From marriage in suburbia to city dating ....
A: Dear Meredith -- I have been on the fence the past few days about writing in and asking for advice, but I love your column and usually there seems to be an awful lot of good advice, so here goes:
I am 27 and was single for about 10 months when I met 3 great guys in the span of 2 weeks in early June. It’s usually hard for me to meet men because I work a lot and am fairly new to Boston, and as we all know, dating is hard! So meeting 3 at once has been a bit overwhelming. I really like all 3 of these guys and have a lot of different things in common with each one. I see each one 1-2 times/week, depending on our schedules. This has made for a very busy summer to say the least, and I am certainly not complaining. I have reached a point with all 3 that it’s time to figure out where things stand because I realize this type of casual dating can’t go on forever. The last thing I want is to lead someone on and vice versa, I don’t want to get too attached to someone who isn’t that into me. I have not slept with any of them. Over the weekend I had a long talk with one guy, let’s call him “Chris,” and he told me that he would like to be exclusive in the sense that we are no longer seeing other people while we figure out if the relationship has any real long term potential. I am extremely excited about this and happy.
My specific question is: Can I be honest with the other two and tell them that I’ve met someone and want to see where things go, or should I just completely end it with each of them? I don’t want them to feel as though I’m putting them on the back burner, and I don’t want Chris to think that I am not fully committed to being exclusive, but my concern is that if things don’t work out with Chris, I will have burned the proverbial bridge with two other great guys. On the other hand, the two other guys have yet to mention anything about a serious relationship and it’s been two months. Is it too soon for me to become exclusive? Should I tell Chris I want to wait a little while longer and be honest with him about seeing others? If I did have to pick just one, it would be Chris, but this has all been so confusing and I don’t want to hurt any feelings.
I doubt my issue is unique, but it is a first for me and is way beyond my usual dating realm. I’m just curious as to how others have or may handle this type of situation and would appreciate any advice you may have as to how to gracefully handle this situation. I’m afraid I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.
-- When It Rains, It Pours, Boston
A: It’s raining and pouring, indeed, WIRIP.
I think your issue might be unique, at least on Love Letters. It’s not often that I get an e-mail that says “I’m balancing three guys.” Let me take this moment to say: way to multitask.
Your answer is in your letter. “If I did have to pick just one, it would be Chris.”
There you go. The bonus is that Chris has picked you, too. I know you want to keep the other two around as insurance, but life doesn’t work that way. You have to drop the extra suitors. Bummer, I know.
Don’t tell Chris to wait longer -- you’ll risk losing him. I think it’s OK to be exclusive after two months. You already know you like him best.