Dating when you are forty

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Another internal boundary to observe has to do with new dating relationships.

Do your best to wipe the slate clean and allow yourself to explore new possibilities.

But despite the powerful image of a cardboard box full of memories being left at his or her doorstep, for some reason your ex is unwilling to actually leave the picture.

If you truly don’t want this person in your life anymore, make sure that what you say and how you respond to his or her intrusions make it perfectly clear that there really is no “us” for you two anymore.

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to have a “sit-down” (Sopranos-style, if necessary) that leaves nothing open to interpretation.

Or, if there are good reasons that you just can’t or don’t want to even be in the same room with this person, then you could write a letter.

And promise yourself that when you go on dates with new people, you won’t talk about your ex and review all the problems that person is causing in your life.

Draw a firm boundary that prevents your ex from being present in the conversations and interactions you have with people you’re now meeting and going out with.

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