Not sure how to think/feel

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2014
Not sure how to think/feel
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 4:08pm

My bf of almost 4 1/2 years is still unsure about what kind of future he wants (whether or not he wants marriage & kids like I do). It has been an ongoing issue for the past couple years-ish and causing tension between us recently. He has asked me for time to figure out what he wants his life to look like, and I have always wanted to give that to him, but he never told me when he would try to figure it out by, and I let him know I couldn't wait forever for him to figure it out.

Last Thursday, I asked him about why he was feeling distant/closed off, and he said it was because he missed having guy friends (they all recently moved away and he's had trouble making new friends in the area), and he'd like to spend some more nights apart so that he can focus on that. It kinda hurts me that he feels like we need to spend more time apart, and it made me think about if/when we do get married how is that going to translate over? He also said that he'd have an answer for me about the marriage/kids thing in a year and a half.

I'm not optimistic about it, even though I'm trying to be and frankly, I feel scared, like I know the exact time our relationship is going to end. People keep telling me that if in 4.5 years he's not seriously thinking about marriage/kids with me then he never will and I should cut my losses and move on. I'm not sure if I can do that, but I don't want to waste another year and a half either. ugh!

Anyone ever experience anything like this? TIA

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 4:55pm

When I met my husband, I was 19 & he was 18.  After we'd dated for a year, he asked me where I saw our relationship going.  I waggled my ring finger and whistled "Here Comes the Bride".  He said, "I'm too young to die!"  I asked him how long till he was ready  (Ready to MARRY-- NOT ready to figure things out).  He said "5 years".  I said, "We get engaged now, and we count this year!"  We were married 4 years later, and have been married 35 years.  And during the years we were engaged, we finished college and trade school, got decent jobs, saved money, bought and renovated a house, and paid for our own wedding.  We weren't just sitting around "thinking" about our lives--we were living them.

You were foolish to wait 4.5 years for him to figure things out, unless he was 16 when you began dating.  And even if he is only 20, if he hasn't figured things out by now, it's because he DOES NOT really want you--he just hasn't found anything better.  Cut your losses and run. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 7:56pm

It would be helpful to know how old you are because if you were teenagers when you started dating then I might give him a break but if he's 30 he needs to figure out his life.  I remember that my best friend was dating a much older man who had never been married.  We went on vacation (she & I & some other girls) when I was a senior in college, so I guess we were 21--they had been dating for a while.  She told him that she was not going to waste all her young years on being with him only to find out later that he didn't want to get married.  So she gave him the week to think about it and said that if he decided not to get married, that was it for her--they got engaged and married within 1-2 years.  I do think that by 4.5 yrs you really know someone well enough to know whether you want to marry them or not and it shouldn't take another 1.5 yrs to decide--I can see if that time period was tied to something, like he has to finish grad school and doesn't want to get married until then--but why not get engaged and then get married at that time?  I think what you really need to do is give him a lot of space--like break up with him (I hate that term "on a break")  then he can find his friends, do whatever.  But you should not agree to wait for him--you should go on with your life, date other guys, even.  Then if he suddenly realizes that he was a fool and wants  you back, it's up to y ou to decide whether to take him back, but you should not have to wait on his timetable.  You have a time table too and being a woman, you can't wait forever if you want to have kids.  I mean if it's not him, then you have to find someone else which takes time enough and get to know the person long enough to get married and then probably not have kids right away so we're talking years here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 01-07-2014 - 1:27am

I agree with the others.......he's just not that into you!  A guy that's asking for time off to make some new guy friends is NOT a guy that's thinking about marriage or families.  You have given him 4.5 years, which is about 3.5 years too much.  The only thing worse would be to give him another week or month.  He hasn't changed in all this time, what makes you think he will ever change?  There is no reason to be scared, you should be the one ending it so that you can get on with your life.....right now you're just stagnant......waiting for him to grow up!  You need to get on with your life, and start LIVING your life.  He isn't going to give you what you want, and you need to start looking for someone who WILL give you what you want.  Tell him to go look for some new buddies, and you do the same.  End it.......and start living your life!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2009
Tue, 01-07-2014 - 8:55am
" People keep telling me that if in 4.5 years he's not seriously thinking about marriage/kids with me then he never will and I should cut my losses and move on. " Unfortunately, they are right . Unlike others who have given examples of people being teenagers and planning their lives forward , I can give you another example of a friend of mine who got married in her mid 30s ( 35 , to be exact ) to a guy 7 years her senior. Both unmarried before, no kids but successful carrers . They started out very fast but both had plans which met at the same point.Both wanted a marriage, kids and kind of catch up with life , so to speak. She got her first baby at 38 and rest as they say, is history. People who want a life together, work towards it ,just like you are trying to and him not trying means that he doesnt want to with you.Bitter but the truth. A year and a half is just BS ! Its like saying a year and 5 months , 3 days and 7 hours.Who is he fooling? Obviously not himself. He knows you are not leaving.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Tue, 01-07-2014 - 4:44pm

Even if he doesn't know exactly what his life is going to look like, I think he already has figured out that its not going to include marriage and kids with you. So now he's making excuses to gradually distance himself from you because he doesn't want to be the bad guy who dumps you after 4.5 years, and he still likes to be with you sometimes and have intimacy, and doesn't want to give up that benefit. So he's getting distant and closed off, and he wants to have nights apart.

He can make new guy friends on a Satuday afternoon at the basketball court, he doesn't need nights free to focus on meeting other men. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up meeting another woman instead. I know that this hurts especially after investing so much time into this relationship, but it really sounds like he is on his way out of the relationship emotionally. But even if he's not trying to drift away from you, he's had enough time to sense whether you are "the one" or not.

I think that deep inside you know what's coming and that's why you're asking here. Its scary to leave something familiar, but this relationship is not secure. The longer you stay with him, the angrier you will be at him for dragging it out, and at yourself for letting it happen. It will be better for your self esteem if you make some decisions on your own to reclaim your life and your future. Stop waiting for him and move on. You can do it and you will be amazed at how strong you are.