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In senior dating, trust your instincts

By Tom P Blake

This article was first published August 21, 2003. The message is as important in 2016, as it was back then.

Perhaps it's the long, hot summer or the recent full moon. For whatever reason, I've been getting more questions than usual from readers about screwy things that are happening in their relationships.

A common thread running through many of the questions is shaky behavior by boyfriends and girlfriends.

I'm often asked for my opinion on these strange happenings and most of the time I tell people to "trust your instincts."

Perhaps, when are finding love after 50, we allow mates to get away with things that as younger people we wouldn't have tolerated. Or, we're just happy to be involved with ANYBODY – regardless of how we're treated.

Carolyn, Laguna Niguel, California, said, "I thought I was in a committed relationship. At least that is what I was told. However, when I could not be available to go out with this guy, he found someone else to go out with.

I thought a committed relationship was only dating each other?"

David, a DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.) classmate of mine, e-mailed, "A guy we know in Hoboken, started corresponding with a woman from Ohio, who arranged to visit him.

"During the visit, she mentioned that her dad was meeting her and they were going camping for the weekend. While she was gone, my friend found his way into her e-mail account somehow, and discovered that the 'Dad' was another guy she'd been having an online romance with. Not only that, there were several other guys with whom she had fallen in love with online, all at the same time, and she had plans to see all of them. Beware – that online person you are dating may not be telling the truth.”

If you want a committed relationship, and the person you're dating is holding back, there's a reason. And you need to find out what it is. Your instinct tells you something's not right, things don't sort out or make sense. Guess what? Your instinct is right, trust it.

Don't rationalize, thinking "Oh, he just got out of a relationship and will love me in due time, he doesn't want to be rushed, I remind him of his ex-wife, or, he's platonic with an old girlfriend so it's OK if he continues to see her."

Either he's in with you or he's not. Sit down and have an eyeball-to-eyeball, heart-to-heart, don't-lie-to-me talk, and either get a commitment from him to share life together, or walk away.

Your time is too valuable (and hopefully, your self-respect too high) to go on endlessly waiting for him to make you the top priority.

When the person you're dating makes excuses why he or she isn't seeing you more often or is unwilling to do what you feel is reasonable, wise up, you're not the shining light in his eye that you want to be. He may be playing you along and using you – for money, sex or whatever.

Trust your instincts. Don't accept less in a relationship than you deserve.

Demand to be treated respectfully. You'll be better off in the future, with or without him.

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