Mr. Right. And unicorns. And fairies. And princesses. Happy Friday. Here you go:
I am 32 year old female just starting to date after an 8 year relationship followed by a 6 month "why the hell did I stay so long now I need to fix me" period. Now the past two months after that have been really fun. I actually am starting to feel like my old self again.
I tried eHarmony, which resulted in a few coffee dates and then 8minute dating. It's great to get to know a variety of people so I can try to learn what will actually work long term. I am currently seeing this guy who is probably on paper not a great match. However, what is amazing about him is that within the short amount of time we've dated he makes me feel so good about myself.
My ex very subtlety took away every ounce of self-confidence I had in me. Occasionally I would ask if he would ever considering marrying me and the answer was “well if you worked out more, sex was better, did the things you used to do, looked a certain way, etc. then I would.” Toward the end, I couldn't even change clothes in front of him.
Yet with the new guy (who is looking for something long term), I could just sit there exposed in broad daylight and he actually said the word “sexy.” It was an incredible feeling. My question is, how long can I justify being with this guy who is 35 and looking for marriage/kids when I am starting to suspect that while he's not my Mr. right, he's an incredible Mr. right now? And is it possible that I just think he's not Mr. Right because I've been out of the game so long?
-- Anonymous, Lowell
To answer your last question first – yes, it’s possible you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know what you want. You’re coming back to life. You feel like you wasted your time with your ex and you want to make up for it. Understandable.
What you do know is that this new guy makes you feel good. You enjoy spending time with him. He’s nice to you. You keep showing up for him.
You didn’t tell us why you suspect that he’s not the guy for you, but my guess is that it’s way too early to say.
To suspect is not to know. (That sounds like advice from Yoda, right?)
Sometimes after a bad breakup, it seems as though everyone who's new is better -- that the options for nice, great guys out there are limitless. That's not always the case.
My advice is to stop believing in Mr. Right – especially Mr. Right-on-paper. He’s a myth, as far as I’m concerned. There’s no such thing as an ideal partner, only people who come in different shapes and sizes. Some are better for you than others. At the very least, this guy is better for you than the ex.
It doesn’t sound like you want to let go. So don’t. Just tell him you need to move slow -- and stay honest.
Readers? Does she have to bail if she has doubts? Is she right about this guy being Mr. Wrong? Set her straight here. Submit a letter to the right. Twitter with me here.-- Meredith
Speaking of Love
"'I want my books to have their own shelves,' you said, and that's how I knew it would be okay to live together."
— David Levithan, "The Lovers Dictionary"
CAN’T HELP MYSELF is Meredith’s memoir about giving advice, learning from readers, working with an ex, and moms and daughters. It’s also a story about how an online community can become another kind of family.