People write in to ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR with questions.  An index of all Q&As is located on the ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR INDEX page. Email your question in complete confidence to [email protected].


I’m 30, and I’m in love with a wonderful 40 year old who cannot imagine daily life with me.

He divorced five years ago from a 15-year marriage. He immediately started a new relationship, and moved with her for three years, but then decided she was not the woman for the rest of his ended it. I met him online at that time.

We began a wonderful, sexy, respectful affair that kept going on for a year. We both knew that our differences (age, culture, finance and social issues) didn’t make us ideal for each other but we kept going because it felt right, and we had a


great time together. He had left his girlfriend, and I moved houses after a very stressful period of my life. So we were a great comfort to each other at the time. I started to feel like we could have a real chance together as a committed couple. But I was never sure that he was interested in that – so I didn’t let myself have too much hope.

Last September, without my knowledge, he joined an online dating site, met a woman, saw her a few times for drinks, and ended up having a holiday romance with her. He chose to not continue things with her because he realized he was not remotely ready for another serious relationship. And so, when he came back (at the end of November) he said he only wanted to be my friend. And we ended it for good. For five days.

He came back to me saying that he couldn’t stand the idea of not having me close ever again so he offered me a real relationship. And I thought we were going to try. We spent some time together with both his kids. We talked about the other woman, and then we had great sex again. But we never talked about what we wanted from a relationship. I didn’t want to put pressure on him, and now I see that things didn’t change too much from when we were just lovers.

After one month, we were trying to talk about us. I had completely admitted (to both myself and him) that I loved him with all my heart. He had said he loved me too. He said he could imagine us having a kid. He said that we had a perfect physical-emotional connection. But he said that he couldn’t imagine the daily life with me. He actually said that he had never seen me as his future wife. And that was so hurtful. But, after a few days, I tried to leave the anger in the past and focus on the good things between us.

We tried to keep the friendship. It hasn’t worked so far because it’s too painful for me to hear him talking about the same things that we used to talk, and because he keeps giving explanations of why things didn’t work, and how his life is so complicated, and all the things that are his priority in life that he has to give time to. Can’t he see how much he hurts me by reliving everything again and again? He said that it had nothing to do with me. That it’s him who’s not ready. I said that I didn’t want to see him or hear from him for a while.

And I know that I have to move on with my life. But his words keep haunting me. I just don’t know how someone can want me and not want me at the same time. I wonder if his doubts have more to do with his fear of ending up trapped in another marriage, or if there is something that clearly tells him that I’m not the woman of his life. I wonder if he feels like dating many women now that he can because he’s been committed to someone since he was 19? I can picture a future with this man by my side. But I can’t give all without asking for something in return. I want some reassurance. I want to share my life and have a family with a man who loves me, respects me, who I have great sex with, and who makes me laugh and think when I talk to him.

Since we have been apart – my worst fear is that is that too much time is passing, and that I’ve lost him for good. I imagine running into him and a new girlfriend, and my chest hurts.

So. any views about this?


Thanks for writing in. Here is what I think – first of all, you have been part of your boyfriend’s “healing process” with respect to his divorce recovery PLUS it is also possible that you have been a victim of sorts from a midlife crisis of his. Here is how I come to those conclusions:

1) He was in a long marriage, then divorced … immediately jumped into a relationship with someone else, then he split up with her, and immediately jumped into a relationship with you. So – he didn’t really spend any time alone, or as a single, solo individual … he was always going from one relationship to another. This is classic “rebound” behavior on his part – he just didn’t want to be alone, and so he jumped right into two relationships (one with you) that he otherwise may not have pursued. He did this because he was NEEDY.

2) While dating you, he joined an online dating site, and cheated on you with another woman. That is extremely disrespectful of him – toward you … but you already know that. You simply do not cheat on someone you really, truly love. He’s got some wild oats to sow – which can be part of a post-divorce recovery process and/or a midlife crisis.

Now what do I recommend that you do? I’d say DUMP HIM – not only because he cheated on you, but also because he told you flat out that he cannot imagine daily life with you (which is a F’ed up thing to say to anyone). He also said he does not see you as his future wife – again, a hurtful thing to say … but very clear in terms of his thoughts about your chances of a long-term relationship with him. If you stay with him, I think the best you can hope for is good sex – but also know that he’ll continue to hurt you with things he says, plus I know that he’ll cheat on you again. That would be too much for me to endure – and that’s why I think you should leave him in your rearview mirror, and take that energy of yours and use it to find someone who truly values you. Life is just too short to waste any more time on him.

Hopefully you found this helpful. I encourage you to consider joining our Midlife Forum here on … where we talk about a lot of things, including dating and midlife crisis issues. We’d be happy to have you as a member of our community. Here is a link to it: Midlife Forum

Avatar of Greg Smith
About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.