I’ve been spending time with a man who has been married and divorced three times. Unfortunately, he is not available much, but when we are together it’s fun and easy. How can I take this relationship to the next level? I can tell he cares for me and enjoys our time together as much as I do. But he never wants to make plans. It’s week-to-week with him—and no weekends away or overnights. He is also reticent to be seen together socially at our childrens’ school. I’ve told him that I want more and he said he likes things the way they are. Any suggestions?
Yes! Learn to be content with life as it is. The man you are interested in has the integrity to be honest with you. That’s rare. Appreciate his words. Remind yourself of his words when you long for more than he is willing to give. It doesn’t matter what you have in common with him. Your connection and ease of interaction isn’t the issue. He knows what his emotional limit is and has shared that reality with you. Honor yourself by accepting his boundary. Show him that you care for him by respecting his words. Don’t try to push this man into the life you believe he should live. That’s unkind; he has not asked you for support to change. If you want more, get it, but not with this man. Plunge back into the dating pool. Find someone who shares your desire for a committed, long-term relationship.
How do I meet a nice man? I’m from Europe so my values are different than most Americans and I feel like time is ticking away. My mother’s advice is that I should learn to cook. But if someone likes me and vice versa, does it matter if I can cook or clean? The real problem is that I can’t find someone normal. My last boyfriend married someone else and is happy. I’m mostly OK about that but wondering what to do to find someone.
Your former boyfriend’s happy marriage may prompt fears that you are failing at something other people do well. Forget that idea. Embrace this thought instead: Relationships are complicated, and so are human beings. That means we have no idea what state his marriage is in. We don’t know where it might be in the future, either. Don’t allow your mind to measure personal success using another person’s life experiences. You deserve to forge a path that is right for who you are and what you aspire to accomplish.
Your mother’s advice is straightforward old-school guidance. A partner with cleaning skills provides the gift of a sparkling, organized environment. A delicious meal can be a form of seduction. But someone who seeks a spouse who cooks and cleans could also be cleaving to traditional roles. He or she might also be attached to black-and-white thinking and unable to find harmony with a partner capable of thinking clearly and speaking up accordingly. Is that what you want?
Here’s what I think: The best partner for you is someone who can tolerate your unhealthy ego. Don’t be offended. We all have unhealed wounds that interfere with our intimate relationships. So how can you meet a life partner? Let me count the ways. Some people meet the right partner when they aren’t looking. Others find love when they devote themselves to searching. Many flip through hundreds of online dating profiles to meet a match. Some people strike up a conversation with a stranger and that chat changes their life. In all of these scenarios, there is one simple key: Be ready. Love can find you anytime, anywhere. Open your heart and be available to love.