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Love Letters

He’s nice, but doesn’t feel like a soul mate

Should this 50-year-old move on or “settle”?

Submit your questions for Meredith here.

Q. Hi there. I’m 50 years old and have never been married. I finally met someone who likes me a lot, but I don’t think he’s my soul mate.

We enjoy some of the same activities: hiking, cooking, movies, dogs, etc. Intimacy is nice, as well. I just feel like we haven’t connected on a deep level. Should I keep looking or settle? Maybe this is my last chance for a relationship. I haven’t had a lot of men interested in me, despite years of effort on dating sites.

— Desperate in Mass.

A. This is not your last chance for a relationship. There is no need to settle, pretty much ever, with someone who isn’t doing it for you.

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That said, it sounds like this man is doing it for you in a lot of ways. I guess I’m wondering if it’s possible to connect on a deeper level. If what’s missing could go on a list — if you’re thinking, I wish I could talk more about my hopes and dreams with this person — you could tell him that. Sometimes you have to ask for what you want with great specificity. People don’t walk into relationships knowing exactly how to bond with their new partner. Be clear about how you want to be loved.

Please know that there’s no such thing as a soul mate. Someone can feel like a soul mate. They can be an incredible match for you, and it can seem like magic that you met them. But the people who feel perfect in every way are sometimes not so perfect. I don’t know anyone who didn’t have to do a little work to be part of a good couple.

If you’ve talked about what’s missing and the love just isn’t there, let him go. But please try to figure out if there’s potential and you just haven’t seen it.

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— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

I don’t know how unrealistic you are being. It sounds pretty nice to me to have someone you can share intimacy and interests with, but if you only feel so-so about him, then let him go. I surely wouldn’t want to be the person who thought my partner was settling for me. I would want to be with someone who thinks I am great! LEGALLYLIZ2017

So you have similar likes and you have physical chemistry. What else is there? There is no such thing as a soul mate. You would think that 30-plus years of looking for that might have clued you in. BZZNLIKE-CRAZYMAN

My girlfriend and I are 57 and started dating five years ago. Within the first year and a half, she broke up with me two times because she was in the same headspace you are. Her friends played a big role in her sticking with me. They told her not to expect the same lightning bolts she was looking for when she was 22. I was a good guy, funny, responsible, and cared for her (still am, still do) and that’s more than enough at this stage of our lives. It’s not “settling” to hold onto something that’s good. JASONTIS

Would you miss him if he weren’t in your life? It’s the same at your age as it would be at any other. Enjoy the relationship as long as it works, work to make it better if you need to/want to, and when it doesn’t work any more, that’s when you let him go. HOLLYIVY

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Tell your partner that you feel like you are settling and that the intimacy is “nice.” He’ll make the decision for you. CUPPAJOESEATTLE

Catch all four seasons of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.