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love letters

Am I settling ... or too picky?

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Q.I am a 29-year-old woman and self-sufficient (own a house, like my job, take care of myself), and I am looking for a compatible partner. I have been seeing a 27-year-old guy on and off for a few months, and he seems very into me. Even though I have feelings for him, I feel like something is wrong.

He is very sweet, super funny, gentle, hardworking, and always willing to listen, but here are my concerns:

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1. On the intellectual front, something is lacking. He is not curious about the world. He’s very attractive, and sometimes I feel like he relies on his looks more than his mind. He works but he lives at his parents house and dedicates most of his free time toward video games and the gym. I think those are great hobbies, but he seems to have no direction or responsibilities.

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2. I feel like he isn’t making me feel very appreciated. He tells me that he has never been into a girl this much in his life (he has never really had a relationship) and he always makes time for me, but I feel like he doesn’t treat me that well. He assumes that when he comes over he will have dinner or breakfast, and it’s frustrating because we are always eating my food. He bought dinner twice and he complained about the price both times. He also expected me to drive, since he had driven the time before. I told him that I prefer he drive, so he offered to drive MY car. It seems like he is doing the bare minimum.

3. The last thing I’ve noticed is the lack of passion. He seems to think our chemistry is off the charts, but I feel like it’s the worst I’ve ever had. Normally, in the beginning of a relationship, I find just kissing would lead to action right off the bat, but his drive doesn’t match mine. He never declines, but I feel like I am frustrated and almost always left dissatisfied on that front.

I feel like he is a perfect fit on certain levels, but in those three areas, I keep getting disappointed. I can’t help but wonder if I am settling for the wrong person or being too picky.

Too picky?

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A.You are not being too picky. One of the only positive things you said about this guy (besides the “willing to listen” stuff) is that you find him attractive. But that doesn’t count for much if there’s no real chemistry. You don’t seem to share enough of anything with this man.

I think the issue here — the thing that’s confusing you — is his enthusiasm. You say he’s very into you, which is nice. You’re probably thinking, “Shouldn’t I appreciate someone who appreciates me this much? Don’t I want to be with someone who is this excited about having me as a partner?” The answer is yes, it’s nice to be with someone who likes you a lot, but he’s not the only person capable of those feelings.

If you’re really doubting yourself, you can give it another month or so and see if the problems linger, but at this point, your next move seems clear. A few months into the relationship, you should feel smitten. Excited. Hopeful. Instead, you’re listing the negatives by number. Isn’t that your answer? Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

On what “certain levels” are you a perfect fit with this kid? You don’t share interests, he’s entitled and/or cheap, and the sex is meh. I’m not seeing the appeal other than that he’s eye candy. You’re pretty much saying that in comparison to you, he is shallow and lazy (and you’re correct) ... so why are you in this? URKIDDINME

The whole letter is about how he is crazy about you, but doesn’t measure up to your standards or meet your needs. Is your dilemma that you’re 29 and fear giving up a bird in the hand?

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BLUEAWNING

So, you’re staying with a guy because you feel like you would be considered picky for ending things? That is the single worst reason I have ever heard for staying in a relationship. You can end a relationship for any or no reason. The absence of a reason to end things does not equal a reason to stay, and you have a laundry list of reasons to go. End things and allow him to find someone who’s into him as is.

JUSTANOTHERBOSTONIAN

I’ve occasionally been accused of telling people they should settle. What I’m really trying to tell people is that you need to figure out (and then focus on getting) what really matters to you. You aren’t going to be able to get a partner who is great in every way that anyone could possible want, So, find the one who is great in the ways that matter to you. TWO-SHEDS

A “hard-working” nerd who lives at home, only plays video games and hates spending money...? This is the kind of kid who’s going to bank $500K by 30. MCDIMMERSON

“I am a 29-year-old woman and self-sufficient (own a house, like my job, take care of myself), and I am looking for a compatible partner.” This sentence says it all. You are looking. You didn’t say, “I found” or “I think I found.” Your reasons for not being that into this guy seem perfectly reasonable. He is just not as mature as you are and you aren’t that into him to stick around for a few years to see if that changes, so go find someone else. Look for guys in their early to mid-30’s which will be a better match for you.

SEXUAL-CHOCOLATE

He’s cheap, seems immature, and is bad in bed. What more is there? Find someone else. SUNALSORISES

“We are always eating my food ... ” This made me lol.

LUCILLEVANPELT

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.