Dr Turndorf,I met a man about 4 years ago. We were very attracted to each other. He was married, so we stayed friends. He has been divorced for a year now. We talk all the time on the phone.He suggests he can’t date me because of his Muslim religion.I’m 13 years older than he is. I have a teenage boy at home, so I like to keep things on a good level with him. I really care for this man. He always suggests things, says how much he wants to be with me, but never comes through. . . . . . . . . . . I still live my life.Where do I go with this?
This man is clearly conflicted.He likes you but also hesitates to date you because of your different religions. The only place for you to go with this is to the discussion table. Tell him that it’s clear he has mixed feelings and this explains why he’s giving you mixed signals.On the one hand he says he wants you, but then he never comes through. Tell him that you suspect his hesitation is because of your different religious backgrounds. You want to ask him if you’re right in your assessment. Then you want to ask him which of the two signals you should respond to. The red light or the green light.Obviously, if he is leaning more toward the no, you’ll need to know this so you don’t continue investing yourself and getting more and more involved with someone you can’t be with.As for the religious issue, I would ask him to talk with you more at length about this. Does he feel that his family and friends wouldn’t accept you? Is it his church that would reject you? Does he think that you would be incompatible because your customs differ so much?Get him to spell it all out. Usually when an issue is brought to the light of day people realize it’s not as insurmountable as it seemed to be when it was rattling around inside their heads. You don’t need to make a decision right away. Just keep talking, and you will, hopefully, discover that many of his objections become resolved by the ‘talking cure. ‘