I’m a 42-year-old man wanting a partner for the rest of my life.
I was married for ten years and have two daughters. My ex and I met when I first came to this country at 22.
She was older and helped me get started. I worked long hours. There wasn’t much time for us together and we grew apart.
Later, when I had a successful business, I met a much-younger woman (I was 36, and she was 20).
We had a passionate relationship and enjoyed unusual adventures. That stopped when I was involved in a serious car accident and almost lost both my legs.
My wife looked after me. But once I could walk again, she left.
She has a boyfriend her own age and they’re living together.
I now want a partner to grow old together.
I remembered that a woman who’d once worked for me had gotten divorced too. I contacted her because I’d always found her attractive.
We met and the chemistry was still there for me, I think for her too.
So I told her point-blank that I thought we could have a great life together. Her answer shocked me.
She said that I’m “afraid to be alone.”
She said she wouldn’t date me because I’m not really interested in her, but in my own comfort.
Could she be right? Or is this the new psychobabble way of saying she’s just not attracted to me?
Seeking A Partner
It doesn’t take a psychotherapist to come up with her summation, based on your history.
Right or wrong, she’s telling you to not rush to the next relationship based only on your immediate need for companionship.
Years have passed since you last knew her. There’s nothing other than a long-ago attraction that indicates you’re a good match for each other.
She’s also smart enough to tell you that she’s not even going to try.
You’re the one who needs to know yourself better, to recognize what your part was in those past relationships ending, not just the women’s parts, or circumstances that changed.
What are your interests? How do you like to spend time? Concerts or television? Walks or bar scenes, farmers’ markets or take-out, or all of the above?
When you know who you are and what you like, want and need, you can then let another person know. Then it’s time to learn all about her before you attempt a lasting relationship.
I’m a woman, 35, living with a man with two adult sons and a daughter from his first marriage.
He told me from the start that he doesn’t want more children. I’ve worked at my career while sharing our home.
That was fine when I was 27. But I now want to have my own children and better start trying soon.
My partner’s very annoyed with my wishes as he was “very clear” about his no-kids position and won’t change his mind. He’s 56.
He says that, if I leave, I have no rights to shared property or support because I agreed to his “deal.”
Am I Stuck?
You’re not “stuck.”
Talk to a lawyer about rights and responsibilities involved in a common-law couple’s breakup, in your legal jurisdiction.
Much may depend on whether you signed a co-habitation agreement regarding property and support.
But your desire to have children stands on its own.
If that’s your driving goal, you’ll find a way. With even part-time work, you can support a child on your own if necessary.
FEEDBACK Regarding a woman’s response to her future father-in-law’s alcoholic outburst (August 14):
Reader – “The husband’s behavior was wrong and his wife’s text message to the fiancée was ill-advised.
“However, the fiancée has assumed victim status because of her difficult childhood and health problems.
“I believe her behaviour’s unhealthy for her own future health and happiness.
“Perhaps she needs help to deal with the fallout from her childhood so that she understands that she has choices and responsibility herself for how she responds to conflict.
“She’s estranged from her father, estranged from her badly-behaved future FIL, possibly near-estranged from his wife, and potentially estranging the son from his family.
“Not everyone we encounter will treat us well or be sensitive to our unique needs.
“I’m not excusing the husband's behaviour, but her response isn’t that of a mentally and emotionally well young adult. She needs to obtain help for herself.”
Tip of the day:
Know yourself before seeking a relationship; know the other before seeking commitment.