Is he a hideous man?

I hope you’re reading this early … For those of you who didn’t see the comment I posted yesterday afternoon, here's some news: John Krasinski (Jim on “The Office”) is coming to my office (The Boston Globe) to do a chat today (Friday). He’ll be chatting online at noon about his directorial debut -- “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” -- which he plans to screen tonight in Cambridge at about 9:30 p.m. This is relevant to us because Mr. Krasinski has given me three pairs of tickets to tonight’s screening. He would like them to go to Love Letters readers because we are awesome and know all about hideous men. If you want a pair of tickets to the screening, e-mail me (meregoldstein at gmail dot com) a paragraph about why you need/deserve them. My mom is in town for the weekend and will have nothing to do while I finish my work this morning, so I’ve asked her to read the paragraphs and pick three winners. The winners will get the pairs of tickets – and a copy of the “Brief Interviews” book on which the movie is based. Paragraphs are due by 11 a.m. Please give my mom something good to read. You can find a trailer of the movie here. I’ll notify winners by 1 p.m.-ish. Don’t enter unless you can make a 9:30 p.m.-ish screening in Cambridge tonight. And if you go, be nice to Mr. Krasinski. He’s from Newton. Now for today’s letter, which is sort of a letter and an update rolled into one …
Dear Meredith, and LL readers, I wrote in a few months ago as Sparkless. I had been in a relationship with someone for whom I wasn't feeling any passion. I subsequently ended the relationship, and have no regrets. I'm writing this time around to ask advice about someone who has been pursuing me hard on and off for over a year and a half. We had been involved for almost three years starting in 2002. Talk about sparks! There were explosions! He had two children and was going through a messy divorce at the time; I had a miscarriage, and my mother committed suicide, so we had a lot on our respective plates. The relationship ended because I wasn't getting what I needed, which was someone reliable and consistent with what he could give me during a time when I needed more support than I have ever needed. Flash forward to 2008/2009. This man has been seeing someone monogamously since we separated, but every time we are in touch, he makes it very clear that he still wants to be with me, and believes that if circumstances while we were involved had been different, we would still be together. To be honest, I don't know how I feel. I don't like being pursued by someone who is involved with someone else. That feels disrespectful both to me and to her, and I feel like I need to take a shower. He has expressed a certain level of dissatisfaction with the way things are with her, and says that he doesn't see that relationship panning out over the long-term. He wants to spend more time with me, and I've made it clear I can only offer him friendship at this point, given his relationship status. Am I right to sense that he is simply trying to "line me up" in order to end the relationship with the woman he's with now? Is there any reason I should take this man's advances seriously? I really don't want to waste my time and am actually quite happy being unattached right now. It's lovely making decisions only for myself, without having to take another person's needs into account, and I feel like my life is transforming. Any thoughts are most appreciated!

– Playing with Fire?

PWF, speaking of hideous men … yes … he sounds like quite the liner-upper. Sometimes we meet people who are already in a relationship and dream about what it would be like to date them. In this case, you have the benefit of knowing what this guy is like as a real partner. He stunk at it when you needed him most. So there’s your answer. This has been about him from the beginning. He wasn’t great to you back then. And now he’s reaching out to you because he’s bored and unhappy. He hasn’t shown that his renewed interest in you is about you. Again, it’s all about him. Your gut is right. Your gut wants to take a shower. It’s possible to have sparks with someone who doesn’t betray a girlfriend by lining up an ex. To me, that kind of guy is pretty sparkless, in general. He just hasn’t done the work to be taken seriously. Readers? Is this a hideous man? Should Sparkless-turned-Playing-With-Fire even consider a friendship with this guy? Am I being too hard on him? Share thoughts here. Get those paragraphs into me by 11 a.m. We’ll get back to winners by 1 p.m.-ish.

– Meredith