Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

Right after my mostly unhappy two-year marriage ended, I met a new man. I’m falling for him fast! He hasn’t yet said he loves me, but I love him and am working up the nerve to tell him so. He can’t keep his hands off me, which I think is a pretty good sign he feels the same way I do. When I told my sister about my new relationship, she just shook her head and didn’t want to talk about it. What do you think?

… J. H. in Baja

Dear J. H.,

I’m glad you’re enjoying the passion and attention, but I have to give you the advice your sister couldn’t bear to give you: Don’t mistake desire for commitment.

There are a lot of men who regard sex as little more than an exhilarating physical outlet. They’ll happily have a fling with a woman they don’t love and don’t ever intend to love. In fact, a lot of men will happily enjoy a fling with a woman they don’t even especially like, respect or find remarkably attractive.

Hopefully, you have good intuition and are on solid ground with this man. But since your heart is clearly on the line, you need to find out where you stand now. People who want clarity in ambiguous relationships tend to postpone “The Talk” when they’re a little bit afraid they’ll get the answer they don’t want.

Next time you see this man, keep him at arm’s length long enough to say, “Let me ask you something: What are you pursuing exactly? In other words, if things were to go the way you’d want them to, what would you hope would happen between us?”

If he’s the wrong man, he’ll likely stammer and stutter, get defensive or give you an answer that’s so smooth and slick it will reek of insincerity. If his feelings match yours, the conversation will take a heartfelt turn.

No man who’s right for you will have a problem with you asking where you stand.

Good luck,


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