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He ditched me on New Year's

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  January 14, 2011 06:45 AM

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You have through the weekend to send me a photo of yourself in cotton to celebrate the second anniversary of Love Letters. Send here. I want hot elastic pants photos.


Q:Dear Meredith,

I am a single mom in the process of a divorce. It was a terrible marriage (more than 10 years) with a lot of lying, cheating, and manipulation on my ex's part. I stayed for years for the kids but eventually made the right decision to leave. When the separation happened I spent the time with my children, family, and close girlfriends just hanging out and having a good time. Months later, I decided to try a little online dating. I dated a few guys once or twice until I met "Michael." There was just something about him that intrigued me and we instantly had a great connection. Michael is a little older, divorced, and does not have any children.

We started seeing each other about 1-3 times a week on a regular basis. We had two little setbacks where he sort of retreated and stopped contact for a few days. When he did this it was painful because he just sort of goes into a man cave to process and leaves me to wonder what happened. We spent a good deal of time together around Christmas (he met my children for the first time) and he was very generous and thoughtful about the gifts he gave me. Things seemed fine throughout the week but he never made a plan for New Year’s Eve. He was extremely busy at work (he owns his own business) that week. When I finally suggested getting together he told me that he was tired from the holidays and was basically out of commission until after the holiday.

He resurfaced after New Year's, but I'm trying to determine if he is just not that interested in me or if his lifestyle of a bachelor who can come and go as he pleases has more to do with it. He can be somewhat self-absorbed. I think that if he was really into me he would have wanted to spend some time together on NYE or would have at least contacted me. Any other weekend to retreat seems okay and I understand needing privacy and alone time. It just seems like it was very insensitive to do this on NYE. I plan on discussing it with him, but I am wondering if I should just end it with him. He is a great guy in every aspect and I truly adore him except for this one really bad habit. I'm afraid of falling in love with him and ending up hurt every time he retreats with no warning. I believe this is more about him than me, but every time he does it, it hurts. And to do it on a special holiday hurt even more. We have been together for about 4 months so it is really early in the relationship, but it is a pretty established relationship as well. If things progress I am not sure I can tolerate this behavior for me or my children. I'm not so brushed up on bachelors and how they think and operate. Do I end things or is this salvageable?

– Disappointed On New Year's Eve, Boston

A: Some people are weird about the holidays, DONYE. Some people are weird about alone time. And they're allowed to be -- even when they're in a relationship -- as long as they respect their partners. They're supposed to explain themselves and keep their significant others in the loop. Your guy is retreating whenever he wants, without considering your feelings. You said it best -- you don't want to tolerate that kind of behavior. So don't.

The talk is necessary. My guess is that you've been somewhat honest -- but maybe too polite about the subject. At four months, you're allowed to say, "I don't tolerate this, so clue me in. You're in or you're out. Your disappearances make me feel awful."

My hope is that he rallies and realizes that there's a difference between taking space and disappearing. Because being a bachelor doesn't entitle a person to be a jerk. He has a routine, but so do you. You're respecting his. You just want to understand it.

Talk to him and then go with your gut.

Readers? Any chance this guy is the right guy for the letter writer? Is this just a bachelor thing that can be overcome? Is she asking for too much after four months? What does it mean that he wanted alone time on New Year's? 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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