Q: Hello Love Letters,
I am a busy, athletic, full-time professional and part-time grad student in her 20s. Love is not my No. 1 priority right now. It's actually probably not even like No. 5 on my to-do list. I have a lot of living, learning, and growing to do, and I value my independence. However, I would like to have some fun in my free time.
I've been on various dating websites/apps so far this year and I have met some great guys. Since I don't want to fall in love or to end up in a relationship right now, I purposely seek out men who don't want anything serious, just casual dating. However, once I've spent enough time with a man, I tend to develop feelings. It is very annoying and inconvenient.
Is someone like me supposed to just not date? At all? Should I develop some kind of policy where we can only go on X number of dates before I end it? I think one-night stands are so lame. I just want to participate in short-term dating without ending up hurt. Is this impossible?
– Girl Who Just Wants to Have Fun, Boston
A: You're not a girl who just wants to have fun. When it comes down to it, you're a girl who wishes she were a girl who just wants to have fun.
I understand that you've got a lot of important stuff going on right now, but you can't script your love life. Instead of seeking out men who've made it clear that they have an expiration date, look for guys who are around your age. Admit to them that you're busy and unsure about what you want. Then just get to know them and see what happens. Most dating is short-term. You don't have to sabotage relationships because they often end on their own. Just be open to anything.
Maybe you're too distracted to fall madly in love right now. Except ... you might. And would that be so terrible? It's time to seek out nice guys and accept that anything is possible.
Readers? Should she not be dating at all right now? Does she really want to avoid a relationship? Should she be seeking out short-term affairs? 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.