Audacity

Here’s the deal. I just broke up with my girlfriend of a year and a half because I sensed she was losing interest in me. Later I found out through her girlfriends that she wanted to be single and unattached.

I am 36, divorced with three kids. She is 24, divorced, no children. According to her my “baggage” is not a problem. We got together not long after her split with her husband. She dated two different guys for a brief time before getting serious with me.

She was very serious about me and loved me more than any other man she has known. She still claims to love me and care about me, and she calls or emails every three or four days. Usually it is about some insignificant topic which seems like a reason to see how I am doing.

Two weeks ago she called and asked me out for a beer for an hour or so. After listening to her talk about everything she has been doing, she asked if I was dating yet. Just curious, she said. She has also shown signs of jealousy because some of her friends like to hang around me.

I would love to win her back, but I need a strategy. I feel she is checking out the single life while trying to keep me in the picture, because she might be making a big mistake. She even admitted to me once she might regret breaking up with me.

Do I just totally ignore her and remain friends while she goes through this stage?

~ Zach

Zach, you are in a child’s game of choosing sides. You think: pick me, pick me. But either you are her first choice or you aren’t. No one wants to be another’s fallback position.

Her stance is simple. “I am not madly, passionately in love with you, but I would settle for you if I can’t find someone else.” Your stance is, “I’m divorced with three kids, she has no baggage, and she’s 12 years younger. Yeah, I’d like her back.”

Her second thoughts come from, why haven’t I met Mr. Right yet? She says your baggage doesn’t matter, but it does.

She doesn’t have a problem with your kids. She has a problem that the kids are not yours and hers, but yours with another woman. But how can she say that? How can she say, you’ve experienced all the things I haven’t experienced; we won’t be experiencing them together for the first time.

She sees your link to your ex. She knows, I don’t have to see my ex again in my whole life. She wonders, what about the expense of his kids, and what will vacations and holidays be like?

With age difference, people often push aside the real issues because they don’t have to be dealt with today.

You probably haven’t considered the history she brings. She’s divorced. She’s chosen badly once, and the second divorce is often easier than the first. While you are a percentage of sufficient for her, a percentage of right—even if it’s 99%–still isn’t 100%.

It’s simply this. She went to the store and found a pair of shoes. They don’t quite match the outfit. But they’ll do in a pinch. So she hides them behind another shoebox, so no one else will find them, in case she can’t do better.

That mentality alone should warn you away. But her foot in your door keeps you from moving on.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of January 22, 2018

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