Dating Larceny

18 Aug

Dear LetterBalm: My girlfriend and I met 18 months ago via an Internet dating site. She’s 41 and I’m 55.  She lives in Estonia, but we get together in various places in Europe several times a year, which I can afford because I own my own business and have flexible hours. I really love her, but she always brings her 20-year-old son and expects me to pay for his hotel and meals. He doesn’t make any attempt to be friendly. My girlfriend still has her profile and photos on the dating site, which I don’t like, and I’ve told her so. But she says I’m being a stick in the mud. I’ve given her jewelry, bought her a car and paid her expenses when we travel. She won’t introduce me to her family – she says it’s too soon. I want to marry her and bring her to my home, but she is resisting because her relatives live in Tallinn, and she says she’ll miss them. I told her I’d pay for an annual visit home. Am I being played for a sucker here?

–Older Beau

Do you want the short answer? Yes. The long answer? Yes. Perhaps you want to be a gentleman to a fault; perhaps you have little dating experience. In any case, this woman is truly playing you. She knows you have money, and she isn’t shy accepting gifts and cash. She could be married, she could be living with a boyfriend in Tallinn, she could be running a scam. The young man who accompanies her may not even be her son. And, she won’t let you meet the rest of her family. Ms. L.B. says you need therapy to sort out why you, a successful businessman, can be so duped in a relationship. You must understand that the failure of your affair is not your fault (other than your gullibility). You have behaved honorably. With the help of your therapist, you need to be strong – change your cell number, e-mail address and other forms of contact and break things off with the Estonian. Consider yourself lucky because marriage to this woman would be hell on earth. If you must have a last conversation, keep it brief and impersonal, and don’t give in and call her again:

Karina, I am ending our relationship. I care for you, but we cannot be together anymore. I won’t be seeing you or calling you again. I hope you go on and live a good life. Goodbye and good luck to you.

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