You are here:

Dating at Midlife/Senior Dating Commitment Phobia?

Advertisement


Question
I have been in a relationship with a 60 year old man (divorced for 6 yrs) for 3 years. He wants me with him every minute that we are not working, I spend every night at his house, including the weekends (however, he won\'t \"officially live together\" so I have to carry my stuff back and forth between his house and mine), we are fully integrated into each others lives, families, friends etc. He talks about the future in terms of doing things in the future, however, never talks in terms of marriage in the future, but rather says he doesn\'t know if he ever wants to get married again.

I am facing a situation where I am about to begin the process of looking for another job and when I mention anything about looking in other areas that would require me moving, he says he wishes I would find one in the area we are in so I can be here with him, however, when I ask him if he sees us having a future together, he just simply says \"I don\'t know what the future holds\".

We got in a conversation tonight about my job search and he again said his preference was that I remain in the area. I shared with him that while I understand that, I don\'t feel that I can limit myself to only looking in our immediate area so I can remain here with him when if I ask him if he sees us having a future he tells me he still isn\'t sure if he ever wants to marry again.

I feel like he wants me to commit to remaining here with him and pass up opportunities that affect my future, while at the same time his continued communication to me says that I have already spent 3 years with him and could commit to spend 3 more and it still doesn\'t mean it will go anywhere. So he wants a commitment from me to be here with him, not \"officially\" live with him and just accept that he doesn\'t know if he ever wants to get married.

I do know he loves me, he shows me that in many ways. But, what he seems to want from me is to live a \"pretend\" marriage with the benefits of having me with him all the time, cooking together, being involved in each others lives, and playing at living together, WITHOUT any commitment of ever actually getting married.

I have discussed my feelings with him. Especially where it concerns my need for a job and the extreme limitations in my field where we live. He sees my looking in other areas as choosing not to be with him, when he CONTINUALLY lets me know there is no guarantee that it will go any further! When we first started dating we talked about marriage. I made it clear to him that at some point I did want to get married again. He said he did as well. However, after he hooked me in the relationship, he suddenly isn\'t sure if he ever does or not. That he loves me, wants to be with me, but just not sure he wants to get married again.

So, I can\'t officially live with him without being married, BUT he doesn\'t know if he wants to get married. Does he just expect me to carry my clothes back and forth indefinitely!

I do love him, I would happily remain in the area we live in IF he and I were going to share a future here. However, I just can\'t say that I can remain with someone year after year for an indefinite time while being told it may never go anywhere. I have heard for 3 years, \"I like where we are now.... I like how things are going\"... \"I am not sure if I want to get married again. I am not saying I don\'t, but I am not sure that I do\". I have been taught to hear what a man is saying, don\'t try to convince yourself, or him that he doesn\'t mean what he is saying.

I am almost at a loss here. I keep telling myself (and him) that I can only control myself, and know better than trying to change his mind, so I will just accept that the relationship may be going nowhere and just enjoy dating him as long as I am enjoying him and his company. And when the issue of getting married or not becomes too much for me, I will just let it go. That I will accept that maybe he is Mr. Right Now instead of Mr. Right. However, no matter how many times I say that, my heart doesn\'t seem to take the same path.

How do I stay indefinitely, pass up possible opportunities for ensuring my future on my own, to stay with someone that doesn\'t know after 3 years if he wants the relationship to go any farther? Yet how do I just give up on something I believe could be incredible and walk away? I am 53 years old and really do want to find myself in a loving committed (through marriage) relationship."

Answer
Hi Sandra,

It's tough to come in at this late of a juncture 3 years into you two dating each other as a senior dating couple and try to offer you dating coaching that I normally am suggesting to midlife single men or women over 50 and 60 years old.

The time to discuss what you two want in a relationship and what level of commitment you seek is after the first few dates and then during the first few months of dating as you segue to a couple.

Your focus may be on your job search, and yet what it really comes down to here in your senior dating coaching question is about what kind of commitment to ask for.

It sounds like your senior man boyfriend is just fine with how things are for you two and his wanting you to stay around.  Instead of asking about what he sees as the potential for you two's relationship, ask about what he wants in a relationship and what you want.

Your request will depend upon what sort of mature mate couple relationship you;re hoping for:

"I want to get married."
"I want to co-habitate together."
"I want a promise ring on my finger."

Start having THOSE discussion with your senior mature man, and then you will know for sure where you stand with him.

Perhaps he does not want to wed?  

Dating at Midlife

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


April Braswell - Dating Expert

Expertise

Can certainly address the romantic questions from Boomers looking to date again after divorce or the death of their spouse. Address how dating and courtship principles remain the same, however many of the tactics are different now. How to use social media and online dating sites well which reflect your age and style, not that of your grandchildren.

Experience

As seen in Dating for Dummies, 3rd edition. I'm an internationally recognized Dating and Relationship expert, frequently on Radio and serve as "In Touch Weekly"'s go to relationship expert for questions regarding celebrity couple relationships. Additionally recognized for specifically serving the different romantic needs of the Baby Boomer generation, having contributed to such media as Gateway Media, Woman's World, and The Boston Globe.

Publications
As seen in Dating for Dummies, 3rd edition.

Education/Credentials
Smith College, BA Certifications in Influence and Persuasion Mind Body Dynamics Body Language Mastery

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.