Should I continue my relationship?

I’ve been dating the same man now for over a year. We are both over 40, have our own homes and even though work is really tough right now we both have had successful careers and will again. We spend most of our free time with each other and have a great time together.

Problem 1: I want desperately to be in a committed relationship and maybe a family however, he has never spoken of wanting to have a lifetime commitment or even a committed relationship with me even though I have brought up the subject in the past. He says that he doesn’t want to date anyone else but I still can’t help but think I am just someone to spend the time with until he finds someone else or gets back on his feet economically. In past relationships being committed and thinking of a future together have be brought up by my boyfriends in the first 3-months.

Problem 2: Going out to an occasional dinner at a nice restaurant and getting nice presents on birthdays and Christmas is what makes me feel special and cherished in a relationship however, the best I ever get is Chipotle for our date dinners and gifts on the line of blankets and cheap trinkets which make me incredibly sad and left feeling that he doesn’t think I’m worth more than “cheap”. I’m not looking for someone to ‘pay the bills’ since I can easily provide for myself and don’t expect anything out of his budget. I live pretty frugal and feel that special occasions is a way to reconcile with friends and loved ones. He sometimes makes this sound when he pays for something which makes me feel very guilty for accepting that $3 beer or $5 burrito, etc. I’m tired of ordering water and off the dollar menu out of guilt. ps: I don’t want to sell him short, we do have our occasional date night and usually dinner is at his house about once a week (I usually cook all stay-at-home weekend meals at my house).

Additionally, I’m selling my home and looking for a new place to live but he has never offered his home to me short term or otherwise, even after my ex-boyfriend invited me to stay with him as a roommate and another out-of-state friend offered me a place to stay.

I just don’t know what to do with this relationship. I care deeply about him and can’t imagine not having him in my life. I just don’t know if I want to invest possibly years of my life (remember, I’m over 40), give more of my heart just to get it broken. Should I just give up and move on.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Both of you are over 40s, meaning it isn't likely that you two are newbees in relationships. You spent most of your free time together and those times were great. Both of you are highly independant, relatively baggage free individuals.

    He isn't ready to make the kind of promises you need him to make. Thousand of possible reasons. e.g.

    a). One year is too short for him to yes to spending the rest of his life with you (Valid, unless you are telepathetic or psychic, you really can't tell what is going on in another human being's head, or what emotional baggage/garbbage s/he is carrying).

    or b). He is carrying emotional baggages, unhealed wounds. "Burnt once, fear fire eternally" kind of wounds. (Invalid, it is a person's responsibility to heal him/herself of whatever open emotional wounds before getting into another relationship).

    Gifts -- both of you are frugal. Be fair. Have you sent him expensive gifts?

    Points to consider : How likely do you think you are going to find someone like that?

    Suggestion :

    Have an open, honest discussion with him. Lay all the cards on the table, faces up.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 6

  • ultimately, you will have to answer this question for yourself. in my opinion, if you are not getting what you NEED from your relationship, then it might be time to seriously evaluate it. I have made a list( I actually wrote it down) of things I NEED and things that would be NICE to have from my relationships. If the nice-to-haves aren't there but the things I need are, then I'm happy with that, but if any of the needs aren't being met, its time to move on. Hope this helps, take care

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  • It sounds like you're going to have to have a heart to heart conversation with him. Directly ask him where he sees your relationship going. Tell him that you enjoy what you have now, but you want something that has a future.

    As for your second problem, why not find a test to find out your love language and take it with him "just for fun" and compare answers? I would recommend this one link With this, you could subtly show him that you feel appreciated when he gives you gifts and, who knows! Maybe you'll learn something about him you didn't know before. :)

    Best of luck to you.

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  • Annie,

    Have you raised any of these issues to him? Told him that you want to feel special and cherished? I know you shouldn't have to ask for these things but some blokes have no idea and he thinking that what he does is enough for you. It sounds like you need to communicate your needs to him, don't keep these things to yourself as they will eat away at you. Give him the chance to respond to how you feel and if there is no improvement then you'll have to re-evaluate.

    He sounds quite unthoughtful and certainly needs a kick up the arse in that respect. A man should want to spoil the woman he loves and make her feel appreciated.

    As for your different views on what you want out of the relationship, it's a tough call really. Unless you can compromise someone is going to be getting a raw deal. You need to talk with him about it. If you come up against a brick wall then ask yourself again about moving on.

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  • breaks down like this... you have a need and he can't fulfill it, if you stay with him the need won't go away and still remain un-fulfilled .. break it off. Your never gonna find what you need if you don't make room for it.

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  • he does not seem a safe vessel to trust for a ocean voyage

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  • I can't believe he didn't offer you his place to stay at . You sound like quite a catch and at least deserve the offer

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What Girls Said 19

  • There is only one answer for all of this, you are dating a guy who is just enjoying your companionship for now, but does not see you as relationship material. He may not see anyone as relationship material and this is no reflection on you, but he is clearly not acting like a guy in love.

    I have dated quite a bit in the last 2 years and I, too, am in my 40's. I have found without a doubt, that a guy who is really in to me will make sure to do things to keep me. Now, they may all have their different takes on this, but they definitely don't make me feel guilty when they ask me out for dinner or lunch, they definitely DO make sure to lock me down into a relationship within months of dating each other and they most certainly would offer to have me live with them or help me in any way they were capable of.

    I had to remind myself of this when I have dated guys who have shown lukewarm interest in me. I would just reflect back on what any guy I was in a serious relationship did when we were courting, and I would realize the guy I was with was not showing that interest and I needed to move on and free myself up to meet a guy who was in to me.

    I think it is time for you to move on and open yourself up for Mr. Right, instead of Mr. Okay.

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  • He likes you a lot but not in the way youd liked too in that, he wants a long term relationship in with some kids on the side. This guy likes you a lot but ironically, if you think about it...someone that cares, likes, and trusts someone will in no doubt let them in to their home. So which one is he not getting from you? Well you don't have to hang out to find out, because your right in that you don't have time to put your heart at risk if it doesn't belong with that man.

    So first of all, no human being can read others mind, so if you and this man have a concrete relationship where there can be free talk without consequence tell him how you feel, not what you think and why and where and how no just simply .. how you feel. See his reaction or better yet, the action he takes in understanding and considering your feelings and that same week him changing a little for you, making an effort to make both of you happy and satisfied. Because he has a career of his own like you, so both of you are independent and in your 40s so its hard to change a person like that, even though your not completely changing him, your trying to see here if he at least considers your feelings and being.

    Second, if the first scenario ain't there because you feel your crossing the line or thres no time for feelings and fear of loss of a relationship then continue with your life by making plans of your future, where you'll be applying and where you would like to live for the next five to ten years. What I'm saying is to stop focusing on 'should I tell him...should I tell him not...am I crossing the line...what do I do?!' and rather start thinking about 'where would I like to live?...what's my next move to my career?...what are my goals?' you see, if you focus too much on him, your going to simply end up with a headache, or become a nightmare for him by showing fear and maybe some desperation which is a run for your life flag to any man, so focus on your life, and if his the right man for you, then he'll have to find room on your busy schedule because you have a lot of work to do other then imagining the unknown.

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  • You said you don't want to invest possibly years of your life with this kind of relatiohip. From a woman to another. THEN DON'T! I will share with you as I have shared with another woman on the message board with a similiar situation. Men don't stay where there needs aren't being met. Meaning they are not necessarily going to cry over us long, beg us long or even stay long. However, it is women that will stay where their needs arent' being me.

    He knows what you want, but it isn't what he want. So his need is to treat your relationship like a loose garment. Get it, put you on and take you off so he can remain free. If a man has not given you a title. Then he has no intentions of making a committment. Plain and simple. Any guy that reads my next statement will tell you. If I guy really loves you or want you he is either going to call you his, girlfriend, fiance or his wife. You know why cause it is not only letting you know that you are the one and only for him. But it is a big signal message to others guys, she's mine fellas so back off. It's kind of like, his print of love is on you and if any fella thinkin about pulling you, you now have the title that allows him to say. " Oh that my girlfriend or that's my soon to be wife. He will do whatever it takes to keep you. This man you are with is comfortable. And yes when we get in our 40's we do get settled and have lived life enough to know what we want and don't want. He got this he got that. This man is not looking to be tied down. Don't be available, become unavailable and settle within your mind, you have no title with this man. You are an associate, not a friend. Cause friends keep it real. Take it from me, to say move on is a big step. But I know what it is like to have a ripped heart, and wait on a man to prove himself. As women the wait is too long for these stagnant dudes. Because of my lesson learned experiences they don't call me wisdom for nothing. I earned it.

    Prepare your heart to move on, or you will be sending in this same email problem with him at 60 years old. As Maya Angelo says, When a person shows you who they are believe them. Believe he is not the one for you girl. You are in your prime 40's And you don't have to move in with a man to keep one. Men get too much from us for free. Some may say, that's old fashion. But that's a bunch of intimidation to tell me that. For instance, why move in with him and do free cooking, free sex, fee laundry. Didn't Beyonce say, " if you want it you should put a ring on it. If he needs a license to drive his car, a deed to own his house, Then he needs a paper to have you.

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  • I think you already know the answer... If you weigh the positives and negatives, the negatives are a lot more pronounced. It is tough but you should start to imagine not having him in your life and find someone whe treats you the way you would like to be treated. In addition, he is not making any moves to indicate that he is committede either. Since, you do have strong feelings for this guy it will hurt you more each time he does not do something the way you want. It is so difficult to break -up and move on, but sometimes it is the only solution. Try to talk to him about it and see if anything changes, if not this guy maybe holding you from meeting someone really nice. Think about you first, be compassionate and treat yourself the way you want others to treat you... all the best,

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  • I am in my 40s and have already had my kids. I can only imagine the sheer pressure at this age if you're feeling the bio clock ticking and yet the relationship isn't progressing.

    If you are really wanting the family, you need to talk to him NOW. It is a tough conversation to have, because so much is riding on his answer. But he's got to have a position at this point, does he want to have kids, or not. And further, does he want to have a life with you, or are you just a detour on his journey of life.

    You are looking for signs that this guy is thinking of you as The One, and you aren't seeing it. You are taking his cheap dinner dates as a sign that you aren't all that important to him, but really that's just the kind of guy he is (cheap). Unless of course he's treating himself to steak dinner on Tuesday, and then Chipolte's for you on Wednesday.

    I'd say, muster up the courage and ask him how he feels about the relationship. Good luck!

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  • The best thing to do is sit down and communicate to each other and for you to tell him what your problems are.

    If this does have any affect on to the way he acts and treats you, I advise to not stay in the relationship unless that is what you want to do your entire relationship.

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  • When it all comes down to it, dear, maybe a good conversation may answer your problems. However, you definitely do not wan't to bombard him and make him feel as if your putting him on the spot. Maybe bringing the topic up lightly over dinner. Be sure to not let your emotions show too much, Of course you want to tell him how you feel, but don't throw yourself at him. Just ease it on him. Also, be sure to gently let him know that you want commitment but aren't begging for it, because you can do bad all by yourself ; ) Letting a man know you really want him can come off as begging to him, and they are all masters at playing hard to get. Don't let him take control of the conversation or situation. Good luck!

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  • Sounds to me like you already have your answer... come on, you're not 4... you're 40. Get your little girl off your brain and put on your big girl hat.

    At our age, we already KNOW what's wrong. We usually know how to fix it.

    If he's that selfish, making sounds because he spends money? wtf is that? childish immature charm that for some reason you thought was "cute" ?

    He doesn't want you to date other people but he doesn't want to buy the cow either. What's up with that?

    Chances are, if you're feeling that he's just passing the time, that's just what it is. We women are quite intuitive but we get our emotions into it and f*ck ourselves up. Don't do it!

    I'd say pass on this guy. Find someone who can't get enough of you. And stop making you feel guilty!

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  • i'm really sorry so saying the way I will, but in todays society 40 is the new 20 so I'm not going to sugar coat anything, he's an unneeded expense, dump his ass.

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  • I'M REALLY NOT IN THE POSITION TO GIVE ADVICE CONSIDERING I'M ONLY 20 AND NEVER BEEN THERE, BUT A POSSIBLE OPINION MAY HELP...I SAY TALK TO HIM AND IF YOU HAVE AND HE HASN'T GONE FOR IT, GIVE IT UP. IF YOU'RE OVER 40 AND YOU WANT CHILDREN, IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO HAVE CHILDREN EVEN OVER 35 . I THINK THAT HE WANTS THE "COMPANIONSHIP" TO KEEP HIM FROM BEING LONELY BUT NOT THE ACTUAL "COMMITTMENT". AS FAR AS THE "GIFT" SITUATION, HE MAY JUST BE BEING FRUGLE AS WELL, BECAUSE HE MAY NOT KNOW HOW LONG HE'LL BE OUT OF WORK AND WANTS TO MAKE WHAT HE HAS LAST. THAT MAY ALSO BE WHY HE HASN'T SUGGESTED MOVING IN TOGETHER. I DON'T EXACTLY KNOW THE "FINANCIAL SITUATION" BUT HE COULD FEEL AS IF HE WOULDN'T HAVE ENOUGH TO PROVIDE IF HE MADE THE DECISION FOR YA'LL TO LIVE TOGETHER. JUST OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD THOUGHTS :) HOPE THEY HELP!

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  • My personal opinion is to find somone else unless he sorts out his act! He issn't giving you what you want! You can do better then that. My parents went through the same thing and broke in the end as my mum wanted to move on as my dad wern't giving her any more children. Well that's my opinion, help it helped.

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  • Wow wilth all the hints and information you have given him and his lack of a positive response would sure lead me to believe that I'm waisting precious time with this guy.

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  • Open yourself up to dating other men, keep dating him, too. Tell him you think you should see other people, not that you're ending anything but you deserve to not have your time wasted. It's putting yourself FIRST; value your needs/wants. I read "Kissing or No Kissing" by Flechelle Morin, she was brilliant - she said to be upfront, stand up for youself, be polite & gracious, don't get attached until you know the man has similar goals as you do, etc. Easier said than done but it sure puts a perspective on things.

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  • I agree with both of the users before me. It seems from the way he's acting that he's not serious about this relationship or you. If he was he'd start thinking about those long-term plans for your future together and he isn't, or he's just ignoring it which can be just as bad. Honestly if I were you I'd just sit him down and say hey we've been together a while, I feel like we should be taking the next step sometime soon and you're not acting like you want to. If he decides he does/doesn't want to then its up to you to end or continue the relationship. Good luck, and remember you're worth more than that.

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  • Oh my God, we need to talk. I can't believe I found someone in such a similar situation. I am on facebook and also yahoo. email address is complicatedtina@ yahoo.com and I'm 44 girl, so I know what you mean. No time to waste now, we are headed down the hill, not up anymore. I'm getting the same feelings too, like we have agreed not to see other people, that's our commitment, nothing else. No future plans, won't move in together, knows I need a place to go soon and no offer, feel like I might be wasting another few years, ect. Maybe we can help each other with this. I'm also in school majoring in psychology, marriage & family therapy, ha! imagine that. Help everyone but myself...lol Please contact me, ok;-)

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  • life is about choices..then pick the right ones. Don't let him ruin your life.

    Stop seeing him, go dates with other guys..Find the guy who is willing to commit. If this commitment matters to you.

    Good luck!

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  • Annie sweetie,

    Have you tried talking to him at all? Maybe he doesn't know how you feel about your relationship and if you just talked he would understand. You should also try asking him where he sees your relationship in the future, he may be very important in your life but if he is not ready to commit than I think you need to look somewhere else, but of course make sure of anything before making decisions and good luck.

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  • no

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  • I really think you need to move on and end the relationship. He doesn't seem very serious about you and you already know this because you've listed the reasons. You aren't exclusive, which at your age, commitment should really be discussed when you've got lives going on. Also, you say that you aren't being treated the way you want to be. There's no romance. You deserve to be in a relationship where the man will feel lucky to be with you and vice-versa. I say you need to give him an ultimatum but be prepared if he does not want to get serious.

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