My boyfriend and I have been dating for four years. When we met he had just come out of a five-year relationship and I had just gotten divorced ( I am 30 and he is 37). In the beginning (the first year or so), things were casual and I was OK with the pace things were moving at. We both got more and more involved and now we have a great relationship, one that I am overall very happy in. The only problem is that at this point I am MORE than ready to live together and he is not. He is not financially stable (he’s in real estate, and we all know how that’s been lately) and he INSISTS on being on his feet financially before we make that step.
We finally had it out a few months ago… I said that I had no time line whatsoever for living together and that it made me mad that, to some extent, I felt it was a stalling tactic on his part, and that if he did not see us ever having that kind of relationship then I needed to know so I could move on. He said that it was not a stalling tactic at all, but since neither one of us is interested in marriage that living together basically would be the final step we could take, and he did not want to do that until he knew he could “provide like a man is supposed to.” He went on to say that he felt like 12 months of financial stability was a reasonable time frame for him to feel comfortable and that when he hit that mark we would live together, no questions asked.
I feel like his sense of responsibility is admirable, and I do want to be with someone who is financially stable (as I am), but I also want us to be together and the waiting sucks! I am very big on “family” and going home alone to my house three or four nights a week sometimes feels like torture.
I know you might be inclined to say move on, but that’s not an option. I love him and we do have a great relationship. We talk frequently about the type of house we would like to have, where we would like to live, etc. Also, all “future” talk includes me. And by future talk I mean anything from five months to five years in the future, so it’s not as if he’s one of those men who clearly has “future” issues. I feel that it would be stupid for me to walk away from what is essentially a great relationship, other than the fact that we’re not where I want to be right now.
I guess I basically want to know:
1. WHY is it so important for him to be “the provider.” I have a great job, make enough money to hold my own and have no intentions of stopping working, um, ever. I think a girl should hold on to her own financial means.
2. How can I make the waiting more bearable? Like I said, going to my house alone is torture… like being forced to stay in a hotel 3 or 4 nights a week. Sucky 😦
3. Are there huge red flags here that would indicate he IS stalling? I really don’t think that’s the case, but you know how it can be when you’re too close to the situation.
Since moving on isn’t an option for you, I give you the following:
1. It’s important for him to be the provider because it’s an excellent way to stall when your girlfriend is pushing you to move in with her. The real estate market isn’t going anywhere but down for the next couple years, so telling you he needs a year of financial stability before you live together is like telling you he’s going to move in with you just as soon as the Red Sox win another World Series. Since you can obviously take care of yourself, his desire to care for you is ridiculous, seeing as how you seem to be more practical, mature, and financially responsible than he is.
2. You can make waiting bearable by having your own life. Three or four nights a week in your own home shouldn’t be like living in a hotel, it should be like living in your very own house. Which you’re doing. (If I got to be alone for three nights a week I would weep with joy.) You’ve essentially put your life on hold to wait for him, and you have to stop. Make your house beautiful, get a bunch of Netflix movies you want to see, stock your shelves with excellent snacks, take baths, read good books, go out to dinner with friends, take a weaving class, do whatever. Don’t just sit at your boyfriend’s house on those three nights until he kicks you out and makes you go home. If he wants to be alone three or four nights a week, then let him. Go do your own thing.
3. The red flag that indicates the stalling would be THE FACT THAT HE IS STALLING. His excuse is lame, and you have your head in the sand. You can take care of yourself! He can’t take care of himself, let alone another person! You never asked for him to support you and there’s no need for him to do so. Making this an issue gives him lots and lots of time to put you off. I’m sorry, but I just think that if he wanted to live with you, he would. He’s 37 years old and you’ve been dating for four years. I think it’s time to think about moving on, and maybe giving yourself a chance to find someone who loves you and wants to be with you more than half the week.