Q. I am a 27-year-old-woman who gave online dating a shot a few months ago. I come off as “picky,” but in reality I am very self-aware of my interests, personality, future wants, etc., and can tell if a connection is there or not almost immediately. One night, I came across the profile of a girl named “Sarah” who is 25, seemed pretty, active, and down to earth, so I sent her a message.
After a week of sending each other messages both online and in texts, we set up a date. As soon as we met, it was “love at first sight” for me, with instant sparks and the unexplainable connection (not lust). For the past few months, we have seen each other a few times a week, met each other’s friends, gone out together, and it has been wonderful, effortless, unselfish, and romantic. Granted, it has only been a few months but we have never had a fight or disagreement, which I believe to be the result of us both having excellent communication skills. So . . . what’s the issue?
While we both have agreed to be exclusive, we are not “official,” as in calling ourselves girlfriends or in an official relationship per Sarah’s request. For the record, I would be in a relationship with her in a heartbeat. A major obstacle for Sarah regarding “us” is that she hasn’t come out as bisexual to her family and is scared to do so because they make a lot of negative gay jokes. I recently told my very religious family that I am bisexual (they told me they still love me), so I understand how scary this is for her. And as readers may be wondering, we are both more drawn to woman and not seeking men. I’ve put no pressure on Sarah to title our situation or tell her family, but I’ve stated that I would be in a relationship with her whenever she is ready.
To make matters more complicated, she recently landed a job that is two hours away and requires a hectic lifestyle of traveling, hard work, and networking (socializing and drinking). I’m freaking out a bit because she leaves next week. Sarah tells me that she doesn’t know what will happen with us because she doesn’t know if she can do long-distance dating and have time for me and the job — but she wants to try. She also knows that she would choose her family if they don’t approve of her being with a woman. She just seems confused in general. She says that when she does make a commitment, she does it 110 percent and feels bad that she can’t promise that to me right now.
Some of my friends tell me to give Sarah an ultimatum regarding our relationship status, while others say to ride the wave and see what happens. But to wait and see what happens, to fall even deeper (if that is even possible) and get my heart broken in the end doesn’t seem fair to me.
Should I just wait and see what happens? Is Sarah being unfair? Do you believe that this could be a case of “right person, wrong time”?
A. You’re asking for too much, too soon. There’s a lot going on here and it’s only been a few months. Family issues aside, she’s about to go through a major life change with this job. She’s made it clear that this might not work, but she wants to try. She’s also agreed to be exclusive despite all of the unanswered questions. That’s not bad for a new relationship.
You’ve made it clear — to us, at least — that you’re willing to wait to see what happens with her family. But dealing with them is not on her to-do list right now. At the moment, your relationship is just one part of her busy, confusing life. She’s more focused on the job than the big questions surrounding your future. You have to accept that while this means everything to you, you’re not her only priority right now.
Please take this time to get to know her better. I understand that you’re head over heels, but she’s brand-new in your life. You should be evaluating whether this relationship meets your expectations. There’s no way that you can be 100 percent committed for the right reasons. There are so many things you haven’t learned about her yet. Maybe she’ll keep falling for you and you’ll become less interested. Maybe you’ll find her less appealing when she gets busy with the job. Please slow your roll and see how this plays out.
If this bond is real on both sides in a few more months, you can begin to consider some of these other questions. Until then, ride the wave, please. See what this looks like after she settles into the job.
I know it’s hard to find a relationship when you are (as you say) “picky,” but you need to throw this one back in and recast your net.
Let me get this . . . straight. She is refusing to admit your relationship, and you’ve been seeing each other for months? And, she will soon be moving and taking a new job where she will have no work-life balance and will be working crazy hours. If I was you, I’d bail.
Too intense, too much too soon. I don’t think you have the emotional maturity to differentiate between lust and love despite your disclaimer. Sarah raised the flags and you ignored them. You need to adjust your expectations, especially the one where Sarah finally confesses her bisexuality to her family because of her love for you. I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Ultimatums are not an expression of love, only of selfishness.
Sarah sounds like she’s got a lot on her plate right now, and I don’t think your relationship is the entree. It looks like you are way more into this relationship than she is. If you can slow yourself down and relax, maybe things will even out in the long run.
Ah, kiddo. So much working against y’all. The good news is I don’t think you’re in love with her as much as you think, and you were wrong about the connection — it was lust. It is lust. Let her go. Lick your wounds. Start again. Here’s an awkward hug.
. com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at email@example.com.