It's time to ask your relationship question. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wrote to you a while back about having trouble meeting someone. I am 35 and divorced; my ex-husband is gay and had been cheating with men (unbeknownst to me) throughout our entire relationship.
I am not over the man I thought I married. Even though I know that he never really existed to begin with. Our whole life together was a carefully executed charade in his attempt to "compete" with his friends and colleagues. Anyway, between missing X and feeling like the world is full of pathological liars, dating is HARD.
I met someone right before COVID-19, and we have continued to date and spend time together throughout the lockdown. I do believe he's trustworthy, but he's the polar opposite of my ex. Quiet, shy, unambitious. He's a sweet guy and readily goes along with anything I want to do, which is great! However we have nothing to talk about; he's not a reader, doesn't like music, only watches sports on TV. I don't see us together for the long haul, but I'm worried that maybe I'm being too quick to end things. It seems like maybe it's my own judgement that I don't trust after all.
Should I stick it out and see if excitement levels improve once COVID is behind us? I feel so torn about what to do. I don't want to make another mistake.
I know this is a lot to unpack.
It's challenging for some people to be their best, most interesting selves during COVID-19. It's not easy for them to show how animated and funny they can be in a room full of friends. They might not be able to take their new significant other to a favorite restaurant or bring them on a weekend getaway.
That said, for some new couples, this lockdown has been a time for long talks and bonding. Some new relationships have become exclusive and serious because there's more time to connect. In your case, if you have nothing to say to this very nice new man – if you are watching him watch sports, or becoming the boss of everything you both do – it's not a match. You say you don't see the two of you together for the long haul. Trust that instinct.
This has been a great experience, one that's taught you that not everyone has something to hide. Please celebrate the fact that you've been able to date and get to know someone. It's part of the healing process.
Also, as you move forward, please remember that you shouldn't feel overwhelming pressure every time you make a decision about your romantic life. I understand why you fear the wrong path more than others might, but you won't be able to have much fun or enjoy next steps with a person if you're thinking, "Is this a horrible mistake?" If that question is getting in the way of these experiences, especially as you start relationships, consider therapy, if you're not already in it.
What happened in your marriage involved many decisions not made by you. Let this new relationship be proof that deal-breakers come in many other, benign forms, and that every relationship will bring a different set of highs and lows. On to the next.
Readers? Permission to end this relationship? Or wait out COVID to see what's what?