I’m a Jumper

I received this letter about a week and a half ago. When I contacted the letter writer to tell her it was running, she gave me an update. Even though she's less of a mess than she was when she wrote it, I'm going to address her issue. Just make sure you read the whole letter before you submit advice.

Dear Meredith,

In my circle of friends, I'm called the Jumper. I jump from one relationship to another quickly with really no time in between to come to terms with being alone. From a serious four-year relationship that brought me into college, to a serious two-year relationship that I continued past senior year of college, I now somehow find myself simultaneously dating two men. Each of them brings something to the table. One of them, I'll call him Griffin, is a musician and sexy as hell. I've been seeing him for several months and I'm still extremely attracted to him but that seems to be all I have. I fell hard for Griffin when we first started seeing each other, but slowly we started having issues. He would rarely tell me what was going on in his life, we would make plans and he'd show up late or not at all. He assures me he cares about me but then doesn't speak to me for a week or so, telling me he got overwhelmed. I'm just so obscenely attracted to him that I stick it out, and maybe one day it'll click for him that I'm worth it.

During one of these weeks of him treating me poorly, I met Joshua (not his real name). He is so ridiculously sweet and kind and we meshed really well. He gave me the time of day and the attention I wanted and I think I deserve and even my friends liked him! But (of course there's a "but" because life can't just be easy) I'm not that attracted to him. I think he's cute but it's not like what I have with Griffin.

A friend of mine, who actually suggested I read Love Letters, told me that maybe neither of them is right for me. I don't know if she's right but I think I need to take a step back and figure out what's going on inside of me before I hurt two men I care about. How do I take a step back without ruining a potential relationship? How do I figure out if either one of them is right for me? After all this jumping how do I finally stand still?

Update: Griffin stopped talking to me, not answering my calls or messages. It's been a few weeks and I don't expect to hear from him again and if I do I know my response. On the other side, I started spending more time with Joshua, which may be a rebound or it may not, but I find I can be myself 100 percent with him. I can tell him anything and most importantly he makes me feel like I'm someone special. I told him about Griffin and we have plans to see how it goes.

– Trying to Stand Still, Boston

When I first read your letter, TTSS, my gut reaction was to tell you to drop both guys and enjoy single life for once. But then I thought, wistfully, "Joshua sounds pretty nice. And how is he supposed to compete with sexy Griffin?"

It sounds like you're going to take things slow with Joshua and that your feelings for him are growing. That all sounds fine to me, especially because you were honest with him about where you are in life.

That said, I'd like to address your Jumper issue. I'm not convinced that the jumping is a problem. We all know that I despise liner-uppers (people who wait to end a not-so-great relationship until they've found a new prospect), but Jumpers are a different animal. They just can't control their timing.
There's a lot of great talk on Love Letters about the importance of learning how to be alone, but we also complain about how difficult it can be to find a good partner. Honestly, if we meet someone nice, are we really supposed to ignore them because we haven't logged enough hours as a single? We all come to relationships lacking some sort of experience. You haven't been alone very much. Maybe Joshua is great at being alone but doesn't know what it's like to be with someone for more than six months. You're supposed to help each other.

Just make sure that you're devoting enough time to life outside of the relationship. Joshua is new, so he shouldn't be around all of the time. You should be seeing friends. You should be spending time by yourself. And if you decide at some point that Joshua just isn't cutting it, you should jump away.
Readers? How do you feel about Jumpers vs. Liner-uppers? Does she really like Joshua? Is she lining up? What happens if Griffin returns? Does she really need time alone?

– Meredith