He’s the landlord now

Dear Meredith,

I met a guy at the gym in May. We went on a first date less than a week later and there was a lot of chemistry. We have been, for lack of a better term, friends with benefits ever since. Due to other circumstances, he is now my landlord, and he's around the building a lot because he truly cares about his property. This makes me extremely hesitant to date other men.

I have never had difficulty reading a person's intentions before, but I constantly have trouble figuring out what his are. I texted him about a month ago to confirm that we were "still friends" because we had pretty much stopped spending time together. His response left me surprised, to say the least. He told me that he has been single for three years and enjoys running on his own schedule, but wants to see where this thing goes.

We've been "seeing each other" for months now, and I feel like I've fallen in love with him. I wind up being awkward around him because I'm really afraid that he's going to say that he's not interested in that way. I want to ask him to either commit to a relationship or just be friends, obviously in a more graceful manner. The dilemma is that he is my landlord and goes to my gym. If things go south, I'm going to be reminded of it nearly every day. My best friend told me that I should just get rid of him because he isn't putting in enough effort and there have been long periods (up to a month) where we don't hang out outside of talking to each other at the gym. I'm so torn because of these strong feelings. I'm also not sure whether he's ready to commit to something after enjoying being single for three years.

- Fed up and in love


The good news: Your friend gives good advice. The bad news: Your friend is right.

Your landlord/friend-with-benefits wants to be on his "own schedule." Meanwhile, you're falling in love. That's no good.

I do think you should ask him whether he's in a position to offer more (as opposed to walking away without a conversation), but only because I think his response will make it easier to move on. Your question doesn't have to be "graceful" – just make sure it's clear.

No matter what happens, there will be sightings and reminders of him everywhere, but that's part of dating. People cope with office, school, church, and roommate breakups all the time. Unless you've met a stranger through a setup or online, you're bound to have to deal with run-ins. It gets easier over time.

The way I see it, you're already pretty miserable because you're not getting what you want. Breakup misery is different, but at least it comes with answers.

– Meredith

Readers? New gym?