Anxious about a long-distance suitor

Dear Meredith,

A few months ago I was on vacation and I met someone who, it turned out, was the brother of one of my friends (we'd never met because he lives halfway across the country). We hung out during our entire vacation and really connected. REALLY connected. We would talk for hours, had the same sense of humor, and I had butterflies every time he was around. Unfortunately, he had a girlfriend of two years back home. Nothing physical happened ... but it definitely felt like an emotional affair at times. We hypothetically talked about what we would be like as a couple, how compatible we were, etc., and his last night on vacation was one of the most romantic nights of my life, although we didn't even hold hands. He said to me, "I've spent all week trying to find one reason why you might not be the one for me, and I can't find a single thing to convince me that we're not supposed to be together."

Although I told him it wasn't a good idea, I couldn't resist emailing him back after we left, just chatting casually about movies we liked and things of that nature. After a few weeks he abruptly said he needed to stop talking to me, that his feelings for me were growing and it wasn't fair to his girlfriend. He said that although their relationship didn't always feel right, he wanted to see it through as long as he could. I agreed and told him although I hoped we could be friends, I knew it wasn't possible, and that I would respect his wishes. I hadn't heard from him since.

Until a few weeks ago, that is. His sister texted me that he's coming to visit and that he mentioned he'd like to see me. Oh, and that he'd broken up with his girlfriend a few weeks ago. The timing felt suspicious -- the first visit planned so soon after breaking up with his girlfriend? But I didn't want to read too much into it. Today, he reached out and confirmed that he was coming to Boston next month, and said that while he's here he'd like to take me on a date.

I'm feeling so many different emotions ... I'm excited, anxious, scared ... and his visit is still a few weeks away. In my mind we have three BIG problems: 1. He's the brother of a good friend. 2. He lives in far away. (Who willingly enters into a long-distance relationship from the beginning?!) 3. He's just getting out of a long-term relationship. Although it seems that his relationship was over a long time before he ended it, he will still only have been single for two months by the time we see each other.

Is this doomed from the beginning? I want to point out that we're both in our early 30s and have had our fair share of relationships, and it's not like I'm desperate and he's the only person who's interested in me ... he's just what my heart hasn't been able to get rid of in the last few months. In the past two weeks since he reached back out, we've logged about 15 hours on the phone, talking about everything we can think of. The conversation is always fun and easy and unintentionally goes on for hours at a time; we've discussed his breakup and what we might do when he's out here. I strongly feel that he might be the one for me, but I am already worried about all these obstacles.

– Compulsive Worrier, Brighton

Please calm down. Please. There's no reason to freak out right now. It sounds like you're confusing excitement with panic.

Have your date. Try to enjoy it and get to know this guy in a more realistic context. Don't think about whether he's "the one" for you, just consider whether you'd like to see him again and how that would work. You shouldn't be making any massive decisions after this trip. Take this one visit at a time and see what grows.

Something tells me that even if you met a guy down the street, you'd be thinking about obstacles and asking big questions about the future. That's just your thing -- because you like control. Some of your anxiety is natural, but you can't let it take over. And you can't predict the future, no matter how hard you try.
Every time you start to ask massive questions about the future of this potential relationship, repeat this mantra: "I'm going on a date. I hope it's good. We'll see what happens." Then watch some TV. Find the perspective you so desperately need, because if you keep spiraling about the big unknowns, you're not going to be able to enjoy yourself.
Readers? How can she chill out about all of this? Is there too much buildup for this date? Is the relationship doomed because of where he is post-breakup? Help.

– Meredith