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ASK MERRILY / Not Ready to Settle Down

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Dec 25,2008
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. Yet I don't want to get married again.

This man is my age, is caring, gentle, has many friends, is respected, and treats me like a queen. When I tell him I might want to date others, he smilingly says, “You'll be back."

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 Divorced,

Nothing is wrong with you.  You are engaged in finding out who you are, a wonderful process.

Being divorced is only one aspect of who you are.  Where is the rest of you?  What do you enjoy?  What engages your mind?  What are you good at?

Looking for someone else is an attempt to fill a longing inherent in divorce.  The loss of a marriage partner is like losing an arm.  We keep looking to replace it as the wound heals, which is only human.

You might explore feelings around money, as money is a metaphor for underground issues.

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 list of admirable qualities in a person does not create a requirement for marriage.  Marriage depends upon the deep readiness of each partner and a strong intention from both that it survives.

Allow your life to unfold and find out who you are independent of divorce or marriage.

Settling down is not a requirement today or ever.

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks. Email questions to

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