‘I don’t want to sit around and do nothing’

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Hi Meredith,

I have been divorced for 12 years. I have been in a relationship with a very nice man for the last 20 months. He is very good to me and spoils me. He is 62 and I am 56. There is one issue that I have and not sure how to handle this without looking like a bad person. He fell and injured his hips last year and refused to get physical therapy. Now his feet are hurt. These injuries make it hard for him to get around. He is not shy about sharing his aches and pains. The relationship has become too platonic. I am an active person, love to exercise, walk, bike, started playing golf, and love going to the beach. The winter was not too bad, I didn't mind sitting around with him. Now the summer season is coming and I don't want to sit around and do nothing while I could be outside doing different activities and enjoying the great weather. How do I tell him in a nice way about my concerns without hurting his feelings. I just don't want to sit around and do nothing.

– Too young to feel old!!

I don't know what you mean when you say he spoils you. But would you say you're actually compatible, beyond him being very good to you? If the world hadn’t been closed for the better part of the last 20 months, would you have been able to enjoy each other’s company in the same way?

You're supposed to want to help a partner in sickness and health, but you haven't signed up for that kind of promise just yet. Also, it's clear the two of you feel differently about how to manage yourselves. You say he refused physical therapy. You want to be with someone who would prioritize that kind of care.

At the very least, you should tell him that you want an active summer for yourself. Not all couples hike summits together; sometimes one person does the climb or jumps into a boat, while the other is home doing what they want to do. You can make sure he understands that you want to be that couple, and you can talk about how to make sure you’re doing enough in the middle of your Venn diagram when you have time together.

But if you know deep down that you're done – that there isn’t enough in that center diagram wedge to make you happy – just end it. Yes, you'll feel guilty about leaving him. You had some wonderful moments in those 20 months. But if you want a different life and aren't feeling like you could be his partner, it's OK to bail. Better than sticking around and pretending you want to be there.

– Meredith

Readers? The word "platonic" has been used. Does that mean it's already over?