My boyfriend of three years recently broke up with me; we’re both 24. We’d been best friends, during which I had two successive boyfriends.
Finally, I realized he’s the right person for me.
The first eight months were awesome. Then, each time I asked if we’ll get married one day, he’d say, "maybe, maybe not."
We both lost our virginity to each other. I decided to have sex with him because I love him. I’m his first girlfriend.
We trusted each other 100%, told everything to each other, never lied. Sometimes we argued but it's normal.
He now thinks I’m not the one for him. He keeps saying that he has nothing to compare to our relationship, so doesn’t know if it’s truly “great.”
I’ve asked him to stay my friend, which he accepted only if it’s a secret, and may end if he gets a girlfriend. We now kiss, but don't have sex. Should I keep being friends or completely let him go?
Let him go; he’s been honest and realistic in saying he doesn’t know about the future.
Frankly, you pushed too far. Talking marriage and commitment to a future together is exactly what made him realize, wisely, that he’s not ready…. and that your relationship wasn’t ready either.
It’s hard to let love go, but better to respect his feelings and perhaps have another chance later on, than strangle the relationship through repeated pressure.
I’m 40, and a single parent of three children. I’ve never had a problem attracting guys, but I attract the wrong type.
I want to find someone to marry and settle down with, the guys I date seem to have catastrophic faults - one was a single father with three children from three different women, couldn't hold a job, and didn't pay his child support. He only wanted a woman to support him and his brood.
Another was a workaholic who only wanted a sexual relationship.
The last was a guy with a good job, one adult child, and treated me amazingly, but his mental instability from a lifetime of smoking marijuana made me think he was an undiagnosed schizophrenic. I never knew where I was with him; there was no emotional stability.
Should I quit trying? Dating over 35 seems like there are slim pickings.
You’re shopping in the wrong places and undervaluing yourself, too.
The red flags on these guys were waving at you from the get-go. Nice that you’re kind-hearted and listen to people’s stories, but as a mom of three on your own, you really can’t afford to take on needy men.
The workaholic was at least straightforward - if all you’d wanted was sex, too, you’d have had a mutual deal… until one of you found a true life-partner.
The other two were never going to be that for you. You can’t risk a lifetime of emotional instability, which your kids would feel too.
Get selective. Read between the lines if you’re looking at dating profiles. Cancel your own profile and be the one to send a message to someone IF the signs look decent, and no alarms go off. Meet people in person - in a public place, with safety measures – as soon as you start talking comfortably together.
Whether you meet online or through a set-up or shared interests, be upfront that you want a serious relationship, that you have kids and must feel respect, trust, and stability with someone, beyond being attracted.
FEEDBACK Regarding a writer’s request for input about costly dating sites (April 14):
Reader – “I signed up with a $1000 site about eight years ago. I was sick of free ones and thought I'd "throw some money at the problem."
“I was promised a specific number of dates within six months. When I called them, they wanted me to come to their office immediately, but I refused.
“At that time, I was travelling extensively for business and couldn't make the time commitment over six months and felt very pressured, so I said no to the whole deal.
“Ellie, they’ve been hounding me ever since! Every couple of months, I get a phone call from them (which I ignore).
“I can tell you I've been completely turned off by their marketing tactics. So much so that I’d never sign up for an expensive dating service again. I hope this helps others.”
Tip of the day:
Young relationships need room to grow, without pressure to make future plans.