By Tom Blake
At age 78, Judy (not her real name) is confused about her relationship. She asked for advice.
Judy said, “Two years ago, a high school classmate, 78, and I began a relationship. He was married 53 years. His wife had dementia, and he cared for her until he couldn’t anymore. She went into assisted living.
“After his wife died, he came to see me often, and helped me move and buy a car. Our feelings grew, and we declared our love.”
“We live an hour and a half away (from each other). He remembers the anniversary of our first holding hands, our first kiss, and incidents like when he says he thought of me while driving all the way home.
“He’s a country boy; I’m a city girl. When I stay at his place, I feel like I’m in the boonies; it’s really rural. When he comes here, he cannot stand traffic. He curses at traffic, or if he drops something, or when he can’t find his phone, or at anything that frustrates him.
“I can’t stand that. It cuts into the peace we are experiencing and really affects me.
“He’s jealous that I’ve been in several relationships prior to ever knowing him. Plus, he’s constantly wanting sexual activity to the point I think he’s obsessed.
“We just talked a few moments ago; he’s at his place and I’m at home. He misses me and loves me, and for the first time, instead of rolling his eyes when I want to go to my church group, or other things I like, he’s encouraging me to do so.
“I try to please him. He does me, too. Today, he said he doesn’t want to be someone who controls my life. That was new, because in fact, he tries to.
“Having said all that, he’s truly a fine person and the reason I got involved to begin with. There’s much I love about him. But we are very different.
“I’ve thought about moving to his place and building a new life. It’s just that I like civilization. I also love his friends; they’re fun, great people. He has a large family; I enjoy being with them and love for him to spend time with them.
“Also, he’s remarked he thinks about moving into my place; thus, no yard to mow, hedges to trim, repairs to make and the like.
“He’s conflicted, and so am I.
“What to do? We love each other, but we’re so different.”
Tom’s advice: Considering you’re both so different and yet love each other, you already have the best arrangement—a LAT (Living-Apart Together) relationship.
Living an hour and a half away from each other is a bit inconvenient, but living apart allows you both to spend time alone when you want.
You say you’re both “conflicted” about relocating. Based on the information you provided, if one of you relocated, there is a strong chance that one or both of you would not be happy living permanently in the other’s environment. Because you are so different, problems could quickly arise.
You say he’s controlling, jealous and wants too much sex. He also has anger issues. I see big red flags in those characteristics. Firmly explain to him that those behaviors are unacceptable to you. He must treat you with respect.
You reported that he said he is going to try to change his behavior, to be more considerate of you. Give him a chance, see if he does. And, as far as the obsessive sex, tell him to cool his jets somewhat on that also.
After your talk, see if his behavior changes. If not, then you can decide what to do. He must treat you with respect. For now, keep the LAT relationship as is. Don’t move in together.
The next senior singles Meet and Greet is scheduled for Thursday, July 25, 5 to 7 p.m., at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, 34085 PCH in Dana Point. No admission fee. Complimentary appetizers. Beer and wine $5. Couples welcome.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites findingloveafter50.com; www.vicsta.com and www.travelafter55.com. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at www.findingloveafter50.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.