He'll Wait for Her If...

Q: Now that I'm 41, after spending too many years with the wrong person and too many hours on the career I love, I know who I am and what I'm looking for in life. About two months ago, I met someone. We've been on four dates. She warned me that she needed to go slow because she's still sorting out a few things from her past. We hit it off so well that I think it scared the hell out of her. So I got the very apologetic "right guy/wrong time" note. Having been there myself, I knew exactly how she was feeling and I pulled right back. It's killing me not being able to find out if she's the one, but I know it can't work until she sorts her feelings out.

My questions: Since I want to be a contender when she clears her head, is there anything I could/should do in the meantime? What are the odds that she is ever going to call me again? Keep in mind that in all honesty she says she is "into me" and concerned that I might not be there when she finally is ready. But she knows she needs to take this time, which I respect and take as a very good sign about her as a person. -- Doug

Dr. Susan: If she's really into you, she might be able to have a conversation with you that gives you a little more to go on. What does trying to clear her mind involve? Is she a recovering alcoholic? Does she have sexual identity issues? Is she entangled with someone else (in spite of her saying otherwise)? Your approach may depend on what's actually going on in her life. If she's a genuinely sterling person, she may not mind letting you know what's up. Even confusion can be elaborated a bit. Ask if you can call her every month (or two) to see how she's doing, unless she says that's too pushy or intrusive. Perhaps you could set a tentative date with her for six months from now, which she can feel free to break if the timing's still wrong. The way she reacts to such suggestions may help you figure the odds. A lot can happen between the time a woman says "right guy/wrong time" and when she's ready to get involved again. You'll feel like a chump if you delay your own quest for too long.

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