Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I am about three months into dating on the internet and
thought I had met someone to date, but to start out as
friends. Read friends = f.r.i.e.n.d.s., not anything more until
I knew if I liked him enough. We emailed a couple times and
then had a phone conversation. In the conversation, after
some niceties and schmoozing, we each communicated our
deal breakers. I was pretty clear and articulate (or so I
thought) that I only wanted to start out slow, and probably
wouldn’t live together with someone until we’d been in
relationship for several years.
In our sharing of relationship history I disclosed that as a
professional I’d made more than both of my ex-husbands,
and among other reasons why the marriages didn’t work
was they each had decided to stop working full-time and the
discrepancy between me earning and them spending eroded
both equality and respect. Now it turns our that Mr. Wants to
Be Next says he lost his whole portfolio in the big bust of 2008
and thinks that if we live together we’ll fall in love. My instinct
is to flee. Am I right?
Yes = Y.E.S!! You are right to want to shut down this prospective
suitor before you get more involved or, at the risk of sounding too
overly cautious, before you reveal too much personal information.
Generally people who are looking for a place to live are also very
charming storytellers. They can spin a hard luck tale into the kind of
sob story you might feel guilty not responding to. That response might
be a small “loan’’ to help him “get back on his feet and get a better
place” or some other sign of a commitment you are under absolutely
no obligation to feel let alone follow through on.
I’d counsel making two lists. These are for you, and you don’t need to
share them with any prospective date before you want to. But they
should be the list of Must Haves and Must Not Have qualities. Repeat
after me as often as you need to: It is okay for me to choose. I do not
have to date someone just because that person expresses interest in
me. If it feels familiar in a way that makes me want to run fast and
far, listen to my instincts. I can do better. It’s all true.