Dear Mr. Zaslow:
About two months ago, I sent a message to a woman on JDate whom I was very interested in. I didn’t hear back from her, and in the meantime I began dating an ex-girlfriend again.
Recently, the woman from JDate e-mailed me, expressing interest and apologizing. She explained that she could not send me an email earlier because, until now, she did not have a paid subscription to the online dating site. I replied, reiterating my interest, but telling her that I am back together with an ex-girlfriend and would not feel right about pursuing someone else. She took it well and wished me luck.
Now, I know that I’m not going to stay with my ex-girlfriend, and would like to ask out this woman. Is it appropriate? How long should I wait? What should I say to her so it does not look like I’m “rebounding,” which I am definitely not?
Jeffrey Zaslow Replies:
Dear Perplexed: How long should you wait? Well, you can wait until you’re finished reading my response, but there’s no need to wait any longer than that. Life is short, my friend. Shoot straight with this woman, tell her things didn’t work out with your ex, and ask if she’d still like to get together. If you want to reassure her that this is no rebound, then sure, you could do that very casually. That’s all you have to do. She’ll understand and she’ll likely welcome your return into her orbit. Just make sure that when you go on your first date with her, you don’t spend it talking about your ex.
Jeffrey Zaslow writes about life transitions as The Wall Street Journal’s “Moving On” columnist. Alongside the professor Randy Pausch, Zaslow wrote “The Last Lecture,” a best-selling book based on an uplifting lecture Pausch gave after having been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The book has been on The New York Times’ Best-Sellers list for 49 weeks.
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