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Parallax - Advice            September 18, 2000



   He dates her, he dates her not

Dear Conversely, Ask us a Question!

I recently moved to LA and began dating this guy... he's an actor actually, not super famous or anything but he is here and there. Anyway, he's really busy and travels all the time, but we have a great time and all that too. Our relationship is kind of open, I mean, we act like a couple whenever we're together, and I think he likes me a lot. The thing is, we see each other very irregularly, or he'll invite me for a weekend in NY, but then says he can only see me from nine PM to nine AM the next day. The last thing was he sent me this beautiful flower arrangement for my birthday. I'm confused and don't know where this is going. Do you think he's serious about me?

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Her view:

Dear Sleepless in LA,

No, I don't think he's serious about you. If he were, he would incorporate you into his life - which he explicitly has not. So girlie, you need to decide whether or not that is fine with you. You need to decide if you're happy to settle for occasional fun with him. If you really like him a lot and are very serious, this is not the relationship for you. Eventually, it will get painful.

Here is a suggestion. Why don't you see him on occasion, have a great time, and also see other guys - clearly there is no exclusivity here. Soon, one of your other guys will become a serious boyfriend and you'll have to ditch your fun-time actor - but that's OK because you won't even care at that point. Have a blast - but don't get too attached - this relationship is going nowhere. Actors are very unstable anyway.

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His view:

Dear Sleepless in LA,

You are not dating, you are pseudo-dating. This is a form of 'going out' that closely resembles the real thing though in fact it is only a sham. When the two of you are together, it is fine to pretend that you are dating, or steady, or even in love, if that pleases you. But when you are apart, it's back to reality.

Of course, either of you is always free to feed the fantasy and indulge in some magnanimous gesture, one that you may get a real kick from. For example, he could send you a wonderful flower arrangement. But note that the guy can get as much delight from sending flowers as a woman from receiving them. In the end, it is just an exercise in role-playing.

Is he serious? Absolutely not. If he was, he wouldn't invite you to New York to spend only twelve hours with him. Could he be serious? Maybe, though I wouldn't bet on it. If you want to find out and have time to kill, stick around, but lower your expectations. Very, very low.

Finally, don't try to talk with him about it (as my dear colleague will probably advise). What are you going to talk about anyway, if there is no real relationship?

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