Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, a trader helps out a frustrated woman. If you have a question you'd like answered on Conventional Wisdom, you can submit it here.
I have been seeing this man for a little over a month. He is significantly older than me (13 years) and pretty busy. We talked last weekend and both said we wanted to take things slow due to failed past relationships (jumping into them too quickly; he was engaged).
That's perfectly fine with me, but the problem is that we never talk. We Facebook message each other, but it's extremely brief two word phrases. When the weekend hits, we might see each other one day. When we do see each other, he acts like he really enjoys my company until I say something nice (he runs a gallery, so I told him if he ever needs help getting a show set up, to let me know) in which case he kind of buries his head. He also won't respond if I send him a compliment via one of our Facebook messages.
He does let me keep some toiletries at his house if I ever spend the night, which is rare — we don't have sex either. I really like this guy and want to get to know him, but it seems impossible and I feel like I'm just getting strung along. Should I talk to him and tell him what I expect with "taking it slow" or something? Or does it seem he really isn't into me at all? Would he really string me along if he knows I don't want to get hurt anymore?
Taking it Too Slow
To see the trader's answer,
Dear Taking it Too Slow,
It sounds like, for whatever reason, this guy is not romantically attracted to you. You are right to worry that he lets you stay overnight and keep toiletries at his house, without ever making a move. You say you really like him, but I must recommend that you not waste too much more time on him without knowing he feels the same way because it sounds like you keep putting forth effort, without getting anything back from him. Tell him how you feel, and if he shares those feelings then you can explore the possibility of a real relationship together. If he says he's just not ready, this is your cue to move on and trade up. And no need to second-guess breaking off your sexless sleepovers: if he really does have feelings for you, he'll come back when he's ready, and if you want to, you can give him another shot.