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Reality Check

I have been seeing this guy for a few months. It has been difficult because we live rather far apart, but we are also a bit older than average daters, and we’ve both had a hard time meeting people. We get on very well; we’re compatible, but we don’t see each other much. I am a post-grad student living on very little money. I am divorced with a couple of daughters who live on their own, he is divorced with no kids. He has more money than I do but even less free time because he works full-time. So, things have been challenging. We have made no promises to one another. We talk on the phone often and send each other dirty texts. When we do get together it’s lovely.

So, I guess my problem is this: he is a lot younger than I am and I don’t know if he is doing this as a “just for fun†sort of thing or what. I am starting to have real feelings for him, but there is no way we can be together for at least another six months, and even that would require one of us (me) to move. I am up for that challenge, at least right now. He seems to really like me, but I am afraid he is going to meet somebody else in the meantime, somebody with a real job and no kids and no baggage. I’m also afraid to bring this up because I don’t want to make a very good situation suddenly awkward. Should I say something to him and see where he is in his head? Or keep my mouth shut and hope for the best?

Pine Fresh

If you’re talking every day and things are hot when you see each other, I’d say you’re on the right track. When you say you’ve made no promises to each other, does that mean that you have actually talked about this and you are allowed to see other people, or that you assume since neither of you has said anything that he is dating other people?

I think the first thing you need to do is have that conversation if you haven’t already. And if I were you, I would tell him that you would rather he not see other people, but that if he does, he should tell you. You already said that you’re both older, and that he works a lot and you talk on the phone often, so the odds are good that he’s too busy for another lady in his life. And the odds that he will find one with a real job and no kids and no baggage? And y’all are older? I wouldn’t develop a lot of wrinkles worrying about that one if I were you, PF. When you start feeling bad about yourself, switch the TV to Bravo for 30 seconds. If the “Real Housewives” of anywhere doesn’t make you feel better about yourself, then you can start worrying and hit the Botox.

I am in my early 30s and I own my own home. It is outside of the city, so I take a long train ride to work every day, and I have no problem with that. My lady-friend and I have been together for about a year. She has a place in the city, and we spend many nights together, mostly at her place. Our relationship is great and it’s strong, and we have discussed marriage. We recently decided to move in together, which is great. We can’t wait to live together, and even talking about it has brought us closer. After much discussion, we decided that I would move into her place and rent my house out.

The problem? I have a cat, and my lady is horribly allergic. I have had this cat for three years, longer than I’ve known her, and I love him dearly. If he moves with me he will either have to be an inside cat or he will be in a lot more danger. Obviously, being inside all the time is going to make him very unhappy and her very uncomfortable.

Some of my friends have suggested that we “give it a try,†which requires lots of drugs for the lady and totally uprooting the cat to another home that I might then end up booting him out of. I was thinking about asking my parents to adopt him, since they have always had more than one cat, have plenty of room and live in the country. That way I would still be able to see him sometimes and my girlfriend won’t suffer, either. But now my best friend is laying into me, telling me I’m selfish and that the cat is my responsibility and I can’t just cast him aside, etc. What do you think? Should I try to bring him to our place first? Am I being irresponsible if I send him to live with my parents? My girlfriend said she is willing to try having him in the apartment if that’s what I want, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea. What do you think?


I think if you move the cat into the city you may find out the hard way that it isn’t going to work. If your girlfriend reacts poorly and doesn’t get used to it (which is possible, by the way), the dander will already be all over your apartment and nearly impossible to get rid of, even after the cat is gone. This is especially bad if you have carpet. And what if you decide to give him a shot at city life and he gets run over, or dies from licking up somebody’s antifreeze?

I think if you’re going to have a test run, you should do it in your house, since his DNA is already all over the place. That way, if it doesn’t work, your lady will have a clean house to return to. If that works, you can make the decision about how much freedom he’ll have later. And yes, I understand your best friend’s concern, but finding the cat another home (in the country at that!) isn’t irresponsible. Dumping him off on the side of the road or at a shelter where he’s likely to be euthanized? That’s irresponsible. And reprehensible. And, unfortunately, very common.

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