About a week ago, out of the blue, Brian suddenly changed his attitude toward me. He is no longer affectionate and stopped telling his T-Rex ex that she and I need to meet so I can be allowed around their daughter. When I asked what was going on, he just said we were moving too fast and he wanted to slow things down. I assumed this was a breakup speech, but he insisted it wasn’t.
Are things slowly grinding to a halt? Should I pack up my bags and move on? It seems like he is not working too hard to keep me around. I think I can understand and deal with the daughter issue although it is tough, but the no affection makes me insecure. I have never felt so unattractive and unwanted than I have these past few weeks. I miss the sweet, caring man I fell in love with. And, yes, we have already said “I love you.”
I know he is not cheating on me and I know how much he hates his ex, so there is no problem there. Could he possibly be letting me go to avoid drama with his ex? I love this man completely and, until a few weeks ago, I thought he loved me too. Now I can barely get a kissy face in a text message or a peck goodbye. Am I wasting my time or should I stick it out? This man is exactly what I’ve been looking for and more, and I would really hate to give up on him. — No Kissy Face for Me
You’re the mother of a teenage girl and not one yourself so quit acting like it. Moving in with a man — a man who has four kids with two exes, no less! — only months after first talking to him, meeting one of his kids against the mother’s wishes, and worrying that your relationship is grinding to a halt after a week of no kissy face text messages is super immature and borderline destructive. And, actually, when a man hates his ex — an ex who happens to be the mother of his daughter — there IS a problem, contrary to what you seem to believe. Because people who hate each other don’t co-parent or communicate well and that wreaks havoc on the other relationships in their lives, as you are now learning.
You should not be living with this man — not when your relationship is still so new and, frankly, unstable enough that a week of no affection makes you question everything. Before you move in with someone — especially when there are kids involved! — a relationship should be strong enough that, if you don’t receive a kissy face text for a few days, you don’t start wondering where the love has gone. Your relationship is not that strong yet. Does that mean you’re doomed? No, not necessarily. But it does mean you should slow the hell down.
Yes, pack your stuff and move out. Date this father of four for a full year — experience all the seasons together, and all your kids’ birthdays, and all major holidays and special occasions — before you even discuss living together. Get his ex’s permission — if not her full-on blessing — to be around their daughter before you move into the home where her father lives and where she will likely want to spend some time. I mean, really — what kind of father moves a woman into his house to live, after a few months of dating, when that woman is not yet allowed to be around his child?!
And, you. You should aim higher. To think this is a man who is “exactly what you’re looking for and more” is pretty sorry. Maybe you should start looking for a few additional things, like: doesn’t hate the mother of his child; doesn’t have multiple children with multiple exes; acts like a grown-ass man.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.