She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to…Ask Erin! is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions, about anything at all.
Ahhhhh! Help, I don’t want to be “that guy!”
I met a girl on Tinder. Our first date went pretty well. We hit it off. We’ve had two more dates since, including spending a day in the park and grabbing dinner and most recently watching a movie/fooling around. No sex. I’ve had fun with her, but I don’t know if I want to pursue something long-term with her. We click for sure, but I don’t feel entirely into her.
And I feel bad because I think she’s a bit more into me. After each date, she’s been the one to initiate contact first and make another plan. Also, she seems a little clingy on our dates — always taking my hand and kissing it, gripping my arm, etc. During our last date, while fooling around in her bed, she said “I really like you, a lot, but I need to take this slow, physically.” I have no problem with that. I have only known her for two weeks, but it feels like she is moving towards the relationship thing and I am not ready to think about being exclusive with her.
I’m not sure how to handle it. I’m dating other women casually and she seems the most into me. I don’t want to rush into a relationship, but I also don’t want to hurt her by leading her on. I feel like I could continue to just keep it casual, on my end at least. She’s fun and cute, but I feel real unsure of long-term chemistry with her. I don’t know if that spark is there. I am happy to keep dating her casually, but I’m afraid of hurting her and being that guy. also, her clinginess is sort of a turnoff, but I don’t think I can point that out to her. Any help?
Ahhh, your question is the perfect companion to last week’s question! As hard as it is to be the one who wants it more, I think it’s even harder when you like someone, but are pretty sure you’re not as into it as the other person.
You need to be honest. Although, the truth may hurt her a little, it’s less hurtful than leading her on when you’re unsure of wanting anything serious. She sounds like someone who is interested in a long-term relationship.
And truthfully, she does sound a little clingy. All that hand-kissing would give me anxiety, even from my husband. I don’t like constant PDA. (Arguably, that may be my baggage, but I digress!) I do think that it’s a red flag, insofar as you may need different things from a relationship. I have friends who need a lot of physical affirmation and they have found happiness with partners who also enjoy giving and receiving that. For me, as I said, that would be a horrible fit. So, don’t discount that. Neither one of you are in the wrong. It’s just different strokes for different folks.
You need to have that uncomfortable conversation. Not having the conversation will make you “that guy” you want to avoid being. Tell her that you like her, enjoy spending time with her, but you are unsure of wanting a committed relationship right now. Tell her that you would like to continue seeing her, but are not there yet, in terms of being exclusive. Then, see how she reacts. Unfortunately, she may not hear you. Often, people are fixated on what they want someone to be, rather than what they are. In the end, you may need to put the kibosh on this. I think we know fairly quickly and decisively if someone is right for us. But you know that. You just needed me to tell you.
If you have a question for me about love, dating, breakups, frenemies, or anything at all, email firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo