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Spontaneous or unreliable?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  April 9, 2010 07:30 AM

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A letter about a guy who definitely has no plans for the weekend.

Q: Oh Meredith,

I need some advice. I recently started dating a wonderful man. We met through work a few months ago. At first he was rather shy, but he always lingered to talk to me, so I finally took things into my own hands and asked him out. He said yes. That was about 6 weeks ago.

Since then, we have been out a handful of times, and within the past week or so are now talking everyday, multiple times a day. He is funny, smart, and kind. We poke fun at each other every day, in a flirtatious way, and have both been open and honest with one another about anything and everything. I feel quite comfortable talking to him.

Now for my dilemma. I feel like I need to have a semi-serious talk with him about something that has recently come up in conversation, but am afraid I'm going to ruin it all (story of my life!). The other day he mentioned that he never plans anything and will take off for a weekend on a whim, regardless of whether he has plans with friends or family. That kind of stung a little, since I am a planner of sorts. That's not to say I can't be spontaneous, but when I make plans with someone I write them down and keep them. My fear with him is that I can never plan fun things -- concerts, Red Sox, etc. Dating him as it is has been somewhat out of my comfort zone as plans have never been concrete. We've had cancellations, reschedules all over. He works very weird hours and never really knows what time he will be done work. Could be 4pm, could be 11pm and he never knows until that day. He's very aloof at times.

When I asked him "What about your family? Dinners? Birthdays, etc.," he responded that with the birthdays, he only cares about his parents and that everyone else can "expletive." Ummmm okay!? So I guess I shouldn't expect anything from him ... ever? That was a little disheartening.

So my question is, do I keep mum and just go with the flow for now and see how things progress? Or do I speak up? What do I say so as to not scare him off? Is this just a front he's putting up? Is it a sign of selfishness? Can he possibly meet me somewhere in the middle?

For the readers: I'm 29 and he is 30. My big 3-0 is coming up quick, so perhaps thats why the birthday comment hurt a little.

– Spontaneity is My Enemy, Boston

A: Speak up, SIME. At six weeks you can't expect much ... but you have every right to expect that someone will respect your time. This guy is already telling you he doesn't want to do that.

This isn't about his job. This is about being considerate. If he said, "It's hard for me to plan, but I'll do my best," that would be fine. If he said, "I love spontaneity," that would be fine, too. But he's saying, in his own words, "I plan to bail on you at the last minute because I'm a super-cool loner." Who needs that at 29? Who needs that at any age?

Explain your expectations. You don’t have to have a big sit-down about it. Just say, "Hey, the cancellations and wishy-washy dinner plans are sort of a drag." I understand that you're worried about scaring him off, but shouldn't he be worried about what you think of him? You've got a busy life, people to see, and a 30th birthday to plan. If he can't manage to keep dates and ask you out in advance, well … there's your answer, and it's his loss. This isn't about you being a planner, it's about him being very weird about time and control.

Call him on it and you'll find out if it's a front. If he's truly "funny, smart, and kind," he'll step it up. Or he won't, and you can make plans to get Red Sox tickets without him.

Readers? Is she asking for too much after six weeks? Or is he hiding behind the spontaneity? What's all this about? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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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