Dating at Midlife/Is he playing games


Recently I put myself out there for this guy I was interested in. I hardly know him but I friend requested him on FB. He accepted and we had minimal interaction over FB. He "liked" a few of my pics and I messaged him but when he replied he cut our message short saying he was really tired. A few days later he messaged me again and we talked shortly. Then one morning he saw me at work and I didn't say anything to him so he texted me 10 minutes later asking if I'd had a rough night and wanted to know what my plans for the night were. I was sick and explained to him that I was staying in but that I thought we should go out sometime. He agreed. A few days later, I texted him asking him if he could meet up with my friends and I this Sunday. He said he could but that he thought it'd be nice if just the two of us hung out first so I told him we could meet up first and hang out alone and then if he wanted to join me to meet up with my friends later, he could. He even referred to our upcoming meeting as a "date".
My concern is is that I'm a single mom and this guy is 5 years younger and I'm so worried that he's just trying to take advantage of me. Is it possible that he doesn't want to meet my friends and just wants to have alone time with me so he can take advantage of me or do you think he wants alone time with me to get to know me better?


ANSWER: Hi Kristy.

Some confusing stuff here in your question.

Let's look at this:
" Is it possible that he doesn't want to meet my friends and just wants to have alone time with me so he can take advantage of me or do you think he wants alone time with me to get to know me better?"

This is indeed two of the possibilities.  There are two others I  can think of.
Can you name them?  

You did name maybe the worst-case scenario.  I am curious why you lead
with the worst case scenario.  Have you had a lot of bad experience?  
If the worst possibility is the dominant one that you can see, then
that's a fairly serious limitation.  

Also, you seem to be fairly concerned and I'd want have a conversation with you about
what you mean by "take advantage of you"?   My guess is that you mean seduce you.

Well, of course, that leads to another very difficult question and forgive me for asking,
but why do you feel you could be so easily seduced? I mean, you do, I would imagine, want
a potential intimate partner to find you attractive in that way, wouldn't you?

I mean, if you do really feel that way, it's probably a good idea
to figure out why  so you could take better care of yourself while
you investigate relationship possibilities with men who interest you
and who are interested in you.

I hope I've said this clearly enough.  I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to follow up.
You may also contact me directly at my professional address:

Philip Alan Belove, Ed.D.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well since my divorce, I have dated a lot of guys who just tried to take advantage of me and I got hurt a lot. I don't let that happen anymore and I'm very cautious. However, I have no problem with letting guys know that I am interested.
I'm curious as to what the other two possible scenarios could be? I just don't want to waste my time on someone who just wants to hook up and it's been my experience that that's what most men want.

Thank you,

Well, you do want a man who wants that.
What works is to accept that this is what the man wants
and then to wait a while before acting on that.
like, Okay, we have this nice sexual connection
and that's important,
but what else do we have.

Maybe you have difficulty waiting?

Some women have a hard time acknowledging and then managing their own sexual wants.

Again, feel free to follow up

Philip Alan Belove, Ed.D.

Dating at Midlife

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Philip Belove, Ed.D.


Hi. I`m Philip Belove (that is my name, really). I`m 71 and I`ve been a psychologist all my midlife, the past 35 years. My specialty has been counseling and coaching other midlife adults.  I think we all figure things out as we go along, but even more so at midlife. Being between 40-ish and 60-ish and single is like being a stranger in a strange land. I`ve learned which questions help people find their own way. I created this category, I publish a blog at and I write articles for various web sites. My commitment is to help people 1) understand and improve how they deal with others, 2) understand the forces that rule the relationships they are in, and 3) make the decisions which will shape, or create, or end those relationships  so they achieve the goal of midlife development  to finally live with personal satisfaction. I`ve been divorced twice myself. I`m in a satisfying relationship with a fine person. I`m very interested in learning about your challenges and in offering what I can.


Professionally: Licensed Psychologist. Marriage and Family Therapist. Coach.Author. University Lecturer. Personally: I'm 71. I've probably made all the big mistakes, er, learned the big lessons.I've forgiven myself and made many apologies and I've made it into a good, stable, sweet relationship. I now have a perspective on midlife.

Please check out my book, Rabbis in Love, at Also my blog at The Rabbi book was done as part of a research project. My collaborator, Marilyn Bronstein, and I wanted to interview couples with very successful marriage and also we wanted to talk to people who cared as much about their spirituality as love. Maybe being able to love and be spiritual were one and same, we thought. So we found a rabbi couple and the interview was so astounding that we interviewed nine more rabbi couples. One dropped. They'd revealed too much. It's a fascinating book and, Jewish or not, religious or not, these couples do a lot of things right and there is a lot to learn from them.

Masters in Counseling Psychology, Alfred Adler Institute Doctorate in Consulting Psychology, focus on family therapy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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