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Dr. Wendy Walsh
I just met someone online and they are moving real fast and asking me about my past relationships. I do not want to tell them anything about this area of my life. We are both over 55 and divorced.
What should I do?
First of all Lesa, you are right to exert some personal boundaries at the beginning of a relationship. Disclosing too much too soon before you are in a trusting situation can be damaging.
And yes, some older men like to settle into a comfy relationship quickly, especially if they have come out of a long marriage and that’s the lifestyle they know.
But you hold the reins. And it is perfectly honest to say, “I know you’d like to know more about me and when we get to a place in our relationship where I feel more comfortable, I’ll tell you.”
And that’s the other thing. Your sentence, “I do not want to tell them anything about this area of my life” rang with a kind of finality.
Not ever? Do you plan on keeping secrets? Because if you are, I will gently point out it’ll be really hard to have emotional intimacy if you insist of leaving a glaring hole in your relationship resume.
Which brings me to my next question: Is there something you are ashamed of?
Lesa, we all make mistakes. That’s how we become wise. Many of us need to learn through experience that a certain kind of relationship is a bad idea. And we need to have compassion for ourselves.
My suspicion is once you’ve made peace with yourself and your past, it will be a whole lot easier to explain it to your new love – when the time is right.
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