Why am I a secret?

I met a wonderful woman on a dating site back in September. We talked for a couple of weeks and then had a date. I know the first meeting should not be more than 45 to 60 minutes, but we hit it off and talked for over three hours. When it was time to go I asked if I could see her again and she said of course, so we hugged. I asked her for a kiss good night and she smiled and said yes. We spoke that week and set up a second meet/date, and that Saturday she had to cancel. I was disappointed but understood.

The following week I asked to see her, and when we met she told me that she had a couple of horrible boyfriends in her past, and that last year she dated someone who eventually dumped her to return to an ex. At the time, the holidays were approaching and she said she didn't want to date anyone seriously during that time. I told her I understood. But we continued to spend time together, and we both took down our dating app profiles.

We continue to have plans and I think her walls are coming down. I really feel that she is the one for me – but I feel that she is keeping our relationship secret and that bothers me. It was difficult not to be invited to parties with her friends and family during the holidays. It hurt not to be invited to an event her friends attended for her son. Is it simply that she's not ready? Or am I overthinking this?

– Overthinking?

The holidays are over, which means it's a good time to revisit where you stand. You can let her know that you don't expect to be invited to everything, and that you respect her need to keep boundaries, especially when it comes to her son. Still, you'd like to know who are you to her right now. Is she enjoying the relationship? How has she seen it change?

You might also be able to address these questions by showing her how it's done. You can ask her to join your friends or family for an outing, even if it's just a simple dinner. Find out how she feels about being your partner when you're around the people you love. Perhaps if you start there, she'll have a better sense of how you'd like to be included. Maybe it will seem less scary.

You're not overthinking, but you should know that for some people, meeting friends and family represents something very serious. She also might enjoy having something that's just for her. If this goes on and on, yes, it's a problem, but a few months of dating – without combining groups – isn't so unusual.

– Meredith

Readers? Overthinking?