I’m a divorced fellow with older married children.
I meet a lot of divorced women with children at home. Not all of them get child support from their ex's.
Most would like some adult company when they’re not busy with their children, but they don’t want me involved with their children.
Also, most are not looking to get married. Yet many have cash flow issues.
Is there a fair amount for me to offer in such a situation? I want to do the right thing and be responsible for it.
There’s no one-fits-all answer.
It’s up to you to know what you can afford.
If there’s no likely future between you two, this is an exchange of being company for each other, with no other strings attached.
It should not be considered payment for sex, unless that’s the deal she offers and you agree to it as such.
You still have to find a mutual comfort level as to the amount, no matter the exchange.
Example: If you dine out with a cash-strapped date, you should probably pick up all or most of the restaurant tabs.
If you spend time at her place, you could buy groceries and offer to share some other household costs you share – TV, Internet, etc.
Most important is that there’s respect between you and any woman you may be helping out.
Also, consider whether there are other men on the scene.
Being generous does not grant you controls on a woman’s life, so make sure you know ahead where you stand with her – a sole companion or a sometime date.
Make sure expectations are clear on both sides.
Dear Readers – I’m responding to the following feedback comment, “You come across here as completely indifferent to the husband’s needs. I suggest you rethink your position:”
FEEDBACK Regarding the high-earning man, 55, who’s feeling burnt out from maintaining an expensive lifestyle with his “big-spender” wife (January 5):
Reader – “Is the wife seeing the husband as a partner who has needs, or only as a source of lifestyle?
“How is she recognizing his needs?
“He’s used up his youth by operating at an accelerated pace in order to produce maximum income.
“He doesn’t have the (physical/emotional) resources to continue this indefinitely. If he were a professional athlete would you expect him to continue at the same pace in his 50’s as in his 20’s?
“Must he live up to his wife’s financial expectations indefinitely?
“I think that at age 50, it’s no longer “required” to maintain a maximum effort.
“I’ll be blunt: the wife, in this instance, is coming across as greedy and parasitic.
“I’m sure that she’s contributed to the household over the years, but what makes her special, as compared to a couple who’ve struggled at a lower wage?”
This man wrote that he’s exhausted, feeling trapped, and resentful.
I stand by my urging a health check as a first step, because he’s so stressed and “needs” to learn whether he has a medical reason for his sudden, overwhelming fatigue at 55.
If so, treatment is the first priority.
Then, he can explore other options than his previous work schedule.
And, if they stay together, they can set up a new plan with a financial advisor, so he can work a lot less or take up new interests.
Yes, maybe she’s greedy. If so, he may well be looking for change for many reasons and should pursue it once he’s feeling healthy and energetic.
FEEDBACK Regarding the brother who’s considering avoiding his sister due to her husband (January 6):
Reader – “The brother talks of being "disrespected" even though he's never shown this guy respect.
“He’s shown disdain for this man – "my sister married down," then insults his maturity, manners, intelligence, socioeconomic status.
“Plus the mental health and criminal status of his relatives.
“This brother had no intention of respecting the person his sister loves.
“Her husband will never be good enough for the brother and he has made this known since day one.
“His sister should stay far away from her brother – the true toxic person in this relationship.”
FEEDBACK Regarding "A Girlfriend's Role?" (January 6):
Reader – “Her boyfriend’s parents shouldn't have to cancel their plans because their son announces that he plans to stay with them for a weekend.
“Their "actions" – having friends over during holiday time - are called "having a life" of their own.”
Tip of the day:
Helping a dating companion out financially doesn’t grant a license for control.