John Bolaris: What to do when you’re dating a ‘man child’
In this column, I will be giving some relationship advice. “Hmm,” you must be asking, “is this guy some kind of a psychologist? A couples counselor? Doctor of Love?” No, not really, but for those who have followed my history, let’s just say I have dated quite a bit.
Yes, I was married. It didn’t work. I fell in and out of love more times than I wish to count and had my share of really meaningless relationships. I was always looking for that someone so special. You know, “This is the one, I just know it” and then three weeks later you’re downing a few cocktails with buddies and thinking, “What was I thinking?”
It’s so tough to find that someone that fits in with your complexities — the perfect soul mate. But as of today I believe I found that someone and, yes, I’m in love and engaged to be married. So with years of experience I’m here to listen to you and give you some honest advice from just an average dude.
One woman writes she is “tired of dating a man child.” She is 30 years old and so is he. They’ve been together for five years and live together and are both stable financially and in their careers.
She states they have never really discussed their future together as far as marriage and kids. He insists on going out one night a week with the boys and comes home drunk or not at all. She doesn’t think he is cheating on her, but she worries his friends may pressure him into doing things.
She’s not sure if he will ever grow up and settle down with her or anybody. He has never talked about his partying or future. She doesn’t want to give him an ultimatum or push him into something he doesn’t want to do, but she doesn’t want to be stuck with someone who will never become an adult.
Number one, you definitely need to have a big “We need to talk.” Going out with your buddies once a week is fine, but its totally unacceptable not to come home at all. This isn’t on his friends, it’s on him.
And by you saying, “I don’t think he is cheating on me,” it really means “I think he is cheating on me,” but you don’t want to think that. You’re turning a blind eye and you’re going to get terribly hurt by this.
And asking him about your future together is not an ultimatum, but a genuine concern. By the looks of this, you have every reason to have your doubts. You need to confront this now. You sound like a loyal and loving woman who just wants her man to be the same.
Finally, it seems like your man child might not be ready to truly commit at this time. Don’t be so available — let him think he might actually lose you, because I believe he actually will. It’s on both of you to save this. Stay strong!
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