He’s in his late 30s, has a child, and has a cordial relationship with the child’s mother as they share custody. Despite being a father, he has never had a long term relationship.
In short, he’s a real adult with a good career and we’re both a catch. I want to keep seeing him. I don’t think he’s going anywhere, but I’d like a little more definition.
I’m having trouble mustering up the nerve to ask him the status of our relationship, mostly because I’m afraid of rejection (due to past experience), his lack of relationship experience and because we met online. We both have active profiles that each list us as “single.” Not sure how to move this forward without scaring him off.
What’s the best way to approach this? At the very least, I want to know if he wants to continue seeing me. Ideally, I’d like to move to an exclusive relationship. — Online Dater Ready for Commitment
I’d say that, in general, four months of regular dating for two 30-somethings is enough time to initiate a conversation about the status of your relationship without fearing that you’re moving too fast. I mean, it’s not like you want to ask the guy to marry you (right??); you just want to let him know you’re interested in being exclusive and you hope he’s moving in that direction too.
One way to do that is to let him know you’re removing or hiding your profile on the dating site where you both met. You don’t even have to ask if he’s doing the same if you aren’t ready to take that step yet. Simply tell him, “Oh, by the way, I hid my profile the other day.” Period. You could tag it at the end of an email so he doesn’t have the pressure of giving you a response. Then, you could check back in a week or two and see if he’s hidden his profile yet. If he has, you have your answer about where you stand with him. If he hasn’t, then you could move to a more assertive route and flat-out ask him if he envisions your relationship becoming exclusive in the near future.
By taking the more assertive route, you do run the risk of being rejected or getting an answer you don’t want. But after four months of regular dating, do you really want to keep seeing a guy who doesn’t envision a real relationship with you eventually? Wouldn’t you rather know that NOW than, say, three more months down the line after you’ve grown even more attached?
There’s another card you can play that is only available to you this time of year: New Year’s Eve. Ask him if he’s given any thought to NYE yet and see what he says. If you both plan to be in the same city for NYE and he doesn’t express interest in spending the evening with you, then you’ve got your answer as to where you stand with him. It’s an occasion that is MADE for romance. It’s way more important than Valentine’s Day, which is really pretty corny. NYE is all about the future, you know? Kissing someone at midnight whom you’ve been dating a few months is like validation that you see him or her being a part of your year ahead.
If this guy doesn’t want to spend NYE with you, well, then you’ll have your answer as to where you stand with him. Maybe you’re OK with that answer and you’d be willing to give it another couple of months to see where things go. Or maybe you’ll be like, “F this. I’m a catch and I need a guy who wants to lock this down after four months.” Either reaction would be reasonable at this point. You just have to decide how long you’re willing to wait for the commitment you want and move on if you don’t get it — and the sooner, the better if you want to avoid heartache. And if he isn’t interested in kissing you at midnight on NYE, maybe you should go out and find someone who is.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.