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Relationship questions

April 13th, 2014 at 12:46 am

Today I picked up my new eyeglasses at BJs. Honestly, I didn't see any cost savings. They're progressives, and they cost about $350.

But, I do like them. The frames are a maroonish color and the part that goes on the sides to your ear have an interesting art deco style design to them. I'm glad to get rid of the frames I'd worn for over 2 years. Truth be told, I NEVER liked them and they seemed too big for my face. But I'm pretty near-sighted, and couldn't really seem them well when i picked them out.

So now I'm thinking I want to update my sunglasses, too, as i have a very old prescription in them and they hurt my eyes when i put them on. The frames are fine, but the lady at BJs said I wouldn't really save much by not replacing them. However, they just didn't have that shape at BJs becus they're not on trend. Which I really don't care about. Trends, that is.

Today I also got some pyrethrin spray at Agway (used for horses) that I've read is much more effective in actually killing ticks than any DEET or Off spray. I never spray on my skin anyway, so I'm happy to have the pyrethrin.

I also spent a very nice afternoon working in the yard. The weather was perfect, and will be again tomorrow, when I will be doing a 20-mile bike ride with Mike on an off-road rail trail in the area of Millerton, NY.

While I'm looking forward to the bike ride (sort of) I'm having some doubts about Mike. Initially, I noticed some common interests, but now I've also noticing some major lifestyle differences. He's retired, I'm not. (Hence he has a lot more time than me to do things he needs to do during the week.) I have a house, he has a condo. (My house requires a lot more upkeep and especially outdoor maintenance.)

He's not the kind of guy who likes to hang around the house. He likes to keep doing things like long hikes (5 hours last week), bike rides, etc. I like to do those things, too, but I simply don't have the time to do them every weekend.

He was telling me last weekend of one woman he briefly dated. It didn't work out, he said, becus they'd often discuss doing something like a hike, but he'd go over her house and they'd wind up doing other things and she treated the hike as if it was optional, if they had time after everything else she had to do. He became resentful that they never seemed to get around to doing things he wanted to do.

Well, that woman sort of sounded like me. While I was hugely into hiking most of my life, especially in my 20s and 30s, I have gotten away from it in recent years in light of my 2 cases of Lyme. And, well, life also gets in the way.

I would love to date someone who had an interest in spending time at my house, helping me with various things, and I've also come to enjoy rather leisurely Sundays when I stay close to home and cook, among other things. I just don't feel a driving need to go out on long hikes and bike rides every weekend. Occasionally, yes, but I sense that Mike wants to do it regularly.

I also feel bad leaving my 2 cats alone on the weekends after they're alone all day long during the week when I'm at work. Mike doesn't have pets, and he had a pretty noticeable allergic reaction when he spent some time at my place last weekend. He seemed to be speaking in a rather disapproving manner when he was talking about how some people let their cats have full run of the house, including on the bed. Well, that would be me again, and if I tried to shut my cats out of the bedroom, there would be scratching and wailing.

Mike is extremely outdoor-oriented. I'm not sure I can keep up with him, physically, nor do I have a lot of free time to do all these things. I had forgotten that new relationships require a fair investment of time, and gosh, get together every single weekend? Once lawn mowing season starts, that just won't happen, especially if he's not willing to just "hang out."

I did talk to him about it a few nights ago. He sounded a little disappointed and maybe a little on the defensive, but better to bring it up now rather than later. We left things sort of unresolved.

I don't know if I'm "creating" an issue or making a mountain out of a molehill, or maybe I shouldn't spend so much time thinking about the future, and about all the "what ifs" and just enjoy the present more, like my Chinese fortune cookie from last night said.

I guess that's why i decided to proceed with the planned bike ride: It will be a gorgeous day and I have the time to do it now. I have never been on this particular rail trail; it's about an hour north of us.

The other thing is, I HATE to say this, is that I'm not sure I'm physically attracted to him. It is SO hard for me to find ANYONE I'm attracted to, so when I met this genuinely nice, intelligent, not bad-looking, not overweight and upbeat guy, I noticed he wasn't my physical type but figured, I'm an adult now, surely I can overcome physical issues becus there are more important things. Well, I'm not sure that's going to work since we did get a little romantic last weekend and it wasn't really doing a whole lot for me.

So i don't know. I guess it doesn't sound too good. Even at this early stage, it will be awkward to break things off with him. Although i guess the best opportunity to do that would be after Easter as I know both of us will be busy with family stuff next weekend. It would be easier to do over the phone.

My friend Ron told me something I don't agree with at all. He said I'd be better off on my own because the kind of guy who would be attracted to me would be very hard to find, plus, he said, if I'm moderately happy now, say at 6o or 70% (I'm not sure I agree with the exact percentage), then meeting a guy will never make me 100% happy, it will only boost my happiness up to, say 80%, becus no relationship is ever perfect. So in his rather warped way of thinking of relationships like a numbers game, he feels it's not worth the effort for me, even though he has started dating someone himself.

The life coach from Las Vegas whose manuscript I began editing (I did the first half) is back from her vacation and is very happy with my work. She already recommended me to more than other person, she said, so that's great. Word of mouth is better than any advertising,and since I don't advertise, it's a great way to expand my client base.

7 Responses to “Relationship questions”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Tough questions! I would say, for the having different interests things, just be honest about when you feel like going hiking and when you'd rather hang around home. Make it clear you're OK if he hikes w/out you, you'd just rather not. (Sounds like he was annoyed that this past girlfriend would cause him to think they were definitely going hiking and then become more wishy-washy once he came over.

    If he gets sick of dating you when you only want to go hiking a quarter as much as he does, then he can be the one to break it off. If he doesn't mind the arrangement, then you can enjoy the relationship, but don't feel bad about saying no to activities you won't enjoy.

    Now the attraction -- that is even harder. My first impulse was to say that physical chemistry is what separates a romantic relationship from a friendship. But, I think sometimes there can be romantic or domestic partnerships that aren't all about the physical. I had a friend who started dating after a long-term unhappy relationship ended. When it came time for the new relationship to get more physical, she realized she just didn't want that. (I think the long-term relationship scarred her mentally in that area, but there can be different reasons.) I knew she was going to tell the guy, so I expected never to see him again. But then she came to a party, 6 months to a year later, and he was with her. So maybe they stayed just friends, or maybe he liked her enough that he agreed to date without really getting sexual. Who knows? Long story short, it's not an easy dump him or move in with him scenario. I think you're just going to have to see how it plays out, and keep being as honest as possible with both him and yourself, without hurting feelings too much of course.

  2. Petunia 100 Says:

    I think it is fine to enjoy the relationship for what it is. If you don't have time to see him every weekend, then don't. Smile If he does want to see you every weekend, then he will have to be flexible about weekend activities.

    Just my perspective that I have developed since my divorce at age 40.

    I am delighted to read that you are dating and (it sounds like) having some fun! Smile If you find that your feelings for Mike aren't all that romantic, that's OK too. It is still nice to have another friend with whom to do activities you both enjoy.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks, I really like both your answers. It gives me "permission" to just do what I want to do, but not what I don't want to do. I'd like to see if that will sometimes can feel a sort of unspoken "pressure" to do what the other person wants even if they're not really saying it.

    I think he's looking for a future wife, since, when he learned i had never been married before, he asked if i was specifically opposed to marriage for some reason. I told him no. But while i wanted to be married for long time, at this point, i'm not sure i want to anymore. I am probably set in my ways as far as how i like to live, and there can be complications about inheritance. For instance, if i died first, i would not want my assets eventually passing to his kids.

    Merging lives can be a great deal more difficult when you are over 50 compared to if you hitch up in your 20s/30s.

  4. TashaC. Says:

    Its been a while since I was in the dating world- I'm clueless in that arena. But your cats come before him. Don't let him make you think the cats should get locked up. Its normal for cats to get on the bed!

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    I think you both aren't the most compatible, and you know this. But, I understand that want an outside perspective.

    Physical attraction is what separates a friendship from a romantic relationship. Some people don't care that much, but I certainly do. "I'm not sure I'm physically attracted to him." That says it all for me.

    I wouldn't do anything I wouldn't want to do. But, I'd be really careful. I wouldn't want to string him along. I've had too many experiences of trying to make a male/female friendship work, being completely up front and honest, and being hurt because in the end they wanted more. Which is maybe more their problem than mine, but I would be extremely cautious with any future male friendship, personally.

    As far as to Ron's comments? Meh. Can't say they are useful. Don't over-think it.

  6. Jenn Says:

    I agree with your fortune cookie! Stop letting yourself feel pressured, continue to be honest, and just enjoy. He sounds like a great guy, but face it: you're BOTH older and more set in your ways. If your relationship continues, there will eventually be compromises on both sides to keep it together.

    Maybe grass-mowing season is a good test. When you let him know that you've got a day in the yard planned so you'll get plenty of exercise without hiking this weekend, he'll either () offer to help, (2) go hiking alone and maybe meet you for dinner afterward, or (3) skip seeing you that weekend.

    As to different lifestyles because he's retired and you're not - someday that won't be the case. What do you want your retirement to look like? Is an active outdoorsy lifestyle appealing to you when you have the time? Be honest with yourself.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I agree with Tasha. Like I've told NE, Kari (my cat) and I are a package deal.

    As for the other issues, keeping an open line of communication is vital. If he can't deal with accommodating your needs, then .... well he might make a good friend to do things with once in a while. NE and I have had several hard discussions related to this - I'm happy to hang out around home most of the time when I'm by myself, but when I have someone to do things *with*, then I like to actually go and DO things. Not all the time, but also not hang at home 24/7 ... He'd be happy to hang at home 24/7. We've both had to do some compromising, and still haven't totally made a happy medium.

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