Q: Dear Meredith,
I'm in love. Hopelessly in love. Certain people have even thrown out the term "obsessed." I'm reasonably certain the man (we'll call him Adam) loves me, too. I just don't think he knows how to express it. Or maybe he's afraid of being vulnerable? I don't know. Here's the back story:
We met almost a year and a half ago. It was instant chemistry. Love at first sight for me. We consummated our attraction that very night (yummy grilled cheeses!). I know what you're thinking, but we couldn't help ourselves! Our love and affection and friendship grew.
But he would never call me his girlfriend. In fact, he flat out told me that he didn't want to be in a relationship with me. And I know he was also seeing a few other girls. He'd see me every week, hang out, laugh, and confide in me -- isn't that a relationship, Meredith? He said it wasn't. But why else would he keep coming back to me? I say it's love. I've been in love before. I was even engaged once (no, that didn't end well, but I've certainly learned how to cope with disappointment). Adam and I are both in our early 30s. We should be able to settle down together.
Sadly, he entered into a relationship last summer, and it broke my heart. I tried to be OK with it, but I just couldn't take it. I eventually found my own distraction, a nice single dad I met online, but he was just … blah. He was no Adam. And I eventually ended that relationship.
But then you know what? Adam broke up with his girlfriend, too. I couldn't believe the timing! We soon found each other, and it was like we'd never left. I thought for sure it was meant to be this time.
And then I learned he started dating a new girl. And he really liked her. And I was cast back aside. Just like that.
Present day: I don't know what to do. We end up running into each other a lot, given that we share the same social circle. This also means that I have to see him with the new girl. I've enlisted my friends to give the girl the cold shoulder, but it doesn't seem to have any effect (in the past, I'd even had my friends help indicate to newcomers that I had dibs on Adam, but that didn't work out too well either).
How do I get him to admit that clearly I'm the one he's supposed to be with? It seems so obvious to me.
– Chasing Adam, Somerville
A: CA, I don't want you chasing anyone. Chases are exhausting. There is no need to work so hard to mark territory that isn't yours.
Do I think Adam loves you? Not like you love him. He certainly doesn't give you a whole lot of respect. He likes you enough to spend time with you but he wants to settle down with someone else. I'm not convinced at all that he'll eventually wind up in your arms. He's treating you like a placeholder.
You must start looking for someone new who is proud to call you his partner. The beginnings of relationships do often involve chasing, wooing, convincing, and wondering, but it's supposed to get a bit easier once the relationship gets going. This guy has been fighting you from the start. His actions and words indicate that he's not yours. I want you to find someone who is.
Your homework is to stand in front of a mirror before bed every night and say, "Adam is not mine. I don't have dibs." Because he isn't -- and you don't. Go out and find something better. And tell your friends that you want their help.
Readers? Does Adam love her? Will he ever be with her? Is he just putting off the inevitable? How can the LW let Adam go? What do you think of her friends territory for her? 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.