Friday, March 24, 2017
I’ve been with my boyfriend for about a year. He doesn’t have many friends and his ex girlfriend is one of his closest friends. They “share” her dog. He loves this dog, and sees his ex like a sister. I don’t have a problem with that.
What does bother me is that 1) the ex does not like me, and 2) boyfriend refuses to make any effort to change that situation.
Why doesn’t she like me, you ask? About six months ago, boyfriend and I addressed some trust issues. Now she sees me as untrustworthy.
I’ve asked him if he thinks she could ever learn to like me, but he claims she’s very stubborn and probably won’t back down. He then shrugs and says it sucks for him to be in the middle, but there’s nothing he can do.
Currently, he sees her and the dog about once a week, and it doesn’t usually conflict with our time together. It sucks to feel like a part of his life is completely walled off to me.
It breaks my heart that he can’t and won’t budge on this. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that he won’t put in any effort to help his best friend/ex see me in a better light.
This problem you have is not your boyfriend’s to fix. Please don’t put this on him or put him through the paces about it. He doesn’t have the magical power to change people, and that’s a good thing, because everybody gets to own their own feelings.
Instead, try this: When you see her, be cordial, hold your own space, and don’t give her any of your power. Esoteric words, I know.
Holding your own space and not giving away your power means not collapsing into needing other people to manage other people’s feelings about you, and not letting yourself be driven by what other people think of you—that’s needy behavior, and you don’t need that in your life.
What you can do from this day forward is simply be nice to her every time you see her (as long as she’s decent to you). If you want her to like you, this is the path to you working on that, little by little, day by day. And if she never likes you? That, my friend, is very much her problem, not yours. She may have some weird jealousy issues she needs to work through on her own, or she might have just made up her mind about you, whether she’s right or not—both of which, again, aren’t your problems to fix. Let your BF and her have their friendship. If you two recently addressed some trust issues together, then trusting him to maintain this friendship with her sans you might be something to bring up in light of this.
One last bit of advice: Focus your attention on people who do like and trust you. Guaranteed to feel better than worrying about the ex.
I’ll leave you with my favorite quote of all time, and one I live by: What other people think of you is none of your business.
You say there are plenty of quality men available to date; even for us women who are over 50. But I’m not seeing them… anywhere!
True, I don’t live in a highly populated area, but even online there are very few men in my search area. And I’ve expanded my search to 3 hours’ drive away.
The closest I’ve even come to dating is with a lovely man who lives 8 hours away. After 6 weeks of phone calls, he admitted he’s unable to be in a relationship with anyone.
Please, give me some hope for the future!
I will absolutely give you hope…if you’re willing to shake things up a bit. Because you’ve already learned an important lesson: You aren’t finding men where you’ve been looking.
Can’t find them on a dating site? Try a different dating site. Or five.
Can’t find them in your town? Maybe it’s time to relocate.
Moving is hard—believe me, I get it. I loved living in the idyllic town of Sonoma, California. I’d made friends, chosen family, and for twelve years I ran an accommodations business that I built with my own bare hands, and the name of that company? Stay Sonoma. From the looks of things, I had to stay—but I didn’t.
I weighed what was most important to me at that point in my life: having a partner, or owning a local business in a country town surrounded by friends. I decided to move to Oakland; nowhere near as pretty, serene, or fancy, but do you know what Oakland had that Sonoma didn’t? Single men!
You can stay where you are and keep trying, and it may happen for you. Your odds of importing someone are pretty slim (unless you live on Maui), and long distance has the drawback of attracting those not able to fully commit, as you seem to have already discovered.
What you’re really left with is this: Are you going to try a different site or different town, or are you going to own your choice to stick with the current method and the consequences that come with it? There is no wrong answer here, but yes, I am nudging you to empower yourself and to tell the truth about the situation instead of falling victim to your own circumstances.
I do promise that there are lots of great guys over 50 out there who are single and available. But the old fairytale “someday, my prince will come” may not apply here. You may have to go to them, because they’re probably not going to come knocking on your small-town door.