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updated 9/14/2012 11:27:52 AM ET 2012-09-14T15:27:52

Dr. Gilda Carle

Need a quick answer to a relationship dilemma? Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her relationship advice in TODAY.com’s “30-second therapist” series.

Q: I am involved with a man who was married for 23 years and went into a rebound relationship with a woman for a year and then married her. Now he has been married for two years. As sweet as she is, she is not intellectually stimulating, and there is a question about whether she married him for financial stability. This man and I are emotionally connected, although with nothing physical yet. We would like to get to know each other more. However, the boundaries of marriage remain. He is undergoing counseling to see if his marriage is workable, which he doubts. My problem is that we have a 20-year age difference: I’m 34 and he is 54, and I’m not sure he knows what he wants. —Other Woman

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Dear Other,
You may be the other woman, but not dude’s SIGNIFICANT other woman! While you’re worried about an age difference, you ought to be concerned over a maturity difference. Dude does not know “what he wants.” If I were his shrink, I would not help him assess his marriage unless he left you! Otherwise, his getting counseling is a lie.

Terrified of being alone, this man-child wants insurance he’ll always have access to a ready vagina. ANY vagina will do. You say, “We would like to get to know each other more.” Girlfriend, how much more do you need to know? You’ve already got the picture, and you know it’s warped and moldy. Trash it, so you can find a more substantial portrait! —Dr. Gilda

Q: I have been with my boyfriend for three years. I love him and want to marry and have children with him.  During our time together, he has gone from being totally against marriage to being somewhat interested. Currently, he says he sees himself doing the marriage-and-kids thing one day, but not now. He’s 35 and I'm 33, with a ticking biological clock. Do I give him an ultimatum, hoping he’ll figure it out? Or do I just silently stand by? —Tick-tock

Dear Tick-Tock,
This 35-year-old is willing to hang loose with you indefinitely, but not rise to the level of bonded commitment you want. Heed this “Gilda-Gram” quote: “What you accept, you teach.”

You’ve been compliant in accepting dude’s amorphous stand, despite your own desires. So you’ve inadvertently taught him that you’ll continue accepting his ambivalence.

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Girl, he’s 35 already, so do you really think “not now” will morph into “right now”? Based on how well Rover has learned the tricks you taught, why should he suddenly roll over? Even with an ultimatum, his commitment fears will remain, while your ticking timepiece loudens. Cut your losses, take a breather, then look for someone who shares your goals! —Dr. Gilda

Do you agree with Dr. Gilda’s advice? Do you have your own? Share it in the comments below.

Want Dr. Gilda to answer your relationship questions? Click here to send them in!

Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor emeritus, has written 15 books, and her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”—Second Edition. She provides advice and coaching via Skype, email and phone.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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