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Dear Caroline,

About two and a half months ago I met a new man. We went on a few dates. I really liked him, and I had the impression he felt the same way about me. I thought things between us were off to a great start. Then his behavior became confusing.

First, he canceled a lunch date with me at the last minute. I didn’t think much about it because he’s often busy at work, but he didn’t ask me on another date. Since then, he’s been texting me off and on. Sometimes it’s just to say “hello” or ask what I’ve been up to. Other times, he’ll send me an interesting photo or a funny meme. When I suggest we get together, he’s agreeable, but never follows through to make plans.

Every time I decide to give up and start ignoring his texts, he becomes so flirtatious and attentive that I start to think there’s still hope.

I’m a smart woman, but I’m starting to feel like a fool. I haven’t seen him for three weeks.

What are your thoughts?

…Confused in Conchas Chinas

Dear Confused,

I have one thought: You’re being bread-crumbed.

This man doesn’t want to move your relationship forward but, doesn’t want to let you go. Maybe he’s afraid of his own feelings. Maybe he met someone new and now sees you as a backup plan. Maybe he loves the attention.

He might be sadistic, but odds are, he’s selfish, immature, and oblivious to the turmoil his “hot and cold” behavior is causing.

Next time he texts you, respond with a voice call. Tell him you want to sit down over coffee and talk things out. If he won’t plan to meet you, thank him for his time, block his number and move on.

If you meet for that coffee conversation, check your heart at the door and pay close attention. Is he there for open communication or for games and gaslighting? Trust your gut feeling and follow it.

Sometimes great relationships get off to rocky starts. Other times, we can get strung along until we step out of our romantic dream bubble and walk away. Whatever happens, be proud of yourself for handling this situation with strength and integrity.

Here’s to hashing it out with style.


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