My boyfriend isn't ready to settle, should I leave him?

am 28, been dating my boyfriend (27) for the last three years. i recently asked him about plans to settle and he said he wasn't ready but will be ready in 2 years time. my worry is that he is still communicating with his ex updating her on his life. they broke up 3 and half years ago due to distance as she moved to a different city, much as he says he closed the chapter with her, he keeps flirting with her and recently even got her a gift from his trip.


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What Guys Said 30

  • This is a tough one. I don't like what happened with the ex because it wasn't a bad breakup and he still maintains contact. In principle, last night bad, but the sole reason for the breakup was distance and that's not really a good reason for a breakup. so I do not see him as fully committed to you nor do I see that as changing unless his ex-girlfriend gets married or something like that in which case your boyfriend will have the door shut on him by her. Since that may not happen for years for this reason I would advocate going to another guy. However you have three years invested in this relationship so he must be a decent guy. Furthermore once you break up then you need to take another year off just to get your shit together and then if you find a decent guy that's another 2 years before you can get married. I don't like that either of all that is not necessarily bad these days.

    Believe it or not, I might try something unorthodox if I was you. Consider reaching out to his ex-girlfriend and get her perspective. You really need to understand how tight the bond is between his ex-girlfriend and him. Again breaking up over distance is rather immature and so if both of them have gotten older and matured a bit they might actually be considering getting back together.

    So I don't have a definitive answer as to what you should do but by contacting the ex-girlfriend you may actually make some progress in the situation that you are in and provide some assistance. If they really aren't going to get back together you should know that and furthermore she might actually empathize with your situation. Consider showing this question to both her and your boyfriend.

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  • Leave him. Leave him. Leave him. If he closed the chapter with her, he wouldn't be communicating with her at all. Period.

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    • Absolute rubbish. Not everyone has to be some militant moron who pretends their ex is dead. I'm good friends with many of my exes, they represent a time of my life that's made me who I am today. We ended the relationship on good terms. Why shouldn't we remain friends?

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    • Good luck then with your wife not cheating on you.

    • Thanks, but no luck necessary when you have trust. And if you can't trust your partner to be alone, then there's deeper issues that need to be sorted out.

  • If it were me, at my age, I would be all in if I was with a woman for 3 years and she adored me. Why waste time? If he is still pining for a woman in his past, apparently he isn't all in with you. Again, why waste time?

    I know it is difficult, especially if you really care for him (love?) With love it is never easy and it is one of the reasons why people guard their hearts.

    Your best bet is to have a serious talk. Tell him how you truly feel about him staying in contact with his ex and how he is treating you. Talk about what you want for your future for him and see if his feelings on the matter align with yours. Don't expect him to lead the conversation there and don't feel like you are being pushy if you are the one starting the conversation.

    When you say "settle", I am assuming you mean marriage. Some guys give themselves timetables. For me, it would be at least 2 years together, and at least 1 of those years cohabitating. I want to know how we work together and to gauge how she truly feels about me. It isn't insecure to wonder and to want to know for sure before you make the leap into marriage. Think about this too, for most marriages, it takes about a year of preparation after the proposal.

    A person needs to be ALL IN for a relationship to work. I don't care if it appears clingy or needy. Maybe in the beginning stages, it shouldn't be rushed to this point, but eventually, especially if your goals are to be with your SO for the rest of your life and to start a family together, you should be conjoined into a couple. It is no longer "You and I", it is "Us". No other interests should get in the way of that connection and that connection should be deep enough to handle whatever obstacles that will enviably come. That includes dry spells in the bedroom, health issues, mental breakdowns, mid-life crises, menopause, the whole nine yards.

    If he isn't ALL in, then how do you expect him to be able to hack it? How do you expect him to think about your needs over his own when the time calls for it and vice versa?

    Seems to me he is on the fence, but the only way to know is to talk with him and if he doesn't give you a straight answer then you should know that he isn't giving you the proper dedication to "settle".

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  • Speaking as a guy, I think he's immature, he wants his piece of the cake and then some. This is what pisses me off in life, no offence to the guy you're dating but I'm 32 years old, turning 33 years old, I still look young for my age which I am grateful for, but I am about to complete law school, I cook, I clean, I am very meticulous when it comes to how to communicate with others, mend relations, pay my bills on time, stressing that education is very important, religious, I don't do stupid shit like partying/drugs/hanging with wrong crowds.

    To see a guy who is with a girl such as yourself he should be happy and give you a clear-cut answer, not some b. s shit. He should not be flirting with his ex, he should be buying her a gift, and he should cut ties with her, tell him that you don't like it. If he doesn't want to change, tell him that you are ready to end it because you have to focus on your life. Don't worry, if you leave him, I know it will hurt, I know if you do it next week or next month or next year the rush for the first few days will be -- IM GLAD he's OUT OF MY LIFE, then a few days to weeks later you may start missing him (it's human nature to miss someone) you just broke up with.

    Point is, he doesn't seem serious, what if you wait 2-3 more years from now and he doesn't commit to you. What if he's not telling you everything? What if he's actually selfish and manipulating you and 2-3 years from now this ex girlfriend comes back into the picture by moving back? You never know? I am not trying to put a seed of doubt in your mind, nor am I trying to stir the pot where you guys have a full-fledged argument. But the two of you have to sit down and talk like adults and if he can change his ways, end of the day worry about yours and may God bless you with a better guy if this guy doesn't change.

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  • Ignore whatever he *might* be doing with his ex. The fact of the matter is your ready to settle and he isn’t, if you can’t accept those terms then it’s best you two go your separate ways.

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  • This guys isn’t serious about maintaining a serious relationship. Trust me. He seems to think it’s okay to flirt with his EX. Do you Tolerate it? Maybe he knows you don’t confront him. I️ suggest you leave the relationship because he isn’t ready probably he never will be because he is doubting you and doesn’t feel comfortable with you after 3 years. Your are young and should look for a guy that care and respects your feelings and don’t waste any more time of your also doubting because your asking this question

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  • He won't settle after three years! To make matters worse, he is still communicating with his ex.

    I recommend you dump him immediately. You're devoting time and energy to him and you're not getting a return on your investment. Have you ever studied economics? Cost/benefit analysis?

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    • What the hell does 'settling' even mean? Marriage? If you're boyfriend and girlfriend, aren't you settled anyway? Why the hell does any of this even matter...

    • @Kkaos I think by settled she means it is time to move in together and devote their lives to each other.

  • I don't think you should leave him just yet... But I think you need to have a serious talk with him about what the future holds, and what role this ex really plays in his life, as he may be waiting for her to come back. "I am not ready to settle down" usually means "I don't know if you're the one," or "I am looking into my options." All that being said; he may think you're perfect but he just does not genuinely want to commit yet.

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  • Better run while you can. Odds are you will hit the wall around 30 which means you only have one long term try left.

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  • Talk to him directly if he is committed to you... i mean if he is having emotions for his ex, you will have to go through hell then but whatever it is , at least you won't have to invest 2years for him then... and i think it's completely fine about asking his emotions for ex!!

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  • Does your worry have any tangible proof?

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  • Yeah... You need someone on the same page as you. You can't say you'll be ready in two years, that's not the kind of thing you plan out. You're either ready or not and he's not. Move on.

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  • Women shoot themselves in the foot in these situations, my opinion.

    The time table that you have and the time table that is reality mismatch. Its not that your guy is screwing around wasting time. Its just pretty tough out there to settle down.

    My advice is to stick with it, but its unlikely you will if you're even asking the question.

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  • your unlikely to find a husband in two years time if you break up with him so I would wait as long as you know he's telling the truth.

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    • I didn't read the part about the ex before I would tell him to never speak with her again.

    • Why does she need to find a husband in two years time? Like is she going to die in two years?
      Better she be single and try to find someone else than be in a relationship that is going nowhere and isn't suitable. If he was serious about her he wouldn't be flirting with his ex and buying her gifts.

  • Sounds funny to me. You are exclusive correct?

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  • That means your wasting your time with him.

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  • Yeah , move on girl

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  • These are two independent things. Him not wanting to settle, (lots of men don't and just do it because a woman gives us an ultimatum... A great foundation for a relationship) so why do you want to settle?
    And him talking to his ex... Ok and?

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    • What does "settling" even mean in this context? Marriage? Or just a committed, serious relationship? Those are also totally different things.

  • That thing with his ex is concerning

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  • did he buy you a gift? seems closer to her then you.

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  • Yup leave. Looks like the break up really didn't happen.

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  • Did he get you anything or?

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  • Yeah

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  • If she ever comes back he's going to jump ship.

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  • Yes, he's better off without you.

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  • Yup..

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  • Maybe he is the type that never wants to marry.

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  • It might be time to move on.

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  • If you want to settle down, and he doesn't, then yes, you should

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  • Settle down? have you any idea how much a man loses Vs what he gains from settling down? Him saying he will settle in 2 years... is exactly what he will say after another 2 years...

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What Girls Said 26

  • Look, he's either ready or not. And he made it clear that he wants to fool around. What does he need 2 years for? That's what I would suggest you ask him? Becuase you're ready now, then find somebody else who is ready as well. It's clear that he is not that interested in you. You know your worth. So why settle for less? And he's cheating on you by doing what he's doing. End it. Don't tolerate this crap.

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  • If he's already flirted with her then why are you still with him?

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  • You been dating him for last 3 years, if this guy isn't ready to get serious about you now then he will never will and he's showing you he won't cause he's flirting it up with his ex and giving her gifts! If that door is closed then he wouldn't be speaking with her. This guy is just with you for the hell of it, until he can get back with his ex, or until someone else comes along. You wasted enough time with him and he's wasted enough of yours, its time to close the door on him if i were you.

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  • He's not over her. He's not ready to settle... with you. Which fucking sucks but he's completely wasting your time. And you deserve someone who's on the same page as you. I myself was in a similar situation, best to move on.

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    • Listen to Blonde401. You need to have a real talk with your boyfriend and let him know where you stand. This is about your future and you deserve a straight answer. I know guys hate ultimatums, and you don't have to frame it that way, but you should let him know that you want to take things to the next level and you need to know whether he is all in with you or if he is on the fence.

  • Yup. And the fact that you worry about his ex means that you yourself is scared of settling with him.

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  • How does he know that he'll be ready to settle down in two years? He can't predict that. Nobody can. The flirting with the ex is also a major red flag. I'd suggest that you move on.

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  • Ask yourself if you would get mad that he hugged his ex last week.
    If you get mad just thinking that, then you do not trust him and it’s best to not stay.
    Love has no bounds, Love doesn’t pass judgement, Love is patience and kind.
    His issues are not yours, however, because he has personal issues he does need a strong woman to help him as he deals with his issues. (Could be why me needs two years)
    In my opinion he feels that in two years he will no longer have issues that will burden the relationship or haunt it as it starts blooming into a new stable relationship.
    Men are the builders of the relationship, trust what he is doing.

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  • He sounds like a definite piece of work and even though you may not want to you're gonna have to move on. He doesn't deserve you at all and it's completely inappropriate for him to be talking to his ex, let alone flirting with her. He sounds like a complete ass and he doesn't have the mental capability to settle down because he still has the brain of a teen boy it seems

    good luck babe!

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    • That's complete crap.

      I'm in a relationship and still talk to my ex because we're friends. And flirting is subjective, what some consider flirting is just playful conversation for others.

      And what does settle down mean? If they're boyfriend and girlfriend, aren't they settled? Sure if she wants marriage and he's not ready, how the hell does that make him a 'complete ass'? Lol.

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    • Until all of a sudden you’re in bed together and the last thing on your mind is your current girlfriend.

      It’s just the way young guys are wired. If it works for you and your girlfriend, that’s just fine but it rarely works for anyone else.

    • Aha, nah. That won't be happening. We have to exercise something called self restraint. It doesn't matter how much I'd want to, I'd never do it in a million years because I'd never want to hurt someone who cares about me as much as my girlfriend does.

  • I don’t see the point in talking to him about it because all he will say is either a no (truth) or pretend he is, with maybe you convincing him then years down the line when you have a child (s) and he’s still in contact with his ex maybe even cheating on you with her... you’ll be left heartbroken and single mother. Just end it and find someone who is ready and committed to you 100%

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    • Not only that, but imagine all the time she invested in the child and him. If he runs off, she missed out on something else she could have been doing if she dumped him

  • Three years in and he isn't ready to choose you conclusively and say goodbye to her? Sorry lady, but he is not respecting your feelings at all. You deserve to have someone who is all in with you. He isn't and I don't think he's gonna be.

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  • I would end it. If he wanted to commit he wouldn't be making excuses and talking to the ex

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  • Gift for his ex? Flirting? Uh uh girl dump his ass.. you should know better girl , honestly he's better off without you.

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  • He's obviously not over his ex. He is stalling things with you because it's possible he secretly hopes he'll end up with her.

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  • He doesn't seem husband material
    Leave him asap.

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  • Why would you want to "settle" with him when he's clearly cheating on you? The questions being asked on this site these days are absolutely baffling.

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  • If he has closed the chapter, why he is still in contact with her? Buying a gift for her... puffff... Come on girl. Think and act accordingly.

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  • If you have to ask or question leaving him then you dont love him and it's time to move on. Id never even consider leaving my man

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  • Sounds like you're a hole filler until his ex comes back.

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  • I'd have a talk with him. Tell him firmly that that behavior isn't okay and makes you uncomfortable. He needs to stop flirting and if he doesn't he might just have to stop communication with her altogether for a bit. Tell him that if it doesn't stop, he won't have anyone to be with. If he wants to waste three years because he can't get over his ex then he doesn't deserve you and you need someone who can focus on you.

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  • Leave.

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  • A gift? Oh hell no. Move on.

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  • I would advise to wait. But... if he is still talking to an ex and updating her with his life than... do something about it. Maybe take this two years and make yourself better choice than her? Don't know. I wish you all goodluck ❤️

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  • 3 years is enough to tell whether to settle or not, LEAVE HIM

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  • Personally, I don't have any issues with people remaining friends with their exes. If anything, at least it shows they can cherish people who were once more than a friend are able to keep things civil (as opposed to cutting them out of their life as if they suddenly hate each other aka your possible future).

    Anyway, I would be more concerned with the fact that you spent three YEARS together and he's not ready. Not to commit or start a family nor anything else.
    The reason he said two years is maybe the fact you will be turning 30 by then... and chances are he still won't be ready.

    Actually the fact he and his ex broke up because of distance may mean he (or them?) were also not ready to take a relationship seriously.

    I'm sorry, but I think it might take him more like 8, 10 years before he decides it may be time to settle down.
    It doesn't have anything to do with you and that's exactly the point - he still doesn't know if he really wants to be with you.

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  • Leave

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  • wait for him

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