Dear 100 Hour Board,
I asked Board Question #65221 exactly a year ago, and I'm in a bit of a pickle now. As CK wisely suggested, I had a brief conversation with my family about how I would appreciate some space on the issue (which was, unfortunately, to no avail). As it happens, my suspicions about his intentions seem to be correct and with just a few months left before his return, I am receiving periodic letters which indicate pretty clearly that he views our relationship as more than friendship and is very excited to see me when he gets back.
I feel terrible about this. It's obvious to me that I haven't missed him as much as he's missed me and I don't anticipate our reunion a earnestly as he does. I'm not in a relationship with anyone else, but I've been just fine doing my thing at school/work while he's been gone and I'm not sure how to respond to his letters. For the past couple of months I've been ignoring the 'mushy' parts of his letters and keeping things as casual as possible but I'm afraid if I don't clarify things, he will feel like I led him on.
I could really do with some updated opinions. Should I keep writing him as a friend and let him think what he will? Should I just stop writing? Should I make things clear, at the risk of embarrassing or distracting him? I'm concerned because I don't want him to waste energy thinking about me, especially when he returns and realizes that the situation between us is not what he was expecting. I don't want him to regret any misuse of time and I don't want to feel like I'm responsible for it.
-Things were easier when we were eleven.
P.S. To deal with the family constantly butting in with wedding plans, I finally just resolved to ignore them and informed all parties that I can do what I want with my life, which includes (but is not limited to) choosing to marry or not marry the Boy. They still call with temple venue suggestions.
Dear I miss being eleven too,
Talk about boys you like!!! ....Actually, no, that's kind of a bad idea. Zed has given a great outline of what to do below, and I don't want to mess with that, but I do want to say--if you feel like your family and his family are still invading your space, you need to realize that they are probably telling him things that aren't totally true about the way you're feeling, and it really is important for you to clear things up with him so nobody leaves this situation with a crushed heart.
The worst possible thing for you to do would be to just stop writing him letters without explaining (trust me, I have learned this from experience). Just tell him you aren't as committed as your family thinks you are. If he is overly bothered by it or won't accept what you say even after you tell him, then you can stop writing him (there's no use spending time writing letters to someone who is just causing you trouble).
-Yog in Neverland
If I were you, I'd say something in my next letter like, "I really appreciate getting letters from you, because you're such a great friend. But recently your letters have seemed like you see our relationship differently. I'm really sorry if you misunderstood how I feel, but I [insert how you view the relationship here]. I'm still looking forward to seeing you when you get home, but [statement about how casual you want things initially]. I'm sorry if anything I said or did gave you the wrong impression."
That's the bare bones of it. If you feel terrible about the situation, and you're worried about him regretting his time or you being responsible for it, tell him that! Seriously, just tell him what you told us. Sure, this letter might give him a rough couple of days, but in the long term, you're not doing him any favors by not telling him.