I’ve been divorced for three years, living with my young child whose father left us both.
I do everything– working, running the house, driving my child everywhere, etc.
I was too tired for dating, then met a man online who became so helpful, I had to give him a good chance to prove I could trust him.
He repairs things at my home, comes over at a moment’s notice when asked. He’ll also bring take-out for dinner when I’m too tired/busy to cook.
But I began to realize that I wasn’t seeing my girlfriends much or going to a fitness class, things that I’d always enjoyed.
The first time I told this man that I’d be going out with “the girls” one night, he appeared stunned and hurt. I was uncomfortable when he said he needed me more.
He’s a really nice guy whom I like as a person. I’m also aware that it’s hard to find a good man at my stage.
But I’ve felt no strong chemistry between us, though he keeps repeating that he needs me.
Should I be grateful for having him around and not risk online dating again? Or is he too needy?
Good Men Hard To Find
You can’t limit the benefits a new dating partner brings you, to only what serves you best. He does sound needy, but why wouldn’t he when no limits were drawn on his coming over “to help you.”
That said, if there’s no chemistry on your part, there’s little chance of a happy future together.
Do him a favour and gently say how much you’ve appreciated all that he’s done, but you don’t have the emotional feelings that he deserves in a dating relationship.
End the handyman calls.
My husband took early retirement four years ago and kept in touch with only a few co-workers.
Recently one co-worker (a woman) informed him that another co-worker’s parent had passed away.
My husband sent that co-worker a text offering his condolences, ending with: “Miss our hugs and I miss you.”
When I questioned him he said, “We hugged to say hello and on special occasions”! When I asked why he said he missed her, he replied, “I was trying to make her feel better.”
I said that I’m sure he’d not like it if I used those words about routinely hugging male co-workers.
The woman thanked him and wrote: “So wonderful to hear from you and of course I miss you lots and think of you often.”
These exchanges of feelings aren’t sitting well with me. Are they beyond the boundaries of just a working relationship? Am I right in feeling uncomfortable with what they wrote to each other?
Words Do Matter
Yes, stating he was missing hugs and the person herself, were understandably off-putting for you.
Since you’ve been together for many years, consider the whole person and the history you’ve shared: Has he been a man you trusted and who’s given you little cause to suspect secret inappropriate behaviour with women?
If Yes, it’s unlikely that he’s changed his basic character. He wasn’t intentionally crossing a line. Yet your sensitivity about how words may be perceived, is valid.
His comments, made in kindness, carry meanings to others’ interpretations. If she were to post on social media the condolences she’s received, “hugs” and “missing” could be misinterpreted by many, not just you. Explain to him that words matter more today, than ever.
I think my dad’s a hoarder. He’s late-50s, works, and lives in a small apartment alone. He buys everything in ridiculous quantities (12 toothpaste tubes “on sale”) and keeps everything including years-old advertising flyers. There’s little room to move. I’ve offered to de-clutter with him, but he gets agitated and has “no time.”
Do I just go in and toss stuff when he’s out for a few hours?
You need a better understanding of hoarding disorder, which is under study as being an offshoot or on the spectrum of obsessive-compulsive behaviour.
Your father’s tendency should be discussed with a doctor or mental health professional. The main treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy, and medications if anxiety or depression are involved.
Search online for local community services for hoarders and their families. Nagging and threatening can increase anxiety connected to your father’s belief that he “needs” all that stuff. Your compassion will help in any treatment he receives.
Tip of the day:
Don’t lean on a dating partner for repeated help if you can’t return the feelings he/she wants from you.