Responses to A woman willing to settle
By Tom P Blake
There are approximately 2,500 Champs who subscribe to this "On Life and Love After 50" newsletter. Each week, new subscribers sign up, and some subscribers drop out.
The newsletter is a pretty great place to get advice. A person writes with a question or a problem and then listens to what our Champs have to say. Often 50 or more Champs respond, as happened last week. Where else can you get complimentary advice from such a diverse group of knowledgeable, mature singles?
Sometimes I don't hear back from the person whose question was addressed in the newsletter, perhaps because they didn't like the advice or perhaps the truth was too painful. But this week, I did hear back from Jo. She is the woman who has dated a man for six months who has told her he doesn't love her, will never live with her, and won't marry her. She has settled for a man who gives much less than she wants.
Before we get to what Jo had to say, we're going to hear the advice Champs had for her. They (all women this week, no men commented on this specific topic) took no prisoners.
Stella emailed, "She should dump him now! I doubt that the resolution would be any different if he didn't have to drive 130 extra miles a week."
Stella added, "Jo - Keep working on losing weight, but until you reach your desired target weight, don't let that hold you back from getting out and getting involved in the community. There are people out there who will look with eyes that see into your much more meaningful attributes."
Judie, "The 'Red Flag' surfaced when he told Jo his past girlfriend wanted to get back together with him. Jo just isn't listening. Often, when either the man or the woman in a dating relationship suddenly mentions that a past girlfriend or boyfriend wants to try again - well, been there, done that - ha! That's an easy way of letting someone down, rather than just saying, 'I'm not all that interested.'"
Antoinette, "Why doesn't Jo rid herself of someone who demeans her and finds her useful as a tool for the moment? I don't understand why she's not seeing everything that she's typing? She's been told she's not loved and is basically willing to take the scant amount of crumbs this man offers her instead of working through her own issues and fear of being alone.
"Why would someone fall in love with a person who cares little for them? Being in love is about enjoying the love and companionship that someone is sharing with you, not following someone around to be that person's groupie."
Pam, "Jo and her boyfriend both have a lot of baggage and each is settling for their own reasons. Jo, until she loses weight and can find someone better, and, 'boyfriend' until he retires and has more time to find someone else! Sounds like a perfect match to me. A ‘co-why not settle?’ arrangement"
Marie, "Jo, why are you with someone who doesn't want to be with the whole you? He just wants a piece of the pie and not the whole pie. You deserve to be with someone who can value you and respect you. You can't 'work it out,' you can only 'kick him out' of your life. Go out and meet other people. There is someone out there for you."
Joan, "Jo may be one of those women who just has to have a man. I believe it's part of their personality and not much chance of changing it. I'm one of the 'I won't settle' women. I've been alone since 1983 with a few dates interspersed. Yes, I get lonely for companionship but not because 'it's so nice to have a man around the house.' I've been self reliant and independent too long to need a relationship."
R, "Jo seems like the frog who is in the water and doesn't notice it is heating up to its eventual demise. This guy Jo is seeing has a focus on his mom, never has married, and probably will never change that focus and I know this from dating a momma's boy long ago...a lesson I never forgot. Further, his telling her, after she has declared her feelings, that he doesn't love her made me wince and feel so sad for her. She needs to be a ‘I won’t settle woman."
R continued: "I hope she can pull herself away, move forward and find someone who is not as rigid, who maybe lives closer, and with whom she has more commonalities and life views and responses and hormones...it takes hormones to want to be close to someone past the lust. To wait for this guy to retire seems a genuine waste of her time because it seems, adding it all up, he will then have more excuses to not be closer to her."
MJ, "I was in a relationship EXACTLY as you described, only I stuck around for three years as he continued to call me his 'friend,' talked about his dates with others in front of me and never took me to any public functions. I stopped settling.
"For some reason I just couldn't cut it off (the relationship, I mean) or even bring myself to have conversation about us or my feelings. One day he sent me a cell phone message by mistake as it was meant for another woman in Colorado and obviously from the content of it, he had getting laid on his mind.
"I called him and went off on him and cried and yelled. His reply: 'I'm not your boyfriend' and he said it like he just asked someone to pass the potatoes at the dinner table. Don't ever settle. Ever."
Manu, "Do yourself a favor and take six months off from dating. Go to a Zumba class and take care of YOU. Then take a step back and look at your current relationship. I'll bet you will say, 'What was I thinking?' Your prince is still a frog."
Elaine, "Jo lacks confidence. When that exists, judgment is skewed. There are many red flags. This man has never been married. No long-term commitment even if he was loyal. Forty-five years in the same house with a long attachment to his mother. Why would she expect this man to marry? And even then, he doesn't love her."
Elaine added, "She should join a health club. Lift weights and do cardio four times a week. It'll give her confidence and the strength to go to meetups and dances. Exercise is absolutely cathartic. We live in our bodies. It is what we present to the world. Commit to that for six months, then put yourself out there. Don't wait for this man."
Gypsy: "Jo: Do you want to invest four years on a MAYBE? I'm 61, been there, coulda done that. And 'old?' I'm never too old to commit to someone. I'm a cancer survivor, I was 43 when diagnosed. I decided then that my time was valuable and I wait for no one to make me happy. Have fun going out while getting fit. It's a journey, not a punishment. You're going to 'shape' up faster being happy, dancing, meeting up with old friends, while making new friends."
And now, the response from Jo (before she read the above comments): "I have never been to his apartment. He said it was small and a mess. He also says he has a single bed! I talked to him last night at length. He said that he is not in love with me again.
"I like his qualities - he's very intelligent and giving to his students. He always takes me out to dinner, by the sea to cool off, has come to my place whenever he gets an extra day off near the weekend, is fun to talk to and is a real gentleman with me. I love that part a lot. He is not dating anyone else and I like that as well.
"I'm working on my weight loss so I can get back into meeting and
dating someone. I took down all the photos of him in my house and I
keep reminding myself that he is stuck in a rut and is inexperienced
with the opposite sex to some point. Yes, he is not marriage material
as I would want someone but I do enjoy his company and our get-togethers."
Two thoughts from Tom. First, he has been single and dating and lived in the same apartment for 45 years with just a single bed? That's not very accommodating to women.
Second, I wonder how Jo will feel after reading all of the comments above?
She will likely become a I won’t settle woman.