Ask the Coach

Dear Coach,

I am a 44 year old attorney and my boyfriend of 3 years is also 44 and an attorney. We both lead very busy lives, but find time to see each other on weekends and usually one night during the week. We get along great, except in one area. Although he says he loves me, and sees us together forever, and says things to me like, “I can’t imagine my life without you,” I want to know the timeline of our being together and what this really means. As a 44 year old female, I’m afraid the time has already run out for me for having a family. I really want to be married, with children, I do love him and would marry him tomorrow if he asked. I dread the thought of starting over, and yet, I don’t want to waste my time on someone who can’t commit.

 I’ve tried a few things such as asking for a specific time frame, asking him exactly when we can make plans, even breaking up with him for three months while he “got his head together”, and after which he promised to give me a time frame by the end of the year. Well, New Year’s came and went and we’re still in the same position. Every time things go really great with us and it becomes clear to him I want to move the relationship into commitment, he seems to find fault with something, we get into a fight or hit a rocky patch, we make up, and then the cycle starts over again.

Bottom line – I want to get engaged and set a wedding date. He isn’t even talking about anything tangible other than a few vague references to, “Of course we’re going to be together.” I realize I have options here … but I just don’t know which one to pick. What should I do?

Jennifer

Kiki says –

Your boyfriend has already given you your answer – you just don’t like what that answer is.  He does not want to marry you.   So now you have to make the decision you’ve been trying to put off – to leave him or to stay with him without marriage.  It seems that he is happy in the relationship and has no desire to lose you, so is that enough?  If you really do want marriage and children and that doesn’t seem to be his goal – can you really leave him?  It’s understandable that you are really afraid that if you give him another ultimatum (you tried once but gave in without getting what you wanted) that the relationship will end.  Can you survive it?  This comes down to who is stronger – you or him?  He might be able to live without you, since he doesn’t want to marry right now (or maybe ever).  You might not be able to live without him.  You’ll have to find the strength to go for what you REALLY do want – him or marriage.  Because unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like you can have both.

I wonder what kind of conversations you two had three years ago at 41?  I believe a woman or man should make it clear that they have marriage in mind before they even become EXCLUSIVE with the other person.  If you made the mistake of becoming exclusive with someone without talking about marriage, after one year, you definitely need to have this conversation.  You have possibly wasted three years of your life – I wouldn’t waste any more.  Either decide that your current relationship with him is OK the way it is, or tell him that if the two of you are not going to get engaged NOW you should start seeing other people.  But you have to then follow through and do it!

Good luck!  Get with a coach like myself to help get you through it if it doesn’t turn out the way you want.

 Happy Dating!

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