How to Know If You Are Settling

settling for the wrong manAre you settling for the guy you are with?

Should you look for a better relationship when things are “just okay” in your current relationship?

Women who are currently in a satisfying relationship can still point out a few flaws in their partner. Some of those flaws may have worried them when they were contemplating a commitment.

Other women can tell you about a guy they wish they had never pulled away from. How do you know whether you are going to regret the decision later to pour your heart, life, and time into a man?

Naturally, there are several different ways you can try to make a decision about a man. But there’s one method in particular that I really like. The method I’m talking about is superior, in my opinion, because it gets right to the heart of the matter.

Here’s the method I suggest to see if you are settling for the wrong man.

Ask yourself if you are happier because of this man’s presence in your life right now.

Then switch that question around.

Ask yourself if you would feel a sense of relief if he broke off the relationship with you tomorrow.

Here’s why these two important questions matter more than all the guesswork you could do about the future. Trying to decide if you are settling is really the wrong question. I say it’s the wrong question because it requires that you do the impossible. It requires you to compare the man you are with to some imaginary man you might meet in the future.

Imaginary people can have any qualities you want. In real life, all people have flaws. Yes, some people are better suited to a relationship with you, and some people really can make you happier. Nonetheless, that does not change the fact that it is impossible to know whether you will one day meet someone who makes you even happier than the guy you are with. Since it is impossible to know the answer to the question, it’s not a useful question to ask. It’s better to focus on what is happening now.

Let’s get back to those two questions that help you decide whether you are settling for the wrong man.

First, are you happier because this man is in your life right now? If so, I would venture to bet you are not settling. If his presence in your life adds meaning and joy, you should embrace him whole-heartedly and turn down the dial on your worry a couple notches.

Now to the second question.

Would it be a relief if he called you tomorrow to break off the relationship or ask for some time apart to date other people? I realize you would most likely have mixed emotions, but if one of those emotions in the mix was a significant sense of relief, there’s a good chance you are settling. If a breakup would only yield feelings of loss, and no sense of relief, you most certainly are not settling. He is a man you want in your life.

The sense of relief is significant because it represents the conclusion of your intuitive mind. Your intuition is really your unconscious process of filtering through tons and tons of information. We don’t receive the results of that analysis in the form of a conscious thought like, “Yes, he is the right one for me.” Rather, you get the results of intuition when you ask questions that cause your mind to pay attention to certain emotions that speak on behalf of the unconscious conclusions some part of your mind has reached.

settling for the wrong manA feeling of relief would mean some part of you has come to the conclusion that you really do need to spend time dating other people before you will know if this man you are with is really the right sort of man for you. If the idea of a breakup causes nothing but sadness, that means it was a useless worry getting the best of you rather than guidance from your intuition.

I hope this helps! Most people have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the power of intuition. If you would like to learn more about intuition and how to put it to work in your relationships, check out my video on the power of intuition by clicking this link.


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64 thoughts on “How to Know If You Are Settling

  1. Trisha said:

    So I need advice. I met a guy online nearly 4 years ago. He had recently filed for divorce and I was going through one as well. We dated pretty consistently between our busy schedules and made time to see each other. Well about a year ago his friend moved to town and that pretty much ended our seeing each other regularly, which I understood, he hadn’t seen him in years and shared his apartment. He became very distant and when I asked to see him he would get upset or find some excuse not to be able to see me. We did continue to text although it was much less frequently. He said he loved me repeatedly and when I asked him if we were exclusive he said yes.( I had been asked out by other men). I finally got an opportunity to see him before I left on a summer break for an overseas assignment. At that point I assumed we were still dating exclusively. He texted me frequently the first week then less after and eventually he disappeared. The last text I got before he disappeared was how much he loved me. I didn’t know what to think. When I returned home, I tried to contact him and was told by his friend he no longer had that phone number. She gave him the message I was home and wanted to see him. He contacted me and we met after nearly 4 months. It was a bit strained and something didn’t seem right. I had missed him so much and it seemed he didn’t miss me at all. A couple of weeks went by and we started texting again. He said how much he loved me and wanted to see me. I had moved into a new place and told him he could come see me there. His reply was odd and basically said he might come see me. After that text he disappeared again and I was puzzled at his behavior. I texted and asked if we were just friends( because I was asked out again) he said yes. So in a weeks time he went from loving me to friend zoning me. I was very hurt. After that( just a few days) I heard from a friend he had been saying bad things about me while I was away. I’m hurt, confused, and angry. If that wasn’t enough he showed up at my gym with a woman while I was there just days after he friend zoned me. My friend said his behavior is almost sociopath and I need to block him in every facet of my life. What I left out was that he seemed to contact me every couple of weeks professing his love before he disappeared. My friend thinks he did it just to keep me from dating anyone while he did what he wanted. Thoughts?

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Oh dear, Trisha, that sounds practically exactly the same situation I have been in for the last 4 and a half years. All I can say about my situation (which may relate to yours) is that the man I have been involved with, and who has professed over and over that he loves me and does not want to lose me, has: 1) huge psychological problems due to his past record – his guilt, basically at the way he treated his ex-wife and kids; 2) has lost his status, due to becoming bankrupt, therefore has very little money, so no self-respect; 3) lives in a dead-beat town, even though his flat is very nice and he is proud of it and keeps it nice; 4) is very depressed and lonely at times; 5) is a spend-thrift whenever he has money (it comes and goes sporadically due to his work situation – sometimes he is completely broke); 6) has a huge drink problem; 7) has an alcoholic out-of-work female neighbour who he feels sorry for. He lends her money, lends her his car, drives her around, buys her drink and she then comes round to his for “boozing sessions”, they cook meals for each other – basically she is his only “friend” (I call her a cling-on!). He now tells me they are an “item” – they are going around together, she is controlling his life as he has given her his bank cards to take control of his finances, and that I will have to “fight to get him back”, because I love him (I’m not sure if this is all true, or if he is trying to make me jealous – which he does all the time – due to his insecurity). We haven’t seen each other for some weeks now, since I went on holiday. He says he wants to see me but he will have to ask her permission!! He gets very anxious about me coming and tells me she says I am “bad” for him and “not healthy”. Basically, she is controlling his mind and his life, and trying to push me out. After reading everything I can get my hands on, I believe he probably has “Borderline (Emotional) Personality Disorder” as well as Anxiety Disorder, (possibly) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – and he may also be bi-polar. His father became demented not long before his death, and I am not sure if he is going the same way, or if it is the effects of the alcohol. He has a very controlling mother, and I believe he sees his neighbour as a mother substitute. He definitely wants a woman in his life – when we had a row last year and he thought we were finished, he went on the internet to find someone else. He is obviously thinking now, that this neighbour will fit the bill, as there is no-one suitable on the internet!!! Even though they have known each other for 6 or 7 years and nothing happened before now. It is a very worrying situtation, as I think this woman could take him for everything he has got. His mother is very wealthy, and he stands to gain a lot when she dies – she is 85 (he is 64). Who knows? As far as your situation is concerned – I hope this has thrown a bit of light onto how your man could be. I know how you must be feeling. It has literally driven me half mad, and being a long distance away has not helped. He used to ask “where we were going”, and I told him I do not want to live in his dead-beat town. I live in a very affluent part of the country, have a large house and enough money, and have asked him to join me here, to try and sort out his drink problem and see how we get on, but he is terrified to do that. I have now, regrettably, come to the conclusion that there is no hope for him or our relationship. I love him deeply, miss him all the time and worry about him constantly, and had hoped we could have a future together, but I think he is now a lost cause and will probably kill himself. It gives me sleepless nights, but I have to learn to live with it, I believe. I hope this has thrown some light onto things for you. I think if you read about some of these conditions, it will help you to understand what is going on. Maybe you should date other men and find someone new, even though you could still keep an eye on this other guy as a friend, if you care about him, but it is not easy. I wish you luck!! Lorna

  2. Emotions said:

    Hi James..the emotional woman here again. I met this guy about a year ago at a gym. He was eyeing me and when i noticed i left the gym shortly in addition to it being late. However when i got outisde the rain started pouring. The guy was right behind me. We ended up talking for hours about the rain then about family. I felt an instant connection. When he ask for my number i was skeptical but gived it to him after he asked three times.
    After that night we became friends we would just talk. I was hoping he would ask me on a date or even to work out sometime but he never would. We would meet up at the gym which was by my house after he had worked out to just talk then one night he kissed me and i was suprised. A deep passionate kiss. After that night he initiated sex and i gived in but it wasnt what i wanted. By now he had explained to me he had separated from his baby mother and they were sharing custody. He wasnt on child support because he was doing all he could while in school. As time went by this seem true. However we never spoke while he was at home. He works at night so it didnt bother me that much. Sometimes he would call on his way to work and would text everyday when he woke up at 3pm during the day.
    Lately i started wanting more than what we were doing. Just hooking up. I wanted a sign that when he finished school we would spend more time and maybe he would consider doing more together. Still nothing. His daughter goes to school now its been about a year and a few months since we met almost two years. He has graduated but still lives with his brother and takes his daughter to school and the baby mother picks her up . he says. He tries to rest before work at 10 pm. Around thanksgiving we did not text. I was mad that i had ask him to help me with something around the apt and he has yet to do it. He too did not wish me a happy Thanksgiving three days went by then he responded to a message i sent days before. Normally we do wish each other well around holidays etc. Anyways i have been super sarcastic since then. I ask him finally for the 100th time about the way he sees me. He said he cannot tell someone he love them if he doesnt. And we are not bf or gf so he is not obligated to do anything .And he is always busy with little time n i too did not text him around thanksgiving. When he said all this i distanced myself. He said he was coming over but i told him not too that i need to find someone who cares about me. And may want to work towards a relationship to which he didnt respond. I then told him i need space. He said ok.
    I feel like all the men that i have ever been with all have never really liked me for me. l Cannot figure out what it is they never let me get close to them. Never really show me emotions . no affection no love. My ex before him was abusive to me. The one before him was in the military and went to be closer to a girl he liked. I have gained so much weight now. I struggle with a bad case of self esteem . i have been skinny most of my life. I cannot figure out if they really dont lokr me or is it something i do that is a turn off. I want to get married one day and really thought by now i would. Im 30 and feel way older. Am i naiive do i give in too quickly. I am so lost when it comes to men

    • James Bauer said:

      I see why you feel frustrated right now.

      For a long time I did not want to believe this. But I’ve finally come to see that there is some truth to it. Some of us seem to attract the same kind of person over and over without realizing how or why it happens.

      It’s as if we have blinders that prevent us from recognizing the signs that other people see. Signs which caused them to walk away from the wrong kind of relationship. Some therapists say we are drawn to relationships that feel natural and comfortable because they are similar to what we have experienced in the past.

      Here’s my advice for you. Stop having romantic relationships in private. Get your friends involved. Let them act like a filter, helping you to interpret those subtle nonverbal cues that give away a person’s motivation.

      It seems that in this case, the man you built a relationship with never really intended to build any kind of commitment with you. And he was actually honest with you about this. But for some reason you chose not to see that. Friends can help you overcome that problem. They can challenge you to think about what you really want for the long-term.

      Be strong. Don’t give up. Just be more picky and demanding.

      Always on your side,


      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Dear Emotions, That is such a good response from James, as usual – he has such a lot of wisdom to give us. I’m so sorry to hear your sad, sad story, because it does seem as though you were really taken advantage of, and I know from experience how that can sap your confidence. Not your fault. But I think you have worked the answer out for yourself. You need to work on your self-esteem and confidence. Maybe, just maybe, he picked up on that, and targetted you as being a possible “soft touch”. Especially when you say you gave in to sex, but “it wsn’t what I wanted”. Never do that!!! Saying “No” is your POWER – don’t give it away freely. Work hard on raising your self-esteem – your image of yourself. Read books – there are lots and lots out there on Amazon. Read all you can. Talk to your friends. Get a therapist if you can afford it – but, honestly, all they seem to do is to get you to be honest with yourself and look deep inside yourself for the answer, which you have already started doing. Dig deep into your psyche. It’s in there somewheree, hiding. Do not be afraid. You have to work on the “Root Cause” of why you feel bad about yourself – and weed it out. Maybe something your parents said, or your siblings, people at work or other kids at school. Rise above it. Become strong. It is possible. It does take a lot of courage, time and hard work, but it will be SO worth it. Believe me – I know. I was beaten down after a painful divorce and just wanted to be loved again – by anyone!! You are young. You must work on this so that it does not affect you for the rest of your life. Forget about men for the time being. Join lots of clubs and keep yourself busy with new interests and new friends. If possible, join up with friends and family to have girly “pamper sessions” and have fun changing your image. Some cosmetic departments in large stores offer free makeup make-overs. You are already doing something good and positive by going to the gym. Learn about healthy eating, too, and the weight will soon drop off – it doesn’t have to be permanent. Treat yourself to a pretty new outfit. Nothing boosts your confidence more than knowing you are looking your absolute best. It takes a bit of effort, but well worth it. Above all this, do not rely on a man’s opinion of you to influence your self-worth. Do not look to a man for validation. Look to yourself. YOU are the most important person in your life. YOUR opinion of you is the most important one – no-one elses. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you. And believe it!!! Remember the line in the song from the musical “West Side Story”? – “Who’s the pretty girl in that mirror, there – who can that attractive girl be?” Look it up on UTube. Fun! Best wishes and a big hug.
        GIRL POWER!! Lorna (LaLa)

  3. Debbie said:

    Hi James. I am definitely happier with my boyfriend in my life. He is fun, respectful, a great conversationalist, we like many of the same things to do, he loves adventures and new places and things as do I, he makes me laugh and much much more. So question 1 is great. But guestion 2, would I feel some sense of relief if we broke up? I must honestly say yes. I had two marriages prior to this. The first only lasted a year but it was disasterous, drinking, women, substance abuse, money issues, all of which he kept secret from me and his lovely family until it all came out. The second a long over 30 year marriage solid commitment and values but no passion or conversation or sense of adventure or exploring, he content to sit at home and watch TV. So with this lovely new year and a half relationship, I have that secret sense of dread that if it leads to marriage that this great guy may turn out like my previous husbands and if we were not together I wouldn’t have the fun but also the fear and angst of impending doom. I really enjoy our time together and don’t feel bad then but I am afraid of a marriage as I’m worried how this wonderful man may change too in a long term relationship as this has been my experience. So there is a sense of relief as these thoughts could be shelved and my mind free and relaxed if I was not in a relationship.

    • James Bauer said:

      I see. That makes sense. In this case, the relief would not come from ending the current relationship. Rather, it would come from taking your bets off the table. The relief in this case would come from ending anxiety about whether or not the current relationship would bring up painful emotions at some point in the future — painful emotions you learned to fear because of past relationships. So it seems you should not end this relationship based on the feelings you have about the second question.


      • Debbie said:

        Thanks James that’s where my heart is and what my mind says is the right path.

  4. Erin said:

    Hi James. Thanks for this , but I’m still a bit confused. You stated, “If a breakup would only yield feelings of loss, and no sense of relief, you most certainly are settling.”

    If you are settling when you experience feelings of loss, how do you know when you are NOT settling? My life being “happier” could be a result of a friendship instead of a romantic situation.

    Thanks so much.

    • James Bauer said:

      Ahh…that’s a good question, Erin. I appreciate readers like you who read very carefully and notice subtle distinctions like this one.

      Ok, here’s the answer that explains the sentence you quoted. You will experience a little bit of loss either way (whether you are settling or not) when you end a relationship you have invested in. So loss is a constant variable, meaning it is present in either condition.

      Relief, on the other hand is not a constant variable. You will only experience relief in a relationship where you were trying to make it work (but were really just fooling yourself and settling for a guy who is not right for you).

      So the way you know that you are not settling is this. You imagine breaking up. You imagine the day after the breakup…when it’s all said and done with no more contact needed. As you imagine this scenario, do you feel a sense of relief? If not, stick with the guy and see where things could go.


    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Erin,
      It seems that you have read James’ article on “settling” wrongly, too, in the same way as Lily above did. See my response to her. The sentence actually reads: “If a breakup would only yield felings of loss and no sense of relief, you most certainly are NOT settling”. The NOT changes the whole context of the sentence. Lorna

      • James Bauer said:

        Thanks for clarifying that, Lorna.


      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Hi James, I have just read your free article about fighting over money. What a great article!! It has cleared up some misunderstandings and anxieties I had – even though I kind-of knew what you are saying already. I thoroughly recommend that your clients read it – it makes so much sense. My “boyfriend” and I had a disagreement recently, which almost lead to the complete break-up of our relationship, over whether or not to pay 5p for a plastic bag in the supermarket (now in England we have to buy plasic bags, in an attempt to “save the planet” – some hope, but that is another story!!!). I didn’t realize at the time that by suggesting we carry the small amount of shoppng instead of buying a bag that I was challenging his manhood – he lost it completely and embarrassed me by “putting me down” in front of the cashier by yelling that it was only 5p – for goodness sake, and he was paying. I knew what the problem was, but of course it did hurt, and I felt humiliated. I couldn’t retaliate there and then in front of the whole store, and the issue did not get resolved, as I drove back to his flat in silence (he didn’t have a car at the time), packed my bags, got in the car and drove 3 hours back home (childish!!). That day I had already said I wanted to pay for concert tickets as a treat for his birthday the next day – as I knew he did not have any money to buy them himself, and I knew he felt bad about that. We ended up not going and I lost the price of the tickets. He is obviously VERY anxious about his lack of money, and SO proud – but does not know how to address it, and neither do I. He did tell me he has taken out a loan, so that is good in itself (the telling – not lying – not the loan!!) but it really is a HUGE issue we need to overcome. I feel I should just walk away from the relationship – because I cannot see a way forward – but I don’t want to lose him if we can sort it out – I do love him lots and admire him in so many other ways. Is love enough, though? He is from a wealthy family and a spend-thrift. I am financially comfortable as I have invested my nest-egg with a financial adviser. However, I do watch every penny, as I am worried about paying for my care in old age. In my marriage of 36 years, my husband and I were very money savvy. We pooled our resources. I did not work at all after having our 3 children until they were all grown up, then I did a little child-minding in the home, garden maintenance and extra work on films/television. We also had the income from three rental properties (I set this all up and managed it). From day one of our marriage, we sat down and worked out exactly how much we had coming in – how much our monthly outgoings were, how much regular savings we needed for unforeseen vet care for the dog, holidays, etc., then allowed ourselves a tiny bit of “pocket money” each from what was left over, to spend on whatever we wanted for ourselves. This worked a treat, as we were both frugal and discussed whatever we would buy together. I ran it like a business, kept strict records in an accounts book, did weekly menu-plans with the housekeeping, we had one joint bank account, and trusted each other implicitly. However, now, with the advent of women working full-time, this has changed completely. People seem to think they should keep the money separate and each is their own. I have never been able to see how this will work. And what about all the youngsters who never get married at all and just live together, with no real commitment to each other. I can’t see how it can work. You are absoluely right, there has to be complete transparency with the money – each having access to what is coming in. But I can’t see that ideal situation ever being resolved now that things have changed so radicaly between couples. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe couples will realize that there has to be honesty, transparency and trust. I hope so, for the sake of their relationships. Well done, you, for once again giving us real insight into a tricky situation. Thank you. Lorna

      • James Bauer said:

        Thank you, Lorna. I’m sorry to hear about the way he treated you. But I am glad you are able to recognize the pattern behind his reaction. There are so few things that can make people anxious and bring up fights as easily as money can. Some people don’t want to analyze themselves to figure out their own relationship to money. You obviously have. But as your story reveals, money can still trigger all kinds of frustration.


  5. Irene said:

    Great piece James. Cleared alot in my mind but still conflicted. I was dating this amazing guy but broke it off because i got bored i think, plus he had this perception on cheating which i did not like. However seeing him date other people makes me really sad and makes me want to go back to him, overlooking his flaws and all. Cant really tell if its out of loneliness or out of love. I still compare other dates i go out on with how he treated me well. Please Help

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Irene. Maybe your feelings run deeper than what it seems. But from what you wrote here, it seems you weren’t really enjoying the relationship that much even when you were in it and things were stable. So it seems you are better off meeting new people.

  6. ama said:

    We are both in a relationship… We have never been intimate. He tells me he wishes we had met earlier . I am sure abt him. And wish that he were mine. What do i do. He calls and txt often , i mean daily. We will usually talk for hours. I dont know what to do…..i do not want to scare him

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Ama, I am sorry for your situation. How did you meet this man?
      I have read an article written by a therapist about coping with affairs in marriage (or relationships). It clearly states there, that affairs are absolutely WRONG. If the person having the extra-marital affair is not happy being married, then they should have the guts to say so and tell the person they are with that the relationship is over. If they do not WANT it to be over, they should be honest and agree to go for counselling and work on the EXCLUSIVE relationship. You are both in a half-way house – having your cake and eating it. A nice comfortable situation – and you can’t justify it by saying you have not been “intimate” – there are different kinds of intimacy, and if you have physically met up (possibly kissed) and being in constant daily telephone contact with each other, that is a form of intimacy, I think, whether or not you have actually had sex. That is a cop-out. It is not fair on any of you, as you are living in limbo. You are both cheating on your partners. You need to ask him outright what he wants, and ask yourself the same question, and have the strength and self-respect to walk away if he will not commit to you. Who knows, he may just come running after you. Good luck!! Lorna

  7. charlesE. said:

    Hello James. I met a guy almost a year ago through a mutual friend. He informed me that he is in a relationship with his grown daughters mother who he does not love but feels that he owed her something because he was an absentee father for years because his wife whom is now deceased did not want him to see them. he started seeing her after his wife died He says that he is committed to the relationship for one more year. he lives in another state. he calls me at least twice a week and text several times doing the week. He has been to visit me twice and I have been to visit him once. We enjoy talking and being together and we have so much in common. We have not being intimate. He and I both believe that we should not be intimate with but one person at a time. We are both seniors and I am 12 years older. He says that age is not a factor in our relationship. We have never talked about a future together. but this is what i desire and he knows this. how can I know what he wants for us in the future? I am reluctant to press him for answers because I do not want to scare him off..

    • James Bauer said:

      That’s a great question. It certainly is a unique situation you are in. I hope he is being honest with you, as he clearly is not being honest with the woman he says he is still in a relationship with.

      Setting that issue aside, I would say you are most likely to have success with the simplest approach. But it takes time and patience. Ask for his help. Ask him what is easy for him to say about the future and what would be hard for him to predict or promise. The trick here is letting him do the work of defining his own tolerance level for this kind of discussion. He won’t feel pressured when he is the one deciding how much he feels comfortable predicting.


  8. Lily said:

    “Would it be a relief if he called you tomorrow to break off the relationship or ask for some time apart to date other people? I realize you would most likely have mixed emotions, but if one of those emotions in the mix was a significant sense of relief, there’s a good chance you are settling. If a breakup would only yield feelings of loss, and no sense of relief, you most certainly are settling. He is a man you want in your life.” I’m confused. If I was feeling loss about him leaving how am I settling?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Lily. I’m not sure I understand your question. If you feel a sense of loss at the thought of him ending things, it does not mean you are settling. It means the opposite. But you might still feel loss even if you were settling. That’s why you should focus on whether or not you would feel relief. A sense of relief is what this question is supposed to focus you in on.


    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Lily – I think if you re-read James’ article about settling from some time ago, you will see you have read it wrongly – no wonder you are confused!! It should end – “If a breakup would only yield feelings of loss, and no sense of relief, you most certanily are NOT settling. He is a man you want in your life”. You missed out the NOT – so the sentence had a completely different meaning. Hope this helps. Good luck! Lorna

  9. Pamela said:

    From the beginning our relationship was a physical one. As a Senior Citizen the man I am seeing began our relationship with “was I sensual?” I have asked him if our relationship could change from “lover” to seeing each other outside the bedroom. He said “why, when we are having such fun.” He is a wonderful lover and he praises me on my skills in bed. Two weeks ago, his ex came on the scene and he broke it off with me because he couldn’t have “2 romances at one time”. That hurt, but I accepted his decision and met another man on a dating site I was shocked when he emailed me and said “can we get back together?” I refused to say yes until I knew what happened to his “ex”. He said “she hadn’t changed.” We are going to meet again next week At one time he wanted an exclusive relationship, but I am still talking with the new man and have plans to have lunch.
    My question is “is there any hope with the first man? and am I wrong to continue my relationship with the second.?” Dating is wonderful, but confusing at times.

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Oh dear, Pamela, it is very confusing, isn’t it? And as “seniors”, we are stuck in a time warp with our old fashioned ideas of what is right and wrong. (I am a very young looking, fun-loving, energetic, slim, pretty 68). I would say, given the way No 1 has treated you so shabily, if you DO still want to see him and the other guy, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as they both know. If Mr. No 1 wants to step up and do the decent thing, all well and good – otherwise, just play the field. It doesn’t sound as though you are in love with either of them. It’s a bit unfair on Mr. No 2, but as long as you are honest, he can decide what to do for himself. This is the problem with internet dating. And don’t ever forget – some of them are married, anyway. (I understand it is the same with women). Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it these days. Fine, if everyone is in agreement – but I, for one, could not live my life like that. I am a one-man-woman, and proud of it. I would never share my man (or my body) with someone else. You never know where they have been, or are going!!!). There are more STDs amongst seniors now than amongst the youngsters. So be careful!. Otherwise, have fun! Lorna

      • Pamela Hormerte said:

        Thank you for your reply Lorna. As I explained in my email one of these men is my hot lover and the other is not physically able and so we just date. I would never have a physical relation with 2 men. My senior “lover” is widowed and he is very close to his own family that lives nearby. I know I am “the secret”, but that doesn’t bother me as much as not knowing where I stand. Our realization that we are very “hot” together is amazing and we both marvel in our ability to enjoy each other. We talk every day. He knows that I date outside of our relationship because I told him flat out I need more than “sex”. He is alright with that and as I get older I find that many men are not as physically fit, are workaholics, have disabilities, etc. I just want someone to have a normal relationship with. I am patient. Your insight was very helpful. Thanks again.

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        It was nice to get your response. It now looks as though you have resolved things in that you are gettng the sex with your hot lover and the dates with your other “friend”. Sounds like a good compromise. Lucky you. But you still don’t sound that happy. Why? What is it you really want? If you say you are a “secret” with your hot lover, it sounds as though he does not want his family to know about you. Why? That is the question.Often children are jealous of a new “woman” in their father’s life (all to do with money, I’m afraid!). And are you sure he is not still married? There are all sorts of weirdos on the internet, I have discovered. I even found the guy who I thought was MY “boyfriend” for the last four and a half years on there recently, after we had had a row, and he had told a load of lies about himself. (He is an alcoholic, smokes and has no money, never goes out, is commitment phobic, probably bi-polar or has borderline personality disorder, and PTSD or all three, as well as OCD, gets really, really anxious and angry with me and sends abusive texts when he is drunk, wanting to spank me if I am naughty – but of course he didn’t mention any of that on his profile!!!). I know, I know, why do I silll want him in my life? Well, I do love him lots and fancy him, in spite of, and now I am really worried about him because his neighbour, who he regularly gets blind drunk with, is in charge of his credit cards and she will not “allow” him to have contact wih me, saying I am “bad” for him and it is “not healthy” him seeing me. (What!!!!) She has blocked my phone and texts. He is actually very naive, sensitive, insecure, trusting and vulnerable. Who knows where that might lead? She could take him for every penny he does manage to make. (She’s always asking him for a loan). And his mother is very wealthy, with a beautiful house and elderly, he stands to have a lot of money when she goes. It gives me the heeby-jeebies. But he is his own person, at the end of the day. Anyway, back to you. As you say, you can be patient, and you are having fun, so even though nothing long-term may come of either of these relationships of yours, at least you are not sitting at home all alone. There are so few available men who fit our criteria out there for us as we get older (far more women than men, most of whom have died off) that we just have to be thankful that we have found anyone who vaguely fits the bill. However, I have read “having just anyone is NOT better than having no-one” – but I am not so sure. It is a very fine line. It’s all well and good having loads of lady friends and going out in groups (boring), but as you know, there is nothing quite like a fun romp in bed with someone you fancy and are compatible with or getting all dolled up for a nice cozy, one-to-one evening out with a “special” friend. And a dog does not fit the bill, either. (Unless you happen to meet another dog walker). What to do? I don’t know the answer. Sometimes we have to “settle” a little bit – especially as we get older – as sad as it may be. Is there any choice, realistically? We have to be honest with ourselves. Either that or sit home alone. Enjoy your two men – I am really envious, now that I am not “allowed” to even have my one any more. Maybe you will give ME some ideas about how I can handle MY situation – I have tried and tried sending emails. He did respond and invited me to go and see him next week for a few days (we are long distance), but said he would have to ask “permission” of his “best friend” Louise first, then this morning he said she will not “allow” him to see me. What to do? I’m worried about him. Maybe I’ll just go anyway, and see how the land lies? Scary !! I wonder what James would say? Love, Lorna (LaLa) x

  10. Dianne said:

    Hi James, have purchased a few of your courses, they make so much sense!! I had been hurt numerous times so had decided to be happily single forever. Met a guy and started hanging out. He made it clear he wasn’t after a committed relationship,at that stage I had been happily single for three years, so I agreed to nothing serious. We clicked big time. I really liked him and him me. I started thinking I would like to keep him and hoped he would come to the same conclusion. He constantly reminded me we were just having fun, but he treated me like I was a girlfriend. I figured you can’t MAKE someone want something, so played it very cool, no pressure, hoping he would see how great I was and claim me for his own. He was amping things up, texting to say hi, calling every night to give me every detail of his day and to tell me how much he liked me, wanted to see me more etc. His actions were telling me he liked me,a lot. So subtley (or so I thought), I occasionally suggested we should get together, as girlfriend and boyfriend.
    Not so long after these ‘few little hints’, he’s seeing somebody else. I was devastated, he seemed so into me. He always spoke of having threesome, so this other woman was for him to get to know and realize his fantasy. He wanted me too, said I was number 1, priority, nothing would change. I felt so much for him, I couldn’t bear the pain of walking away. So he was seeing both of us. But slowly I was being pushed aside. Try to meet up with him , but he’s busy. At the same time that he is not seeing me, he is still calling every night saying he wants me, to just hang in there, give him some time. It seemed to me he thought he had to invest more time in the other woman, to get her to come around to the threesome idea, and I could just wait on the sidelines cos he had me where he wanted me.
    One day the other woman walked out because he received a text from me. She then did not answer his calls. He was totally devastated and heart broken. Wasn’t interested in seeing me. He talked her around. She eventually gave him an ultimatum and guess what? She is now his girlfriend and he wants to be friends with me. I am so hurt. He tries to downplay the time we had together and says he thought we were just having fun and didn’t realize how I felt about him. I just can’t understand. We got on great together, but he didn’t want a girlfriend, but first person that comes along, all of a sudden he has a girlfriend. I wonder if it is a case of availability, I live an hour away and have other commitments- children. She works with him and lives in the same town and is available constantly. He says I am his best friend,he wants me in his life, he can forever trust me and we met for a reason, for the future. My argument is how can we be friends when he has a girlfriend. I can’t text or call cos she will be upset. So we meet up occasionally for lunch and he calls me once a week.
    He is upset he hurt me and doesn’t want to lose me. Does he think it will unman him to come back to me. Also she is very unfortuneate looking and has a big sob story about her past. He is compassionate, so after hurting me does he just not want to hurt someone else too, by ending it with her?
    Anyway, I am not walking away, I am going to fight. My question is, because I am not seeing him very often, am I going to get anywhere with getting him back using your program. I figure the more time you spend with someone the closer you get. He spents all his time with her, they are going on a holiday soon. What chance have I got with a phone call once a week to influence him in any way?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Dianne. Do you know the main difference between friends and romantic partners?

      Friends enjoy each other’s company but don’t feel possessive. In a reomantic relationship, there is this special possessive quality. We want a certain level of exclusivity.

      Unfortunately, this guy you are interested in does not have that kind of romantic, possessive desire when he thinks of you. Since he has been consistent on this point from the beginning of your relationship, it is unlikely to change.

      Therefore, I recommend you keep the door open with him in case that feeling changes in the future. But don’t put your life on hold while you wait to see if that spark will emerge in the future. The best way to keep that door open is to just be present in his life like you have been. Don’t stop calling him on occasion. But don’t try to establish a deeper relationship either.

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Hi Dianne, It sounds to me as though your “friend” is commitment phobic. I have read a lot about this, as the man I have been involved with seems to have the same problem. (And he is 64!!) Absolutely TERRIFIED of committing. This is usually because they are sensitive souls and have been terribly hurt in the past, either by their mother or a girlfriend/wife and are SO scared of being hurt again – they put a shell around themselves. So, they start off by saying they do not want a relationship, and all the while they are feeling “safe” doing this, they are happy, but as soon as they feel trapped, they are off and move on to someone else, because of course they DO want a “safe” relationship, and the closeness, love and sex that comes with it, but not the commitment. However, as soon as THAT woman starts to put on the pressure, they will be off again. Running scared. Onto the next “safe” one – over and over again. They may not even know what they are doing – because of course they are in denial. I believe from what I read that the only way out of this cycle is for them to have counselling. If you can talk to him about this and get him to be honest with himself, maybe you will have a chance of a breakthrough with him. But he has to realize there IS a problem first. (Give him time to digest it – maybe get a book or notes off the internet). As you are still meeting up for lunch and talking, there is a good chance of doing this. But it seems rather strange to me that he still DOES want to see you, as a “friend”. Feeling “safe” at a safe distance. Keeping you in the loop. (I hope there are no “benefits”?) Although it is not fair on the “other” woman – I would not worry too much about her status. She is just a shield behind which he is hiding from you and the scary idea of being stuck with you forever. It is a very, very sad situation, and not fair on either you or the other woman. He needs to be made to grow up, and face his fears!!! Unfortunately, these men probably never will – they are stuck in the past and still suffering from the past hurt instead of letting it go. I don’t think men are as emotionally strong as women and find it hard to forgive and forget. Good luck!! Lorna

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