Dating Over 40: Why can’t a man just tell you when things are over?

 

Dear Dating Coach,

Why can’t a man just tell you when things are over?
 
I had a long distance relationship with this great guy for 15 months. He had been a client and while we worked together, we spoke daily. At one point he flew out for a meeting and we got to spend time face to face. Once the project was over, things really took off. While we only saw each other every couple of months, we were in constant contact, sometimes several times a day with email, texting and phone calls.  He signed off with xoxox or kisses, that sort of endearing tone.
 
Then in April he cancelled his visit at the last minute. His communications stopped abruptly. I let it drop until in a recent email exchange that was business related, he stuck this bomb into the middle of the text. "Oh yeah, I just got married. We were on vacation and it was sort of spur of the moment."  Spur of the moment wedding?
 
He told me in the beginning he was living with a woman but that things were on the rocks. Actually she was the reason he had left his wife of 15 years.
 
Why didn’t he tell me he was getting married? And why did he stick this bomb into the middle of a business communication? That just doesn’t make sense to me? Please help.
 
Perplexed in Pacific Heights
 
 
Dear Perplexed,
 
In general, men dislike confrontation. And most don’t like to hurt a woman’s feelings or be exposed to the likely emotional outburst that follows such an announcement. Add your business relationship to the mix and you’ve got a highly sticky situation. That pretty much explains why he didn’t come clean sooner.
 
Of course his lack of integrity might also be a contributing factor. Not only did he cheat on his first wife with the second, but he was already cheating on the second before he married her. This cycle usually continues, so in a way, you’re lucky to be free of him.
 
It’s never easy when a relationship comes to an end, no matter how it happens. This situation is particularly jarring, since marriage is a giant leap from a "rocky relationship." He was honest enough to tell you he was in a relationship from the start, maybe so you wouldn’t call him at home…
 
The best thing to do here is to recap what you learned because every relationship has learning opportunities.
1) When a man tells you he’s already in a relationship, stop right there. He’s not free to be with you and the reasons why his situation isn’t good are irrelevant.
 
2) Long distance relationships can be hard to read. Sometimes one person doesn’t want a constant, close relationship so the distance makes things perfect. A perfect excuse to put a limit on the amount of time spent together. That’s also something to think about. Did that distance serve you as well in some way?
 
3) What did you like about the relationship? What qualities would you like to find again in a partner and what things would you avoid?
 
This kind of de-briefing can be a valuable step in the healing process. Once you take the time to consider these things, you are more ready to move forward to try again with someone new.
 
Personally, I hope you get back out there soon to take advantage of spring and summer – the friendliest seasons of the year.
 
Wishing you love,
Ronnie- The Dating Coach

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