Is He Just Keeping Her On The Hook?


Name: Danielle
Question: Good Afternoon,

Currently, I am in a relationship with a man older than me, by 16 years. He is 45 and I am 29. Before we first got together (we were acquaintances previously) we had many discussions about what we wanted from relationships- i.e. marriage, children, lifestyles, etc. We have been dating for roughly 5 months now, and up until very recently, things have been going quite well and have been easy. He’s very funny, great looking, affectionate, successful, loves to do things for me, is protective of me, has introduced me to the important people in his life, excluding his family as they live across the country, and makes me feel important to him. Within the past week or two, I’ve noticed my emotions getting a little in the way and my becoming a bit overly critical of his actions. He has seemed to be a bit off kilter (as in, not 100% himself, but like 90-95%)…not QUITE as affectionate, not QUITE as attentive, and not making me feel as if I’m QUITE as important as I did. The change is not much, and no one else would notice, I’m sure, but he currently is having some work stresses put on him, and could potentially get offered a job across the country in DC. Though he says he does not want to live in DC, and that he loves Denver (where we currently are), he has posed several hypothetical situations about having to sell his house, rent his house, etc. Let me blatantly state that never in the hypothetical or real situations has he mentioned me. That being said, he often remarks about our future children, about spending time with each others families, and he jokes about his old age and how I’m allowed to move on when he dies.

I’m not sure where I stand with this man all of sudden, where before, I never had to second guess it. It sounds silly, but I’m sure he’s been close to saying ILY, and it just hasn’t come out of his mouth. He’s said multiple times that he loves having me around, that he loves waking up with me there, that he loves my help around his house, etc. Of course, there are the jokes about the future. I’m not sure if this is the point where I ask him where he sees this going, if I am a part of his future, as I do not want to be just a stepping stone while he’s here trying to make a huge life decision. I also don’t just want to be the girlfriend that he keeps, until he possibly moves, because he doesn’t want to be lonely. I don’t see him as that type of guy, but I never put it past anybody.

Let me know your thoughts.
Age: 29

Five months in is more than enough time invested to ask him where things are headed. Though, by not including you in these decisions he’s possibly going to be faced with, he’s pretty much telling you in and indirect way where you stand. A big reason why men date women significantly younger than they are is so that there won’t be any rush to get down the aisle.

Some people might say you’re being paranoid by these seismic shifts that you’re sensing. I disagree. I think you’re picking up on signs that he’s reconsidering the relationship. Again, the whole point of dating someone so much younger is that things don’t get too serious too quickly. Welp, thanks to developments at his job, you two are closing in on that place where he has to shit or get off the pot. That’s why I think he’s acting differently.

Before we first got together (we were acquaintances previously) we had many discussions about what we wanted from relationships- i.e. marriage, children, lifestyles, etc.

Right. Hypothetical conversations. Not ones where you and he were mapping out your future in any defined way. He’s happy to talk in hypotheticals because hypotheticals aren’t real. When it comes to the tangible stuff, you’re nowhere to be found in the equation. Gurl, no. That’s another reason he’s with you: your age makes you less cynical and more likely to buy his bullshit.

I’m not sure where I stand with this man all of sudden, where before, I never had to second guess it. It sounds silly, but I’m sure he’s been close to saying ILY, and it just hasn’t come out of his mouth. He’s said multiple times that he loves having me around, that he loves waking up with me there, that he loves my help around his house, etc.

Oh, sweetie. No. After five months, he should be saying I Love You. I know some people might say that everybody has their own timeline blah blah blah, but no. Five months? I Love Yous should have been exchanged. That he’s going so far as to say that he “loves” having you around and “loves” waking up to you but can’t quite string those three little words I Love You together is also a big warning sign.

This guy is keeping you on the hook. Want proof? Ask him where he sees this relationship going and explain that you’re looking for long-term commitment. If he only can make abstract promises and can’t offer you anything concrete (like moving in or promises of exclusivity), you have your answer.


Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)




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48 Responses to “Is He Just Keeping Her On The Hook?”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “loves to do things for me,….”

    Orly? Sounds like he was laying it on extra thick in the beginning, and after OMG five months, things are settling into a more normal phase. You know a comfortable “give and take” rather than just uh take.

    Five months is a blink of an eye in the life of a 45 year old. I doubt he sees this relationship as having reached critical stage where major life decisions need to be made. True it helps that you are young but 40 year olds have expectations too.

    I don’t think asking him where things stand accomplishes anything. Sure, this is an advice column and it’s doing “something” but not everything is within your control. And one of the main things that is decidedly NOT in your control is other people’s actions and decisions. I’m sure The involvement of another person and their competing interests are why relationships involve risk. There’s no magic bullet.

    • Glazer Says:

      I agree with Moxie. IMHO, it’s the man that says I Love You first and that should happen somewhere between 2 – 4 months max.

      The fact he has not said it speaks volumes.

      Off topic, this is one of the reasons I think online dating, in general, does not result in long term relationships.

      How often does an online thingy make it to the magical 4 month mark when an I Love You is spoken? Quite often never.

      At any rate, I hope this young lady moves on. This older gent is just having fun :(

      • Maurlina Says:

        I would not trust anyone who says I love you after 2 months. Even 4 months seems premature to me. I told my boyfriend I loved him after 7 months. I started to feel like I loved him around month 5 but it wasn’t until we spent 6 weeks apart and he supported me through a surgery when I knew for it was love and not just lust. But I am 25 and am not in a rush to settle down.

      • D. Says:

        I agree with Moxie. IMHO, it’s the man that says I Love You first and that should happen somewhere between 2 – 4 months max.

        Sorry, but, no.

        It’s not either party who “must” say it first. Say it when you feel it, if you feel comfortable saying it.

        Assuming the other person is on the same page, it doesn’t really matter anyway. But this notion that it’s, like, the man’s “job” to say it first? Total nonsense. Unless we start doling out “jobs” to women, and I’m gonna guess you’re not on board with that.

        • Dave Says:

          This. I’m realizing now how fortunate I was to have grown up in an area of California where younger women were liberal and outspoken than other areas of our nation. Meeting women in college who asked me out…or…in one case *shudder!* expressed their feelings to me first really helped me see the world less black and white. And the one girl I dated who on one of our early dates ran up and opened a restaurant door for me and said “you’re probably used to doing this all the time. Today, I’m getting the door for you”…she definitely walked to the beat of her own drum. :)

          Hopefully in a few more generations things will change…I think women who aren’t afraid to ask men out or say I Love You first should be recognized and admired for listening to what Robert Frost had to say…however, YMMV.

    • bbdawg Says:

      “Five months is a blink of an eye in the life of a 45 year old. I doubt he sees this relationship as having reached critical stage where major life decisions need to be made. True it helps that you are young but 40 year olds have expectations too.”

      The boyfriend is not the one with power in this instance. If this guy has never committed to anyone before he might be stringing her along. She’s 16 years younger. She can do the “commit or walk” talk because she is entering a power trade. She delivered her end of the deal by showing up and now it’s his turn.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Right because when a cute 29 year old asks you “where is this gong?” the rules say you have to be candid and 100% honest. Foiled again by clever internet commenters!

        • bbdawg Says:

          It all depends on whether she understands her market value. 45-year-olds commitment-phobes are worthless. She isn’t. I mean Leonardo diCaprio’s girlfriends know he is a fantastic career move. Riiight, because he likes them for who they are inside!!!! When a man is dating someone significantly younger the trade has to be obvious. The woman HAS to know what the man can do for her that men her own age can’t. Social climbing? Meeting people?Lifestyle? Self-esteem booster?

          If the BF isn’t taking her to expensive vacations to Paris (i.e. something she can’t get from men her own age), it gets harder to believe that old line that he just “hasn’t found that special someone”. He’s just using her for sex and disposing her when she realizes he doesn’t do “commitment”.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            Who are you arguing with? No shit. Of course he may be using her six ways from Sunday. So what’s your solution? To ask him?? No point in having power if you are incompetent to exercise it.

      • D. Says:

        Unless the arrangement is a purely mercenary one, it’s not about who “has the power.” Jesus, dating isn’t a business deal where you’re exerting leverage over each other. Or at least, dating shouldn’t be that.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          **Jesus, dating isn’t a business deal where you’re exerting leverage over each other. Or at least, dating shouldn’t be that.**

          It shouldn’t, no, but often does. And if it does, I’d say it’s time to bail. Ditto to thinking in terms of “the man should do this,” “the woman should do that,” rather than thinking of each other as individuals.

          If you’re thinking that way, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have no respect for your preferred gender or are lousy at relationships, just that you’re realizing you’re IN a lousy relationship.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          Having qualities that make people wanna stay with you (money, looks, youth, whatever) isn’t the same as using those things as a weapon. Pretty much the only healthy reason to “have power in a relationship” is to use that power to leave it.

        • bbdawg Says:

          It is, though. Basically when women are reduced to objects (and men to bank accounts) it is, whether you like it or not. The issue is that as long as men offer what women really want – commitment as in marriage ultimately – this age thing becomes less of an issue, but the minute men are obviously using women for sex by stringing them along, it is VERY important that the terms of the deal are laid on the table.

          Younger women have a lot to gain by marrying a somewhat older man who is successful who can become the father of their children. They have nothing to gain by wasting their valuable and fertile years on men who have no intention of becoming a husband and a father.

          To women who want commitment there are only two categories of men: the ones with something to offer (i.e. open to marriage/commitment who are not defensive or cynical about this) and the worthless category (i.e. “eternal bachelors”, “serial daters”, emotionally unavailable, etc…). By the time a man is 45 you can see his history with relationships and his actions as an indicator of where he stands.

          • Eliza Says:

            BDawg…this is actually very true. I agree..a smart woman will be selective in terms of spending her valuable time with men that want the same things as they do–in terms of lifestyle. And I’m sure men that do want marriage will behave similarly and be more discerning, and not just base their interest on looks alone. However, older men that are serious about wanting a family–may look to marry a younger woman that is in her child bearing years. It’s very calculated…so not the Harlequin type novels that people may want it to be like…not when you are thinking clearly and want to align yourself with someone on the same page as you.

          • D. Says:

            So, ok, I’ll grant you that there are certain biological-clock issues that are perhaps more pronounced for women than for men. IF you want to settle down and have kids, then yeah, you need to focus on people who have the same attitude.

            But you’re talking about several different things. Your original comment — to which I was responding — was about how one member of the couple “has the power” which is, to be clear, total bullshit. Relationships are not power plays, unless you are doing it very, very wrong. If that’s how someone approaches relationships — like some kind of antagonistic business transaction — well, this site gets its name for a reason, I guess.

            What you’re talking about when you speak of “marriage material” vs. “guys just screwing around,” though, is different. That’s not about exercising leverage. That’s about being clear about what you want from a relationship, and having the self-awareness to realize when you aren’t going to get it and the self-reliance to choose to walk away when you realize that.

            That’s not a negotiation or a transaction, though. That’s just knowing what you want, recognizing when you can and can’t get it, and being willing to walk away. To me, that’s more along the lines of “Hey, are we on the same page? No? Ok, well then, I’m not interested.” Simple as that.

            • fuzzilla Says:

              I think there’s a case to be made that SHE, personally, has more power than she realizes. Since she’s not getting what she wants from this guy, and she’s in a hot shit age demographic and he’s not, she should use this power to her own advantage.

              But yeah, “who has the power in this relationship?” is a gross way to look at the world. You should be sharing the power if you’re a partnership.

            • bbdawg Says:

              D, I am responding to this ongoing objectification of women by men who have no interest in marrying them or giving them what they want – a family/marriage. It’s no secret (see comments by several men on this post) that men will prefer younger women and they see them as disposable goals, and instead of these younger women empowering themselves by selecting the best mates they can find who will stick around, they are sort of led on by eternal bachelors who have nothing to offer.

              This power discussion is important in my opinion because it’s time people start standing up for what they want, instead of feeling like they have to be “extra careful” so that men aren’t “scared” by their “need for commitment”. They are at their prime and should start cutting out the time-wasters. These women have a lot more power than they are aware of and should use to find mates who have something to offer.

              See DMN’s comment – yeah he KNOWS this guy has no interest in offering this woman anything keeps spewing the bachelor sales talk as if the woman were the one who has to make some kind of compromise. That’s manipulative and condescending. SHE is the one with “options” in this case and it’s up to her to exercise them.

              • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                I don’t even understand your criticism. I’m not dating this woman, and I’m obviously not here to defend men or promote any agenda. She should dump him unceremoniously for all I care. She obviously doesn’t want to or she wouldn’t be writing in. I seriously doubt she hasn’t already thought of “asking him directly.” Gee did you guys open a fortune cookie or something?

                My point is applicable to men or women of any age and celebrity. Until you have a foundation of trust with another person, which takes time – certainly more than a few months – there is no real use to asking them if you can trust them because, duh, you can’t trust their answer. I stand by it. You need time to get to know someone and that is always risky. Go ahead and spin your wheels about it.

              • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                Oh, and the “‘commit or walk’ talk”, as you say? That talk is the quintessential RELINQUISHMENT of a woman’s power in a relationship – not in any way the exercise of it.

  2. Redredwine Says:

    Take it from me – when I was 21 I wasted 4 years of my life with who was 37. At 25 I woke up and realized one thing – if a guy is that old and has never been married, he’s probaly not ever getting married and *IF* he finally does, it probaly won’t be to you. I stopped wasting my time and found my now husband who let me know what he wanted out of life up front. My ex is still single.

    • KK Says:

      That is really wonderful that the guy you married told you everything upfront. The fact that you guys married is all that matters, not that he sa8d anything. People say things they dont mean all the time. In this case the OP should trust her instinct. If be isnt talking about her moving too that is a bad sign.

    • Eliza Says:

      Redredwine, your ex will probably be single indefinitely–analysis paralysis they call it. Some men and women, just are not commitment oriented…they sit by and watch the parade go by…and then one fine day–they wake up all old and gray – and wonder: “Hey, why haven’t I settled down, and met the right person like other have”, or they blame everyone but themselves for not taking that leap of faith. Nothing is a guarantee in life…but some people do suffer from analysis paralysis! At least you were able to detect that, and moved on and met someone who wanted the same out of life.

  3. bbdawg Says:

    OP, the only POINT of dating an older guy is getting commitment. If you feel he’s not giving you that, walk. There is nothing more pathetic than men who are “serial daters” are essentially string women along until these women realize the “game” (i.e getting “younger women” and never settling down) . YOUR “game” is probably getting married and having kids so don’t waste your time with these guys who talk a lot but in the end have little to offer. Just make that VERY clear and start exploring other options.

    Unless he is incredibly wealthy or Leonardo diCaprio, you are the one with power in that situation, there are tons of men in his age who want to date younger women. It sounds like this guy might be the classic man who has never settled down probably won’t in the future. When you enter into a relationship that has that sort of dynamic, you HAVE to make it clear that you are not doing this to waste your time. You’re not an idiot, basically. Don’t make the mistake that so many female letter-writers make and stick around just because and then wonder several years later why they have not “proposed” yet.

    • Eliza Says:

      I agree with bbdawg. I have a relative who was in his early 40’s–and he dated a much younger woman – in her early 20’s–they are now married. And they dated for a while..HOWEVER, within meeting, she moved into a house that he purchased…and they started renovating, and clearly–they were on the path to marriage. Why? Because she was already in her mid 20’s–and not about to waste time. When he asked me what I thought. I just wished him well…and said–“be ready…to do the dance, the whole nine yards–because it was evident–she was on the marriage track and kids would soon be in the picture”…and she was smart about it–she didn’t waste her time. Time is precious. Even when you are seemingly “young”–it goes by FAST! She figured out and made it clear–this is what she wanted, a home, family, marriage, established lifestyle…and him being considerably older could provide what plenty of men her age probably could not. They just got married last July. And already talking about having a child. Knew it. And he went in with that in mind too. So–like many other posts here commented…do NOT waste YOUR valuable time. You are 5 months into this, and he’s not some child–a 40 yr old man knows what he wants. Just ask him. Where do you stand. Unless you feel more at ease not knowing, and being in the dark. Sometimes the truth hurts and people prefer to turn a blind eye. Plenty of women do that…they don’t want to “rock the boat”.

      • Parenting Says:

        Guys his age know just how to string a 20-something along. Jokes about growing old together or talking about your hypothetical future kids are just precious. After he strings her along for 5 years what is she going to say to him? How could you do this after all of these years of joking about a future together?

        She is astute to wonder why between all of these jokes about the future he hasn’t actually included her in any future plans. Now she just needs to put on her big girl pants and ask him where he sees things going.

        Of course he can lie….but most guys aren’t that big of an ass hat. If you ask a direct question, most will give you an honest answer. If you don’t ask any direct questions, they are inclined to let you believe what you want.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          **If you ask a direct question, most will give you an honest answer. If you don’t ask any direct questions, they are inclined to let you believe what you want.**

          YES. Some people say they’re conflict averse or whatever, but seriously – direct questions are one of the most reliable relationship tools. Learn it, love it, live it.

          • KK Says:

            Direct relationship questions are the best route? On what planet? The vast majority of guys i have known have absolutely lied. The fact that she has doubts and he is not talking about her going with him – that is all that matters. If he mentioned her moving, that still wouldnt mean shit unless he bought the ticket, etc.

            I realize i am cynical. But now i know that asking a guy a question like where is this going is idiotic. If be isnt showing it to you with his actions, then that is your answer. Plus. Does the OP even want to move to DC with a guy she has been with for 5 months?

            • fuzzilla Says:

              **The vast majority of guys i have known have absolutely lied.**

              Hmm, I dunno, in my experience most guys who want to string you along will just say pleasant, ambiguous things, not flat-out lie. They’ll say, “I’m having so much fun with you. Let’s just see how things progress.” They won’t say, “I love you so much! I see us married with five kids!”…and then just disappear on you two months later.

              It’s a combination of words and actions, and you might have to read between the lines, but I agree with Parenting on this one.

              • fuzzilla Says:

                Even if the person you’re dating is not a good guy, most guys know that a huge whopper of a lie will haunt them, assuming they at least want to keep you around for sex. If they want to bail completely, they’ll pull some Barney Stinson crap about underwater research in Australia or something.

              • Parenting Says:

                Exactly. Promising marriage and kids to an eager 20 year old seems like a very bad move if you are just in it for a good time. This is the kind of thing that can blow up in your face very badly if she decides to go off birth control or finds out your lying and goes ape shit.

            • fuzzilla Says:

              Plus I’m the kind of gal who will direct question the SHIT out of you ’til I get an answer that actually makes sense…

            • BTownGirl Says:

              I don’t think that’s cynical at all! Plus “I see this going in a serious direction” isn’t a legally binding contract, so there’s nothing to stop anyone from changing their mind/outright lying. Actions will tell you – agreed.

            • Parenting Says:

              My experience has been the opposite. I’ve had a handful of boyfriends do the ‘ole vague references to a future to allow me to make up whatever reality I wanted. But when I finally lost patience and broke up with them siting the fact that I don’t see us moving toward marriage and/or kids, the guys didn’t lie about the fact that they were not on the same page.

              The problem with reading a guys actions rather than asking him for specifics is 1) it can easily take 1-3 years to figure out through actions that you are with a guy who likes dating you but has no interest in marrying you, and 2) there is no harm in asking a guy who wants a future with you if he wants a future with you.

              • BTownGirl Says:

                I don’t know, a lot of these comments make it sound like a woman knows within a few months that she wants to marry the guy and has to suss out if she can get him down the aisle. I just think forward momentum (or lack of it) is obvious and both people have the option to make it or break it.

                • fuzzilla Says:

                  I think it’s more like, a couple months in the woman can sense if a man is a time waster. It’s not like, “Let’s go shopping for rings!!!” it’s like, “Look, it’s shit or get off the pot time…is this going anywhere?”

                  Although several people have pointed out she could skip this heart to heart qnd just cut bait herself if she’s not happy, and they’re not wrong.

                  I dunno, if I was dating someone for 5 months and he suddenly planned a huge move, I would assume I’m not going with, in the absence of his just asking me to, having long conversations about it, etc. Yeah, really, does she even want to go, or just “win” the guy?

                  • Selena Says:

                    The letter also states that he might *potentially* be offered a DC job. Maybe he won’t be. Or maybe he would decide to decline the offer to stay in Denver. I can see not getting into a “relationship talk” prematurely over something that might never happen.

                    The OP wrote:
                    “I do not want to be just a stepping stone while he’s here trying to make a huge life decision. I also don’t just want to be the girlfriend that he keeps, until he possibly moves, because he doesn’t want to be lonely.”

                    I kinda get this, but I also wonder what she would be thinking if he never mentioned the potential job offer. Would she still be questioning his intentions, or would she be content with the pace things were going?

                  • BTownGirl Says:

                    Totally get what you’re saying, but five months should be way too soon for HER to know if she wants to move with him, you know?

                    • Selena Says:

                      Maybe there is a pride element to this? If he isn’t asking her to move with him after 5 mos. of dating, she wants to dump him first?

            • Selena Says:

              “Does the OP even want to move to DC with a guy she has been with for 5 months?”

              Relocating across the country with someone one has only known for 5 mos. sounds quite risky to me. What happens if the relationship goes south after the move? I can understand why the guy in this situation isn’t asking her to come with him, that’s taking on a lot of responsibility for someone you’ve known a relatively short time.

              After 5 months though, I would think they would naturally be discussing the feasibility of continuing their relationship long distance. Is it something the want to try and see how it goes? Since NEITHER of them are bringing up the possibility, it seems their relationship hasn’t moved beyond the casual dating level.

  4. BostonRobin Says:

    Timelines exist because they work. You could always take the nuclear option and tell him you love him and see what his response would be.

    I’m guessing you might get a version of “that’s sweeeet,” with a random number of Es depending on his feelings. Or maybe, “I love being with you.” Good God…

    This guy sounds like a piece of work. You can do much better at your age. Don’t let him waste your time any longer.

  5. Daniel Says:

    As an “older” guy in my 40s and interested in starting a family, I was always looking to date and find a relationship with someone younger than myself. In my case, I was ready to commit to a woman who also wanted the same thing, With this objective, if I found someone interested in me and had the same objectibe, I wouldn’t be wasting time on committing, and this did eventually happen pretty quickly once the two of us met.

    However, I endured years on dating websites and speed dating and singles events. I got to meet and got to know lots of guys who were my age (late 30’s to 40’s). They were consistently starting relationships with younger women, while I was flailing at just getting dates, because they were better looking, and just had plain more hubris and swagger.

    But you know what? I was gob-smacked that these older guys were going back to the trough of dating sites and events, picking up more dates with new women every few months. None of them got into long term relationships in all the years I knew the them. Clearly, they had different objectives and priorities than me.

    Moxies’ final advice about asking him where he see’s this going is correct. You may not like what you hear, but it let’s you move on towards the right path. I’m just telling it as I saw it amonng the guys around me.

  6. Sarah Says:

    You lost me at “is protective of me,” Princess Peach.

  7. NewEnglandMan Says:

    As an attractive guy in his 40’s who as never settled down, I would say run in the other direction if you’re looking for commitment. I completely agree with Moxie and most of the posts here. You might even consider breaking up with him through text or email and not have any further contact with him. Since, if you have a face-to-face conversation with him asking where things are going, he’s likely to catch you up with lots of comforting and reassuring things just to keep stringing things along.

    Half-joking about the text breakup. But, really, this is not going to end the way it sounds like you want it to.

    • BostonRobin Says:

      LOL, yes, I can predict something about “timelines” and “why put a label on it?” #manipulation

      • KK Says:

        If he has some ethics he would tell her how they don’t need labels. He could be enough of a jerk to say he wants to be her bf and wants her to move to DC with him. But he doesnt mean a word of it.

  8. Bill Says:

    “I’m not sure if this is the point where I ask him where he sees this going…”

    Uh, yeah! And, before you ask him, you need to ask yourself if you love him and are willing to move with him to DC? And, if you love him, why haven’t you told him instead of playing these silly games waiting for him to say it first.

    This is a two-way street, not one way, and it’s past time for you to get it moving in BOTH directions, or hit the exit ramp.

  9. Selena Says:

    “Let me blatantly state that never in the hypothetical or real situations has he mentioned me.”

    After 5 mos. together I would think that odd also. I also think it’s odd that after 5 mos. together the two of you wouldn’t talk about a future if one of you was considering moving a 1000 miles away. How close can you be if neither of you even bring the subject up? Why haven’t you?

    I don’t know, but I wonder if this subtle “pulling away” you are feeling from him is because you both know this romance isn’t destined to go on beyond Denver.

  10. Ben Iyyar Says:

    Even though the writer never clearly states it, I am assuming that Danielle has expectations of her own consisting of a path to marriage and a family with her partner. But after a rather considerable time together she has begun to feel that her partner is distancing himself from her, growing cold towards her, and is looking for a way to lower her expectations about their future.However, from the way the writer describes her partner and his apparent growing lack of emotional investment in her, he seems to be getting set to bolt, or worse, propose some sort of “time out” or “redefinition” of their relationship, which will allow him total freedom while leaving the writer confused, angry, and feeling used and abused.
    I am agreement with Moxie on this one, Danielle. Your partner seems to be getting “cold feet”, and it is your informed choice to continue to invest your time, efforts, affection,and hopes in a man who probably is not going to give you much of a return on that investment. All the best,

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