He doesn’t want to be serious

Looking for some letters to lead us up to our 10th anniversary.

Also seeking updates to Meredith.Goldstein@Globe.com. Put "update" in the subject line.

Hi Mere,

I am 24 and I've been dating this guy for about a month. He's 30 and was married for years. He's been divorced a little over a year and had a toxic on-again off-again relationship with another woman for the past year. He has told me repeatedly that he wants to take it slow and that he feels like he needs this time in his life to be single. After what he's been through, I get it. I, on the other hand, have been single for a year and finally seem to have found someone I like and connect with as much as my ex. I don't want to pressure him into anything and I accept that he wants to take it slow. It's confusing because he has brought me around to meet his friends several times and even tells me he wants to plan vacations together, etc. But other times he jokingly tells me not to kiss him or hold his hand in public because it's too “relationship-y.” Even if it is in a sarcastic way, it bothers me.

I can't shake the fact that he is going on dates with other girls and that he's not as serious as I am about where this might go. We text every day and see each other about four days a week, so it honestly feels like we're already dating, and that he should know whether he's really into me. But I can't shake the feeling that as this gets more serious, he might run away. Do I wait and see what happens or back off?

– Relationship-y


Four days a week. Wow. I can see why you're confused.

It sounds like this person has a lot of work to do before he can be a good partner to anyone. It also sounds like he has trouble being alone. He's seeing you four days a week – after just a month – and is also making time for dates with other people. Yes, technically he's "single," but he needs a lot of companionship and attention. Meanwhile, you're more confident about what kind of company you want and why. You're in a very different place.

It's possible that he'll figure himself out and want more from you over time, but for now, you need to believe what he tells you. Maybe that means ending it. Perhaps it means dating others  – and devoting some of those four days a week to friends and activities.

I understand that this man's actions seem to be speaking louder than his words, but his words are important. That sarcasm is meant to send a message. Believe it.

– Meredith

Readers? Back off? End it?