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ASK MERRILY/Merrily Preston - Not Ready to Settle Down

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Nov 15,2008
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,

I am 51.  I was divorced three years ago after 28 years of marriage. The divorce didn't fit my notion of who I am.

I am dating a man from my church but don't want to marry him and am subconsciously looking for someone else. This man is my age, is caring, gentle, has many friends, is respected, and treats me like a queen. Yet I don't want to get married again.

He is divorced with two grown daughters. He left the corporate rat race and is happy being a social worker. Money is not important to him.

I am financially comfortable and run my own business. Money was an issue with me. . . not sure why.

We travel. I love his company. Still, I am not ready to settle down and think about searching for other men on the Internet.

What’s wrong with me? 

Dear Not Ready, 

Nothing is wrong with you.  Settling down is not a requirement - today or ever.

You are engaged in the wonderful process of finding out who you are, independent of divorce or marriage.

As being divorced is only one aspect of who you are, look for the rest of you.  What makes you feel alive?  This is a time for exploration, not a time to settle down.    

Looking for someone else is a normal attempt to fill a longing inherent in divorce.  The loss of a marriage partner leaves a hole, like losing an arm.  As the wound heals slowly, we keep looking to replace the loss, which is only human. 

A list of admirable qualities in a man is not a reason to marry him.  As you point out, you ”don’t want to marry him.” 

If you have been honest about not wanting to get married, and marriage is not an issue, could you enjoy this relationship as it is?  A relationship is a great place to get to know yourself, as ‘buttons are pushed” often in relationship.  

Explore your feelings around money.  Money issues can hide very interesting and surprising underlying beliefs.  

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks in Alexandria, VA. Email questions to, or use online form at

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