I've been dating a man eight years my senior for two years. We have fun together, he's trustworthy, sweet and caring.
However, although in his 30s, he has hardly any savings despite a well-paying job, and he drives an old car that his parents gave him. Yet he owns an extensive wardrobe.
After his roommate (his younger brother) had financial trouble, they both moved back in with their parents and neither plans moving out.
We used to see each other several times weekly but now that he's with his parents, it's much less and I'm less inclined to be intimate.
I'm good with my money (less than his) and have lived on my own since I graduated from college.
I've offered to help him get his finances straight but he's not let me. He's not squandering his money on me!
I love him but when I think about our future, I picture being stuck with all the responsibility (including children), instead of sharing it.
- Pulling away
You're the only one who recognizes that his lack of responsibility is a problem, but you're the one most affected if you stick with him and he doesn't change. It's already impacting on your feelings for him, through lessened desire and doubts.
He needs to know you're not hanging around while he retreats to living in a dependency situation. He also needs to show you he's not squandering his money on superficial items instead of saving and making plans to be independent again, so you two can have a future.
Take a full break, long enough to assess his response.
I'm 55, separated and divorced for five years, with my youngest, 19, still at home.
My father's 83, widowed for ten years. He lives in his own home, but needs two to three hours of daily care. He refuses outside contact "because you're there" and can be his social life.
My brother puts himself out three times a year by making the hour-long trip from his home to visit Dad.
My longtime female friend is going through a separation and we're taking things slowly, as she needs time to heal. She recently introduced me to her family and suggested that I introduce her to mine this month.
My father has indicated that he'll not like her and will be rude. He doesn't believe that I should have someone in my life when he can be my social life.
My brother will support my father because otherwise he'll have to take on some responsibilities.
I'll have to make a choice between my family and this woman.
How can I can get my family to accept her, or shall I say goodbye to my relatives?
- Dad's Keeper
You've already opted in your own mind for choosing her, so do so with a positive attitude towards all. And talk to your "friend" beforehand, to make sure she's in agreement with your plans.
If so, tell Dad you're still interested in his well-being, and if he welcomes this woman, the two of you will be happy to still be involved in assuring he has daily care.
BUT, insist that you're determined to develop a new life with her, and that means your brother has to share in the care duties.
Then tell your brother that he can choose, too - he either personally attends Dad more often, or pays for a homemaker/nurse to alternate with your visits.
I'm hopelessly in love with my boyfriend, but he hasn't told me he loves me.
We dated in high school for four months; he ended it, saying he "couldn't give me what I wanted." I was crushed. We re-connected one year later; it's been almost four months.
I try to judge from his actions whether he loves me, but it's hard.
Should I confront him and say how I feel, and ask him if he loves me or if he thinks he can love me?
I don't want to stay in this relationship if I'm going to get hurt again.
He's not ready, so don't push him.
Since he felt you were asking for too much the last go-around, it's possible you still act needy with him.
In relationship terms, four months is still early for making long-term commitments.
Enjoy the dating period and let love grow naturally.
Tip of the day:
When a potential partner acts like a carefree, irresponsible single, you can expect to be leaned on for the serious matters.