Q: Hi Meredith,
I met this guy at work a few years ago. We hit it off and started dating. He seemed like a nicer guy than I was used to, a gentleman who took me out on real dates. We actually waited like two months before we slept together. Our relationship started to dwindle -- I really don't know why -- and then I found out that I was pregnant. I was in love with him I think, but he didn't want kids. I told him that I was having baby no matter what and that he could walk away. He decided to stay.
Our daughter is now 3 and the most beautiful little girl. I am so proud and blessed. We broke up when she was about a year old. To make a long story short, there was a lot of ugliness but we did become friends for the sake of our daughter. This past spring, we slept together. It was a shock because we hadn't been affectionate with each other since before we broke up. Now he will not call it what it is -- a relationship. We are not just sleeping together, but we are affectionate and spend time together.
One of the big issues on my end when we broke up was that he said he would marry me but I never saw any effort on his part to do so. He owns his house and lives alone. My daughter and I live with my mother. When we were together, he never once asked us to move in. I need to know, given the current events and how we're getting along, do you think he will ever marry me?
Not too long ago, I said something about him being afraid to commit and it seemed like he was offended. He said, "I'm not afraid to commit, I just chose not to." Should I walk? Am I wasting my time? Everyone around me is engaged and I am so bitter that it didn't end up that way for me. I am now 32 and he is in his early 40s. If he was going to marry, wouldn't he have already? Please help.
– Lost and Abandoned, Southie
A: You're too focused on the marriage thing, LAA. If he asked you to marry him tomorrow, would you really want to say yes? Would you be able to trust his intentions? He hasn't earned that kind of commitment from you. I understand why you want to wind up with the father of your child, but this man has been irresponsible with your heart. Your first priority should be creating a stable life for your kid.
I don't want you to give him an ultimatum, but I do want you to make this decision for him. If he doesn't want more from this, it's time to set boundaries. He can spend time with you for parenting purposes. The two of you can make schedules and figure out expenses like other non-couples who share children. Explain to him that if this isn't a real relationship with potential, you have to stop hanging out.
He told you that he doesn't want to commit to you. He won't call this a relationship. That seems to be the answer. He's obviously still attracted to you, but that's just not enough. You're only 32. There's a big world out there full of people your age who just want to find someone who will stick around. You need to start scheduling your life so that you have just a little bit of time to go out and meet them.
You signed your letter "Lost and Abandoned." Doesn't that say it all?
Readers? How can she turn the father of her child into a real ex? Should she? Why is he spending so much time with her? Does that mean that there's hope? What's best for the kid? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.