It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
Leaving him absolutely was the right decision. You may be in love with him, but it’s clear the feelings are not mutual if, after two years, he is “way too far from any stage” of meeting your parents. Obviously, there’s a reason why, at 43, this man has never been married (or, hell, maybe he IS married and that’s the reason he wants to keep such a distance from you), and leaving him before being dragged along for years and years was a wise choice, for sure.
Well, no, you don’t have to tell a fiancé everything, but is there a reason you aren’t telling him about the drink with a male a co-worker? Do you think he’d get upset or jealous? Or, do you not know how to mention it without seeming like you’re confessing to something that isn’t worthy of a “confession.” (I’m taking your word here that it was, indeed, “completely innocent.”) A simple conversation of what you both did with your days would be an easy enough way to say, “And then after work, I grabbed a drink with one of my colleagues, Jimmy. He’s the guy who helped with that merger project a couple months ago.” If you’re marrying a guy you’re afraid might freak out over your grabbing a drink with a colleague after work, you might want to reevaluate whether marriage is the right step for you. You could also consider premarital counseling to work through expectations and anxiety.
Oh, honey, no. Your relationship ended twenty-five years ago!! You are entitled to have new love and you don’t have to be discreet about it. Unless you’re harboring secret hope that you and your ex-husband may reunite — in which case you need to address those feelings with yourself and with him, there is absolutely NO reason your having a boyfriend twenty-five years after separating from your husband should be a conflict of interest. I would seek more distance from the ex so that you are no longer affected by his manipulative behavior or worried about his reaction to your having a boyfriend twenty-five years after your divorce.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.