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He gets on my nerves

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 7, 2010 07:00 AM

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I'll probably never be able to compare my life to an Usher song. Maybe a Carly Simon song. Maybe a Kelly Clarkson song. But Usher ... probably not. Sad.

Q: Hi Meredith,

Let's just say I could write my own version of "Confessions" by Usher.

I have been really great friends with this guy "Eric" for several months. Until recently, we hung out pretty regularly, texted, and talked on the phone, but have only remained platonic friends. I am just so very happy whenever he is around. He is sweet, kind, and has so many of the qualities I want in a guy.

The past month has been crazy and we really have not hung out as much we used to. Nonetheless, I recently told him that I had feelings for him. His response was that he had feelings for me too, but was going through a lot of things including going back to school, looking for a new job, blah blah blah, and could not commit. Great disappoint indeed, but I accepted it.

During this time there has been another guy, "John," who has been pinning for me. Let's just say that John gets on my nerves and I have no problem letting him know. He is bossy, pushy, and just drives me crazy. He doesn't just bother me. Others have noticed and complained about his less than ideal traits. I know he means well and has a good heart, but sometimes he just doesn't know how to act.

After my great disappointment with Eric, John called me and expressed his feelings. I was shocked. I knew he was interested but I did not think his feelings were so strong. After his confession, I have been thinking about him more and more. I told him about my misgivings, the conflict in personalities, and he seems willing to work on it.

My question to you is: Could my new questionable feelings toward John be legitimate or am I simply rebounding? Part of me would like to wait and see how things could play out with Eric, but I don't want to put my life on hold for someone who is not even open to the possibility. The fact that I am even considering this is crazy considering my previous disdain for him. What should I do?

– Boy Gets On My Nerves, Boston


A: BGOMN, Eric isn't happening. At least not now. You're right to move on from it. No point in waiting. As you put it, "blah blah blah."

As for John, well, I think you should pursue it. You'll either get super annoyed with him and end it quickly or your passionate irritation will turn into passion. My guess is that the passion thing is unlikely (I trust your friends), but the point is, you don't know. You're allowed to explore the option. It's called dating.

How harmful would it be to date John for a bit and find out that it's not meant to be? Not so harmful, in my opinion. It would be a learning experience for you both. Perhaps he'll decide that he doesn't want to change his bad behavior for anyone, including you.

Your letter brings two things to mind:

1) We're all rebounding for something. Some of the best marriages are rebounds from bad dating experiences. 2) We're not psychic. We can't know how something will turn out before we try. If you have romantic feelings for John, even if they're weird ones, it's better to pursue them than play guessing games about what they mean and how it will end.

Just take it slow. The boy may get on your nerves, but if you didn't want to scratch the itch that is John, you wouldn't be writing -- and you certainly wouldn't be spending so much time with him. You're allowed to date him without it meaning too much. Just explain to John that you're giving it a chance. That's all.

Readers? Am I wrong? Is John a waste of time? Does she just like his attention? Is Eric even on the table? Ever had luck dating someone who gets on your nerves? 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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