I met my boyfriend online and he swept me off my feet. We moved in together after four months of dating.
That was six years ago. I’m 36; he’s 39.
He’s a happy go-lucky guy with lots of friends.
He has a poker night once a week, goes out with “the boys” another night, takes an annual Las Vegas getaway, and a weekend cottage “blast” with his two best friends every summer.
There’s also the guys’ winter ski trip.
We both have consuming jobs, working late some weeknights, so only have dinner together once or twice weekly.
Saturday nights we always go out, rarely alone. There are always friends along who want to get together.
I’m getting tired of the social treadmill and told him so. I’d like to get engaged, plan a wedding, and then start a family, all within the next couple of years.
He keeps putting me off when I raise this. He says our life is great and we mustn’t change it too swiftly.
I said outright that my getting an engagement ring wouldn’t keep him from his poker game and “fun” if that were his fear. So it was my birthday recently and he surprised me… with an expensive suitcase. He said we should be travelling more.
I cried because he’s basically stalling our getting engaged.
After six years, and approaching age 40, am I wrong to think I should be looking for a man who wants a family life with me, and not wasting my time with a “boy” who only wants playtime?
You’re already out of there, mentally.
But how are you emotionally? You stayed with him, and presumably enjoyed some of the good times… when he was around.
You also accepted his routine absences all these years, so it’s unrealistic to suddenly expect him to be excited about a life of domesticity.
You need The Talk more than an engagement ring. The questions of whether you truly love each other, and want to spend your mature years together, need to be discussed.
Even if he caves and goes for an engagement, is he the partner you want for marriage and raising children?
While he’s been seeking good times with his pals, you’ve been either just as satisfied with the lifestyle, or just watching the clock with growing resentment.
Stop waiting for his next move. Talk to him, and make your own decision about what happens next.
My parents own a cottage and every summer, my sister, my brother, along with spouses and kids, and me, visit them for two weeks of “family” time.
I’d love it, if it weren’t for my one sister. She brings a nanny along for her two kids, and insists my sister-in-law does the same (I refuse).
Then she sits in the cottage and barks orders at everyone.
She has to be in charge and just can’t relax. That’s her problem, but I’m angry that she makes it mine.
Do I have to skip this chance to be with my parents at the cottage I’ve always loved, because otherwise I’ll explode and ruin my relationship with my sister?
No. But be realistic. You’ve likely been aware of your sister’s controlling personality for years.
Consider spending a different week with your parents (find an excuse through work or other schedules), and only go for the family get-together for a few days.
And ignore your sister’s “orders” whenever possible.
Could you please forward my email address to your writer who has panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder?
I’m in the very same situation (likely for the same reasons) and think he might like to know there are others like him out here. Misery loves company, they say.
Dear Readers – My answer to this person applies to all readers of this column.
While I appreciate the sincerity of his/her outreach, there’s a promise of confidentiality to anyone who writes me.
I cannot “connect” people.
The published “feedbacks” and commentaries from other readers already show that there are many people who share similar situations, feel compassion, and want to be reassuring.
My role is only to give advice.
With more isolated readers concerns, where possible, I direct them to where they can get help, suggest they communicate with online support groups, and encourage their getting medical checks and counselling where appropriate.
Tip of the day:
An engagement ring won’t answer the questions of whether there’s enough mutual love and interest in marriage and family, for it to work.