Thursday, June 19, 2008

A 'Meaningful Relationship' After Two Dates?

Dear Terry-

I dated a man twice I met on online dating.

I heard a lot from him in the beginning. Then he tapered off. He would catch me at times and email me that he would catch me when he can.

However, when I confronted him to tell him that in order to have a meaningful relationship we should see each other more often. It was then that he told me that in order for us to have meaningful relationship we would have to live closer, so he decided to call it quits.

He is a widower and was once engaged before and broke it off with the woman. I think even if I lived near him, he would have found another excuse to not continue. It seemed like he only wants a physical relationship now. I want to be in a committed relationship. Did I do the right thing by confronting him?

-I.S.


Dear I.S.-

When a guy's calls taper off, you can definitely assume he's not interested in pursuing a relationship, especially when he tells you he'll "catch" you when he can.

So you did the right thing there.

As far as a "meaningful relationship" goes, what does that mean? It means different things to different people. Decide exactly how you define it (and then take the term out of your vocabulary because it scares people).

Determine what constitutes a happy relationship in your mind. In other words, what qualities would the man have, what things would you be doing together 10 years from now?

You need to know, so that the next time you date somebody, you have an internal guide to help you decide whether he's a) the person you'd want such a relationship with, and b) if he's capable of being the one to enjoy it with you.

You won't have to tell him what he needs to do to make your relationship "meaningful." If he's the right guy, he'll be calling you, showing up when he says he will, letting you know he loves you, and making your happiness a priority (as you should make his).

That's not to say that you should ever expect anyone to read your mind. If you have something to say, say it.

But ask yourself how you would feel if a man--after two dates-- said, "You know, Darling, if we're going to have a meaningful relationship, we need to see each other more often."

Would you even know him well enough after two dates to want a long-term relationship with him? For all you know, he could be one of those creeps who got busted on To Catch a Predator.

The next time you meet a Mr. Maybe, take your time getting to know him. If he doesn't call you after a couple of dates, assume he's not the one for you and keep going.

Know what you want from a relationship. Not every man you meet will have the same goals as you, but the right one will. He's out there. Keep moving until you find him.