Wednesday, October 28, 2015



Hi Missy, 

I started seeing Lloyd several months after his wife of many years died.  Their children are grown and have families of their own.  They seem to think that I'm OK as a "companion" to Lloyd because he is older and I'm older, a couple years older than their mom was.  That's their concept.  That older people are just "companions," to go places together on senior citizen trips.  There are no objections to me that I know of.  They don't want dad to be lonely.

Now a couple years have gone by and we're comfortable.  We're sexual which his kids don't know but mine do because we get together at my house and I tell them not to come over.  What I'm not feeling comfortable with is that this relationship is not going towards marriage and I want to be married.  Lloyd knows this.  He says, "Some day it will probably happen."  How do I get Lloyd to move forward and make a real commitment like a wedding date?  He's a grieving widow.

Woodland Hills


Dear Senior Citizen Joan,

I think all of us women know that there are very many more of us available as the years go by then there are men to go around.  I had a senior neighbor, a man who was half blind with thick glasses, a sloppy eater, and told the same bad jokes repeatedly, and he still had five women after him.

Senior women seem to be in abundance and most seem to have accepted that they will continue on as single or divorced or widowed.  Therefore, the competition is actually not as fierce as some think because so many women are themselves simply not interested in another marriage or have given up. I hate to say it, some feel grateful that they have a man who is a "companion." 

But Joan, to yourself you must be true. 

You use the term "comfortable," and I think that's just it.  Lloyd is comfortable just as things are and his comment gives me the impression part of his comfort is that he doesn't feel you are too pushy.  You could psyche this out that if you are "too pushy" you will loose him. but standing up for yourself and your beliefs is not pushy at all but what you have to do to be authentic. 

Then again this man had a long marriage with children, his life was settled, he probably has some wonderful characteristics, but he is a widow and was grieving his loss when you started dating him so OK, a couple years is enough time put in for you as a loving and patient woman who wants to be a married woman or for Lloyd to decide he has to make it as a single man.

What I'm going to suggest, but you must be firm in your desire to marry or leave him before you try this, is Don't Push Lloyd. 

When I got my dog,  I soon realized she was all muscle though a small creature. I was shocked that she could pull me down the street in her attempt to chase squirrels (which remains her passion) when she weighed ten times less than me.  One time she even broke her leash going after them.  There she was galloping in a field while I stood there in awe of both her speed and glee and how fast she got away from me.  Luckily she stopped at a tree where I caught her.  Then I read in one of the many dog training books that if a dog races away from you, hopefully not into deadly traffic, you shouldn't chase after them if they don't heed your call, but turn around and walk away.  Not that people are dogs, but you know, I tried it, and sure enough, it was like she had eyes in the back of her head.  When she knew I had given up and was heading home without her, she quickly turned around and followed me back.  Which means that she thought of my chasing her as part of her game.

So, Joan, it is time for you to tell Lloyd.  "I love you but I feel the need to be married."  (Do not officially break up with him or even say anything like "We should both see other people.")  Keep it that simple.  Tell him about when you also announce that you are going on a trip and don't know when you'll be back.  (He'll know you need time to think but also that you just need to get away ON YOUR OWN and have a good time.)

Joan, go on a trip for at least a month or more. Don't let him drive you to the airport or see him locally once you've said these two things and start packing.  No long good byes or promises to see each other when you return.  Just don't go on a cruise where everyone knows there are way more women than men.  Go to Europe to see the sights or to see your sister in Florida who has a boat or anywhere you can afford to go where there will be an adventure and where you'll be meeting people and go without giving him any way to contact you since after all you "don't know where" you will be (or with whom).  Don't even make any promises that you will call from the road or send any "thinking of you" postcards.  Don't e-mail or text from your other location. In fact, it would nice if you could leave your cell at home.  Tell your children not to inform him of your whereabouts if he calls them to find out where you are or when you'll be back.  All they do is "pass on the message when we hear from her." Make sure that no one is going to use your absence to "level with" or otherwise inform Lloyd of what you're up to. Be mysterious and vague.  Be open to a good time.

Lloyd will realize that you have created your own diversion and that you are rethinking the relationship.  Lloyd needs to think about what life will be like without you, when he can't call you at night to touch base, when he can't be sure he will have company to go along with him here there and everywhere.  Lloyd needs to know that you can find other companions elsewhere.  Without you saying it.  So just go.  Let him think his thoughts. If he finds another himself, let him.

Hopefully by the time you return, if you still want to marry Lloyd, he will have thought about it and have a proposal for you.  Whatever he says, don't consider it such if he does not want to set a date so that you can make a plan and have your Senior Dream Wedding.  If he doesn't soon after you return, well, you have already given both of you some distance.  But if you get back and he wants to continue as you had been before and loneliness or love consumes you, just know that the moment you go back to going out with Lloyd as you have been, the cause for marriage will have been lost.  And yes, very likely some other woman will soon be after Lloyd, making his widowhood easier on him.

I wish you the best, Joan.


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