He may be more "serious" than I am

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
He may be more "serious" than I am
6
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 6:13pm

This is probably the reverse of the usual message on this board. It is also a message I am surprised to be writing. I really like this guy. I like being with him, and I want him to stay around for a long time.

It's just that I don't see myself entering into the kind of domestic relationship (marriage?!) that he seems to have in mind for the long run. This isn't because I am opposed to ltr/marriage in principle but because I don't think we are right for each other in that way. So my dilemma is whether to discuss this with him at this point (which may be too soon) or to go on as we are and maybe hurt him by "leading him on."

The situation: we are both in our fifties, divorced, with college age kids. We dated for about a month before we became intimate, and through it all he was patient, charming, etc. He agreed to become exclusive before we became intimate, and in many ways the relationship has been ideal. Except that I don't think I'd like living with him, and he's hinted that this is where it is going.

The reason I don't think we are right for living together/marrying is that he is more traditional than I am--he is used to being the breadwinner and the wife being the homemaker. I'm a career woman and now that the kids are grown I don't see any need to focus on homemaking. Right now he may say that he will adapt, but I am not sure.

The bottom line is that I can go on like this indefinitely. If he likes it like that, great. If he is going to want more, we should part. So-- when is a good time to discuss all this? I don't want to be premature (and maybe presumptuous) but I don't want to be unfair to him either.

(Edited for clarity.)




Edited 2/17/2010 4:20 pm ET by dabela
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2009
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 8:19pm
break it off today.
Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 02-20-2010 - 8:44pm

Is the issue really that he's more serious, or is it really more that you're probably incompatible for the type of relationship he wants?


How long have you been dating now?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Mon, 02-22-2010 - 1:24am

We've been dating for about two months now. I don't think he is going to suggest moving in together or anything like that before six months pass. And I don't know how I will feel then (if we are still dating then). I just feel that his "ideal" and mine are not the same. His ideal is someone to come home to. My "ideal" is someone to go out with. I like staying home and being cosy, but I am scared of that becoming all there is to a relationship.

It's not that I am just beginning to see what he is really like. He was always clear that he was "looking for something serious," that he wanted a monogamous relationship, etc. So did I. In many ways we are well-suited to each other. And I am happy with what we have right now. Very happy.

But I don't want to be unfair to him. He seems to be thinking that as time passes we will just get closer and closer. Maybe we will. Maybe I just have cold feet because I was in a marriage that went on too long. But I just keep thinking that I like having my space, that I am glad that we each have our own houses, that at this point in my life marriage or living together will offer very little to me in exchange for the risks.

I feel I should talk to him, but I also don't want to jump the gun. And I worry also that if I talk to him, I will lose him--and I don't want to ruin what we have now. And yet, I don't know if it is ethical to keep quiet.

Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 02-22-2010 - 1:53am

Ok, at just 2 months, I think it's too soon to say anything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 1:51pm

Thanks Sheri, you give good advice always.

My concern is that a lot of people would view the stage we are at as a "temporary" stage, a step on to something else. In my youth I certainly would have. But I like this stage just for itself. I want to take my time on it, and I want to make sure he understands that this is how I feel.

Except for the uncertainty about his maybe being on a faster track to domesticity than I am, I am very happy with this relationship. I want it to last, but I don't want to mislead him, if what he wants is something more committed.

So I feel I should let him know my feelings, but I will follow your suggestion and wait and see. At some point the subject will come up and then we can discuss it. No need to force things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 3:39pm
It would basically be a lie, leading him on, to withhold this information from him. He has a right to know your real feelings so that he doesn't waste his time and so he can make an informed decision for himself. So I'm glad you're telling him. Honestly, if you don't think this is a relationship with long-term potential for you, then you're doing yourself a favor by ending it as well - Even if you're not looking for something long-term right now.