Thursday, June 19, 2014

Part 2 - Walking away from someone you love: Four lessons learned

Revisiting walking away from love: Four lessons learned

Last week we wrote about Cheryl, age 63, who has dated a widower for two years. She said, “I love him dearly.” But he’s told her he will never live with her or marry her. She wants more from the relationship. I suggested she walk away or take a break.

Judging from the number and depth of the responses, Cheryl’s story struck a chord with many Champs, who have been in similar situations. They shared what they learned from their experiences. For our age group, it’s an important issue, more common than I realized, and worth discussing a second time. At the end of today’s column, four lessons learned.

Lorrie said, “I was in a similar situation last year. I was dating a man I loved but he wouldn't make a commitment or make me a priority in his life. I met his kids but never spent any significant time with them.

“I never met his remaining family; he said it was to protect me because they were screwed up. He wouldn't make plans with me and I never knew when I'd see him again. I accepted his behavior and would be available whenever he called. 

“After six months, he broke up with me and I was deeply hurt. A month later, he called to tell me he loved me and missed me so much that he wanted to give it another try. I agreed and within a couple of weeks, he decided he couldn't commit after all and he only wanted to be my friend. I tried it his way for a few months and finally realized life is too short to settle, I wasn't happy and I deserved more.

“I walked away and in a couple of weeks, I met a wonderful man who lets everyone (including his family) know that I'm a priority. He is present and available. I never have to wonder when I'm going to see him because I know on his days off from work, he's going to be with me. I am not only happy, I'm at peace. I hope this will offer some hope to Cheryl that there are men out there who will give you what you want and need. You just have to be willing to take a chance to find them.”

Sue wrote, “A few years ago I met a wonderful man on We had fabulous chemistry (ha ha) and all seemed to be great. Months went by and no intro to any friends or family.
When I asked him about it-as he had met scores of mine-he said he didn't want to upset his kids. He had two sets of kids from two marriages- it's the younger ones he was concerned with...age four to 16. He said after the divorce (I’d meet them), which had already been going on for about a year when we met.
So I hung in there. He was fun and even though we could only see each other every other weekend because of these younger children, all was cool, until it wasn't.
Fifteen months went by--not one intro to anyone on his team--and another summer was coming where I would be without him at all functions most summer weekends as he sees them more in the summer. That’s when I drew the line.

“I said, ‘I'll be on my own--and you do the same--or whatever you decide. If and when the divorce is finalized, and you still want to see me and I'm not otherwise involved, great. But I'm still looking for my life partner.’
“Boy that was hard! I cried for weeks! Drained! 
“But I went back on line and did a little more dating--to get my blood running again. I met my guy in an Irish pub--where I never am on a night in NYC where I'm never in. I would not have met him had I not shed the other one; you have to make room in your heart for the new one.
If you heart is too full of what can't be- there is no room for what will be. 
It's truly NOT better to be with someone that doesn't return the love.
I've never been the queen in someone's life till's SOOO much better than crumbs.” 

One of our male Champs wrote that he has been in a somewhat similar situation, his girlfriend wouldn’t commit. He said, “When I finally told her that I was not going to continue with a ‘less than fulfilling relationship,’ she told me she could not live without me in her life--for all the good reasons.

“You have to be willing to truthfully confront the situation. You would be very surprised how people will fight for what they want when they believe they will lose something. In Cheryl’s case, it could change the entire situation if her man feels she is going away. If not, sooner is better than later, it may well be a ‘wake up’ call. She will also learn something about herself.”

Four relationship lessons from these responses:

1. There are few good reasons to stay in a relationship that isn’t in balance or isn’t right for you, or worse yet, is harmful due to the stress

2. Take a stand. Draw a line in the sand. Have some huevos. Let your wishes be known. Be prepared to lose the person that you don’t have anyway

3. When you are spending time with the wrong person, it takes away from the time you could be available to meet the right person. Many Champs met someone right for them after a breakup

4. Ask yourself how many years you have left on this earth. Don’t waste them being miserable or unappreciated.

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