Punchy AdviceArchives

September 10, 1995

"Reluctant romantic" asks Punjabi:
I am recently divorced (6 months) and have been dating a man almost that long exclusively. He is wonderful in almost every way (no one is perfect), and we are very compatible. He has been divorced for almost 8 years, and is ready to settle down and share life with the right person, whom he says is me. I can see that we have great potential for a strong, loving realtionship that is long-term, but I am reluctant to make that commitment so soon. He is getting impatient, and feels that if that's not what I want then it's time for him to move on. It's not that it's not what I want, I'm just not ready to make that decision. Is it fair to expect him to wait around? I'd hate to lose him, but I need some time. What do you think I should do?
Punjabi Punjabi answers:
Often I am to be found guilty of quantifying that which is not quantifiable, but it has been my observation that when a relationship ends, even if it was not a happy one, it takes at least a year for the feelings of connectedness to dissipate to comforable levels. And this is moreso the case with women.

As you have only been divorced for six months, I would suspect that you still hold strong feelings for your ex-husband, even though you know that relationship is not meant to be, and even if you truly love your new sweetheart.

His impatience should be warmly received by you, and yet you should cause him to understand that you need more time for your feelings to resolve.

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