- March 20, 2017 at 10:24 am #678687
@ale yeah, my ex would talk hypothetically about what kind of house we’d get or how we’d raise our kids or what kind of wedding we’d have. But there was always one excuse after another why it couldn’t be now, it had to wait, I would ask if he was waiting for something specific or if there was anything he needed from me, more excuses would follow. I walked away after 4.5 years.
I honestly don’t know what the red flags are (in the beginning, anyway). When guys talk about a hypothetical future with you, how can you possibly know up front that he’s full of shit?March 20, 2017 at 10:54 am #678692
I think the red flag there is just if he’s talking about all that stuff really soon.
Or if you’ve been together a while and he never talks about a future with you in it.
Otherwise… it’s just, do his words match his actions? A lot of guys will talk about plans for kids, kids names, houses, etc., and then you find out they were never into that with you. If he’s talking about that stuff, what timeline does he have in mind? Does he actually talk about timing? If you’re thinking about moving in together, is he looking at apartment listings and talking neighborhoods and actual logistics, or is it always very high level/hypothetical? If he won’t get into detail and planning, he probably isn’t sincere, whether he really realizes it or not.March 20, 2017 at 10:55 am #678693
@ale – Sounds like you know this, but someone who isn’t willing to compromise isn’t a great candidate to move in with anyway. That sounds like misery waiting to happen if you both know that he’s not open to even things like being asked to turn down his music the whole time.March 20, 2017 at 10:56 am #678694
Personally, I don’t think there’s any way to know if some is full of shit talking those future hypotheticals unless they’re not backing their words up with actions. And that takes time.
But I would consider it a yellow flag to talk hypotheticals with you specifically inserted in before they actually get to know you. I think back to that Sex and the City episode where Charlotte starts dating that guy who takes her around to look at houses and was going to introduce her to his parents, all within like a few days, then 100% ghosts. All talk, no action. In that, it was totally his fantasy future being played out with her as a placeholder.March 20, 2017 at 11:03 am #678696
Funny, I read in one of Evan Marc Katz’s posts about how a guy can be sitting right across from you, holding your hand, looking you in the eye, talking about how he wants marriage and children, and you’ll be thinking “this is fantastic, we’re on the same page!” when in reality, he’s just speaking hypothetically about wanting these things some day and he doesn’t mean with you at all. And he’s clueless that a girl might take that as a suggestion that he’s interested in a possible future with her.
Side note: Was texting with my guy this weekend, he’s been telling me about the apartments he’s been looking at in his new city. He decided to take the one close to his work and telling me his reasons for choosing that one. Then he adds: “And you and I, when you get here we can decorate and make it cozy the way we want.”
I was immediately thrown for a loop and texted my girlfriend like WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!!? HE SAID WE!? So now I’m wondering if this is indicative of him imagining me spending a lot of time there in the future, or if he’s just a clueless man who wants help fixing up his apartment.March 20, 2017 at 11:04 am #678697
I agree with @portia. I don’t know that the red flags at the beginning would be easy to spot earlier on. I do think it’s entirely possible that someone can talk about a hypothetical future with you at a point where it’s not too early to be weird, but that they aren’t necessarily full of shit if that future never pans out. Like my first serious boyfriend and I talked about The Future all the time, but we were young (probably 23-24ish when we started talking marriage) and backing up our talk with action at the time wasn’t super realistic. I don’t think either of us was full of shit, though. It’s how we felt about one another — until it wasn’t.March 20, 2017 at 11:13 am #678698
@ale If he wanted to make it work he’d tell you what the obstacles were and then talk about ways to overcome those obstacles so that the two of you could be together. The fact that he throws out obstacles without trying to problem solve them tells you that he just wants them to be obstacles.
In my own relationship with my husband when we were dating we talked about our future as a couple. First we talked about what we wanted, which was marriage. Within months we were talking about when we wanted to get engaged. Then we looked at engagement rings and bought one even though we weren’t getting engaged yet. Then we got engaged as planned and picked a wedding date. We never picked names for hypothetical children. We did talk about whether we both wanted children and how many we thought we wanted but we didn’t name hypothetical future children. I think you can tell the difference. If everything is always hypothetical or always years in the future without any movement in the current time to make any of it actually happen they aren’t really committed to a future together. If there is actual movement toward the life together then you can assume that you are working toward a life together.
IF they buy a house without your knowledge they probably aren’t working toward a life together. If they apply for a job and take the job offer without discussing it with you then they probably aren’t working toward a life together. Do they keep making decisions as an individual or with their parents or do they make decisions with you as a couple does. You need to be partners before you get engaged and before you are married. The commitment needs to come first and you will see that by more and more working together as partners. You will find yourself discussing your decisions with them and making joint decisions that work for both of you. If that isn’t happening then you aren’t moving forward toward a joint life.March 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm #678717
“If he wanted to make it work he’d tell you what the obstacles were and then talk about ways to overcome those obstacles so that the two of you could be together”
That is exactly how I feel. There are ways to say things and room for negotiation. But I don’t think he sees it like that. If he had just told me that he is not ready because he thought that we still need to work on some issues, I would understand. For example, saying that he doesn’t like X or Y thing and how can we go around this? And there’s still a year or so before my original timeline, so plenty of time. I wasn’t asking him to move in today, I just wanted to know because I want to start planning a trip to Europe and could use a timeline for a budget.
Anyways… I don’t really know what to do because I don’t know if I want all of those things. Moving in is the logical next step and many friends are doing that or getting engaged, so I don’t know if it is just peer pressure or if I really really want that. I do want a future with him though.
As for red flags, I think the same, words need to be followed by actions. However, sometimes you have words and actions that follow and then nothing. It was like that with my ex. Took me to see houses and a month or so later suddenly he wanted to be alone. So, you actually never really know.March 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm #678730
I think it’s normal in a situation like this to question yourself, like, ok, he’s not sure about moving in, but do I really want that?
But you do. At least, within a year you do. You don’t just want to go on indefinitely with a guy who doesn’t know if he, or isn’t willing to tell you he doesn’t, see a future with you that involves a shared household. You want him to feel excited and optimistic about a future together. YOU want to feel like that too.March 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm #678746
@kate I think you’re right. Someone should be excited yo be with me. I shouldn’t settle for less.March 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm #678796
@ale continued support. I know it won’t be easy to end the relationship if you decide to do that, but at least now you have a better idea of this man.
Just a mini trivial update that I did message the guy and we’ve set up a second date Saturday! Need to firm up details and also stuff can change til then but good for now 🙂 Still nervous, but come what may!March 20, 2017 at 9:27 pm #678797
I think some guys talk about hypotheticals because they think that’s a thing you say in relationships, not realizing that when other people do it, it’s because they actually envision those things happening with that person. I’ve had guys talking about logistics related to meeting their parents (like “Oh, don’t mention that to my mom when you meet her”) or something else in the long-term, and then finding out from them literally weeks later that they never intended on getting into relationship together. Or a guy who knew that it was never going anywhere because he was going to be moving away (but hadn’t gone public with that info yet). I think for them, they felt like talking about doing something in the future together or meeting parents or whatever was similar to like saying “I had fun on that date with you!” or “You’re so <insert compliment>.” Like they didn’t seem to have any concept that a person might say it specifically if that was a thing they foresaw actually occurring in the future.