I’m a single woman, 38, who was married for three years in my mid-20s before I divorced. Ten years later, I’ve been seriously involved with four men but only loved one profoundly.
In between, I lived the free-wheeling dating life of my generation, including one-night stands, friends with benefits, hook-ups from dating apps, etc.
My longest relationships then rarely exceeded six months.
Two men hurt me badly. One wanted a “regular weekend lover” - making me feel that I wasn’t good enough for any commitment beyond that.
The other swore he loved me, but not enough to give up a promotion in another city.
That leaves my true-love history with just one man. When faced with a moral dilemma regarding the two children he’d raised on his own, he couldn’t separate from the youngsters when their mother begged for another chance at their marriage. I understood but was devastated.
I’ve never fully recovered.
But I’ve focused on my work and my friendships with great women who make no judgments and are there when you need them.
I’m writing now to ask your thoughts on what should be my next step: Should I keep focusing on work and not try to meet new people during Covid?
Or join a dating app where people are matched and there’s understanding that many online meetings need to precede an in-person date?
I’m definitely not rushing into any close encounters at this stage in my life, nor during this uncertain time, either!
Future Hope for Me?
First, put your dating history behind you. It’s a natural progression of growing up and experiencing different types of relationships, both good (for a while) and unsatisfying, some even painful.
Now, look forward only. You’ve already made one important positive choice in aligning with “great women” who are there when needed.
Your focus on work and staying healthy during a pandemic also opened your mind to the values you now seek in your own life and others.
So, a dating app that matches and/or attracts people who want to go slow in getting to know one another’s personality, character, goals, etc. seems the logical place for you to consider.
As always, be realistic about what you hear and what you believe. If you’re attracted to meet in person, keep it simple and safe with a socially-distanced walk together, a patio meet-up, etc. Remember, it’s up to you to make sure you trust someone, or not.
No need to rush, because Yes, the future still holds hope for you.
I’m in a five-year relationship with a woman who my daughter refuses to meet.
My daughter is studying in another city. Whenever I try to visit her, my girlfriend makes a big deal of it and insists that we go together.
If I want to see her by myself, she says she’ll suggest that I move out and we’ll only date.
Ever since my daughter moved, I haven’t visited at all because I’m avoiding tensions. How do I deal with this issue?
In the Middle
So far, you’re letting your daughter control your choice of a partner. But you’re still her father. Visit her.
Otherwise, if you cave to your partner’s wishes, you give her control of your behaviour.
You two are the adults. It may take time for your daughter to accept the relationship, but you’re estranging from her instead of working towards things settling as she matures.
Your partner must also be mature here. Her stand-off is unfair.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the older woman
grieving her late husband’s infidelity (Sept. 16):
“Unfortunately, our senior generation of women was socialized to not stand on our own feet.
“My father and my older sister always tried to push me (by bullying).
“My father was well-educated, but he and my mother were completely brainwashed by Nazism.
“I was the youngest in the family, not given much say, so
I just observed.
“I went to University when most women didn’t, got married late, had my kids late.
“I always assumed my husband shared my values re fidelity, etc.
“But he committed adultery at least twice that I know about. We came close to separating.
“He’s not the kind to discuss matters, so basically we drifted. I did a series of counselling, which helped me make up my mind.
“I decided to stay for several reasons, including the grandchildren, but the last one being consideration for him.”
Tip of the day:
Face the future instead of the past when seeking a healthy, honest relationship.