Does Mowing the Lawn Mean He Still Loves Her?

Dear Dategirl,I'm divorced after a 25-year marriage to an abusive man. Though I'm fairly good looking and in the best shape of my life, I've been mostly alone for the past six years. I'm wealthy enough that I no longer need to work, and I spend my days with my horses. Nice life, but not conducive to meeting eligible men. I was just about ready to give up when I met "him."He's everything I want and more. We fell hopelessly head-over-heels for each other in a very short time and have been almost inseparable the past few months. The issue is his not-so-ex-wife. They split up in March and he moved out. She ended it, but he seems to have accepted it with good grace. She is a high-powered VP and makes millions; he is not so well-compensated. They own a beautiful mansion in the country and have no children. The ex already has a new boyfriend, but he is sure that she didn't have anything going on with this guy before the marriage ended. (I'm not so sure.)There's no separation agreement, and no move has been made to file for a divorce. But what I can't deal with is what happened this weekend: He spent it at her house while she was out of town. His reason ostensibly was to care for their dogs—he loves them and misses them terribly. He invited me over, and when I arrived he was out front on the riding lawnmower cutting her lawn. (She has staff that takes care of this sort of thing, but he wanted to help out!) He did invite me to spend the weekend, but that's just way too creepy.It sounds to me like he's trying to score some points so she'll ask him back. He assures me that this is entirely wrong, but actions speak louder than words. Am I being unreasonable? Am I just a replacement for the wife he just lost, or perhaps something to make her jealous? I am seriously thinking of ending it with him, but I adore him. I'm afraid that staying with him would be a big mistake, but equally scared that if I end it, I may be ending my last chance to be happy with the man of my dreams.—Alexis

You need to take a step back and let this dude deal with his shit. You've only been seeing each other for a few months—what's the big panic? He's not even legally separated yet, which means he's still married. (Make that a giant step back.)Before you invest any more emotional well-being in this guy, he needs to at least get separated—and you can't force him to do that. I wouldn't read too much into his mowing, unless you meant it euphemistically, which you didn't. It's not as though she's going to get all moistened over his cutting the grass; it sounds like something he just wanted to do. Some guys like yard work, and it sounds like they've got a really sweet house. If he was staying there when she was around, then that would be something to worry about. But it sounds as if they have one of those rare "good," albeit informal, separations.I know there are people who can move seamlessly from one heavy, committed relationship into another, but I've never understood it. I need time to process, get over it, and move on before I can deal with another human. It sounds as if he may still be in the processing portion of the breakup, even if he thinks he isn't.My advice—which I doubt you'll follow, because you sound kind of hysterical—is that you calm down and don't break up with him. But be less available, and if you feel the cling coming on, fight it with everything you've got. Meanwhile, can I come over and play with your horsies? Because from where I'm sitting—in front of a computer with a cold—your life sounds pretty damn sweet.dategirl@seattleweekly.com

 
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