Dating Girl

OLDER BUT NOT WISER

Dear Dating Girl,

I am in a relationship with an older woman. We have known each other through the internet for about five years and met in person just over one year ago. We love each other’s company, and share the same ambitions, beliefs, and goals. We recently took some time to slow things down (her decision). One day she says she doesn’t know what she wants in life or where she wants to be right now and the next day she says the opposite. She’s divorced and has been burned a few times by previous boyfriends. This is my first serious relationship and I lost my virginity to her. She is everything I have ever looked for and wanted in a woman. She tells me she loves me and doesn’t want to lose me but lately I seem to be low on her list of priorities. I am constantly there for her, whenever she needs me and even when she doesn’t. I would expect her type of behaviour from a younger, inexperienced girl, not a mature woman.

Older, But Not Wiser

Dear Older,

And I expect your type of behaviour from a younger, less experienced guy like yourself. Otherwise you wouldn’t put up with this woman’s crap. Sure, she’s been hurt. Haven’t we all? That doesn’t give her license to play with your emotions like a yo-yo.

And while you say you share the same goals, it doesn’t sound like she’s all that clear on her goals, at least in the relationship department.

Your instincts are honourable. When someone is being indecisive, scared and non-committal, it is good to be there for them, to be patient and to give them time to work things out. But being at her beck and call is not only going to make you miserable, it’s going to freak her out even more. Do the two of you a favour and back off. You need to regroup and get a grip. She may feel like the best thing that’s ever happened to you but that could be because she is the ONLY thing that has ever happened to you. It’s normal to become so strongly attached to the first person that stirs such strong feelings in you. But you can’t know she is everything you have ever looked for and wanted in a woman, because you haven’t been with anyone else with which to compare her.

You’re right. As the older, more experienced person in this situation, she should be handling the situation better. She should realize you are vulnerable and not be telling you she loves you and doesn’t want to lose you if she can’t live up to her statements. She may be confused, scared and want to slow down. She may not know what she wants but she needs to work that stuff out on her own, without jerking you around. You owe it to yourself be the more mature one in the situation and tell her to look you up when and if she when she does.

MUDDLED BY MIXED MESSAGES

Dear Dating Girl,

I started dating someone a couple months ago and I’m confused. On the one hand, he has said that he doesn’t want a relationship right now, but his actions seem to indicate otherwise: we’ve gotten physical and he’s really emotional and thoughtful with me. So what gives? I would definitely like to pursue a relationship with him, but I want to take it at my own pace. Yet it’s already so deeply intimate that I feel it’s moving too quickly. (Not that he wants “it” to necessarily turn into anything serious, as he’s said.) I really need your advice!

Muddled by Mixed Messages

Dear Muddled,

I know the old adage goes that actions speak louder than words and in most cases, it’s true. Except for the words someone says at the beginning of a relationship. Our hormones often run the show at that point and we do all kinds of stuff that doesn’t match up to where our head is at. That’s why it’s extra important to pay attention to words at this stage in the game.

Listen carefully to what he is telling you and take it to heart. More often than not, statements like these come back to haunt you later on when things get rough. You look back and think, “I don’t know what happened…things were so great in the beginning,” and then a little light bulb goes on and you remember he told you he wasn’t ready for a relationship.

The other thing is to listen to yourself. Rather than focus on what his actions are telling you, stay focused on what you want, rather than simply reacting to him. You’re saying you feel it’s moving too quickly. Well, don’t let his actions bully you into moving faster than you want to go. Grab the reins and slow things down.

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