Two and a half months ago, I met this amazing guy. Though I'm 25 and he's 40, our age difference has never been a problem. The real problem, and what's standing in my way, is his ex-wife.
When we first began seeing each other, I knew there was a slight possibility that they might reconcile. However, knowing this, I put my whole heart into our relationship, definitely setting myself up for a huge fall.
Feeling like he has to see their failed seven-year marriage through, he's going to leave me hanging and make a last attempt at it. He says that even though he deeply cares about me, he loves her and feels like he'll always have regrets if he doesn't try once more. This sure leaves me out in the cold.
He's told me that if things don't work out with her, then he wants to reconnect with me. Do you think I'm stupid for considering waiting for him? Maybe you can smarten me up with some of your advice.
What is so "amazing" about a guy who likes his ex-wife better than he likes you? Despite what you may believe, your real problem isn't this dude's ex, it's him. He is the one who's hung up on another woman. And he's nuts if he thinks you're going to sit around and wait for him to maybe/maybe not work things out with his wife. And you are even nuttier if you consider for a split-second doing so.
You've been with this guy for 2.5 months—75 (or so) days. That's not a long time. I know you're young, and maybe this is the first time you've been with someone who treats you well or showers regularly. Perhaps this is your first boyfriend who doesn't live with 10 roommates and furnish his squalid quarters with milk crates and a ratty old futon. Maybe this guy takes you to places with real tablecloths and picks up the tab.
And while that's very nice, believe me, there are more of them out there. Really. Sweet, kind, funny men without lingering ex-wives and unfinished business.
Just a tip for later: If you're out on a date with someone who tells you that he is still in love with his last paramour, get up and leave. I don't care how "amazing" he might appear to be; leave. Immediately. Because to sit there and listen is to buy into his bullshit. What is he doing out with you if he is still in love with someone else? You are nothing more than an insurance policy: a guarantee that if his true love falls through, he'll still have someone to bump uglies with later.
Not to mention that the age discrepancy is an issue. Whether it has been so far or not, it will be. Believe me. I've been there. That's not to say that these things are always fatal, but you're kidding yourself if you think 15 years doesn't matter.
I spent six years with a guy who was 12 years older than me. He was also overly attached to exes, though he didn't actually attempt to reconcile with any. (Instead, he just kept one ex's photo hanging over his bed for the first six months of our relationship. It was only removed after several tantrums on my part.) Though I did care about him a great deal, in retrospect, being with him forced me to act a lot older than I felt. I wound up spending most of my 20s acting like I was in my 40s. I should've been out doing Jell-O shots, but instead I was attending grown-up dinner parties.
It's said that men go out with younger women because they're afraid of dying. (Olympia Dukakis' character said so in Moonstruck, so it must be true.) Women go out with older men because they're less likely to burp in public and in return the ladies get a sense of security. But you're not even getting that offa this one! You need to realize that you deserve someone who wants to be with you and not to be some wishy-washy old* dude's contingency plan! He might be a nice geezer, but you could do a whole lot better.
*Though 40 is the new 30, he is old compared to her.
Not getting what you deserve? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.