Dear Harlan: I’m in the middle of internship in another state. I moved here this summer to focus on my job. I wasn’t interested in dating. I just got over a difficult breakup and didn’t want to be distracted by a new relationship. I promised myself I would stay single over the summer. Well, there’s a group of about 15 interns, and we spend a lot of time together. I’ve met someone at work whom I’ve been spending a lot of time with. He is a great guy, and someone I could see myself dating. I like him, and he likes me – it’s clear. We kissed the other night, and I stopped it from going any further. I told him that I’m not looking to date anyone. He didn’t pressure me and was a complete gentleman. This just made me want to be with him more. I’m struggling. Should I spend the next six weeks opening myself up just to get hurt again, or should I focus on my job and forget this guy?
— Promise Keeper
Dear Promise Keeper: Staying away from him won’t make you forget him; it will only make you think about him more. I get that you made a promise to yourself, but your situation has changed. You are in a summer program doing something for yourself. It’s an investment in you and your future. You have been totally focused on yourself – and that’s probably why he’s attracted to you and you’re attracted to him. Give yourself permission to change your promise to something a little more reasonable, like “I won’t date anyone the first half of the summer.” If you can focus on your job and also spend time with this guy, see how that feels. Instead of assuming you’ll get hurt, assume you will have a new experience. The worst thing that could happen is that you’ll get hurt again. Once the pain heals, you’ll have memories to take with you forever.