I Love My Boyfriend but He Values Money and Freedom More Than Me.

My marriage lasted for 26 years and was ultimately a very lonely place. I met someone new and exciting who I had a lot more in common with. I ended my marriage as soon as I realized what was happening, and there was no overlap.

However, I walked away from a lot of security to be with someone who is rich but has made it clear that he doesn’t want to get married and that his money is his and mine is mine.

Despite earning 5 times what I do and having no mortgage or loans, he still wants me to go halves on everything. Because of his circumstances, he actually doesn’t really have any household bills and I buy nearly all of our food. I do love him very much, we have a great time together, in a way I never did in my marriage. I also gave up my own business in order to help out with his ‘charity’ – hence low earnings. He has other income apart from work. I have left a few times, but he has always come and begged me to come back and cried.

But the finances are a sticking point, which makes me feel that this is the most important thing in his life. I am not materialistic or greedy, I just feel that for this to really have a chance, I need to be the thing that he values most or it won’t get off the starting blocks.

I am 50, he is 62. I am not afraid of being alone, or having to find another job, but I don’t want to throw away something that feels very good when it is good. But I worry about whether there is enough substance behind it.

I just want someone to tell me what to do, this has been burning a hole in my head for so long now.

-Jackie

Thanks for your question, Jackie. Sounds rough. And while I’m well-aware of the limitations of giving important relationship advice to a stranger after a 400-word email, I’m going to do what you requested and tell you exactly what to do.

But first, allow me to point out that you have fallen victim to one of the oldest dating traps around: the false dichotomy.

Allow me to point out that you have fallen victim to one of the oldest dating traps around: the false dichotomy.

You left your lonely marriage for a more exciting relationship.

Your more exciting relationship was doomed from the start because he TOLD you he doesn’t want to get married and his money is his money.

And yet you pose this question almost as if these are your only two choices in the world.

They’re not. There are an infinite number of men besides these two. And I would highly encourage you to explore a bunch of them in the not-so-distant future.

You traded comfort for passion, as many do, not accounting for the fact that there are often significant tradeoffs that come with passion. Namely, the LACK of comfort you’re currently experiencing.

That doesn’t mean you should remain trapped in a bad marriage, but it does mean you should re-evaluate what you actually want out of life.

If you’re like most people, it’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and.

You need more attraction and fun than your first marriage.
You need more security and comfort than your current relationship.

But that means you’re going to have to exit this “relationship” pronto, instead of getting seduced by how good things are when they’re good.

Great relationships are consistently good. They consistently make you happy. They provide a foundation that undergirds everything you do in life. Your man either can’t do that or won’t do that, and frankly, it doesn’t matter which.

Great relationships are consistently good. They consistently make you happy.

You put your life on hold, left your marriage, and quit your job to pursue this high-chemistry affair with a selfish, successful guy who doesn’t want to be your husband.

Now it’s time to undo that and start your next act, at age 50, with a roadmap to unconditional love. The clock is ticking and the ball is in your court.

And to any of our other readers, if you’re in a relationship where your needs aren’t getting met, you need the confidence to know that YOU CAN DO BETTER.

Join our conversation (61 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jeremy

    OP, you mentioned that you ended your marriage because you felt lonely in it, and were searching for a relationship that was different than the one you had.  However, you did not mention the circumstances of your current boyfriend.  Is he divorced?  What sort of relationship is HE looking for?  I’m going to go out on a line and assume that he is divorced – not too many successful 62 year old never-married men out there.  And if he is divorced, what was his ex-wife like?  Is he paying her alimony?  I ask because it is entirely possible that, like you, he doesn’t want a relationship like the one he used to have.  One where he was expected to pay for everything, and continue paying even once it is over.  He wants a relationship with you, but he expects a partner who pays her share.  Half.  He doesn’t want to get married because he knows that if he does, he will be responsible to continue paying for you even if the relationship ends.  Can you understand why he might not want that?

     

    I admit that I am making some assumptions here, and I might be wrong about the particulars (though the general concept applies).  The point, though, is to encourage you to introspect somewhat – exactly how do you receive love?  If your love language is Gifts – if you receive love through receiving money and presents from your partner – then you need a man who is willing to express love to you in this way.  If your love language is anything else, think about why you should assume a man should pay for more than half of what you do together, especially when you are not married to him.  What are your underlying assumptions, and how valid are they?  Do you assume that because he won’t pay more than half he doesn’t love you?  Or is his love not sufficient for you, in which case what exactly are you offering in return?

     

    You want someone to tell you what to do – I’ll have a go at it.  Before proceeding with any relationship – whether it be to pursue this one, or to pursue someone else (as Evan suggests) – try understanding yourself first.  Your assumptions.  Your desires.  How you receive love, and what you intend to offer.  I think you’ll find your relationships (and your ability to evaluate them) will improve.

    1. 1.1
      Kevin

      Well said 👍🏾

    2. 1.2
      Chris

      I agree, I fail to see how he is selfish, or how he’s done anything particularly wrong. At this point in his life he is, understandably, unwilling to take on any new financial commitments. He told her, unequivocally, that their’s would be an egalitarian relationship. She mentions buying food, but I’m sure (as someone pointed out) he compensates her with something equivalent in value.

      Apparently she didn’t believe him. She seemed to assume that once she was with him, he would change his mind and start sharing his money with her and perhaps even marry her. She mentions leaving her job for a charity job working for him. Did she do this on the assumption he would change on his mind, perhaps out of a sense of responsibility towards her, and start providing generously for her?

      This relationships is not good for either of them, she needs to walk away.

    3. 1.3
      Maryjane

      Evan didn’t miss this point – it was Jackie writing in, not the man she’s dating asking for advice. This about the mismatch of his intentions and her needs. He was honest in his disclosure about what he was willing and not willing to give. the problem here is that Jackie believes if she loves him enough, gives more and sacrifices – he’ll change to meet her needs. and that’s unfair to him and to her. Brilliant as always, Evan is gently guiding Jackie to get clear about what she wants and not compromise her needs for love. #nomorenicegal

  2. 2
    Tom10

    @ Jackie (the op)
    “Despite earning 5 times what I do and having no mortgage or loans, he still wants to go halves on everything…I buy nearly all of our food.”
     
    Why are you buying all the food if he wants to go halves on everything? It doesn’t sound like he wants to go halves in this relationship, he wants to go less; send him a bill for his 50% of the food and see how he reacts. Lol.

    1. 2.1
      Emily, the original

      Tom10,

      send him a bill for his 50% of the food and see how he reacts. Lol.

      Yes. Or send him a bill for blowjobs and see how he responds! LOL

      Maybe it’s what Jeremy wrote. He’s divorced and doesn’t want to end up paying for someone in the event of a divorce. Fine. Then they shouldn’t marry. But if has a lot more money than she does and she is working a job to help him in a non-profit, which is notoriously underpaid, surely he could contribute a bit more to the things they do together. (I don’t mean support her or even live with her.)

      P.S. Anytime you’re ready to acquiesce to our challenge … let me know.  🙂

      1. 2.1.1
        Tom10

        @ Emily, the original #2.1
        “send him a bill for blowjobs and see how he responds! LOL”
         
        Hehe; I have a vision of the two of them sitting at the kitchen table with their reading-glasses, calculators and ledgers totting up who owes the other what:
         
        Jackie: “I made you a sandwich yesterday; I’ll write that in as $5”
        Her boyfriend: “okay, have you included for the journey from the airport? That’s equivalent to $14 taxi-fare”.
        Jackie: “fine, that’s tax deductible so I’ll debit that charge to the travel expenses sub-section.”
        Boyfriend: “agreed; I’ll have my accountant double-check my figures and you can reimburse me the balance by close of business Friday”.
         
        Haha; in all seriousness though successful relationships involve give-and-take; this one doesn’t seem to.
         
        “P.S. Anytime you’re ready to acquiesce to our challenge … let me know”
         
        I’m still game-on Emily; I was very tempted last week to forgo a few points and write some comments about my favorite topics in the thread involving Karl and YAG; then it all got very personal so I stayed out to fight another day. I’ve been impressed with your commitment to the task so far (I’ve been watching). 😉

        1. Shaukat

           and write some comments about my favorite topics in the thread involving Karl and YAG; then it all got very personal so I stayed out to fight another day

          Actually interesed to hear your thoughts on that exchange/topic, Tom. Please comment.

        2. Tom10

          @ Shaukat
          “Actually interesed to hear your thoughts on that exchange/topic, Tom. Please comment”.
           
          Oh boy, that’s a loaded question.
           
          I suppose there’s a prurient curiosity in observing someone taking on the resident alpha isn’t there? I’m impressed when anyone takes on the main man at the risk of savage put-down; so kudos to YAG for that. Few people – in any walk in life – have the balls to have a go at someone who can hit back as hard, if not harder, so there’s always a grudging admiration when someone goes for it; it’s so much easier to have a go at softer targets, as you know their feeble retorts will feel “like being savaged by a dead sheep,” to quote a British politician.
           
          I’d love if there was way we could score the more heated discussions, just to add some competitive spice to the proceedings. Maybe an idea for another blog? One thing debating participants need to avoid, however, is resorting to ad-hominem attacks; as doing so is effectively a tap-out in the eyes of those of us simply eating pop-corn and enjoying the fight.
           
          (On an amusing note YAG’s musings on syncopation reminded me of the episode of Friends when Joey wanted to sound intelligent, so he bought the encyclopedia volume letter “V” and randomly started discussing topics beginning with the letter V in the middle of conversations. Interesting stuff but, eh, relevance?)
           
          This blog seems to attract a lot of stereotypical “alpha” types doesn’t it? Even the gentler contributors – with the notable exception of Tron who seems to delight in being an anti-alpha – tend to view themselves as alpha, “go get-‘em” types. I guess it’s then natural for such a group to periodically attempt to out-alpha each other.
           
          What did you think of it Shaukat?  I’m curious to know why you’re curious to know my thoughts on the exchange, lol.

        3. Emily, the original

          Hello Thomas10,

          Haha; in all seriousness though successful relationships involve give-and-take; this one doesn’t seem to.

          Yeah, this guy sounds really clenched. People who are super tight with their money tend to be super tight with their emotions. He doesn’t have to support her, but why is she paying for all the groceries if he is making 5x what she is? Surely he can kick in for some movie tickets or a dinner. All I can say is … and I’m aware I’m on thin ice … he must really know how to lay it down. I’m still game-on Emily; I was very tempted last week to forgo a few points and write some comments about my favorite topics in the thread involving Karl and YAG; 

          I had to sit on my hands last week so I wouldn’t respond to a YAG comment about how women respond to emotional and intellectual chemistry. But the temporary high of an impulsive moment won’t outweigh the exuberance I will feel when I win our challenge. My eyes are on the prize.  🙂

        4. Shaukat

          What did you think of it Shaukat?  I’m curious to know why you’re curious to know my thoughts on the exchange, lol.

          I like reading Yag’s posts, but in this case the exchange was done as soon as he stated that dancing was a ‘feminine’ activity. I don’t see how anyone can argue that in the current (or even previous) cultural contexts. That said, I’m not even sure he was trying to debate-some of his comments pertaining to age difference and feminine thinking seemed to be designed to needle and nothing else.

          As to why I wanted to hear your views, well, you mentioned you had some thoughts on the topic, and I enjoy reading your clinical dissections of dating behavior. I’m not sure if you’re able to maintain such a rational and clinical demeanor when actually dating, but your online analysis is always interesting.

          Btw, have you ever read the Misc dating forum (bodybuilding.com)? I recently read a thread there where the members posted a photo of a 4/10 guy who was dating a 8.5/10 girl, and the participants were all debating whether it was legit or she was after money/status. I bring it up because it reminded me of your and Emily’s debates on here about looks.

          The thread is hilarious, so I’ll leave it here for you or anyone who wants the lols. Warning though, not for the faint of heart:)

          https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=165955461

           

        5. Karl R

          Shaukat said (to Tom10):

          “I’m not sure if you’re able to maintain such a rational and clinical demeanor when actually dating,”

          I’ll hazard a guess.

          Tom10 probably doesn’t stay quite that rational and clinical when he’s in the moment … but in the moments between, his internal monologue is probably quite analytical and clinical, which keeps him on a far more even emotional keel than most people can manage.

           

          Tom10 said:

          “This blog seems to attract a lot of stereotypical ‘alpha’ types doesn’t it? Even the gentler contributors – with the notable exception of Tron who seems to delight in being an anti-alpha – tend to view themselves as alpha, ‘go get-‘em’ types.”

          I would think that most people (save those with exceptionally poor self-esteem) have some area where they view themselves as “alpha”, or better than average, even if it’s not the typical social arenas.

          I suspect that Tron still views himself as superior.  He sees himself as morally superior for not compromising who he “really is” just to compete.  It’s the main point that he keeps trying to make.

        6. Tom10

          @ Shaukat
          “I’m not sure if you’re able to maintain such a rational and clinical demeanor when actually dating,”
           
          @ Karl R
          “Tom10 probably doesn’t stay quite that rational and clinical when he’s in the moment … but in the moments between”
           
          I think one’s dating “demeanor” is similar to confidence and insecurity in that it’s a relative quality and situational dependent. Theodora recently made an astute comment that an individual can be secure/confident when dating one person, yet suddenly become insecure when dating another; so confidence is relative to who we’re dating, rather than being an inner constant that psychologists might lead us to believe (look at me out-analysing the psychologists).
           
          I remember back in my competitive piano days I used to struggle with severe stage-fright. The key to an impressive performance (and dating) is to be confident; but *how* does one be confident if one…isn’t? So I spent an ordinate amount of time trying to parse, analyse and artificially generate this intangible quality “confidence”.
           
          After some thought I concluded that confidence is the belief in future success generated from past success. But where it gets interesting is that the “quality,” or “level,” from which the previous success was generated is the crucial variable when considering future success; when we proceed to a “higher-quality” situation our insecurity can be predicted to return as we have no inherent basis on which to found our belief.
           
          So to prepare for the big competitions I’d play at a lower-level concerts, often to kids, where I knew I was the best in the room, and then slowly build up until I was stretching; then, lo-and-behold, my heart-beat would begin to race, pedal-foot begin to twitch and the nerves would start to kick back in again.
           
          I think the same physiological actors are at play whilst dating: one’s confidence, or “demeanor”, is directly contingent on whom one is dating relative to those they’ve dated in their past. So I can maintain a perfectly “rational and clinical demeanor” with someone I know I’m better than; however, when I meet my match I can be predicted to lose my cool and become emotional. And, unfortunately, this prediction plays out no matter how hard I try to counter it. That’s what those butterflies in our tummies are; most of us know this on some level which is why we’re all so addicted to chasing them.
           
          “Btw, have you ever read the Misc dating forum (bodybuilding.com)?”
           
          Not until now. 🙂
           
          “I recently read a thread there where the members posted a photo of a 4/10 guy who was dating a 8.5/10 girl, and the participants were all debating whether it was legit or she was after money/status.”
           
          I’m currently prevented from commenting on looks and appearance due to an on-going challenge I have with Ms. Emily so I’ll have to postpone my thoughts on that blog-post until another day unfortunately!
           
          @ Emily, the original
          “All I can say is … and I’m aware I’m on thin ice … he must really know how to lay it down”
           
          So…so…close…
           
          It’s so difficult isn’t it? It’s only when we’re forced to self-censor our thoughts that we realize how entrenched our long-standing dating viewpoints are! 😉

        7. Emily, the original

          Thomas10,

          This blog seems to attract a lot of stereotypical “alpha” types doesn’t it? 

          I wonder how you feel about the idea that it actually takes tremendous strength, for example, for a gay man to come out and be who he is. Maybe more strength than it does to be on the alphas.

        8. Jeremy

          @Tom re: Confidence….  Confidence is simply self-directed optimism, when boiled down to basics.  There’s an excellent TED talk by a neuroscientist named Talia Sharot  https://www.ted.com/talks/tali_sharot_the_optimism_bias

           

          She talks about how there is a part of the brain which differs on the left and right side, and when one side is dominant the individual views the world through rose-tinted glasses (ie. optimism), while if the other side is dominant the individual tends to be more realistic.  Interestingly, she notes that in depressed individuals the optimistic side is inhibited and the depressed individual often views the world in far more realistic terms than most people…..which is not compatible with leading a happy life.

           

          The reason I bring this up is that some people are born naturally confident (ie. self-optimistic) for no good reason at all, while other people are born more realistic and require some basis upon which to build confidence.  The person who needs good experiences to develop confidence is fundamentally different from the person who is naturally confident.  And I’ve written over and over that confidence is a TERRIBLE heuristic for what people (and especially women) believe it to mean.  I know a physics professor who is very confident when lecturing about physics, but not in social situations – his personality and his reasons are logical.  I know a man who is generally confident, not so much because his has training or competence at any given thing, but because he is optimistic and his tactical skills are generally good.  I know a man who is confident and always smiling because he believes himself to be lucky and beloved by God.  And I know a man who is confident because his parents and family have always told him he is brilliant, leading to horrible narcissism.  All of these people act confidently in various circumstances.  What their confidence signifies about them differs terribly.

        9. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
           “How do you respond to shouted demands and a ringing servant bell? When you lose, you’ll be expected to come to my neck of the woods. I like the ice in my Diet Cokes refreshed every 30 minutes.”
           
          Haha, deal. What will you do if I win? 😉
           
          “I wonder how you feel about the idea that it actually takes tremendous strength, for example, for a gay man to come out and be who he is. Maybe more strength than it does to be on the alphas.”
           
          Well I think most straight guys like to view themselves as having some alpha qualities; being seen by others as being alpha however? That’s another matter. Therefore, agreed; it doesn’t take any strength to “be on the alphas”.
           
          I don’t think that coming out as gay is really that challenging anymore as homosexuality is so widely accepted as normal and reasonable, and most of the social consequences for doing so no longer apply; few people (that I know of) openly have a problem with it. However, coming out as a bi-sexual man? Now, that’s the taboo no-one likes to discuss. I read this interesting article the other day:
           
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5497267/No-one-100-straight-Study-says-sexuality-spectrum.html
           
          So apparently there’s no such thing as 100% straight yet I don’t think I actually know any openly bi-sexual people, particularly men. Why is that? Because, I assume, there are still real tangible deleterious consequences for doing so. My opinion is that male bi-sexuality is an automatic deal-breaker for the vast majority of women (understandably so, to an extent); however, the result of this female preference is that men won’t come out as bi-sexual as doing so severely limits their dating pool; they’d be stupid to. Do you agree/disagree?
           
          However, I don’t believe many men would have as much of a problem dating a bi-sexual woman, (wahay…let’s have threesomes with your girlfriends!); therefore I anticipate a rise in openly bi-sexual women going forward, but bi men will likely remain in the closet for some time to come. That would take real strength. Your thoughts?
           
          @ Jeremy
          “The reason I bring this up is that some people are born naturally confident (ie. self-optimistic) for no good reason at all, while other people are born more realistic and require some basis upon which to build confidence.  The person who needs good experiences to develop confidence is fundamentally different from the person who is naturally confident”
           
          That’s interesting. I remember once reading some scientists/sociologists discussing the propensity towards depression for some people and not others. Apparently something like 50% of people can’t become depressed, no matter how dire their circumstances, and the other 50%, to varying degrees, are susceptible depending on lifestyle/circumstances. Genetics no doubt. Maybe confidence is similar? Is there a confidence gene?
           
          The real question though is, for those unlucky to lack innate confidence, what tangible tools can they implement to build confidence? I guess that’s where the techniques I previously mentioned become useful.
           
          “All of these people act confidently in various circumstances.  What their confidence signifies about them differs terribly”
           
          “I’ve written over and over that confidence is a TERRIBLE heuristic for what people (and especially women) believe it to mean.”
           
          Well I suppose for those people who require a basis upon which to build confidence their current confidence level is direct proof of their previous dating success/lack of success. I.e. it’s proof that they’re “high-quality” (in a dating sense) or not. Which is the real reason women find it attractive isn’t it? They subconsciously infer that a confident man is a high-quality man because his confidence is proof that he’s had previous success with women?

        10. Shaukat

          On the issue of confidence, I fully agree with Tom. He has essentially outlined what the psychologists refer to as exposure therapy. Confidence stems from past successes; by racking up minor victories in incremental steps, we accumulate small triumphs which we can then tap into in the future. Even if someone is governed by natural optimism, which may have a basis in neuro chemistry, such optimism would likely be battered out of them in the face of repeated failures. To believe otherwise is to embrace philosophical idealism. In fact, when people talk about ‘natural confidence,’ what they are really doing is conflating extroversion with confidence, which is a mistake: extroverts have many insecurities, they are simply manifested in a different fashion. 

        11. Jeremy

          Hi Shaukat.  To address your comment, I wanted to raise a few points.  First, I agree that many people mistake extroversion for confidence.  While I enjoyed the book “Quiet, the power of introverts in an extroverted world” by Susan Cain, I felt that throughout the book she conflated introversion with shyness and with intuitiveness, and conflated extroversion with confidence.  I am very careful not to do so.  When I write about confidence, confidence is what I’m talking about, not extroversion.  And confidence is a self-directed optimism which can exist regardless of position on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.

           

          Second, I disagree with your point about natural confidence being battered out of someone due to negative experience.  I’ve observed many, many naturally self-optimistic people whose self-confidence was never battered out of them.  I vividly recall thinking about what amazing dumbasses they were to never learn…..but the problem is that objective outcomes can be so easily influenced by subjectivity.  What I mean is that a confident person can invest money in the stock market and his confidence won’t help him one bit.  But his confidence will help him with interpersonal relationships.  It will help him get dates, who are attracted to confidence regardless of its substance.  It will help him get jobs and succeed with clients.  Because people are stupid and rely so heavily on confidence as a heuristic.  And even if this were not true, people with rose-tinted glasses (naturally self-optimistic people) will still maintain confidence, because they totally lack introspection to assess their position in the world. If you think about it, this is an evolutionarily adaptive mechanism.  If we think too much about our real, actual place in this world, it is too easy to get depressed.

           

          As an addendum, I met recently with a financial advisor to consider some investments.  He gave me a great show of how amazing he is at predicting the market.  I smiled, having throughly digested Nassim Taleb’s work on the matter, and asked him why he was so confident.  He replied that he had a great track record.  I then asked, “But didn’t you just give me a disclaimer that history is not necessarily indicative of future?”  He looked baffled, and just replied that he was confident.  Idiot.  Yet how many people would take his advice and believe him?  Including himself?

        12. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          “I don’t think that coming out as gay is really that challenging anymore as homosexuality is so widely accepted as normal and reasonable, and most of the social consequences for doing so no longer apply;”

          What I meant was … it takes balls to be who you are. Gay or straight. It takes no balls to do what everyone else is doing and follow the pack. I don’t think it takes balls to rule the pack, either. Maybe leadership skills. But to be outside the pack and do your own thing? That’s strength. So the topic on the other thread was dancing. Some men say it’s feminine but WOMEN like it, and who’s your core audience? What do you care what other guys think?

          “So apparently there’s no such thing as 100% straight yet I don’t think I actually know any openly bi-sexual people, particularly men. Why is that?”

          I knew a fair number in my 20s, but my best friend was a gay man and I was involved in a lot of theatre. It was actually fairly common for guys to come out as bi and, a bit later, say they were gay.

          “My opinion is that male bi-sexuality is an automatic deal-breaker for the vast majority of women (understandably so, to an extent);”

          Which is strange because so many rock stars openly play with their sexuality and women fantasize about rock stars. But, no, the vast majority of women don’t want to date a bi man.   

          “I anticipate a rise in openly bi-sexual women going forward”

          When I was in college, a lot of the women said they were bi. It was trendy at the time and I thought many were posing.

          But, in all earnestness, my idea of the sexuality spectrum is there are about 25% straight people, 25% gay and about 50% of every possible variation.

        13. Tron Swanson

          Karl,

          I personally think that an unwillingness to compromise one’s identity is a strength, but I don’t think that it makes me “superior” to anyone. And others would obviously disagree, saying that compromise is healthy and necessary.

          I don’t really play these sorts of hierarchy/ego games. I’ve never been into the whole “status” thing, so I don’t get anything out of being competitive or trying to talk myself up.

      2. 2.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Tom10,

        I’m currently prevented from commenting on looks and appearance due to an on-going challenge I have with Ms. Emily so I’ll have to postpone my thoughts on that blog-post until another day unfortunately!

        You’re damn right you are.  🙂 How do you respond to shouted demands and a ringing servant bell? When you lose, you’ll be expected to come to my neck of the woods. I like the ice in my Diet Cokes refreshed every 30 minutes. 

    2. 2.2
      Lisa

      I actually know several couples that live together and do this, when one person’s income is a lot higher.   She or he buys groceries, as its a way to contribute but something they can afford.  I am unclear though if they live together or not?   Is he covering all living expenses? And what are they going half on?

  3. 3
    Gala

    You really can’t hold it against a 62 yo guy that he doesn’t want to get married at this point in his life. He’s likely already raised a family and has taken care of his estate planning, and legal marriage at this point would just through a monkey wrench into this whole thing. And why would the OP want to get married unless she wants to be financially supported? There’s just NO other reason. She should read the situation for what it is: the guy is saying “i like you and like spending time with you, but I do not wish to make you my financial responsibility for the rest of my life, nor do I wish to share what I’ve earned and saved before you even entered the picture”. I don’t think that’s unreasonable at all. The OP can take it or leave it. For two independent adults with no kids in common or on the horizon (as is the case), it is really not that hard to figure out cohabitation agreement/budget.

    With that said, this guy really can’t expect any sacrifices from her side either if that’s his stance (such as her quitting her job for him). Though it doesn’t sound like he asked for it, more like the OP “volunteered” in the hopes that he’d support her (and that backfired). Basically, the OP needs to grow up, support herself like the rest of us do, and separate the wallet from the romance.. welcome to the 21st century reality.

  4. 4
    Karl R

    Jackie said (original letter):

    “[He] has made it clear that he doesn’t want to get married and that his money is his and mine is mine.”

    “I also gave up my own business in order to help out with his ‘charity’ – hence low earnings.”

    Did the job working for his charity pay better than your business?  If not, that was a terrible career move.

    This ties into the false dichotomy Evan was talking about.  Unless the charity job is the best possible job you can find, you shouldn’t be working there.  (Even if it is the best possible job you can find, there’s some added job instability when your job can end if your relationship does.  I don’t invest in my employer, because it’s putting too many eggs in the same basket.)

    If you decide to keep dating this man, then you need to start being a lot more serious about your financial future.  You’ll be stuck with that far longer than you’ll be with this man.

     

    Jackie said (original letter):

    “he still wants me to go halves on everything.”

    “I buy nearly all of our food.”

    And … he reimburses you for half of the food?

    If you’re going halves on everything, then it’s halves on everything.

    1. 4.1
      N

      The “going halve on everything..” system is flawed, at least for some. I once dated a 50 year old man (I’m early 40s) he retired at 40 when he sold his business for xx millions of dollars. He is the same way as the OPs boyfriend— doesn’t want to get married, doesn’t want a girlfriend he needs to take of financially, been married twice and both women didn’t have a career. He now wants an independent, hot/attractive woman, smart, very well educated, who makes a great living, who has her act together as he calls it.

      That said, I thought about it long and hard before I invest and continue dating this man. If we were to live together, he lives in $3 million home (I live in 995K home) I am not willing to pay half of his hefty mortgage. The list goes on.

      The most important point is, one must never sacrifice, quit her job or business for a man as one of the commenters stated.

      I’m a C-level executive and getting to where I’m at took years of working hard. As much as my ex-BF made my heart flutter! It wasn’t enough to quit my job or invest in a dead end relationship. Good luck OP!

  5. 5
    Clare

    Jackie,

     

    I would say that not only do you need a new relationship (or to be single for a while), you also need a backbone and some boundaries.

    Giving up your business because he offers you a job at his charity? Eek! I wouldn’t be too keen on giving up my independence for a man who has made it clear that he doesn’t plan to be there for me in any way financially. In fact, I wouldn’t give up my financial independence regardless, but if I did, it would only be within a marriage where we were on the same page about finances.

    And buying all the food? Why are you doing that? I have actually got quite good at having the uncomfortable conversation about money and what things cost with men and with my friends. You should be able to say, calmly and matter-of-factly, “please will you buy the groceries this time. I will get them next time.” Or, “I am going to the shops to get food, it should cost _________. Could you please contribute?”

    I’ve yet to find a man who responds negatively to this, and if he does, it should be a warning bell.

    Jackie, if a man is stingy with his money, it usually spills over into other areas. Is he mean-spirited in other ways? It concerns me that you do not seem to have the self-worth to speak up and to want better for yourself, and that you get lured in by his “crying and begging.” I would urge you to examine your own love for yourself.

  6. 6
    Jeremy

    Re: the food, I assumed that she is paying for all the food because he is paying for something else of equivalent value (eg. lodgings, etc).  So no point in her telling him to pay for half the food if he will only then ask her to pay for half the rent value.  Given that this guy wants to divide things fiscally, I find it extremely unlikely that he is trying to take advantage of her by having her pay for all the food.  Far more likely IMHO is that he is trying to prevent himself from being taken advantage of.

     

    And yes, her quitting her job to work for his charity sounds like a horrible idea for so many reasons.  You can’t get a man to marry you by guilting him into it.

    1. 6.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Jeremy

      Far more likely IMHO is that he is trying to prevent himself from being taken advantage of.

      That is what I assumed.  She made no mention of paying any other living costs.  Her problem is that she wants to be kept.

      In my humble opinion, Jackie was lured into this arrangement via the female tendency to engage in hypergamy.  She thought that she was trading up while getting passion in the deal.  Why else would a woman date a man 12 years her senior?  We can discuss love all we want, but that is a significant age difference.  She can get a much younger man. How charming/desirable would this man be without being rich? The point of contention is that she wants to be a kept woman, and this man wants nothing to do with that deal.

      Now, giving up her business to work at his charity was bad move financially. This man is not going to marry her.  If I were in his shoes, I would not do it either.  He has what he wants while protecting his net worth.  Maybe, just maybe, Jackie should consider looking for an equal if she wants to be treated as an equal. Hypergamy is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways.

      1. 6.1.1
        Lisa

        I agree thats’ exactly what he is doing, and is expected in his age range.  My Mom is the age of the man, and she said when people have been divorced, or single for that long, at that age, that’s just how it goes.  And I cannot say this man’s instinct to protect himself is unfounded.  She seems to want him to take care of her.

    2. 6.2
      Lisa

      I assumed this as well, that food was all she covered as far as living expenses.

  7. 7
    KK

    I have left a few times, but he has always come and begged me to come back and cried.”

    No kidding? Lol

    Yes, because he knows he will never again  be able to find the sweetheart deal he currently has with you.

    Reverse this scenario for a moment, Jackie. Imagine you’re alone and haven’t dated for awhile… A nice guy comes along who shows interest. Maybe he’s not really your type, you’re not really all that attracted to him, but he’s persistent in his efforts. It’s obvious he’s crazy about you but you have no desire to be in a committed relationship with this guy, even though he’s kind, consistent, you have fun together, and enjoy the attention. I bet you’d have no problem enforcing boundaries.

    1. 7.1
      Jeremy

      But is that necessarily the situation here, KK?  Is it necessarily that he isn’t all that into her, otherwise he’d be willing to pay for everything himself?  Or might it just be that he got burned once and now wants a different kind of relationship?  Just as she does, compared to what she had when married?

       

      Imagine a man who tried to win the affections of his first wife by bending over backward to please her with his efforts and his money, only to discover that without those herculean efforts, her attraction to him was minimal.  Might such a man be reluctant to repeat his past mistakes and search for someone who wants him, rather than the things he does or provides?  Who is willing to be with him on an even basis?  She isn’t “wrong” for equating money with love, but she might be wrong for him.

       

      And if he was so incredibly into her that he was willing to provide the lion’s share of the money and effort, what would happen once hedonic adaptation sets into the relationship?  If he then scaled back his efforts to something more equitable, would she start feeling “very lonely in the relationship?”

      1. 7.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Jeremy

        There is being protective of one’s assets and then there is being cheap.  This man is being cheap.  If he truly does not have much in the way of living expenses and earns five times what she earns, then purchasing groceries for two people is a pittance. This man can afford to be generous. The reason why this man is doing what he is doing is because Jackie is allowing it to occur.  Hypergamy is blinding her to this reality.  Jackie needs to heed Evan’s tough love.  She desires comfort and passion. This man is never going to make her comfortable.  She is just wasting very valuable time with him.  Anyone who has spent time on a dating site knows that a woman’s ability to attract a new mate drops every year after age 50 due to the increasing single female to single male ratio.  By age 60, that ratio is 2:1.

      2. 7.1.2
        KK

        “But is that necessarily the situation here, KK?”

        I believe it is. But even if it isn’t, does it really matter? Her needs are not being met either way.

        Let’s say you’re right, and Jackie tries to be understanding of his position. Then we still have a “relationship” where one person is happy with the status quo and one isn’t.

        If you were single and dating a woman who refused to have sex with you, does it matter why? Even if she has a really good reason that you can empathize with, are you going to stick around hoping she’ll eventually change her mind?

        As far as hedonic adaptation, I believe it cuts both ways.

        1. Jeremy

          No doubt, she shouldn’t remain with him.  His reasons don’t matter, as you say.  My suggestion was for the OP to understand her own motivations – her own love language, her own needs.  Hedonic adaptation does indeed cut both ways….yet partners who care about each other try to minimize its effects.  So in this case, if he isn’t trying to meet her needs, I suppose it stands to reason that he doesn’t care enough about them.  And similarly, if she doesn’t care enough about his desire for financial equality, she doesn’t care enough about him.  One can not have a relationship and only expect one’s partner to need what one thinks they should need.  They need what they DO need, regardless of what we think they should.

        2. KK

          I agree, Jeremy.

  8. 8
    Michelle H.

    Top-notched response, Evan.  Really impressed with it, Thank you.

  9. 9
    John

    To leave a marriage that you are lonely in and to jump right to a seemingly better situation is the problem.

    I’ve done it with jobs before and thought the grass was greener at the new job.

    You may make more money, but work more hours. Your boss may be more friendly, but your commute is two hours.

    All relationships, jobs, etc. are flawed and could be improved by a change of one’s own paragidm.

    The dominant culture now says if you are unhappy, lonely or unfulfilled, you should leave and find someone else. Of course, there are times where this is appropriate; however, I think it is the easy way out instead of doing the hard work to repair the relationship.

    If you aren’t happy in a marriage, it may be better to ask yourself how you are contributing to your problems in the marriage.

    1. 9.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @John

      The problem is that it takes two to repair a marriage.  Often, the other person does not want to rekindle passion in a marriage.  They are happy with comfort.  There are a lot of loveless/sexless comfort marriages.  Why do you think that people are resorting to open marriages/polyamory? It is because they do not want to give up comfort to get passion.  It takes a metric truckload of work to maintain passion in a marriage, especially past the 10-year mark.

  10. 10
    Theodora

    What I don’t understand at all from this story is the psychological profile of this man.

    So: we have a man who told her categorically that he doesn’t want to marry her, who keeps score judiciously of the money spent on her and who wants a relationship on his terms. So far, so good: this is the classic profile of the man who’s not that into her or who DGAF, because life is good with or without her anyway.

    But then, he keeps begging her (while crying, no less!) to come back every time she leaves??? The two things just don’t add up, IMO.

    The only explanations I can find for the extremely incongruent psychological profile of this man are: a) a lot of important things regarding the circumstances and the dynamic of their relationship are absent from this story); b) the beggings and cryings are exaggerated, to the point where most of them are just in her imagination or c) this man suffers from a rare, maybe unique mental disorder that makes him act like Gordon Gekko when they are together, and like Lloyd Dobbler as soon as she tries to leave.

    1. 10.1
      Nissa

      Wow, I find myself in agreement with Theodora for once. This seems like a situation where she needs to follow Evan’s advice of “Ignore the positives, believe the negatives”.

  11. 11
    S.

    You put your life on hold, left your marriage, and quit your job to pursue this high-chemistry affair with a selfish, successful guy who doesn’t want to be your husband.

    That’s it in a nutshell. I understand what you did.  You had been married for years. You saw that this guy might be more compatible than your husband so you figured you’d go all in and you’d guys would marry eventually.  Only problem is is he’s not your husband.  But I get why you did it. You were fresh from a 26-year marriage used to being a wife.

    But Evan is right. This isn’t even as much about the money. He doesn’t want to be your husband.  Full stop.  I have to believe that a 62-year-old knows his own mind so if he was very clear about that, believe it.  The crying and pleading is just affect. He likes how things are right now.  But he can’t have things this way and still have you.  Nothing wrong with what he wants, btw.  But it’s not what you want.  Focus on you and improving your own life.

    You left security but unfortunately this guy isn’t security, either.  You are your own security, Jackie.  You can find a better guy who actually wants to marry you but, maybe stand on your own first.  You’re not afraid to find a new job and probably have great skills. Do it!  Stop giving him the privilege of being his ‘ride or die’ wife when he really doesn’t want to be your husband.

  12. 12
    Yet Another Guy

    I still do not see where the sticking point is with respect to his money being his money and her money being her money.  There is nothing wrong with that arrangement.  I still believe that picking up the grocery bill given the fact that he earns substantially more and has little to no other living expenses.  However, I do not believe that that is what Jackie truly desires.  The more I re-read her letter, the clearer it becomes that Jackie is either consciously or subconsciously gold digging.  In that regard, I agree with Jeremy’s assessment that the man probably wants to be loved for who he is not for what he can provide.  A lot of modern women seem to want equality when it is beneficial and traditional gender roles when it does not.  Women cannot have it both ways.  Men never expect to have anything handed to them. I do not know a single man who would feel that he was entitled to a woman’s assets in exchange for his love if the roles were reversed.

    1. 12.1
      Jeremy

      I don’t know about this, YAG.  Many women IME equate being loved with being cared for financially by a man.  But they aren’t gold-diggers necessarily.  I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating – every woman I’ve ever met with this mindset wanted to reciprocate in her way.  Wanted to be a mother of children.  Wanted to take care of the social life.  Wanted to provide emotional support.  Cared for the elderly family members.  Took care of the hundred minute daily details that the husband would have missed.  Had no desire to sit around all day eating bonbons and leering at the pool-boy.

       

      The problem here isn’t necessarily that the OP is a gold-digger.  Rather, what she wants to receive is not what he wants to give, even though what she wants to give is likely what he wants to receive.  It is a mismatch, but only from her perspective.  So she needs to be the one to end it because he has no impetus to do so.

      1. 12.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Jeremy

        Many women IME equate being loved with being cared for financially by a man.

        Gold digging by another name is still gold digging.  I dated a string of gold diggers before I married. The thing about my ex-wife that got my attention was that she was the first women I dated who so much as paid for coffee.  I was completely floored when she picked up the tab for our second date, which was a rather expensive restaurant.  People ask how a man can marry a woman who does not give him the male equivalent of the “gina tingles.”  Well, how about a woman who treats a man like he is not an ATM machine?  What my ex-wife taught me was to never settle for woman who is not willing to pull her fair share of the financial burden in a relationship. There is little difference in my mind between keeping a woman who provides sex and paying a prostitute for sex these days because the social contract that men enjoyed fifty years ago in exchange for provisioning a woman no longer exists.  Women want to hold onto the anachronism known as chivalry when the mere suggestion that a woman should remain chaste results in a man being labeled as a misogynist.  Women want to eat their cake and have it too.  Chastity existed to instill paternity confidence.  Today, many married men are raising children that they believe are theirs, but are actually children fathered by other men.  Anyone who believes that paternity fraud is not a growing problem is living in a cave.  If I were a young man today, I would insist on DNA testing at birth.

         

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Let’s just say it would have been slightly awkward to ask my wife for DNA testing, and any man who does should probably not be married. Again, it’s not that false paternity doesn’t happen; it’s that it’s sad to live your life with such paranoia. It’s full trust or no trust – regardless of gender.

    2. 12.2
      Theodora

      I think the mentality “sex in exchange of resources” exists in various degrees in the vast, overwhelming majority of women, so much that the ones who don’t have it at all can be called unicorns. It’s ingrained in us like the cravings for sexual variety and attraction to youth, cues of fertility and beauty are ingrained in men. Of course, they exist on a spectrum, with differences from person to person, but overall, AWALT and AMALT.

      Arguing against what men and women are evolutionarily moulded to want is a waste of time and energy. Reason doesn’t work, shaming doesn’t work either.

      What I dislike in stories like this is the hypocrisy, dishonesty and lack of introspection, not the fact that she wants to be a kept woman, because millions of women want the same thing anyway. I left my marriage because it was a lonely place to be – nope, you left your marriage because you believed you found an alpha provider, it’s just that the new man is too smart and wisened by life to dance to your tune. I left my career to help him with his non-profit – nope, you left the exhausting rat race which is the modern job market for a fancy unstressful kinda job, in hopes that your new man will finance your lifestyle whatever you choose, too bad he could see through you. Etc.

       

    3. 12.3
      Noquay

      YAG

      You need to come to Colorado mountain towns and check out the older men. We women owe them everything just because they’ve lived here forever and we are newbies

  13. 13
    Clare

    I feel really sorry for Jackie in this letter.

    In many ways it is the exact false dichotomy that Evan was talking about. She left her unhappy marriage, thinking she could just trade her husband in for someone who seemed like a better fit.

    But she has not dated in 26 years and maybe does not realise that not every man she dates wants to marry her or provide for her like her husband did. Her boyfriend’s reasons for not wanting to do so are neither here nor there. Personally, I get the feeling from her letter that she didn’t quite believe him when he said he didn’t want to get married or pay for more than half. I think she probably felt he would come around or would want to reward her for her loyalty. Sadly, I’ve seen this kind of co-dependent thinking in many marriages and long-term relationships.

    It’s a sad lesson for Jackie to have to learn that instead of hoping, praying, waiting or trying to persuade him into wanting to marry her or contribute more financially, she is going to have to find her strength and self-love from somewhere and find someone who wants what she wants.

    1. 13.1
      No Name To Give

      PREACH.

  14. 14
    Lisa

    I realize that this writer is slightly older than I am (about ten years), but to me it seems like she expects this man to support her.   I suspect that her last husband also supported her at least in part in that she says she was financially secure in the relationship.  She needs to stand on her own two feet.   I think what the man is doing is smart, and see nothing wrong with it.   When you date someone does that mean they support you?   I am honestly confused here, and I am female.   The only thing I would ask if I was her is that I be paid for the work I did for his charity.  But I would have NEVER given up my business for a man?   If she is working for his charity she deserves payment.    And I would be happy to contribute to the household.  It’s not as if he buys a million dollar home and asks her to pay half?   Or takes her to places she cannot afford to eat at and asks for that?  She buys groceries?  I mean?  And as they are older, it is very common for people to keep their finances seperate.  Different than say two 20 year olds just starting out. As my Mother taught me, don’t EVER rely on a man to take care of you.    Get rid of him and stand on your own two feet for awhile.  Then reconsider dating.

  15. 15
    Noquay

    I’ve always maintained my own home and land, lived within my own income regardless of marital or relationship status. Relationships can and do or should end and one doesn’t want penury added to the pain of loss . Through my own hard work and initiative, i outearn most local men by a factor of 5. While I would never take on a man who chose be a ski bum for instance, I’d never display the lack of generosity this man seems to demonstrate which is a huge red flag. Yep, I’d agree with other commenters that parsimony in one area often is mirrored by parsimony in many other areas. It seems as though he is generous with community via his non profit, he is not generous with you nor intends to marry. Right now he’s getting what he wants with little investment on his part.

  16. 16
    tarra

    I think that when men are really interested in, or love, a woman they want to provide for them and vice versa. To use my marriage as an example, my H planned a weekend away for us this past weekend. He booked a beautiful hotel, planned an activity he knew we’d both enjoy and booked a Michelin restaurant – I believe he does this because he wants to make me happy (he’s been doing things like this since we started dating). I love and respect his desire to be a provider but at the same time would never want to just take from him, so last night waited until he went to the bathroom and surprised him by taking care of the cheque. Relationships are give and take, when you love someone you want to take care of them, it’s quite simple.

    I understand if this man wants to protect his assets, many men who have been burnt in divorce probably feel that way (not to mention that she’s already proven to him that she’s willing to have an emotional affair and leave a committed relationship for a better option) but that has nothing to do with always going 50/50. This situation sounds more like FWB than a committed and mutaually supportive relationship. I’m fairly certain that if this guy were to meet someone he really cared about he’d drop his rules.

    At the moment this man sounds as though he’s doing very little and getting a lot in return – companionship, cheap labour and I’m assuming sex while the OP twists herself to try and prove that she’s worth a commitment. Listen to what he’s saying though “I won’t commit to you, I won’t share my life with you, I won’t contribute any more than I have to in this relationship”. If the OP really left her marriage because she was lonely, she should be sprinting away from this one.

    1. 16.1
      Chris

      We don’t actually know how generous or stingy he was. Apparently she bought some of the groceries, but what did he provide in return? She doesn’t really say. Perhaps he was moderately generous, but because she was expecting to be spoiled and treated lavishly, her disappointment was expressed as a biased account of his apparent stinginess.

      My sympathies lie with him. At this point, at the end of his working life, his priorities should be in conserving his resources. Many female posters seem to think that in exchange for whatever sex and affection they share, he should be spoiling her and spending a substantial amount of his savings on her. I disagree.

  17. 17
    loubelle

    i paid for alot in my ex relationship. He always said his exes used him for money etc (funnily he never had a penny lol). i think its because they wanted them to treat them odd time and he was too tight, and believe me he was (with me anyway). i paid for days and nights away, trips, dinners, food, cooked three course meals for him, went to his place, bought him alot of gifts inbetween, xmas birthdays i spoiled him because of hos he said his exes treated him.he didnt have to do a thing. i did it all. it was to build trust and a relationship and im very generous by nature. we split up after 5 years. now i am alone, not got much money at all, before we finished he was waiting on ‘thousands ‘ coming through….i noticed when he had money he would treat me badly as if ‘i have money i can move on without you’ sort of mentality. i mean i could have done that with mine , i kick myself that i didnt. but i have learned a lesson here. do not give more than you receive ( i feel a tight man money wise is a tight man emotion wise too)… yes buy them the odd drink, the odd SMALL gift but be very very wary on giving so much. youll be left with nothing whilst with the money they saved with you theyll go onto the next one and spend.

    1. 17.1
      Darlene

      like

  18. 18
    Stacy

    A man isn’t drawn to a woman when a woman gives to him (in terms of gifts/money). In fact, it can be a downright turnoff (even when he doesn’t realize it). Women are drawn to men who give. Don’t bite my head off, it’s just natural.  This is why relationships where a woman ‘takes care of a man’ rarely works and ends up with the man cheating and doing what the heck he wanted to do anyway.  Giving to a man does not inspire him to love (although a man may even appreciate it at times). In fact, men are drawn to a woman when he gives/invests.

    This is why ‘buying a man a lot of gifts’ rarely works and you set yourself up to be used.  Sure I buy my man gifts. But best believe, it was after he started investing in me (with his time, energy, and effort and yes, that is sometimes in the form of money though rarely). In the beginning when you date a man, stop buying him a bunch of shyt unless he becomes your boyfriend and invested in you. You give to a man in other ways.

    True story.

  19. 19
    Shaukat

    A man isn’t drawn to a woman when a woman gives to him (in terms of gifts/money). In fact, it can be a downright turnoff (even when he doesn’t realize it). Nah, this is essentially the female version of PUA. If a man is really into you, enjoys your company etc, then buying him gifts occasionally, paying (half the time at least, from the very beginning) when they go out, and other such gestures can only strengthen the bond. If a man uses a woman for money, gifts, etc, then it’s likely because (shock-horror) he simply wasn’t really that attracted or interested in you to begin with. The other possibility is that he’s simply low character and likes to take advantage of people regardless.The male parallel to your spiel is the delusional nonsense about the friend zone; guys telling each other that it’s because they were too ‘nice’ or waited too long, because it’s easier to digest that then hear the actual truth: She was never sexually/romantically attracted to you to begin with.

    1. 19.1
      Tarra

      I’m with Stacey on this one, men and women give and receive in different ways.

      At home we split the bills and are pretty much even when it comes to other household expenses (sometimes him more, sometimes me more) but when it comes to gifts and dinners out he does the majority – although not all. He likes planning dinners and trips away and will often book things as a surprise leaving me clues about what we’re doing to try to guess

      I on the other hand (despite working full time as well) do most of the cooking and other nurturing acts to take care of him – this is fairly typical in all the stable marriages I know, the men are providers and the women provide acts of service.

      That’s not to say he never cooks a meal or that I never plan anything for him.. I have an upcoming weekend where I’m surprising him by taking him to a “smash room” (no dirty minds! It’s where you get to smash plates and old furniture etc with baseball bats) then to an almost impossible to book restaurant  but wouldn’t have in our very early stages of dating. I realised then that when I tried to pay, or at least paid 50/50 he didn’t like it which is a sentiment echoed by my similarly alpha male colleagues who said it made them feel emasculated.

  20. 20
    No Name To Give

    I don’t want to be tough on the OP as I have fallen into this trap more times than I care to count. But one must pay attention to what the other person says. He said he didn’t want to get married and share his stuff; he’s not going to change his mind on that or likely if he does, it will be with someone else. Being single and unattached is far better than being confused and lonely in a wrong relationship. I had to learn humility in that my love was not so special or unique that it was going to change someone into wanting different things than what he says. I’m not saying the OP isn’t humble of heart, but when we love someone, we are confused that they can’t feel the same because we want the best for them.

  21. 21
    Alex

    “I always thought that love and time were about desire — being with someone, holding someone, feeling someone. But it isn’t necessarily. Love can come in lots of different ways and lots of different guises.” That’s the British artist Tracey Emin in a May 2012 BBC interview. She’s talking about her experience as a single woman artist nearing 50, but it’s a great reminder for all of us, no matter our relationship status or age. Not only can love be found everywhere — in an idea, an experience, a lover, a friend, etc. — but it’s like compound interest: the more you have the more you get. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”

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