Q: As a kid, I spent a lot of time at my friend's house. She had an older brother that I knew but never was really friends with (at that age, little girls don’t really mesh with teenage boys). A few months ago, I ran into that friend again and she told me that her brother had a very interesting and important job – something that had him living abroad for part of the year. I thought it was pretty cool and decided to find him on Facebook. After that, he started Facebook messaging me, then quickly enough those messages turned into chats and things progressed into him coming out to visit me. At first I was nervous, but it turned out to be a wonderful weekend and I realized that we have a lot of interests in common; we both love the outdoors and traveling and seemed to want the same things in a relationship. There was a lot of chemistry between us, but we decided to keep it PG-13 to preserve our feelings for each other.
Before he left, he said he wanted to see where this goes and that he wanted to meet up once a month. He also said that when he is abroad (now in Africa), he has a hard time keeping in contact with people and asked me if I could help him with it. I agreed to help and said that I was just as enthused about this as he was. Then when he left for Africa. Our conversations were great in the beginning, but only on Facebook chat, which was really frustrating. I emailed him a friendly note to tell him that it might be better to try another means of communication like email or Skype, but he never wrote me back and only continued to talk to me through chat.
This was frustrating enough because I would miss his chats or be preoccupied at work and felt like I was waiting for him to get in contact with me. The chats began to happen once a week and he said that it is the nature of working at his job, that communication doesn't work sometimes overseas. I felt that the lack of conversation had to do with him being away, but he's been back in the US for a week now and has been online many times and has not reached out to me much at all.
The other day he chatted with me and said he was sorry to have disappeared, but work was really busy. I feel like I want to let him know that his behavior is confusing and frustrating, but many of my friends tell me to hold off and let him make the move and not put any effort into it. I feel that would be playing a game and I wanted to do this the right way by opening the line of communication again and telling him. I am having a hard time figuring out what to do or say. The bigger point is that I really want to see him again and see if there was that amazing attraction again. Facebook chats could be killing what we may have as a connection.
I am going to be near him in the US for a work trip this week. I texted him, "Hi. OK so here's the deal: I'll be in your area on Wednesday. And I'd love nothing more than to spend Wednesday evening with you. I'm free at 9pm and I don't have a curfew. ;) I have an extra ticket to an even happening in your hood Thurs night. Which is also a clever way for me to keep you for another night. What say you?” His response, "Sounds good. Not sure about Thursday though."
What happens next?
– Communication breakdown with Facebook chatter, Boston
A: Don't play any games, CBWFC, especially with yourself. If you want a real boyfriend, this guy isn't a match for you. He lives far away and doesn't have much time. Even if he Facebook chatted with you every day and called twice a week, you'd probably want more. And why shouldn't you?
He's done a bad job with this, and now he seems apathetic about a real-life meet-up. He could have said, "Thursday might not work, but I can't wait to see you!" Instead, he was sort of cold. And way too busy.
I know this isn't what you want to hear, but it might be time to say good-bye. You signed up for a long-distance courtship, but he's just not courting. If you must see him this week, tell him what you want and why you just can't accept any less. Take a friend to Thursday's event. Give yourself a break.
Readers? Any potential here? Should she see him? Should she tell him how she feels? Thoughts about his behavior? Is there any way this can work? 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.