Red Responds: He Doesn’t Want to Make Long-Term Plans

Shida in Miami writes:

I have been with my boyfriend for a year. While I know he cares about me he is a little standoffish about making long-term plans and it’s hard to get him to agree for us to go somewhere as a couple. I know he’s had some really rough relationships in the past, and this is the first time he has dated someone who is his equal – financially and emotionally. I see him making progress and he is definitely opening up but sometimes I wonder if he is the one for me or if I am just seeing what I want to see. I was burned really badly before in a long-term relationship and I don’t want to make the same mistake by investing emotionally in someone who will never invest emotionally in me. I don’t mind waiting I just want to make sure he is worth the wait.

Dear Shida,

Your boyfriend has his fears and hang-ups, but he does put forth effort to become more open to you and this relationship. The progress you see is real, but it is still a very slow moving process. While I admire your patience and understanding, there are times when you need to push him a bit, if you truly want to deepen this bond.

It seems as if the two of you have a fairly decent relationship, at least on the surface. Both of you are guilty of waiting to see what the other is going to do, rather than taking the bigger risks and extending yourselves. It is a safer approach, but it does tend to feed stagnation. After a year of dating there is no logical excuse to avoid going places as a couple. He knows you well enough to know that you don’t have any ulterior motives, but his fear of commitment and being hurt again keeps him from relaxing into a more typical relationship pattern. Each of you has some emotional investment in this relationship, but it looks as if you have hit an emotional plateau.

I’m not going to say that this man isn’t worth the wait because he is a good guy. I’m more concerned about what you are waiting for. The two of you are compatible, but he isn’t going to morph into an open-book, dotingly emotional kind of guy. There will always be a bit of distance between the two of you. Any more formalized union will come because it makes sense and it works out on paper, not because he can’t breathe without you or you without him. So, I suppose your decision to wait or not to wait comes down to deciding what type of relationship you truly want.

I hope this helps,
Ext. 9226

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