How do you know when you have feelings for someone, but it’s too early to trust that person?
I’ve been dating this man, off and on. We met online, and I thought we seemed a good match. I met his cousin when she visited him and she and I really got along.
We dated half a dozen times over six weeks but after we became intimate, he stopped calling.
I’m divorced and in my late 40’s, but I’m not used to being treated shabbily.
I vowed I wouldn’t see him again and dated others. But when he called a month later, I only hesitated two minutes before agreeing to see him.
When it took me an hour to get dressed to look my best, I wondered, do I really like this guy?
In more innocent times, it used to be called, having “butterflies in your stomach” and it referred to the nervous anticipation affecting the gut, and interpreted to mean feeling romance and love.
However, you’re a mature woman with experience and may have, instead, been feeling nervous about not letting this guy put you on the shelf again, not even for one month.
You dressed to show him what he’d been missing. That’s a normal, healthy, spirited response.
But since you’ve questioned whether it meant more, there likely IS added feeling of hoping a relationship will develop.
Be your confident self, enjoy date(s) with him, and remember - if you’re both dating others, there’s no obligation or commitment as to when you’ll see each other again.
If you want more, you have to take the risk of saying so.
Reader’s Commentary More responses regarding outing cheaters (Feb. 2):
“My plea from personal experience - PLEASE let the spouse know that a partner’s cheating!
“My family was destroyed by my husband who was eventually diagnosed as a psychopath.
“We met when he was pursuing his doctorate in University. After we married, I found that he had no interest in my children nor me, except when anyone was around.
“To my father, friends, neighbours, he was the perfect, loving father/husband. Charming, witty, clever! My father had money, which he obviously had his eyes on.
“When I met him for a prearranged holiday while he was away with colleagues, he confessed that he had syphilis and cried, begging forgiveness. Then he disappeared for much of the holiday, joining his colleagues with prostitutes.
“I was finally ready to leave him, but discovered that my father was dying. He’d made my husband Executer of his Will.
“My husband agreed to intensive psychiatric counselling. He took over my father’s money, and became a wonderful husband/father.
“He bought himself a thriving business, and five years later he suddenly left, saying he “wanted to try something different.”
“It turned out he was having a secret affair with a colleague’s wife the whole time.
“His secretary (my friend), and others knew, but didn’t tell me.
“If only someone had told me, my life and children’s lives wouldn’t have been so difficult and sad.
“I’ve read that women who marry psychopaths are usually nurses, teachers, and social workers. The psychopath has this “poor me” quality that hooks one in, over and over, for care-giving. His was “poor me, my mother was cold,” etc.”
Ellie – Yours was an exceptionally tough case of being betrayed by a husband who showed you little love, while friends and business associates kept his long affair secret.
FEEDBACK Regarding the new live-in boyfriend who secretly invited a woman home to dinner while his partner was away (February 9):
Reader - “That man was stepping out on her. All the things she described have the markings of a cheater.
“I’d bet that within one month, he’ll be coming home late and finding other devious methods to be with that woman.
“The wife should’ve been told to go with her gut feeling and not allow him to use manipulation to try to throw her off track. Being told she’s mistrusting is just a way for him to keep her off balance.”
Ellie - I believe she and her new partner need to have a conversation about what they each think is appropriate to their relationship and also to the living arrangement which includes her school-age daughter (who came home early and saw the other woman there).
But if she can’t trust him, the relationship’s over.
Tip of the day:
Speak up when your gut feelings show that you want “more” from dating someone than being friends with benefits.