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LOVE LETTERS

‘I think there can be something between us, but he has to change to make that happen’

We date, he ghosts, then later we repeat the cycle. What should I do?

Love Letters

Globe Magazine.

Q. Let me first say that my dating history is very bare. I can’t get a guy’s interest, and when I do, he ghosts me in a pretty short period.

I met “Dave” about two years ago through a dating app. We talked for a while and then he ghosted me for a couple weeks. He came back and promised not to do that again, so I gave him a chance. I didn’t have any other prospects and he seemed sincere. We really hit it off, but after four or five great dates, he ghosted me again.

A year later, almost to the day, he messaged me. He wanted to meet and see if we could try again. I was hesitant. Dave really hurt me. But I met with him and we talked things through. I knew I still wasn’t getting to the crux of his problem — why he ghosted ― but we set another date and I was hopeful. Then he ghosted me again.

Now he’s back. Again. And I’m in the same position — no prospects. He wants to start over and I’m explaining to him how we can be friends — I’d love to be friends — but I need him to make a change before there can be anything more. I want him to get therapy to figure out why he runs and how to stop. I can’t trust him with my heart until he does.

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Am I in the wrong here? Am I asking too much of a guy I barely know, because I really want to get to know him? I’m conflicted because I believe in fate and I think there can be something between us, but he has to change to make that happen. I really need some advice!

– Torn and Lonely

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A. Why would you want to be friends with someone who treated you this way? Why give more time to someone who disappears?

The answer, I assume, is that you “have no prospects.” You’d rather give the wrong person another chance than continue to swipe on apps, hoping for first dates. I understand why Dave appears to be the better option — you wouldn’t be starting from scratch with him — but he’s not. Pursuing him sounds more difficult than staying single.

It’s easy to mistake unnecessary drama for something that feels like fate. A situation can feel star-crossed when it’s really just a mess. Some of the best relationships aren’t dramatic at all in the beginning because both people want to show up, so they do.

I’m not big into dating terms, but this does count as “zombie-ing” — when someone who’s ghosted you keeps reappearing in your life. It’s not romantic, it’s intrusive.

You’re not asking for too much, but you are asking the wrong person. Don’t let Dave back in. Balance your dating life with friends and activities that mute the loneliness. Save the work for someone who deserves it.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Do not waste any more time on this guy. If the other person needs lots of fixing before you even start the relationship, it’s not worth it. LEGALLYLIZ2017

Don’t go back to Dave unless you like being in a repetitive loop of being rushed then ghosted. Get therapy and work on your self-esteem so you don’t settle for guys like Dave. ASH

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He’s rushing back to his wife. It’s not as complicated as you make it. MARYORRHODA

There can’t be anything between you and Dave because Dave isn’t the person you want. You want Dave to change into the person you want (meaning someone who is truly interested in you and doesn’t ghost you every time you seem to be getting closer). THEREALALMIGHTYZEESUS

Freeze him out … no social media contacts … nada. DANGLEPARTICIPLE