Love, Lindsay

'What Can I Do To Reignite The Spark We Had When We Met?'

All your relationship questions answered — right here, right now.

Lindsay here, A Plus's resident relationship guru/columnist. While I may not know everything, I do know a lil something about love and our seemingly endless pursuit of it. Having written dozens of A Plus articles about dating, relationships, and sex, I'm ready and willing to investigate all of your romantically-inclined questions (submit here!) — because I've asked them myself. What I hope to bring to A Plus's readers is a sex-positive, body-positive, and most importantly, you-positive perspective on modern love. Consider Love, Lindsay your digital Cupid. 

Hi Lindsay,

     I know I am quite a bit older than you and a male. I am 53 years old, and I met a very wonderful lady of 48 years a few months ago while using a free dating site. 

Thing is, when we first met there was much more of a spark of romance during the first month of dating. So much so that I fell hard and fast in love with her, and I was so honest to a fault with all the feelings I shared with her. 

I broke every rule that dating gurus give you online because I am in for the long haul, not a one night stand! Those rules I feel are for the young bucks, not for me. I would write pages telling her how wonderful she is, only to get a few words or a couple sentences in response. Now in our third month together, there are more and more broken dates. Less kissing and more hugging, yet she says things are fine between us. I know she is too busy to be seeing anyone else, so I guess I am just really insecure as to what is going on. 

We both have children who are grown, and even though she has a son who is getting married in two months, I have yet to meet him or any of her other children. I really think she's 'the one' and I'd do anything for her! 

What can I do to reignite the spark we had when we met, She wants us to join a gym together so she can look good at her son's wedding. I think it's a waste of money, but I am willing to do it just to spend more time with her. She may be slightly overweight, but I love who she is. She doesn't need to change a thing for me! She wants to be healthier so her kids will be proud of her. If they aren't proud of who she is and how well she raised them, I'd say she needs better kids, or at least to be more confident in who she is. Still I selfishly want her to be around for me as long as possible, so I am buying into the gym membership and eating healthier just to that end. I just hope I am not getting stuck in the friend zone here. Sure, I'd love to marry my best friend, but I am missing those spark filled nights from a couple months ago. Any advice would be appreciated. I know that's what you do!  :)  

Thanks, 

John

Hi John,

First of all, I want to thank you for how open and honest you are — not just with the woman you described, but with me, a complete and total stranger. It's an admirable quality, for sure, even if it isn't resulting in the romantic life you want. It seems like you've fallen head over heels, and while it's wonderful to see someone so receptive to giving and receiving love, you still need to be careful with how you convey your enthusiasm to a potential partner. In the past, I've talked about protecting your heart when you start to date someone new because you never know what their intentions are. And chances are, they don't know either. 

While you've shown a lot of courage in expressing your true feelings from the get-go, that can be too much if your partner is someone who likes to take her time in figuring out how she feels. 

"Timing is critical in new relationships," Ken Solin, a senior dating coach, adds. "While it's rare for both people to feel the same way at exactly the same time, it appears your effusive letters are scaring her off because you're so far ahead of her emotionally. Sure, your feelings are valid, but scaring a potential partner away so soon in a relationship is a mistake." 

I concur with Solin. It sounds like she's pulling away because she feels overwhelmed — even if she likes you. Just because you're sure she's 'The One' doesn't mean she is. You say you know she's too busy to be seeing someone else, but you can't know that for sure until you have the infamous 'What Are We?' talk. Having a transparent conversation is really the only way to tell for sure you are both on the same page.

Solin also notes that not meeting your potential partner's son before his wedding, or getting invited to the wedding, is a clue that this relationship isn't progressing as quickly as you hoped. "Few seniors would consider introducing a potential partner to their children until a serious, permanent relationship is in bloom," he explains. "It doesn't seem she's there yet." But that doesn't mean she'll never get there. It means you need to give her the time and space you previously haven't so she can decide if she wants to get there. 

When someone starts to pull away, your first inclination might be to reel them back in with even more affection, but that can make a person feel smothered and even more overwhelmed. Instead, try pulling back, not because you're playing a game of 'Who Can Care Less?' but because you respect the other person enough to operate in their comfort zone. 

Your situation exemplifies the old adage, "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be." At this point, you've done everything you can to communicate your feelings to her. Now, all that's left is to wait for her response. If she doesn't reciprocate your feelings, then you know the 'spark' is no longer there for her, and you need to accept that and move on. 

As for the gym membership, while I applaud your body-positive perspective, this isn't about you or your acceptance of her body. It's about her and what she wants to do to feel her best. Her body issues aren't yours to fix. They're yours to support and encourage however she asks you to. So long as she's not harming herself by crash-dieting and/or over-exercising, your opinion on her health isn't necessarily important. Many women spend their entire lives struggling with extremely personal body image issues that make them difficult to explain to another person. 

The best thing you can do for her right now is not to say "I love you just the way you are" but something so much simpler: "I support you." That can be through your actions as well as your words if you decide to join a gym together, though it's completely understandable if that's not what you want to do. While Solin notes, "Working out together is a great activity," and I concur, you need to be true to yourself just as much as she needs to be true to herself. 

Overall, you seem like a great guy. Regardless of what happens in this current relationship, there's bound to be a woman out there who would be thrilled to receive a special place in your heart. 

Love, Lindsay 

If you thought all that was TL (too long) and DR (didn't read), check out my quick tip video:

If you liked this article, you'll love submitting to and reading Love, Lindsay. And if you didn't, my name is Jenny, and I'll be your cruise director... 

Cover image via Unsplash

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