Name: Reba T
Comment: I am a divorced single Mom, 44 dating a divorced man 36 with no kids. We’ve been dating casually for about 3 months. We agree that we are at the “fish or cut bait stage” and are in discussions right now about moving our relationship forward another step or parting ways. I suggested that we invest in the process of getting to know each other in order to determine true compatibility and to see if we want to eventually be in an mutually exclusive relationship, which means spending more time together. I am worried that he is just passing time with me but he assures me that this is not a matter of hoping to find something better rather to determine if we are genuinely a good fit. Should I take his word at face value or do I remove myself from the situation all together and while he dates other people? I feel like I can’t really completely invest in the relationship knowing he’s dating other women or get comfortable enough to really let him get to know me. On the other hand, I am interested in seeing where this goes. I am so very confused. Is this how younger men date? I am used to going on a several dates and then pursuing a relationship if you determine there is something there.
Confused in Chicago
I think that if you have to suggest to a man of any age that you and he spend more time together, you have your answer as to the direction of the relationship.
but he assures me that this is not a matter of hoping to find something better rather to determine if we are genuinely a good fit.
And that would be an example of diplomacy in use. If he were genuinely trying to assess the compatibility between you two you wouldn’t have to make a special request to see him more often. Reality? He can get someone younger. You know that, I know that, and he knows that. Sure, he might be that one rare stone that doesn’t want kids and to whom age doesn’t matter. But the chances of that are pretty slim. He’s casually dating you and probably a couple other people. And eventually he will probably leave you. That’s cold, I know, but that is likely how this relationship will play out.
I find dating younger men (early to late thirties) somewhat unsettling. Obviously, they are in better shape and the sex is better, etc etc. There’s less baggage to deal with as there usually are no ex-wives or kids. It’s the same reasoning we hear when men explain why they prefer younger women. But they have a lot of options. A lot. When they decide they want to date someone seriously, we’re gone. We get relegated to the back burner and rarely ever brought back to the front. They’re just too temporary for me to ever feel 100% comfortable trying to date one seriously. I’ve done it and still do, but I always know going in that it won’t last and that it’s not permanent. It’s an unfortunate but necessary outlook to have when you’re developing any kind of intimacy with someone.
I am used to going on a several dates and then pursuing a relationship if you determine there is something there.
Right. Which is why the writing should really be on the wall about this one. Enjoy him while you can, but don’t get attached.