Q: Hi Meredith,
I met this guy at work and we quickly developed a great friendship. After some time, though, he would send me messages that hinted that he had feelings for me. I kept pushing it off because I had just gotten out of a four-year relationship and wasn't sure if I wanted another one, but I finally gave in and decided to see what would happen. After a few days of talking about our feelings, he asked me to be his girlfriend. The problem is that I was nervous about dating someone from work, so I mentioned that I didn't think it was a good idea because I didn't want to ruin our friendship. His response was not to worry.
After a couple of days he invited me over to meet his family. Once again, before I went over, I asked him if he was sure, and his response was yes. After that, things seemed to be going well (we went on a couple of dates, he told me he hasn't felt strongly about someone in a really long time and that I made him very happy), until the other night when he said he wanted to talk. He proceeded to tell me that he felt things were moving too fast, that he's not sure what he's doing, and that it's not me, it's him. He literally used every excuse he could think of. He told me I didn't have to leave to go home (but why would I stay?) and then as I was leaving, he said he would talk to me tomorrow! Really?! I'm really confused as to what the issue really is. I mean, he was the one to instigate every situation. Every time that I wasn't sure about something, he would seem very sure, but it turns out he wasn't so sure after all. What could he be thinking? It's really bothering me because I feel led on. What should I do?
– Confused, Boston
A: You have to remember that he can't predict the future. He was confident that he wanted to do all of these things (become a couple, meet the parents, etc.); he just couldn't anticipate how he'd feel after he did them.
He sounds fairly immature and short-sighted. And yes, you were led on and it stinks. But maybe the lesson here is that you should listen to your gut, not his. He asked if you wanted to be his girlfriend just a few days after talking about your feelings. That felt weird to you, but you let him convince you that it was OK. A few days later, he wanted you to meet his family. You had some doubts, but he assured you that it was fine. I don't think that you were ready for any of these steps.
My assumption is that this relationship would have ended no matter what because as he put it, it's him, not you. But now you know that your gut was right. If you have concerns about the pace of the relationship, you're allowed to skip the reassurances and simply slow it down.
Readers? What was he thinking? And what does he want from her now? What should she do? 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.