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Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct Blow Me Blow Me Half Broke Horses The Glass Castle Steve Jobs

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    If you have a question about dating, please email me through the form on this website (you may do so anonymously) or contact me by direct message on Facebook and I will do my best to answer your question. Responses are posted every Sunday morning.

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    Entries in Dating Advice (18)


    Feeling Left Out

    Dear Lennie, I've been dating a guy for four months, after being just friends for two years, and things have become serious (and wonderful!) quickly. I have young kids and he has adult kids from previous marriages. Although he's become close to my kids and they are building a great relationship, I have yet to meet his (adult) kids. When one of his daughters graduated from college recently, I was not invited because "it would have been awkward" for his kids and ex-wife. I've been having my own pity party ever since and am feeling not only left out, but also wondering if he really means it when he says he loves me. What's your take on his avoidance of introducing me to his kids and should I bring it up with him or just stop being a big baby about it?

    Dear Left Out, I do not feel that his not introducing you to his children is a reflection of not loving you. I'm sure he's just looking for the right time and place. Even though you introduced him to your children, he may have other concerns. Little kids are a lot less judgmental about newcomers than adult children. And, it's also harder for a mother of young children to avoid introducing children to a man she's dating, because of bed times, sitters, etc... it's just bound to happen that your children would be introduced first. Inviting you to a college graduation would not be the appropriate time to introduce you, and I'm sure he probably felt that he was doing you a favor by not introducing you during a personal event like that. Graduations tend to be for family and close relatives, not for new girlfriends who have not met the children. I would think that would be an "awkward" event for you to attend, having never met any of them before. He may have had issues introducing his children to previous girlfriends and may be sparing both you and him from a lot of grief by waiting until he feels that he's ready to make a lifetime commitment to you. Further, by involving the children, he will effectively involve the ex-wife and he may be trying to avoid some drama there. My feeling is that everything is good, that there is no reason for concern, and he's just going at his pace... enjoying the honeymoon period for a while before introducing the complications of his family. I would say end the pity-party, relax and don't pressure him to meet his children. It will happen when he's ready. 

    I hope you find this advice helpful.  Good luck, deep breaths... just let it happen and don't worry about the future. Enjoy the moment. That's likely all he's trying to do :)


    I'm hooked on a feeling

    Dear lennie, I've been dating this guy for almost a year and he controls me. I'm hooked on a feeling that he's cheating on me. He talks to all these girls. He said he isn't cheating on me and says he cares about me and I'm in his heart...I really love him but I don't want to get hurt...what should I do?

    Dear Hooked On A Feeling,

    First off, a man should never control a woman. There is a saying, "if you love someone set them free, if they come back to you they're yours." While I don't know specifically in what way he controls you, a man should never make a woman feel like she has a muzzle or leash on her. Love is not about control, it's about freedom. I would say trust your instinct when it comes to cheating and betrayal. While he may not be cheating, if you are feeling controlled and you are that concerned about his behavior towards other women, then this does not sound like the right relationship for you. Find a less controlling man who you can trust, that way you'll protect yourself from getting hurt. With this guy you're currently seeing, it sounds like you are already hurt.



    Relationship Status: It's Complicated

    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.


    The Fake Wallet Draw

    Dear Lennie, At the end of a date, even if I am expecting the guy to pay, I feel like it's rude or presumptuous of me not to at least pretend to go for my wallet. What is the most graceful way to handle someone paying for you? Feeling guilty.

    Dear Guilty Girl: I don't recommend the fake wallet draw. He may take you up on it, and if you weren't actually intending to pay, you may be embarrassed if you don't have enough cash on hand. Furthermore, he may pick up on the fake draw and that's not going to impress him. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to dating and believe a man should ask a woman out and pay for the date. His manners and dating etiquette are an indication of how caring he will be as a partner. The most graceful way to handle someone paying for you is simply to say "Thank you" or, you can elaborate and say "Thank you, I had a lovely evening." If you are uncomfortable having a man pay for you, you need to examine why. It could be a lack of self-respect or self-worth that you don't feel deserving of being treated well, or it could be that you feel an obligation to take things further. Make no mistake: Your only obligation is to act like a lady. If you act like a lady, you deserved to be treated like one too. 


    Getting To "No" You

    Whenever I go on a first date, the guy always asks me on a second date. It's so rare I want to go on a second date with anyone, but it's so awkward for me to say no. How do you tell someone you’re not interested?

    Dear Not Interested,  I know the feeling. Men need to learn that they should not ask a woman for a second date at the end of the first date. Or, God forbid, in the middle of the first date. Then what? Do you say 'yes' when you mean 'no' so you can finish your steak, or do you get up and leave before dessert? Learning to say 'no' is a common problem among women, because we are raised to be pleasers and to seek the approval of men. If a man is so crass as to ask you on a second date while still on the first date and you're not interested, you should not hesitate in saying 'no'. Just say you're not feeling the chemistry you need to feel to pursue things further and thank him for the evening. Men look at everything in business terms. He's looking to close the sale by asking for another date. If you give him a mixed signal by being polite and saying anything other than 'no' you will have a harder time saying 'no' the next time he asks for something. Be firm. Men are big boys. They can handle it. And if you're never going to see him again, what do you care what he thinks of you!