Q. I’m in college and there’s this guy, Josh, that I kinda dated a while ago. I really liked him but it did not end as planned. Now we’ve been texting again and basically still like each other. Josh lives near where I live for college. So that’s No. 1. But now I’m back home for the summer and there are two other interests here.
No. 2, Jonathan, is a guy who goes to my church. We kinda connected and have been texting back and forth for a week or two, and last week he admitted that he liked me and that he would like to take me on a date. He’s super sweet, really funny, he likes to text (we talk all day and night), and we seem to be into the same kinda stuff. But he is a little older . . . he’s 26 and I’m only 20. But other than that, the only issue with him is guy No. 3, Chris.
Chris is 24 and also goes to my church and we’ve been close friends for about two years. So also last week — on the same exact day that Jonathan told me he liked me — Chris and I hung out and Chris ended up telling me about the feelings he’s had for me for about a year.
He actually asked me to be his girlfriend. Chris and I have been friends for quite a while, and I know almost everything about him. He’s musical, really funny, and we just get along really well and have a lot of fun together when we hang out . . . but we really aren’t that much alike. We’re not into the same music, movies, etc., and when we text we can never keep a conversation going, which is really important to me.
But anyway, I couldn’t give Chris an answer because of the other two guys. So I actually told him about them, that they both liked me, and that I had a lot to think about, so I got out of giving him an answer that night. But I have absolutely no idea what to do. Chris and I have known each other the longest, so it would be fair to give him a chance. But I also think it would be fair to give Jonathan a chance. Not to mention that I am interested in him as well, and actually wanna hang out with him alone, whereas with Chris, I already know everything about him and we wouldn’t need to do that.
So do I go with Josh, who’ll be back at school? Do I go with Jonathan, who has shown an immediate interest in me (and I am interested in him as well)? Or do I go with Chris, even though we aren’t that much alike?
A. This isn’t a love triangle. It’s barely a love square.
You need to tell Chris that you can’t be with him. He wants to be serious and you’re just not ready for that kind of experience.
Then you need to hang out with Jonathan — because you want to. Tell him that you’d like to explore your feelings, but that you’re just getting to know each other. No big expectations.
You can’t get serious with Jonathan because it’s July, and in a few months you’re going to want to enjoy Josh back at school. Make it clear to everyone that you’re just dating. No commitments right now.
Also — a piece of advice for life — don’t judge a man by his texts. Texting is an important form of communication for many people, but the in-person stuff is what counts. Some guys can be clever via text for hours but never show up to be a good partner. Some people are great with one-liners but can’t handle intimacy. Texting is a wonderful way to keep in touch, but when you’re choosing a significant other, think about how the relationship feels when everybody is in the same room.
Despite your friendship with Chris, you’re not feeling it with him so tell him no. As far as the others, you realize you’re 20, don’t have to promise either of these guys anything, just be straight-forward and honest with each and have a good time. Date Jonathan while you’re home, keep in contact with Josh until college starts and do your thing. Just use protection. Always.
I counted 8 “likes” in your letter. Just stay single and allow yourself to mature a bit.
Well, look at all those bees hanging out at the hive. You go
Mere was right about keeping things casual for now. Don’t make any big commitments to any of these guys.
DATE THEM ALL! Have fun! Just make sure that they all know that they are one of many and keep it casual. You have the rest of your life to be a responsible adult!! xo
Well, you don’t “go” with anyone. What you do is called “dating.” You “hang” out with each of them and see which one you like best. You should probably let Chris know up front that you are not ready for anything serious. Also, you don’t need advice from a columnist and a bunch of strangers on the Internet. You need some girlfriends to bounce ideas off of. Go get ’em, tiger.
Chris: He’s already friendzoned, so just keep him there. Josh: Why recycle old flames when there are so many new fires to start? Jonathan: Go out on a date or two with him before you decide to go steady.
Texts have no context until you already have a good indication of what this person is like in real life and has proven to be compatible with you. Until then, you’re just basically bantering which doesn’t equate to . . . anything, really.
I could not get past “and when we text we can never keep a conversation going, which is really important to me.” Seriously. Don’t all text “conversations” end at some point? Or does this person expect an endless drivel of nonsense forever?
Which guy should I date? You want US to tell YOU? If you can’t figure it out on your own, you shouldn’t date any of them.
MMNNEEColumn and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Letters can be sent to Meredith