I've been dating a man for two-and-a-half months and don't know if I should ask him if we’re in a relationship. What’s the best approach and timing?
You’re actually uncertain about him, yourself and what a relationship really is. Look closer at what’s happening.
1) If you haven’t been going out physically and just chatting online, he may be similarly “dating” several people and may suddenly ghost you for someone else (or many others).
2) You’re also uncertain whether you are in a relationship. There should’ve been some encouraging words, e.g., his suggestion to go out to a movie, you saying you’re enjoying his company.
Note: If you’re inexperienced in relationship behaviour, there’s no shame.
A relationship is meant to be a connection between two, not just one person with only imaginings/hopes.
So, consider his personality, how he treats you verbally and in person, whether he tells you about his interests, etc. If not, you have little sense of what he’s really like.
It means you’re not in a “relationship,” and won’t be unless you both start talking about why you’re calling this “dating.”
My mother’s 68, retired and bored. I fear she’s fixated on re-shaping my athletic, self-confident 10-year-old daughter into herself from the past.
She loves being the doting grandmother, so long as my daughter fits the mold. She buys this baseball/soccer-loving youngster hair bows and brings my daughter photos of her own much-younger self, in a tutu.
Unlike me, my daughter doesn’t mind her grandmother’s moments of remembered “stardom” in ballet productions. I, too, was proud of Mom when I was a girl of 10.
But there’s no way I want my smart, self-confident pre-adolescent getting obsessed as my mom once was, with her weight, changes in her figure, and competitions for boys’ notice.
I remember when I started feeling unequal to Mom’s expectations. She wanted a “star” like herself, and ended up with a female scientist for a daughter!
How do I help my daughter stay secure, with her own sense of agency and identity, without harming their relationship?
Mom vs. “Gran”
There’s no competition here, unless you define it that way. Your daughter’s already found her own athletic/energetic identity, backed up by a strong-minded, ambitious mother who’s helped make science part of a woman’s world as much as a man’s. Just like girls’/women’s sports.
Her grandmother’s tutu isn’t going to alter her self-image or chosen pursuits.
Enjoy the link between you three: An interesting, artistic grandmother; an intelligent, futurist mother; and a self-confident, sports-loving daughter. Be proud, not worried.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man “Lost at 60” (August 4):
“We’re so often told that male sexual interest is suspect and sexual objectification of women is wrong, that some men now distrust their own sexual response (or lack thereof).
“Some even believe that sexual chemistry would develop with time, as your reader describes.
“I, too, mistook a relationship without sexual attraction as something I should work on instead of trusting myself. Your message that the relationship couldn't work/shouldn't be pursued was muted by lack of appreciation for the dilemma itself.”
Not Feeling It
Thank you for wanting to discuss this further. I rarely feel that a situation’s hopeless, especially when physical sex is involved, because most grownups know that you don’t have to be “in love” to enjoy the physical sensations/release of sex.
I appreciate the dilemma of having “no attraction” despite a woman’s other attractive qualities. Yet more obvious was hesitancy, lack of drive/confidence to build a physical connection.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman wanting a sexual relationship with a man who avoids intimacy because of his Erectile Dysfunction (ED) condition (July 30):
Reader – “I’m 90, and have an active intimate sexual life with a woman of similar age. We were couple friends for many years and both lost our spouses five years ago.
“I have severe ED, caused by medications for blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. However, there’s a device which gives me an erection whenever I want, with no side effects. My urologist says it’s perfectly okay for me to use.
“It’s been a life-changer for us. This man’s doctor/urologist might have further suggestions to enhance his libido.”
Ellie - For any man who’s experiencing a severe and persistent ED problem, I recommend your getting informed from a medical specialist in the field of urology about a potential solution. Not every drug is safe for all users.
Tip of the day:
You can’t know whether a relationship’s happening if both sides aren’t mentioning it.