Ask Amy: Woman likes time to herself

May 15, 2014 

Dear Amy: I have reconnected with a man from my high school days, and we are dating. We are both 72 years old.

We get along fairly well, except for his "neediness." I work part time (mostly evenings and every other weekend). On my days off I like to have lunch with girlfriends.

He says I should plan my lunches with the girls on the days where I have to work in the evening and that on my whole days off I should spend the day with him.

I have my own house and chores to do. He has his own house but would rather go for walks or bike riding. I find this very invasive and end up having a "high blood pressure" moment when I have to drop everything to go for a bike ride.

I am considering breaking off our relationship, but my girlfriend says I would be crazy to leave someone who takes me to dinner all the time, buys me flowers and is in love with me.

At my age I may never find someone who is as loving as he is.

Why don't I relish his friendship instead of feeling like I am supposed to be at his side every minute on my days off? He says I don't miss him when we don't connect for three days, and it's true. I'm busy with my family members, doing yardwork and housework.

I just feel too confined, and I need some space.

Love him or leave him? I'm very content living alone (if that means anything).

— Mary

Dear Mary: Upon publication of this letter I will receive dozens of inquiries from other elder singles, wanting this man's number. And if I didn't have my own high school honey at home, I'd want his number, too.

He sounds like a nice guy who adores you. Dropping everything to go on a bike ride is some people's idea of the best way to live.

However, none of this matters because even though this man might offer the sort of companionship that other people would like, you don't like it. You feel crowded. His desire to spend lots of time with you feels like a demand.

Furthermore, you sound happy, healthy and useful.

This is a classic mismatch. A case of two "rights" making a mistake. You both deserve to be with someone who offers a better fit for your respective lifestyles. Let him go.


Contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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