Q. I am a 60-year-old woman who’s been married twice. A widow the first time, and the second marriage ended because my husband was verbally abusive.
I was not looking for a relationship, but I met a very nice gentleman 13 years ago. We started dating and are still quite compatible. We even agree politically — even though he is a registered Democrat and I am a Republican.
The problem is that there are long periods of time when I do not hear from him or see him. It has been over two months since we have been together. I have had about 10 e-mails from him in that time period. He doesn’t like crowds and rarely goes anywhere except the occasional grocery run. We have lovely times when we are together. We have had vacations together. Maybe I am naive but I don’t think he has another girlfriend. He tells me that he has enough trouble handling one girl at a time. He tells me how attractive and smart I am and gets upset with me when I occasionally doubt myself.
Do I cut my losses (knowing that at my age I will probably not find anyone else, let alone someone who is as special as he is) or continue on as we are and just settle for what we have?
A. It doesn’t sound like you’re very compatible. You use that word — and sure, your agendas line up every now and then — but you have very different philosophies about how to spend your time. You’d like to see him on a regular basis, whereas he can spend two months not seeing you . . . and sending 10 e-mails. That doesn’t work.
Tell him how often you’d like to see him. Be honest, and give him the chance to discuss his own needs and possible compromises. If he can’t commit to more time (and I assume he can’t — because it’s been years), you should move on. There are no guarantees you’ll meet someone else . . . but you might. In 13 years, there have been many dating industry developments. You can get right on an app and see who wants someone exactly like you.
At the end of your letter, you use the word “settle,” which says everything about where you are with the relationship. Even though this man has many qualities, he makes you feel lonely. Sometimes it’s a lot less lonely to choose to be alone.
Who cares what’s going on in his life? If he’s absent in yours, he’s the wrong guy.
“Maybe I am naive but I don’t think he has another girlfriend.” He doesn’t. He has a wife and three kids. He doesn’t like crowds because someone would recognize him. You go on vacation because it’s out of town where he doesn’t know anyone.
We guys gravitate toward the simple. The less complicated the better. Your gentleman friend has found a comfort zone. He’s happy with the status quo. If you’re not, you’re going to have to say something to him. If you don’t, he’ll assume that you’re satisfied as well. Only you can decide if it’s worth speaking up or settling for what is.
Oh, dear. You can ask him and he can say anything he wants to try to keep you, but it’s not going to change. He has told you all you need to know. You have told him with your actions that disappearing is OK because you are there when he resurfaces. If it’s not what you want, you need to tell him with your actions. Date other people and plan a great trip without him. Get busy. You are still young. You have been putting up with this since you were 47? Don’t do it anymore, even if he is nice.
Sounds like you’re dating future me. I apologize for my future actions.