This letter writer loves putting things in parentheses. (Who doesn't?)
Dear Meredith, I am a 40something divorced mom of a grown child. I have been divorced for more than a decade. I have had several (3) long term relationships in that time, but all have failed to progress past the two-year mark for a few different reasons (ultimately, they were just not the right men for me). I recently began online dating (again). I have tried it quite a few times over the years (all of the different sites). I recently met a man on a site and went out with him despite some misgivings about him being divorced a relatively short time. (About a year, according to his e-mail.) We went out and had a fabulous time. We went out on a second date within a few days and had another great time. After this second date, he writes me an e-mail stating that he needed to come clean -- that he was not really divorced, he was only separated. He then told me that everything had been decided about the divorce agreement and he was staying with a friend and coming back to the family home to take the kids every other weekend. I was not comfortable with this, but I really liked the guy. So, I continued seeing him a few more times. After lots of chatting online and on the phone, (again, feeling like I was very connected to this guy) I started getting the feeling that he was not staying with a friend but still living in his marital home. I confronted him on this and he did admit that this was the case, but the marriage was over and it was just out of convenience that this was happening. I told him that I felt like I had been purposely misled by him and that I could not date someone who was still living with his wife, even if it was just because of the children (3 under age 10) or finances or under any other circumstances. This guy got rather upset at me about this and could not understand how things were going along so well and then BAM, I changed my feelings for him. I tried to explain that it has been my practice for a long time not to date separated men. It has only been about 3 weeks since I met him and I feel that I was duped. Even though I felt we clicked, I do not think it's right to date someone that still lives in the marital home no matter what the circumstances are. I feel that the divorce process is agonizing and that he is doing a disservice to himself and his children by not focusing on the situation at hand and trying to begin a new romance with me. He has announced that he is moving out of the home in a few weeks in hopes that I will change my mind. (I feel his moving out has a lot to do with me and not really his own desire to move on, despite what he tells me.) He just cannot understand why it's a good idea to wait to begin this relationship with me because he feels in his mind that he is 100 percent ready to move on because "his marriage was over for a long time before they decided to split." I think, at the very least, that it's going to take him 6 months to year to really get his life in order, move out, set a routine with his children and start getting his divorced finalized. (Another thing he is told me is that they will not be filing for divorce for at least a year, for financial reasons ---Something else I am not at all comfortable with) He thinks I should start back up with him after he moves out of the marital home. Am I being unreasonable to think that someone cannot move on in such a short time? Should I just go with the flow and continue to see him because we clicked so well? I am going with my gut feeling, which I think is a good thing, but I just want a reality check from you and your readers. I also would like to say to this guy, "See, I am not being overcautious, the entire readership of Love Letters agrees with me!"
– No More Guys On the Rebound
It's possible he's rushing this whole thing and that his priorities are all messed up, NMGOTR. It's also possible that his marriage has been over for quite some time, that he was dating online to test the waters, and that he wound up meeting someone great long before he thought he would. All of that is probably true. He really likes you, but he has no idea what he's in for over the next year. I'm sure there’s a person out there who wouldn't mind dating someone during the slow, uncomfortable, weirdness that comes with divorce, but that person isn't you. And at three weeks, there isn't much to lose besides the promise that comes with a few good dinners. If he hadn't lied, you might be able to forgive. If he was already living alone, you might be able to reconsider. If he had plans to finalize his divorce within a month, you might be able to put up with dating someone who's only separated. But you're dealing with all of those things, and together, they're one big fat, deal-breaker. Again, I think he really is smitten with you for the right reasons, so feel good about that. Please allow yourself to be flattered and let the experience remind you that there are people out there who can make you feel great. And commend yourself for knowing what's what. You're thinking of what's best for him and his kids. That's pretty selfless and cool. (Really.) Readers? Is there anything here to salvage? It's difficult for her to meet people, so is it worth waiting it out? Is it admirable that he's moving out of his house for her or is that the wrong way to think of his decision? Are his lies forgivable? (Discuss.)