Dear Annie: I’m 67 years old, and I’ve been married for over 40 years. My marriage has never been particularly happy. Even in the beginning, I felt pressured to get married. We now have two adult children, one 46 and the other 37.
I met a woman online, and we’ve been chatting and talking for over two years now. I really like her; she’s a little immature but seems fun to be around. She is also quite a bit younger than me; she’s going to be 30 in December. I’ve told her many times I’m too old for her, but she starts to cry and insists that she does not care. We have never met, but we have discussed meeting next month.
What do you think I should do? Should I see where this goes, or am I making a huge mistake? I really want out of my marriage, but I don’t want to lose my family either. This decision is very hard for me. I really care for her, and I’m falling in love. She has told me she feels the same way. I’m so confused.
-- Unhappy for a Long Time
Dear Unhappy: First and foremost, I must caution you against the internet bots, scammers and catfishers that are out there. This situation immediately raises multiple red flags, and it is imperative that you do not share any personal information with this woman. You can never trust that someone is who they say they are when you meet them on the internet.
Now, on to your question. It sounds like you have completely given up on your marriage -- if you were ever invested in the first place. This is your wife and the mother of your children. Take the energy that you are putting into your online romance and channel it toward making things work with your wife. Start going to couples therapy. Plan a date night for the two of you. Your real life takes priority over your fake internet life, and you need to give it the attention it deserves before you give up on it. The grass is greener where you water it.
Dear Annie: I’m a widow who’s been dating a wonderful guy who treats me very well. He respects me 100%. He’s in his 50s and has always been single. He’s never been married. We’ve been seeing each other for 17 months now. The relationship is great, and our chemistry is perfect. But he doesn’t want to take it any further -- no marriage, or I’d even settle for being engaged forever.
I would like to see him take one more step. He always tells me how much he loves me, and I feel the same way about him, but I’m tired of being his girlfriend and nothing more. What do you suggest?
-- Waiting for the Commitment Ring
Dear Waiting: If you want to make your relationship work for the long haul, one of you has to be willing to compromise. Have an open, honest conversation with your boyfriend about your future and what you are and aren’t willing to budge on. If you know he cares for and is loyal to you, does it really matter whether you have a ring and a wedding to solidify it? On the other hand, if he knows he loves you and sees a serious future together, what’s the harm in taking that next step?
Ultimately, if you two are unable to land on a solution you’re both happy with, this may not be the long-term relationship for either of you.