DEAR ABBY: I’m a 40-year-old mom of two girls who has been single for five years. In that time, I’ve dated a few men, but haven’t found one who fulfills my “wish list.”
The last man I was interested in seemed like he had possibilities. There was a strong mutual attraction. We spent a lot of time together, went on dates and were physically intimate. However, because of his recent divorce and subsequent emotional struggles, it became apparent that we wouldn’t work out in the long term. It was disappointing, but we are still good friends and talk daily.
In the meantime, I have begun dating a very nice 48-year-old man with whom I have a lot in common. He’s very successful professionally, and we get along well. He is also very attracted to me. If things continue to go well and it develops into a long-term relationship, I have no doubt he would provide a very comfortable life for my children and me.
The problem is, I’m not very attracted to him. He’s a nice, normal-looking man, but if I passed him on the street, I wouldn’t give him a second glance. I continue to see him because it seems we may be compatible, and I enjoy spending time with him, but is it wrong to be disappointed that I don’t feel “fireworks”?
This may seem shallow, but after feeling so much chemistry with a man I was madly attracted to, it’s difficult to be in this position. It’s next to impossible to find someone who possesses every single quality want, especially because I live in a small town, and I am likely not going to match everything on his list either. How do I break down these barriers that I’m putting in front of him?
— NO SPARKS IN OREGON
DEAR NO SPARKS: I can’t guarantee this will work, but a giant step in the right direction might be to stop talking every day with the man you are so attracted to. Although he appears to be over you, you do not appear to have him completely out of your system. Until that happens, no one is going to measure up.
** ** **
DEAR ABBY: I was born in the mountains of western North Carolina, but I have been obsessed with the beach since I was a toddler. I am an empty nester and retired. Soon my husband and I would like to move to Florida for the warmer climate and to ease our ocean-obsessed souls. The problem is, I am heartbroken to leave my mother. She’s getting older, and we are very close.
She has given me her blessing, as she knows the winters here make me miserable physically and mentally. The thing is, I will miss her terribly. We can video chat and visit often, but I can’t shake my guilt over leaving her.
My brother lives close by and will take care of her if she needs anything (she lives independently) and keep her company, and she does have a friend she spends time with also. Am I being unreasonable? Or am I being completely selfish? It just feels wrong to leave her.
— TORTURED DAUGHTER IN THE SOUTH
DEAR TORTURED: Your mother has given you her blessing to move. Take her up on it with a light heart. And during the winter months, invite her to come and stay with you if she wishes. That way you won’t have to feel guilty, and she might enjoy the warmer weather.