Sunday, August 24, 2008
The other day I read a letter from a 62 year old woman asking for advice from "Dear Margo."

She's been dating a 62 old man for the past three years and her relationship with him has many pluses and is satisfied with ALMOST all aspects.

The wrinkle that has appeared recently is that she has a longtime platonic male friend who has invited her to go on a 17-day trip to Europe with him. Over the past 20 years, they have traveled together to different parts of the world.

Black Sock
Black Sock by wvs, on Flickr

When he first invited her, she turned him down because she could not afford it. He then offered to pay a substantial part of the trip, she accepted his offer, but not until she told "Ernest" about the trip.

"Ernest" is very bothered by the idea, feels excluded and claims she's a gold digger. She feels that his protest is not only late but unfair, and she doesn't plan to cancel the trip!

She wants to know if Margo thinks she's a fool to jeopardize her relationship with "Ernest."


It's pretty obvious to me that she should not go on this trip. I'm sure she would not like it if he went on a 17 day trip with a lady friend and did not invite her.

Ernest's mistake was that he put up with his lady friend going on those trips all these years. Looks like this trip will break the camel's back! Enough is enough.

If she goes aboard, she could wind up being a lonely broad!

What do you think?

She shouldn't is right and what a play on words! Well done MS. Millie.
Dear Millie aka Dear Margo,
IN MY OPINION: This woman does not have a strong commitment with "Ernest". In fact she doesn't have a commitment except with herself. His feelings do not matter at all! She may go on the trip but there may big price to pay.

She may not find Ernest waiting for her at the boat pier. The lady likes to gamble.
I wish some one would give me an offer to go on a cruise.
Looks like I'm going to be the lone opposing voice on this I guess - if she has been on other trips while she has been with Ernest this shouldn't be any different - also to expect her to give up a travel partner she has enjoyed traveling with for 20 years because he is insecure really is something that he should work on himself. It is something they should talk about though - and if Ernest is a good traveler I would probably see if he wanted to come too - but hey for all we know he is one of those pain in the butt travelers - you know the kind - the ones who pick apart everything and find fault with everything when they travel from food to places to see to the people in the area they are in, is nasty to waitresses etc - then I would never ask him to go...

So we come to other questions - is he a jealous controlling person - if that is the case maybe she would be better off without him -- Would it be different if she wanted to go with a female friend - does he not trust her - or is it the trip and the time away itself.

It also depends on their relationship - is it a casual dating one, are they living together, or planning on getting married or what?

62 is still young - somehow I doubt she will be a lonely broad if she goes and Ernest goes because of it.

Anyway If someone told me I was a gold digger - I have a feeling the Irish might get up and I would go -- as I told them not to let the door hit them in the butt on the way out - but that's just me - I don't do well with someone accusing me of things. ;)
I think she should go! If she has been going on trips with the longtime platonic male friend for 20 years, that friendship long predates her involvement with "Ernest." This friendship is something that "Ernest" should learn to accept. If he can't accept it, she should find someone better.

Millie, would you change your opinion if the situation were exactly the same except for the gender of the longtime friend?
I'm with Rho. Why would Ernest decided now is the time to complain? If someone offered me a trip like that (and I knew for certain there would be no expectations of intimacy) I'd go at the drop of a hat! If Ernest wasn't waiting when I returned, I'd say good riddance.
I'm with Rho, anonymous, and Kenju on this one. If Ernest is that insecure I think she would be better off alone, if that's the price she has to pay. There is too much we don't know about these relationships to make a judgment. It really depends on the motives and personalities of those involved.

Believe me, I would take the trip unless Ernest was the light of my life.
Ok, so she has been in a relationship with Earnest for 3 1/2 years, so he should know this friend (even if they haven't traveled together in that time). And he should know that the travel friend and her are plutonic.

But I am wondering if the travel friend knows of Earnest, why he wasn't invited too?

I don't know, I am on the fence with this one.
A response to the bloggers who have commented:

You're right, we don't know much about their relationship so it's hard to judge. True - but one of the things I don't like about the situation is - she would be accepting her old friend's substantial financial help so she can go on this trip. There is no free lunch!!

Even if the situation was exactly the same except for the gender of the longtime friend, if I could not afford to pay for the trip myself, I'd stay home.
I guess the way I was looking at it is apparently the friend has the money to pay for a portion of the trip with no problems and apparently enjoys traveling with her enough to want to. Maybe he doesn't have anyone else in his life he enjoys traveling with as much so it is worth it to him.

And he knows that it isn't something she does all the time to get him to pay - it sounds like it was the first time she said she couldn't afford the trip.
I read this post this morning when there were no comments posted.
I wanted to wait and see what others had posted before I put in my two cents worth.
Here is my opinion and it is My opinion on this.
If it were me I would go on the trip.
"Ernest" has had THREE years to show his true feelings about their relationship. Does the woman want or expect more than just dating?
If Ernest can not commit to something more permanent after three years then I think it is time for her to say goodbye.

I personally would go on the trip with the platonic friend and if Ernest doesn't like it then I would say, "YOU snooze, you loose!"

Bear((( )))
Millie Read this post smiling the whole time. I am a lady who was single from in the 40's to now just past 70. A lot of stories.
But bottom line is I agree with you. There is no free lunch!!
Something does not add up here.
But it is a good story.
She'll go. Women just never get it, that although they can think of another man as a friend, men don't think that way. When they see a woman, they think sex. He will be jealous and the relationship will be over. IMHO
I think I would go take a small "retreat" trip (something I could afford on my own) and leave both the guys at home.
At first, I agreed with you, but rho made some good points. I guess we just don't know enough about Ernest or the woman to really make a judgement.
Hello Millie - Its been awhile since we did our JibJab together, so I should tell you I'm Maria's husband Bob. The comments you've received are great & entertaining but are all opinions so naturally they are diverse and will not pin (no pun intended) precise advice on how to proceed with the questionable teh to teh. Let me, however, suggest that the questionable trip because of the concern for the consequences is enough for it to be abandoned. In order though that a pairing relationship still could come about I would suggest the three involved first embark together on an elder hostel trip.
What a great blog.
PS Maria doesn't know I'm commenting.
Hi Ms. Millie -

I just stumbled upon your blog and I find your posts to be very interesting.

Keep blogging.
Is it somewhere she has been before? Will she ever get the chance again?
I'm so glad I put this post up! Very interesting and entertaining thoughts from all of you.

Beth's comment gave me a big laugh - just leave the guys home and take off on a retreat.

Another one that gave me a laugh was from Marie's husband Bob. Sounds like when I put up a "good one" it gets past on to a family member.

His idea was for all concerned to get together and go on an elder hostel vacation!

None of us know the people involved but wasn't it fun to speculate!!
I'm with rho, all the way. How can anyone end up lonely when they have sustained a friendship of 20 years? Besides, it would be like her going on a trip with her brother. A 3-year stint doesn't stack up. I'd ditch that one! Older n Dirt
I say she should go for it....Ernest doesn't sound very caring to me. Life is too short and she should soak up her moments.
But to be honest...we didn't get much info as to WHO Ernest is. Obviously, they've traveled separate paths. Why should it change now?
I'm with you Millie, there's no such thing as free lunch... ;)
Quite an interesting story!
If after three years he is intimidated by her old friend, and calls her a gold digger than I say good riddance,
The friend is far more important and actually looking out for her interests not being unfair and calling her names.
She shouldn't put up with such nonsense.
Hi Millie, love your blog! And also the posting on Ronni's site that you just did!

This one is an interesting question and I'm going to go with the folks who say she should go. Speaking as a single woman who has found that a compatible travel partner is a rare find, I'd be hard put to turn this one down. And I would gratefully accept the financial aid as well. The cost of course is the potential loss of Ernest, so that would be a toughie, but gee whillikers, does she really want to be tied to a guy who is going to put limits on her independence?

Better the platonic friend who interferes with her independence by offering money, than the lover who interferes with her independence by acting jealous! That's my two cents worth ;-)
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