Think of Dear Ellie as your very own kitchen table, where you can discuss the things that are on your mind. Now that the boomers are turning 60 and those in the Greatest Generation are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s—we are all blazing new trails in the third third of life. So, have a cup of coffee and let’s talk about life: the past, the present, and the future. [Editor's note: Dr. Greenberg no longer contributes to Silver Planet, but we have made her archived blog entries available as a service to our readers.]
I attended my 50th high school reunion this year and went back to my home town for the first time in many years. I met a man I had gone out with a few times in high school and we really hit it off. He asked me to meet him in a few weeks in a city that would be about half way between where we each now live. We are both divorced and have grown children. Even so, I’m feeling a little uneasy about meeting him in a hotel environment in a strange city. But, I would like to see him again. What should I do? Fran
I can understand your uneasiness about the invitation to meet a man you have not seen in 50 years in a strange city in a strange hotel. Perhaps you could offer him an alternative that would be a more modest step forward and find out of there is a potential new relationship there. You could invite him to your current town, get a hotel room for him while you remain in your own home, go out to dinner and spend some relaxing time talking and getting re-acquainted. You might find a time to introduce him to some of your friends, your grown children, or your colleagues in the community. That way, you could see how he interacts with people in your current life and how it feels to spend some leisurely time together away from a high school reunion party atmosphere.
If he begins to feel more comfortable to you and you want to pursue the relationship, you could make another time and place to meet next….maybe in his current home town. Then, you could meet some of his friends, colleagues, and grown children. In this way, you both can find out if you fit well into each other’s current lives, or if your reunion meeting was just a one-time event.
Good luck with your decisions. I wish you well in re-kindling this 50-year-old relationship. Sometimes our teenage relationships still have merit when we are in our sixties, and sometimes they do not. The only way to find out is to “play out” the possibilities step by step. If it works, that’s great. If it does not, nothing is lost. I hope that’s helpful advice. Ellie
By Elinor Miller Greenberg, EdD