one hand, I feel terrible that I keep shooting him down, but I keep leaving opportunities for him to speak about it, and he doesn’t take me up on them. I keep telling myself to MOA, but I’m conflicted when there’s a strong connection to him but the relationship wasn’t working. I don’t know how to respond if these requests to “hang” but not talk keep coming? — Afraid to MOA