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He's not a grown-up

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  October 24, 2012 07:33 AM

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The Globe Magazine wants me to remind you all to apply for Dinner With Cupid. Feel free to enter yourself -- or friends who might need a date. Yes, it's a long questionnaire, but they actually try to do some good match-making, so they want to know as much as they can. You can find the entry form here.

Also, it's chat day.


Q: Dear Love Letters,

I've been dating a guy for about 8 months. We have a lot of fun together, enjoy each other's personalities, and have similar family values. He makes me laugh and he mostly makes me happy. There are two issues though. The first is that he had an injury when we first started to date that had him bedridden for about six months. He said the injury ruined his motivation and made him depressed and that he's just starting to come out of it. So during our "honeymoon" months I played the doting nurse, tried to cheer him up, took him out to dinner, and tried to get him out of his apartment. I grew very tired and resentful of playing mom. Toward the end of this injury I felt like he didn't really do much to push himself and just sort of wallowed in it. I tried to break up with him and he said ''you haven't even seen the real me because of this injury'' and begged for a second chance. I gave in and we are still together.

The second part of this issue is that he's a young 30 and I'm an older 34. I am a very independent driven person who pays all her own bills, has a house, and a good job. At many different times in my life, I have had two jobs to support myself. He is, well ... a stop and smell the roses kind of person. He is financially dependent on a parent who is extremely involved in every aspect of his life and employs him. It doesn't seem like he's very motivated to become independent and I'm wondering how much longer I should wait to ''see'' who this guy really is. If we go out on a date, I know his parent is footing the bill. He's asked me to move in, and I said no. He's a great guy and my family likes him and he tells me I'm the love of his life, but I'm just concerned that he will never outgrow this ''take care of me'' mentality. This is impeding our moving forward and every time I try to talk to him about how I'm feeling he just keeps blaming things on the injury and says that he's working really hard trying to get his career going and that I haven't ''seen who he really is.''

I want to get married and have a family, not a 30-year-old child who needs to be taken care of. I feel like I'm at a crossroads and should just move on. Am I being too harsh? How much time do you give someone to ''prove who they really are''?

– From Sneakers to Shoes ...


A: You know who he is, FSTS. If he shared your priorities, he'd be on the computer every night preparing his resume. He'd be obsessing about his plans for the future. At the very least, he'd be expressing some serious frustrations about his lack of independence.

Based on what you've told us, this guy is pretty content with the status quo. He had a rough time during the injury, but he's OK with how things work.

You can give this another month or two if you want to be 100 percent confident about your decision, but you know what's happening here. You want someone who can be a caretaker. This guy just doesn't have that in him. He's great for someone, but he's not what you're looking for.

After eight months, you've seen who he really is. At the very least, you've seen his potential. I like him for being so into you, but that's just not enough.

Readers? Should she drop him now or wait a few months? Ever had an injury that turned your world upside down with a partner? Does she know who he really is? Could she benefit from dating an opposite? Help.


– 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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