Bae Watch: How To Handle Being A ‘Track Widow’ In Season

saratoga living’s kicking off our new “Bae Watch” column with Saratoga Springs-based relationship expert, Jennifer “Deb” Cook, and who will be answering all of your questions about love, romance and relationships. No query is too difficult for Deb! Email questions to [email protected] or DM them to us on social media.

Dear Deb, 
I’ve been dating a man since September. He recently informed me that, during the Saratoga Race Course meet from July to Labor Day, he’ll be taking somewhat of a leave from our relationship. He explained that he loves me, and it absolutely won’t involve other women. In September, it’ll all go back to what we have now, he reassures me, but I can’t help but feel abandoned. I just don’t get it! Help!
Sarah P.
Saratoga Springs

Dear Sarah,
If what you want in a relationship is full-time togetherness, this may not be the man for you. However, what I think your boyfriend may be attempting to do is prepare you for what he intends to do during the track season: decline events, such as your cousin’s cookout on Whitney Saturday, or your co-worker’s wedding on Travers’ Day. He might not want to defend his plans every time he goes to the track. He clearly loves Saratoga’s racing season, and it sure sounds like he loves you, too. I’d ask him if there’ll be any occasion for you two to go to the races together. Regardless of his answer, don’t look at this as an abandonment; look at it as several weeks for you to do you. One should never rely on the company of one person for happiness. Spend a Saturday with friends at Victoria Pool, book that tennis lesson you’ve always intended to take or throw on your sundress and hat and head to the track with your own friends. You’ll quickly see what all the buzz is about and maybe even experience the thrill of a winning ticket. Races don’t go all night; at the end of the day, rendezvous with your boyfriend on the Patio at 15 Church or at Morrissey’s at The Adelphi Hotel to exchange stories of the exciting day you each enjoyed. Also, remember that Mondays and Tuesdays are dark days—and great times for date night. This first summer season will be a good opportunity to test your relationship waters, because my guess is his passion for Saratoga summers at the track won’t be going away anytime soon.

Dear Deb, 
I’m a single mother who’s dating again. When is it a good time to introduce my nine-year-old son to the man I’m dating?
Jamie R.

Dear Jamie,
Dating again is exciting, and the desire to let your new love interest meet the little love of your life is almost irresistible, but…resist! The chemicals released when first falling in love are wonderful, but they can sometimes cloud your otherwise good judgment. Take your time: There’s no rush if he’s the one. Now, here’s the important part: When he finally meets your son, it shouldn’t take place at your home. That’s your son’s safe place and bringing in an “outsider” could create a sense of unease. The first five or more dates should be at a kid-friendly location. Try activities such as exploring Congress Park, going bowling or racing one another down a snowy hill on sleds. I’d imagine your son might bond with the man who drags the sleds back up the hill. Let them have fun and play. The opportunity to observe the interaction with your date and your son will be enlightening. However, absolutely refrain from any and all PDA! That’s just gross in your son’s eyes, and you don’t want him to feel like he’s losing his mom to this man. So slow down, have fun, play, laugh and if it’s right, it’ll all work out at no emotional cost to your son.  

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