Q: I am a 44-year-old teacher with a 28-year-old boyfriend. He said he is not ready to get serious, very rarely wants to go out with me, and is overall stingy and withholding especially emotionally and financially. He thinks it's not important to give presents even on my birthday and Christmas, etc., but he loses money on gambling and doles out to relatives. On the other hand he accepts presents from me and borrows money. Recently, I learned he is giving child support, still talks to the child's mother, and carries her photo in his wallet. He insisted he's not cheating on me, but when I said I want to talk about it, he said he didn't want to because he has so many things on his mind, and then he walked out and hasn't called for a week. I think it is definitely over but what if he comes back? I really like him but is he even worth it? Is he too young ? Just not that into me? I like to think I'm above this but even strong women are human. -- April
Dr. Susan: If you're as strong as you think you are, April, now's your chance to test your mettle. Force yourself to get over this withholder. Whether he's into you or not is so irrelevant. He doesn't want to get serious, and apparently you do. He has no trouble accepting things from you without feeling like reciprocating. He should have been more honest with you about his ex and their kids. The strongest hint of his unworthiness, in my mind, is that he wouldn't talk to you about something that was important to you, and simply walked out. He's probably a little too young for you, and you're probably a little too needy for him (with legitimate needs he has no intention of dealing with). Find yourself someone you can talk to, and who is as giving as you are. Strength, in this case, means listening to your brain and telling your misdirected emotions to take a hike.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.