I'm a divorced male, late 50's, mostly retired. Two years ago, I met a divorced woman in similar circumstances, was immediately attracted and it seemed mutual.
Since the pandemic, we've texted each other frequently. Lately, we’d get together at my place several evenings a month for wine and television specials. There’s been no romance but we flirt a lot and seem compatible.
Recently, my friend used my bathroom and stayed a considerable time. When she left the bathroom, she closed the door and said it was time for her to head home.
After walking her out, I discovered a mess in and out of the toilet. It seemed she tried to clean it, judging from the toilet seat and bathroom floor.
I cleaned up and washed the floor. I said nothing to her about it when she called the next day to thank me for the hospitality.
I’ve seen her again and she’s said nothing about her accident. I’m not seeking an apology. She may have a medical condition, acute or chronic, and I understand that. I've had close friends with bowel-control issues.
However, wouldn’t it be expected that she’d privately acknowledge what happened so I can understand it better?
Now, it's almost like I don't know who she is and I wonder what I'm getting into going forward. I don't want to embarrass her, but I do want a potentially special person in my life to be honest with me, awkward or not. She acts like nothing unusual happened.
I want to preserve the friendship and, if it’s mutual, take it to the next level. However, this incident has me wondering if I'm setting myself up for disappointment given that she seems unwilling or unable to speak to me frankly.
Without discussing this, I’m unsure whether we can move forward. How do I handle this?
So far, you’ve handled the situation like a saint: You accepted the immediate problem and took care of it.
But solo sainthood isn’t healthy for a relationship. She should’ve apologized and explained an illness or some other cause of what happened.
Since you still want her friendship and perhaps something more, say so. If she’s not on the same page, her silence about that incident may come from being mortified, so try to forget it.
But if she also wants to consider a deeper relationship ask her to be frank about whether she has a health problem which you two can discuss.
Irritable bowel syndrome, as one example, may be managed through lessening stress, avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising regularly. She’d need a doctor’s diagnosis before starting any particular treatment.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman torn between her widower boyfriend’s grief and their romantic relationship (April 8):
Reader – “Given the man’s age, he could’ve been married to his late wife for 30 years. For this woman to think he can move on within one year is unreasonable and unrealistic.
“Full credit to the fact that he’s seeking counselling.
He needs space and time to grieve. For how long? As long as he needs.
“She should stay by and offer her support, regardless of her opinion. She seems to be “pushing” for an answer, seemingly in her favour. But that’ll push him away.
“If she lets him be himself, they could have a beautiful future together. If she cannot wait, then I agree that she should take a break, so she can sort out her own priorities.”
FEEDBACK Regarding waiting for surgery during the pandemic (April 7):
Reader – “I too had to wait four years for a major surgery, and two cancellations till it was done.
“Yes, it was trying and disturbing, and had a very long recovery because of long waits for appointments and follow-ups and no family to help because I’m single.
“But I have kept positive and persevere each day to recover. You will get through this.
“In previous times, surgeries were done on time and recovery was easier, appointments in person, friends could visit and help out. This time none of this could happen.
“Please stay focused and positive and you will, just like I am now doing, get through this long disruptive time.
“I keep saying that I’m healing and will recover this time at a slower rate. You can do this too. Think of better things to come.”
Tip of the day:
Considering a serious relationship? Learn whether you’re both open to sharing delicate personal information.