Question: Dear Luise: I have been in a non live-in relationship for three years that is not going anywhere. I’m 60 and he’s 48. There is an “ever-present ex” that I have to deal with, as well. What I want to know is: 1. Should I have the “talk” with him about whether I am part of his long-term future or not? This is not something I really want to do, as I don’t want to put him on the spot or have him think I’m giving him an ultimatum. (I would not like someone to give me an ultimatum.) If he doesn’t want anything more than a “dating” relationship with me, I don’t want it either as I don’t believe you can force someone to do something they don’t want to do by using emotional blackmail or ultimatums. It does, however, mean that I would have to reconsider this “relationship”. 2. Should I let him know that I am not happy with the present situation? 3. Should I just let it go on as it is? A couple of people have suggested that I should be happy with just having a dating relationship and enjoy each other’s company, which we do. Am I wrong in wanting someone to grow old with? To tell you the truth, I don’t want to “just date” for the next 10, 20 or 30 years. I am in much better health than what he is, so that’s not an issue. Does he have a commitment problem? He has never been married or had children. He has lived with his “ex” for about 6 years. They split about 11 years ago. She just ended up clearing out while he was at work one day. She literally “took him to the cleaners”. From what he has said, she was a compulsive liar who took him for what she could get and she was also very, very jealous. Does he believe that I will eventually do the same? I have more assets than he has. I am sorry to ramble on so much. This is really more of a book that a question. I guess I already know the answer I am seeking, but I need someone to reinforce it. Do you think the difference in our birth years has anything to do with it? I believe that if he is really in love with me (which I know he is), trusts me and does not have commitment and communication issues, then there wouldn’t be a problem. By the way, I am just as guilty as him of having communication issues – as if I didn’t I would talk with him anyway. Regards, M.
Answer: Dear M.: I vote for 4. Move on. What you see is what you get and if it’s not what you want, what’s the point? Maybe the people who have suggested you should just be content with a dating relationship would be fine with that solution but you aren’t. And I don’t think you ever will be. You are going to grow old very unhappily playing part-time second-fiddle. Blessings, Luise