Dull Guy or No Guy
Q: I am divorced and lonely. For a year and a half I dated a man but it didn't work out. Now I see it was for the best, as he was constantly seeing other women and kept posting his ads on dating forums. I feel ashamed that I was with such a man, and that my friends and family know. Now a man who is not really my type has asked me out. I don't want to be alone anymore. I know I can trust this man, unlike the other guy, but my feelings for him are no more than that of a friend. In fact we don't have much in common. Should I date him man just to have someone to hang with, knowing I could hurt him? I don't want to be the creep. Or should I do what I have been doing, just working, having dinner alone, and being bored out of my mind??? -- Kathy, 50
Dr. Susan: On the surface, some of the happiest couples don't have much in common. It's not always the things or activities that you share, but the way you approach life that makes a relationship work. Are you certain you could not develop warm feelings for this trustworthy man who has asked you out? It's only a date (or two), after all. Though you think of him as a friend, but that could change if you're open-minded. I suggest you tell him the truth, that you think of him merely in a friendly way, but that you're willing to go out on a date anyway, if he's willing to risk wasting his time. If you find that there's truly nothing there to build a relationship on, end it then and there. He may get hurt, but if you don't act as though you like him more than you do, you're at least playing fair. The bigger issue is that you see yourself as having such limited choices: hang with this so-so guy, or be alone and bored. If it's company you crave, get involved in some activities or groups. Reach out, make some female friends, and plan to go places and do things with them. Put yourself out there and you won't be bored for long. Besides, you might meet a man who really interests you.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.