I’m a female, 29, in a long-term relationship with a guy, 32; we’ve known each other for 12 years - apart for four years, back together dating exclusively these past four. His job keeps him out of town for months at a time, but when home we live together.
For two years, I’ve been hinting about getting engaged and married, and getting to the point of an ultimatum. We’ve discussed children (both want), and marriage (both want, but him very reluctantly).
He says he only wants to be with me, but refuses to officially commit (a ring). He says people are ultimately unhappy when married but marriage is important to me for becoming a parent (and especially in a long-distance situation).
I love him very much but, turning 30, I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. Maybe he’ll never want to marry me.
Should I cut my losses now or try to be patient? My biological clock is getting very frustrated!
- Ticking Time
Your clock isn’t running out for quite a few years, but your sense of security is diminishing. Stop all hinting and be direct: For you, the relationship must have an agreed goal of marriage, and some sense of timeline.
If he truly has a negative expectation from marriage, he’s being unfair to talk of a life together with someone who wants the greater commitment. In that case, HE either needs to get counselling for his attitude, or YOU need to weigh your options.
But if his pessimism is just a stall tactic for a guy who enjoys his current here-and-gone lifestyle, focus less on a ring and more on realistic plans for how you’ll raise children together, where you’ll live, etc.
If he’s willing to have that conversation – sincerely and positively - then he’s likely to come through for you in time.
My boyfriend and I have been together for three years and we’re still considerably young (I’m 19, he’s 20).
Recently, we argued about how his mother is always in debt and brings him down. He said he wanted to change and be a “better man” for me, financially and emotionally. So he decided to go on a break for now until he gets things settled.
I feel it’s an unnecessary break. We still see each other almost everyday, and we still maintain a relationship status, although I’m usually the one who asks if we can meet up or hang out.
Instead, should I just leave him be and not see him and how?
- In doubt
Back off for a while… but respectfully and without resentment. He clearly has family issues he wants to rise above, which is admirable. Encourage him to make some of the changes he’s after, tell him you support his ambition and his courage. Then ask him to call you when he wants to get together, and wait for him to do so.
Contact him only occasionally. Don’t act anxious or untrusting.
When you recognize that he’s achieved something he’s trying to do, show your appreciation.
This break may be very important to your relationship being able to thrive into the years when you both have more responsibilities.
After seven years of marriage, our sex life has gotten humdrum. What to do?
- Bored Wife
Set a “date” time; go out or create a romantic setting, such as taking a bath together, with candles around. Cuddle, stroke, and don’t discuss any household issues. Repeat often.
I recently met a girl and we fell in love; she’s pretty and caring and loves me dearly. There’s only one problem - she has two tattoos on her back and they really bother me.
Worse, I find the tattoo thing bothers me more and more.
Am I being too judgmental? I really love her, but I can’t seem to get past her tattoos.
- Inky View
You’re entitled to your own preferences for yourself, and to an opinion regarding a partner’s future choices about tattoos. But you are way too judgmental about the body art she acquired before she met you.
If the tattoos represent a phase of her life, which you find distasteful, they’ll remain a constantly visible symbol of your inner discomfort.
So, unless she wants to go through the somewhat difficult attempt to have them removed, you must accept her as she is. Or else move on.
Tip of the day:
Commitment fears are sometimes the result of age and lifestyle, and are more easily overcome as time brings changes.