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Dating Columns Archives

 

 

Week of June 17, 2001

 

Dear Mrs Web,

I have a problem. Two nice guys at work want to date me. I like them both and want to date them. If I say yes to one, I might lose the other. What should I do?

There are times in life you must make a choice. You need to choose one of the men if you want to become involved. You could, of course, casually date them both. Better yet, you could spend more time getting to know both of them before choosing one as the better fit for your life, which, of course, would be a principle of courtship.

I have found that men often do not view casual dating as women do, and you may find yourself able to date them both. Men are competitive though, and your honor may end up being the goal, so be careful.

 


Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been involved with a man for 6 years. We have been through a lot together and I love him dearly. During the first year of our relationship, he fathered a child from a previous relationship. We worked through this issue together.

Two years later, the same young woman became pregnant again, however the child was stillborn. Recently this woman gave birth to a third child, fathered by the man I love. He claims to love me and wants to make plans to get married. I love him, but somehow I just cannot trust him anymore. My family wants me to end my relationship with him. I cannot seem to let him go. What should I do?

Dear Mrs. Web wants to make sure she understands you. You are saying you have been involved with a man for six years who has fathered three children with another woman? Moreover, you are finding yourself unable to trust him? Meanwhile he is encouraging you to commit fully and marry him?

Exactly how many more children does he have to father outside your relationship before you understand that this man is involved elsewhere with a woman and his two small children? In addition, you must comprehend that he has commitments and responsibilities there which actually supersede his relationship with you?

I wouldnít trust him as far as I could throw him. Walk away from this, he isnít going to change. Face it, if he isnít fully committed to you now, when he is on his best behavior and trying to convince you of a future together, what makes you think he will be able to keep it zipped in the daily humdrum of marriage?

Take a good long read through my Relationship and Dating Archives (the link is found on my Archives page) for some ideas on how to help yourself through this.

 


Dear Mrs. Web,

I have known a wonderful, sincere man now for two years. We met through mutual friends. The first year, we lived in different states and communicated via e-mail and through the telephone. After meeting, we communicated 3-4 times a week, with daily e-mails. Eventually, we started to visit with each other. After the year had passed, I moved to his hometown. I also have friends and a job here.

Neither one of us has had any sort of long-term relationship. I have been here and we have been dating a year now. We are both in our early thirties; both want a family soon and attend church every Sunday together. We are both 32 years old and hope to have a family by age 35. He just hasnít found the ability to tell me he loves me and commit to marriage.

He has said that he sees us together in the future, and so do I. I have been completely honest with my feelings and have put my emotions and my future on the line with him. So, do I continue to wait?

You have slowly and wisely positioned yourself for marriage with this man. I admire your how you slowly moved towards him. However, it is time to get on with it. After a year of courtship, it is time for betrothal and a wedding date.

I think you will have to be very clear with him that if the relationship has a future, the future is now. Tell him you love him but you need a future. If he is unable to come through, move on. Some men will string along two, five, ten, fifteen years in a relationship without commitment. It is easier for them not to change things.

Check my Topics to Discuss Before Marriage to help you deepen your relationship.

 


Dear Mrs. Web,

My future in-laws hate me. My fiancť and I are getting married in 3 weeks and parts of the family refuse to attend the wedding.

Yesterday, I received a message from my belovedís mother. She said that she is telling everyone that I am taking him away from his family and when I walk down the aisle, everyone will know it.

She does not speak my name but only uses crude terms when addressing or discussing me. This is a nightmare. I am a basket case. All I want is to have a peaceful wedding and be treated with respect.

You say you want to be treated with respect; do you actually and honestly think this will happen with people who dislike you this much? You both are walking into a family nightmare.

In your shoes I would postpone things and discuss this deeply with my beloved. Being "in love" lasts a while, but eventually life intervenes. These family members will be part of your life forever, for better or for worse, and boy, does it sound like worse!

 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I go to an all-boyís school and cannot drive. I know girls who are friends but have no romantic girlfriend. I lack confidence to ask out the girls I am attracted to and when I go out, I donít say much because I donít want to sound stupid. How do I gain the confidence and where can I meet girls?

Go where the girls are, various churches have youth groups, find the most vibrant group, and join it. Hint: usually the best youth groups are in the larger churches.

If you have a number of girls who are your friends, there is your ready pool of girlfriends. Your are comfortable with these girls. We live in a time where there is a difference between a love interest and a friend. However, a love interest that is not a good friend is a waste of time and energy. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your friends.

I want to take this letter to another level. Why do you want a girlfriend? You are under sixteen. What are you going to do with one? Getting involved in a relationship at this time in your life is a bit fruitless. Although it may be a momentary pleasure, the reality is that this time in life you are preparing for your future. You donít need the distraction. You cannot consummate a relationship without a risk of pregnancy. You are too young to successfully be a husband and father. So, why are you going there?

May I recommend I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris? You need to look at other perspectives about relationships.

 


Dear Mrs. Web,

I started sleeping with a guy who really liked me. I wasnít sure I liked him. However, over time, I became more interested in him but he seemed to lose interest in me and told me he want to end our relationship. He had been involved for four years in an abusive relationship with this girl who always used to hurt him

I love him and have told him and it really seemed to touch him. We began to start having a real relationship. He insists he is too messed up to have a relationship with me. He has even told his parents about me.

Suddenly he dropped me and started seeing the girl who used to beat him up and treat him badly. He has scars on his body from her beatings. He was even in therapy over this relationship. Why would he go back with a psycho like that? Why would he choose her over me?

My dear, you became involved with a very needy man who fell in love with you. Any little signal you gave him that you thought of him made him feel worthwhile and cared for, I suspect he has not been well-cared for in his life.

I do not know why he is back with his abusive girlfriend. Some people go back to what isfamiliar, and evidently being abused may be familiar to him. How sad.

I am not sure what you want to do with this situation. Do you want to continue a relationship which this broken young man? If you do, he will need many things including full commitment.

Sex may be a getting acquainted device for you but it is powerful stuff that changes hearts and lives. Frankly, everyone sounds a little bit out of control here. In your shoes I would pull back and find a less complicated love interest. See my Topics to Discuss Before Marriage to learn how to get to know someone well before giving your heart away!!

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

My boyfriend and I are planning to get married someday. We have been living together for five years and have bought a condominium together. His brother moved in with us last year and there is no sign of him leaving. I have asked my boyfriend to ask his brother to move out but he refuses, saying that his brother has a home with him as long as he wants one. But it is my house, too! What can I do?

You and your beloved are playing house with plans for marriage. I did not hear about a ring or wedding date. His brother moved in. Your beloved seems to place your brother before you in priorities.

Well, his brother has more claims on him than you do. He is a relative, you are the woman he lives with and shares a business arrangement. You are asking for the privilege and exclusivity that comes with being a wife, but you are not a wife, you are a girlfriend and a roommate, both expendable relationships.

I think it is time for you two to sit down and clarify your plans and act upon them.

 

 


Dear Mrs. Web,

I have a male friend I have known for a few years. We went to high school together. We have been friends for a long time but when he went to college, he never even said goodbye. I hadnít heard from him for over a year.

Occasionally, now, we meet for drinks and go make out. He was my first kiss. He never calls after we spend time together. He forgets to call me and I end up waiting for him. I am beginning to think I am wasting my time, except he makes me feel so good in all ways, and he makes me laugh. Am I being silly to pine after him? All my friends think so.

I agree with your friends. You are attracted to a man you have known as a "friend" for a few years and now, he is an occasional make-out partner. You "feel good" when you are with him. He, on the other hand, cannot remember you long enough to call. When you do get together he does like playing kissy-face, but you just donít hold his interest. In other words: the lights are on but nobodyís home; at least not for you. You are being used. Move on.

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I recently have been involved with a military man. We found out that he is to be transferred for additional training. Then he will be stationed in Asia for two years.

We have been seeing each other daily and steadily. He will be leaving next week. We both said that we were optimistic about the direction of our relationship and its future. He has told me it would not be fair to ask me to wait for him. I don't really want anyone else. Do you see a future here?

When long-term work and school commitments separate a couple, they both need to come to an agreement about the extent of their own commitment to each other. People usually donít do this sort of thing lightly, because what we are really talking about here is marriage and forever. I think your young man might be saying that he is not ready to extend his personal commitment to you.

 

 

 

Week of June 10, 2001

 

Dear Mrs. Web, 

I have been involved with a woman for 4 years. We helped each other through difficult times and we were always there for each other. I love her very much.

A few months ago she went away to visit her father. She was gone a month. While there, she met another man and fell in love with him. She now claims she loves him and that he is her soul mate.

Since she has been back, the man has not called her. He did send her a ring, she called him once, and they talked. He has never called back or kept in touch.

I still love her and I do not know what to do or say. She says she continuously thinks of him. I know this because I am her best friend and she has been talking to me about it. I am confused. What should I do?

I may be seriously wrong but my guess is that her soul mate might have been what was once known as a "fling." The man is not calling, no plans are being made, I think she is being dumped.

In the meantime, one of Dear Mrs Webís cardinal rules is to never listen to how your beloved is doing with other men. You may have been her best friend at one time. However, you had also become the beloved and have been hurt deeply. I would tell her that and withdraw the support. She needs to discover what life is like without all of you, and not just cherry-pick what she needs from you.  

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I like this girl and I don't know if she likes me. Plus, I can't really ask her because I'm too embarrassed.

Spend some time with her. If she pays attention to you, seems interested in you, and maybe even sneaks a few peeks at you, she probably likes you. The older you get the more complicated this issue becomes.

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web, 

I have been involved in a wonderful whirlwind romance. We are in our 40s. He has seemed to be the wonderful man I have been wanting in my life.

After 3 weeks of seeing each other, on New Year's Eve, he proposed marriage to me (on his knee and everything!). He gave me a family ring, but said he wanted to take me shopping to buy my engagement ring. He continued to tell me over the next month that he wanted to take me shopping. I dropped the hint that I did not want to pick out my ring, instead, wanted him to pick it out and surprise me with it.

I thought he would surprise me on Valentine's Day, but nothing happened. My friends started making snide remarks about him. In a fit of anger in March, I told him off about the ring that he said he would buy for me. I told him I doubted his intentions (but I did not say it so nicely!).

When we were calm we discussed the incident, and he told me he was sincere about marriage. He said he felt there was no reason to come up with a ring, since the ring he gave me was good enough. I asked him why he said he wanted to go ring shopping, but he didnít really answer me. He said he wanted to marry me with in the next 12 months, and that he is afraid of marriage and failure.

It is June; I still have no formal engagement ring. My friends will not have anything to do with him because they feel he is not treating me well and tell me to dump him now.

Am I wrong to think that I am entitled to a formal engagement ring? Is he wrong for him to ask me to marry him, and then backpedal on the issue? Am I supposed to feel that the ring he gave me IS good enough? I have worn it on my middle finger since I received it. Money is not an issue here, believe me. Any advice for me?? 

You have a ring. He gave it to you when he proposed. He said he would take you out shopping for another ring. You gave him the hint that you wanted a ring he picked out and would surprise you with. When you were not surprised when you wanted to be surprised, you became hurt, upset, and demanding.

An engagement ring is a gift that seals a promise. It is not entitlement. One doesnít demand a gift. You have a promise, sort of. There is no date set for your wedding. That part does not seem to be moving forward. I donít actually count anyone really engaged until there are definite plans for marriage. He says he has a fear of "relationship failure." Donít we all!

It sounds like you both need to talk about your plans and your expectations about the future. Look at my listing of Topics to Discuss before Marriage to help you both to broaden your communication and get to know each other better.

I do not understand your friends. They seem inappropriate and out of line. This ring issue is between you and your beloved. To have friends give advice or their perspective is one thing; to have friends involved and punishing your beloved seems way out of bounds. A lack of a second engagement ring is not a mistreatment. Do you have good boundaries about your relationship with this man or are you discussing details best left private?

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I'm a 33-year-old guy and I've developed a crush on a 19-year-old girl. Is this really stupid? Should I even think of moving this beyond a one-sided crush? I donít think I'm having a leering obsession, in fact, I sort of find it creepy. Am I overly concerned or should I keep my distance with her and just remain friends? I am very concerned about the age difference.

Well, itís not as stupid as hitting yourself on the head repeatedly with a hammer. I have known several marriages between young girls and adult men. Not one of the relationships survived more than a few years. The age difference was a big factor.

Think of how you were at 19. Are you different now? Goodness, I hope so! My rule of thumb is to build lifetime relationships with someone no more than 5 years younger or older than you are. This rule has very flexible boundaries, but your love interest bursts right through them and goes straight to kindergarten. 

There are plenty of young women in their twenties and thirties who are interested in a relationship with a wonderful man. I know, they all write me.

 

 

Week of June 3, 2001

 

Dear Mrs. Web, 

I have been involved with a woman for 4 years. We helped each other through difficult times and we were always there for each other. I love her very much.

A few months ago she went away to visit her father. She was gone a month. While there, she met another man and fell in love with him. She now claims she loves him and that he is her soul mate.

Since she has been back, the man has not called her. He did send her a ring, she called him once, and they talked. He has never called back or kept in touch.

I still love her and I do not know what to do or say. She says she continuously thinks of him. I know this because I am her best friend and she has been talking to me about it. I am confused. What should I do?

I may be seriously wrong but my guess is that her soul mate might have been what was once known as a "fling." The man is not calling, no plans are being made, I think she is being dumped.

In the meantime, one of Dear Mrs Webís cardinal rules is to never listen to how your beloved is doing with other men. You may have been her best friend at one time. However, you had also become the beloved and have been hurt deeply. I would tell her that and withdraw the support. She needs to discover what life is like without all of you, and not just cherry-pick what she needs from you.  

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I like this girl and I don't know if she likes me. Plus, I can't really ask her because I'm too embarrassed.

Spend some time with her. If she pays attention to you, seems interested in you, and maybe even sneaks a few peeks at you, she probably likes you. The older you get the more complicated this issue becomes.

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web, 

I have been involved in a wonderful whirlwind romance. We are in our 40s. He has seemed to be the wonderful man I have been wanting in my life.

After 3 weeks of seeing each other, on New Year's Eve, he proposed marriage to me (on his knee and everything!). He gave me a family ring, but said he wanted to take me shopping to buy my engagement ring. He continued to tell me over the next month that he wanted to take me shopping. I dropped the hint that I did not want to pick out my ring, instead, wanted him to pick it out and surprise me with it.

I thought he would surprise me on Valentine's Day, but nothing happened. My friends started making snide remarks about him. In a fit of anger in March, I told him off about the ring that he said he would buy for me. I told him I doubted his intentions (but I did not say it so nicely!).

When we were calm we discussed the incident, and he told me he was sincere about marriage. He said he felt there was no reason to come up with a ring, since the ring he gave me was good enough. I asked him why he said he wanted to go ring shopping, but he didnít really answer me. He said he wanted to marry me with in the next 12 months, and that he is afraid of marriage and failure.

It is June; I still have no formal engagement ring. My friends will not have anything to do with him because they feel he is not treating me well and tell me to dump him now.

Am I wrong to think that I am entitled to a formal engagement ring? Is he wrong for him to ask me to marry him, and then backpedal on the issue? Am I supposed to feel that the ring he gave me IS good enough? I have worn it on my middle finger since I received it. Money is not an issue here, believe me. Any advice for me?? 

You have a ring. He gave it to you when he proposed. He said he would take you out shopping for another ring. You gave him the hint that you wanted a ring he picked out and would surprise you with. When you were not surprised when you wanted to be surprised, you became hurt, upset, and demanding.

An engagement ring is a gift that seals a promise. It is not entitlement. One doesnít demand a gift. You have a promise, sort of. There is no date set for your wedding. That part does not seem to be moving forward. I donít actually count anyone really engaged until there are definite plans for marriage. He says he has a fear of "relationship failure." Donít we all!

It sounds like you both need to talk about your plans and your expectations about the future. Look at my listing of Topics to Discuss before Marriage to help you both to broaden your communication and get to know each other better.

I do not understand your friends. They seem inappropriate and out of line. This ring issue is between you and your beloved. To have friends give advice or their perspective is one thing; to have friends involved and punishing your beloved seems way out of bounds. A lack of a second engagement ring is not a mistreatment. Do you have good boundaries about your relationship with this man or are you discussing details best left private?

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I'm a 33-year-old guy and I've developed a crush on a 19-year-old girl. Is this really stupid? Should I even think of moving this beyond a one-sided crush? I donít think I'm having a leering obsession, in fact, I sort of find it creepy. Am I overly concerned or should I keep my distance with her and just remain friends? I am very concerned about the age difference.

Well, itís not as stupid as hitting yourself on the head repeatedly with a hammer. I have known several marriages between young girls and adult men. Not one of the relationships survived more than a few years. The age difference was a big factor.

Think of how you were at 19. Are you different now? Goodness, I hope so! My rule of thumb is to build lifetime relationships with someone no more than 5 years younger or older than you are. This rule has very flexible boundaries, but your love interest bursts right through them and goes straight to kindergarten. 

There are plenty of young women in their twenties and thirties who are interested in a relationship with a wonderful man. I know, they all write me.

 

 

Week of May 27, 2001

 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been dating a man for three months and I love him. He loves me too and tells me that he has never felt this way about anyone. He said he is committed to our relationship for the long run. At this time, our relationship is long-distance. How can we make it work? I am frustrated and want to see him all the time.

In addition, I am afraid the feelings we have are the same ones everyone gets in the first months of a relationship. I am even thinking of moving out there to live with him. How do I know whether this is the real thing?

You are correct. You are having the intense feelings that come with a new relationship. These feelings will die out, that is normal, and how you structure your relationship, expectations and future will determine whether you are a short-term couple or in it for life.

The only commitment that has any decent chance of surviving is marriage. So, if you have a good thing and want to carry it into the future you should be thinking about how marriage would work with your beloved. Statistically, people who live together prior to marriage are more likely to divorce than people who do not play house before the nuptials.

I support courtship as a way for couples to discover more about each other and clarify themselves to each other. See my Bookshelf for more information on courtship. Also, see my Topics to Discuss with the Beloved .  

If you use the time apart to plan together and work for a future, it will not be as difficult to be separated. Communication is important. Working for a desired future often makes hearts light and hopeful.

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

Normally, I'm comfortable around women. I date fairly regularly. However, a month ago, I noticed a woman in her mid 20's, who started working at a marketplace near my office. I go there almost every day for lunch. 

Because this woman is probably several years younger than I am, I shouldn't be intimidated. However, every time I get ready to approach her and say "Hi," I lose my poise and walk away. 

Is this something that happens to other guys? What would cause such a "slump"?

Dear Mrs. Web is often unnerved by handsome, younger men, particularly her five year old. "Honey! Please donít drive nails into the aquarium!"

No, I donít think you are going through adolescence again! But I do think that you are reacting to her youth and appearance much the way an adolescent reacts to an attractive young woman, viscerally and sometimes even physically.

Yours is not the first letter I have received from men who are unnerved by younger women. There is something about your attraction to this woman that overwhelms your normal poise. Evaluate what that is so you will be able to install appropriate emotional distance so your feelings donít overwhelm you.

 


 

Dear Mrs. Web,

Three years ago, I met a woman in my major at college. We started dating and had a child together. We had some tough times but we stayed together. Then I had some personal problems and we broke up.

We both became involved with other relationships but they failed and we ended up seeing each other again, sporadically. My personal problems have cleared up and I have done well.

Now she tells me she does not want us to get back together, but she does continue to be intimate with me. She says she feels guilty that we are not married.

Her mother does not approve of me yet she invites me over when her mother is not home. Sometimes she says the oddest things. We were discussing something I was planning to do and we had a small disagreement. She suddenly stopped and said, "Well, we are not together so it really doesnít matter how I feel." When I asked her whether it was a bad thing to be together, she said no. So a few days later with a lot of pondering behind me I risked and emailed her and told her I still loved her and would like to maybe get together. She wrote back mentioning the little disagreement we had and felt we would "kill" each other.

She seems to like me and then she says no, not right now. How do I approach her about my desire to be with her without her becoming upset or defensive? Should I wait for this relationship?

I cannot answer this question without knowing one thing, where is the baby? Creating a baby with someone changes the relationship.

 

 

 

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