How long should singles wait to meet a new mate's friends and family?
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
In a newsletter, I raised the question about senior dating when kids are involved. Children and family can affect a new senior relationship and gave an example. Here is what several of our Champs said:
Alicia, Austin, Texas: "Julie has gone above and beyond supporting the man. If he cared deep down for Julie, he would have treated her like a gem and introduced this loyal light in his life to his family and friends by now. Julie needs to shine bright for someone else and let him go."
Jennifer, Orange County, California, "Something is definitely off in Julie's relationship. A man who doesn't level with you about his situation after a year is often being dishonest."
Carissa, Arizona, "Is Julie absolutely sure the guy isn't married?
Wayne, Orange County, California, "This a huge red flag. Family and friends are a major part of one's life. If Julie's friend is the least bit interested in her for the long haul, he would want to introduce her to his family and friends.
"I suspect he is either not interested for the long haul or has something to hide. One's interaction with family members and friends speaks volumes about a person's character as they are the ones that have known him/her the longest."
Gale, North Carolina, "There's something that doesn't 'feel' right about this scenario. After this long, one would think trust and closeness would have been established. She needs to decide that perhaps cutting the cord is what needs to be done."
Jon, Olympia, Washington, "The reason is only one of two possibilities: 1) There is something about her that he doesn't want his family to see or 2) There is something about his family that he doesn't want her to see. Considering that distance is not a problem, she should at least have had some interaction with them by now."
Stella, Orange County, California, emailed, "Do not back away from him. Six months is a relatively short healing time for such a traumatic illness. If within the next 3-4 months, there isn't any sign that he's moving in the right direction, confront him again. Be prepared to hear that he's just not that into you. It's better to know than to wonder."
Antoinette, Texas: "If he doesn't have respect enough to introduce her to his family and friends he either doesn't have any or he's not looking for a life-time partner but has selfishly found someone who will cater to his needs but has someone who doesn't have to invest back into the relationship. Dump him..."
Jim, Florida, "She should address this with him, directly. No intro and no explanation - move on.
George, San Francisco, "Something is amiss here - Red Flag..? More like a Red Cape in a bull-fighting arena!"
Jill, Wisconsin, "Oh how I relate to Julie. The widower I was dating. I have met his daughter, but his two sons I have not; as well as never meeting his brother or any of his friends. In fact, when they were in town visiting, I was never included. I finally stopped asking.
"A couple weeks ago, I got a "text" from him, stating that he needed to end our dating relationship. He has decided to move to Arizona where one of his sons and his brother live. His reason - when he retired the end of the year, everything changed! I guess he must have known all along that there was no reason for me to get his kids involved -he had his life planned without me. A red flag for Julie? Yes."
Marta, Quebec, Canada, "Nurse? Nurse? Nuuuurrrrse! I worked in cancer care for many years. Julie's man may have needed a 'nurse,' or female companion who would help him out during his cancer experience. His cancer was diagnosed so quickly after they met, and they hardly knew each other. He may have simply found it convenient to lean on her while he was ill; and now that he is not? His eyes may be open to finding somebody more 'right' for him. He may have discovered during the past while that although she took good care of him, she isn't exactly what he is looking for in a woman companion.
"One HUGE red flag that Julie might have seen, but was probably too pre-occupied to notice, is: Where have his children and family been while he was ill? It is very unusual that at no time did she run into some of them during that six months of illness and treatment. Are they estranged? Do they dislike their dad and maybe for some good reasons she should know about?
"Were I Julie, I'd be seeking straight answers or I'd be outta there, unless of course she wants to play nurse with this fellow again, who has surely been told by his medical team that the recurrence rate of throat cancer is very high. He could be keeping her around, but at a distance, in case her care is needed again."
Jackie, Atlanta, "My thought I had on this guy who doesn't want her to meet his family would make me want to do a background check. I came out of a 42-year marriage and found that my husband had a double life! Follow your gut!"
Judie, Georgia, " You have dated him a year, including through a bout with cancer. Plus, during that time period, the obvious holidays have come and gone (Thanksgiving, New Years, birthdays, 4th of July, etc). Where was his family during all those occasions? That's a long time period. Have you been together with him when he has had phone calls from family members, friends? If so, does he say anything that would include you, such as "oh, I'm with Julie, we're going to the movies"?
"Otherwise he's totally alienated from his family, which also happens, and he doesn't wish to tell you. Or else he's married, and his wife is possibly in a care-giving facility. She should do an on-line background check - pay the $$ and find out if he's a wanted criminal, etc. That happened to me."
In summary, nearly all Champs agreed, something's amiss. Julie needs to get an answer pronto. She should be prepared to move on without him. Enduring relationships are based on honesty, trust, communicating, being open, hiding nothing and sharing. His cards are
held a little to close to his vest.
Thanks to all Champs who responded. You are the ones who make this engine run.