Should we be in love after a year?

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A lot of people are bailing for the weekend, so we will skip chat. But I will see you next week. It will be epic, for reasons I will explain that day.

Hi Meredith,

Hoping you can offer your thoughts and looking forward to others' thoughts as well. I am 59 and hoping to find love again. I have dated a few men since the sudden loss of my partner four years ago. I understand that it can take some time to get to know someone and to see if love can grow. My question .... how long should I give it? I am fortunate to attract wonderful, handsome men and enjoy their company but what I am looking for is love. Love that includes acceptance and patience as well as time spent being incredibly intimate and sensual. Dating is great, and many men want more but if I am not feeling love, how long till I change dance partners?

I am currently dating someone who is incredibly wonderful. I thank the heavens for him every day, and the thought that I met him during this pandemic makes our relationship even more incredible. He and I enjoy amazing times together and our talks include plans for many months ahead. However, if I am not in love with him or he does not tell me he is in love with me by the one-year anniversary of our starting to date, should I say thanks but what I am truly looking for was not found in this relationship? I have spent longer time trying to let a relationship grow in the past and I don't want to make that mistake again. I look back and feel I gave too much time away. How long should one give to see if love is there? I believe I am in love with him but if he cannot reciprocate it by one year, I think I should say goodbye.

~ Is one year enough time?


"I believe I am in love with him ..."

Wait! So it's possible! This is good.

Before you make any decisions about this relationship, talk to him about how you feel. Please remember that the word "love" – including the phrase "in love" – is very vague. We've tried to define it a zillion times here. We've also tried to come up with answers for people who want to know when to say it. All I know is that "in love" means something different to me than the next person. And I've thought it, only to realize ... oh wait, "now it's love.”"

Also remember that you met this man in a pandemic, which means you haven't seen each other in your normal routines ... whatever they were, whatever they might become. I don't think I could commit to someone until I saw how they fit in my life, with my friends. I'd need them to understand how I work in a community. Maybe there's a bit of "waiting for reality" with the two of you. I’m just guessing here.

I mean, it's also possible he's lukewarm about the whole thing, but you use the word "amazing," and he seems rather enthusiastic, so don't make any assumptions.

If there's passion you need to see or hear, tell him about it (Billy Joel voice, please). And remember that some people show passion with big words, but others have an entirely different language. Showing up – with great excitement – is a form of passion, I think.

If this relationship doesn't work, I'd remember with your next experiences that yes, love takes time (Mariah Carey voice, please). It grows based on the experiences you share with someone. Some of it is just chemistry and luck. It sounds like you're willing to put in the effort, so please, when it comes to your own feelings about whether you can fall for someone, trust your gut.

– Meredith

Readers? How long does it take for love to bloom? What is happening in this relationship?