He doesn’t want a serious relationship

Annoyed with your partner? Having trouble on apps? Dealing with a crush? A breakup? What's on your mind? Send a letter to [email protected] or fill out this form.

Hi Meredith,

I had an amazing date with a guy in December. We didn't know what to expect because he's 20 years older than me.

We had an amazing connection – so much in common. But I was moving to a country in Europe for a few months, so we didn't see each other for a bit. We did keep chatting.

It was time for me to return, and he asked me to stay with him until my situation stabilized. He picked me up at the train station. We had an amazing date that night. That's when he told me that he liked me so much, but that he didn't want something serious. I was really confused but I decided to enjoy the moment. I stayed there for three amazing weeks. He treated me like a princess and we enjoyed every minute together. I decided to leave because he needed space and I was readjusting.

I didn't know if we were going to see each other again because he didn't want anything serious. But he did say he was struggling all the time because "he likes me so much," and I knew that it was because someone hurt him. He texted me three times after I left, but the notes were brief. I was really sad because after three weeks of living together, it felt like we were strangers.

After two weeks without seeing each other, he texted me that he really wanted to see me. We got together and it was completely amazing. He told me that he missed me so much. He even told me, with fear, that he was thinking of pursuing a relationship with me. I just smiled and didn't say anything because I didn't want to pressure him.

Now he's on a trip for two weeks. We don't talk every day, which I think is not a good sign. We have so much connection – the way we look each other, the way we make love. I know this is not the kind of thing you can feign. Do you think he will stop being afraid and open up to having a relationship with me?

– Miss Confused


"Do you think he will stop being afraid?"

I have no idea. All I know is that you shouldn't wait around.

There's a lack of clarity here, but you can change that. When he returns, ask to see him. Tell him what you want, and what a relationship might look like to you.

It doesn't have to involve you moving in for three weeks or starting the emotional commitment at a 10. What if the two of you just ... dated? Had dinner. Went to a movie. Slept over when it felt right. It doesn't have to be serious from moment one. You can start a relationship and let it grow.

If he can't sign up for that – or anything – move along. I believe that you have an intense, wonderful connection with this man, but it doesn't do you any good if he's running away. Also, it’s unfair that he's dictating the terms, dangling a possible relationship over your head, implying that whenever he's ready, you'll still be eager.

Get an answer about a clear next step. If he’s too afraid to give you anything but maybes, he's not up for this.

You're not asking for forever. Dating shouldn't be this difficult.

– Meredith

Readers? Will he come around? Should the LW even try to get clarity?