Dear Claire, I’ve been dating Evan for over two years now, but our relationship doesn’t seem to be moving forward. I mean, we go out nearly every week, text all the time, and we’ve started sleeping together. But I never hear him talk about wanting more (like marriage, kids, etc.), and he doesn’t respond when I mention my desire to “settle down.” I’m 41 (divorced, no kids) and he’s 39. How long do I wait for this guy? Is he a waste of my time? What can I do to get him to take things more seriously? – Elisabeth
Elisabeth, it sounds to me like he really does like you, and enjoys your relationship. But from what you’ve told me, he’s not interested in settling down. So I really hope you’re seeing other men.
Here are a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind as you pursue your goal of finding the man who will marry you and love you forever…
1. Set your timeline for dating
Always know how long you’re going to be willing to date a man. If you want an exclusive, committed relationship within, say, two years, then it’s much easier to make decisions about what kinds of things you’ll be actively looking for, what kinds of conversations you’ll want to have.
2. Communicate your timeline
Don’t expect this important conversation to come up on it’s own. Since you’re on a timeline, you want to let him know what that timeline is so that he can make his own decisions. Here are a few ways to let him know:
“If I know a guy isn’t serious, I don’t date him for more than a couple of months. I’m looking for the kind of man I could build a life with…”
“A year is plenty of time to know whether I want to settle down and commit to a guy or move on. We’ve been dating for what, 8 months now?”
“It’s not my intention to date for years on end; I hope to find the man I want to be with forever by the time I’m 32 [or whatever age you want].”
Here’s the painful part: if he seems to deflect or ignore all your timeline comments, or he simply won’t respond… you have your answer, and it’s “no.” I know it hurts, but now you can move forward.
3. Know how guys operate, with regard to dating
Most worthwhile guys will step up their game to win your attention within the first three to six months of dating (Mike Fiore would probably tell you sooner). If your man hasn’t made a move to intensify your relationship pretty quickly, chances are he’s content to let it flow and not think about the future.
In fact, if he hasn’t escalated his effort, chances are he isn’t really interested in anything more than a low-intensity connection, and he probably is a waste of your time. This is especially true if you’ve communicated your limited availability to him (#2, above) and nothing changes.
4. Intensify your dating life
If you’re not in a committed relationship and are hoping to find one, don’t simply give all your time and attention to a single man who doesn’t look like he’s going to commit. Date! There are lots of fabulous guys out there who will be ready to win your heart.
5. Never wait on a man UNLESS…
Most of the time I say “never wait on a man.” But sometimes there’s a good reason to be patient. If you and your man
a. have an exclusive relationship, and
b. he makes you a priority in his life, and
c. you believe you both want the same thing (commitment) for your future…
BUT your timeline is a bit shorter than his… Well, then I can see a reason to hold on a bit longer.
Agree? Disagree? Leave me a comment!
What do you think? Have you been in a relationship that proves or disproves the “don’t waste your time” or “don’t wait on a man” idea?