Dropped the L-Bomb

joulesR4meJune 28, 2004

Bf dropped it this weekend I followed suit. The discussion that ensued was very confusing and now I really wish weÂd never said it Â

Short Story/Quick Read:

Though I believed that affirmation of love should not directly mandate consideration of marriage/cohabitation, I find myself wanting (at least) a focused future. He is uncertain of when/if he will be ready to move from a steady relationship to a higher commitment. Time is not on our side  and IÂm worried that he will soon realized that IÂm no spring chicken and that all the love in the world wonÂt give him the life he dreams of (marriage & children  but not for 2-3 yrs from now).

Long Story/Need A While to Sit & Stare:

HeÂs a big "communicator", mostly impromptu, so I try not to weigh it too seriously. Anyway, after we exchange The Words, he started talking about his expectations Â. He does not anticipate any change/bolster in our relationship, not imagining marriage or a family for several years (though he wants both, someday). He mentioned that he often wonders what he might sacrifice by being involved in ANY steady relationship at his age. But he then follows by saying that he has no desire to end our relationship - that this is just something he has thought about. He is having trouble embracing our relationship, recognizing it is very different than his previous involvements: in his words  ours is one with true caring, emotional depth and positive influences, where the others were short term, unhealthy, based on infatuation (physical attraction, emotional drama).

Trying to digest his comments has left me stymied. IÂm definitely at an uncertain point in my life  with several options. I would love to fulfill my fantasy of settling down with a Good Guy and start planning a family or agreeing to be DINKs. But, IÂm back in school (pursing another fantasy  a medical career) "just in case" IÂm forced to live for my job. IÂd like to keep working toward the first one, but IÂm really scared that I shouldnÂt be doing it with the current bf. IÂm so scared that weÂll never get There because I canÂt give him the life that I think heÂll want  that is, by the time heÂs ready to start a family, IÂll be too old (mid 40Âs). And I think heÂll start realizing this too within the next couple years.

I donÂt know where this relationship is headed, and I hate that IÂve dropped the L-Bomb with so much doubt of our future. I havenÂt said or heard "I Love You" in soooo many years and now that I have, I feel sort of disappointed. That little word has confused me so much that IÂm ready to call it quits. Not because the challenge is over, but because the chance for pain has just amplified Â.. why, oh why, did I see this (compassionate, naive, spiritual, handsome, unsettled) young guy a second time?

So, I guess my question is Â. if you were in this situation, would you start constructing an emotional wall in anticipation of ending the relationship? Or would you maintain, let nature take itÂs course, without worry of what the other person might feel in the future?

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the problem is that we place importance on certain points (saying the L word) in a relationship that may have less significance than we anticipated, and so leave us more confused instead of reassurred. Everything did not suddenly become clear and easy once the word was said.

Are you happy in the relationship, as it stands, most of the time? Are you really willing to DINK? Does he really understand that waiting until he is ready and having children with you may not be an option?

I, personally, would not put up a wall to protect myself from something that may not happen. Deal with it when it happens, if it does. I envy you, even though I understand your angst. I assume the physical side is great. Enjoy it and him. There are no guarantees in any relationship.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 2:18PM
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I'm in my mid forties too, and I have had the baby time limit discussion with many of my dear men friends, and sadly they just do not get it, none of them. Men just do not get the concept of having a limit on your reproductive capacity and all that entails, both physically and emotionally. They just cannot go there, it is just not in their genes. Having said that, there's no reason you can't adopt a kid, there are plenty of kids in this world who need loving homes. I also think, on the relationship level, women have a much better grip on the practicalities of it all, men tend to go with their gut. Your man is happy now, things feel good to him now, he wants to go with it. There's a lot to be said for that school of thought.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2004 at 11:48AM
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joulesR4me, you know what I would do, even if it might affect the relationship? I might try to find a time soon to talk with him and tell him what your expectations and hopes are for the future. He should not be the only one to decide these things, in my opinion. I think this might be more productive than putting up the wall.

I know in the past I've definitely been afraid to reveal what I wanted, that it might risk the relationship because it might not match exactly what the guy wanted and when. But I think it's very important that he also know what's important to you.

I recently brought up some difficult issues with my SO that I thought he might get very upset about and maybe refuse to discuss with me. I took a risk. And you know what, he listened, he digested what I had to say, and he came back and we discussed it in a way that brought us closer. I was shocked because he had been dead set against discussing it before. But he had come to the point in our relationship where I felt like taking the risk was important. I knew that if he balked at what I wanted to talk about, that this was a sign that maybe we weren't able to communicate the way I'd like us to. So I took the risk and it paid off. We only have been dropping the L bomb since the beginning of May.

My SO sounds a bit like your guy too when it comes to the kinds of relationships he's had before. What I didn't realize, though, was that he had the capability to understand that himself, and value what we had enough to do some work. Maybe your guy should be given that kind of chance, too?

You should be able to communicate your needs and desires, too. I'm beyond childbearing years now (I think) so I no longer have the biological clock thing to worry about. In some ways I'm sad that I never had kids but in other ways it definitely takes some of the pressure off. I feel for you, I know that this can really be a tough situation when you have to weigh taking time to get to know each other well enough to decide about marriage or not, and making sure there's still enough time to have kids. And like lpinkmountain said, there's always adoption as an option. Don't forget, a lot of us can't get pregnant as we get older, so there's no guarantee there, either. Best of luck to you! Let us know what you do.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 12:34PM
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