Dear Dr Lukats, I’m in my late 40’s. I was widowed two years previously and joined a dating website about six months ago in the hope of meeting someone special.
After a few dates with different people I met a really lovely man. We were really well matched, had so many different things in common and had the best time when we were together.
I’m quite a sensible person and would never expect love at first sight, yet this man made me feel really special and I had hoped that it would lead to something more than a casual relationship.
I’ve been dating him for about three months now, it’s still early days. However one of one of my singles friends, who is younger and wiser than me, suggested there was something odd about our relationship. Well, odd in that it wasn’t moving on. I only really see him one Saturday in three and every other Tuesday. She said there was a strange and repetitive pattern to our dates which suggested he has another life.
Being a bit of chat room junkie, I got speaking to another woman who also happened to live just a few miles away from me. Like me she had been dating a man, who sounded very much like my friend. After a bit of digging and swapping photo’s we discovered we had been seeing the same person, except she’d been dating him for a few months longer and his name was slightly different.
Now this woman has suggested that we both dump him. I know I should feel a bit cheated as he’s not been totally honest and my friend agrees with this other woman. She says I can do better and the guys dishonest. I know she’s right but I really like him and don’t want our fun together to end. Do you think I’m being stupid, what should I do?
I promise to act on your advice.
Dr Lukats replies:
I can't tell you what to do. You need to decide that for yourself. But what I can tell you is what I would do, which would be to tell him to get lost. You don't even know if he has told you his real name. In fact since the woman he met first had been given a slightly different name it seems likely that the name he has given you is a false one. He hasn't just been casually dating two women at the same time, this has been going on for quite a while and he has set out to deceive you. This would make me very suspicious that he has a lot more to hide than you've already discovered. The set pattern and infrequency with which you see him would suggest he may well have more than one other woman. He may even be married. So don't be deceived that if this woman dumps him (that's if she does in fact hold up her end of the deal) then the path will be clear for you and him to live happily ever after. He has lied to you from the outset because this is how he is choosing to live his life. It's quite different from the usual types of infidelities.
If you still want to see him then be very clear about what you're getting yourself into. Do not trust him for a minute. Do not give him or lend him money or anything of monetary value. Be very wary if he starts asking unreasonable favours of you. Don't expect this to turn into a serious relationship. Look after your health and don't have unprotected sex with him. Above all else, if you do choose to proceed, do so with extreme caution - with your eyes open and see it only as a bit of casual fun – if indeed this really is your idea of fun. However, if you really do want to meet someone special, to find something more than a casual relationship as you say you do, then continuing to date this man will only stand in the way of meeting someone more deserving of your affections.