Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I met someone on a dating site four months ago. We started off
gangbusters: had regular meetings for coffee or a meal, and got
together whenever he was in my town (he lives an hour away). I went
to visit there for pleasant afternoons, dog walks, and movies. I was
told I was “welcome to stay over” (not very romantic in my world) but
there was never more than a friendly hug or polite kiss in all the time
we’ve known one another. There were breaks for various vacations but
I’d say we’ve seen one another at least a dozen times all together. He
told me very early in that he wasn’t in a romantic state of mind but
that he enjoyed our time together. Now he’s starting to talk about
“looking for people to date.” Is that as explicit a way of saying, “but
not you” as I am likely to hear? I’m not wild about rejection, and while
I enjoy this guy as a friend, I too am looking for someone to date, and
if it isn’t going to be him, I feel like I should pull back from regular
texting and phone calls and offering a home-cooked meal, It feels like
an old relationship: lots of caring but no sex. I want to at least start
off hot and then see what happens.


Dear Dense:

Kissing and hugging, the romantic kind, give a very different message
than a casual invite to the implicit guest room. They are an
unambiguous invitation towards sexuality. Polite hugs and polite kisses
are the opposite, as are the very clear messages of wanting to date
other people. Your new friend is being deliberately consistent in his
messaging. You’re the one in denial if you think that there’s mixed
messaging going on.

What you’re calling a relationship is a friendship. Cleary he values you.
But saying he wants to look for someone to date is as simple as a kind
rejection gets. You have two options. If you ask, What about me?
Aren’t we dating? You move very quickly to the I think of you as a
friend talk. If you become less available, you might see if he moves
towards you. But realistically it’s only the timing of getting to closure
sooner or later. I don’t think this one is going in the direction you
want, no matter how slowly it takes to go the other way. Go back to
the dating site.