After Four Years of no Commitment, She Ended Relationship
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
Most middle-age singles enter relationships hoping they will be treated well and the relationship will be special. Things don't always turn out that way.
Joan of Aliso Viejo shared her story, hoping it would help others who become involved in relationships that don't progress.
A year ago October, Joan e-mailed that she had been dating a man for nearly four years. "He lets me know that he cares for me and considers me a good friend. I have let him know that I care very much about him and value our relationship. Neither of us sees anybody else. I'm 52 and he's 55."
So far, so good. Sounds like a grounded relationship.
Joan told him she wanted a more serious relationship (after nearly four years, not altogether unreasonable).
Joan emailed, "He explained that he will NEVER AGAIN have a serious 'love-type' relationship or live with another female. His only marriage was so devastating and his mother so inattentive and non-nurturing that almost all women get on his nerves (not me, I'm different, he says)."
"Am I that naïve to believe we had something?"
I suggested she might need a leave of absence from him.
I heard nothing more.
This August, I contacted Joan for an update. She said they broke up for three months, and described what happened when they got back together, "He showed affection and caring in his actions but not so much in his words.
He still says he can never again live with a woman. I love him and would like a long-term committed relationship in which we live together. Am I dreaming?"
So, there Joan was, almost a year later, her relationship like a Monopoly game piece stuck on Boardwalk.
On Oct. 18, Joan wrote, "We broke up for good. In August, he asked if I wanted to tell him how I felt. I swallowed hard, took a deep breath and said those three little words. And he said three little words back. 'I'm still here.' AAAAAGH!!
"After two weeks, he hadn't mentioned his feelings for me. I brought it up and he got angry and said, 'This is why I live alone."
Joan says, "My big mistake was being too empathetic and overly accommodating. When you do that, they just want more and more till you're all used up. It's all about them. You're the understanding, supportive, non-judging listener who appears to be so strong but could use some of her own medicine."
Joan says she's taking time out to understand how she allowed herself to get into the relationship.
One of the lessons from Joan's story: When people start getting involved, they need to know the expectations and goals of their mate. People need to protect their hearts. Joan was wrong for allowing a dead-end relationship to go on too long, even though he was honest with his intentions.
By allowing that, Joan consumed precious time that might have been applied to a healthy relationship that could have been flourishing by now.
The comments below pertain to last week's column about Patricia moving from California to Missouri.
Bruce, Laguna Beach: "It's good to know horse people have their own channels of 'equestrian dating.' Theirs is a very competitive scenario; man pitted against horse for the attentions of female. Don't worry about the horses, someday they'll get their woman back."
Lynn, Dana Point: "In my opinion, Patricia and her cowboy are making HUGE decisions far too quickly." Response: It does seem a bit early.
Jodi, Kansas City, Kansas: "Missouri is the 'Show Me' state, so we'll see. I don't know if Missouri is a great place to live, married or single." Response: Is Kansas any better?