Last year, I dated a younger man (12 years). We're both very attractive, both professionals (legal).
We got along great, texted daily, and the sex was intense.
He wasn’t bothered that the father of my two kids is in my life more-or-less.
I noticed him pulling out suddenly so I "dumped" him first. I was heartbroken.
We've connected after a six-month break and have been hanging out more regularly than before.
We can finally truly open up to each other… I don't know how sex had complicated things, but it did.
We’re flirtatious and there's lots of non-sexual touching and tenderness but also a non-sexual attitude, calling each other “Dude.”
I want to put some moves on him but not lose our friendship. Should I stick with the friendship and please myself while thinking about him?
Or, get him out of my life for good and prevent getting hurt?
It seems two legal professionals can “open up” to each other, but not about what their relationship has become.
Hold onto your moves, and ask him directly what he’s feeling.
The fact that you have children, an ex-husband, and are 12 years older, may play a part in his backing off the sex. Or not.
But you have a right to know what to expect, especially if you want more, and this situation can become too frustrating.
It’s also preoccupying time you could spend dating others, without having to fantasize on your own.
FEEDBACK Regarding severe drug addiction and your readers’ responses over past months:
Reader – “I grew up in extreme poverty, surrounded by drunks and addicts.
“As a gifted child, being bullied was a regular occurrence at home and at school.
“My two best friends committed suicide by the time I was 18. Both were drug users and alcoholics, their childhoods filled with abuse, and neglect.
“My point: Drug-seeking behaviour may have a genetic marker, but I believe many psychological conditions are passed on through our environments.
“From years in therapy, I’ve come to terms with my childhood pain as the cause of so many personal issues.
“I now have a five-year ongoing, non-career-affecting dependence on marijuana. Before this, I’d drink occasionally.
“I've learned that most of my behaviours were learned behaviours, but my ongoing PTSD symptoms are what I’m really trying to suppress.
“Without marijuana, I feel constantly agitated, short-tempered, and become an intellectual bully, pushing people away so they won't hurt me.
“With marijuana, my career’s flourished. My personal life’s filled with love and music. I have a wonderful and understanding partner.
“Parents and family do have to draw the line on what’s acceptable behaviour from their children - and what isn’t.
“However, it's often the failure to recognize a child’s issues or difficulties early on, that allow these to manifest themselves later in life.
“It's important that parents approach their roles with humility, empathy, and with some cursory knowledge of psychology.
“Parents need to accept their part in their child's addiction. What did they miss early on? What major events in their child’s life may’ve triggered the need to numb their emotions or pains?”
Ellie – Thanks for your moving and authentic perspective. It’s clear that therapy and self-understanding have been key to turning your life around.
In the many cases recounted to me through this column, some parents do realize, late, that their child needed the early intervention you suggest.
However, many others could not have known what their children hid from them, nor the influences that affected them beyond the home.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young man on welfare who’s debating disclosing his late uncle’s inheritance (Feb. 6):
Reader – “My husband and I are both on a disability support program. When his brother passed away, my husband was left a significant inheritance.
“He was able to keep it by declaring it an inheritance and putting all of it into a “maintenance trust account.”
“The legal aid group in our city helped to set it up through a lawyer.
“My husband’s allowed a certain amount of money annually to be spent on whatever he wishes, as long as he shows documentation that it’s been spent, not saved.
“This money helps with purchases which wouldn’t have been possible.
“Here, “welfare” and disability pensions come through the Social Services department.
“It’s better to disclose the inheritance and be honest. Or someone else who knows about the inheritance discloses it as welfare fraud and one can lose everything.”
Tip of the day:
Speak directly about changes in your relationship, rather than try new “moves.”