He won’t get physical

I'm looking for updates from former letter writers for the holidays. If you wrote me a letter, please send me an update from the same email address that you used to write me the first time. We'd all love to know how you're doing.

I am 55-year-old widow and I met a 50-year-old guy online. We had an emotional relationship from the start. We talk and text constantly and he always tells me how much he loves and cares for me and how he hasn't felt this way in a long time.

He has had his struggles with alcohol and went from being a productive, home-owning member of society to living in a halfway house. He has his own place again and is doing well, but I wonder if his past life has traumatized him -- because there is no physical intimacy. Just a quick peck after 2 months. He likes to walk and hold my hand, but that's about all.

I let him know that I am hurt by what I perceive as a lack of interest on his part, and he says that he is nervous and that having sex will take it to the next level. I just don't understand why he doesn't want to sleep with me.

– Misunderstood in Beantown

He's saying "I love you," but he doesn't want to take it to the next level? Honestly, MIB, it sounds like he just wants a friend, at least for right now. But you want more, and you have to prioritize your own needs.

My advice is to make some very specific requests. As in, "Will you trying kissing me right now?" Or, "I thought we'd try a sleepover on Friday. It doesn't have to lead to sex, but it'd be nice to sleep in the same room." If he won't -- or can't -- do these things, you have to go back online and do some more fishing.

You went on a dating website to find a romantic partner, not a platonic (but loving) companion. I'm all for taking things slow and having empathy, but he's not giving you any indication that he'll get beyond this. He's just not ready.

Ask questions, and if you don't get what you need, please walk. You're looking for physical intimacy. There is nothing wrong with that, and it's out there.
Readers? Should she be patient with this guy? If so, for how long? What is he doing? Should she give him a break because of his past? What about their emotional connection? Help.

– Meredith