Double message

Q: I met the most wonderful guy almost two years ago. We’re both divorced from unfaithful spouses, and have so much in common, plus amazing chemistry. We slept together twice, after a year of getting to know each other, and each time we were totally comfortable with each other afterwards. But he has me guessing–he says things like “I’m not good at relationships.” Am I kidding myself to think he will ever be ready for a relationship? The last time I saw him I asked him to please kiss me and he said “no, I shouldn’t,” then he got irritated and said goodnight. I wrote him a note apologizing a month ago but he hasn’t answered. Did I ruin everything?

Dr. Klein: No, you didn’t ruin everything–things were messed up way before that last fateful night. It sounds as if you’ve tried communicating directly with this man, who has resisted being clear with himself and/or you. You know what you want: a committed relationship to someone you know and love. Therefore, it’s sad but true: if he doesn’t want that, he isn’t the guy for you.

If you want to give him one last chance, call and say you’re giving him one last chance to resurrect the relationship. If he’s interested, sit down and set some ground rules: where are we now, what do we each want, and what can we each expect. If you hesitate to have this conversation, you’ll be right back in confusion-land almost immediately.

If he doesn’t respond to your invitation, let it go and move on. You’re richer for having had the relationship, and will have gotten all that it had to offer.

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