DAVE: The thought of you owning your own house is probably weighing heavily on him because it is a huge step for you in the direction of maturity and independence. He doesn’t want to be left behind, and is no doubt intimidated that you are taking that step without him. It completely takes him out of the driver’s seat in the relationship, Now he faces a future of living in YOUR house, as YOUR tenant, under YOUR rules, and paying rent to YOU. No wonder he’s trying to test his own significance by renaming your unborn children! What you are doing (whether consciously or not) is jump-starting your life and then bringing him along in a subservient role, i.e. tenant. That is very different than starting a life together.
You need to make some choices. If he IS your probable future husband, he can’t be your tenant. Period. The money issues will destroy you. However, he can live WITH you as your partner and help fix things and earn his keep, but he has to be an equal… which means he should help you pay the bills and do half the chores. That being the case, just get married first. That way the house becomes a mutual accomplishment, not an obstacle. There is a reason they call it “natural order.” Then (and only then), talk about having kids.
ANDREW: There’s a time to rent and a time to buy. Now seems like a pretty good time for you to rent. Your letter suggests you want security in your life and you want it pronto. But, if it’s security you seek, you’re probably not going to find it in the Oregon housing market. Look at yourself: you’re still months away from even house-hunting and already you’re incredulous and preparing for a breakup. Slow down. Think about renewing your lease and renewing your relationship with your boyfriend. Be careful about buying into false sense of security that comes with a 30-year mortgage.
JOE: Ihis is all about timing. I think he really does want to be with you in the long term, and I believe that a relatively serious discussion of baby names, out of the blue, is a sign of that. If you’d been fighting and you’d said he doesn’t want/love you and then he brought up baby names, I could see it as a means of deflecting the argument. But to bring it up on his own strongly suggests he truly is interested in children (and a future) with you. It’s just not a topic men will initiate discussing in earnest with someone with whom they don’t see themselves later on.
But… I think that’s still a future plan with him, and he’s not yet ready to take the concrete steps along that path, such as moving in together. It’s also possible that he feels that isn’t something he’d want to do before marriage, or even that he has wanted to buy a home as well (possibly with you) and sees your decision as forcing a change to his. My gut feeling, though, is it’s something he wants, but it’s just a bit too early for him right now.
* If you’d like to ask the guys a question, simply email me at email@example.com with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.