Wary of being hurt again, they moved slowly -- and it worked


Q: A few months ago I wrote to you asking if I should pursue a relationship with a nice man I had met through a personal ad. He has four children from a 15-year marriage. When we met, he was preoccupied with the changes going on, so I wasn't sure what to do.

You answered me by mail personally and advised me to "give him a call, not asking too many questions about his problems, and he will be flattered by the call." You said you would be "right by my side while I dialed his number." And you wanted me to let you know what happened.

Well, here goes: I called him periodically for about five weeks, just to say hello and let him know I was thinking of him. Then I gave him a couple of weeks to "miss me," after which I called again. He was sincerely happy to hear from me and asked when we could go out again. (We had already had three dates -- nothing physical happened between us, but there was great chemistry!)

We went to a movie the same night I called and then returned to my house for coffee. We had a talk and decided to continue seeing each other, and not to fight our feelings. Both of us have had our hearts broken before, so we agreed to go slow.

Susan, it's been almost a month and the two of us decided on last night's date to write and let you know how much we've progressed. (He knows I wrote to you.) We are both very, very happy! Thanks to you I didn't "give up" on this wonderful man who was afraid to get hurt! I have never met anyone like him. He's warm, passionate, intelligent and has good family values.

We're getting to know each other, and who knows where our relationship may lead? But it feels good and is being built on a good foundation. I will always be grateful for your encouragement and support. Without you, I probably would have given up the chance to know a GREAT person, and that would have been a big mistake. He agrees. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

A: Your happy ending came from teamwork: You found the man, I gave you the courage to pursue him, and you followed through. Whatever the final outcome of the relationship, it has taught you to go after what you want. After all, life is a cafeteria, strictly self-serve. You may have to change serving lines more than once, but helping yourself is a prime way to get happiness out of your time on Earth. Of course, there are instances when giving up is the right response -- it takes good judgment to know when. But you two seem to be on the same path. Happy journey! And thanks for the warm appreciation -- it made my day.

Susan Deitz welcomes letters from readers and will answer all those accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Write to her in care of The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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