Dear Rosie & Sherry,
I have been reading your advice for some time now and I thought I'd give you a try. I met someone three months ago and we have been dating since then. Things started out slowly, but then shifted into high gear. We are both over 35 and neither of us has been married.
I have two questions. First, he seems to send mixed signals, asking me to family events, holidays, etc. But then I feel he's also holding back a lot emotionally. I can't seem to connect with him on certain levels, and when I try to bring up topics such as where is this all heading, and to see if we have the same goals, he clams up.
Second, he will be out of the country for several months. I tried to get a feel for where things were going before he left, and he basically said he didn't know. But his actions are sending different signals -- i.e. introducing me to the family, etc. However, he didn't say anything concrete to keep me connected to him while he is away.
I think this could be a good match, but I also don't feel like I can wait for him to make his mind up. Am I moving too fast for him? Or do I need to move on to someone else?
Alice in the Pacific Northwest
It sounds like you're ready for marriage, but the man definitely is not. He's sending you mixed messages for a reason -- he likes you but he's not ready for a commitment. Don't mistake meeting his family for a display of intention. Some people have no problem introducing the people they date to their families long before they are ready to get serious. It could even be that he let you meet his family in order to satisfy their concern for his social life.
Any time a person leaves the country (or even the state) for an extended period, without discussing the future with the person he is dating, is a clear sign that this is going nowhere. If you are interested in marriage, don't wait for him. Move on and date other marriage-minded people. We wish you the best of luck.
Rosie & Sherry
Dear Rosie & Sherry,
I met a very special girl whom I would like to get to know. We were introduced by mutual friends and we have dated a couple of times. I told her that I am interested in marriage. I am 37 and at a point in my life where I am tired of the "dating game."
My question centers on differences in our upbringing. I am a first-generation American on my mother's side, and the first in my family to graduate from college. I also come from a hard-working blue collar family. She is second-generation American on both sides of her family, and most of her family members are professionals (doctors, lawyers). She is a doctor and I am in sales. So... am I out of my league?
Many marriage involving different socio-economic backgrounds work out beautifully. Success depends on two factors: If you feel comfortable, and if she feels comfortable!
You're still at the beginning stage of dating. Give yourself a little more time to get to know each other, then the two of you can be more open about the differences in your backgrounds and professions. Once you are able to open up to each other, you will learn if your differences will add interest to your lives, or if they will become a source of friction between you.
Good marriage are based on mutual respect, admiration, emotional intimacy, affection, and physical attraction. If you are able to respect and admire each other without being bogged down by the difference in background, then no problem. You're on your way to building a healthy life together.
Rosie & Sherry