One of our radiant, confident, beautiful readers, Lisa, writes to me wondering if she's wasting her time with a guy that isn't able to commit to more of a relationship with her right now.
Hi Jane -
I've been dating a man for almost a year now.
We get along great we have great chemistry we are a lot alike, he treats me well when we are together is a very nice man and we enjoy our time together. Note I have known him since I was 19. He was my brothers college roomie. My whole family knows him so it's been easy.
It caught us off guard. But we began dating recently at age 42. We both are divorced. Very similar situations. It's sorta our bond. I know what he deals with. His more recently than mine and his world is turned a bit upside down because of it. He right after we began dating had to be the full time parent to his teenagers and begin raising them. Needless to say this was a huge thing for him and for us.
The dating dynamics for us changed drastically. He is managing his kids he works like a maniac and he has tried to maintain what we have. Note we live an hour away from each other;it's a lot to manage and keep going.
Our time is limited but I like it and it works for now. It's been going nicely but I find myself wanting more eventually. When? I'm not sure. My kids are still pretty young. I don't think he can give me more at least not now.
We see each other about every weekend one night. It's been great this far and we call or text all week long. But at what point do we do more? I'm not around his kids. He said long ago they wouldn't be ready for that.
We have never discussed our feelings for each other and I have them. I'm afraid if I share them it will spook him or add more pressure to what he has we don't talk of anything about our relationship. We just enjoy eachother have fun and bond.
Do I walk away? Am I wasting my time hoping one day he will want a serious relationship w me?
We act like bf gf already but just don't discuss it. This week he mentioned he is tired of being 100% parent and working. He is burned out.
Says maybe he should go to Costa Rica and be a bartender. I didn't reply. A couple days later he sounded down I asked if he was okay he said In his words..... I'm having a hard time w life in general... Honestly I have a lot going on. I put too much pressure on myself and I need to figure myself out and chill and finds ome internal happiness and contentment. R u sorry u asked????
I didn't even know what to say. What does that mean???
So as long as this is. At age 43 wanting a relationship again and wanting someone special in my life again am I wasting my time here? Is this man depressed? Wasting my time? Not into me?
I'm so confused and sad.
I really like him and I feel he likes me. It makes me sad he said all that. Please email me with your thoughts.
It's really about what he's worth to you, Lisa. He's definitely got a lot going on his life right now, but that's not to say you can't be a part of that life, just the reality of raising teenagers and trying to be a good father and provider and all things to all people can weigh on someone and make it hard for them to take on anything more.
If you enjoy being with him, there's nothing wrong with simply enjoying your time that you do spend together and fill the rest of your life up with close friends and others you can talk to without putting pressure on him, because it doesn't sound like he's in a place to give you his best answers when it comes to meeting your needs when he can barely keep up with his own.
When comments like "bartender in Costa Rica" come up, that's your clue that he feels overwhelmed, not unlike something many of us feel at one time or another, but it is a reality check on where he's at right now, so it is something for you to consider.
He won't be raising teenagers forever, but what this is always about is you and what you're willing and not willing to put up with. He is at a different life stage right now than you. So whether that's a deal breaker for you is something only you know for sure, but again, it's the reality of what is that matters and not the fantasy of a different time or place.
Only you know if it's worth waiting for, or if you can focus your energies on other areas of your life - leaving your options open - while still having him in this one area of your life where you enjoy your time together.
If you're focusing on you more than him or "us" than what he does or doesn't do, or what mood he is in or isn't in, won't matter as much. But only you know what he's worth to you or whether what you do get from him is worth what you're aren't getting and would like to get from him.
Does that make sense?
Hope this helps a little. I know these matters of the heart are never easy decisions, but know that you also don't have to make any decisions now either. Sometimes, just shifting your focus from him to you and "us" to you can make all the difference. We sometimes expect someone to be the be all and end all to our lives, when if we get our needs met in several different places - through friendships, hobbies, passions, events, animals, children, classes, etc. - we find the answers become that much clearer.
What do you think? Is Lisa wasting her time with this man? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!