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Mr. Right? Mr. Right now?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 29, 2009 09:19 AM

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Mr. Right. And unicorns. And fairies. And princesses. Happy Friday. Here you go:

Q: I am 32 year old female just starting to date after an 8 year relationship followed by a 6 month "why the hell did I stay so long now I need to fix me" period. Now the past two months after that have been really fun. I actually am starting to feel like my old self again.

I tried eHarmony, which resulted in a few coffee dates and then 8minute dating. It's great to get to know a variety of people so I can try to learn what will actually work long term. I am currently seeing this guy who is probably on paper not a great match. However, what is amazing about him is that within the short amount of time we've dated he makes me feel so good about myself.

My ex very subtlety took away every ounce of self-confidence I had in me. Occasionally I would ask if he would ever considering marrying me and the answer was “well if you worked out more, sex was better, did the things you used to do, looked a certain way, etc. then I would.” Toward the end, I couldn't even change clothes in front of him.

Yet with the new guy (who is looking for something long term), I could just sit there exposed in broad daylight and he actually said the word “sexy.” It was an incredible feeling. My question is, how long can I justify being with this guy who is 35 and looking for marriage/kids when I am starting to suspect that while he's not my Mr. right, he's an incredible Mr. right now? And is it possible that I just think he's not Mr. Right because I've been out of the game so long?

-- Anonymous, Lowell

A: To answer your last question first – yes, it’s possible you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know what you want. You’re coming back to life. You feel like you wasted your time with your ex and you want to make up for it. Understandable.

What you do know is that this new guy makes you feel good. You enjoy spending time with him. He’s nice to you. You keep showing up for him.

You didn’t tell us why you suspect that he’s not the guy for you, but my guess is that it’s way too early to say.

To suspect is not to know. (That sounds like advice from Yoda, right?)

Sometimes after a bad breakup, it seems as though everyone who's new is better -- that the options for nice, great guys out there are limitless. That's not always the case.

My advice is to stop believing in Mr. Right – especially Mr. Right-on-paper. He’s a myth, as far as I’m concerned. There’s no such thing as an ideal partner, only people who come in different shapes and sizes. Some are better for you than others. At the very least, this guy is better for you than the ex.

It doesn’t sound like you want to let go. So don’t. Just tell him you need to move slow -- and stay honest.

Readers? Does she have to bail if she has doubts? Is she right about this guy being Mr. Wrong? Set her straight here. Submit a letter to the right. Twitter with me here.

-- Meredith

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80 comments so far...
  1. I've got to ask.... How did you meet Mr. Perfect? If it feels right and you are running off to get married tomorrow, then enjoy! If it feels good and keeps getting better then CONGRATS! You found what millions of us are looking for. Enjoy what is happening and let it take its course! If your friends say anything they are morethen likely jelous and wish they found what you have found if they haven't already!

    All females, and yes men, all females do the "wedding/kids" planning when they think they found the "one"! So enjoy it seems that after everything you went thought you more then earned this one!!!!

    :) so happy for you!!!

    Posted by online May 29, 09 10:16 AM
  1. Reminds me of that old joke about the husband store.
    A brand new store has just opened that sells Husbands. When women go to choose a husband, they have to follow the instructions at the entrance:

    "You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are 6 floors and the value of the products increase as you ascend the flights. You may choose any item from a particular floor or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you CANNOT go back down except to exit the building!"

    So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband.

    The 1st floor sign reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs.

    The 2nd floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

    The 3rd floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids and are extremely good looking.

    "Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

    She goes to the 4th floor and The sign reads: Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help with Housework.

    "Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!" Still, she goes to the 5th floor and The sign reads: Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, help with Housework and are Great In Bed.
    She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the 6th floor and the sign reads:

    Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

    Posted by Patrick May 29, 09 10:17 AM
  1. Ms. Lowell said she's dating "this guy who is probably on paper not a great match." Then Meredith said, "You didn’t tell us why you suspect that he’s not the guy for you, but my guess is that it’s way too early to say." I disagree with you this time, Meredith. She knows, but she's not telling. There's something very definite that is going to keep her from committing to this guy. It could be anything from religion to height to social class to...you name it. Ms. Lowell knows that what she's doing is not fair to the guy; she asks "how long" she can justify being with him. I say, Time's up. Back to the sea for that fish.

    Posted by Sasha May 29, 09 10:18 AM
  1. Life isn't always about being in a constant monogamous state of pure bliss with Mr. Right. Sometimes you spend time with alot of Mr. Right Nows, and you can (AND SHOULD!) enjoy every minute of it

    Posted by Sabs May 29, 09 10:19 AM
  1. I know women have a tendency to overthink these things to death, but the best thing you can do at this point is not to stress about it. Dating is a trial period - you don't have to know right away whether or not he's the one, because you're just kicking the tires. You don't need to engage in the dreaded RD (relationship discussion), because frankly, you're not in one yet. The only thing you owe this guy is honesty, in both words and actions. By actions, I mean, don't monopolize his every waking moment, sleep over every night, have 'assumed dates' on certain days of the week, etc., because that will give him the mistaken impression that you are moving towards the next level with him, when you're just not ready for that. Just be fair to him, stay independent, and there's nothing to worry about.

    Posted by Rae May 29, 09 10:34 AM
  1. If this guy is looking for a long-term relationship, then you must let him go find it somewhere else. Now.

    It's unfair to continue since you seemingly have little interest in him other than the fact that he's good for your shattered self-esteem.

    You are being selfish and trying to somehow make up for lost time (i.e. the last 8 years) and therefore, you clearly still need to be by yourself for a while to work on your issues and start to take some pride in yourself and your appearance. You are not comfortable enough in your own skin and are still looking for your self-worth to be validated by others. Not good.

    p.s. there was nothing subtle about what your ex did to you based on your side of the story, although I suspect that you let yourself go over the years.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss May 29, 09 10:35 AM
  1. If it is meant to happen he will wait but not forever. I would think after maybe 6 months to a year at most it will should be clear if you are meant to be together "forever." If at that point you still are not sure than you are probably not going to last.

    Posted by techdood May 29, 09 10:37 AM
  1. don't bail! but be honest that you're not sure where you stand yet on long term relationships and give yourself the chance to explore this. just because he's not right on paper doesn't mean he's not right in real life! in less than 2 weeks i'm marrying my mr-not-right-on-paper and things couldn't be more right! to me, 2 of the most import qualities in a man are that they make you feel great (which you've got here) and that they're willing to work through anything with you (if he sticks around after you're honest about where you stand on the topic of relationships right now you'll have your answer on this one too). it may turn out that he really is just your mr-right-now, but as long as you're not deceiving him about your feelings, go ahead and enjoy it!

    Posted by stephanie May 29, 09 10:40 AM
  1. 8 years with someone who stripped away your self esteem? There was something that kept you there; having someone complement you is completely foreign to you, but roll with it! Have fun! Being with someone who boosts your self esteem is great, regardless of how he "looks on paper." Don't get caught up in what should be, analyze it against what was, enjoy what is. You are already pleasantly surprised by his attention to you - stick with it and you just never know.

    Posted by lwagz1 May 29, 09 10:50 AM
  1. Stop borrowing trouble. Enjoy your time with him, be very direct and honest, and if the two of you decide you want different levels of commitment or different things from a relationship, THEN deal with it. But for goodness sake, relax and have some fun.

    Posted by exiledmainer May 29, 09 10:50 AM
  1. First of all, congratulations on breaking up with your verbally abusive, horrible excuse for a man ex boyfriend. I'm happy that you have found someone who knows your worth and knows how to talk to and treat a woman. You have made a wonderful step towards rebuilding your heart. Keep working on your own confidence issues. Ask yourself instead, are you in the position to be a Mrs. Right? You cannot predict the future so enjoy the time you have with your new friend. Who cares if he's not good on paper! How big is heart? Dont be shallow, that is all that truly matters. Carpe Diem! Happy Friday!

    Posted by trueluv4eva May 29, 09 10:53 AM
  1. Your new BF thinks you're sexy, but do you? It's how we feel about ourselves as women that matters most, not what someone external tells us about ourselves. Perhaps after being treated cruelly by your emotionally abusive ex, you're breathing fresh air for the first time in a long time with this man.
    Take it slow and that means, sexually also. If you're asking yourself questions about him at this point, don't complicate your relationship by putting the cart before the horse. See where it goes. See how you grow as a person when you're with him and how he responds. Enjoy him without having to figure out, "is he the ONE?" You haven't said why you think that he's not the one. He must have said something that raised a red flag with you, what was it?

    Posted by exvermonter May 29, 09 10:54 AM
  1. People who want kids REALLY WANT KIDS. Don't be selfish and lead him on because you like "feeling good" and don't want it to stop. It took you a long time to get out of that other relationship--don't visit your baggage on him. Let me make it as clear as possible -->If you don't tell him, you are lying through omission. OK, you didn't know for a while (who could at the very beginning of a dating relationship?) but now you do have a better sense.

    This is not like "hey, I would rather go to Bermuda than Mexico but am afraid he'll be mad because he already picked out a hotel". This is KIDS and a FAMILY we're talking about, and he wants to find the right person to share his dream. Don't rob him of this time.

    Why is it so hard for people to just communicate in an honest way with each other? What void are they so scared of? There are plenty of guys not into marriage who would be happy to do the "feel good" thing (in fact, I'm sure most of 'em would prefer it!!!).

    Posted by yupokay May 29, 09 11:00 AM
  1. I had a terrible relationship in college, took a break, then some time after college met Mr. Right Now. He liked me for who I am, made me laugh, and didn't ask for anything. But he wasn't right for me on paper either. I kept telling him this was nothing serious. He was ok with that too. We kept having stupid fun together. I'm not sure at what point he turned into Mr. Right but I do know I've been happily married to him for 9 years, we have 2 beautiful kids and a great home and I could not be happier with my life. Don't bail. Meredith's right, I have plenty of single friends looking for Mr. Right-on-paper and they haven't found him. Keep enjoying the relationship and see where it goes.

    Posted by MrsMike May 29, 09 11:03 AM
  1. Her biological clock is ticking, so she should just go for it. And when she says "not good on paper", that usually means he doesn't make 6 digits.

    Posted by Bee May 29, 09 11:10 AM
  1. Why don't you do what all of us guys would do in your situation? Use him for sex and dump him when the REAL right person comes along.

    Posted by Kay-Man May 29, 09 11:11 AM
  1. This is just flat out stupid. Moronic! Another "how do I guarantee it's forever and ever"???? Uhhh, by NOT acting like THAT!! Isn't it sad/ironic how these suspicions always directly lead to the actions that drive people right out the door?! Comical.

    Advice? Get rid of him now, before he has plenty of opportunity to disappoint you!

    Yeah, your ex-husband was right, and a very wise man indeed... you're just simply programmed to ruin whatever relationship you trudge into. Don't worry though... you'll always have the cats!! Fortunately for many lonely women everywhere, they don't run away under the duress of constant suspicion and doomsday prognostications...

    Posted by DJMcG May 29, 09 11:11 AM
  1. You say that, on paper, he does not make a great match, but man oh man does he make you feel GREAT!
    Um...the solution is REALLY easy. THROW AWAY YOUR STUPID PAPER.

    Posted by Bob May 29, 09 11:23 AM
  1. Why are you putting all the responsiblity of your lost self esteem on your ex? I think you need to really go back and look at that; it takes 2 to tango. This issue is going to creep into any relationship you have, eventually. Also, I think that if you really know this guy isn't the one, you should let him go find that special someone. This sounds like a nice rebound (make me feel good about myself) relationship. Nothing wrong with that. Do more online/speed dating. You'll figure out quickly what you really need (vs. want) in a man. It's also a great test of where your self esteem is. Good luck.

    Posted by cav May 29, 09 11:24 AM
  1. I must run into 2 or 3 people each week that can’t seem to satisfy their precious punch list regarding Mr. or Ms. Right. Some have never been married; others have…some have kids, most do not. The common denominator is people think there’s going to be a Big Bang type explosion where the “Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars….and love will steer the stars.” Relationships are fluid. A lot of guys on this board are going to talk about Weight Watchers and Slim Fast, but they’re still woefully and perpetually single because no one wants to be with someone who has the personality and sexual longevity of a firecracker. God knows what you’re looking for, but you cannot manifest kindness, adoration, morality and patience in someone. It’s there or it’s not. My mom was married to my dad for 20 yrs. Both were Type A...Very attractive couple, but boy could they rub each other the wrong way. Her 2nd husband of 30 years was a saint: Patient, kind, adoring: Just what she needed after my dad (who is an amazing dad, but always put kids before wives – 3x). I say the pedestal is a great place for you. Great love stories aren’t bought, they are molded and cherished. Sometimes it can take a while to fall in love. When you do, it will be solid and you will have something to tell your kids about punch lists.


    What's to be found by racing around,
    you carry your pain wherever you go,
    Full of blues, and tryin' to lose,
    You ain't gonna learn what you don't wanna know.

    Posted by valentino May 29, 09 11:35 AM
  1. So why is he not right "on paper"?

    Not good looking enough? Doesn't earn enough money?

    Posted by B May 29, 09 11:35 AM
  1. Why do women always describe “Mr. Right” as if he needs to be “Mr. Perfect” ?? Women seem to have a massive grocery list of requirements...
    Here is what “on paper” looks like for men:

    -Fun
    -Has a brain
    -Enjoys sexual activity
    -Doesn't pick meaningless fights
    -Mildly Attractive (level of good looks will vary depending on man)
    -Likes to go see a sporting event and drink a beer once every six months.

    Do this ladies and “Mr. Right” will be banging down your door. Problems solved

    Posted by yep May 29, 09 11:41 AM
  1. Why do women always describe “Mr. Right” as if he needs to be “Mr. Perfect” ?? Women seem to have a massive grocery list of requirements...
    Here is what “on paper” looks like for men:

    -Fun
    -Has a brain
    -Enjoys sexual activity
    -Doesn't pick meaningless fights
    -Mildly Attractive (level of good looks will vary depending on man)
    -Likes to go see a sporting event and drink a beer once every six months.

    Do this ladies and “Mr. Right” will be banging down your door. Problems solved

    Posted by yep May 29, 09 11:41 AM
  1. #2 = BINGO

    Posted by DJMcG May 29, 09 11:43 AM
  1. As someone who has been in your shoes, enjoy Mr. Right now for right now.

    As for the low self-esteem you have for yourself, even though you may have "let yourself go" as Hoss said, there is probably some justification in how your feel about yourself. Although we are to be strong individuals within ourselves, we women, like men, need the affirmation and love unconditionally from our mates and when you don't get that and are constantly under attack for perhaps things you can't change about yourself, that can wear on your self-esteem. The things you could change; ie: sex, weight, etc, he should have been more open and honest to perhaps suggesting fun things you could do as a couple instead of complaining and perhaps looking to blame you for some of his shortcomings.

    Posted by dontgetit May 29, 09 11:46 AM
  1. I agree you know why you don't think he's "Mr. Right" but you're not telling us. Probably something like he's a plumber and you're a lawyer? My advice -- just enjoy what you have until you don't enjoy it anymore. If you never get to that point, then marry him. And if you do, then move on. But don't marry him if you have doubts -- they'll only increase once you've tied the knot.

    Posted by Alvin May 29, 09 11:49 AM
  1. DJMcG (#17):
    No one else like you can instantly turn a Friday into a Monday. "...Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem so vile? Well, it's you girl and you should know it. With each glance and every little movement you show it." Did you get your braces tightened this morning?

    Posted by tick-toc May 29, 09 11:52 AM
  1. REBOUND REBOUND REBOUND. HE IS THE REBOUND GUY. Take your time and why are you in such a hurry - is it the biological clock thing? If something is telling you he is NOT MR. RIGHT - then he probably isn't; then again YOU THOUGHT THE OTHER GUY WAS MR. RIGHT FOR HOW LONG????AND YOU WERE DEAD WRONG. You sound like you are just starting to get yourself together and just casual dating should be the thing for a while - you have to heal yourself first and you sound like you are still in the middle of healing. DON'T MARRY THE FIRST GUY THEY PUMPS UP THE EGO. Time will tell.

    Posted by Been around May 29, 09 12:01 PM
  1. Where the hell is Rico?? You pedaling your ass around town while we've got problems to solve here?

    Rico? RICO??????

    Posted by Notwaitinganymore May 29, 09 12:16 PM
  1. Keep on flirting tick-toc... you still ain't gettin' the digits!

    Posted by DJMcG May 29, 09 12:17 PM
  1. have fun -- who cares if he's Mr. Right -- Mr. Right eventually becomes Mr. Wrong anyway -- have fun till its not fun anymore

    Posted by Laurie May 29, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Rico has one simple thought for today...until...

    Rico wants to know what makes him not Mr Right on paper to you. Rico is curious to know because without this knowledge Rico can't give you proper advice. For now Rico is going to say nothing until he gets the much needed information.

    Meredith is wrong that there is no Mr/Ms Right. Rico believes there is a Mr/Ms Right for each and every one of us, it's just what you think is Mr/Ms Right might not be your reality. Tell us the reality of what you want and what you are offereing and then it will be easier to see what you need for advice.

    Until then...Good luck and enjoy...it's Earthfest this weekend, get on the bike, take the kids out, strollers, walking etc...

    Rico lives this time of year...Bikes not Bombs

    Love always,

    Rico

    Posted by Rico May 29, 09 12:23 PM
  1. I waited until I was 31 years old to get married, to be sure that I married Mr. Right on Paper. That lasted three years. I have now been with Mr. Wrong on Paper for 12 happy years. What changed for me? The men didn't - my expectations did. I went from being the submissive wife of an overly confident (rich) man, to being an equal partner in a relationship with a relatively poor man. Money, in my opinion, isn't a virtue, it's a control mechanism. I am happier now in my Mr. Wrong relationship than I ever could have been with Mr. Right. Granted, we aren't rolling in dough but we have fun, laugh, own a home together, have a ton in common, and our parents like us!

    Posted by J Bar May 29, 09 12:24 PM
  1. tick-toc, you rock my clock!!!! Hahahahah!

    dontgetit, #25, can't believe you are suggesting she change her sex. Wow. That's some heavy advice.

    Just teasin' ya. Gotta get back to the newsroom.

    Posted by Mary Richards May 29, 09 12:33 PM
  1. Patrick - you left out one part....

    To avoid gender bias charges the owner of the Husband Store opened a new Wives Store just across the street.

    The first floor sign reads: Floor 1: These women love sex.

    The second floor sign reads: Floor 2: These women love sex, have money and like beer.

    The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.


    For Anonymous - try being honest. It's less to remember and the right thing to do.

    Posted by Joe May 29, 09 12:37 PM
  1. stop looking for mr. Right.... . And thats key for women! Key!....I dated a guy who I was supposedly best friends with for the last 5 years. Once we got to the stage of a relationship, he was all about it!! promises..promises...I felt elated!! Finally what I'd wanted for so long. Turns out...words are lies. He cheated and betrayed me. However, I too was left feeling pretty confused. When, I met someone amazing!.. LIke you...afraid he wasnt the "ONE"...he turned out to be the right one for me, because he actions continued to prove what a good and genuine man he is!...Trust his actions!! give it time...heal and enjoy!!...stop worrying so much!

    Posted by Lisa May 29, 09 12:45 PM
  1. Yet another woman who meets a really great man, really likes him-- but for whatever reason isn't meeting her predetermined expectations, so she's planning her exit strategy. Thank you for reminding me why a good Friday night Law & Order marathon is better than dating women over 30.

    Posted by Joey May 29, 09 12:45 PM
  1. This one sentence speaks volumes-

    “My ex very subtlety took away every ounce of self-confidence I had in me.”

    If you possess and maintain solid internal feelings of self – no person can penetrate your inner understanding and beliefs.
    You allowed and accepted this type of behavior – the questions you should be seeking is why you let someone treat you and talk to you with those negatives.
    The blame is misdirected toward your ex
    Sure if feels great having someone mention the word sexy towards you but the feeling, inevitably, has to come from within to have sustainability and deep meaning.
    Now shake those tail feathers and slap that tush – you don’t need outward influence to send out sexy, positive vibes.
    Realize you are perfect in all your “human characteristics”.

    Posted by TwoCents May 29, 09 12:59 PM
  1. DJMcG -
    "If IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII were King of the Forest..."

    Posted by tick-toc May 29, 09 12:59 PM
  1. Unless you're having the "commitment" talk, no decisions need to be made. Period.

    Some women get all googly-eyed in love in a matter of weeks, convincing themselves he's Mr. Right, only to be disappointed. Others go the opposite route and cynically believe that it won't work out so why bother, and end up missing out on something wonderful. Why can't you just say, "Hey, this is a lot of fun and I'm happy, so might as well just go with the flow and see how it turns out"??

    A year ago I was finally free of a bad relationship that lasted way too long and I was not looking to meet anyone new AT ALL. But I did. He was fun, cute, honest, he treated me like a queen, and he made me feel good about myself. I figured, what the heck, I wasn't looking for love, but this guy's ok. If it doesn't work out, such is life. If it does, bonus!

    I have no idea if we matched well "on paper" or not. All I know is that we are still making each other laugh and are still disgustingly in love. And (here's the key), we are completely ourselves with each other.

    Posted by lik May 29, 09 01:03 PM
  1. @#23 Yep: well, not quite. I’m fun, intelligent, borderline nympho (if I could do it five times a day I would), wouldn’t waste time with meaningless fights (for example, I could give a rat’s fanny about my boyfriend going to strip clubs or reading Playboy – big deal), I’ve had men tell me I’m attractive, and I’m into baseball (seriously into baseball – Red Sox all the way!!!!) and martial arts. And I drink. Don’t like beer much, but I love wine. So where’s my Mr Right? Hmm…could be because I’m not 21 and bone thin anymore? (I’ve always described my figure as an hourglass figure with a touch too much sand in the bottom).

    Of course, it might also help if I was actually LOOKING for him, or even cared.
    Yoshimi

    Posted by Anonymous May 29, 09 01:21 PM
  1. After my divorce, I was very hesitant to commit with anyone on a permanent basis. So instead I dated Mr Right Now.
    Mr. Right Now was 7 years younger than I was.
    WooHee what a ride.
    We both had a great time, knew it wasn't going to be "forever".
    He went on to marry a nice young woman and have a family.
    He & I are still friends to this day (15 years later)
    I have since met and married Mr. Right.
    Talk to your boyfriend, let him know he is Mr. Right now, he may be cool with it.
    But please be honest with him.

    Posted by Linda May 29, 09 01:28 PM
  1. Here's the answer for anyone looking for Mr. Right:

    www.therightone.com


    Posted by Andrew Palmer May 29, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Is it possible that your idea of Mr. Right is what your ex was to you? Perhaps you're just not used to being adored, spoiled, found attractive, etc. Maybe your ex brainwashed you into believing that you were worth less than that, so that's what you're expecting from future loves.

    I agree with the posters that are telling you to enjoy this while it lasts. It will do a world of good for your self-esteem. But, you should be honest with yourself and the guy along the way...if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Don't tell him you love him, don't give him the impression that things are serious, don't let him spoil you too much. If he really wants a woman to settle down with, he will walk away when he's ready to do so.

    Anyone else find it sad how much people try to predict their relationships? Can't we all be just a little less practical? Didn't Ben and Jerry say, "If it's not fun, why do it?"

    Posted by mskrat May 29, 09 01:33 PM
  1. Wow. I really appreciate all the responses so far. I sincerely want to make sure that I am balancing what is right for me and what is fair to another person and people are really giving me things to think about.

    So the reason I think he is not right on paper is we don't have a lot of common interests and religion (i am not, he is catholic). But the good news is that I have completely been myself and upfront about who I am.
    Hoss is right (although usually I don't agree with anything he says) that I should not have placed all the blame on my ex for the loss of my self confidence. I was so focused on trying to be everything my ex wanted/needed that I completely forgot to take care of myself. And I agree with the other comment about the fact I still need this new guy to validate me still means I have a ways to go.

    It just felt so good for a moment to feel like I had come so far. To leave someone I was madly in love with but wasn't good for me took so much effort and energy that it's nice to just have fun and be happy for awhile.

    Posted by Anonymous May 29, 09 01:34 PM
  1. Honey, slow down and take a deep breath. Although I definitely believe in listening to your gut feelings, two months may be too early to be worrying if this guy is "til death do you part" material after what you've been through. Are you having a good time? Is he respectful and kind? Then just enjoy yourself for awhile -- in the meantime you might consider talking to a therapist to help you get over the trauma of your last relationship. If your ex did a number on your self esteem, NO guy is going to see like "Mr. Right" to you.

    Posted by suz May 29, 09 01:40 PM
  1. Why not have this very discussion with him?

    It's easy to start off strong, more difficult to continue this way, and actually unrealistic to expect things to comtinue on such a high level. Over time as we get to know people their flaws shine through as the newness wears off. Then you can decide what you can live with and if you want to make it more of a serious, possibly permanent arrangement.

    Just be honest and open, tell him something like "I really enjoy our time together, you make me feel really good about myself. However, let's take our time getting to know each other and we'll know when the time is right to move forward at a faster rate."

    Any guy would appreciate this honest approach.

    I was in a similar situation, albeit from a guy's perspective, so I have experienced what you describe. Keep in mind dating is different in your 30s then it was in your 20s and things have changed both society wise and with the difference in age between your current age and your age when you met "Mr. 8 Years".

    I wish you well, whether with this guy or in the future.

    In closing I will give you the advice that has served me the best when meeting prospective partners- "Trust Your Gut".


    Posted by Larry May 29, 09 01:47 PM
  1. Laurie from #31 GAVE THE BEST WISDOM ADVICE and I'll quote her "have fun - who cares if he's Mr. Right -- Mr. Right becomes Mr. Wrong anyway --have fun till it's not fun anymore. Had to laugh when I read #31 - AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH, AYE?

    Posted by Been around May 29, 09 01:48 PM
  1. I think yep (#22/23) is right. Guys say they have to have a Gisele-type beauty, but they know deep down a girl like that would never look at them and that water actually seeks its own level, more or less--so dont stress on the looks!
    Be feminine, like sex, and try to be one of the guys every now and then and most of all have fun! Right or Right-Now?--it could all end tomorrow so live!!!

    Posted by E May 29, 09 01:49 PM
  1. You should try opening up your relationship with a WWM or MWM thing with Mr. Right Now. You are only young once, so live it up and enjoy and experiment. You will look back on these adventures fondly when you are an old, stodgy, married couple.

    Posted by Rico Suave May 29, 09 02:08 PM
  1. Rico put some more thought into your issue while out for a walk in the misty rain...

    Rico is concerned with how you spent 8 years in a bad relationship...abusive is a better word for it. You seem to be hell-bent on finding the RIGHT ONE. You have tried eharmony, 8 minute dating and Rico will just assume probably every other dating site including craigslist to find the right one. Rico thinks maybe you just need to take a few steps back and give up on the dating for a while till your head is clear. Being in an abusive relationship for 8 years is horrible and does immense damage to a person. Rico thinks you are trying too hard to find this perfect on paper guy that your missing out on what is most important...YOU. You are the most important person in your life. You must learn to appreciate and love yourself before you move on to a new rewarding relationship. Without these basic tools in place you will never be happy and always be looking for someone elses approval.

    Rico wonders if this is a problem from childhood? Rico's guess is you are not entirely happy with who you are, what you are, how you look etc...

    Rico suggests doing something for yourself, Yoga, biking, join a gym, a club, healthy eating classes, etc...Something to help you grow as a person and learn about yourself and your needs in life. You are missing out on the most important thing right now, and that is simply YOU.

    Everyone have a safe and wonderful weekend and enjoy the outdoors...

    Earthfest 2009 over at the Charles River, Rico will be there and hopes you will be too.

    Love always,

    Rico

    Posted by Rico May 29, 09 02:10 PM
  1. To #23 -- You have completely reassured me that I will find Mr. Right. ;)
    I think a lot of people go about it all around. People always write up a list that seems like it's describing their best friend. They list their favorite activities (must like hiking, a particular TV series, volunteering at Habitat and exploring museums...or whatever). Then they list all characteristics their last guy didn't have. I think everyone should look for the person who treats them the way they want to be treated, the person they can respect, the person they can work well with. If they have these three qualities, life will go smoothly -- even if they have to explore museums with a friend instead. :)

    Posted by Kathleen May 29, 09 02:22 PM
  1. Yoshimi,
    Uhhh ... what did you say your number was?

    Posted by Dan May 29, 09 02:29 PM
  1. I'm going to join the chorus of people wondering why you are so sure he isn't Mr. Right? My advice hinges on the answer to that question.

    If you are 100% sure you don't have a future with him, be upfront with him, and possibly end it now. It'll stink for you, but it's the right thing to do.

    If you just aren't sure, because he isn't what you pictured, then relax. You've only been dating a short time. (A couple months)? Think about what's really important to you (and to him). No one's going to be perfect, so think about what imperfections you can live with.

    As long as there's a realistic possibility you could end up with this guy, there's no reason not to keep dating him. Just don't take too long to figure it out, since both your clocks are running.

    Posted by two sheds May 29, 09 02:35 PM
  1. Your situation sounds eerily similar to my own. I was with a guy who slowly dismantled my self-confidence. I don't know if I ever loved him but he made me believe no one else would ever love me. I finally broke up with him and went through a lengthy period of depression. Then as I started to get better, I met this guy. Hut he was easy to talk to, and gorgeous. So gorgeous that I could not believe he would want anything to do with me. On paper, too, he was not what I would have thought I was looking for -- not Mr. Right. So I told myself to just take it easy and see how it went. It would probably just be a summer fling -- he could be my Mr. Right Now. I think the problem was that my ex had made me feel so unloveable that I couldn't risk admitting that I really liked this guy. But he made me feel good about myself, and summer turned to fall and so on. Now we're married with a baby. So I guess my question to you is, is he really not right or are you scared to let yourself fall again?

    Posted by Mainer May 29, 09 02:35 PM
  1. Why was it that everyone was so quick to criticize the rebound relationship yesterday, but no one is calling this a rebound? This relationship sounds like a rebound to me. He's not perfect, but maybe he's perfect... I think your emotions are unreliable right now and you need to slow down. Continue to date other people and don't take this one too far. And like others have said, find a way to feel good about yourself without a man. Be totally honest with him about your level of commitment (and don't freak out if he finds someone more serious). And most importantly, have fun! You deserve it after all that time with that other guy.

    Posted by Edna May 29, 09 02:53 PM
  1. "The sign reads: Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, help with Housework and are Great In Bed".---so....when a guy looks for a wife he DOESN"T look for someone who has a job, looks good, does housework, will be good with kids and is good in bed???? Then I'm sorry, you're being foolish. A relative of mine married a women who didn't want kids, no kidding, no, really, no kids. He thought she'd change her mind. Nope. Divorce. Friend of mine married a guy who didn't like kids - she eventually wanted kids - divorce. Another person married a guy who does no housework, bit of a guys guy. Oh she's still married, and absolutely miserable and not at all attracted to him, mostly because of his lousy personality and chavinistic attitude. After 10+ years of married to a slacker, she hates him. Stays for the kids. Another friend is constantly working two jobs, constantly has money problems, that guy she thought she loved who made no money, well, 10+ years of struggling to pay bills ,having to live i na crappy school with crappy schools, her kids being exposed to a town she doesn't want them to be in, all for lack of money, well, she's pretty aggravated with how limited her life has been due to his lack of concern for providing for his family and her losing earning potential with pregnancies and child raising. Funny, men say 'good sex' and good looks and that's enough for them. Really? Well, if you helped with housework, were attentive to the kids, actually cared about their education and exposure to things, you'd be amazed at how much MORE attracted to you your wife woud be. That's not using sex. That's actually BEING attracted to someone because you think they are actually a good person, and that attraction makes them want to have sex with you. It's not rocket science. bottom line - if this person has reason for thinking this isn't the right one, she probably knows what she DOESN"T want, at least, and she should stick to that. Have fun for now, why not? But if you know what you DON'T want, then dont settle. You wont be doing anyeone any favors. Just, dont stay forever. Set yourself an endpoint - 6 months, a year or so, and then, take a crap or get off the pot. If yo ucan't see yourself married to him in a year, then that would be a good time to cut him loose. And always, be honest with him.


    Posted by a look down the road May 29, 09 02:59 PM
  1. Rico will you wear a carnation at Earthfest so we can knowingly bask in your presence?

    Posted by Alvin May 29, 09 03:11 PM
  1. @Dan...

    I didn't.

    Posted by Yoshimi May 29, 09 03:11 PM
  1. Anonymous, thanks for sharing the details in post 45. You bring up two things...

    - Religion: This can be a deal breaker for some people. However, it doesn't sound like you have a great aversion to marrying a Catholic, and he knows what he's getting into. Don't worry too much about this one. Somewhere down the road, you may have kids to think about, but you are long way from that.

    - Common interests: This one will take care of itself over time. Once you get past the initial everything's exciting phase of the relationship, you'll find out if you really like hanging out together. Just keep a level head. Don't convince yourself you're happy just because you want a relationship so badly, or talk yourself out of a good thing for no good reason.

    My analysis (for what it's worth): you're in the clear. Have fun, and just see where things go.

    Posted by two sheds May 29, 09 03:24 PM
  1. I think it's great that you're being honest and open- that's a great way to be responsible to the other person (i.e. not using them, as you were worried about) and to understand your needs and desires, as well as theirs. I went through a VERY similar situation. After I left my ex I was really sad and depressed for a bit, and then all of a sudden I was the happiest person I had ever been! This huge weight was lifted off my chest, and I could actually be myself for once without wondering what kind of zings, complaints, or criticims would come out of his mouth about what I was wearing, how I did my make-up, the things I said or didn't say, basically everything about me. As soon as I started being myself without waiting for the criticism to start, I was so happy just to be living life. It's the strangest thing how you sometimes don't realize the magnitude of your situation until you get out of it. I learned that most men and women who treat their signifcant others like your ex did to you are usually really insecure themselves. I also have had to deal with being angry and disappointed with myself for having "put up" with him for so long. It's been hard to forgive myself and to accept responsibility for allowing it to happen when it's so easy to blame the ex for being a jerk. So please, start concentrating on what makes YOU happy. Be honest with people you date, but find YOUR happiness.

    After I broke up with my verbally and emotionally abusive ex, I had just started back into dating when I met a guy I liked. It started off as just fun, and we were both honest about everything, and then one day we talked about where things were headed and we both agreed that we wanted to be exclusive. I was never looking for love or a steady relationship, I never expected to find someone so soon, but I did. You know what they say... love will find you when you least expect it. Be open to possibilities, but above all make sure YOU are ready before committing again. It's different for everyone.

    Also, there's no Mr Right on paper. People change and grow and evolve everyday. So even someone that seems perfect today may be not so perfect for you tomorrow or next month or in 5 years. What are your reasons for not seeing him as Mr Right? You mentioned religion, so you guys need to figure out if that is a barrier to a long term relationship, or just a difference that gives each of you a unique view of the world. Not having a lot of common interests could turn out to be a problem, but that could also give each of you your chance for alone-time, me-time, friend-time, or family-time. I think only time will tell whether your lack of common interests is a problem or not. Then again, why not trying something new that neither of you have done before? There's no reason you can't discover or create common interests! Everything is a balance- you can develop a relationship in so many ways, but beware of trying to force something or change something that isn't working.
    Above all, have fun- you deserve it.

    Posted by Skyler May 29, 09 03:33 PM
  1. #27 loved your comment... as for you djmcg if you can't say anything nice then keep your mouth shut! Eight years is eight years too long to take any negative abuse. Enjoy this gentleman and give yourself some much needed confidence.

    Posted by nantucketsun May 29, 09 03:37 PM
  1. Rico will be wearing Organic cotton clothing made locally along with his Uppababy stroller being pushed by his wife wearing organic cotton clothing made locally as well while Rico will be biking along them basking in the sunshine sampling the best of what Earthfest has to offer all the while wearing a great big smile.

    Posted by I love Rico May 29, 09 03:50 PM
  1. A look down the road,

    I think your actual advice is pretty good. (Although after seeing the LW's post #45, I don't think she knows if she does or doesn't want this guy, long term). I do want to point out that all your examples except one were about women who were unsatisfied. That's not exactly a good way to make an argument that men are equally hard to please.

    The jokes above are funny, but your rant reminded me of this one:
    Married women become unhappy because their husbands don't turn into the men they want them to be. Married men become unhappy because their wives don't stay exactly as they were when they married them.

    Posted by two sheds May 29, 09 03:52 PM
  1. Nantucketsun (a.k.a. Pollyanna):

    Not everything that needs to be said in life, especially as it pertains to relationship issues, is "nice". Ah, if only stupidity and emotion ran the world, you would be in complete bliss!

    Until then, my comments will remain and, obviously, ring heavy in your ears... And so, my fine message board Nazi: go censor elsewhere if you can't handle the truth!

    Posted by DJMcG May 29, 09 04:15 PM
  1. #20 is spot on!: "Great love stories aren’t bought, they are molded and cherished. Sometimes it can take a while to fall in love."

    Posted by Michaela May 29, 09 04:31 PM
  1. Rico will be riding his bike and admiring at himself in the rearview mirror.

    Posted by I can't stand Rico May 29, 09 04:36 PM
  1. Rico, Classico,

    Posted by Sarah Jessica Parker May 29, 09 04:53 PM
  1. MASTERICO,HENRICO,SHINEONRICO.
    RESPECT THE LADIES...
    PEACE !!!!!

    Posted by KIM CATRALL May 29, 09 05:53 PM
  1. Anonymous #45 or better yet Letter Writer,

    I'm glad that you took care to read and think about my comment. I applaud you for not getting defensive or angry about it. Look, your Ex sounds like a real turd, but I just didn't want you to just put all the blame on him and not try to learn from it in terms of your own feelings and psyche. The 8 year relationship has left you damaged more than you realize at this point. Trust me, I know from experience.

    I truly wish you the best, but I think the tone of your letter and follow up comment is such that it's clear that your new guy is not a good match for you, let alone Mr. Right. Keep feeling good about yourself, have fun, and enjoy being single. I think that by doing so, you will feel better about yourself and be much more ready for the next serious relationship that comes along. Hopefully, it will be with someone whom you have a lot in comon with, share a lot of the same interests, and build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Best of luck.

    Posted by Hoss May 29, 09 06:57 PM
  1. djmcg ,

    You are a very rude and crude individual. Your sharp tongue is not helping anyone who post a letter here for advice not criticism, which is all you contribute! There is a right way to state you point , then there is your nauseating approach. Your attitude is just off the charts (in a BAD way) get some help! Until then the only thing that rings heavy in my ears is the sound of you NOT typing.

    Posted by nantucketsun May 29, 09 08:33 PM
  1. #52 Kathleen is spot on.
    A social scientist has determined that the key to a happy marriage is low (or realistic) expectations. Expecting someone to be a perfect match for you is setting yourself up for disappointment. However, I think two people who love and respect each other enough can work through many, many problems and can grow and change together.
    To some of the other posts--I've known plenty of men and women who could never be satisfied based on some magical list of qualities of Mr/Ms Right. Although I think it is rare, I've also known people who really changed--a few examples of people who definitely did not want kids, and then decided that the right person was
    worth compromising on that (and are still happily married).
    Be honest about where you're at all the time, and you'll be fine. My husband and I were together 10 years before we got married. During those 10 years, we were constantly reassessing and discussing where we were and how our relationship was working for us. We've now been married almost 10 years and are very happy. Maybe such a step (marriage) will end up not right for you, but there's something to be said for letting things develop naturally.

    Posted by cm May 30, 09 01:40 AM
  1. Again I agree with Hoss and the unfortunate truth that we are all very superficial, sad but true
    Bee # 15 saying that "right on paper" means 6 digit income...
    another unfortunate truth

    Posted by mikeinsalem May 30, 09 02:59 AM
  1. I married a man who had all the mom boxes checked. Career, looks, sophistication. Trouble is we were miles apart in our thinking. Funny thing is that we have developed our thinking and our interests to blend (or contrast) over time and now there are few people who know me like him. Truth is a relationship is its own entity that grows over time no matter who the people are. If you both believe in the relationship it can have a beautiful life of its own. Sounds like the ex was simply not committed to you. It's about attitude. The two of you together can create a unique gift to our world. What a joy! The rest is just chatter. Good luck.

    Posted by Stephanie May 30, 09 11:13 AM
  1. volley2.ind 88: ?>*:\ ...//2009:05:26:23:54:57*F+/-}
    #504 of 509: William Hale (hinging0) Sun 31 May 2009 (04:48 AM)

    Mr. Right? Mr. Right now?
    Email|Link|Comments (70) Posted by Meredith Goldstein May 29, 2009
    09:19 AM

    Mr. Right. And unicorns. And fairies. And princesses. Happy Friday.
    Here you go:

    Q: I am 32 year old female just starting to date after an 8 year
    relationship followed by a 6 month "why the hell did I stay so long now
    I need to fix me"

    ============NH:
    Why the hell did I stay so long?
    (Changing it every day)

    Now I need to fix me.

    Bases are loaded and Casey's at bat
    Can you really pitch me?

    And we don't need the ladies cryin' cuz the story's sad,
    Rocky Mt. Way, is better than the way who had?
    Hey, hey, hey, hey.
    ==============Null Hyptoehsis//

    volley2.ind 88: ?>*:\ ...//2009:05:26:23:54:57*F+/-}
    #505 of 509: William Hale (hinging0) Sun 31 May 2009 (04:51 AM)

    now I need to fix me" period.

    =============NH:
    Welcome. Period. Perfet. Period. What was the METRO mantra who had
    that had the word 'period' in it? xref: inability to easily search
    prior conference.
    ==============NH//

    volley2.ind 88: ?>*:\ ...//2009:05:26:23:54:57*F+/-}
    #506 of 509: William Hale (hinging0) Sun 31 May 2009 (05:00 AM)

    Reminds me of that old joke about the husband store.
    A brand new store has just opened that sells Husbands. When women go
    to choose a husband, they have to follow the instructions at the
    entrance:

    "You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are 6 floors and the value
    of the products increase as you ascend the flights. You may choose any
    item from a particular floor or may choose to go up to the next floor,
    but you CANNOT go back down except to exit the building!"

    ============NH:
    xref: Kline bottle logic. You may enter the bottle, but any Face you
    see will be exiting the bottle, and you can never get inside the bottle
    because the outside of the bottle is the inside of the neck into the
    bottle and the inside of the bottle turns your around and sends you out
    before you can ever reach 'the bottom' of the bottle.
    ==============Null Hypothesis//

    volley2.ind 88: ?>*:\ ...//2009:05:26:23:54:57*F+/-}
    #507 of 509: William Hale (hinging0) Sun 31 May 2009 (05:04 AM)

    Reminds me of that old joke about the husband store.
    A brand new store has just opened that sells Husbands. When women go
    to choose a husband, they have to follow the instructions at the
    entrance:

    "You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are 6 floors and the value
    of the products increase as you ascend the flights. You may choose any
    item from a particular floor or may choose to go up to the next floor,
    but you CANNOT go back down except to exit the building!"

    So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband.

    The 1st floor sign reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs.

    The 2nd floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

    The 3rd floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids and
    are extremely good looking.

    "Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

    She goes to the 4th floor and The sign reads: Floor 4 - These men Have
    Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help with Housework.

    "Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!" Still, she goes
    to the 5th floor and The sign reads: Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs,
    Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, help with Housework and are Great In
    Bed.
    She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the 6th floor and the sign
    reads:

    Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men
    on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are
    impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

    ==================Null Hypothesis//
    There is no direction 'forward' on this floor 'in' becomes 'out' on
    this floor you have reached th elimit of the size of the seams possible
    in this universe fountain bubble... You will expand towards your
    normal size as you exit... please continue 'forward' as 'backing up' is
    still impossible.
    =========================Null Hypothesis//

    volley2.ind 88: ?>*:\ ...//2009:05:26:23:54:57*F+/-}
    #508 of 509: William Hale (hinging0) Sun 31 May 2009 (05:32 AM)

    The jokes above are funny, but your rant reminded me of this one:
    Married women become unhappy because their husbands don't turn into
    the men they want them to be. Married men become unhappy because their
    wives don't stay exactly as they were when they married them.

    volley2.ind 88: ?>*:\ ...//2009:05:26:23:54:57*F+/-}
    #509 of 509: William Hale (hinging0) Sun 31 May 2009 (05:35 AM)

    #

    Anonymous #45 or better yet Letter Writer,

    ==========NH:
    xref: "Or better yet, teach us to ask you, "What would Jesus do?"
    (ideena s-siratal mustaqueem), and then ask our witnesses, what's the
    right thing to do? And then 'Why not?' have how much fun, love or joy?
    What's your idea of fun?
    =======NH//

    Posted by William Hale, aka, Haji Mohammed... May 31, 09 08:43 AM
  1. I know EXACTLY how you feel, although my mistake lasted 17 years - however produced 2 wonderful children.

    As far as Mr Right Now, go slowwwww, you are just finding yourself again - you are in there somewhere, and it takes time to shed all the layers that have grown during those years with Mr Wrong. As my very wise mother once said (funny how they get wise as we get older), "you need to be with someone for all four seasons before you can make that very important decision to be with someone, those season are very telling" - I know this to be true, I stopped doubting myself and my Mr. Right Now, enjoyed the four "seasons" and he has become my Mr. Absolutely Perfect, I wouldn't want to think about a day without him. Its possible, give yourself the opportunity to find out.

    Posted by Suzanne Hall May 31, 09 09:23 AM
  1. I'd like to know exactly what is 'Mr. Right' on paper?? I'm glad I never wrote down what I thought that would be - I met and married my soulmate - had I had some piece of paper with written rules about what that 'would' have been he may not have made the cut (only due to how much he makes... LOL.. which obviously I could care less about because #1 - I make my own $$ and #2 - I love him more than anything - I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable if that were the case!).

    Just have fun for right now - but don't take HIM too far if you feel you'll break his heart. Sounds like your ex was a total nightmare - now is when YOU need to be with the complete opposite (which you are).

    Posted by KimberlyM May 31, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Chill out, relax, have a good time, and treat him as you'd like to be treated.
    See where it goes.
    Here's the nugget of wisdom relevant to relationships. Your Mr or Mrs Right will feel as close to you as a best friend or loved family member. You will both know that you can depend on each other, no matter what. The rest is gravy.

    Posted by baroque May 31, 09 07:00 PM
  1. Hoss has spoken. See comment 6 - Ditto

    Posted by Anonymous June 1, 09 08:33 AM
  1. #2 you are HILARIOUSSS

    Posted by sofunny June 1, 09 12:43 PM
 
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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