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The question

My boyfriend and I met a couple of years ago. He told me he was falling for me and we text like crazy. He sent me songs and wonderful words through text. All of my friends like him. But he does work a lot, 12-14 hours a day, and has a 14-year-old daughter who lives with her mother and is a real handful. When I went to Florida, we texted and talked all of the time. But when I got back, he broke up with me. I was devastated. He said he pressed the panic button. We are now taking it slow, seeing each other a couple of times a week. He says, at this time, he is not ready to talk about the future. We are not young: He is 56 and I am 61. Am I just making excuses for him? I like him a lot. I was wondering what I could do to get us back on track.

The answer

“Taking it slow” is to me the worst way to go about courtship.

I’m less certain about it all in 2018. I used to say “two people should come together like a thunderclap.”

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I also used to say, “How was I able to wind up with a woman (my wife) completely out of my pay grade/weight class?” Answer: “Because I went strong to the hoop!”

And when people (people are unbelievable) would come up to her and ask (their faces full of “sociological interest”) what on earth a woman imbued with her panoply of qualities – Smart, Sexy, Sensible, and Sane (all four of the Four Esses (TM) every bachelor seeks) – was doing with a zhlub like me, she would always say: “Well, there were a lot of things I liked about Dave but I’ll tell you this: I was never in any doubt he was interested in me.”

But these days, what with everything going on in the world, I feel nervous about saying stuff such as “strong to the hoop.”

However, I believe you deserve a man who is clearly interested and does not want to “take it slow” and “is not ready to talk about the future.”

Especially at your age – and when I say that, I hasten to add I do not agree that either of you is not young. A sexagenarian and quinquagenarian? Spring chickens! My mother is in her 80s and prancing wildly around.

But life is short. And because it is, I consider wasting another person’s time to be the gravest of sins.

When I was, hmmm, maybe 28-ish and my girlfriend was, let’s say, 26 and deep down I knew it wasn’t going to work out with her and we lived together in New York, I said to myself, “I could hang around for another decade, prevaricating and wasting her time (and primo childbearing years) or cut her loose prontissimo so she can find someone else.”

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I was on a plane the next day. Now, she hasn’t exactly sent me any thank-you cards, but she should, because although she mourned for a period (and so did I), she wound up meeting some dude named Bob and from all accounts (which I get second- or third-hand because she isn’t speaking to me), they have two kids and are happy.

And I’ve been around long enough now I’ve seen people waste decades of other people’s live with their “I’m not sure about this, I’m not sure about that” nonsense.

It’s a sin! And I would say of this so-called boyfriend of yours the time is nigh, i.e. he should decide if he’s in or out, man or mouse, either to (hmm, how shall I put this in a family-friendly-newspaper way) either move his bowels or exit the latrine.

And I would say you should say as much to him. “Pal. Are you in or are you out? Because if not, I’m going to move on.”

Now, I know it’s tough out there, to find someone, when you’re in your 50s or 60s. But you know what? It was always tough. It was tough as a teen, tough in one’s 20s, 30s and 40s, but you get out there and fight, soldier! Fight for what you deserve, which is someone who pays attention to you, and treats you with love and respect.

Are you in a sticky situation? Send your dilemmas to damage@globeandmail.com. Please keep your submissions to 150 words and include a daytime contact number so we can follow up with any queries.

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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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