Waiting for him to sort out his life

Send an end-of-year letter so I have some good reading tomorrow.

And I'll see you after the holiday.

Dear Meredith,

I am in my early 30s and have been trying to navigate the dating scene in NYC. I finally had an amazing first date with a guy I met on a dating app, and we have had several wonderful dates since mid-October. There is a slight catch – he lives with his ex-girlfriend. They broke up over the summer, and the relationship had been on its way out for several months before. It is something that he shared on the first date and has been very honest about since.

I get that this is a complicated situation, and it really hasn't bothered me so much. She will be moving out soon, and he is focusing on getting a new job so that he can take over the lease and live alone. As we have continued to see each other, he has made it clear that he feels uncomfortable staying over at my apartment (in the context of his current situation), and I have definitely not been over to his apartment. He has also shared how overwhelmed he is with his current situation and how little he feels he has to give. There have been several points during the last few weeks where he will go a bit MIA. He will either become unresponsive or else is slow to respond.

I have been frank with him about how this is difficult for me and how it makes me feel that he has ghosted me or is uninterested. He has insisted that this is not the case and that he does want to continue to see me and talk to me, and that he will try to be better about communication. He validates my feelings and never makes me feel guilty or needy for bringing them up. I have definitely had guys play the "I'm not in a place for a relationship" card with me much earlier, and feel that I have given him opportunities to do so along the way. My hope is that once his living and work situation change, he will be in a place where he can be more fully present and engaged.

Part of me is afraid that I might be misreading the signs that "he's just not that into me" despite his continued assurances that this is not the case. I am continuing to stay open to dating other guys because of the ambiguity of this situation. I'm just at a bit of a loss at what to do now, and how to ensure that we can keep seeing each other once his life is a bit more in order. I really like him and see great potential between us. What should I do during this weird "betwixt and between" time?

– Betwixt


"I am continuing to stay open to dating other guys, because of the ambiguity of this situation."

That's what you do. You stay on the apps.

This man might become an incredible boyfriend once he has a different job and his ex has moved out of the apartment, but it's also possible that he'll need time to adjust to a new kind of life. Or that he won't want partnership at all. He's told you he has little to give, and that might be the case for a long time.

The frustrating thing is that he has no idea how he'll feel. He hasn't played the "I'm not in the right place" card – or any card, really – because everything is still up in the air.

Your best bet is to stop waiting and to assess him as he is. Right now, he's someone with potential, but that's it. He’s not your exclusive boyfriend. He's hasn't promised you anything. Continue seeking out others and reevaluate his place in your life when he gives you reason to. I know it's hard to stop yourself from imagining how great this could when he lives on his own, but try to tame those fantasies. Accept that you can't "ensure" anything.

– Meredith

Readers? Is the letter writer betwixt anything right now?