Q. A little over two years ago, I met a guy online. We have never met in person but have shared a connection via video chat and texting. I really like him, but distance is the issue; we live in different cities more than 400 miles apart.
During the two years, we’ve had periods of not contacting each other after I tell him I can’t do casual with no expectations. We both dated other people during the last period we stopped talking. He left me alone for a bit, but he always comes back.
This last time we started talking again it felt like we were finally going to meet. We talked more about our connection and how much we liked each other. He works in a field that has him away from home for weeks at a time.
During the last four-week stint he was working, we weren’t talking as much, which sent me into a doubt spiral. I messaged him to ask what is going on, and he’d reply with “I’m busy, I’m tired, I’m stressed,” to which I replied, “I wouldn’t know because you never talk to me. But I was hoping I could be a source of comfort during your time at work.”
I was upset by his initial responses and blocked him on WhatsApp, our main form of contact. I was mad. But I didn’t block him on my cell line. And he contacted me there extremely angry that I had blocked him. He told me goodbye and that he doesn’t need drama in his life right now. Then I unblocked him because I felt bad about my rash decision. He was only blocked for two hours or so.
I know that it’s childish, but I was feeling overwhelmed by our whole situation, and was thinking it needed to be done because I’m not getting what I’m looking for in a relationship. Now he has blocked me. And I feel out of control and sad that he officially no longer wants to be in my life.
Just for context on the blocking, he has blocked me in the past for about nine months when he started dating someone new. But when they broke up he unblocked me and contacted me again. I like the connection we have when we are talking to each other, but when we are not connecting I hate it.
Is this toxic? I feel terrible that I blocked him and caused this whole situation. And I’m sad to say we are both in our 40s, and this seems like childish behavior.
A. “I was feeling overwhelmed by our whole situation, and was thinking it needed to be done because I’m not getting what I’m looking for in a relationship.”
Yes! This is it.
Sure, the blocking process could have gone better. It would have been more mature to say, “I’m not happy with the distance in this relationship. I’m going to sign off and give us both space as we move on.”
You didn’t send a diplomatic, self-aware breakup message, but you know what? You still wound up in the right place. You needed this man out of your life – not just for a few months while he dates someone else, but for good. That’s where you are now, which is great.
Forget what could have been, what you might have said, and what you thought might happen. After two years, it was still a long-distance connection with no hope for a future. It’s a disappointment, but you learned a lot about yourself.
Block and delete him everywhere, and use your time to see people who show up for you in person. Call yourself 100-percent single, because you are. Refer to this man as an ex.
I know it’s messy and you don’t like the ambiguity, but we can’t script every breakup ahead of time. Sometimes it’s just a back-and-forth block battle until no one reaches out again. That’s enough closure. Take it where you can get it.
I wouldn’t even know how to tell if someone blocked me on WhatsApp. He must be on his phone constantly, letter writer, and not with you.
The distance is the same as Boston to D.C. ... in two years you’ve been unable to arrange to meet in the middle?
Good riddance to bad rubbish! You don’t need this type of back and forth drama! Move on; the sooner you start the process the better. Look forward to meeting someone fully available to you.
Send your own relationship and dating questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this form. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.