Q. I have been dating this guy since last summer. We hit it off right away, and things were great — until his ex came back in the picture. He said he needed to go back to her and make sure he did what he could to make that relationship work. Well, it didn’t work, and he came back to me after a couple of weeks. A month later he decided to go back to her. When that didn’t work, he came back again, and we’ve been going at it since then. I know, you must be thinking: Didn’t this girl ever hear the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!”? Yes, I have. There is something about this guy that keeps me around.
I expected him to come back and make an effort to tell me or show me that he’s here to stay this time. Well, he says and does nothing to tell or show me those things. When I’ve talked to people about this, they say, “That’s how guys are. They don’t talk about their feelings.” Whenever I bring it up his response is, “What’s the rush? Let nature take its course.” It wasn’t until very recently that he admitted that he knows he needs to step it up. I’m getting to the point where I can’t take it anymore. I’m too old for these games. OK, I’m only in my late 20s, but this seems like high school behavior to me. I’m a confident girl, and I know I deserve better, but I want him to be the one who is better. He says he really likes me, that I’m 100 percent better than his ex, and that he’s just still working on things in his head. She was his first love and the only girl he ever opened up to, and she betrayed him. He doesn’t want that happening again.
I should probably mention that we’ve talked about moving out of town together, which would scream commitment to some people but only confuses me more. I don’t want to move away from my family and friends with someone who hasn’t really proven his feelings to me yet.
Do I wait to see if he comes around or do I turn and run before I get hurt again?
A. I’m shaking my head. And the first word out of my mouth after reading this letter was “no.”
You can’t move with him to another city (obviously). Your gut says you should drop him.
He left you twice. And now he’s telling you that he “likes” you and that your future together has something to do with nature “taking its course.” What does that even mean?
What bothers me most is that he’s openly comparing you to his ex. You’re 100 percent better than this woman? (Again, how is this possible?) It’s shouldn’t be you vs. her — but in his mind it’s everything vs. her.
After almost a year of dating he has yet to satisfy you and make you feel special and safe in this relationship.
I’m sorry. I wish I could say that I have faith in his ability to rally, but I don’t. If you stay with him you’re going to exhaust yourself trying to get him to be the right guy. And for the record, this isn’t about your age. If you were a 21-year-old I’d tell you the same thing.
You can’t change or control his behavior, only your own. Please dump this guy. He is only coming back to you when his ex is sick of him. Save yourself the heartache. He is not the one for you.
Meredith’s advice today is right on target. You want more. He’s still hung up on his ex and can’t give you more. Please don’t waste any more time with this guy. Do what’s right for yourself and leave so that you can be with someone who looks at you and sees how great you are, and not just how you compare with an ex.
Seriously??????? Re-read your own letter. Any rational person is going to see this for what it is. You are a nice rebound girl.
“When I’ve talked to people about this, they say, ‘That’s how guys are.’ ” No — that’s not how guys are.
Been there, done that. I was in my mid-20s. He’s now married to his “ex.” He went back and forth between us about 3 or 4 times. It was a disaster.
I am not feeling this guy. No shame on you either. You gave it your best because you wanted it to work. He’s just not there, and there is no telling if he’ll ever be there. Waiting around hoping he is going to catch up, having to ask him to step up, is just humiliating. From reading your letter I am so sick of his ex and whatever his problem is. Aren’t you?
Move in with him? NO!!! Move on? YES!!! You are too old for those games. And he’s probably using you to make his other girlfriend jealous. Yes, his other girlfriend. He hasn’t ended things with her. You are simply the other woman.
I’d be interested to know the dynamics of the breakups with the ex. Is he pining for her and she keeps dumping him? Maybe using him as a placeholder until she finds something better? This seems like a game of relationship musical chairs and the letter writer is always going to be the one left without a seat.
Some of these comments are way harsh. A relationship really needs to work from both ends. Seems like you are putting in more than he is. Maybe you need to call more of the shots so that he can see what it feels like to be you.
Edited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@
globe.com. She chats online Wednesday at 1 p.m.