I’m in a six-month exclusive relationship and love this man. We’re both mid-30’s.
We’re very close, intimate, and spend most of our free time together.
He hasn’t said that he loves me, but has explained that he’s not ready.
I respect that he has other big stresses on him at this time, as do I, and we try to advise and comfort each other.
So I understand some withholding of commitment, but I still feel insecure.
Recently, he said something warm and fuzzy to me - not the words I long to hear, yet his actions speak loudly.
He’s always caring about me, checking in several times daily, helpful when I have a problem, and passionate when we’re making love.
When should I speak up about something that hurts my feelings because I’m insecure?
A good, caring, and passionate relationship is a gift. Security is something that even longtime married folks don’t always feel.
Six months is a first phase. If you have the same question in six more months, ask him: “Where is this going?”
Yes, I do understand that you may need to ask him even sooner.
So perhaps you can use a gentle message before being that direct.
Tell him that you know his priority now is to settle some of his stresses, but that not talking at all about a future together adds to your stress, and hurts your feelings.
If he still can’t go there, use that one-year mark for an all-out conversation.
I recently added a professional acquaintance to Facebook. Normally, I only add personal friends.
I'm unsure why I didn't use LinkedIn for this contact, but don't want to delete him/her now.
This person adamantly supports Donald Trump on Facebook.
How can I stay tolerant? We work together directly sometimes and discuss world events.
How can I avoid this conversation so that I don't say something that I might regret?
It’s not too late.
Many Americans are faced with the divide created by what’s been described as the most contentious US presidential election in history.
No matter which candidate wins the election, you two will not agree about the result or its political consequences.
Even world events will only sometimes be a safe topic, since they affect US political reactions about which you’ll probably disagree.
Explain that since your connection is professional, its best maintained through LinkedIn, not Facebook, and that deleting from the latter isn’t intended as “unfriendly.”
My husband and I, in our 60s, each have friends we see apart from each other.
But with one couple in their late-70s and mid-80s, if I invite the woman out, her husband assumes he’s invited too. The same thing happens in reverse if my husband invites the man somewhere.
Our intention is to provide a social event with someone of the same gender, a break from their spouse, and build a strong friendship.
We also see them as a foursome.
Once, when I invited her to a ballet performance of my granddaughter, she realized everyone attending would be female.
She asked if her husband could go. I said yes. He didn’t attend but his attitude toward me cooled.
Was I wrong to not directly invite the husband? Should I stop inviting her out?
To build a strong friendship you need to respect the other couple’s intent too.
They prefer to socialize as a pair.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who can’t understand her friend’s devastation over her flawed husband’s terminal illness (Oct. 12):
Reader – “Regardless of the friend’s unhappiness with her husband, her devastation is real.
“The diagnosis of a terminal illness is just one more event that will affect her life dramatically.
“There is no happiness at the present time as she faces a future where she becomes the sole parent responsible for children and also the sole financial provider.
“This is a stressful and fearful event for your friend and there is no happiness associated with any of this situation.”
Ellie – Though she often spoke to her friend of wanting to leave her husband and complained about him, she nevertheless stayed with him.
That alone explains that she’s resistant to change, and had already decided for her own reasons that she preferred to be with him than apart.
She still needs her friend to be supportive.
Tip of the day:
Give a good, close relationship up to a year before insisting on discussing where it’s going.