Good chat yesterday. I feel for this letter writer. I know the answer is obvious, but ... she's got it bad -- and only six weeks in.
Hi Meredith, I am having an epic battle of heart versus brain. It all started when the guy that I have been seeing for about 6 weeks now told me he had to see what was going to “unravel” for the weekend before we could see each other. This got me thinking (I’m a 24 year-old woman, I will agree I over-think things at times), why couldn’t he make plans with me before something else happened? So we got in a bit of an argument about how I fit into his life since I realized he just won’t make plans in advance with me. Ever. We rarely have dates planned in advance and often times if we do try to plan something, it won’t end up working out for some reason or another and I get very down because I got my hopes up thinking I would get to see him. The only times I do get to see him tend to be a spontaneous “what are you up to now” and he waits until the last minute. It’s as if he’s waiting for something better to come along before I can be considered as the back up plan. I like to have something to look forward to and the spontaneous, last-minute moments of hanging out really aren’t cutting it for me. It’s getting to the point where I find myself waiting around to see if he wants to see me rather than make my own plans with friends because I’m afraid I won’t see him at all if I don’t. That’s just the preface, our argument started when I ask him why he can’t seem to make plans with me. He struggles with his response, and basically tells me that he doesn’t like to make plans because he’s at a point in his life where he doesn’t want to be tied down to anything. He moved to the city to “discover himself” so to say, and I just sort of came along. Now based on his actions you would think “Oh, he’s just not that into her," but he truly is a very sweet, honest, and caring person. He tells me constantly how happy he is around me and how amazing I am, all common lines, I know, but I actually believe this one when he says it. So along with the lack of plan making subject, we talked about where our relationship stands. As far as I know, we’re exclusive, but I haven’t outright asked him (dumb, I know). He told me he’s too busy to have a serious relationship, and he needs more time to himself to work toward his life goals, but he would still like to date me and sees a relationship as a possibility in the future. Now, I personally believe that if a guy wants to see me, he will make plans to see me versus waiting for something better to come along, that just seems like common sense (actions speak louder than words). I will admit, we have been moving rather quickly in the 6 weeks we’ve been seeing each other, but he now wants to take two steps backwards to something more casual than we’ve done before and I don’t necessarily think I’d be able to handle that. He did say that he would be more willing to make plans in advance with me though so there would be some sort of compromise. So here is the question: should I take a step back (or is it even possible at this point) in our “non-relationship," or should I just end it now and save myself the heartache later (the latter was my own addition not his). My brain tells me to make a run for it, get out while I can and protect whatever shreds of self esteem I have left. My heart wants to give it a shot. This is the first guy I’ve had real feelings for in a long time, and I really want to believe him when he tells me how wonderful he thinks I am and that he does still have feelings for me and he truly wants to spend time with me. My question really boils down to the age old rivalry: does the brain always have to be right, or is it possible that the choice your heart wants to make could work out in the end? Sorry it's so long, and thanks for listening,
– Hopelessly Lost in Limbo, Cambridge
HLIL, I'm not going to tell you take a step back. I'm going to tell you to take 40 steps back. This guy is not interested in a respectful, boyfriend-girlfriend-type relationship. You are. And I'm quite sure you can’t handle anything less from him. It's driving you bonkers. He's not even treating you very well as a friend. If you were his friend, he would make plans in advance. I don’t think he’s intentionally trying to be a jerk, but he is trying to show you in every way possible that you're not his main squeeze. You're just a very available squeeze. Follow his lead and consider your own needs first. This non-relationship is making you neurotic and it’s only six weeks in. Tell him the truth -- that if he's not interested in really dating you, you're out. Maybe he'll rally, but you should expect that he won't. You're telling us that you don't want to be casual. You're telling us that you want someone who respects your time and looks forward to seeing you. Now tell yourself all that -- and make decisions accordingly. In this case, your heart and brain should actually be on the same page. Don't feel rejected. This guy does have feelings for you and I’m sure he thinks you're wonderful. But at the moment, his priority is himself. And that’s OK. At least he has been honest. Take a few deep breaths, go to the movies, make some plans with friends, and tell this guy he’s in or he’s out. I actually think that's what your heart is telling you to do. Readers? Advise, please. Share here.