Why is He Avoiding Commitment?

Name: Anne | | Location: Chicago , IL |Question: My boyfriend of a little over 2 years says he loves me, but is saying and Facepalm2doing some things that make me doubt his commitment to me.  I had a talk with him about 3 months ago and told him that I really think we have long-term potential, and would like things to progress to the point where this becomes a permanent relationship.   I told him that for me to feel secure in a long-term relationship I need steps towards more commitment such as spending holidays together, moving in together and discussing a timeline for when we might want to get engaged/married, and that if he isn’t sure he wants these things with me or isn’t ready for things to progress, he needs to let me know!  He said he hadn’t brought these things up because he wasn’t sure how to, and agreed that he sees a future with me.  However, since our talk he hasn’t really acted on that statement .   His lease will be up in November, and he is looking to buy a house, so I invited him to move in with me while he looks.   He said he doesn’t   feel quite ready to live with me yet.   I don’t really understand why since we have been together a long time, sleep over at each other’s apartments 4-5 nights a week and spend the majority of our free time together.  I feel like we’re not learning any new information about each other that would make him feel more ready at a later date.  He also made a comment while looking for houses and discussing mortgages that his financial situation was not my business.  My gut feeling is that he does not want to commit to me, and was just telling me what I wanted to hear.  I want to break things off, but we are going to his friend’s wedding in Bermuda next weekend, and he paid for both our tickets.  How much longer do you think I need to wait this out?  I don’t want to be in a relationship that goes nowhere, and also don’t want him to feel angry that I went on a romantic and expensive trip with him and then broke up with him shortly after.  We’re both 28, have careers and have been in other serious relationships.  There aren’t reasons as far as I can tell that would prevent him from taking the next step with me other than that he doesn’t think I’m the one. |Age: 28

Okay. You need to back off him a bit, just so you can see if his behavior changes. It’s been three months since you’ve had this conversation. other than Memorial Day, how many holidays have passed that are “couples” holidays? Not to mention, buying a ring and getting finances in order, etc, doesn’t just happen. You have to give the guy a  chance to get his ducks in a row here. He has said he sees a future with you. For now, that’s going to have to be enough. I’m not saying you should give him another year, but you can’t be up his ass 3 months later.

His lease will be up in November, and he is looking to buy a house, so I invited him to move in with me while he looks.   He said he doesn’t   feel quite ready to live with me yet.   I don’t really understand why since we have been together a long time, sleep over at each other’s apartments 4-5 nights a week and spend the majority of our free time together.

The difference is you aren’t currently merging your finances. Sleeping over at each other’s places is not signing a contract together. It’s not reviewing credit reports and creating joint bank accounts and creating and maintaining  a budget. Living together also doesn’t offer a save haven where he or you can go to be alone. He might not be ready to give that up yet.  Asking someone to surrender their autonomy is big. HUGE to some. You’re all focused on moving in together and getting your commitment…but have you really thought about how this major life change will alter your life? Are you sure you’re ready for this? Because you sound like you’re thinking about things in abstract terms, yet you don’t seem to really have thought through what all of these changes mean and how they will impact your life. Not just his. You should be taking this time to make sure this is really what you want. Once you two sign on the dotted line and have that housewarming party…it’s real life time. Grown up life. Dealing with each other every, single day, no breaks. There’s compatibility and then there’s compatibility. And living together is a whole new level of compatibility. Until you and your boyfriend have consistently spent every night together for a good period of time, you really have no idea if this is the right next step for you two.

So take baby steps. First spend a full week together at the very least. In the same household.

His actions and behavior is telling you he’s not ready for this. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to give it to you, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for you. But he needs some time to come to this on his own, without prodding and monitoring from you. If you were to pull back on the pressure and just let things unfold, you might see advancements. Right now he knows what you want and he feels you pressuring him. Most men in his shoes are going to dig their heels in the ground and become obstinate.

He also made a comment while looking for houses and discussing mortgages that his financial situation was not my business.  My gut feeling is that he does not want to commit to me, and was just telling me what I wanted to hear.

Okay. My gut feeling is that there’s something up with his finances and he feels ashamed or unsure about discussing them with you. But I don’t think this is the only thing holding him back. I’m not sure why, after 2 years, you’re not spending holidays together. This, to me, would have been the big red flag after a year of dating. So here’s another baby step you need to take. You need to ensure that you and his family get along, and that he and your family get along. Listen, you’re 28, you don’t need your parents approval. But it sure lubricates things when the families are on board. Because if you do marry this man, they then become your family.

You’re going at light speed but you haven’t even covered some minor basics yet. Focus on the smaller steps first. Give him some room to breath, let’s say 3-6 months, and if you don’t see any progress, then you need to have a really honest talk with him. You need to ask him questions that might be difficult for him to answer. Especially about his finances. If he can’t let you in, and you still feel like he’s stonewalling you, then you have to walk.

 

 

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96 Responses to “Why is He Avoiding Commitment?”

  1. Angeline Says:

    Maybe it was my long work day, but I was exhausted after reading her post. “Down. Sit! Now stay.”
    I’d love to know what the OP considers “a long time”. And if this email is any indication, I’d be wary of leaking financial information, too. Maybe he’s picking up on something we’re not privy to, such as being a little too eager to blend finances. She’s certainly too in his face about advancing the relationship – from her email the entire weight of that decision has been her doing, her prodding, her nudging. I’d dig my heels in, too. Maybe he’s just being really cautious before risking half his future earnings to what is at best a risky bet that they’ll stay married. I don’t think you can discount the current state of how the assets get divvied up in divorce for men as a major factor in their hesitancy to commit.

    Go on the wedding trip OP, but back way, way off on the rushing to move in together. You’re pushing him, and no one ever feels happy about a decision they were pushed into.

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  2. Adrienne Says:

    I always read but rarely comment on this blog, but I feel compelled to do so today.

    My first thought was: After 2 years, he should know whether or not he wants to be with her. They’re adults, they’ve been dating for a few years, and they are at each other’s homes 4-5 nights a week. If they aren’t spending holidays together, and if he doesn’t want to temporarily move in with her for a few months until he purchases a house, those are red flags to me.

    I get the sense that he’s with her for the comfort and for the steady sex. If after the “talk” he’s not making any moves to merge his life with hers, she may be correct that she’s not “the one.”

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  3. nat Says:

    what I don’t get is…why man don’t commit keeping you on the back rurner ,wanting to stay “friends” saying time will show,knowing about my feelings..told me he has feelings for me too,but as soon as he
    .meets this crazy chick…and commits to her,and treats me like shit,like he never knew me before…

    Heart broken

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  4. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I’m usually the first to jump up and down and say “too much” “too soon” “you don’t know each other!” But, two years? Hm. Moxie, I think you finally caught a live one.

    I agree with OP’s self-assessment. There are red flags here. At your age…. hell, at any age, II think two years is a sufficiently long time to be dating someone that you should know them well and know where you stand. Not by his words, but by deeds. Committment should be palpable. It’s not a word, it’s an action. And, you’re not seeing it.

    I don’t think you can get the information about where his head is by asking him. You’re going to get a bullshit answer. Why? Because a person who has invested that much time and energy in a relationship (that is comfortable) is not going to admit that it’s going nowhere so you can dump him unceremoniously. By asking him, you’re asking for things to get dragged out. And, believe me, I say this from experience.

    Also, I think the ultimatum option is out, for the reason Moxie says.

    So, what is to be done? If I were you (and I know others will disagree) I would force a break. I would tell him that you’re not seeing the committment from him that you would like (make sure it’s about you, not him) and it’s time to think seriously about moving on. Then… do it. Take a break. Tell him that, assuming your feelings for each other are real and mutual, you don’t expect it to be a permanent break-up (because you don’t want to signal that you’re treating the relationship frivolously) but that you’re going to use the time to think about what you want and you hope he does the same. Again, make sure it’s not delivered as a threat — i.e. if you don’t x, y z, then I will leave. Be cold. Be firm. This is going to scare the bejeezus out of him, believe me.

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    • chuckrock Says:

      If a woman did what you suggested to me, I would see it as her not loving ME enough and I would assume the relationship was dead no matter what the actual words she used were. I just don’t see someone who loves me enough to want me to marry them – as someone who was willing to take a break and risk losing me.

      I would avoid DMN’s advice here. Sorry.

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      • Cricri Says:

        That’s because just like the Op’s BF, you’re only considering your benefits from the relationship and enjoy the status quo. Instead of questioning why someone who’s been dating you for 2 years and has asked you to move in with her is suddenly taking a break from the relationship after you showed non-committal behavior, you prefer to just adopt the self-centered approach and make it all about you. If you can’t see what’s going on on your partner’s side, it is truly YOU who don’t love that person.

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        • chuckrock Says:

          That would be false. Thank you.

          People don’t get to the same place at the same time,and commitment means different things to different people. It has only been three months since they first spoke about. Three months. That is SUCH a short period of time, it is almost laughable that this is a debate.

          I didn’t love with my ex-gf until about 5 years in and I knew I loved her and wanted to be with her for the rest of my life after about 6 months.

          Taking a break is nothing but sabotage to a relationship and a huge break of whatever trust that may have been built up. It is a sign that she’ll cut and run when things don’t go according to her schedule or plan. If you love someone you don’t rush them into something.

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          • Cricri Says:

            I’m sorry did I get you wrong?
            Did you stay with someone for 5 years while you didn’t love them for all that time? What happened next? It didn’t work out, I suppose. Even in relationship, there is momentum. You can expect people to be waiting for you while you grow up. Some people do not understand the seriousness of the situation until they are against the wall. Usually I wouldn’t want to continue dating someone I have to convince I’m the one for him, just as well I would not stay with a man for all that time that I didn’t love. This is truly foolish and quite irresponsible.

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            • chuckrock Says:

              sorry, it was a typo: it was suppose to say i didn’t LIVE with her til about 5 years in. I guess that was a pretty bad typo :)

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              • Cricri Says:

                Bad typo but still remains that bad impression. 5 years before living with someone??? That’s equally ridiculous but maybe you dated when you were like teenagers or something which would explain why. At this point in my life, 28, like the OP I cannot see myself dating that long to no end someone who needs time to grow up, meaning getting there or owning up to the fact that they don’t want to get married to me or to anyone but want to enjoy the good perks of a relationship.

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                • chuckrock Says:

                  In our situation, it worked. I was 26 and she was 24. I worked and lived in NYC and she worked and lived in the Hamptons. I had just graduated law school when we met and she was between things but eventually got on the force. We weren’t a couple that saw each other 4 days a week, but more like on weekends.

                  We first started talking about living together around the 3 year mark. At first we couldn’t agree where we would live because I had a certain line that I wouldn’t go further east than and she was being very stubborn being a “Hamptons Girl” and all. Eventually we had a condo built and we waited about a year for it to be ready. And had to change firms once and then decide to start my own practice in order for the location to work.

                  We spent in total 7.5 years together, but I only feel the last year and a half was wasted – because I took care of her post injury.

                  I don’t know too many of my friends that met the significant other around my age that lived together much sooner than 3 years.

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                  • WO7 Says:

                    Chuck…I think you missed the part where she offered they live together only while he was inbetween renting and buying. It wasn’t a permanent solution being proposed.

                    It also seems like you and your woman had a lot of dialog around the situation. That’s what one would expect from people who love each other. I get the feeling the OP is just being told “the way it is” by her man.

                    You’re also completely ignoring the part where he hasn’t spent a single holiday with her…

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                    • chuckrock Says:

                      i think it is pretty obvious to any guy that a temporary living together will be assumed to be permanent once it is established.

                      I’m not sure about the dialog part, but i agree there should definitely be discussion on the topic.

                      I didn’t ignore the holiday part, just addressed it in a different post.

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          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            Well, people should view your advice skeptically since you just proudly admitted that you “wasted” more than five years of a woman’s life (and your own) on a relationship that went nowhere. Don’t worry, I done it to. Which in fact is the basis of my advice. Who cares if he gets all weepy that she doesn’t love him. Good, let her move on.

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            • chuckrock Says:

              If anything, my story should be proof that 2 years is too quick at that age to know if you should be getting married or not yet.

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          • Angeline Says:

            People don’t get to the same place at the same time,and commitment means different things to different people. It has only been three months since they first spoke about. Three months. That is SUCH a short period of time, it is almost laughable that this is a debate.

            It’s been 3 months since The Talk, but they’ve been dating for 2 years. My revised question is, how long has he known that her intentions were to get married someday? I’d give it a little more time than 3 months before taking a break, especially if they never had those conversations or understandings that she wanted long term and marriage eventually. But if I didn’t see any progress, as other people said, meeting the families, planning and dreaming about the future, I’d want to bail, too, if my goal was to get married and start a family.

            The only difference I have with DMN’s advice is that it sounds like, and probably will be taken as, tactical advice, when I believe she needs to approach it as a done deal – either be content with what he’s able to give, or walk away. Otherwise it is a further manipulation, an attempt to force him into deciding by separation rather than talking. The OP has to be ready to actually walk away, not just do it while peeking back to see if he’s running after her.

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        • dimplz Says:

          I think chuckrock is taking the right approach. Too many people think it’s enough just to be in love. That’s not going to keep a marriage together. It’s probably the smallest factor in longevity. Love changes, people change, people may get sick or hurt during a marriage, unemployment, debt, etc. The bigger thing to think about is why doesn’t she know his family now? When will she get to know them? It’s not enough information to break up, but I would observe closely what steps he starts to take in the next 6 months to change things. You have to speak up in order to be heard. If you do and the person takes action, then you know they really want to work things out with you. If everything stays exactly the same, then you have your answer.

          Just because they’ve been together 2 years doesn’t mean she’s the right woman for him. People have ideas about marriage, some people don’t want to marry, others have qualities they want in a spouse that they don’t see in a bf/gf, and some people date without even thinking it will wind up in marriage. The problem is when the SO doesn’t know this, and they spend time building castles in the sky.

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  5. Christina Says:

    I have to agree with the others here that two years is long enough for him to have an idea of where he wants this to go. Assuming he’s around your age, it’s not like he’s so young he still needs to play around for years before settling down. Back off a bit, and as Moxie suggested, take some baby steps. It does concern me a bit that he seems willing to take the major step of buying a house without getting any input from you whatsoever. For as long as you’ve been together, it seems that would be a good time for both of you to assess how you want your future together to play out.

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  6. Really Rosie Says:

    In two years they have not spent holidays together? At all? None of them? They can spend 4-5 nights a week together but they separate on every holiday? What do they do, each sit in their separate apartments staring at TV? Even if they each feel compelled to visit their respective families out of town for the big holidays, what about Valentine’s Day, July 4, etc.? He’s ashamed of something. Maybe it is the finances but something is not right here.

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  7. Mark Says:

    Two years, 4-5 nights a week, etc, and you say he really hasn’t acted on that since your last talk.

    Yet he does seem ready to act when his lease is up and is seems serious enough to be looking to purchase a home (in his name only or has he included you in this in any way)?

    Do his actions comport with his words? That’s the question.

    I’m inclined to agree with those who say go to the wedding reception and enjoy it. But when you get back, it may be time to draw a line in the sand. That may be seen as an ultimatum, but it seems you deserve to know where things stand. Especially at this stage of the relationship. The difficulty with ultimatums is that it will force a decision, so he may agree with you or he may just call it quits. But if you are at that stage where you just need to know one way or another this may be the best option. If you go this route, Just be prepared for any answer.

    Best of luck and hope things work out for the best.

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “That may be seen as an ultimatum, but …” No buts. The problem with ultimata is that they put people on the defensive and you don’t get a genuine, mature, thoughtful response. It is much, much more productive to simply state what you need and let the other person decide whether they want to give it to you or not. That’s called being assertive. And, if their actions (not words) tell you they don’t, you walk. I don’t get why people need to make this so much more complicated than it needs to be.

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  8. dimplz Says:

    I think 2 years is a good amount of time to approach the issue of a long term commitment, but I’d like to know more about not spending holidays together. Does this mean the OP hasn’t met his family? My bf is still not 100% after a year, but I know his family, spent time with them, and even though we have been with our respective families on Christmas, New Year’s and Thanksgiving, he’s always shown me how committed he is to our relationship by making a concerted effort to spend time with me. He does more for me than most husbands do for their wives. I guess this is what the OP should be looking at, more than the actual words that are coming out of his mouth. Is he putting in the proper amount of time or are they just playing house in the 4-5 nights they spend together?

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    • Anne Says:

      I’m the OP. He’s met my family once and I have met his many times. I am staying in town next year for Thanksgiving because I’m a grad student and it’s expensive and inconvenient for me to fly home. I’m hosting some other people from my grad program and invited my bf to join me. He said no.

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      • dimplz Says:

        Well, I don’t know if you’re ok with that, because I think there are a number of reasons why it would be nice for him to stay with you, but then again I don’t know what it’s like to be far from family. That’s your call. However, holiday issues would arise if you get married. These are the things you have to remember. They aren’t dealbreakers in my book, but to some people they are. I guess you have to know yourself before you begin a life with someone else.

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      • dimplz Says:

        Actually, I take that back. If it were me, we would have probably fought about it. I get that you are a broke grad student, but he should be compromising holidays with you, because you have been in his life a significant amount of time. He’s in his 20s (I assume) so spending a holiday with your lonely gf wouldn’t be that hard to explain to the folks. Not to mention, only meeting your family once isn’t a great sign, unless you’ve only seen them once since you started dating. In my experience, if a guy has distance from your family on purpose, it’s because they aren’t ready to take you seriously. I think after 2 years, he should be making these grand gestures to accommodate you.

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        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “he should be making these grand gestures” Grand gestures look great in a romantic comedy, but a real relationship is built on the little gestures that add up.

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      • WTH Says:

        Leave him

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      • chuckrock Says:

        You can’t go to your family because it is expensive, but you don’t mention why you can’t go to his family. That is a part of the equation also.

        If your scenario was mine, I would rather go to my family and bring you with me than to spend it with friends. Holidays are for family, at least in mine.

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        • Angeline Says:

          Depends on the holiday. My family was very rejecting of friends, non-family being included in Thanksgiving dinner until we all started dating and getting married (I’m the oldest of 7) and then they got a little looser about it. So I was never able to bring a friend who was stuck by themselves because of work or school. A current friend of mine has an “Orphan’s Thanksgiving” every other year, and invites anyone who is stuck in town apart from their family. It can be a very nice tradition. And at this point, what with the discord over the commitment issue, she was wise not to ask for an invite to his family’s for Thanksgiving.

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      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        I’m the OP. He’s met my family once and I have met his many times. I am staying in town next year for Thanksgiving because I’m a grad student and it’s expensive and inconvenient for me to fly home. I’m hosting some other people from my grad program and invited my bf to join me. He said no.

        You’re planning Thanksgiving in June?

        Is it possible that your boyfriend is just pulling back because he feels like you’re constantly trying to pin him down and make sure he’s still “in?” Thanksgiving is four months away and you’re already trying to see if he’s going to be with you on the holiday.

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        • Anne Says:

          Plane tickets around the holidays especially Thanksgiving are expensive, and there are limited flights so they get bought way in advance. Last year when I went home to NY, I bought my ticket at the end of August, and it still cost me almost five hundred dollars. It’s not as early as it seems to discuss this because his family also lives far, and he would be in a similar situation with needing to purchase his ticket home pretty soon, if he’s going. Also since he agreed in our discussion that he wanted a potential long-term committment, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that we would be together at the holidays.

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          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            All that is valid, but you’re still totally pressuring him to step up his game. That’s really what the whole Thanksgiving thing is about. You told him you wanted to see more steps towards commitment. He says okay. Then you’re suggesting he live with you when his lease is up, and you’re trying to plan Thanksgiving in June. The reason you’re not seeing progress is because you’re pressuring him. This guy IS stalling, but I don’t doubt that a big reason why is because you’re constantly expressing impatience.

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          • dimplz Says:

            Are you worried he won’t follow through with what he said? Maybe if you haven’t done so yet, you should find out what his ideas on marriage are. Some people just think they can continue the same things they did when you were dating, whether it’s every single one of their extracurricular activities, always being with their family on the holidays and not establishing you as their new family, children (whether or not to have any), faith/value system, financial obligations (whether you will work and help out with bills). I think if you’re just getting around to whether he’s thinking of you long-term, you haven’t delved into the deeper issues. This should be tackled before booking flights to spend time with one another.

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          • chuckrock Says:

            “his family also lives far” does this mean he only sees them at holiday time? if so, you asking him not to go is kind of selfish, especially if it is only for a friends thing and not to go to your family instead.

            I agree that planning thanksgiving in june is quite early, and it would add unneeded pressure to him that he is likely feeling because of the whole more commitment talk.

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          • chuckrock Says:

            wait, it cost you $500 to go from chicago to ny? try southwest, download their ding app. You can certainly get it cheaper. I have done that trip for less than $300. Fly some off days around the holiday instead of the prime days.

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            • Anne Says:

              Because of my school/work schedule, I would have to travel the day before Thanksgiving and come back that following Saturday or Sunday, therefore driving the price up. There are almost always significant delays out of Chicago in the winter because of the weather, and it’s just not worth it to go for such a short time. The bigger issue is not the holiday thing, but my boyfriend’s unwillingness to accomodate me and integrate me into his life. Last year on Thanksgiving he didn’t even call me. I told him how upset I was, and then on Christmas we didn’t talk until 10pm, making me think he completely forgot about me. (and I did call him, he just didn’t call me back or did it much later) He gets very absorbed in his own thing and his family when he goes home, so not only are we not together, but we don’t get to talk because he doesn’t make it a priority.

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              • chuckrock Says:

                So, you see him every week as much as 4 times a week, he only sees his family on holidays and such….and he is not suppose to make his family a priority? You sound like you are the one not being supportive. You have him all the time and his family only gets to see him sparingly. Why should you be the priority?

                I still haven’t seen an answer to the question asto whether he invited you to go to his family for the holiday or not.

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                • Anne Says:

                  No. He did not invite me to go to his family for the Holiday instead. Nor did he explain why he was so against staying with me. It may or may not be because he wants to see his family. He goes on many short-notice business trips for his job where he is gone for 1-2 weeks. I never get to be 100 percent sure that I will get to see my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, my birthday or other important events. He has guaranteed time off around Thanksgiving and Christmas, so this would be a good time for us to plan on spending time together. He also had a 3 month international work assignment about a year into our relationship and asked me to stay with him during it. He has asked me to prioritize him and accomodate his travel schedule, so I feel it is unfair that I am not getting this in return.

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                  • chuckrock Says:

                    He has asked me to prioritize him and accomodate his travel schedule, so I feel it is unfair that I am not getting this in return.

                    I agree. This is a perfect topic to discuss with him and see how he responds.

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        • Paula Says:

          I didn’t spend Thanksgiving and Christmas in the same place as my ex-husband until we were married. He met my parents for the first time when we told them we were engaged, after we were living together. We lived on the West Coast, my parents were in the Midwest, and his family was scattered up and down the East Coast. We were poor and tickets were expensive. I did orphan’s Thanksgivings (and still do).

          There will not be an appreciable difference in airfare between now and the end of August (3 months out). Let it ride for the rest of the summer. I’m with Moxie — he could be reacting more to the “let’s lock this in almost 6 months in advance” part more than the “do I see myself with her in six months” part….I know I would be.

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          • Dimplz Says:

            You bring up an interesting point and they seem to be the underpinnings of everyone’s comments. It seems that most people want her to lock him down, without regard to her situation. All of their comments are based on the fact that it’s been 2 years, but she is just now getting around to talking about the future. I think while it doesn’t seem promising, because BOTH of them held off on this conversation, she owes it to herself to wait until the holidays to see if anything will change.

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  9. C Says:

    Girl, get out. Two years is long enough to feel secure in your feelings for one another, in my opinion (and it is just my opinion). I think you know when something’s not right and your gut seems to be screaming just that. Also, living together is a great way to know if you can, well, live together. If this is something you are ready for and he is so resistant (especially when he can try it out temporarily while he looks for his own place!!), then maybe it is time to move on. Unless he has some personal moral reason for not wanting to do so…

    Two years, y’all!

    I have experience with expressing what I want out of a relationship and it being different than what the other person wanted or being farther along emotionally than the other person. But I gotta tell ya, the one that wanted to be with me and wanted to progress in our relationship took the steps to get us there together. And we are still together and stronger than ever.

    It’s okay to be at different places emotionally sometimes, because we all love a little differently. But if those differences are brought to the surface, and everything remains exactly the same? You may never be on the same page.

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    • chuckrock Says:

      Two years for a 26 year old (they are now 28 and thus met at 26 (i haven’t seen his age so i will assume a similar one) ) is not a very long time. While you should know if you love someone – i may just be too young to move into that stage of life.

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      • C Says:

        But they are not 26 anymore. My only concern is that she is ready and he is not…and he seems to be in no hurry to get ready. If it’s important to her, and if she is important to him, I would think that he would make the effort. Doesn’t mean they have to do everything at once, but it should be an ongoing conversation. The fact that they talked about it and she is sensing no change is a red flag.

        I don’t know. I just feel like things would be a little more clear after two years.

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  10. joe Says:

    I think there are some red flags but they could be explained.

    First off, I don’t think the boyfriend has anything to be ashamed about his fiances if he is buying a house by himself. The mortgage, the utilities and repairs are all huge expenses. If anything, he might have too much money and don’t want the OP to know about it or he is really independent and doesn’t want the OP to share the burden.

    Second, is there a progression since you had a talk with him three months ago. If you never went to a friend’s wedding before and since that talk, he has brought tickets, that would be a good sign. I know you are looking for certain steps but perhaps he has done other things. I give him a chance to talk about whether or not you will spend Thanksgiving together.

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  11. Laura Says:

    I think after two years, in your late twenties, you should know whether or not that person is the person you want to marry. If you’re not getting what you want, tell him you haven’t seen any progression of the relationship since you last talked, and feel that it’s time to move on. Then walk away, and break off contact. If he wants to keep you, he will come to you, most likely with a ring, and propose. Or do some other grand gesture to get you back. Unless you’re content waiting another year or two for this guy to decide what he wants, I would walk away. I’m not saying he doesn’t care about you, but obviously you want to get married, and he is dragging his feet about even spending holidays together.

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  12. Stef Says:

    Wow, I saw this and wanted to comment too. I’m in Chicago and I know people in NY seem to commit later- but I have run across many people who by 28 have gone to a variety of weddings and have the next batch planned. On the same front, I’ve met plenty of people at 28 whose friends have even had serious relationships.

    This one doesn’t sound good. Not because he won’t commit to marriage, but the fact that you haven’t spent any holidays together to me is what stands out. He’s also planning on buying something that he doesn’t want to give her input (like location, size, anything) because if he was thinking that she was going to live there down the line- she should have some say (anyone see the scene in “He’s Just Not Into You” with Scarlett Johansson and “E” from Entourage- he wants to include her and she gets upset)

    I would take a temporary break after the wedding- and see if he gets it and comes back or if he just comes back for companionship and sex.

    I feel as a general rule, if after 6 months (and earlier if you are in your 30’s) you aren’t spending holidays together something is up. I know in your 20’s the 30 somethings (like myself) look back and often think “Oh you are so young” but the truth is, that I think 26 is the age you start seeing people making life commitments- whether they are in a big city or small one. 28 becomes a bigger make or break age. And yes, you have plenty of time if this isn’t the guy- but I wouldn’t want to be with someone who acts this wishy-washy (and I do speak from experience that I did breakup with someone over the holiday issue)- it’s frusterating and it doesn’t sound like a partnership.

    If you were with a friend that refused to go to things you wanted to go every weekend- would you want to have her around as a serious friend? Or would you see her as the “when I need someone to go out to something friend”- same goes here. You are treading and waiting for something major to happen- when some of the check points aren’t being hit.

    Good luck.

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  13. chuckrock Says:

    I think that @ 28 he is young enough to not be sure exactly what he wants, even if he fully knows that she is the one. It has only been 3 months since your talk. That is a very short amount of time in the long run. If this is someone you think you can spend your life with then you should give him the time he needs to get to that place. Even if it is another year, that is nothing compared with a lifetime of happiness.

    He may also be looking at his purchase of a house as his biggest issue in life right now (it usually is) and wants to deal with living together after he has that done and in place. That gives him a little bit of time to get his ducks in a row. I think you can talk about the holiday thing though. Have you actually invited him to your family’s events for a holiday since the talk? If not, do so and see what happens.

    Don’t end a relationship with someone that you believe is the one simply because he hasn’t done something tangible in three months. You’ll regret it.

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    • dimplz Says:

      This is really good advice. I have to remember this. :)

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    • Cricri Says:

      That is just BS. Men’s time and Women’s time aren’t the same. Waiting another year while someone figures if he loves you or want to live with you is just nonsense. Another year for the OP is a fertile wasted year on someone that might turn around and say he doesn’t want to marry you in the end. I find it very disturbing that he doesn’t want to spend the holidays, wants to buy a house and doesn’t include her after two years together ( when you know it is a big commitment in itself as well) and doesn’t even want to try to make things progress in that direction. This is that type of behavior that creates resentment and makes people emotionally check out of relationships.

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      • dimplz Says:

        Cricri, I can understand partly where you are coming from, but there are TWO people in a relationship. Give and take. I’d rather take the chance of waiting (which I’d have to do with any guy) then break up, find no one for years, and then hook up with a guy who’s less than greater than my current guy. It’s not a waste because I’m not a robot only acting out for my own selfish interests.

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  14. nathan Says:

    I’m kind of surprised at how quick some of you are to basically dismiss this guy out of hand. Moxie’s response seems well balanced, raising the few potential red flags, but also not leaping to the conclusion that this guy isn’t worth anymore time.

    I was on the opposite end of the equation, being the one wanting to move in, and getting similar comments from my girlfriend after about 2 years. She wasn’t sure, wasn’t ready. Now, in our case, it did end up being a sign of things to come – we broke up about a year later – but I’m not convinced there is some magic number where a relationship must be taken to “the next level.”

    Honestly, I get the sense that the letter writer is about ready to move on. She seems to have decided he’s not worth her time anymore, and wants us to help confirm that. Yet, if she feels this way, why even agree to go on this trip with him? Perhaps he bought the tickets without her knowing, but it seems a bit funny to me that she is unhappy he won’t spend holidays with her, and yet he is paying for both of them to go to a friend’s wedding in Bermuda.

    The way I see it, if you’ve decided the other person isn’t doing what you hope for, or that the relationship isn’t unfolding in the way you’d like, you need to step up and make a decision. You have the “ultimatum talk” or you leave, end of story. Doing things to avoid an angry response from the other person is basically a stall tactic, often done to relieve a guilty conscience.

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  15. WO7 Says:

    Moxie, you’re way off on this one. The advice you gave was appropriate for someone who’s been dating 6-12 months, but anything over the year mark, and people should be able to communicate a lot more clearly and not have to play these games.

    It’s been 2 years here people. If you don’t know in 2 years, then you do know, and the answer is no.

    If he’s not spending holidays with her (or at least inviting her to spend them with his family and him) then he’s not serious about the relationship.

    Also, she suggested they live together WHILE he looks for a house. This is a temporary situation with an easy exit. If it’s not going well for him, he can still go back to living on his own once he buys the house. Yet this guy isn’t even willing to commit to living with her for a relatively short/defined time period?

    Bottom line, even you’re in a healthy relationship, and these things come up…the guy doesn’t just say no, he says no and explains why. Any guy with half a brain understands he has to have a damn good explanation for not doing something most couples do by a set amount of time.

    You need to get rid of this guy. Go on the trip. Then dump him a month after you get back.

    And no, don’t say some bullcrap about “I need time to think” blah blah. If you’re going to dump him, them dump him. A commitment made as a last ditch effort to keep from losing you isn’t worth anything.

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “It’s been 2 years here people. If you don’t know in 2 years, then you do know, and the answer is no.” This.

      The blame doesn’t lie entirely on the guy in this scenario, though. Why has it taken her two years to have their first “where is this going” conversation? I just don’t get that. Most of the women I’ve dated under 30 were asking how I felt about marriage, kids, etc. by the third date; the ones over 30 usually ask on the second or even first. Most of my married friends knew they were definitely headed that way within six months; a good number of them were married within six months of meeting. If you’re just now getting around to figuring this stuff out after two years together, you already have your answer: neither of you really wants it to go anywhere; you’ve just gotten complacent and decided that it’s time to “legitimize” your friends-with-benefits situation by calling it a marriage.

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  16. Saj Says:

    Let his tap dancing routine begin!

    The OP your instincts are good on this. You want a commitment but the choices he is making in his life aren’t leading towards anything but keeping things as they are.

    What I would do is have a personal deadline in your head that only you know about. You’ve told him where you stand and what you want. If he chooses to ignore this and hope it goes away then you have your answer. When the deadline you have comes and he hasn’t taken it upon himself to show you through his actions he wants to progress this relationship then you have to leave. This isn’t about not being in “love” enough it’s about not being a fool and sticking in a relationship that will never get any better then what it is right now. Sorry guys but being in that sort of relationship is MISERABLE but also being with a guy who isn’t really feeling it and you dawn on this realization is MISERABLE as well.

    I made a mistake when I had this conversation at 2 years and did as DMN suggested and took a break but then I weakened and went back to the relationship 3 months later and dealt with 3 more years of thinking he just needs time ect ect. The only thing about time is that mine got wasted. If you want marriage, kids and a family then you have to be bold and a little bit selfish to make this happen.

    Look at Cameron Diaz, she goes so over the top of trying to be the cool fun chick with no pressure that she ends up getting dumped by guys who were never that into her to begin with but thought she could change their minds through sheer effort and being laid back.

    I don’t know how much I can say this but dating guys who make no bones about how into you they are is soo much better then trying to chase a unicorn you feel like you have to carefully manipulate into a marriage/relationship. If you have to manipulate anyone into being with you then forget them.

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  17. Vox Says:

    If the OP wants to be married and start a family, she has to cut this guy loose and move on. He’s buying a house without seeking her input, which means he does not envision her living there. Two years is long enough to know what he wants, and the way I read the situation, he wants her for now and nothing more. If she doesn’t want to have children and really loves the guy, she can stick around for a while to see if he comes around. If she does want kids, dumping him now will give her time to meet someone new and allow things to develop without rushing things.

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    • Devon Brown Says:

      Well, I wasn’t going to reply to this one because I was thinking very similarly to what Moxie wrote. The one thing I would like to add is that if this relationship has been 2 years, committed, no breaks, then it is progressing. Maybe not at the speed the OP would like, but if the boyfriend didn’t see a future with her, he most likely would be seeking other ways out of the relationship. Since we have no information about other fights, etc. we have to assume it is a good relationship. And if it is a good relationship, then the OP should back it up a bit because there is no need to sabotage a good thing.

      But I wanted to comment on Vox’s comment… Maybe I missed something, but I don’t think that it was stated anywhere that he was not accepting input from her on the house purchase. The OP said she offered to let him stay with her while he looks for a house and he declined. That doesn’t say that he isn’t looking for her input on purchasing a house. Hell, for all we know he is looking to buy a nice little starter home and get it all ready for their life together.
      Two years is long enough to know what he wants? Really? So you know everything you could possibly ever want to know about a person after two years? They haven’t dived into financial situations between the two of them, and I would think that is a big thing to know before jumping the broom. Plus, you don’t know his situation. The OP herself mentioned that she is a grad student. While they spend 4-5 nights together, we don’t know how much of that is quality time. Maybe they are getting together, studying, and sleeping. Or working off a long day of stress with some time between the sheets and then sleep. Whatever the situation is, your assumption that he should know what he wants after two years is a little far-fetched. The OP didn’t even say she knew what she wanted. She just said that she wanted forward momentum.
      Finally, the OP is 28. You are telling her to dump him now if she wants children? Wha??? Last time I checked, the gestation period in a human female is 9 months. Given that women are having children well into their mid-40s these days… and your statement that you should know what you want after 2 years… let’s do some math… roughly 3 months of searching for someone + 2 years dating + 9 months of pregnancy = 3 years. If the OP is 28, and let’s just estimate 45 as the end of childbearing age, then she has … (carry the one) … 17 more years. 17 years divided by the 3 year plan you worked out equals 5 potential relationships that could become offspring-producing. Plus two EXTRA years, so she doesn’t have to rush things (like you helpfully pointed out). Yeah… I see your point, the OP is ancient! At 28, she might as well apply for an AARP card.

      I apologize if I sound a little edgy right now, I just had a really hard time comprehending the logic behind Vox’s comment. No offense meant, but really? Really?

      – Devon

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      • pistola Says:

        I agree with Devon’s thought that maybe OP needs to get more clear about what she wants. And maybe reflect on what her expectations are of her BF. Does she plan to move after grad school or will she have to in order to work in her field? Maybe he doesn’t want to relocate. Maybe she’s said things that made him wonder if she expects him to just go along with whatever her plan is and isn’t sure about whether he wants to do that.

        Relationships take two. Always. What does he need and want out of their future together? Ultimatums are never good. They’re usually a way of starting a breakup process.

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        • dimplz Says:

          My cousin broke up with her bf after living together for 8 years. He started to become dissatisfied, and despite everyone and their mother knowing that she wanted children and marriage, he never popped the question. I would have put my foot down at the 3 year mark, but for people to be so adamant at 2 years, I question their tolerance. It takes time to develop that communication and bond with someone, and while this case seems to be a little dismal, playing games on someone doesn’t work. Fear shouldn’t be a motivator. If she wants to move on like my cousin did, she should be doing it because she doesn’t see anything EVER coming out of it, not to push her deadline closer.

          An aside, I’m sure many people do it, but it’s damn difficult to be in grad school and juggle a relationship. If she works, even worse. However, she can’t afford to fly from what she’s told us, and she seems very limited and restricted at this point in her life. So for those who think he’s being immature, I actually think he’s got more of his life together than she does, and HE is actually waiting for HER to catch up.

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          • chuckrock Says:

            I think that is a good point. If she wants to know what he is thinking she needs to ask him about it and do it in a not nagging, not pushy, not ultimatum form. Just a conversation. One thing I will say is that after two years she should be able to talk to him about any topic.

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            • dimplz Says:

              Anyone knows if you want to know what a guy is thinking, you tell him. ;)

              You’re right. She should be able to talk to him about anything, especially if she’s already thinking about marriage.

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          • pistola Says:

            Agreed about the grad school bit dimplz. Even couples that are solidly married when one or the other partner starts grad school struggle with the stress and time demands of the grad program on their relationship. Plus which, grad school changes people. It fundamentally changes your identity, skill set, and often career track. Depending on the field the OP is in it may mean that she has to make further changes to follow her career. The BF could love her sincerely and not be in for all the changes that might be required. He may also be wanting to wait until she is done with school to discuss or plan anything further, which would be a reasonable and prudent choice.

            In a not really related and yet not unrelated example, I went on a couple of dates with a really brilliant man, who I could have seen myself dating EXCEPT for the fact that his work seems to require him to move every 5-6 years. I liked him enormously but I am not willing to relocate as I have worked hard to build community and roots in the place I now live. That’s just one example of how one person’s “plan” can keep them from finding a partner. The person could love them but not be in for doing everything on their terms.

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            • dimplz Says:

              So funny, I was having this conversation last night. I have a very good paying state job. Great benefits (Fridays off in the summer, insurance, union, etc). I finished grad school and would have gone for a PhD if it didn’t mean relocating, having to take out student loans (you have to teach for almost nothing while going for a PhD), not to mention the toll it takes on one physically and emotionally. At 37, I’m not about to give up my comfortable lifestyle, bf (he wouldn’t move that far and we’re not married) and the more time I spend pursuing my studies, the less time I can put into having a family and getting married. I reached an impasse – do I want to give my relationship a chance and the opportunity to get married and have children or do I spend the next 5-7 years writing a dissertation and then trying to find a job in my field in another region of the country for 20K less?

              If you ask me, the OP has to figure out which of the two she really wants more, because even though it doesn’t mean she has to break up with him, getting engaged and married would push her studies behind. It happens all the time.

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      • Vox Says:

        If having children is a priority, it is foolish to count her years aged 40+ as being fruitful child bearing years. Thats just basic biology. Yes it is possible to get pregnant at that point, but he liklihood is greatly diminished. Furthermore, once she reaches her late 30s, it is a bad time to be looking for a man to father her children. It’s harder to date without wanting children at that point, and to have to quickly qualify men for their fatherhood potential? not realistic. If she want her best chance at success, she should start dating new men now whe she is still in her prime.

        PS why are to so freaked out an angry? Relax. It’s ok to disagree, come down off the window ledge.

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        • Devon Brown Says:

          Oh, I am not freaked out and angry at all. I simply stated that so that I didn’t accidentally offend you. I mean, it isn’t that I disagree about your comments, it is just that I found them to be mathematically wrong. (Not including the other portions of your comments that had no basis in fact.)

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          • Vox Says:

            You are advising that women still have from the ages of 40 to 45 to find a man to be a husband and father, and are also claiming that I am mathematically wrong?

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            • dimplz Says:

              I think what Devon is saying is that even if OP gave the relationship another year, she’d be 29, with still more than enough time to meet Mr. Wonderful, date, and become engaged without rushing it, because she’d still have over 10 years of fertility.

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              • Vox Says:

                No, he very clearly did the math demonstrating that she has 17 years left.

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                • dimplz Says:

                  So, in your opinion, exactly how much time does she have to have a child, if she wants to and is capable of doing so?

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                  • Vox Says:

                    I have no idea; that’s a question better asked of her gynecologist and her mother (for family history). I do know that counting ages 40+ would be foolish.

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                    • Anne Says:

                      I’m pretty sure I don’t want kids, so this debate is not really relevant. I haven’t felt any biological urge that I must have kids, and I’m at an age where most women start to. I also like being able to spend my free time and money as I choose. My boyfriend knows I don’t want kids and also doesn’t want them. However, I do want to be married and to have the love and security of a long-term partnership. I feel ready to take the next step at this stage in my life, so while there isn’t a set time-line the way there would be if i wanted children, there is a time-line for how long I’m willing to wait around in a relationship where my needs are not being met.

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        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          All this talk about fertile years ignores another big point: you’re assuming she (and her future husband) only wants one. What if they want three or four? Subtract another 6-8 years.

          Realistically, the odds of a woman having her first child after 35 are around 1%. So, she really only has about 7 years left to dump this guy, find Mr. Perfect and date for a year or so, get married, enjoy a few years alone together, and then get knocked up. That’s not much time, considering. That’s why, aside from the apparent time warp in NYC, women’s biological clocks start going crazy when they approach 30.

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      • Cricri Says:

        WOW! I don’t even know where to start on that one. Which woman given the choice would chose to have children in her 40s when she would be ripping the benefit of a career and is not as flexible and youthful when she could have those children younger??? If mathematics were right in the Dating world, 45yo men would be dating 45yo women since there are no differences. Yet, this is not what is happening in real life. While I like to keep an optimistic outlook on life, having children past 40, even 35 is no sinecure! It’s hard and then there are all those risks for disease and deformities, it not the best scenario one can envision for one’s self and I find it strange to receive that type of advice from a Man when they’re usually the ones who will turn around in 10 years and call the OP “past her prime”.
        In the case the OP decides to move on, she can still find someone and start a family by 30 which is for a lot of people ideal. We actually have no idea where she’s in her studies, just started or in the middle of grad school. I myself finished grad school this semester and though it is challenging while working full time, it is not impossible to maintain a relationship.
        The problem in this relationship is the lack of communication from the BF and his actions that are saying otherwise of what the marriage plan should be. I disagree that the relationship is progressing beyond what we know. It might be stagnating since it is not going toward a merging of their lives. The thing is they have to be honest with each other, the OP tried the first, and it is the BF’s turn now, I guess it will take him more than 3 months to stand in his own truth.
        Personally, if it had been about practical details such as finances, time and stability, there shouldn’t be a problem to discuss about them as these are goals both partners can work together to achieve. Keeping quiet while taking backwards steps is not what I would call progressing. The BF just has to be honest with himself and the OP. It’s not a crime to not be ready, just don’t bring people down with you.

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  18. sarah Says:

    Take a break…..a permanent one. wont even move in for a few weeks when she is just rrying to help him out? Whichholidays is she “allowed” to see him? What is he doing (and w whom) on the holidays they are not together? His actions say he is not going to make a real commitment. She brought up marriage, so that says a lot right there. So it has been three months since the talk, but they have been together for 2 years!!

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    • dimplz Says:

      “What is he doing (and w whom) on the holidays they are not together?”

      I know your ex cheated on you, but we’ve all been cheated on. Let’s stop projecting. She didn’t write in because she thinks he’s cheating, she just wants to know if she’s waiting around for nothing.

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  19. Mike Says:

    This lady needs to break up with him now. They are in the their late 20s. They have been dating for two years. He told her his finances are none of her business. Lady, just break up with this guy who may love you but has no intention of marrying you. At this point even if he did marry you he would only end up resenting the fact that he did. You will then be unhappily married to him. What you see is what you get. So you have to ask yourself the question that the way he is treating you now would be the way he treats you as his wife. Would you then be happily married to him. While you are in your child bearing years just go find somebody else who is going to take you seriously.

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  20. Joe Says:

    Take commitment out of the discussion; if someone’s deeds don’t match their promises, they have no integrity. That is a deal breaker for me. (It’s utlimately what ended my marriage. And just like with my marriage, OP, you will probably never know why your companion didn’t or couldn’t align the two.)

    Beyond that, if someone isn’t willing to discuss their finances after two years, there is no relationship.

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  21. chuckrock Says:

    There has been some absolutely horrendous advice given in this thread. OP, all you have to do is ask yourself one question: Do you love him enough to see your life with him? If the answer is yes, you will talk to him and you will wait for him to be ready. It really is that simple. If the answer is no, then move on.

    I suspect the answer is yes. Don’t throw that away over timing or games or anything of the sort because it is a rare find. Ask any of the singles that post on this blog, including myself.

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      Sorry, but loving someone wholeheartedly does not a relationship make. They have to love you wholeheartedly in return as well, which remains to be seen in the OP’s guy, and then there is maybe a chance it’ll survive all the crap life throws at the two of you. If you’re lucky.

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  22. Aldonza Says:

    Do you love him enough to see your life with him? If the answer is yes, you will talk to him and you will wait for him to be ready. It really is that simple. If the answer is no, then move on.

    It’s not really that simple. As the others have mentioned, women’s time is a lot more limited for this stuff. This guy has already had two years…two *prime* years. He’ll take a few more if she lets him. A woman can waste most of her fruitful years waiting for someone to decide.

    If he loves her, it’s time to step things up. I’m not saying buy the ring, house, and start planning for the 2.5 kids and a dog. But planning a holiday together shouldn’t be a stretch. There should be conversations around “the future” and “when we’re together”, not brush-offs of “none of your business.” There should be smaller decisions that come close to aligning their lives together. I’m not seeing any of that in what the OP described.

    I would give the “I’m not going to be a girlfriend forever” speech. Don’t attack or criticize him for not committing. Stick to your feelings, and what you want/expect. If you have a mental deadline, share it. Then shut-up and let him respond. Listen to what he’s telling you, then let it sit for awhile…a few weeks at least. If there has been zero change or more talks instigated by him, it’s time to pull back. Don’t be quite so available. Start hanging out with friends again. You might even decide to start dating again (after informing him.) The message is simple and clear. If I’m not going to get a commitment from you, I’m going to stop investing so much in you and maybe even start looking for someone else. The real trick is to not do this in a big emotional upheaval with the only intention being to manipulate him.

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    • pistola Says:

      I guess the problem is that threatening to leave a person to see others is never going to be viewed as anything BUT manipulation by most people. Which, to be honest, it is.

      I have questions about the “none of your business” bit. Grad school not infrequently involves accumulating massive debt. Does the BF see the OP as financially risky?

      No matter what, this couple clearly has communication problems.

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      • Anne Says:

        Well, I have not accumulated any debt yet, and I’m going into my second year of a 3 year program. I’m going to be taking out some loans for next year and have discussed with him how much. I’m in a high-need field where the graduates from my program had 100 percent job placement last year at graduation, so I expect to be able to pay off my debt within a reasonable amount of time. He knows my situation, which is why it stings more to have him tell me that his is none of my business.

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      • C Says:

        I don’t think that telling someone that you are willing to move on if the relationship goes nowhere is manipulation. It’s honesty.

        Maybe he is manipulating her by stringing her along while he stays in a relationship that is comfortable and familiar, especially if she doesn’t rock the boat or expect him to follow through on his promises.

        And yes, it is strange that he takes the “none of your business” approach to the finance conversation. And what the hell is up with no family time? What, are you just supposed to marry him one day and then…”SURPRISE, here’s everything you need to know about me!” No. I don’t think so. At what point is he supposed to get real with her? He should be excited to share his life (and I’m mainly talking about family here) with her. The fact that he is not makes it seem like it’s not meant to be. I just don’t think she is asking for too much. At all.

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    • chuckrock Says:

      If you are willing to leave someone because of some arbitrary time-line or whether some boxes are checked on time, then you don’t really love them. In order to truly love someone you have to make sacrifices for them and tbh waiting for them to be ready and having conversations are not much sacrifice at all.

      I will side with Anne on this part though: he should be able to discuss his finances with her…at least somewhat. To me that is the only real red flag.

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      • Anne Says:

        I’ve been feeling for a while that I see myself spending my life with him. He wasn’t bringing up the subject, and I wasn’t sure if he saw me in the same way, so I gave him 6 months to bring it up on his own. When he didn’t, I innitiated the discussion, and have given him 3 months to change his behavior. It is very difficult when you truly care about someone to be in a relationship where you keep getting rejected by them because they aren’t ready. The arbitrary deadlines have nothing to do with how I feel about him, but are about protecting myself. The nine months I have already given him to catch up to where I am, have been months where I felt emotional and hurt by many of his statements and actions. How long am I supposed to feel this way in the hopes that he will change his mind and feel more ready at a later date? Indefinitely? I agree that you should make sacrifices for the one you love, but where is his sacrifice? If he truly loved me, he would be able to at least meet me half-way and take smaller steps towards more committment, whether he felt completely ready or not.

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        • Dimplz Says:

          I think if you take a step back, you will probably realize that his behavior will make for a difficult marriage. You can’t teach someone to be considerate or flexible. They either are that way or are self-aware enough to recognize that behavior and change it, but with you knowing all this about him, these flaws won’t go away. You should realize that you will uncover this and more if you get married, and if you can’t accept it you will have a very difficult marriage.

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        • pistola Says:

          Anne, what does your BF want for his own future?

          Does he want to be married at all–now or ever?
          Does he want kids?
          Is he ready to settle down?

          It seems to me that the two of you may not have values that are in alignment. You have to assess that. It doesn’t work to wait for someone to “catch up” to your feelings. That’s not how people work. If his goals aren’t in line with yours, if he wants something very different from his life or on a very different timeline, that needs to be clearly discussed between the two of you.

          Without offending, it sounds to me like you have taken a bit of a passive/victim approach to this and have been unhappy for a while. I’m going to encourage you to be very proactive about assessing the compatibility of your values AT THIS TIME, not what it was two years ago between the two of you. People change. You need to take responsibility for your own feelings. Just because you’ve decided you are ready to marry does not automatically mean anyone else has to feel that way or that they are obligated to match your feelings within a certain period of time. It does mean that you have to make your own decision about your own timeline and actions.

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        • Joe Says:

          I agree with Pistola that you need to step back and assess the relationship. You need to stop worrying about his motivations and examine the truth of the situation from your perspective. You will NEVER know why your boyfriend is acting the way he is.

          One thing to be very aware of and which has been touched on by other posters, is that with the relationship threatened, your boyfriend may start saying what you want to hear. This is surprisingly easy for someone who disassociates words/intentions and actions and, from personal experience, will end up being far more devastating than anything preceding. (To repeat; having someone you love become emotional distant is hard. Having someone you love lie about and pretend to be emotional close is far worse.)

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  23. nathan Says:

    You know, all this talk about children is assuming she wants children and that such a decision is behind her desire for clarity here. She says nothing in her letter about children. So, we don’t know if that is even a consideration.

    As for the whole wasting time argument – well, I can imagine that up until recently, she didn’t feel she was wasting her time. It sounds like they have had a good relationship for the most part, but now she wants to step it up. That’s fair. And I wouldn’t expect that she waits for months and years on end for him to decide what he now wants, but it’s kind of sad when people define relationships that don’t become the lifelong partnerships they want “a waste of time.”

    The wasted time comes when people fail to make decisions, fail to do or say what needs to be said, so that their lives can keep moving. It sounds to me like they are at a juncture in their relationship where either those decisions can be made, or where things can start to flounder.

    There’s a balance point between patience and rushing here as well.

    But again, like I said above, the woman sounds like she’s ready to quit, and just wants the last push from the readers here. And she seems to be getting it.

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  24. sarah Says:

    The great Dear Abby said “advice is something you ask for when you know the answer but wish you didn’t”. To the OP, you know you should move on. He isn’t ready after two years. You are adults here. Does it REALLY take two or more years to get to know someone? Also, typically people bring up things that are important to THEM. Since any discussion about the future has been brought up by you, that is a red flag right there. another red flag is the “none of your busness” comment. another red flag is his refusal to move in with you, even temporarily. Another red flag is….well you get the point!! MOVE ON. If you have something you love, set it free, if it comes back it is yours. If it doesn’t it never really was yours. BTW, if you total the 6 months you waited for him to bring up something that was important to you ( and you only) plus the 3 months since the discussion…..now you have spent 9 months. You would be better off finding someone who is on the same page as you. It doesn’t even sound like he is in the same book as you! i assume you want children. As another poster pointed out it is possible to make babies at age 45…..but it is waaaay harder and more expensive if you end up having to go the fertility route. Good luck.

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  25. marsi Says:

    great photo!!!!

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  26. Sharlene John Says:

    seriously if this guy, who you have spent so much of your valuable time with, is keeping you away from his family functions. Read my lips here….HE HAS TO GO? thats the number one test for me in any relationship. Forget about any of that other stuff.

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