SUBJECT: A Man Who Keeps His Distance
Dear Dr. Belove,
My boyfriend is an expert here in the Science area. My question is regarding our relationship, which has me quite perplexed. I am in my mid-forties, and he is in his late fifties. He has been married and divorced twice, and had a live-in girlfriend after the second marriage ended. I met him soon after that ended.
We are both educators – he at the university level, and I at the elementary level. We have dated just over a year and it was just a few weeks ago that he told me he loved me. I am also in love with him. This relationship is not like any I have experienced. With a distance of 40 miles between us, we usually see each other once a week. He seems content with that. I need more.
My question is . . . Is 4 months time enough to give someone (at my age) to decide what they want out of the relationship. As you know my clock is “banging” forget about the ticking!!!
For much of the past year, he has discussed our going places together. They never materialize. However, he does many of these things with friends. Our dates are mainly staying in and eating a meal – then spending the night together. We part early the next morning, even if it is the weekend (his doing). I generally feel ignored by him, and we only talk on the phone once a week. He has many friends, which I am happy about. I too have many and know the importance of maintaining friendships. He has gone on vacation, and though he said he would call to say goodbye, he never did. This is typical for him.
He is a highly intelligent man, and I wonder if more pressing things occupy his mind and he forgets much of what he tells me. In addition, he is in his late fifties- as I mentioned. I know he has had 3 bad relationships and may feel he must keep his distance. I don’t know whether to begin seeing other men. It was just 3 weeks ago that he told me I was the love of his life. I love him, yet I am unhappy.
Are the things I describe about him common for an older, intellectual man who has had several failed relationships? I don’t know what I should do. Thanks and I am sorry to make it so long.