Seeking updates from letter writers from 2009 to 2013. Tell us how it all worked out. Email Meredith.Goldstein@Globe.com with "update" in the subject line.
I recently met this guy through Bumble. After several months of bad and "you're nice but I can't see this going any further" dates, this one was just wow. We had a great connection, the conversation flowed, and I didn't feel afraid to be vulnerable. He didn't seem to either. There were no red flags. Quite the opposite, actually; he seemed concerned that I would be moving in the next few months (I told him I would not be moving). He invited me to meet his friends and everything was very personal. We went on a few more dates, talked several times a day over text, and I was hopeful that this could be a good one after the myriad of previous disappointments.
I got home after our last date feeling convinced this could work out. When I woke up, there was a text from him sent at 4 a.m. He had been tossing and turning, the situation eating away at him. In the text he told me he wasn't ready for anything at all, having recently broken up with his ex-girlfriend. He apologized several times for misleading me. He said he simply wanted a hookup. Likely in an attempt to heal his broken heart and fill that void. I've had casual relationships before, and my intuition might be failing me, but I don't think this felt like one. I really think he likes me but isn't ready, which is understandable. We agreed we just don't want the same things right now. He told me he'd like to be friends, and I just really like him as a person. If I refuse, I know I might regret it because I would miss out on getting to know a great person. But I'm afraid of being hurt. And afraid of having the idea of a chance with him looming over me. Is it possible for me to be friends with this guy and just let things unfold as they should? Or move on and never look back?
There's another option here. You can choose to move on and know that if he ever wants more, he has your number. It doesn't have to be friendship or "never look back." Really, who doesn't look back?
The friendship idea sounds appealing in some ways; it allows you to stay connected and to be in his presence if/when he wants to commit to someone new. But you do not want a casual relationship with this person. You want to be all in. If hooking up wasn't good enough, why would you settle for even less?
Many letter writers put pressure on themselves to be friends with exes, former love interests, crushes, etc. I understand the temptation and know that sometimes it all works out for the best, but it can also lead to more confusion and rejection. In your case, sticking around for this person means signing up for a guessing game about intentions. It also might be a painful experience – especially if you find out that he's hooking up with someone else.
This is unfolding as it should. Protect yourself and let go.