I’m a 31 year-old woman and have known my current boyfriend, 33, since 2007. We dated for a year and a half and parted ways. He wanted to marry me but I still had baggage from a divorce and didn’t think it would be fair to him to marry him before cleaning my life up. We kept in touch but not too much; I signed up for school and pursued my dreams without a man and embraced my alone time. I always loved him and never forgot him.
To make a long story short, fate brought us back together. But by then, he was living with a woman and I would not settle for second best. It took him about a year to end things with her. She had no job and nothing going for herself and I guess that’s what he missed — he has always admired my ambition, so he eagerly reached out to me once she was gone for good and professed his love and pursued me again. That was February of 2011 and we are still together. He treats me well, spends much of his free time with me and talks about the future.
The problem is, I have anxieties about what’s next. I want to get married and he says he still does too, but he avoids the issue if I bring it up! It’s like he talks about the future only when he wants to. Most important, I haven’t met his mother but I know she knows about me. Is that a bad thing? I know he’s not embarrassed to be seen with me because we go out together all the time. I go to functions for his work and his friends, but have never met his family. Am I maybe a little pushy? My mom says I’m controlling and impatient.
I have prayed about him and all the signs lead to him. We still have great chemistry, are highly attracted to one another, and we rarely get upset with each other (and when we do, it doesn’t last long). Is it the divorce that gives me anxiety? Or should I just enjoy the moment and not worry too much?! I don’t want to nag him. He wants me to believe in him and he always says: “Whatever I say I’m going to do, I do! It may not be when you expect it, but just believe in me.” That does make me feel like I can trust him. I don’t want to mess things up, I just need some pointers. — Growing Impatient
The first thing you need to do is separate the issue of marriage with the issue of having not met your boyfriend’s family yet. The two are not directly connected. If you want to meet your boyfriend’s family and you’re curious about why you haven’t yet, ask him! If they don’t live nearby, maybe the opportunity hasn’t yet presented itself to take you home to introduce you. Maybe he wasn’t sure you were ready to meet them. Maybe he is estranged from them (though if that’s the case, I’d hope you’d know that since you’ve been together for a while). It’s interesting that you say you know your boyfriend isn’t “embarrassed to be seen with you,” as if that’s a possibility you’ve ruled out. Why would that be a possibility in the first place? Is there something about you that you think could embarrass him? Is there a difference between you — say, a difference in race or size — that might stand out? If you are, in fact, different races, it’s possible that he comes from a conservative family that may not be open to interracial relationships. But without more details, I’m just grasping here. To know the real reason your boyfriend hasn’t introduced you to his family, you need to ask him.
As for your future together, I’m unclear as to whether you don’t believe your boyfriend wants to marry you or if you’re simply frustrated that you two haven’t discussed a timeline for when a marriage (or proposal) might actually happen. You aren’t unreasonable for wanting some idea about whether you’re on the same page in terms of a future together and a general timeline for things like a wedding. If your boyfriend is unwilling to discuss a future when you bring it up, then you need to present your feelings as statements and not as questions. For example, instead of saying: “When do you want to get married?”, you should say, “I’m not sure what your intention is, but I need you to know that I’d like to be married to you in the next two years [or whatever your time frame is] and if that doesn’t match up with what you want, you need to let me know soon so I can adjust my thinking.” You don’t have to let him know that part of “adjusting your thinking” is breaking up with him and finding a man who isn’t so scared to discuss a future with you, but you do need to let him know what your expectations are so he can act accordingly (and not be taken off-guard if/when you MOA).