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A second chance for the guy who chose another woman over her?

Carolyn Hax
gtrLIVhax

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

Here’s my story. About a year ago, I went on a few dates with “Daniel.” I had a great time and was interested in what might come of it, but after those initial few dates, he started to fade away: He took longer to answer calls and texts, conspicuously left town right before Valentine’s Day, became markedly less flirty when we did talk. I chalked it up to loss of interest and was unsurprised when I stopped hearing from him altogether.

About a month later, he got in touch with me to let me know he felt bad about ghosting me, and that he had done so because things had gotten serious with someone else he had started dating around the same time, “Kate.” At this point, he was happily in a relationship with her, and said he wished me well.

Last week, he reached out to me on Facebook wanting to talk about [something involving a mutual interest of ours], and we met for coffee — not a date, in my understanding. There, I found out that he has since broken up with Kate. He didn’t immediately ask me out on an actual date, but he did so last night — and now I owe him a response.

On the one hand, I still really like this guy as a person; all the things that attracted me to him last year are still true, and I’m still single. On the other hand, it stings that — oversimplification alert — something about Kate caused him to choose her over me when we had both begun dating him at the same time.

I’m not sure what to make of that, especially given that they didn’t last. Was she really the better choice for him, or not? And if she was, does it make any sense for me to date him now, and maybe lose him again, to the next Kate who comes along? Or am I just thinking about this all wrong?

— To Reconnect or Not to Reconnect?

Sounds as if you’re thinking about this all right. “[S]omething about Kate caused him to choose her over me when we had both begun dating him at the same time.”

Yes! Absolutely. Sounds like a great puzzle for him to help you solve. Go on the date and ask him.

There are so many possibilities that would be neutral for you, or even promising. Like, maybe Kate insisted he date her exclusively or not at all, and he figured exclusively was worth a try, even though all things being equal he’d rather have kept getting to know you both. Or, maybe Kate presented herself as one thing, which he found particularly attractive, and turned out to be a fairly off-putting other. Maybe Kate’s charms are superficial and yours reveal themselves fully only over time.

Maybe after the initial wowees, most of his time with Kate was spent thinking about you.

Not to feed you any false hopes or anything. But it’s possible. It’s also possible you’ll just “lose him again, to the next Kate who comes along.”

I say be open about it. Nothing to lose, really.

And if you feel like it, let us know how it goes.

Email Carolyn at [email protected], follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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