Dear Girlfriend 911,
I just finished reading your book! Wow, what an awakening to what is happening in my relationship! I am a widow, age 69, who is dating a high school classmate. He's been separated for awhile, but he's not divorced due to a financial disagreement.
I am curious whether your advice pertains to relationships that are started when one is widowed and the other divorced later in life. Are your expectations different because you are not interested in getting remarried or having someone move in with you, but looking for companionship?
We have been seeing each other once a week for the past couple of years. He stated right from the beginning that it was to be a casual relationship. Unfortunately, this is not how it progressed for the next several months. However, about a year into it he backed off and I couldn't explain his behavior until I read your book. It bothers me greatly to the extent that I find myself feeling more alone since we are dating than I did before. He used to call almost every night, now he calls once a week.
I honestly feel that he is afraid of what he is feeling, and this is the reason he backed off.
He is a busy man with a full life and I suspect he sees commitment as control. He has been very conscious of not letting us get too close. However, isn't a two year relationship making some kind of commitment? He tells me I am the only person he wishes to date, and I do know that he is not seeing anyone else. He is, however, very outgoing, and a big flirt which I see as a sign of insecurity! He is an extremely good looking guy and looks much younger than he is, as do I!
The difference that I see is that he wanted a "casual relationship" to start with and was very honest about this feelings. Is this just a cop out, or is he serious?
We have the best time together, and I know he enjoys my company as much as I enjoy his. I must admit I fell for him early on, and I know he feels the same way, even though neither one of us has expressed this.
While the casual is fine, I would still like a long-term commitment, knowing that someone has you very high on their priority list, loves you and always has your back.
I have thought about not seeing him, but am wondering if the rules are different in this kind of relationship. I feel like I deserve so much more! Should I be sending him a Goodbye Letter?
Any help and advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I was very touched by your email.
I think you need to get really clear about what it is that you want from this man. Of course it's fine not to want to get married again and just have companionship, as long as both of you are getting your needs and your wants met. A great rule of thumb that I always like to follow is, if it feels right it is right. However, obviously this is not feeling right to you because you do state in your email that you're looking for a long-term commitment, and that you feel like you deserve so much more. And of course you do!! I understand relationships involve some compromise, but you're not even in the kind of relationship you want to be in, and look how much of yourself you're already compromising. It's not okay, and I think you're coming to that realization.
In terms of your man, you can't blame him for being honest and upfront from the beginning. He told you he wanted a casual relationship and you accepted that. Maybe you thought it would change, or you could change him, but it hasn't worked out that way. He has set the standard for this relationship and he has set
Thank you for answering my email! I appreciate your input and advice. My boyfriend and I talked, and I am willing to move forward slowly with him as long as he adheres to my standards. If not, he is gone. Thank you for helping me get my dignity back. I was in a bad marriage for a long time and I lost my sense of worth. I now have it back, and whether it works out with this man or I have to move on, I know I will be fine. I refuse to settle ever again.
All the best,
I hope this email finds you well. I’ve been thinking a lot about our last conversations and there are a couple of things I wanted share.
Firstly, I want to thank you again for making it clear that you aren't ready and/or interested in the same level of commitment I was suggesting. At least, not with me...I deeply appreciate the honesty and the thoughtful manner you conveyed this. It’s taken me this time to process the end of our dating relationship. I want you to know that I don't regret laying all my cards out on the table. I wouldn't have said that my expectations were to be in an exclusive relationship with you, to spend more time together and keep building on what we had, if I didn't have strong feelings for you.
That said, these past couple weeks having reflected a bit more on the time we spent together, I have come to also understand as much as our dating relationship was based in part on an evolving friendship that I really enjoyed, that alone is not what my hope or expectation was for us. So, while in theory it sounds nice to transition into a friendship, I know at this present time it's taking me out of my truth. Matt, I think you know what I'm saying here. For me it's still all or nothing. Therefore, I hope you can appreciate and understand that given my strong feelings for you, a true friendship isn't possible. I wholeheartedly wish you all the best and hope you find your bliss!
"I've been preaching this same thing to friends for years! It works. While you may need to mold it to work for you, if you follow the suggestions you will get results. Btw here is the definition of soulmate: A soulmate (or soul mate) is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, sex, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, or compatibility. Also, soulmates come in many shapes sizes and doesn't mean you will marry your soulmate, but if you do you're lucky! It's a guideline and only meant to help guide you."
Do you agree with her advice to follow your heart in the big things, and make the most of your life before you're ready to settle down, or do you think following your heart means following a man?
You were great on Jeff Probst's show and so timely for me. Here's my situation. I have been dating a man for a little over two years. I had actually met him a year previously, but when we met again I guess the sparks kinda flew. He asked me out and we've been pretty inseparable ever since.
The only time we ever disagree is over his ex-wife, who even though she has divorced him twice, she always has to have some "thing" to connect them. First, it was the dog they had "joint" custody of. She kept the dog all the time and he paid all the bills. Then, when the dog died she brought some of her houseplants over for him to take care of while she moved, yet again.
I had never met her until my boyfriend was in the ICU to have a serious operation. I spent three days following him to 3 different hospitals until they found the right one to do the surgery. No one else beside me was around to see how sick he was. The night before the surgery he came up with a ridiculous excuse to call his ex-wife and let her know where he was. As a result of this, she came to the hospital and got me kicked out of the room. Nevertheless, I still managed to stay through the surgery and then went to visit him every day until he came home. Then a few days later he went to her house for her to take care of him for the weekend. Basically thumbing his nose at everything I'd been doing for him. It was devastating.
Will a "Goodbye Letter" do me any good to write? And do I send it to him? What do I focus on in it? Please help me. I need to move on, as I feel like I have been dragged through a knot-hole backwards. I am pretty emotionally beat up right now.
Thanks for your assistance,
Thank you for taking the time to write and thank you for your very kind words. I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time. From the little that you've told me it does seem like your boyfriend needs to make a decision once and for all, either you're the priority and he's 100% committed to you, with his ex-wife totally out of the picture, or you have no other choice but to end the relationship. You certainly deserve only the best treatment from him and clearly he's not giving that to you. So a Goodbye Letter will be extremely helpful in letting him know
how you feel, and how you deserve to be treated moving forward.
My best advice at this point is to...