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Discussing the future

(59 Posts)
realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 19:40:48

I am feeling very anxious and not really myself at the moment - mainly due to covid restrictions lasting so long/missing my old life and unhappiness in my job, and these anxieties seem to be transferring onto my relationship, so I just want to write my concerns/worries here.

Bf and I have been together 18 months. He very much values his independence and doesn't like to feel suffocated by friends/family/me so he needs quite a lot of space. I need space too (although not quite as much as him) so that works well really. We see each other twice a week and phone/text in the meantime. We aren't ready to live together yet - he lives an hour away from me and I have just bought my first house and would like some time in it myself first. I have only recently started to properly understand him and feel settled in the relationship - it feels like after a year now we are no longer on our best behaviour which is actually a good thing - the relationship feels settled and relaxed.

He is pretty disorganised and lives day to day whereas I am much more organised and think about the future a lot. It has always been me to be the one to initiate conversations about the future and he gives me an answer of 'I wouldn't be with you now if I didn't think there was a future', and we talk about marriage and kids in general (we both want them) but not specifically with each other.

I guess I'm concerned because I feel like at this point we should have made some kind of commitment to each other that this is what we are working towards? Or should I just accept it as tacit as he said he wouldn't be with me if he didn't see a future?

I suppose I am looking for reassurance from him but also don't want to rush the relationship or suffocate him. It is only recently that it has started to bother me and is probably related to the anxieties in the other areas of my life.

I am 30 and aware that I have a time limit for having kids too (due to previous health issues it will probably take me a while to conceive) so this is partly driving my anxieties.

Should I expect him/ask him to explicitly commit? Does anyone have any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
sunnydays78 Sun 20-Sep-20 19:50:33

I think after 18 months these are reasonable conversations to have.
It all seems very non comital. You say neither of you are ready to live together yet. To me it seems your way off that- you only see each other twice a week.

realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 22:16:17

sunnydays78

I think after 18 months these are reasonable conversations to have.
It all seems very non comital. You say neither of you are ready to live together yet. To me it seems your way off that- you only see each other twice a week.

How do you suggest we move forward? When I say twice a week, it is one evening during the week and 1 day/night at the weekends (sometimes two). At the moment with our jobs being in different places it's difficult to do more than that. What should I be asking for at this stage?

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Plesky Sun 20-Sep-20 22:20:34

Honestly, neither of you sound all that committed, or potentially-committed, to the other. What you describe — two independent-minded people who need a lot o space — sounds absolutely fine if this was the way you wanted to go on, if you didn’t want cohabitation, marriage and children. Do you even want to live with him?

realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 22:28:17

Plesky

Honestly, neither of you sound all that committed, or potentially-committed, to the other. What you describe — two independent-minded people who need a lot o space — sounds absolutely fine if this was the way you wanted to go on, if you didn’t want cohabitation, marriage and children. Do you even want to live with him?

Eventually I would like to live with him but that is more for the purposes of raising a family than anything else! What we do at the moment works well for now but I do worry about the future and moving in together, especially as he hasn't lived with anyone else for 11 years and I wonder if he would struggle to adjust.

Is it possible for 2 independent people who need space to come together as I would like?

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peakotter Sun 20-Sep-20 22:32:01

I’m afraid you sound more like you’re in your early 20s, and as you say, time pressure is more urgent in your 30s. Do you have similar dreams? Lifestyles? At this stage in your relationship you could be discussing future dreams quite a lot and actually working towards them too. When I was dating Dh we lived in different cities but still made plans. For a start try weekends together, chatting about where you’d like to live and what lifestyle you’d like with kids, maybe some rightmove browsing. If this scares him off then I’d consider moving on.

Cherrylipbalm Sun 20-Sep-20 22:32:05

Eventually I would like to live with him but that is more for the purposes of raising a family than anything else!

hmm
So you only want to live with him if/when you want to raise a family and that's the only reason?
Maybe you haven't worded it very well.

realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 22:33:57

Should I have a burning desire to move in with him? Many of the couples I know have moved in together out of necessity or convenience eg one's lease was up and it made sense to move in with their SO rather than share with randomers, one happened to get a job nearby, they couldn't both afford to live separately etc whereas we don't have that need as we both own our properties.

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realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 22:39:27

peakotter

I’m afraid you sound more like you’re in your early 20s, and as you say, time pressure is more urgent in your 30s. Do you have similar dreams? Lifestyles? At this stage in your relationship you could be discussing future dreams quite a lot and actually working towards them too. When I was dating Dh we lived in different cities but still made plans. For a start try weekends together, chatting about where you’d like to live and what lifestyle you’d like with kids, maybe some rightmove browsing. If this scares him off then I’d consider moving on.

We have similar attitudes towards important things like family and finances and I suppose our lifestyles are similar - we both enjoy fitness, seeing friends etc. We do make medium term plans together, go away on holiday together etc, it's just the longer term things we don't discuss.

I feel in some ways that we are still building our relationship as it was only a few months ago that he was able to let his guard down and be open and vulnerable with me so I wonder if it will just take more time to be comfortable discussing long-term future plans. I think you're right that I probably need to have a conversation with him but as he is a very 'go with the flow' and 'live in the moment' kind of person I'm not sure he will understand where I am coming from. I have told him in the past that I would like to start trying for children in the next few years and that didn't seem to scare him off but equally we haven't discussed it since....

OP’s posts: |
realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 22:39:56

He has said he sees a future with me, but only when I have asked.

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realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 22:41:38

Cherrylipbalm

*Eventually I would like to live with him but that is more for the purposes of raising a family than anything else!*

hmm
So you only want to live with him if/when you want to raise a family and that's the only reason?
Maybe you haven't worded it very well.

At the moment I enjoy the fact that we have time apart because it means I look forward to seeing him. I worry that the relationship could lose its spark if we are together all the time if that makes sense? I guess I also have concerns about how he would cope having me around all the time when he is so used to his own company and way of doing things.

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blisstwins Sun 20-Sep-20 22:50:31

Why don’t you spend the whole weekend together?
Age 30 and 18 months in? If you want children I would not invest much more than 6 months without making some decisions. It’s not that everything needs to be settled now, but you both seem relatively satisfied with SQ.

realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 23:01:31

blisstwins

Why don’t you spend the whole weekend together?
Age 30 and 18 months in? If you want children I would not invest much more than 6 months without making some decisions. It’s not that everything needs to be settled now, but you both seem relatively satisfied with SQ.

Because we need to make time for our friends and, as we live an hour apart, we need to be in our own areas for this. We do do things with friends in couples but it's also nice to have one-on-one time with said friends, and I have friends who are single who wouldn't appreciate me bringing him along as a third wheel.

I am happy with SQ for now, but I don't want it to be like this forever...maybe I need to explain this to him and properly spell it out. I'm not seeing him until Thursday so I think I will have to do it over the phone as I don't want to wait that long really. What do you think?

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Plesky Sun 20-Sep-20 23:14:41

It just sounds rather programmatic to me — you really don’t want to live with him by the sound of things, and he’s equally not keen, but you seem to see it as an inevitable requirement for having children together, but all he’s said/done on the subject in 18 months is not actually run away screaming when you brought it up? If you don’t really want to live with him, do you really want children with him?

It’s just reminding me of a couple I know, where he refused to live with his longterm, long-distance partner, citing his job (though he never looked for another closer to her) and that his parents wouldn’t like him living with someone without being married (he was over 30 and his parents lived in another country and never visited!) So they only actually lived together after they married, in order to have children, and it was a predictable clusterfuck — now they’re divorced at his instigation, and he’s reverted to the solitary lifestyle he should probably never have left, and largely left her with their children despite being technically 50/50.

realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 23:29:09

Plesky

It just sounds rather programmatic to me — you really don’t want to live with him by the sound of things, and he’s equally not keen, but you seem to see it as an inevitable requirement for having children together, but all he’s said/done on the subject in 18 months is not actually run away screaming when you brought it up? If you don’t really want to live with him, do you really want children with him?

It’s just reminding me of a couple I know, where he refused to live with his longterm, long-distance partner, citing his job (though he never looked for another closer to her) and that his parents wouldn’t like him living with someone without being married (he was over 30 and his parents lived in another country and never visited!) So they only actually lived together after they married, in order to have children, and it was a predictable clusterfuck — now they’re divorced at his instigation, and he’s reverted to the solitary lifestyle he should probably never have left, and largely left her with their children despite being technically 50/50.

I don't know...our relationship has moved at a relatively slow pace I suppose but we have both been happy with that. With my deep seated fear of rejection and his desire for independence, it was only 3 months ago that I had a serious conversation with him about whether he saw a future in our relationship and I suppose my reluctance to move in is based on a fear that it won't work and that he will end it (thereby rejecting me)

I do feel that he is committed to the relationship to an extent as I have brought up (trivial) issues in the past and he has worked hard to amend/modify his behaviour.

I think I will have a conversation with him along the lines of 'I feel very settled and happy in this relationship but I am concerned that we don't talk about the future. You know I would like marriage and children in the next few years but we don't talk about the future and what that might look like for us. We have talked in general about marriage and children before but is that something you want with me?'

OP’s posts: |
realist252 Sun 20-Sep-20 23:30:37

He finds it hard to talk about emotions and feelings so I think I will introduce the idea over the phone and then we can talk about it face to face when we see each other. What do you think?

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Plesky Sun 20-Sep-20 23:34:20

Do you love him, OP? This honestly sounds more like Brexit negotiations than a relationship in its initial flush of love/ lust stage.

Honeyroar Sun 20-Sep-20 23:35:49

When he says he sees a future with you, perhaps ask him how he sees it happening? I personally don’t think that this sounds like a forever love. It sounds more “ok for now”. Neither of you are putting much priority on the relationship and spending time with each other. You almost sound like you like being apart more..

SausageSimon Sun 20-Sep-20 23:59:27

I think you're right in your response to Plesky, you need to be more direct and talk about specifics.
Your relationship does sound steady away but who's to say that's a bad thing?

See what he says OP and take it from there, you both sound really lovely and quite sensible

I have a new boyfriend and we're spending a lot of time together so I have the opposite of some of your worries! All relationships are different and I really hope things work out for you both

realist252 Mon 21-Sep-20 00:01:37

Plesky

Do you love him, OP? This honestly sounds more like Brexit negotiations than a relationship in its initial flush of love/ lust stage.

yes I do, and I absolutely love being with him. I currently have my 'practical head' on, but yes I absolutely do. He has many good qualities - he's wonderfully funny and supportive and we get on well. He makes a big effort with my friends and family and is very affectionate and always tells me that I look nice, that I'm pretty etc. I appreciate that this all seems a bit cold from the way I am describing it but if I let emotion get in the way it may cloud my thoughts and cause me to end up staying longer than I should if, indeed, he is unable to commit to a future with me.

OP’s posts: |
realist252 Mon 21-Sep-20 00:04:09

SausageSimon

I think you're right in your response to Plesky, you need to be more direct and talk about specifics.
Your relationship does sound steady away but who's to say that's a bad thing?

See what he says OP and take it from there, you both sound really lovely and quite sensible

I have a new boyfriend and we're spending a lot of time together so I have the opposite of some of your worries! All relationships are different and I really hope things work out for you both

Thank you, 'steady' is a very good way to describe our relationship and actually 'sensible' is a very accurate way of describing us both! I do think there is no 'one size fits all' - one woman I know met and married her husband within 10 months, and 5 years later they are still happily together.

I am going to broach the conversation with him tomorrow...please keep your fingers crossed for me.

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realist252 Mon 21-Sep-20 00:05:31

SausageSimon

I think you're right in your response to Plesky, you need to be more direct and talk about specifics.
Your relationship does sound steady away but who's to say that's a bad thing?

See what he says OP and take it from there, you both sound really lovely and quite sensible

I have a new boyfriend and we're spending a lot of time together so I have the opposite of some of your worries! All relationships are different and I really hope things work out for you both

and all the best for your new relationship!

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Time2change2 Mon 21-Sep-20 00:20:30

The thing is it doesn’t sound like you’ve been swept off your feet in the first stages of a new romance? I mean, everyone is different I guess but often when new relationships start, you can’t get enough of each other when falling in love.
If you are in love and lust with someone, why don’t you want to be with them more than twice a week if it’s possible?
Also it sounds like you are treading on eggshells a bit, not wanting to upset him or worried he will break up with you over something you say? If you are in love with each other then talking and saying stuff shouldn’t be a problem really?
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but if I’m in love with someone and then with me, I want them to want me around a lot!
If you are sure you want children, then yes you need to start pushing it along a bit and find out if you are really both on the same page

realist252 Mon 21-Sep-20 00:47:08

Time2change2

The thing is it doesn’t sound like you’ve been swept off your feet in the first stages of a new romance? I mean, everyone is different I guess but often when new relationships start, you can’t get enough of each other when falling in love.
If you are in love and lust with someone, why don’t you want to be with them more than twice a week if it’s possible?
Also it sounds like you are treading on eggshells a bit, not wanting to upset him or worried he will break up with you over something you say? If you are in love with each other then talking and saying stuff shouldn’t be a problem really?
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but if I’m in love with someone and then with me, I want them to want me around a lot!
If you are sure you want children, then yes you need to start pushing it along a bit and find out if you are really both on the same page

As aforementioned, I am trying to be realistic and pragmatic about this and not let emotions get in the way.

My boyfriend and I are both quite guarded, boundaried people and only recently have we really been able to let each other in. It has taken a long time for us to get to that point of being comfortable with each other - not through any fault of the other, just due to residual childhood issues. We are still learning about each other.

I have explained further up the thread that it is not really possible for us to see each other more than twice a week at the moment due to the distance and work commitments but the time we have together is lovely and always enjoyable.

My plan is to talk to him tomorrow...I know we are on the same page re children and marriage in general but I need to know he wants them with me. I think I am treading on eggshells because I know he finds these conversations difficult so I worry about how to approach them. I want to make sure he feels comfortable.

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OldWomanSaysThis Mon 21-Sep-20 02:18:59

It just sounds like you all are just dating and not integrated in each other's lives at all. It doesn't seem to be progressing.

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