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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

Love Letters

She doesn’t want to get serious

Q. I am a busy, athletic, full-time professional and part-time grad student in her 20s. Love is not my No. 1 priority right now. It’s actually probably not even like No. 5 on my to-do list. I have a lot of living, learning, and growing to do, and I value my independence. However, I would like to have some fun in my free time.

I’ve been on various dating websites/apps so far this year and I have met some great guys. Since I don’t want to fall in love or to end up in a relationship right now, I purposely seek out men who don’t want anything serious, just casual dating. However, once I’ve spent enough time with a man, I tend to develop feelings. It is very annoying and inconvenient.

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Is someone like me supposed to just not date? At all? Should I develop some kind of policy where we can only go on X number of dates before I end it? I think one-night stands are so lame. I just want to participate in short-term dating without ending up hurt. Is this impossible?

A. You’re not a girl who just wants to have fun. When it comes down to it, you’re a girl who wishes she were a girl who just wants to have fun.

I understand that you’ve got a lot of important stuff going on right now, but you can’t script your love life. Instead of seeking out men who’ve made it clear that they have an expiration date, look for guys who are around your age. Admit to them that you’re busy and unsure about what you want. Then just get to know them and see what happens. Most dating is short-term. You don’t have to sabotage relationships because they often end on their own. Just be open to anything.

Maybe you’re too distracted to fall madly in love right now. Except . . . you might. And would that be so terrible? It’s time to seek out nice guys and accept that anything is possible.

READERS RESPOND:

I’m really not trying to be obtuse, but I don’t get how you end up getting hurt if you’re the one who wants short-term dating.

What you’re really trying to say is, “I want all the fun that comes with dating, but I don’t want the risk of potential heartbreak.” That’s not how it works.

Online dating is a pretty big commitment for someone who claims that their love life is maybe a #5 priority. I call shenanigans on your laid back and casual attitude.

There’s a little column [in the Boston Globe Magazine] called Dinner With Cupid. Most of those peeps don’t seem to have more than one date.

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com.
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