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Q.I’ve been talking to this guy I met on Tinder for almost seven months now. Last year, he ended a messy relationship. He was engaged to this woman and had a child with her. From what he told me, she was extremely controlling and he lost a lot of his close friends because of it.
When we first started dating, it was casual, but it quickly turned into something that felt serious. He has a crazy schedule because of the time he spends with his child, so we only get to see each other once or twice a week, but we’ve made it work. It hasn’t bothered me because when we do spend time together, it makes up for the days that we’re apart. We have so much in common and I’ve never felt so connected to someone.
We got into a little argument about a month ago regarding our label. I think it freaked him out, the idea that he could have a serious girlfriend again, because he’s finally regaining the friendships he lost. He said I’m “the right girl at not the most ideal time,” and that it’s too soon for him to be back in a serious relationship. He said he’s not sure how long it will be until that changes. However, he still wants to continue what we’re doing, and I feel like since we had the conversation, we talk even more, and when we spend time together it’s just so easy and comfortable.
He is such a great guy and is absolutely worth the wait, but am I stupid for continuing this? All of my friends think I’m crazy and stupid for waiting around. But how can I be mad at him for being honest with me? I really like him and am fully aware that I may end up hurt in the end, but I want to be with him. Your thoughts?
A.You’re not stupid for continuing this. Your relationship might not have a serious label, but it does have honesty and understanding. This man seems to be treating you well and trying to get to know you. He just needs some space to set up his new life at the same time. That makes perfect sense — he has a child now.
Your best bet is to see how this plays out after more months. Don’t focus on labels because they can wind up meaning very little. Instead, think about how the relationship is growing and what role you’re playing in each other’s lives. Is he at all interested in meeting the people in your world? At nine months, do you feel closer? What is it like at ten? Are you happy?
Maybe you’ll find out down the road that he can’t commit to anyone right now. But your letter makes it clear that you want to take this risk. Isn’t that all you need to know?
So this guy keeps her on a string by telling her that someday it may be the right time to get serious. Sure, Meredith, he’s just chock full of honesty and understanding.
I don’t understand why having the “girlfriend” label would make you feel any more secure about this relationship. He had someone with a “fiancée and mother of my child” label and he’s not with her anymore.
He’s coming out of a bad relationship with a woman who controlled him, so the last thing this guy wants is someone else taking up all his time. It sounds like you are mature enough to realize this and let him work on getting his life together. There is no reason to rush anything if what you have now is working, so stay the course you’re on and see how things play out.
“But how can I be mad at him for being honest with me?” Well, that’s the thing. His actions and his words are not matching up. From the sound of this, he was not necessarily up front with you about what his intentions are with you. He participated in leading you to the place where you felt like it was time for a label. After 7 months, I think that’s more than a fair amount of time to discuss your status. So he wants to act like a couple of 7 months, but he doesn’t want the label of it. I don’t think you are stupid because you are open to considering what could be going on here. At the very least, I suggest you back off a little and proceed with caution.
Only you can decide what works for you and doesn’t work for you. Based on what you said in the first parts of your letter: You are fine with this. Therefore leave it at that. Why in the world do you need a consensus from your friends about this? Why rock the boat? And for the record, what you describe is in my book, “dating”. You see someone once or twice a week, and otherwise the two of you are busy with work, school, family, and other stuff.
What is it that you and everyone else seem to think you are “waiting around” for? You are comfortable with the quantity and quality of time you are spending together right now. I assume that neither of you are dating other people. If this letter is just based on him feeling comfortable putting some “label” on your relationship, then you and your friends are just being ridiculous.
I’m with your friends. I think you’re being far too understanding with a guy who just isn’t THAT into you. If it isn’t a “Hell Yeah,” it’s a “No.” Go ahead and waste another few months if that makes you feel better, though. Maybe this is a lesson you need to learn.