I have been dating a man whose company I enjoy. However, I am the one who decides where we go and what we do on each date. He doesn’t have any ideas other than the same restaurant near his home. How do I get him to research and work on finding something for us to do on our dates? Right now, I feel it is a one-sided relationship with me making all of the decisions, and I am tired of it. How do I get him to do some work? — Clare A., 63, Roslindale, Mass.
Clare, have you communicated with him and told him how you feel about this? Make this suggestion to him: “Let’s alternate planning our dates and where we’re going to go. When I plan, you pay for the date. And when you plan, I’ll pay.” That just might get his attention big time. Convey to him that it’s important for the relationship to have both of you involved in deciding what you do. Give him some hints or a list of what you’d like him to plan. If he doesn’t take the bait and get involved, you have two choices. The first is just to continue as you are, but you’re already tired of that choice. The second is to find another gentleman who’s more willing to share in planning.
I have a complex medical history. I am a 100 percent service connected disabled veteran. I am not handicapped, however, I do have some severe restrictions especially when exerting myself. No one could tell by looking at my photo that I am disabled. Sometimes when I exert myself I am required to use oxygen. My question is how do I present myself without scaring men away? I usually do not expose any of my medical trials upfront. Is this unreasonable? — Diane W., 51, McKinney, Texas
Diane, you’re not being unreasonable. Don’t disclose right upfront. See if there’s a mutual interest over the phone or the Internet. But I do feel that before you meet in person, you should explain your condition as kind of an “Oh, one last thing, because I’m a vet, I’ve got a condition I want you to be aware of…” You wouldn’t want to embarrass the man or yourself by not telling him before you meet.
More than my looks
I am an attractive 60-year-old woman with a great shape for my age, but I am not pretty. People seem to like my personality until they meet me in person, then I never hear from them again. Why are men so shallow? Why can’t someone spend time with me to find out who and what I am? This hurts me terribly. I want someone to grow old with. — Barbara G., 60, Lockport, Illinois.
Barbara, most singles want someone to grow old with. But for women at age 60, the ratio of available single women to available single men is more than three to one. By age 70, the ratio is almost five to one. And many of these “available” men aren’t relationship material, for a host of reasons. Knowing they’ve got numbers on their side, some men are players and not sincerely looking for a relationship. With that in mind, keep your expectations in check. Get involved in activities you enjoy. Enrich your life. Don’t go out looking for a mate, because you’ll come off as desperate. Who knows? While you’re out enjoying life, you may meet a sincere gentleman who loves you for what’s inside of you — a warm, loving, caring person. And remember, being single isn’t so bad; in fact, it’s pretty darn good.
In love with being in love
I met someone in Personals. Quickly we became comfortable with talking to each other. We seem to have a lot in common. It seems too easy. When we meet in person, it’s a little different. In fact, it’s sort of awkward at times. This is the first time I have had someone with so much in common. Is the awkwardness my fault or am I being played for a fool? — John C., 50, St. Louis, Missouri.
John, people often think they’ve met the right person for them and they’re in love before they’ve met in person. That simply isn’t possible. They’re in love with the concept of being in love. Until two people meet face-to-face, chemistry is impossible to tell. Questions to ask yourself: Do you share chemistry with each other? Are you both just being shy? Do you want to be with each other after meeting in person? You know you have much in common, but do you have the ingredient called chemistry that completes the puzzle? Only you know.
Needs a man decoder
How do you know when a man really likes you? Sometimes after a first date I don’t hear from them for a month, then all of a sudden they’re calling me a lot. With other guys, one minute he’s giving me a present, the next he’s breaking a date with me to go out with someone else. Then there’s the guy who gets upset when I dump him but didn’t seem to care one way or another about me when we were together. What gives? — Christina S., 52, Clearwater, Florida.
Christina, where are you meeting these men? They all seem to be playing a game. Ask yourself, are you sending the wrong message? Are you playing a game with these guys? You mentioned “dumping” a guy as if it’s a part of your program. That’s a pretty harsh word for a nice person to use. You’ll know a man likes you when he acts like a gentleman — when he’s considerate and calls you and is attentive. Perhaps you’re coming on too strong or making yourself too available. Make a list of the qualities you want in a man and hold these men accountable to your list. Put respect near the top. But remember, what you seek in a man, you must be able to give to him in return. Dating is not a game; it’s finding a relationship with somebody compatible, and you haven’t found that yet.
I am young and spirited and have a great outlook on life. I am happy with myself and am attractive. I also have severe arthritis. How should I go about mentioning this in my personal profile? I want to be fair to a potential man and myself without pushing someone away unnecessarily. — Lynn W., 63, Goodyear, Arizona.
Lynn, I wouldn’t mention the arthritis in your personal profile. Wait to see what develops. If he likes you for what you are — young, spirited, attractive, happy and with a great outlook on life — you can mention the arthritis to him at a later time.