Here's an email from another one of our beautiful readers, who signed herself DRT.
She's been in a long term relationship for quite a while, and is ready for the next stage, but her boyfriend is not.
Here's her story:
Thanks for your site. I've read a few of the articles, which I have found insightful.
My question is: I've been with my boyfriend for 8 years, I'm in my early thirties and he is nearly forty. We have lived together for most of that time.
I have been ready to settle down and have children for some time now. The time is also right for me career-wise (and may be less so in future due to increasing responsibilities which I'll need some time to get used to).
He has always said we will get married and have children but it always seems to be some vague time in the future. Currently he wants to wait a couple of years until he is the next rung up the career ladder.
He complains that he hasn't lived his life yet and that we don't go out enough. I'll be honest I would prefer a meet up with friends or a day trip rather than go partying. This is the main cause of our arguments.
We generally get on well otherwise and both have our hobbies although not shared.
His takes up a lot of his time and often at short notice which I find frustrating, and he gets annoyed that I won't go with him though I have tried and don't enjoy it.
What worries me also is that he actively tries to avoid events with children, including with my family (I have several young cousins).
I know you don't have to like other people's children to have your own but I would want someone who is an active father involved in family life and events.
I am starting to think that the future I envisaged will not happen.
Should I continue in a relationship with someone I love and enjoy spending time with when we're together or am I going to miss my chance at a family because I wait too long for a man who may not commit?
I hear where you're coming from.
You have all this history and time invested with someone, and then there's the reality of where you are and what you want at this stage of your life, and it sounds like he hasn't come to this point with you.
I see several red flags here, particularly the fact that you say he tries to "actively avoid events with children" - and you want children - and that he's "complaining he hasn't live his life yet and we don't go out enough" - and you prefer to meet up with some friends than go partying.
Since you clearly know what you want, and he's not giving you some real indicators that these are the same priority for him, these would be some real red flags for me if I was looking to get married and have children and this was a top priority for me.
But this has to come from you. You have to come to this for yourself or you won't be able to live with yourself and your decision.
Is he really marriage material or are the two of you too far apart on these points that are at the top of your priority list? Are you willing to take a "wait-and-see" approach to see if he might come around? No one can know the future, but where someone is at now - and how they behave - are the best indicators you have of what you can expect more of.
If you haven't already, I would evaluate just how much you really have in common when it comes to what matters most to you. As I've said in an earlier post, one of the ways you'll know if you've got a keeper is if he's available for the kind of relationship that you want. And I used the example that if you want kids and he doesn't, then he's not available for the type of relationship that you want.
Unfortunately, I hear far too many stories from women who wait and wait and wait some more for some man with so much potential that they've fallen in love with to come around to their page, until their own lives have passed them by. While these are someone else's stories and the only story that matters here is your own, they reveal the reality of where this road often leads.
I have a feeling that that since you're writing to me about this now, you already know your own answers. Deep down, we always do.
Whether it's that pull that urges you to give it just a little more time - and then you set that time frame in your own mind - or that gentle nudging that tells you there's more to life and love and being in relationship with someone you love than this.
Whatever pull feels stronger, DRT, know that this is always about you and what you can live with and what you can't.
Real love - the real kind you're talking about that you choose - is about two people on the same page who want the same thing with each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. I don't know of a healthy, loving, fulfilling, and rewarding relationship that can last without that.
But what that looks like specifically can be different for each of us depending on who you are, what you want and what you don't, and what you need to be happy.
I hope this helps give you some outside perspective, DRT.
I know this isn't an easy decision to make, but regardless of what you decide, the best place to start is the decision to focus on you, to make your own life a priority, and live your own life in a way that reflects your beautiful, authentic, true self with so much to offer, so much to give.
Sometimes all it takes is that conscious shift in our own way of being that creates a new energy that ripples through our relationships and brings about a change in the ones we're with.
What do you think DRT should do in this situation? Tell us in the comments!