Two single people, too shy to ask for date

SINGLE FILE

March 13, 1994|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: I'm a single mother, and I really like a man I work with, and yes, he's a single father. (Someone said he also likes me.) We seem to have a lot in common -- we have the same number of children, we share the same moral values, and we are both available.

I never thought I'd find someone I share so much with. But now comes the hard part: I am too shy to ask him out, and I get the feeling he is just as shy. I am also a little "old-fashioned" and prefer not to do the asking.

A: Doing the asking is not the right way for every woman, and you are honest enough to admit that it's not for you. But someone has to get this off the ground, so make an exception and send him a friendly and informal note (at work), asking him to meet after work someday for a coffee-shop dinner. That first meeting will break the ice, and the two of you can then figure out what you like to do together, and whether it's wise to blend a foursome with the kids to go bowling or to a ballgame. Once you've taken the first step, decisions affecting the two of you can be made mutually and for the good of all involved. This man is worth a little extra effort.

Q: I've developed a friendship with a lady who lives 2,000 miles away. We met on a computer service. We have talked on the phone many times, and now she's coming to see me. Neither of us is in a position to move any nearer to each other; my job won't permit it. How can we keep things going after she leaves?

A: Assuming all goes well on her visit, there will be shared memories and goodwill to carry you both through the lonely moments afterward. And the opportunities then will be limited only by your imaginations. (Yes, she will think of ways to stay in touch, too.) Phone calls and cards, gifts and flower arrangements can all travel across the miles. When phone bills climb, arrange (by letter) to call on designated days at designated times . . . gentle reminders that you're thinking of each other. Send balloons, a meaningful article clipped from the newspaper, a book you had read and liked, a poem that touches your heart. Love travels well.

Q: Last fall, after living together four years, my boyfriend and I got separate apartments. (This was his idea; he was unhappy living with me and wanted his freedom.) Now, nine months later, we continue to see each other once every week or two. Neither of us has dated anyone else during this time.

I would like to meet someone, but I haven't. I would like one day to be married; my ex (boyfriend) says he'd like to live alone for life. I don't know why I continue to date him; I care about him, and we enjoy spending time together, but I wonder if it's a waste of time, considering that he's not interested in the same kind of future I am. I would hate to lose him as a friend but I would like to date other men. Is this reasonable?

A: If you truly want to marry, you must not only date other men, you must end the relationship with your former boyfriend. You are wasting time with him, yes, but more importantly, his company is filling a void that needs to be emptied so it can be filled in the future.

The familiarity and intimacy shared with your ex sends a message to your psyche -- and to the men you meet -- that you are "taken," that your primary needs are filled. Actually, you are going nowhere with him, certainly not toward the goal you have in mind. I suggest you call a halt to your relationship -- it's the one way you can become emotionally available.

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