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Love letters

From kisses to hugs

Their relationship started out on the fast track. Now it has stalled.

Q.I met a guy, “Jack,” online about 2½ months ago. We sparked immediately and even made out at the train station. He was the first guy to really strike my fancy since a bad breakup last summer, and we kept it slow but saw each other about once a week. There was lots of kissing and staring longingly at each other but not much more.

Things slowed even further at one point with us not seeing each other for more than two weeks. When we did finally hang out, we suddenly weren’t even making out. Now we’re at a point where at the end of our last hangout he gave me a hug.

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My frustration comes from the fact that even though I don’t see him often I’m still very attracted to Jack when we do hang out. We laugh, we have spark, and we call each other adorable. I feel like he acts like he’s still romantically interested in me, but he doesn’t make any moves any more. Normally I’d just go for it with him, but I’m afraid he wants to be platonic and that’s why he’s slowed.

So, my question: Do I talk to him about this? Should I ask if he still wants us to be dating or if we’ve officially moved into friend zone? Or would that just make things awkward and potentially alienate him from me completely? My gut is to ask, but my friends keep telling me to wait it out. It’s never been very serious, and I’m not looking for him to commit to me. I just want to know if he’s now my cool fun buddy or if I can still make out with him like I really want to.
Befuddled and
Bamboozled,
Somerville

A.Your friends are wrong. (Sorry, friends.)

It’s been almost three months, and you’ve gone from making out at the train station to hugging goodbye. There’s no need to wait this out. Ask him if you’re actually dating and why things haven’t moved past first base.

My guess is that he’s still seeing other people and wants to make sure that your relationship isn’t becoming more serious. And if that’s the case, do you really want to stick around? I mean, you say that you’re not looking for a commitment, but don’t you want to be with someone who’s excited about you and wants to take steps forward each week? At the moment, your relationship is aging in the direction of Benjamin Button. Next week you’re going to get a high five instead of a hug.

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Ask him what’s up and then ask yourself if this is worth pursuing. Because there are a lot of guys out there who will want more. You’re not in this for a “cool fun buddy.” Meredith

Readers respond:

I feel like everyone who writes in lately has a serious case of the relationship lazies. Just TALK TO THE PERSON. Ask this guy what you are and what he would like out of it. Done. Boom goes the dynamite. BRITT9312

Is there anything more awkward than a conversation that goes, “I want to kiss you. Do you want to kiss me?” Groan. I’m usually all for communication, but no one said it has to be verbal. Go for it. You’ll know based on his reaction.
MAGGIEMAY5371

Your friends want you to wait it out? For what? A handshake? Guys don’t slow things down physically when they’re still interested.

MCBOSTONROB

Honey, if you didn’t already learn this in junior high, and I assume you’re older than that, guys (boys, teens, men, and seniors) always reveal themselves by their behavior. I disagree with both Mere and your friends. Actions speak louder than words. His are shrieking, “I’m not into you.” Let it go and find someone who wants to make out and more day and night. Good luck. OLDERNOWISER

I used to know guys like that when I was about 20 or 21. There were sparks, there was flirting, sometimes very intense flirting, and no follow-through. Zip. Nada. Zero. It was very confusing. He’s not interested in anything more. End of mystery. GMV2

I think you have been put in the friend zone. You could try to talk to him, but I think that will put the fork in the friendship. Depending on whether you want a friend or not will determine what you do next. MOVA

Definitely talk to him. It’s OK to be vulnerable and tell him that you like him more than just a friend. Hopefully he will be honest back about how he’s feeling. During the conversation trust your gut, because at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. Also, I’m having a hard time believing this statement in your letter: “I’m not looking for him to commit to me.” I think you are ready for commitment and you’d love it to be with him. BEANTREE

I knew a guy similar to this. When he wasn’t involved romantically with a woman, he’d see a bunch of girls and make out with them, never really going further than that. When he would find someone he wanted to get serious with, he’d continue to see his girlfriends but would keep it platonic. It’s just how he operated. SALLY

I’m sure you’re a lovely woman, and I do mean this kindly. But this guy just isn’t attracted to you, for whatever reason. He’s being passive-aggressive because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, which of course just confuses you — as it would me too. You like him. But yes, this isn’t going anywhere, so I would recommend just moving on to someone who would be thrilled to make out with you on a train and anywhere else you happen to find yourselves.
ELIZABETHBENNETT

It simply sounds like she listened to her friends rather than her gut and now she’s experienced weeks of angst unnecessarily. Always listen to your gut over your friends.

LILY

Listerine? Scope? Do you have a grill (braces)? Or, as others suggest, he’s gay.

STAUGUSTINE

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.

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