My Summer Love Now Acts Like I Don’t Exist

Dear Sarah,

Over the summer, I had a wonderful, passionate fling with an amazing and intelligent guy. We both knew I was moving away at the end of the season, but said we would keep in touch. The thing is, the last night I would have been able to see him and say goodbye, he completely avoided me. What really mystifies me is that in the few days leading up to it, he acted as if everything was fine. I can’t help but feel like the whole experience has been tainted now.

I realize in the grand scheme of things it’s something I will get over, and I am mostly sad about it rather than angry. But I simply don’t understand how someone who seemed so kind-hearted, so genuinely interested in my company, would suddenly cut off all contact and want to leave things on a bad note. He must have his reasons, right? Any insight?

—Dazed & Confused in Quebec

Dear Dazed,

When someone who appears caring and sensitive suddenly acts like a massive D. B., it can really rock your world. Its easy to look back and feel like everything that passed between you was a big, fat illusion. In retrospect all the good stuff disappears and he becomes that jerk who duped you into falling for him and wasting three months of your time. Here’s why its important to flip that storyline: bitter sentiments grow in that spoiled ground, ones that can make you doubt your own judgement and feel suspicious about your next potential romance.

Instead, how about this story? For some reason (one that you may never know), he was an otherwise crushable guy who couldn’t deal with saying goodbye to you—it was just too sad or difficult. I’m not letting him off the hook—his behavior at the end was selfish and if you reached out to him and he refused to explain himself, that’s mean and small. But this is about you feeling whole and knowing that you were desired and maybe even being able to preserve some sweet memories (which are not an illusion—the blissed out times really did happen!). There’s nothing you could have done to predict how unpleasantly things ended. It got really, really weird. Since you had already accepted that this wasn’t going to be a long-term relationship, once the the initial pain fades, why not try to remember him as that fun summer guy who also happened to have a major flaw.

Love, Sarah

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