Can A Commitment-Phobic Baby Boomer Find Love?

Dear Elsa,

Two months ago, I met a man at a local open mic night. We hit it off from the beginning, going for coffee the first night we met. He got my number and gave me his. We went out on our first date a few days later and became much more intimate more quickly than either of us planned. Apparently, we have both been without a relationship for an extended time (13 years for me – 8 for him).

We are still seeing each other at the open mic and we go out (or stay in) every Saturday – but he doesn’t seem to want to see me more often than that. When we are together we don’t just have sex, we talk for hours about everything – except for us. He is gentle and kind, an old fashioned gentleman. He’s open and honest and seems to really enjoy being with me, and I with him. He calls me when he says he will and seemed genuinely happy when I sent a thank you card after our first date and an encouragement card when he went for a job interview.

He warned me early on not to be building expectations, but then he talks about things we’ll do next summer. I don’t think he is seeing anyone else romantically, and I am not either. After a 22 year marriage to a man who was extremely controlling and verbally abusive, I don’t want someone who will want to own me, but I think I would like to see him more. I guess I’m afraid if I push for more, he’ll run. He’s been engaged six times in his life and married three times, so his track record with women isn’t great. But I’ve been married twice myself, so I know people can make bad choices.

So here we are two people who are very attracted to each other but both very hesitant to commit. So here’s my question. How can I make this man really happy? How can I make him feel more secure with me? I don’t necessarily want a commitment. I don’t need that. But I don’t want to be just the Saturday night lay either. I’ve been out of the dating scene so long I just don’t know what to expect. Any advice on romance for the over 50 commitment phobes?

On The Fence

Dear Fence,

You have a profoundly commitment-phobic chart here (so does he). I don’t know there is any way you are going to be completely content and satisfied. I don’t meant this in a critical way. It’s just you want something that doesn’t exist. You want someone you can count on, you want to be special to someone but you do not want any baggage with that. It’s as if you do not want a commitment, but you do, but you don’t and I don’t think there is a cure.

Say this guy commits. Next thing you know you’re moving into his place or he yours. You’re going to merge your lives and it’s going to him, him, him and him. Are you panicked yet?

Or let’s say he wants to see you Monday, Wednesday and Saturday without fail. How long until that feels like a rut to you? Saturdays are a rut to you already!

See what I’m saying? How might he please you?

I know you want someone you can count on and I don’t blame you. If you get sick, you want to know you’ve a friend and lover who will show up but you freak at commitment so how do you think this might work?

You say you are afraid of running him off and I say you have to decide what you want. And if what you want is to be something other than a “Saturday night lay”, you are going to have to risk communicating this to this man. You need to know if what you want is compatible with what he wants so you can decide if you would like to continue to invest or not. But I’ll tell you the real risk is admitting you have needs at all. This is what I would work on. Because no one has to tell you how fast the next 10 years will pass. And you’ve got your freedom, sure. But just how lonely do you want to be? The answer to that is personal but this is the question to be asking.

I did not want to be 50, 55, 60, etc. without  a lover / friend I can rely on. So I chose to commit. My precious freedom is just not worth the price of loneliness to me. I have a need for companionship and I am going to do whatever is necessary to get that need met.

Do you have a similar need, or no? Figure this out and things should clarify dramatically.

Good luck.

I address commitment-phobia in my Master Class – Finding Love With Astrology
Have a question about astrology or life? Ask here!

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Can A Commitment-Phobic Baby Boomer Find Love? — 19 Comments

  1. You’re right. I’ve been waiting all week for this post (can you say obsessive?) and you told me what I think I already knew. This is the first man I’ve dated in 13 years because it took me that long to decide maybe I’d like to date again. I do want someone who cares about me, that I can depend on. I feel great at the beginning of the week because I’m fresh from seeing him, but by Friday (today) I’m starting to think he doesn’t care because he doesn’t call – even though he told me he would call today – and he has always called when he said he would. Even though I told him I like to be held “loosely”. I was very up-front about my reluctance to commit as well. Maybe he’s waiting for me to send a signal. I guess it’s time to take the plunge and go deeper because you are right. I need to find out if we’re right for each other. I don’t know if you share poetry, but I wrote this (for my guy) after a dear friend died earlier this month. There’s nothing like a death to put life in perspective. I’m going to give it to him for Christmas and see how he reacts. Since we’re both freedom loving people maybe we can find a way to work it out so we can feel both close and free. But if he can’t handle the feelings I’m sharing, if he runs, you’re right – he’s not the one. And as much as I’m enjoying his company, I need to know that.

    I reflect sometimes on the feelings you inspire in me
    And I wonder
    Where were you when I was young?
    When we had our whole lives ahead of us
    Before the pain of betrayal had made us
    So afraid of commitment
    Before we had gray hair and limited time
    And I lament the time lost that we could have spent together

    But the person that existed when I was young
    I realize now
    Was not the same person that I am today
    As you were not the person you are now
    Life has tumbled the raw edges from us both
    Leaving polished gems that would be
    Unrecognizable to our younger selves
    Sparkling as jewels; a reward for the lives we lived

    If I could go back and do it all over again
    I’d do it all
    Just the same way I did it the first time
    With all the sorrows, bitterness and shame
    Even knowing ahead that they would come
    I’d revel in every agony felt
    Knowing that, at the end of that time,
    When I least expected, our roads would converge

    So I give to you the only real gift that I have
    I give my love
    I give it freely and openly with no strings
    I give it with no expectation of return
    For love is truly a gift to be given
    With no dependence or restrictions
    For true love can only exist in freedom.

  2. I can definitely relate to the freedom versus commitment issue – something I’ve always struggled with. Honestly, it sounds like you both are exactly where you need to be — you connect with each other and yet both of you seem to be working out the kinks of how to balance togetherness with freedom. You haven’t mentioned any signs that he isn’t interested in continuing this relationship. Elsa’s right, you need to communicate what you ultimately want, whether its with him or not, but it sounds like if you’re patient and willing to allow things to develop at their own pace, this is a relationship that can become everything you want it to be.

  3. Thank you, Marc. You are right. Since our initial discussion, where we established that we had been moving too fast and not to be building expectations, he has done nothing to make me think he doesn’t want this relationship. In fact, he has done many things that make me think he does want it. All this angst is coming from me. He has been totally following my lead. Since we both need our space, but are both willing to give space as well, maybe it can work. I am patient and willing to let things develop slowly. I guess I just need some reassurance that we are both headed in the same direction. So even though I’m terrified, I think I need to bring it up. If he runs, I need to recognize that he would have run eventually anyhow. At 58, I don’t have time to waste on someone who isn’t on the same page, at least.

  4. Kathy,

    Every relationship has two sides — its not just about you, the fear that’s in the equation resonates with both of you or it wouldn’t be there. All you can do is talk to him and let him know where you are — that you want to be with him and that you also understand that you both need a lot of space and are willing to take your time and move slowly. Once you clear the air, there won’t be anything to be afraid of anymore and you can enjoy taking your time with your relationship.

    I’m going through something very similar, so hope it will work out for both us! 🙂

  5. I gave him the poem for Christmas. He didn’t know what to say, but it did serve as a jumping off place for a very good conversation about where we are going and why he is so hesitant to commit – which I totally understand. He lost his job when his company relocated and is feeling like he can’t be a financial support for anyone right now. He’s been through some painful experiences with his ex’s. I told him that I understand how he feels and why – and that I didn’t need anything back. I told him that I just wanted to be sure he knew that someone cared what he was going through and had confidence that he was going to be fine. And I told him I was going to stay around. He is too. We’re going to move forward (not move in)together and see where it goes. It still may not work, but at least I know now that he’s not going to run; that he wants to work on us together; that he thinks I’m “refreshing” and not like any woman he’s ever known before. That’s a good start.

  6. “at least I know now that he’s not going to run; that he wants to work on us together”

    That is worth A LOT! Looking good!!

    Best of luck to the both of you! 🙂

  7. probably a good thing for people to think about even earlier in the game…
    what is worth giving up a little freedom for, and what isn’t…

  8. Sun taurus, moon aquarius
    My parents left me at 3 years old and always said that their needs were more important than caring for children, now my mother asks to keep her. Ouch!! I’m the scapegoat.

  9. Update – we’re still together. We both still live in our own houses and we do have our separate times, but we are committed to each other and still very much in love. It seems I’ve found a lover and a best friend – and for me it really can’t get much better than that.

  10. my capricorn mother in law is kindof like this, well in fact she is like this, has been single for a very very long time, (she has aquarius venus, aquarius Jupiter)and she’s baby boomer generation (leo pluto). She has strong earth, so she is afraid of relying on someone who she won’t trust. she knows her family is trustworthy and can be relied on and she knows which ones she can lean on. However when it comes to finding a man, she has left that boat a long time ago. Her freedom means alot to her, and she doesn’t want to appear weak either. She is a highly intelligent woman too, with a nice living and very comfy retirement she has accrued over the years. There is nothing she would /could want. Except that there is no one there with her at night. I don’t know, alot of individuals, are just like her: independent and self sufficient. Many have accepted their fate like that, and well you can’t force anyone if they don’t want to find anyone.

    the OP sounds afraid because of the man’s past relationship horrors. And her past relationships weren’t all that great, but the fear, is coming from the aquarius side for sure (Saturn = fear) and it acts differently from a capricorn where cap has a definite goal. If their goal is to get married, they will get married. Aquarius, fixed sits in the fear-zone and without some cardinal (moving) no one is going anywhere. I hope OP finds the courage to just take the leap, and since they are already having a nice time together, they like, get eachother, there should be no more fear.

  11. That is wonderful news I have an ex-sister-n-law who her and her present husband dated for many years both lived in separate houses. However they finally worked out what every issues they had both within and externally of themselves. They married a few years back and are doing very well.

  12. Are there warning signs of a commitment-phobic chart? Strong Aquarius, Virgo? Gemini? Uranus square Venus? Other? And why would someone appear commitment-phobic with someone he’s been with for years and then suddenly marry someone else? Is there a lid for every pot?

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