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Ask Nancy: How to handle dating a man with an ill parent

Introducing our new feature: Ask Nancy.

Nancy Gold, co-founder of Elegant Introductions, is a psychologist who has been counseling individuals and couples for the past 25 years. We’ve invited readers and social media followers to submit dating and relationship questions to Nancy, and the response has been tremendous! Here, she will answer those questions, in the hope of helping singles navigate today’s complex dating scene.

Dear Nancy,

I’m dating a guy whose dad is extremely ill. He keeps canceling our dates, I’m sympathetic because of his father’s health, but where does that leave me? – Carol J.

Dear Carol,

Be patient and remember to be compassionate. I’m assuming this guy would not be canceling dates under normal circumstances, and the illness of a parent is tough for anyone. Yet believe it or not, these are the times that people are emotionally open to connecting. So reach out and be open. Maybe you could bring him coffee to the hospital or meet him for dinner afterwards. Some people are afraid to do this because they think it will be taken as a sign of getting “too serious.” It isn’t that at all. It’s a sign that you care and you want to help. It’s a sign that, if your relationship does get serious, you WILL be there, for better AND for worse. Any guy who’s also looking for a serious relationship should respond to this positively – and appreciate your efforts sincerely.

Nancy Gold, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who has been counseling individuals and couples for the past 25 years. Known as the Relationship and Healing Expert, she trained at the Harvard School of Behavioral Medicine Mind Body Institute. She received her PhD in psychology from the University of Miami, and she completed her post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Got a dating or relationship question? Just send it to social@jelegantintroductions.com and put Ask Nancy in the subject line. Be sure to include your full name and email address. (This is for verification only. To protect your privacy, we only use first names and initials online.) Nancy will be glad to answer as many dating or relationship questions as possible.


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