I’m 58, live in the United States, and have been divorced for seven years. I've been married four times, but I was poor at choosing good men. After this last one left to be with a woman he’d lived with in their early 20s, I had a nervous breakdown.
I started therapy over five years ago and learned a lot about myself. I have a personality disorder pertaining to choosing men.
I'm good now, with a few health issues, but nothing that I can't handle with great life with someone who’s faithful. I like younger men, and when I'm out or on a dating site, that's who hits on me. I've been married to same-age men, older and younger.
Younger men tell me they like being with older women because we’re experienced in life and know what we want.
But I haven't found anyone. I feel like I'm wasting time out here alone, or, maybe I'm supposed to be alone. Maybe I'm being punished for messing up so many times.
The minute you feel you’re being “punished” for failed relationships, it’s time to talk to your therapist again. Lots of couples break up, and you’re not responsible when a man returns to a love of many years ago, because it means he never really left that person.
Stay with what you’ve learned about yourself, and the strengths you’ve attained from experience. Being single does not mean that you’re “wasting time.” It’s more often the break from relationship issues that helps you stand back and discover that the other person is simply not “Mr. Right” for you.
How do you know if someone’s really in love with you?
I’m a guy who’s 28 and have had a couple of girlfriends through my 20s. Then last year I met this new woman on a dating app. She’s 32, we’ve been texting for four months and met in person once, for a week, because she lives in another country.
She travelled to be with me “so we could move forward,” which I found very flattering. She’s really warm and nice, but now she wants us to decide which country we should live in together.
I really like her, but I’ve never met her family, and she hasn’t met mine. I know nothing about the country where she’s been raised. She said she’d consider moving here instead.
I’m wondering if her plan is moving too quickly. I’m going to be 30 in two years, and I’m not in a rush to marry. But she says that if we want to start a family together, we need to do so as soon as possible. What’s your advice?
Rushed to Marry
Aside from your friend’s desire to live together and marry, there’s no age-related or other reason for starting wedding plans immediately. Unless you both want to.
However, you only met four months ago. You must spend more time getting to know each other better, and visiting her country, plus meeting each other’s families. That’s the thoughtful plan you should be making.
You also haven’t mentioned love, which isn’t surprising based on the newness of this relationship. Perhaps you’re just not ready yet for a full commitment.
Before you make any decisions, get to know her better. Then spend time researching the job opportunities, the financial differences, and the possibilities available for both of you in each of your home countries.
It’s easier to make big life decisions when you’re doing them with someone you love, who you know you want to be with. Mutual love is what any marriage goal should be about, not unnecessary deadlines.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who feels “Lost and Lonely” after her husband’s job was transferred to another country (March 20):
Reader – “I’m responding to what she wrote: “I had to put my career on hold when we moved.”
“Also, “My children love their (new) school and have friends there.”
“Someday, possibly soon, those children will be involved in their own lives. So, while they’re in school now, she can consider starting courses to get certified/licensed in her profession in her new country.
“She can also start job searches to locate companies where her skills would be desired. She could start part-time, or even volunteering, to gain local experience and connections. Depending on her profession, it could be just a formality to get certified/licensed in her new country.
“Plus, she can also consider ‘transferable skills’ and maybe even pursue a new career path, as part of her new life.”
Tip of the day:
Leave flawed relationships in the past; find happiness in your future.