What does it mean to go with the flow?

Dear Meredith,

I have spent the summer with a fun and down-to-earth person. We met online and things blossomed from there with spontaneous dinners, weekend activities, and meeting each other's friends. After three months, things felt off, mostly on my part. I felt like I was about to trek through a path I've become used to; we were in the gray area of relationship that felt serious without any confirmation.

I worked up the courage to ask what he wanted from the relationship, and he said something along the lines of, "I don't know, to go with the flow?" I was OK with his answer because I didn't really know what I wanted myself, or maybe I was allowing my answer to be dependent on his. Weeks later, I was able put what I wanted into words: I want a relationship, and I don't want to date others. After four months of seeing each other, I asked him again if he'd thought more about my question and he told me that he still wanted to go with the flow and that it's been a while since he's been in a relationship. He said he's "trying to get back into the groove of things."

I'm crushed, not because of his answer, but because in the past this kind of "going with the flow" has led to me being hurt. I don't know whether I should cut things off now to protect myself.

– Scared of Going with the Flow


The language here is pretty confusing and vague. I'm not sure what it means to go with the flow, and even though you're "crushed" by the concept, you don't seem to know either.

Does going with said flow involve this man needing space to date other people? Or is it is way of saying that he can't predict how the relationship will play out in the future?

Also, how do his actions correspond with his words? Are you still enjoying each other's company by having dates and sharing friends? Does he want to spend more and more time with you?

You can answer some of these questions on your own, but the big one needs to be brought back to him. Try to be specific about what you need to know. As in, "At this point in the relationship, I don't want us dating other people. Does that work for you? As we both get into the groove of things, are you open to exclusivity?"

Exclusivity does seem to be the goal right now. At four months, there isn't much more anyone can promise. If he can't offer that, perhaps it is time to move on. But if he can, maybe the flow is just another name for what it means to figure out what's next.

– Meredith

Readers? What can anyone expect at four months?