Am I just a ca­sual fling for him?

The Peterborough Examiner - - ARTS & LIFE - El­lie

Q: When we started tex­ting, he was

39. I’m 19 and in col­lege, so our age gap is no­tice­able, even though he looks

30.

I re­ally like him, en­joy talk­ing to and be­ing around him.

We only went out to eat once, the first time we hung out.

Ever since, it’s been at his house and watch­ing a movie.

Though his 40th birth­day was last week, he didn’t tell me about it, till I saw his birth­day cards.

Some­times, I feel like we’re dat­ing. Other times, he doesn’t talk to me that day.

He hasn’t asked me to be his girl­friend ei­ther.

We’re now in­ti­mate and the con­ver­sa­tion still hasn’t come up about what our re­la­tion­ship is.

I’ve never stayed the night; I al­ways go home.

He never asks me out with his friends and I’ve never met his daugh­ter (I un­der­stand why he wouldn’t in­tro­duce me to her yet).

Am I a fling? He tells me he doesn’t feel 40 and that the age dif­fer­ence isn’t a big deal for him, but I’m not so sure.

What should I ex­pect?

Fling or Girl­friend?

A: You should ex­pect to start pro­tect­ing your emo­tional self. Fo­cus on this, right now.

While some men openly date much younger women, this man is not dat­ing you, in fact, he’s barely even speak­ing to you.

Ex­pect no fu­ture with some­one who has sex with you but doesn’t even drive you home.

He’s self-ab­sorbed, prov­ing to him­self (through you) that he’s “young” for his age in looks and in bed with a still-teenage woman.

He’s kept you hid­den.

So, ex­pect noth­ing, and re­al­ize this has been, at best, a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Now you can rec­og­nize when some­one cares far more for him­self than for you.

Now you’ll pro­tect your self im­age, and

speak up when you’ve seen some­one a few times, and the only con­nec­tion be­tween you is what he wants.

You’ll also know to watch for signs of some­one us­ing you for van­ity rea­sons.

But the big les­son is less about age dif­fer­ence and more about how he’s treated you, which you ac­cepted.

Don’t be hurt, an­gry, or em­bar­rassed. Just be smart, self-pro­tec­tive and done.

In your next (real) re­la­tion­ship, “ex­pect” to be treated with lov­ing care and re­spect.

Q: My wife’s tex­ting an ex-fi­ancé from 30-plus years ago. She says it’s OK be­cause they won’t meet, and they never had sex when they were en­gaged.

They just talk about day-to-day things.

But my wife never says that we did this or that, it’s just about her.

They tried to meet up sev­eral times but never con­nected. Her last text ended, “All my love, You are so hand­some. How did I ever let you get away?”

When I ac­ci­den­tally found that, I was ac­tu­ally search­ing for some­thing else for us.

Her words to me: “What does it mat­ter to you (what she writes)? It’s the past and noth­ing’s go­ing to hap­pen.” Am I crazy to worry about this?

Wor­ried Hus­band

A: No, you’re not crazy, she should be the one wor­ry­ing if you didn’t care about, or ques­tion, this text-flir­ta­tion.

It’s dis­re­spect­ful of your mar­riage for her to carry on a teas­ing cor­re­spon­dence without men­tion­ing you as her life part­ner.

If you were flirt­ing with and flat­ter­ing your last im­por­tant girl­friend, your wife would not ig­nore it or ac­cept it eas­ily. Tell her so.

Say that it does mat­ter to be ex­cluded this way.

Their re­con­nec­tion wouldn’t be wor­ri­some IF it’s treated as a friend­ship, with you men­tioned and in­cluded.

El­lie’s tip of the day

Age dif­fer­ence isn’t as big a prob­lem as one per­son be­ing used and treated badly by other.

El­lie Tesher is an ad­vice colum­nist for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your re­la­tion­ship ques­tions via email: el­[email protected]­tar.ca

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