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Love Letters

Every time I start to fall for someone, he vanishes

Over and over, multiple great dates lead to . . . nada.

Submit your questions for Meredith here.

Q. Time and time again, after four-plus successful dates and finally becoming comfortable with someone intimately, someone who seems to have all of their you-know-what together, poof — they vanish. It would be nice if I got some constructive criticism, but it’s easier for somebody who’s not into you to just disappear, I guess.

How many times can you get shot down while still trying to remain genuine and embrace your individuality? I am sure I am not for everyone and timing is everything, but come on?! Dating during pandemic life is tough enough; some advice on keeping it fresh would be much appreciated.

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– 34 and over it

A. We’ve talked a bit about ghosting lately — how people should take the time to say a goodbye, even if it’s only been a few dates. In your case, four dates is a lot of investment! These people spent hours with you; there’s good reason to thank someone for their time before moving on.

My only advice — because you can’t control other people — is to say your own goodbye. As in, “I’m not one for ghosting, so I just wanted to say it was great getting to know you. And I hope you’re not actually interested and simply trapped under a pile of laundry.” You know, something light. Closure for yourself and a lesson for someone else.

I do think pandemic dating is a little different. People are allowing for third and fourth dates where there might have only been one a year ago. They’re trying to find a partner before winter, so they’re spending more time on one person because it’s difficult (and dangerous) to see multiple people at the same time. That could be why you experience more intense interest ... and then feel abandoned.

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There’s no great way to keep it fresh and without disappointments. The only thing I’d say is to be totally honest about your hopes, because carpe diem and all of that. It’s a pandemic, the aftermath of an election — there’s a lot of looking toward the future. It’s a great time for honesty. Don’t give up on genuine. It’s what’s best for now.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Silence is also communication. Anyone who ghosts is clearly not for you, so count it as a plus, because they’re saving you months or even years of your time. WIZEN

Here’s the honest truth: Dating is a numbers game and you’ve got to keep at it until something clicks. Maybe your assessment skills of a match are off. My husband and I would never be matched on a dating site, so maybe think outside your type a bit? ASH

Learn to laugh at the “ghosters,” and the bad dates. Don’t take it too seriously, and enjoy life outside of dating. Remember, in the end finding a partner can be really nice, but it’s not the key to a good life. JO-DEP

The breakup talk is awkward. Most guys would rather jab a fork into an eyeball than do awkward. CHIMPITATUS

Asking for a closure talk is kind of like asking for a recount. BLISTERED-TOE

Catch Season 4 of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.