I’ve known this guy since I was a child. He’s about five years older than me, and one of my best friends.
I've always had a little crush on him.
In the past couple years, whenever I see him, he flirts with me and it’s hard not to flirt back.
But he has a girlfriend, and I know she hates me because she thinks I want him.
When I came home from college, he told me he has feelings for me.
But my dad’s the issue right now (they’re very close, almost like father and son).
Neither my dad nor anyone else knows he said this.
I don't know what to do. I told him he has a girlfriend so this can't be a thing. Yet I don't want to lose him as a friend.
Also, he’s the only guy who’s ever made me feel truly beautiful and accepted. The way he looks at me makes me weak.
He may be older than you but he’s clearly not more mature. So you have to be the one to set the bar about what’s acceptable.
Tell him this: So long as he has a girlfriend, you can’t date him, especially not secretly.
If he does have real “feelings” for you, he should break off with that girlfriend, and also tell your father that he’d like to date you.
Otherwise, he’s not a good friend to you because he’s teasing you, playing with your emotions, and he knows it.
I’ve been separated for six months. We’ve done marital counselling for a year.
I met a great guy three months after separating, and fell in love.
I haven't told my mother, 90, about my separation because it’ll be tough.
She adores my husband and puts him on a pedestal above me. The rest of the family knows that I’m separated.
The new man said that he’ll wait for me, but I know he won't wait forever.
He wants me to move in with him, and lives in another state.
No one knows about the new man yet.
You’ve got yourself entangled in several huge changes simultaneously – ending a marriage, moving away, moving in with a new man. And you’re worried that your elderly mother will disapprove.
Huge changes call for huge adjustments… and they don’t come quickly or easily.
You need to take time and work out each move thoughtfully. If you just rush forward, you could be heading for a crash.
Make sure your marriage counselling has helped you see what went wrong in the dynamic between you two, and how your own reactions or actions may’ve contributed.
You don’t want to repeat the same pattern in a new relationship.
Spend more time getting to know the new man before agreeing to move in.
Consider how you’ll handle being away from old friends, family, familiar locale, work opportunities, etc.
Talk to your mother. Weigh the value of her general experience and wisdom against the realities of what you learned and feel about your ex.
Gently explain why you believe the separation is the only choice.
Meanwhile, check out how your boyfriend lives – both financially, and his lifestyle. Spend a month there with him, before you make a firm decision to move.
This is also a good time to get counselling again for yourself, to be certain that the new guy has the qualities that you want in a partner, beyond the allure of a convenient getaway from the past.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man discussing his menopausal wife (June 2):
Reader – “I wonder if his feeling that “nothing (he) does is ever enough,” has always been their pattern.
“I’ve found there are men and women for whom nothing I did was ever enough, and others for whom whatever I did was enough.
“I ultimately ended relationships with those that I could never fully please, and I’m much happier.
“This gentleman has done the best he could (he's trying to figure this situation out, which is a good sign), yet he still refers to himself and other men as "jerks."
“This isn't fair to himself (some are jerks, some aren't, just as with some women).
“I'm mostly through menopause and haven’t experienced a lot of the negative symptoms that this gentleman (and others) describe.
“He and his wife both deserve compassion and understanding. It sounds like he's not gotten that from her, which is their pattern.”
Tip of the day:
Expressing “feelings” to someone when attached to another, is playing with fire, not friendship.