Dear Dr. Love, I am 45 years old, divorced for nearly 5 years. For nearly 2 years I have been dating a woman whose husband left her for another, much younger woman 2 years ago. She was my high school girlfriend 27 years ago.She ended our relationship in college because she wanted to be single and free for a while. Within a year she married the man she was with for 22 years. We met again shortly after her separation. Things progressed to a very intimate and exclusive relationship, although she lives 80 miles from me.We spent entire weekends together, every weekend for a year. She indicated she wanted to take a leave of absence from her job and spend the next year with me. We talked often of sharing a future together.All went well until February of this year, when I sensed her pulling away from me. She began to focus on establishing a life in her town. She became too busy to see me during the week. She began spending one weekend night at ‘home’ which turned out to be nights out with single friends in singles situations, tango dancing during the week, tennis lessons, etc.I have encouraged her to do these things and was glad to see her re-establish a life and interests. But I was concerned about my diminishing role in her life and the reduced amount of time we spent together. While I know this is healthy and to be expected at this point in her life, my unhappiness with my reduced role has strained the relationship.For 2 years I had told her that I thought she should date at some point and that I would get out of the picture. She indicates now that her ‘friends’ have all told her she should date and she is beginning to do so. But she does not want me to leave the picture.She says I should have no expectations, we are no longer a couple, and has encouraged me to date as well. She says she wants to have some buffer, or experimental relationships before deciding who she wants to spend the rest of her life with.She implies I am still in the running and wants to continue to do things together when she is in my town. But she has little or no time to be here, and I am not invited or included in her life in her town.My questions are: Is this her polite way of saying ‘it’s over, I don’t want you. Let’s be friends’? Is there a future here, or should I accept what appears to be the hand writing on the wall and put this behind me?I really have a hard time being with her for a few hours for a bike ride or tennis, knowing she chose to be with someone else, or do something else the night before and after we are together for a few hours. I am willing to walk away and would prefer to do so, rather than be rejected for something or someone else each week.She says this is stupid and immature and that I should be able to stay in the picture and have fun together when we can. What do you think. I love her very much, and would not want to lose her during this period of independence, but I fell a little used and don’t wish to continue this frustrating situation.Would appreciate your advice on the future of this relationship and suggestions for dealing with this situation. Signed, Confused and Used