Dear Amy: My long-time male friend and I have been together for over 15 years.
He lives just a few miles away.
We talked about marriage for a while, but that impulse waned as time went by.
I think we both believe that we have a good relationship and that marrying or living together might change that.
He is a great, easy-going man who I do love dearly, and I know he loves me, too.
Here is the caveat: We both have grandkids from our previous marriages.
I feel as most grandmothers do that my grandkids are the loves of my life.
He feels the same about his grandchildren.
When it comes to sitting with the little ones, however, he is over the top.
He babysits several days during the week, as well as staying overnight when his kids take a trip.
As time goes by, I find myself alone more and more.
We used to do things together during the day (take drives, visit museums, bike, golf, etc.), but now days like that are few and far between.
I never say anything because I understand his feelings for his grandchildren, and I don’t want to start any fights or create ill feelings.
Lately, I’ve started noticing other men – I think more out of the need for companionship than anything else.
And yes I have dated a few other men and have been intimate with two men.
I do feel some guilt, but not enough to cease looking.
What can I do?
– Lonely in the Sunshine State
Dear Lonely: Your friend has taken on a new family. His interests have shifted. Because his new interest involves actual physical caretaking for the little loves in his life, you can either join him in this pursuit or find a new golfing partner.
Some grandparents completely suppress their other identities in favor of their role as a grandparent, and while this can be great for the grandkids and their folks – this new avocation will swamp other relationships.
He is making choices that serve his interests and passions, and you have the right to do the same.
You are already engaging in pursuing other companion-relationships, and the way not to feel guilty about this is to tell this man the truth.
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