Last year, we did a writing exercise with kids at 826Boston, a non-profit tutoring and writing center in Roxbury. You submitted very G-rated, child-appropriate questions, and they wrote out their advice. We're doing that again, so I'd love more questions from you. Can you send me some questions for the kids today? They don't have to be love-related. These kids are young (6 and up) so keep that in mind when you submit. Email questions to meregoldstein at gmail.com with "826!" in the subject line.
And today's question (not for kids) ...
Q: I'm 44. I have been dating a guy (same age) for 2 years now. We each have one teen still living at home. We have known each other for 4 years.
My question is about living together. I brought this up about eight months ago, and he said we should, and we talked about the summer. Well, during the months leading to the summer, he never brought it up, nor did he initiate anything to make it happen. Summer came and went. I brought it up again and he said after the kids go back to school. Second verse, same as the first. Then he said he would like to get his house in order. He has done nothing.
This has caused me a lot of anxiety, frustration, hurt, and insecurity, which leads to a lot of arguing. He now says that we argue too much to live together. Which leads to more arguing.
Background is that he was with a woman for 10 years, and although she wanted to get married, he never asked her to. She cheated on him and left years ago.
I am wondering if I am wasting my time waiting to have a real relationship. I want to make dinner together, make beds together, do laundry and yard work. I was married for many years before this, and I loved the security of having a partner in my life.
Every time I bring it up, all he says is that he loves me and wants me in his life and that's it.There is no plan, and even if he said he has one, he doesn't do anything.
– Lady in Waiting, Canada
A: I don't endorse ultimatums or empty threats, so don't go that route. Instead, ask him how he sees this working out. Maybe he wants you in his life but has realized over the past few months that he's not quite ready for cohabitation. Maybe he has financial concerns or is worried about how his kid will respond to the change.
It just seems to me that he isn't telling you everything -- or that he's not being honest with himself about what he needs. Ask him to describe his perfect future with you -- how he'd want it to look. Maybe it looks like the status quo. Tell him that's OK -- you just want to know so you can make decisions accordingly.
I don't know whether he'll ever put a plan into action, but for the moment, that's not my biggest concern. I'm not convinced that he desires any sort of change. Change the tone of the conversation so that it's about what he wants, not what he thinks you want to hear.
Readers? Does he want to move in? Should she be more flexible about delays? Should she stick around if there isn't a plan? If he says he likes the status quo, then what? 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.