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New relationship..?(37 Posts)
What would expect a normal, healthy relationship to look like at around the 8 month mark?
Met in real life through friends, neither of us were on dating apps or anything. We're in our 40s/50s.
I guess it's a bit different now due to lockdown, not being able to plan days out anywhere exciting.
But In a normal world I would expect to see them at least once/ twice a week, stay over at each other's houses, start to meet family members? plan a short trip away, daily communication. It's going to be different for other people of course. Are you happy how things are going?
Their friends and family know about you and vice versa. You've met some of them, as has he.
You stay near enough each other to see one another as much as you both want. Neither party feels either smothered or, like an afterthought.
You may be planning a holiday together.
Discussion about what you both want for the future (as individuals) will have been had to see that your individual goals are compatable. Eg: where you both want to live in future and whether or not either party wants to marry in future ect...
Boundaries will be established and respected.
Compromises come easy in times of disagreement.
Arguments are minimal and never/very rarely heated. And always dealt with without resulting in silent treatment or stonewalling.
Similar sex drives.
Thank you. That's really helpful.
Much of this applies. He's met a few of my friends. He was quite keen to introduce me to his. I'd met many of them within the first 3 months whereas I waited longer and I've only just started introducing him to my oldest and closest friends. My children have met him (mid teens and early 20s) three or four times. They really like him. He makes an effort with them - to include them and talk to them. He remembers what they have told him and he asks about them.
We see each other a couple of times a week and are in touch most days - which suits us both but don't speak daily. We're both busy and have stuff going on.
We've had some quite heated debates about topics we disagree on but it's been very respectful. He's never belittled my position or carried it on. And we've not argued about anything.
We share chores equally when we're together and he's not once criticised me about anything at all. He's disagreed with me on occasion but, again, very respectfully.
He doesn't have a bad word to say about anyone, tries to be a decent person and do the right thing.
He made an effort to come to something I'd arranged with some friends of mine even though it was (genuinely) difficult for him to do so. He doesn't want to hurt or upset me - I can tell that. Thee have been a couple of times when I've done things that 'bothered' him but he didnt say anything and 'sucked it up' until I brought it up. But even then, he didnt make a big deal about it.
He respects my boundaries completely.
In pretty much every respect, he's the 'best' man I've dated in a very long time (talking 20+ years) but I can't shake the feeling that something isn't right.
He's reluctant to talk about 'us'. Whenever I've brought 'us' up (probably only 2 or 3 times), he's very reassuring but in a way that kind of shuts the conversation down. He's been hurt in the past (nothing major I don't think) and he's quite emotionally reserved. I don't have a clue what he thinks about me (I can't say how he 'feels' because I don't really get the impression that he 'feels' anything).
I've had a lot of bad relationships filled with disrespect and 'lovebombing' but this feels almost the opposite! Loads of respect but none of the 'emotional'stuff at all.
It feels like he is very interested in absolutely everyone except for me. But i don't know if I'm just looking for problems...
Oh, I would expect for someone after 8 months to know how they feel, no one wants to rush to say I love you but it is hard to keep it back for too long
Has he discussed any plans he would like to do in the future as a couple?
If not this could be because he can't see one.
Quite understand you don't want to pressure him but not knowing where you stand emotionally with him is important for you.
I think you will have to raise the subject and go from there.
It's hard at the moment to make plans but we've got a few things pencilled in for when lockdown is over. He doesn't talk about the future at all really - not in terms of anything.
You're right. If he doesn't see a future either because I'm not right for him or it's just not what he's looking for generally, then, yes, I'd like to know.
I want a proper relationship and I don't want to get in any deeper unless it's worth it.
I spent the weekend with him and we had a nice time meeting up with friends for the first time in months and I saw him mid week with some of my friends. On both occasions I 'missed' him as soon as he left, which I havent felt before so clearly I'm developing feelings for him. And my children like him. So, in both counts, I don't want it to go any further if he's got one foot out of the relationship already.
I've had pretty poor relationships historically and I dont want to waste my time on another.
I feel like he says and does a lot of the right things but I don't sense any 'warmth' from him.
Not towards me anyway. He's very warm towards others. Including my children.
What are the things you have done that have "bothered him" and how have you come to be aware of them to bring them up afterwards? That sounds quite concerning to me.
Do you know his full saying history? Had he been married before ?
You say he has never been hurt in that regard before, but could it be he has and it's just too painful to discuss ? He sounds like a lovely man, but obviously something is holding him back slightly, or perhaps he just not give 100% of him into a relationship.
What are the things you have done that have "bothered him" and how have you come to be aware of them to bring them up afterwards?
Nothing major. I have some 'quirks' due to abuse in the past. I have to know someone really well before I invite them into my home. He still hadn't been into mine whilst I had a toothbrush etc at his. The fact he'd brought me into his life - to meet his friends and share his interests whereas I'd kept him more distant from mine. He didn't say a word about it until I said that some people found me a bit 'odd' at times and he was relieved that it's just the way I am rather than being personal to him.
I know of his one major long term relationship and what went wrong with that. He's owned his part in it and was at pains to not criticise her. He spoke about her very respectfully too but they were clearly mismatched. He was very honest about it tbh.
I just have no idea whether he is keeping me at an emotional distance because he wants to be certain and not rush into anything or because he doesn't see me as a long term prospect for whatever reason. I can understand why his experience with his ex would make him hesitant in respect of the former. But I can also see why I might not be a long term prospect for him.
He was single for several years before we got together.
He sounds lovely. I'm honestly not sure what the problem is.
You say you have some quirks and you've had bad relationships in the past that have made you bit vary. Then you go on to say similar about him but that's a problem?
It's only 8 months he is entitled to hold
Some of himself back. It's self protection.
I think you are maybe overthinking it a bit. 8 months isn’t that long, particularly for people who have had the pain of divorce to go through. I’d just see how it develops and if after day another 4 months, you feel the same then you need a discussion. He may just not be a very emotional person and struggles with that side of things. Easy to do it with other people but not necessarily with the person you are with.
I think I just want to know whether he's open to a longterm relationship and sees potential with me or whether he's already got one foot out of the door so to speak.
Those would be very different scenarios and, whilst I'd be happy to continue in one, I wouldn't in the other.
I think you are maybe overthinking it a bit
But I do think it's important to know if you're in the same place in terms of what you want. If he already knows he doesn't want something long term or would be open to it but just not with me, I'd rather know.
Tough one for you to call them as I don’t think these feelings/concerns will go away for you and I can’t see him declaring his love and future plans in the short term so you will have to bring it up if it bothers you that much and when he shuts the conversation down, you need to keep it open until you find out what his plans are.
Personally I would say his actions are demonstrating that he is in it for the longer term.
I have recently come out of a 22 month "relationship". We got on great. He was so kind. We went away together and had a lot of fun. But I always felt something was missing. And told him so. When he talked about his future I wasn't in it. He broke up with me in the end as he felt I wanted more than he could give. I was really upset but I can see now it was the right thing. I've been reading all sorts of self help books to get me through it. This one has helped me realise why we weren't suited and you might find it useful -
One thing I've realised is that if has really into me he'd have made that emotional effort. I honestly think you should have a long hard look at what you have. You won't change him. And you shouldn't change for him. He might tick a lot of boxes, but if someone doesn't meet and understand your emotional needs then they are not worth the effort.
Have you asked him how he feels?
I’m 8/9 months into a new relationship. We see each other every day, he tells me he loves me and opens up emotionally all the time, he has opened up the conversation on marriage and our futures etc. I feel completely secure, because he backs up words with actions.
We have occasional wobbles, all managed amicably.
He was keen to introduce me to everyone in his life.
After 8 months I've moved in- with lockdown it made sense. Introduced to kids after a couple of weeks which is fast but they are adults l, parents after 6 weeks. Not getting any younger so why wait? Worst case scenario is we split up but want to have fun now. Wasted too much time already on exh and trying to stay married I'm now making up for lost time (thanks to covid somewhat restrained).
We went on holiday after 3 months (just in time) I wanted to spend an extended period before thinking about living together!
I'm 9 months into a relationship, all of what you have described (aside from the niggles) is very similar to my situation, we are late 40s/early 50s. We are on the same level for pretty much everything and haven't disagreed on many issues at all. He was single longer than I had been and when we both met (through friends). We both acknowledged we had been happy as single people and relationships didn't define who we are. I feel this is the healthiest relationship I've been in after a dysfunctional marriage and an abusive long term relationship after that.
We live 2 hours away from each other, so through lockdown we didn't see each other for 11 weeks. However, we have never had a day since meeting when we haven't been in contact. We chat/message every day, he's met the important people in my life and likewise I have met his. We have 3 holidays planned for next year and he talks a lot about the future and retirement. He is very open emotionally and is solid and dependable. I can imagine a great future with him and hope that it does happen. He says he is very sure and certain about 'us', I am too and the only BUT is the fact I have been in an abusive relationship in the past, so I'm hyper aware of red flags and often worry something will crop up. He always follows through with things he does/says/plans so do feel secure and trust him. He is fully aware that after my back history of relationships, I will not tolerate shitty behaviour and would walk at the first sign of a red flag.
In your situation, I would honestly give it until a year and if you still don't feel things are balanced or no future discussed, then it is time to reassess. I would think after a year you would both have an idea on whether next steps should be taken. I'm not talking marriage or living together in an imminent time frame, but at least of talking about a plan for the future.
* keeping me at an emotional distance because he wants to be certain and not rush into anything or because he doesn't see me as a long term prospect for whatever reason.*
There are other possibilities, such as he really, really likes you, sees you as quite the prize and doesn't want to scare you off.
I know I am projecting here from my own case. The things that suggest it to me are that you were keeping a 'toothbrush at his place' which to me says 'we are a couple ' before he had even seen your place. That suggests to me that he is being more open, you are being more cautious. The other 'sign' is that he shows interest in your family and friends.
However, signs are only indicators, what matters is that you can have an open and honest conversation, finding a balance between being and emotional wreck and completely buttoned up.
Basically, in your shoes I would start a conversation in very neutral terms about what you think you might be seeing. And then really listen to what he says.
Please don't wait a year before talking to him. Good luck.
You admit you've kept him at a distance - haven't had him in your house even though you've stayed at his etc and say this is a quirk of yours. Maybe he's just protecting himself as he senses your distance. You can't expect him to be entirely emotionally open with you if he's not getting the same back from you.
I'm really pleased I posted! You've given me some real food for thought here.
Clearly my previous experiences have given me such a negative filter that I hadn't really been able to see it from his perspective or to see that there might be a 'positive' reason.
I have found the contradictions quite confusing. He has made a real effort with my friends and my children (I don't have any other family) but I need to consider all of his actions and not just the ones I'm uncertain about.
I think it is worth talking to him about it. I don't have a very positive relationship history at all and just feel a bit out of my depth as much as anything.
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