Q: I’m a divorced woman in my late 40s. My husband and I went our separate ways about two years ago, and I’ve been casually dating several men over the past six months or so. My dilemma is that every one of them has asked me to spend New Year’s Eve with him. I enjoy spending time with all of them, so I can’t decide who to pick. I’m not exclusive with any of them, but I wouldn’t mind having someone to kiss at midnight! What do you think?
– J.M., Cheektowaga
A: First, I wonder if these men are aware that you are dating other people. I know it’s perfectly normal to date people casually before getting into a relationship, but if these men are developing serious feelings for you, serious enough to want to spend a holiday with you, it’s time to either choose one man that you like the most or say no to all of them and spend New Year’s with your friends or family. It’s wrong to lead these men on if you’re not developing real, romantic feelings for any of them.
It seems like you can’t make that choice right now, so my advice would be to regretfully inform them all that you already have plans. As a follow-up, you should end things with the men you are least attracted to and be honest with them about the fact that you’re seeing other people.
As a side note, how lucky you are to have several New Year’s dates to choose from!
When grandparents divorce
Q: My grandparents, who have been married for more than 40 years, recently told the family that they are getting a divorce. Being a grandchild, I haven’t been told a whole lot of details about the situation, but it makes me think that if they can’t make it, no one can. I find myself in a constant state of sadness about it and I worry I may not see them as much. Their relationship always appeared to be sweet and affectionate, and I just can’t wrap my head around this whole situation. My mother is extremely upset and can barely talk about it, and I need some advice.
– R.R., North Buffalo
A: I am so very sorry to hear about your grandparents’ divorce. There are a number of reasons why people don’t stay together as they grow older. Some people drift apart, fall out of love, or simply don’t get along anymore. Many people appear happily married on the outside, when really they’re struggling privately. You can’t know for sure what goes on behind closed doors, and it’s not your business to know the details. If/when they feel it’s right to explain their decision, they will. Until then, don’t stress out about your future; this is their journey, not yours.
Also, keep in mind that your grandparents are divorcing each other – they are not divorcing you. You will still have a relationship with each of them, but it will take more effort on your part. You’ll have to pick up the phone and make separate plans with each of them and it may be stressful at first, but the No. 1 priority here is that your grandparents are happy and making the right decisions for their personal well-being. If you and your mom continue to feel such a deep and depressing sadness over this situation, a sit-down conversation with your grandparents might be necessary.
Patti Novak welcomes your relationship questions. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and please include your initials and hometown.