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Love Letters

Love Letters: Burning Out After Four Weeks

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Letters and updates go to meregoldstein at gmail dot com. I need thoughtful letters and updates, please.


Q:

Hi Meredith,†

I feel silly about writing this, but I fell hard and fast for a guy (call him Jimmy) and I can't tell what happened or what I should do about it. We're both in our late-20s. I used to know Jimmy years ago as a friend, and we reconnected four weeks ago in the wake of us both getting out of very serious relationships. I got out three months ago, but his breakup is more recent. Mine was a long time coming.

We hung out twice and then started sleeping together and communicating regularly. Like, at least every hour, if not every 15 minutes, in some form or other. We only went on about six dates, but it felt like a lot more than that because we really talked all the time. He shared some very personal things from his childhood, his relationships, and his family. I told him a lot of personal things too.

And we laughed like crazy -- our sense of humor just meshed. I mean, I don't know how I could not have fallen for him. He said things about how hours just disappeared with me, how I make him crazy, and how he can't help but smile around me. So you might also understand why I got the impression this was a mutual attraction after only two weeks. I had been going on dates with other guys during our first week, but by the second week I broke it off with everyone else.

That night I told him, "I've stopped seeing other people," and he responded, "OK," without even looking at me, which hurt (it's not like I was looking for full relationship commitment -- just something more than indifference). He just kind of pushed that remark to the side and pretended it didn't happen. So I asked to talk the next night and probed him, getting a response that he was very definitively not looking for a relationship (having just gotten out of one), that we hadn't hung out that much and had only started dating, and that he just prefers to take things slowly. I told him we should back off because he had been coming on very strong for wanting to take it slow. He said he would be fine with continuing to be friends if I liked. I haven't reached out to him since then. I wish I could reconnect with him as friends. Is that a recipe for disaster?

– Still Confused and Hurt

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A: If he just wants to be friends (with or without benefits), let this go. But if he's open to going on dates and enjoying each other's company, that's fine. That's what you should be doing at week five. You can't talk commitment when you're just getting to know each other.

I understand that he confused you with the compliments and the constant communication, but telling you that he smiles around you doesn't mean that he wants to skip ahead six months and be madly in love. You must get used to things being new. You're not lining up the next big relationship.

If you slow it down and see Jimmy for what he is -- a guy who likes your company at week four -- you'll be less likely to be prepping for a breakup that was a long time coming. Reset your priorities, consider yourself single, and then decide whether you can date a guy who just wants some commitment-free companionship. Maybe that's all you really need right now.

Readers? Did she move too fast? Did he? Was the probing a bad idea? Should she reach out to him? What about communicating every 15 minutes?

– Meredith