I recently moved into a retirement community and have fallen hard for my neighbor. We have been involved with each other for three months. Nothing intimate. We just spend time together, and there has always been this push/pull between us. Sometimes, she will really show me a lot of affection, and other times, we just ignore each other for weeks. I can tell she’s really holding her feelings back for me, and I don’t know what to do. I’m consumed by how strongly I feel for her. What is the best way to tell her how I feel about her? – Adam, 57, Los Angeles, CA
I recommend you do nothing. You’re getting mixed signals, and there is nothing you can do to magically win her over. Attempting to do so is a waste of your valuable time because of three big problems.
The first is that you are neighbors. Attempting to date her would be the same as trying to date a co-worker. Dating is the process of finding out if you’re compatible with someone, and most of the time, it doesn’t work out. When that happens, you’ll still have to see her on a daily basis, and things will get very awkward. With the availability today of online dating and other such options, it makes much more sense to date away from where you live.
The second problem is that you are convinced she is really holding back her feelings for you. This is nothing more than you projecting your male ego onto her and will only lead to trouble. Men have a tendency to read mixed signals as a woman demonstrating a reasonable degree of attraction for them. That’s not the reality. If she were really interested, she would be making herself available to you, not ignoring you for weeks at a time.
The third problem is your desire to profess your feelings for her. The act of professing only works in the movies, and you’ll end up coming off as creepy. Don’t do it. Nothing good will come from it. See “Professing” in the Dating Glossary for further details.
It’s better for you to move on and keep it to being a nice, polite neighbor whenever you see her. Take up online dating, get involved in some meetup groups, and go from there. I know it’s tough to do in this Covid-19 world. There are plenty of women in our age group who are more than happy to meet outdoors for coffee in a socially distant fashion.