Dear Lennie: I made friends with an older man (I'm 30, he's 45) who recently ended an 8 yr relationship. He flirts, sexts, and emails daily, but doesn't want to do anything physical. We have an amazing connection and spend lots of time together, but he says he's not ready for a relationship. I don't want to give up on having him in my life, but he is in my heart and mind and taking up lots of my energy. Should I stay friends until he is ready for more?
Dear Complicated, when a 45 year old man gets out of an 8-year relationship, he generally wants to be on his own for a while (read 2-3 years). Recently single, older men like to play the field and while he may flirt and show interest in you, he clearly does not want to play you, which means he respects you (a good thing). Don't give him a reason not to respect you by making yourself so available. At his age he may not want to have children or get married and he may look at a 30-year-old woman as someone who wants a family, so he could be protecting himself and protecting you from getting hurt. You may wait a very long time for him to be ready for a relationship, and there are no guarantees he'll choose you. I say be friends, but go on dates with other men and play the field yourself. If it happens with him, hooray! But, even if it does, I'd be very aware of addressing the age difference and desires to have/not have a family, marriage, etc early on so that you don't get your heart broken. Don't forget to think about the age difference later on, when you're 45 and he's 60.