January 22, 2017 at 2:22 pm #670251Lauren NicoleGuest
I have a nearly two decade friendship with my current boyfriend, who I have been dating a year now. On so many levels, our foundation is rock solid. We have a 23 year age gap, which leads into my question. I am in my 30s and he is in his 50s. Our age gap really only comes into play when looking at freedoms. He owns businesses, is financially sound and can be “mobile” whenever he wants. I have a job that, obviously, requires me to show up. In our past year of dating I have moved mountains to “keep up.” We have traveled to several cities in American and even overseas (I took time off work). The problem is that he has been a bachelor for so, so long that he is keeping up his ways of traveling each month alone to exotic places. He’s currently in the Caribbean alone on vacation. He invites me, but when I obviously can’t go, he books these trips for himself. How can I best tell him that I am not comfortable with all of this? I don’t want to take away any freedoms and I am, by nature, not clingy, but after a year, I’m just wondering what the game plan is and why he still feels the need to always be gone. His response is always, “I want you to come everywhere with me, but understand you can’t. I can work from my laptop anywhere. Would you sit in the rain or rather work from a hammock?” Thank you!January 22, 2017 at 4:26 pm #670256HeatherGuest
My question is; where do you see this relationship going? Are you looking for marriage, kids etc? Or are you happy to be a child-free couple who enjoys travelling etc? Is this this for the short, medium or long term? Because this man is what he is- he’s had time to decide what and how he spends his life. Also do you actually trust him? Because this seems to reek of mistrust. My own boyfriend can go anywhere and I don’t worry about him cheating at all. But in a past relationship, an ex could have gone to the grocery store to get eggs & I’d been worried who he’d meet there. Or is something I’m missing here?
Oh & I do worry about you ‘moving mountains to keep up’. Is that something he asks of you ( out-loud or by assumption that you just will bend) or are you doing this to yourself because you think it’s expected? As a relationship should contain compromise from both of you & currently it seems like you’re doing it all.January 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm #670257AngeGuest
“How can I best tell him that I am not comfortable with all of this? I don’t want to take away any freedoms…”
Well mate by your own words you do. You aren’t comfortable with him going on solo trips so you don’t want him going on them. To be honest this guy has a life I truly envy but I couldn’t date him either, not because I’m clingy but because it would be too easy to throw it all away and be his travel buddy. Not a solid retirement plan. If you want to move forward you need to have a conversation with him about future plans but after a year I kinda think this is what you’re going to get. Tying this guy down with marriage and babies and all of that (if that’s what you want) is probably not going to end well for the both of you. If you can stomach the idea of lots of independent time, fabulous travel and a guy who enjoys your company but obviously doesn’t need you by his side every minute then go for it.January 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm #670258KateGuest
This is his lifestyle. Like you said, it always has been. You really can’t ask him to stay home. The guy is in his 50s, he’s enjoying life and well-earned freedom. What’s your end game here, that he’ll marry you and you stop working and just travel with him? Is he on the same page with that? If not, I don’t see how this is a match. In 10 years won’t he be retired and wanting to spend ALL his time doing fun things? And you’ll still have another 20 years of work ahead of you? I would say unless you can be ok with his lifestyle, you should move on and find a guy who’s a fit with yours.January 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm #670259AnonymousseGuest
You either need to accept this is how he is living his life, or don’t. You can’t tell him you are uncomfortable with this and want him to stay home for you. That’s so limiting. Why would you even want to?January 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm #670260EssieParticipant
If you’ve known him for 20 years, then you know that the footloose life is very much part of who he is. What made you think he would change? That would be a heck of a big personality change, going from being a monthly traveler to exotic places, to a guy who stays home and hangs out with his girlfriend.
Unfortunately, I think this is the relationship where you learn that a “rock-solid foundation” isn’t enough. Your lives need to fit together in a way that works day-to-day, too, and this is such a major lifestyle incompatibility. Big age differences can work, but you two are in very different phases of your lives.January 22, 2017 at 6:27 pm #670266RonGuest
You are at very different stages of your lives and living very different lifestyles. As everyone has said, he enjoys his life and isn’t going to change it to satisfy your needs. Either you are ok with things the way they are or you MOA. It is wrong to assume you will be able to change that one big thing about your SO that you can’t live with.January 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm #670279FirestarGuest
You can’t ask because that takes away those freedoms you don’t want to take away. If his lifestyle makes you uncomfortable then this isn’t the relationship for you.January 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm #670280Lauren NicoleGuest
This is all fantastic advice, everyone. Everything is a match. Our families are dear friends. His best friends are my dear friends, etc. I’m not interested in kids and a stay-at-home lifestyle. The universe gave us this opening to finally date (I was in a relationship before; he has been single forever) and so I went for it. He’s fabulous. Ideally, I’d like to live a jet-setting lifestyle and be able to craft a laptop lifestyle for myself, like he has. He does need to learn how to bend a bit more and compromise, which is something he obviously isn’t used to, but he’s getting better. I think it’s just time to have a chat and press pause and see what his plan is. If he doesn’t see me in his future (and knowing me for nearly half my life and knowing everything about me), then we may need to part ways and it would be too difficult for me to remain friends with him, his family and his friends. I think the world of all of them — and I truly think the world of my boyfriend (who is currently sitting on some island).January 22, 2017 at 7:54 pm #670281dinocerosParticipant
You guys just don’t sound compatible. It’s fair to want a boyfriend around and to not always vacation without you, but if it’s what he wants to do and he can do it, he should. He doesn’t appear to want to stop, and I assume that if he stopped for you, he’d eventually be fairly unhappy and resentful over it. He probably should be with someone who can travel with him or who likes that he goes on vacation all the time.January 22, 2017 at 8:14 pm #670283KateKeymaster
Yeah, you probably should talk. It’s pretty unlikely that a guy who’s a bachelor well into his 50s and enjoys that lifestyle is going to marry. As for the “laptop lifestyle,” I don’t know. I and many of my colleagues work remotely. So does my husband. And we take vacations, sure… we go to Mexico for two long weekends and a full week. We go to NYC to see a show. I go with him to his conferences in warm places. But… I actually have to work. Like, hard. And go to a lot of meetings. I don’t think it’s too common to find a job where you can just be wherever you want doing whatever. He’s very lucky.
It sounds like in order for this to work, you’d have to find a way of achieving the kind of lifestyle he already has. Or he’d have to marry you and/or provide for you to at least some extent, and maybe you do some part time thing like report writing or whatever.
But right now it’s not matching up and one of you would need to make changes for this to work. So, talk. Have a little chat about where you both see this going.January 22, 2017 at 8:26 pm #670286Lauren NicoleGuest
High-five to all of you. Truly, I don’t want to take away his freedoms. His life is exciting and beautiful. And he is trustworthy. A little traveling here and there is fine. Truly. I would just like to find a way to mesh together a bit more. We have all the same goals, likes, everything, he is just 20 years ahead of me. I’d like to know how to best articulate this so that the focus isn’t on him “losing anything,” but rather how much we gain together. Which, I know he would agree with. I like conforming to his lifestyle, but would like for him to see a bit more clearly the obstacles I face just purely from a different financial bracket and being 10 years into my media career.