Read more questions about dating as a single mother:
I met the most wonderful man (over 40 and a bachelor) last August. Prior to our relationship he had been in only one long term relationship (14 months), in which he was engaged for about 3 months before he abruptly ended it and blamed her for not being over her ex-husband. This relationship ended two years prior to our meeting.
Just three dates into our relationship he told me he didn’t feel he could proceed if I was not open to getting married. Having such a strong connection early on, I expressed that I would be open to marriage. In the following months, he has talked about getting engaged, living together, and getting married. To the extent that when he joined a country club recently he told me he was putting me down as his wife. I have met all of his friends, his parents, and his siblings. He does not hide me, and even talked about me and our future plans in his Christmas letter for his friends, family and clients. Although, five months is pretty fast, it has felt nothing more than natural.
Then, three weeks ago, I noted he was still friends with his ex-fiance on Facebook and I asked him to remove her. I had a cheating spouse and although I feel these are my trust issues, I trusted this man beyond the confines of Facebook. He said he would but then two weeks later she was still there and when approached he said he would not remove her as her family were his friends and clients and he did not want to ‘upset the apple cart’ for what he calls a non-issue. In the meantime, he gets upset with me and blames me for not trusting him, then in a turn tells me that my kids disrespect me too much—they are 13 & 17—and he can’t live in that type of household. And does not feel he wants to enter into any kind of financial contract with me but he still wants us to move forward and not end our relationship.
Now, I am confused. In my many attempts to talk to him, I get put off, told we live too far away (45 min) from each other and he won’t be able to spend as much time with me anymore as his workload has been increasing. So, I am still confused, bewildered, and feel he is pushing me away. However, instead of wanting to talk about all of this, he tells me he loves me and cares for me deeply. But he tells me he is unsure of how to proceed. He then tells me he needs time to think about everything and that he is not in the same place in our relationship as I am and he doesn’t feel he is ready for marriage or co-habitation. OH… HELLO… he has been the one all along who has been talking of this.
Yes, I am certainly ready to marry him, as up until now I could honestly say I had met the man of my dreams, my soul mate. Sure, I felt we were ready to continue to move forward but now I am just confused. I am giving him the time and space for him to think about what he wants, told him to take his time to really make the best choice for him.
I am heart broken to say the least, after my divorce three years ago (married 17 years) I thought I would never open my heart up again to this magnitude. I feel lost and helpless.
Should I wait it out? Does he just have cold feet? Am I wrong to think that he has kept his ex his friend because he wants to keep a door open to a possible reconcilliation? What am I missing?
Thanks in advance for your point of view!
Thanks for your question. We’re sorry you’re feeling heartbroken. Hopefully we can shed some light on your situation.
Meeting someone in your early twenties is so simple isn’t it? Typically, you meet, you fall in love, you get married, you buy a house, and you have kids. But beginning a relationship in your 40s is a whole different ballgame. Those extra twenty years are full of life experiences. Some people might call this baggage, but we feel that often has a negative connotation associated with it. We like to say people have just matured and seasoned a bit, as the two of you have.
And it’s that seasoning that has thrown this guy off. He’s finally opened his eyes and realized that if he wants to be with you he needs to accept and welcome the entire package, and that’s what he’s struggling with right now. But from our point of view, you seem like an easy person to be with. You’re open to dialogue, you want to understand your partner and you want to work through issues. Those are some of the important ingredients to having a successful marriage/partnership. If he doesn’t see that, or frankly, thinks he’s going to find a “perfect” situation where he doesn’t have to deal with any issues at all, he’s sorely mistaken. He only needs to look at his own situation to realize that no one is a blank slate, and what makes people interesting—and probably why he fell for you—is who they’ve become based on their life experiences.
As far as his ex-wife on Facebook, well, that is a non-issue. Sure, he shouldn’t have told you he was going to remove her when he really didn’t want to, but we don’t see a problem with it. Typically, people who divorce don’t reunite with their ex. And really, there’s no reason he can’t be friends with her, or remain connected with some of their mutual friends. Just because he didn’t want to be in a marriage with her doesn’t mean he should throw away all the other connections he made while he was married to her. And the fact that he has an amicable relationship with his ex also shows he’s not a bitter and angry person, and one to hold grudges. That bodes well for your relationship if it works out.
We can see why you’d be confused by his behavior though—his backpedaling especially—but from a guy’s perspective it’s pretty typical. Here’s what guys do when they meet someone they’re attracted to.
Stage 1. Pursue, pursue. (They just have to be with this woman)
Stage 2. They finally attain what they were pursuing and it’s bliss. (For a while at least.)
Stage 3. They start thinking she might be the one. (Yes, guys do that too) They’re still in the fantasy world.
Stage 4. Reality sets in. They think, “I’ll never be able to have sex with anyone else. Hmm…Do I want to be with her forever? She might be great in bed but I there’s this other thing.” (Fill in the blank for what that ‘other thing’ might be) And finally he’s thinking about the hot “redheaded bartender” and the “girl at the supermarket” and his “c0-worker” etc. The reality stage is a big deal for guys.
Stage 5. Bolt or commit. (This is the fork in the road. Many guys bolt here, and some guys decide to proceed forward, although still scared.)
Getting from Stage 1 to Stage 5 can take two weeks or two years. (Those are random numbers to illustrate a point. Each guy is different.)
You are currently at Stage 5. And you are waiting patiently. Good for you.
So to answer your questions(Our opinions):
Yes he’s having cold feet.
And yes, you should wait it out. (For a bit.)
No, he’s not looking to get back with his ex.
Yes, at some point you need to talk all of these issues through. He might be the ‘man of your dreams’ but if he refuses to open up and talk about everything, the relationship will probably never transition from the dream world to the real one.
Good luck and hang in there,
ps. Let your friends know about us. Thanks! Give us some love on Twitter. @TGPBuzz
Check out our relationship videos: Subscribe to our You Tube Channel
Online Dating Part 3: How to write a great written online profile (Second example of BEFORE and AFTER version)
Also, join us on Twitter: @TGPBuzz (We’re somewhat new there, so spread the word to your friends as well. Thanks!)