Met him on vacation

I was on vacation in the UK and met this guy on Tinder. I've met many guys on apps while traveling and had no hopes of anything more than friendship. We met up and ended up walking along the beach after dinner. It was late so he invited me to stay back at his place because my house was in the opposite direction. I ended up spending the night and we cuddled and talked, and the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. I've never been so attracted to someone before. I'm 20, he's 25. I've never had a serious boyfriend.

I'm pretty straightforward so I let him know from the get-go that I liked him a LOT. I asked him to come over to my Airbnb the day after our date. He declined because he needed to sleep and work. But two days after the first date, he cooked dinner for me at his place and we cuddled. Three days after that, we hung out again and then I stayed over.

Before we slept, he showed me one of his profiles from a dating site – because I asked him what type of person he was. The first sentence was about him being open to the idea of a poly relationship, and that made me cringe. We had a little debate about our differences. We still ended up sleeping together, but he didn't want to cuddle and I could sense that he was a little aloof. The next morning, he didn't even wait for me to dress before leaving for work. I ended up leaving his house 10 minutes after he left for work. After that, he sent me a message saying that he just wanted to be friends and wanted nothing romantic.

I called him and asked if it was it because of my reaction to the poly thing and he said no. We texted over the next few days, mostly him asking me how I was doing. I asked him if I could meet him one last time before my flight home, and he said yes. We ended up cooking dinner and having sex. Then he sent me to the airport, and I got so confused because I thought he just wanted to be friends.

We still talk now. I honestly can't stop thinking about him and it's so hard because I anticipate texts from him and even tried changing my sleep cycle so it could account for the time zone difference and be in synced with his. I don't know if I should ask him if he's actually open to something more or if that will just push him away.

I tried going on more dates to get him off my mind but it didn't work and I just ended up talking about him on those dates. I don't want to lose him, even as a friend. He inspires me and encourages me to be a better person. Should I just wait for him to hopefully, in the near future, indicate that he has some sort of romantic interest in me or ask him again?

– Feeling Lost

Vacation romance can be so misleading. You're the most relaxed version of yourself with time to spare. Your love interest becomes associated with all of these cool, wonderful memories. It's very easy to become smitten with someone when it feels temporary. The stakes can feel dramatic – and higher – but really, they're much lower.

This particular man was great at vacation love, but he's not appropriate for you in real life. The second you went from fantasy to reality (looking at his dating profile), you realized you were incompatible in the most important ways. The two of you want very different things from a relationship. The moment you figured that out, it should have been about accepting him for what he was ... or moving on.

You chose to pretend he was something else, but that was never going to work. He doesn't want anything romantic (even though he'll sleep with you when that's an option). He doesn't have an interest in real commitment, but he will accept your attention in the form of messages, etc. That's all he can offer and it's not enough.

But if you don't believe me, go ahead and ask him. I'm sure he'll tell you the same thing. That's why it's best for you to stop communicating with him altogether. Maybe plan another vacation. Remind yourself that there are more places to go – and people to meet.

– Meredith

Readers? Potential now that vacation is over?