Question: Dear Luise: I have been married twice, lived with a boyfriend for four years. All those experiences have ended badly. I have been going steady with my John for three years (we’ve known each other for five). We’re both 52. He has never been married, has never lived with anyone. We see each other almost every day, but he never stays over night, nor do we ever go away at the weekend. He says he wants to live with me. I am beginning to think that this will never happen and am becoming very discouraged. He is also overly concerned with his health (in my opinion). On the positive side, he is pleasant, funny, gentle and affectionate. What do you think? Thank you very much for your advice. Marie
Answer: Dear Marie: Since you didn’t sign your question, which is just fine, I am giving you a fictitious name. We never get to know someone over the years without finding that they offer both positive and not-so-positive attributes. The same is true of each of us. What matters most is how we deal with what we would prefer to not have to deal with in another. For instance, a man overly concerned with his health, would be a red flag to me, yet it may not be for you. I equate that behavior with excessive self-absorption, which may or may not be true, and I’d give it a wide birth.
It sounds to me that your John likes the single life. Talking about living together may be just that…talk. The best way to know what the truth is, is to look for supportive action behind whatever pretty words are presented to you to keep you interested and in line. There just isn’t any supportive action, in this case. John is setting the rules down pretty clearly. He wants what he’s got…distance, autonomy, independence, and all the comforts of home. You are waiting for a ship to come in that’s never sailed. Look closely at what you want. If what he offers is enough then settle into the arrangement and enjoy it. Lots of women would kill for “pleasant, funny, gentle and affectionate” and would prefer not to have a man underfoot 24/7. However, it doesn’t sound like that’s for you. If it isn’t, it’s time to wish him well and turn him loose to play house with someone else. Blessings, Luise