Ask Polly: Advice for the lovelorn and world-weary

Polly Parker

Q: Dear Polly,

I’ve been seeing this guy off and on since May. Since this semester started, we’ve dated exclusively, we see each other every day and this weekend he told me that he loved me. BUT he doesn’t want to be called my “boyfriend.” I’m ok with that, but my friends wonder how much he really loves me if he can’t even say the b-word. Should this bother me more?


A: Ah, the Non-Boyfriend; one of the hardest species to date and the one easiest to obsess over. Are we or aren’t we. Will we? And when?

Your guy is making it really hard for you to feel settled. This isn’t to say that he’s not into you-loves you even. He just isn’t ready to say that he’ll love you next week.

So, yes, your friends do have a point.

BUT… how are you two together. What do you talk about? Do you have fun alone and when you guys are with a group? Does he care about the things in your world (that big paper you have to turn in, the concert you’re so excited about)? Is he nice to your friends? Is he nice to you? Do you trust him?

There are more important things than labels, but at some point-if it bothers you-talk to him about it. Tell him why you want to call him your boyfriend (security, simplicity) and tell him how it makes you feel to not have labels. Assuming he’s a grown-up, he’ll eventually come around.

Otherwise, find someone who will.

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