Q: I have been dating a man for a handful of months. I started seeing him after getting out of a long and serious relationship. I was reluctant at the beginning to really be out with him because I was scared of hurting my former partner. I think I disappointed him on a number of occasions by not going out.
More recently we have been going out and I am no longer concerned about being publicly involved with someone else. However, not long ago, when I asked about our status, he told me he didn't want a commitment, and I think he said this because he knew he was going to hook up with an ex. He did hook up with his ex, and because we had no commitment I went along and dated and hooked up with others.
His hook-up with his ex-girlfriend didn't work out the way he was hoping, and now he has been acting like he's more into our relationship. I like it and I enjoy his company. I like how it feels when he holds me and feel my heart glow a bit when he does. This scares me because I don't want to get hurt, and so I continue to date other people. That said, I would chose to only see him, if he asked me.
I need to ask: Is it too soon to ask about our status again? The "no commitment" chat was about a month ago. Should I be bothered by being second fiddle -- even though I can understand the draw of an ex? If I am not jealous about the hook up, could I possibly have the feelings I think I do? And how aware should I make him of my dating other people if he doesn't ask questions and has told me we have no commitment? Should I have to ask if he has slept with someone else, if he is sleeping with me? Or should I expect to be told.
– Seems Like a Mess for So Many Reasons, Boston
A: It's not too soon to re-check your status, SLAMFSMR. All you need to say is, "I'm enjoying this more and more and I'd rather not see other people while I figure out where this relationship might go. I'm also not comfortable sleeping with someone who's sleeping with other people." Then ask him how he feels.
People do a lot of weird, passive-aggressive things -- sometimes unintentionally -- when they start a new relationship. You put this guy off to spare your ex's feelings. He put you off to see his own ex. But this relationship is now a few months older and you can safely say that he makes your heart glow. If he knows for a fact that he doesn't want to be with you beyond these casual dates, you need to know.
Just make sure that your question isn't too intimidating. He can't tell you exactly how he feels about you and what he'll want in six months. He can only tell you whether he's having a good time and wants to try for more.
If you don't ask and you continue to date other people as a defense mechanism, you're prolonging the passive-aggressive and tainting what could be a great relationship. Set an example and give him with some honesty.
Readers? Is it time for her to ask about their relationship or is it too soon? Should she continue to date other people? Is it weird that he put her off to pursue his ex? What's happening here? 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 new novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith here and on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.