We’re both 25 and have had some pretty crappy relationships, so we agreed to take things slowly. We have similar backgrounds in religion, family, and what we want out of life. Day-to-day has been great, but whenever we start to talk about the future, panic mode sets in. We talked for two months before making it official, and I was the one to say “I love you” first (which I probably shouldn’t have done, but it’s the 2000s and those old rules don’t still apply…right?).
Anyway, it always seems like I’m one step ahead of him. He was honest and said he wasn’t ready to say “I love you” back yet, and a month later he said it. We have talked about the future, kids, and what we want out of life, but I feel like we’re at a standstill. However, I was presented an opportunity for a job out by him that pays more, and the town is cheaper to live in than where I currently am. It is still an hour away from him. When I first told him about the opportunity, he said he was excited and didn’t forsee us breaking up any time soon.
However, as the interview moved closer and closer, he started to freak out. He keeps saying he “wants to be sure” (whatever that means) because he is afraid that if I move out there and we break up, I will be stuck with no one. I have tried to convince him that I would go for the job and he’s just an added bonus, but we both know deep down I wouldn’t want to be out there without him. I don’t want to pressure him, and I am heartbroken that he is so scared and unsure. I’m not looking to get engaged right away, but I want a commitment and he can’t give me one and is really bothered that he can’t.
It seems like there’s nothing I can say to comfort him or reassure him. I told him it’s normal to feel this way after not even being together a year, but he says that it’s almost been a year and he should not be feeling this way. He also says that the ultimate goal of a relationship is marriage, and if he’s unsure about that, what’s the point?
I don’t want to keep dragging this out if this isn’t going to go anywhere, but I also don’t want to throw away something because we’re rushing it. Conversely, I also don’t want to not take the job since it is $10,000 more than I’m making now, and I currently hate my job.
He has asked for some time to think. We’re still talking, but he said he needs time to “be sure” and “make sure everything is fine.” I had my interview yesterday and I’m 99% sure I’ll be offered the job. I don’t know what to do. Help? — For Love and Money
The answer is easy. If your boyfriend weren’t part of the equation, would you take the job? If the answer is no, don’t take it. If it’s yes, take it. He’s being flaky and you can’t count on him to be around next week, let alone next year. You *are* pressuring him, whether you realize it or not. But in this case the pressure is pushing an issue it sounds like you’re really ready to resolve. I’m not sure the result is going to be what you’re hoping form, but if, after some time to “make sure,” your boyfriend decides it’s you he’s sure about, here are a few tips I recommend when considering a move for love. Good luck!
It’s not too early. If he doesn’t want kids and you do or think there’s a chance you might, then this is a deal-breaker issue – he not only doesn’t want any more kids, but also he doesn’t seem like an invested dad with the kid he has, and that’s not what you want. So, it’s better to move on now before you get more invested and have trouble leaving later.
Read more about this issue:
He Doesn’t want Kids but Maybe I Do
He Wants Kids But I Don’t. Can We Still Date?
And related: “How Do I Know If I Absolutely Want Kids?”
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
Brise May 16, 2023, 8:28 pm
LlW1: Please dissociate the job question and the relationship issue.Don’t ask for a commitment after less than a year in order to take a job. You are a grown girl, you make your career choices yourself. You are not married. For the relationship, I would slow down and descale the week-end rotations for a while. After all, you might move soon and discover a new city, a new workplace, make new friends there. The best relationship’s test is to live your life and see if the love grows.
LW2: Move on. A man who doesn’t want to have a child or more children: ok. A man who doesn’t care for his child and doesn’t make of her a center of his life: no way. Don’t deprive yourself of such an important desire.
ron May 17, 2023, 4:12 pm
LW #1: Not to trivialize, but this seems an easy decision. You hate your current job. The new job pays you an additional $10K. Your $ will go farther in new town. Brise is correct, this is your decision to make. Leave LDR bf out of this. He doesn’t need to ‘be sure’, he’s not the one who will be taking a better job and moving. This move happens to be only an hour from where he lives, rather than 3 hours, but an hour away is hardly right on his doorstep and shouldn’t be a source of panic. Tell him that being in the new town isn’t on him, if the relationship fails he won’t be responsible for your loneliness, and that YOU have decided to advance your career and finances by taking a better job. You aren’t trying to accelerate a commitment. He stays in relationship or follows his insecurities out of it, but the new job is a done deal and not a decision that a relatively short-term LDR bf gets a right of veto. If having you only an hour away is going to kill the relationship, then it is already doomed and he is likely hiding a SO.
LW #2 — I am going to be the odd duck here and disagree with Wendy and Brise. I don’t think anything you’ve written says this guy is not an involved father to his daughter. All you say is that he hasn’t talked about her a lot. He has told you he has a 10-year old daughter. That is both the basic demographic info you need after only 6 months dating and also an explanation for why he isn’t interested in having more children, as there will be at least an 11-year gap between daughter and any theoretical new children. It’s possible, I think highly likely, that he doesn’t talk about her more because he views 6-months into a relationship as too soon for you to meet her and fears that too much discussion of her will force that issue, before he thinks it best for her.
I do agree with Wendy and Brise that if you want to have children, you must assume you never will with this guy and treat this as a deal-breaker.