Dear Lucia,

I have been seeing a guy for about two months. I am 35, and he is 30. According to him, he is only dating me.

We have never had the “talk” yet; we joke around about not being boyfriend and girlfriend. Normally we talk one or two times a day, text each other between five and 15 times a day and see each other two or three times a week.

I know that his ex-girlfriend broke up with him five months ago. He recently told me that he was dating a woman in her 40s when he met his ex, who is also 30. He said he broke up with the older woman when he began to fall in love with his ex.

I didn’t ask him for how long exactly he was dating his ex before he knew that he was falling in love. He told me that the older woman went nuts on him and hacked into his e-mail, wrote e-mails to his ex and other crazy stuff.

He sounded like he just didn’t understand why the older woman went crazy on him since he “never told her that he loved her.” He said that they had a good time and had fun together.

He loves to come over to my house, he loves to spend the night (if it was up to him, I even think he would move in) and he loves my expensive car. I am now wondering if I am the new older woman until he meets someone to fall in love with.

On our dates he does take me out for dinner and to the movies, but because of our schedules, 70 percent of the time he comes over later at night, usually between 9 p.m.-11 p.m. We have had a few whole day dates, hiking and biking, but that can still just be considered “having fun.”

How can I know if he comes over to my house to see me because he likes me and not just because he has four roommates and sleeps on the sofa, while I on the other hand have a nice two-bedroom house? How can I make sure that he is not just killing time until he finds that new “girlfriend?”

My worst fear is that I get used.


Dear Amy,

The wonderful yet frightening thing about love, dating and relationships is that you don’t have a guarantee of what is going to happen. It’s probably better that way because that is part of what makes it exciting.

However, I can certainly understand how you may be afraid of being used. Whatever you’re concerned that he may be using you for, give him limited access to that and see if he sticks around.

If you want to make sure it’s about you and not your home, then do not let him sleep over all the time. See how he reacts to that. If you’re concerned about being used for your money, then make sure you’re not always the one to pay. If you think it may be sex, then don’t always have sex and see what happens.

Until you know for sure, I would caution you to not get too emotionally involved. This means that you should not project onto him qualities that you think he has or wish he had.

It also means that you should not daydream about a future with him. Live in the present moment.

Your imagination is not your friend at the beginning of any relationship. Don’t start fantasizing about how great it would be to live together, go to Hawaii or get married. This will cause the relationship to go off balance, and you may be reading more into it than there actually is.

At the same time, keep in mind that five years is not that big an age difference, especially these days. I would barely consider you an older woman.

In the end, only time will tell whether it’s about loving you or using you.

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