Q: Hey Meredith!
I'm a 30-something woman who has been dating a few men casually for the past several weeks. I've been honest about the fact that I'm not looking to get serious.
One of the guys I've been seeing is a real standout, and in the past week or so I was starting to feel as though he could be a great boyfriend. We have a great time talking, have marvelous pajama parties, and seem to want the same things from life. At the same time, he's moving to another state in the late spring, so I wasn't sure if trying to make things more serious would be worth it. Some serious mental debate over the past several days. Fast forward to last weekend.
This past weekend, he tried to invite me over, and got VERY angry when I told him I was with someone else. His primary objection was that I'd choose someone else over him. I told him what I was thinking, including that I had debated us becoming exclusive, and he got even angrier. He stormed off and I'm not sure what to do at this point. Can I fix things?
– Not So Casual...?, Charlestown
A: You’re sending some major mixed signals, NSC. You say that you’re not looking to get serious, but you became open to a real relationship as soon as you met someone awesome. Then, before discussing your feelings with this awesome guy, you ended the relationship in your mind before it happened.
My advice is to stop determining what you want from your dating experiences before you’ve had them. All you're doing by making these proclamations is trying to save yourself from potential hurt. You're trying to pretend that you have control over something scary. Sorry, but you don't.
Go tell this guy that you attempted to control your future with him because you're frightened of losing him. Maybe that will fix things, maybe not.
I have no idea what his response will be. Because dating is unpredictable and scary, even when your potential mate isn’t on his way to another state. Accept that you don't know what you want and you might actually have a shot at the real thing.
Readers? Is she really dating casually? Can you determine what you're looking for before you've started the dating process? Will he take her back? Should he? Thoughts? Discuss.
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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.