Despite the drama going on in my life, I think I’ve had time to actually genuinely like someone else who isn’t my ex (the first person I have genuinely been interested in in 5 years). He’s older than me and divorced with two kids, but the day he came to see me and we hugged and talked for a bit, I felt this “zing” and I would like to see what happens. He’s super reserved though, so when we do talk our conversations are okay… just okay. But I want more. He works in another city and he invited me to visit him and I want to see if we can be more or if I should just end it. I really need advice on how to go about this situation. And I also keep wondering if he would consider me like that or is he just completely closed up.
Hi K-Xengah –
WOW! I love hearing news like this! Of course I’m hoping it works out, but even if it doesn’t, to know that your heart is waking up like this is great.
So I need to start with one question. You sound like he hasn’t shown any particular interest in you beyond friendliness, but he invited you to his city. That sounds like he actually is interested in where this relationship might lead. Or is there something I don’t know?
But regardless, what I truly believe from your letter is that this man is shut down. Maybe he was a lot more effusive and social before his divorce, but now he’s very hesitant. If you’ve read any of my letters or articles about my friend Aria, he’s like her. He’s been hurt, he’s learned not to trust… but he’s also hopeful and willing to take a chance.
And that means that, just like her human friend Ugmo, you have a special job on your hands. You need both to encourage more to happen (while protecting yourself of course) and to build his trust that you’re not like the person or people who’ve broken him before.
What will that mean? Well I don’t know him of course. But the more you can find out about what went wrong in his marriage or other relationships, the better. Let’s guess though – if you can work to make sure you always tell him the truth (which doesn’t mean “the whole truth” about everything, just don’t lie), you communicate from a place of kindness, you disagree and argue with fairness, treat him with appreciation as much as possible and shame as little as possible, and forgive forgive forgive!
Oh and one other thing I’ve learned from Handsome. If you want to be with this guy, that means you’re accepting that he is a father who, if he’s a really good man, will almost always put his children first. If you can’t accept that, then it’s never going to work out for the two of you. Now understand, that wouldn’t make you a bad person – just someone who needs to be put first in a relationship right now.
But I’ve seen it over and over. Women will like Handsome and the way he treats them. And then they’ll realize how much he loves me, and how high a priority he puts on me, and they’ll pull away. “She’s only a dog. Can’t we just leave her out in the yard alone for a few days, maybe put some food out for her, she won’t mind.” Yeah, that doesn’t work at all! Or worst of all, one once blurted out at him, “Who’s more important to you, Shirelle or me?!” He was so shocked at the question it took him hours to come up with his answer: “The one who’d never ask me the question is the one I’m sticking with.” You see, if he’d said she was more important, his fear would always be that someday she’d ask him to prove it! And that terrified him.
So my biggest advice to you is, if you want to be with someone with children, to NEVER ask him to put you ahead of them. He’s looking for a partner. Try to be it.
If you can do these things, K-Xengah, I can’t guarantee that your relationship with him will work, any more than I could guarantee any other couple. But I can guarantee that you will have done everything in your power to help him trust you.
And once someone trusts, they become so much more able to love.
So with my trusting heart, I’m sending YOU all my love, and very very best wishes,