Dear Em & Lo,
I met this guy, D., about 4 months ago. We have done very simple meetings, basically coffee talking. We exchange text messages several times a day, some are sexual in nature. We talk a couple times a day on the phone. We both have said we feel a definite connection. The problem lies in that we can’t seem to get our schedules to coincide to spend any significant time together. We are both divorced with kids. We have planned dates on several occasions but things have come up and one of us has had to cancel. We laugh, joke, have serious conversations, flirt, and have been there for each other when things are going bad. We seem to have all the ingredients for a great relationship except the ability to spend time together. My question is this: should I continue with this or should I just move on? I have dated a couple of other guys since D. but I keep going back to wanting D. What do I do?
Just move on.
It’s been four freakin’ months! We’re going to assume that you yourself have tried to move things forward, make things happen. So if he wanted to see you in a more serious capacity–heck, if he wanted to see you, period–he would have done his part to coordinate with you and make it happen by now too, schedules be damned. We know kids can seriously hinder one’s romantic and sexual spontaneity and freedom, but this is ridiculous.
If we had to guess, we’d say he enjoys this flirty, light-hearted relationship with you precisely because of its lack of commitment (he’s probably enjoying it with others, too), especially if he only got divorced fairly recently; and he’s probably avoiding anything that might suggest exclusivity like, say, a weekend together, or even just a nice meal.
Plus, you’ve got to admit, wanting what you can’t have is appealing–to both of you. Obstacles to love/lust keep things exciting. They also keep things in the realm of idealized fantasy, rather than boring reality: the sooner you actually get together, the sooner you’ll discover that he farts in public and he’ll realize that you talk with your mouth full (or whatever annoying habit you have).
There’s something to be said about this kind of virtual relationship–the talking, the flirting, the connection; it could be fun if you just accept it for what it is. But you obviously want something more, or else you wouldn’t have written. The benefit of the “move on” approach is two-fold: your constant disappointment will end, and your absence may be the kick in the ass he needs to make a more significant relationship gesture. If not, then you’ll know he wasn’t that into you to begin with.
With much tough love,
Em & Lo