I’ve been dating a very nice man who seems crazy about me, for five months. We’re both early-40s and I know we’re each hoping for a long-term relationship. However, my feelings for him are not that strong or serious.
I’ve been divorced for four years, and then dated a couple of “players” because I’d been out of the loop for a decade and didn’t recognize the signs. This man is also divorced, for one year.
He’s sincere, attractive, educated, ambitious, and treats me like a queen. Yet I almost feel like a sister towards him.
We have fun together, and have had okay sex a few times, but I feel no passion and often try to avoid sex. Since I have a teenager at home, I can use her as an excuse.
I’ll say I can’t go to his place as I have to go home to monitor her homework, or that he can’t sleep over because she’s there, etc.
I hate to return to the open-dating scene as there are so many jerks out there, and this man is such a good person. But I feel unfair, like I’m stringing him along for the selfish comfort of having his company and interest.
But maybe it’s fair game, since he must see that I’m not as keen as he is; yet he keeps wanting to see me.
Undecided Next Step
Get honest, “Sister.” It is NOT fair game to string a guy along - which is what you’re doing. You know you’ll drop him instantly if some new man comes along who gets through your distanced armour.
It’s natural after a divorce and encounters with “players” to be cautious about losing your heart. But you’ve already decided there’s no chance of that with this man.
Tell him, kindly, how much you appreciate him and his many fine qualities, and mean it. But also say that you want him to find someone who feels the same way about him, and you’re not that person.
He undoubtedly already suspects that, but the fact you keep seeing him makes him think you’re just wary and he’ll win you over.
Stop misleading him. Though based on different behaviours, it’s no less unkind than your “players” were to you.
My friend is marrying for the third time. He’s from a different country, religion, and race, and has three young kids to support, while her two sons have finished university.
Though he’s financially independent, he won’t be able to travel and lead the more carefree lifestyle that she’s earned over many years.
They seem madly in love but I’ve seen her excited about men before, including more than her two ex-husbands.
What can I say to get her to take the blinders off and see the risks she’s taking?
I’m sorry to say the blinders are on YOU. With a fixed notion that choosing someone “different” won’t work, you refuse to see whether this man could be right for your friend.
In truth, your judgment doesn’t really matter. She’s clearly a grown women who’s done some things perfectly well without relying on you – i.e. raising her sons and earning well.
If the other relationships faltered, there were reasons. Meanwhile, she’s put her faith in this one… and frankly you have no idea how it’ll turn out.
A good friend stays supportive, asks some questions if you think you have to, but accepts the friend’s answers and positivism.
Otherwise, back off completely.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband sex-ting another woman (Oct. 6):
Reader – “He believes it's safe, not a big deal. WRONG. It’s a sign that communication within the marriage has broken down.
“When my elderly parents were dying, and my siblings and I fighting over their care, my husband resorted to this same escapism.
“He poured his support into another woman's marital problems because it was EASY. She lived in another country and he could “be there” for her online.
“I said it was emotional infidelity, which he denied. I asked how could he possibly “be there” for her, but leave his own wife to deal with stress on her own?
“He couldn't answer. His cowardly behaviour was similar to this husband's withdrawal, getting his ego-boost elsewhere. They need counseling.
“Emotional infidelity isn’t much different from physical cheating. It has all the impact, pain, and refusal (on both sides) to face serious issues.
Tip of the day:
Leading on someone who openly cares deeply about you and hopes for more, is selfish and unfair. Period.