Former letter writers: I'm still taking updates. Email your update from your original address so I know it's you.
Have a lovely Christmas Eve. Be safe.
Q: Hi Meredith,
I'm hoping you can give me some words of wisdom. I met a man online and we started dating back in August. I'm 40, he is 47. Both of us are divorced, his child is grown, mine is younger. We spend weekends together, we text during the day, and if schedules permit, we see each other during the week. I've even met his parents. So far everything was great until ... there is always an until.
There were some pretty significant stressful shakeups at his job. As soon as this happened, he became distant, he started giving me one-word answers, the texts slowed down, and he barely spoke to me. It was a complete 180 change in less than a week. I asked him about it and he said it was all work related and how sorry he was that he let his work issues affect the relationship. Things got a little better.
But I got the nagging urge to check his dating profile. Perhaps I'm a bit naive, but after a couple months and meeting the parents, I suspended my profile. I figured I was seeing someone so there was no need. He still has his. It's active and it was recently updated!
We had a big ol' fight about it. He said it doesn't mean anything. He's only with me. And that his updating his profile is no big deal. To me it seems like a very big deal. To me it feels like he had his three-month trial run and now wants to upgrade and look for the bigger, better deal. He says that's not the case, but if not, why update his profile at all?
A friend of mine shared her theory with me. Older daters, i.e. 40+ and divorced, have two big mile stones when they are dating -- at 3 months and 6 months. At three months, this is when people get antsy and contemplate leaving the relationship. If they stick around for 6 months then they have committed to staying. Since we've hit our 3 month mark, it appears he wants to cut and run, but why not talk to me first before updating the profile? What are your thoughts on this?
– Stunned in Boston
A: I don't buy your friend's theory, SIB. It's an interesting idea, but it's way too arbitrary. I'm sure there are plenty of 40-somethings who have stories about relationships that got weird after eight months or a year. Every partnership (and breakup) is different. There are no rules.
As for your guy, I'm on your side. Updating the profile was a very big deal. It's not like he just looked at the thing. He took the time to spiff it up.
Work stress can make us crazy, but if this is how he behaves when he's under pressure, do you really want more of him?
If you're not feeling good at the three-month mark, that's all that matters. He messed up big time and hasn't put you at ease. You had legitimate questions about his behavior and he dismissed your concerns. I don't know what he's up to, but you deserve better.
Readers? Should she forgive the profile update? Why did he do it? Is it really not a big deal? What about her friend's theory? What about the work stress issue? Help.
Recent blog posts
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.