Q: Hi Meredith,
My story is this: A guy I knew through a friend asked me out. I was flattered and said yes. We had a great first date that quickly turned into a second, third, and fourth date. He texted and called when he said he would, and even when he didn't. I was very cautious though; I had been through a similar experience where the dating hit the one month mark and the guy ran for the hills. This guy seemed different, though. I traveled out of state one weekend and he checked in everyday, seemingly very interested in my life. He even said he was ready to be dating exclusively. I was really happy.
One night, a week after saying he wanted to be exclusive and not see anyone else, he came over for what was supposed to be a dinner date. Instead, he completely freaked out, first saying he wasn't ready for a relationship. He said that *if* we kept dating and got to the point where it became a relationship, he wasn't sure if he would say yes so he didn't want to waste my time, and so on. I knew something wasn't right because his story kept changing. Did I mention this was completely out of the blue? Just the night before he had sent me a goodnight text that said he was so excited to see me the next day.
I rationalized every point he brought up, defended myself by saying I, too, wasn't looking for a relationship right now, that we had only been dating a month so obviously things were not that serious and that he was freaking out for no reason. He came in wanting to end things on the spot, but when he left he said he needed some time to process and think about what I had said. (Also, this was a few days before we hit the one month mark of dating).
It has been over a week. Not a single phone call. Four days in, I sent him a text saying look, don't feel bad either way but I don't want to be kept waiting ... and he responded, "I definitely feel bad either way," but nothing more. I have no idea what went wrong. I played everything right by the man book. He said he could be exclusive and then a week later changed his mind? I thought he was a good guy and I trusted him. I really want closure, but part of me thinks it isn't worth it to call him and confront him. Should I try to get the whole story? Or do I just have to forget it without closure?
– The Month-Long Curse Strikes Again, Arlington, VA
A: Forget him, TMLCSA. He doesn't have any answers for you. If he comes up with any, I'm sure he'll call.
This happens sometimes. It doesn't mean that there's a one-month curse. It just means that all new relationships are fragile.
We spend the first few weeks of every relationship getting to know someone so we can decide whether we want them to stick around. Your guy was a confusing mess who committed too quickly and didn't keep any of his promises, but that's why you should be happy to be rid of him after four weeks. You saw his true colors pretty quickly. That's a blessing, not a curse.
I want to remind you that there is no man book. It doesn't exist. All you can do is treat people the way you want to be treated, ask questions, and take your time. You barely knew this guy but you were more concerned about snagging him than figuring him out. Were you really ready to commit to him after just a month?
You're allowed to be disappointed, but please, don't mourn him for longer than you dated him.
Readers? Is there a curse here? Man book? Did she commit too quickly? What happened here? Should she call him? (I'm adding "I definitely feel bad either way" to my list of Love Letters favorites, by the way.) Help.
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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.