I’m a male, 50's, who’s dated women on and off for decades.
I’ve always offered to pay for dates regardless of who had the larger income.
But when my date offers to pay, split the tab, or contribute to the date (cabs, parking, etc), I value the gesture even if I insisted on paying.
However, many men say that "they" are out there – i.e. women who never intend paying or contributing in any way at any time because of being females.
Some men may not care, but I feel "they" are not for me. I’m more attracted to a woman with a more independent spirit of equality, and less sexist.
How many dates should I give someone to prove she’s not one of "them"?
Generous To A Point
Your question is both personal and political. On both those approaches, I’m sceptical about generalities regarding individual relationships.
I appreciate that you see yourself as generous and fair. Nevertheless, a woman OR a man can be independent-minded and have a spirit of equality, yet also accept at face value the offer of being “treated” on a date.
However, when is a date part of a developing relationship?
If you’ve been together over half a dozen times, you’ve hopefully shown enough interest to ask some questions.
You’d know, for example, if she’s a working single mom with a lot less income than you have.
That’s financial inequality, even if she strongly believes in equal pay for equal work. Do you still want her to offer to pay the cab driver?
What’s “sexist” to me is accepting that a whole group of unconnected women can be labelled “they” – by anyone.
If you offer to pay for the date, you’re likely to get the bill. If you want to probe a particular date’s attitudes, do so.
And if you feel she’s taking advantage of you, don’t keep “testing her.” Just stop dating her.
We both came from dysfunctional families and married young.
We had a difficult time with addiction issues, but entered recovery and counselling to have a healthy life for ourselves and our children.
When he was still drinking, I discovered my husband was having an affair. He said he loved me and wanted to save our marriage. We worked hard together and have had many happy years.
Twenty-five years later, I’ve discovered that he also had three other affairs back then. He never confided them during our counselling or talks.
When confronted recently, he was open, honest, and feels terrible that he hurt me again… he swears he’s been faithful since being in recovery.
The old pain never ever truly went away. But I’d tell myself that was in the past.
I’ve lost my trust in him again. I love him, but I’m so hurt by the betrayal and humiliation.
I want to leave but am entering retirement years. How would I explain to my adult children after 40 years that I decided to leave?
Desperate and Heartbroken
Alcoholism is a terrible disease. It steals loyalty and trust from relationships.
But that was in the past. You already know that he worked hard with you to save the marriage, resulting in many happy years. He says he loves you.
This pain is triggered by the past but isn’t a re-occurrence of betrayal.
Go together back to counselling (that’s not unusual) and refresh the commitment you made the first time. There’s new understanding and therapy approaches to past trauma which will benefit you both.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman wanting more contact with her birth-mother (February 17):
Reader – “I feel you neglected to recognize the toll the birth mother’s intermittent visits/gifts are taking on the daughter.
“If her birth mother’s behaviour is hurting her, she has the right to cut contact.
“The birth mother may be trying to be kind, but there's a degree of selfishness in popping in an out of somebody's life and offering gifts in place of a real connection.
“The daughter doesn't owe her anything.”
Ellie – None of us, who haven’t been given up by a parent, can know the deep-rooted hurt of abandonment that this woman feels. If I didn’t convey my empathy about that, I regret it.
I believed in keeping them connected, whenever there’s a chance.
Since her mother initially wrote her and maintains an (intermittent) relationship with her, I saw more emotional benefit for her leaving the door open instead of cutting ties.
Tip of the day:
Don’t “test” your dates. If you have questions about their attitudes, ask.