When it comes to dating and relationships, we can all use a little help from a friend. Howl’s resident cupid is here to get you through the rough patches with a slap and a kiss.
Submit your questions to Kitty here.
I have been casually dating a guy for 9 months. I am head-over-heels for him. He knows I feel strongly for him and wants to get to know me better also. He has a lot of other priorities in his life that come before me and, as a result, has set a snail pace to our developing relationship. When we do share quality time and open up with each other, he subsequently goes dark and does not contact me for weeks at a time. He has previously explained this lack of contact as feeling overwhelmed.
Should I be concerned or take this relationship in stride?
– In The Dark
Dear In The Dark,
Oh, my pretty little In The Dark. What can I say to make this better?
I operate by the law of People Make Time for What They Really Want. For example, I love my yoga class, so I skip book club meeting without a care and gleefully canter off to the gym inside my cute little yoga pants. Book club may be a nice thing, but I’m not going out of my way for it. I’ll occasionally attend on other nights when I have no competing activities or if it’s been a really long time since I’ve read a good book. I’ll even have fun while I’m there. Other members will see me smiling and enjoying myself, gorging on brie and slinging red wine. They think I love it. And I do! When I’m there. Feeling the inertia of the moment, I truthfully bid farewell, “Can’t wait ‘til next time!” But later, I find that I text members just often enough to keep getting invited. They are surprised next week when I don’t show up.
So, you’ve really already summed up the scenario without my assistance: You are head over heels for a guy who has a lot of other priorities that come before spending time with you on a regular basis. You, dear, sweet, In The Dark, are book club. In my humble opinion, after nine months, you should be major-league concerned if you are looking for anything beyond an intermittent buddy with benefits.
Because you adore him so, let’s brandish our magnifying glasses and sniff about every dark corner here. Is there still some sliver of a chance that something could occur that will rocket you to Yoga Status if you play it cool, “take this in stride,” and wait, wait, waity–wait-wait?
Will Snail Pace, after nine months, learn something more about you that promotes your spot in his pecking order? I suppose a deeper appreciation for traits that can only be time-proven, like loyalty, could indeed develop. I dare say it has happened to me, personally, where I have grown more amorous with the evidence of fortitude. A shy person could possibly reveal more of herself as she relaxes with familiarity. But it’s not likely, In The Dark. I repeat, not if you’re gonna go with the odds. After nine months, attraction is attraction.
Maybe Snail Pace is traumatized by past hurt (going dark after opening up), is busy at work (having lots of priorities), is not ready because he’s “going through something” (random any reason) that is preventing him from prioritizing his perfectly plentiful attraction toward you? This could absolutely be true. It could be that Miss America, herself, could not motivate Snail Pace to move faster at this point in time. It could also be true, however, that if he liked you enough, or was relationship-material-enough, he’d reach to you for comfort when he’s feeling “overwhelmed” instead of resorting to the oh-so-useful relational tactic of shutting you out.
But don’t take his luke-warm actions personally.
In closing, maybe Snail Pace will somehow become less pressured at work. Less hurt. Less whatever. Sorry, I feel bit irritated for you because I think most grownups, “overwhelmed” or not, understand on some level that sudden, multi-week stints of “going dark” as a regular protocol is immature, disinterested, insensitive, passive aggressive, or some combo thereof. Like, is he fighting a flesh-eating disease “overwhelmed?” You intimate he does this routinely, so I uncover less opportunity for sympathy, search as I might. So yes, people do sometimes come up for air after mending from a breakup, getting through some sort of busy time, or perhaps personally evolving somehow, and they set free units of energy that they are now willing and able to spend skillfully on a burgeoning relationship. People build trust at different rates, true.
The question is, just how long are you willing to wait?
My advice to you is to keep dating at large, In The Dark. As fast as you can. okcupid.com. This does not prevent Snail Pace from opening up to you if something miraculously shifts for him. More importantly, though, it helps prevent you from being a woman still writing in to me with this same question two years down the road.
Blowing kisses to billow your sails,
Submit your questions to Kitty here.
The advice rendered is non-clinical and offered as personal opinion. It is for entertainment purposes only. The reader is fully responsible for his or her own actions and decisions. While efforts are made to provide good quality advice and information, the authors make no warranty whatsoever as to the accuracy of the information. If you require professional help, please consult a licensed professional.