For nine years, I have been rather taken with a girl I knew in college. Regrettably, I had no intention then of making her a permanent fixture in my life, preferring to "sow my wild oats." (I'm a guy—this is what we do.)
After a while, I began to think that maybe she was the girl for me. I did what I could to make up for my lousy behavior, and it seemed we'd gotten over it.
Five years ago, I moved to Seattle (she lives in Texas), and I found that, despite the increasing distance, my feelings had exploded into that "L" word I dare not say here. She'd begun seeing guy after guy, and I was still trying to reconcile the idea that she "just wanted to be friends" with me.
But for someone with a live-in mate, she sure sent me a lot of Xmas and b-day gifts and called as often as she could . . . none of my good friends go this far, ever. What gives?
We've been talking on a regular basis for the last two months. She knows how I feel, says she doesn't feel the same, but her actions say otherwise (she wants to come see me, she sends "care packages," photo after photo . . . she even called me her soulmate). In order to save my soul, I need to decide if it really is worth holding on to. If I can learn patience enough to see this through, or if I should say "sayonara!" and move on, once and for all. Is this an ego-boost thing for her when she's in a bad relationship, or is she just afraid I'm still that idiot 18-year-old?
Lost in King County
Dude, she is obviously so totally into you. Sure, she says she only wants to be friends and always seems to be dating someone else, but deep down—even without knowing her—I can tell it's you she's pining for. Nine long years later.
You mention that you have people you consider "good friends" in your life. I can't figure out why none of these allegedly close buddies has smacked you on the back of the head already. Seriously. Nine years! Are you nuts? To say it's time you moved on would be a monumental understatement.
Sure, you could waste another decade trying to decode her motivations for being all sweet and sending you gifts, or you could take a much wiser (not to mention saner) course of action and figure out why you're still wasting time pining over this broad.
It doesn't matter how cute or nice she is; there are billions of people on the planet, and at least several million of them are women just as sweet and pretty as she is. What you're doing is using her as an excuse to keep yourself from being in a real relationship with someone in the same zip code because that is a grown-up, scary thing. Sure, she might get an ego boost out of knowing someone in Seattle is still pining for her, but so what? Who cares?
First of all, she's in Texas. It's easy to find someone enthralling when you never have to hear her fart or watch as she tweezes the witch hairs out of her chin. (Note how your feelings increased only after you moved outta town.) You are idealizing this woman. You were pretty much children when you were involved. You didn't want a big-time relationship and fled the premises. Totally understandable and perfectly normal. The lovely thing about our first few romances is that they don't have the baggage that gets heaped on as you get older. Everything's so passionate and new. Sigh.
I understand, as I held a soft spot in my heart (and head) for my college boyfriend for far too long. We'd see each other every couple years, and the last time we even slept together. Even though technically he was a lot better in the sack, it just wasn't the same. It turned out to be fairly depressing, actually. I wish I'd never gone back there because it tainted my rosy (and, as it turned out, delusional) memories of our time together.
So my advice is to keep your memories, but don't let them affect your future. In a nutshell: Move on.
Stuck on an old flame? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.