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Suzanne, Therapist, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
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Hello, and thank you for your guidance... Please proide me

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Hello, and thank you for your guidance... Please proide me with tips and sound adivce for dating a never-before-married 54 year old man who had been engaged once earlier in his life. I am a once divorced woman without children who is a few years older than he. I would like to take appropriate steps that will enhance the chances of this relationship being successful and avoid common dating mistakes. ( Since being divorced, I have not previously dated a man who has not been married at least once.) I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX for responding! L.

Thank you for writing to Just Answer.


It sounds like you are proceeding with great care, and so far you are doing everything that would normally be recommended.


If you are serious about this man, I think you need to consider the possibility that marriage may not be in the future with him. At 54, he has been single a very long time, most likely lived alone and may be very set in his ways.


With only one serious relationship in his history (unless there is more to the story) it's very likely he has a fear of commitment, or enjoys his freedom enough that having a wife may seem a threat to that.


At five to six months of dating, the most common mistake made is pushing for a commitment . As women, we often want the reassurance that we aren't wasting our time with a man who has no plans to go further down the road to a committed relationship.


Are you getting to know this man on a deeper level? Have you had the kind of conversations that intimate friends have? If the answer is no, and the relationship is staying at a "have a nice dinner and chat" level...that's probably all he wants. Is he including you in his activities with his friends? If not, my guess is that you will probably stay at arm's length.


And let me be clear...there is nothing wrong with companionable friendship. But I sense from your letter that you would like this relationship to be more (as you said "trying to take things slowly").


This is a man who will move very slowly, if at all, toward a permanent relationship.


The important thing is to look deeply inside yourself and see how much time you are willing to invest in a relationship that after five months is still at the dating level. Would you be happy to stay as you are for another year or two?


Your letter didn't mention how he is feeling, so my answer is based only on what you wrote. If you are both feeling the attraction, and are both having to work on taking things slowly, then disregard the paragraph above this one and just realize that turning this relationship into something more than dating will take, most likely, much longer with this man than with one who is used to, and enjoys, having a partner.


I hope this was helpful in sorting things out. Please click ACCEPT if it was, or let me know if there is more to the story.

Best Regards,


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Dear Suzanne, I feel that your advice to me makes extremely good sense; however, while the opportunity is available, I would like to relay more information regarding him. He is a good Christion man, is involed in meaningful charity and church work , is a successful business man, spends quality time with his mentally challenged 22 year old nephew, and, along with his one sister, assumes some responsibility for his elderly mother's care. (As an only child, I also spend much time with my elderly mother.) The two of us share easy conversation and mutual attraction, and he stated before we started dating regularly that he is seeking the love of his life... Could all of these situations mean that I should continue to be more patient? We also live an hour apart.,, Under these circumstances should I expect to meet his family soon or possibly at a later time as you already advised me that the progression of this relationship, if it is even to take place, will likely occur at a slow place. He does compliment me, affirms my good character and other traits, enjoys being together, and introduces me to friends at the dance club we attend and at other places we visit. etc. In closing, Suzanne, I will say again that it is the first time after being once divorced that I have dated a never-been-married gentleman, and I am certainly unsure about how (and how long) to proceed cautiously, patiently, and in an understanding manner. He s a terrific person, and we have shared many enjoyable outings and times together, and passion and chemistry do exist. Thanks again for shedding any new light on this relationship if you have any additional thoughts. I realize your first response said quite a lot. Very appreciatively, L. P. S. Have a fantastic day!

Ah, well, that paints a much more hopeful picture!


Given the distance between you (an hour apart) and the very real responsibilities you both have, I think it would be worth being very patient.


I was envisioning (from your first note) a somewhat different scenario. With the additional information, I can see that he does have close personal relationships (nephew & mother), and has told you he's ready to meet the love of his life. It's a very good sign that he includes you in his social circle.


He definitely (now) sounds like someone worth investing time long as you feel the relationship is progressing. Given the situation, it could take a year of knowing each other to get enough time in to think about committing to each other, meeting each other's families, etc.


Yes, continue as you have been going...being patient. Your relationship sounds lovely now that I've got a fuller picture. It sounds like you have a wonderful time together, he's respectful and respectable, and ready to fall in love...not always so easy to find at our age. He sounds like a keeper!

I wish you all the best,


If this has been helpful, please click on Accept.. If you need more information, just ask.




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