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All he wants to do is text

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  September 29, 2010 09:13 AM

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It's chat day.


Q:Hi Meredith,

I have a problem that may seem a bit trite to some people, especially those who didn't grow up in the text generation. I met a great guy through a mutual friend about a month ago. Actually, we met a couple of times before that, but he had a girlfriend. He waited a few months after the breakup before he told my friend that he'd like to see me again. My friend threw a party so that we could informally meet again. We instantly hit it off. He got my number and we started texting. We've seen each other twice since and it's been great, although neither time was initiated by him. Once my friend invited me to a party and he told me I should come when I asked. The other time I invited him over. We have fun together, have a lot in common, and seem to be attracted to each other.

He texts me ALL the time. I don't just mean every day – I mean conversations that pretty much continue throughout the entire day. I wake up to his texts in the morning that he's sent before I've woken up while he’s at work. And he texts me before he goes to bed. He has a cute nickname that he calls me. If I haven't responded to his texts within a couple hours, he always sends a follow-up message. And it's not only texting, he calls me on occasion just to chat. He's obviously thinking about me.

The thing I can’t figure out is why he doesn’t make more of an effort to spend actual time with me. I’m waiting for an official date. I know that "He’s Not That Into You" says that if a guy is really into you, then he’ll ask you out. He makes plans for the future, but nothing concrete. "We should do this, we should do that." I've made it clear that I would like to spend time with him, but we have to work around his schedule because he's insanely busy. He said he'd like to see me again, I told him the ball's in his court, but I'm not quite sure what he’s doing with that ball -- it's been three weeks.

Just for some more background, he is working and going to school, lives 30 minutes away, and has the opposite schedule of me. He's up before dawn and done with work in the afternoon – although he has school in the evenings a few times a week. I'm a 9 to 5 and like to go out in the evenings. He's in bed by 9. He also works most weekends during the day. He was in a one-year relationship that has been over for about six months now, and they had a very mutual breakup. We're both 24. He’ll be done with school in six months and then maybe he’ll have more time.

I know that his priority is work/school right now, so basically what I'm asking is if I should give this relationship some time and keep on texting or if I should accept that he's just not that into me.

– Waiting For Some Face Time, Boston

A: This isn't a "He's Just Not That Into You" moment. He's into you, I think. But he's also weird.

He's not uniquely weird, of course. I know a lot of people who are capable of emotional intimacy in texts and e-mails but not in person. I don't get it -- it's possible to establish some intimacy in writing, but it's certainly difficult to make out in an e-mail. Not to get into gender stuff, but for all the talk about guys only wanting one thing, I get plenty of letters about guys who text and e-mail but don't show up in person. So much for stereotypes. Again, no pajama parties if all you do is text.

You asked whether you should give it more time or move on. I'm going to add a third option -- ask him when you can see him again. Be specific about the question. I know I'm a broken record with the whole "just be honest" and "talk about it" thing, but in your case, it applies. Just tell him that his texts are speaking louder than his actions and it's confusing you. You get that he's busy, but that's all the more reason for him to plan some dates with you.

It also couldn't hurt to ask your mutual friend about this. Maybe this is a pattern. Or maybe you'll find out that he is just really busy. You've seen him twice in a month, which isn't that bad. It's the boyfriend-like texts and the lack of concrete plans that are throwing you off.

Readers? Can a chronic texter explain this to me? Why text all night and not get together in person? It's been three weeks. Should she bail now? 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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