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-   -   The relationship timeline. (https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/showthread.php?t=208150)

  • Apr 20, 2008, 08:55 PM
    confoundedj
    "Do you love me?"/"Do you want to have children?"
    Entire story merged

    I am 25 years old and in my second serious relationship. I have been seeing "John" exclusively for seven months. We worked together for 5 of those months, so we spent a lot of time together.

    I love him. My definition of love: a choice you make every day to care about someone else, to place their needs equal to yours, the desire to see this person grow, be happy, be successful (whatever that means to them). The first time I told him I loved him he told me he "wished he was able to say those words." Apparently he's been hurt in the past... we've all heard this story. Ever since then he just smiles really big and says thank-you.

    He is very caring towards me, but it is very important to me to know that he loves me. Or rather, it's important to me that he VOCALIZES this. I know many will say that it doesn't matter if he says it as long as he shows it... maybe for you... but I need to HEAR those words.

    Also, I really want to know what he wants in the future, if he wants to get married (in general, not necesarely to me) or have children. I don't know how to bring this up without making him think that I expect to start a family with him soon or even later. I just want to know if that's something that he thinks about, or wants.

    I know that I want to eventually get married and start a family. It's something I'm really looking forward to doing later on when I become more financially sound and am in a good place career wise.

    All these thoughts keep building up in my head and I'm afraid that if I don't let them out, it'll all just errupt from me at some inappropriate time.

    So... I need to know how to ask "Do you love me?" and "Have you ever thought of having a family?" in a man friendly way. And here's a big one: If "John" doesn't want a family life, where do I go from there? Is it a waste of time to be with someone you love for a few years if it means that you are creating more distance between you and the future family you know you want to have?
  • Apr 20, 2008, 09:09 PM
    ISneezeFunny
    I am a 22 year old male. With that in mind, I got to tell you... the M-word still makes my heart skip a beat... mainly because I still have SUCH a long way to go... things I want to do, things I want to accomplish, places I want to travel to, etc.

    I'm not sure how it works when you're in your mid-20s... but dropping the L-word after 7 months... seems a bit fast for me. I normally wait about a year or so before even thinking of telling someone I love them.

    As far as the "do you love me, do you want to start a family"... I'm not so sure you can bring that up without making him think you want more out of the relationship, and seeing as you two have been together for only 7 months, I'd hold off on that. If anything, perhaps while you guys are talking about a related topic (... perhaps your cousin's kids... someone who's getting married... etc) maybe you can CASUALLY bring up, "where do you see yourself in 10 years?" But hold off on the "do you love me?" aspect... as too much pressure COULD scare him off a little.

    If he says that he doesn't want a family (which I doubt he would say... doesn't everyone want a family someday?) then I suggest you gauge it on how serious he really is about it.
  • Apr 20, 2008, 09:10 PM
    Alty
    Why do you feel that you can't ask him these questions? Loving someone and being in a relationship with someone means that you are able to communicate with each other. If there is no communication then there is no relationship.

    As for family and marriage. If you do ask him and he says that's not what he wants for his future, then you have to decide if you can accept that or if you need someone who wants the same things you do. Don't stick it out hoping he'll change his mind, that's a good way to waste your life and throw away your dreams.

    Talk to him openly, tell him how you feel, if it's meant to be then it will be.

    Good Luck.
  • Apr 20, 2008, 09:26 PM
    lmnotok
    It is obvious that you want to start a family with him, and you are a very mature woman, so what prevents you from wanting to tell your man your hopes and wants? This is also a very important part of a family :telling others what we want!

    So I think, you should just ask him normally and softly with UNFOCUSED eyes, don't look too serious while asking, and with a peaceful smile on your face. The conversation should start like:
    -ksdngdsig ( you guys talk about something first, something funny... ) And when you're both laughing, you ask: John, I heard someone said that you are a commitment-phobia, hehe is that even true? (keep smiling like you are still joking. But a normal man will oppose immediately if he is not a commitmentphobia). And observe his attitude and the way he respond to your question. If he says no, then you got the answer you want to know. If he says yes, kind of or maybe, or not really, then, you know what he means.

    In the case where he is exactly the kind of guy that never wants to get married then you should seriously think about what you want. You should leave it and find someone else. End it up soflty like "well, i guess we're too different. I want a family one day, you dont, so we should both think of a way out...". But you have to tell him what you want -A FAMILY IN THE FUTURE-
  • Apr 20, 2008, 09:28 PM
    ISneezeFunny
    Imnotok: I agree with the communication, but do you think it's wise that she brings it up after 7 months of dating? I feel like if a girl I dated for 7 months brought up marriage/life together in the future, I may be taken aback... granted, even if I felt those feelings for her as well, I just feel like that'd be too fast. No?
  • Apr 20, 2008, 09:38 PM
    Alty
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ISneezeFunny
    Imnotok: I agree with the communication, but do you think it's wise that she brings it up after 7 months of dating? I feel like if a girl I dated for 7 months brought up marriage/life together in the future, I may be taken aback...granted, even if I felt those feelings for her as well, I just feel like that'd be too fast. No?

    I do have to agree with that Sneezy, you are right, 7 months isn't a long time at all. My husband and I dated for 5 years before we got married. Granted we met when we were 19, but still.

    It may be to early to expect an "I love you" but I don't think it's to early to discuss your hopes and dreams, just make sure you don't say something like "Are we going to get married some day? Are we going to have kids?" that could get him running. I do believe in communicating in a relationship and if this is something you want to know than you should ask him, communication is the key to a good relationship, like I said before. But maybe it is still a bit early in the relationship for him to start thinking of a future with you, and bringing up your hopes and dreams will have to be done delicately, and not make him think that you are taking things to fast.
  • Apr 20, 2008, 09:42 PM
    depressedhelp
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ISneezeFunny
    I am a 22 year old male. With that in mind, I gotta tell you...the M-word still makes my heart skip a beat...mainly because I still have SUCH a long way to go...things I want to do, things I want to accomplish, places I want to travel to, etc.

    I'm not sure how it works when you're in your mid-20s...but dropping the L-word after 7 months...seems a bit fast for me. I normally wait about a year or so before even thinking of telling someone I love them.

    As far as the "do you love me, do you want to start a family"...I'm not so sure you can bring that up without making him think you want more out of the relationship, and seeing as you two have been together for only 7 months, I'd hold off on that. If anything, perhaps while you guys are talking about a related topic (...perhaps your cousin's kids...someone who's getting married...etc) maybe you can CASUALLY bring up, "where do you see yourself in 10 years?" But hold off on the "do you love me?" aspect...as too much pressure COULD scare him off a little.

    If he says that he doesn't want a family (which I doubt he would say...doesn't everyone want a family someday?) then I suggest you gauge it on how serious he really is about it.

    I agree.
    The L-word. Tends 2 freak guys out.
    Its Natural.. for ANYONE to be scared by that..
    But anyway.
    Marriage.. such a commitment... and yes.
    Bring it up in a related subject perhaps.
    Taking a shot in the dark.. pretty risky..
    Anyway. GUD LUCK. :]]
  • Apr 20, 2008, 09:51 PM
    SJB1701E
    I think there's nothing wrong with talking about marriage/family/future at 7 months IF its casual and approached as nothing more than "what ifs". Approaching it as a what if lets you explore possible paths and find out the others desires while imparting your own to them in an environment that is a little more comforting because it isn't binding. You can talk about a what if and it doesn't commit you or bind you to it. This makes it easier to talk about. There's nothing wrong with stating your desires, just do so in a casual manner. Make it clear to him you're just exploring and not asking him to commit. Like Sneeze, I get a little paniked at the M-word at my age. Its something I want someday, just not right now.

    As far as the I love you's, I've usually been saying it around 6 months into the relationship. With one girl it was as early as 1 month, but we'd been very close friends for a very long time before we started dating. Its actually the one I'm with now. Maybe I jump the gun with those three little words, but like you, if I feel it, I say it, and I like to HEAR it back. I can say is when he's ready to say it, he will. For some people it takes well over a year for them to get there. Everybody's different, so try not to put a time table on it for him to vocalize his feelings.
  • Apr 20, 2008, 10:30 PM
    Sarah48375
    My boyfriend and I used to play these games. They're like little quizzes to see how compatible you are with each other. I know it sounds silly, but they're fun and an easy way to bring it up. I guess it depend on what kind of relationship you have, but it's worth checking them out. Lovingyou.com: Printable Love Quizzes
  • Apr 21, 2008, 04:44 AM
    talaniman
    I think most of us agree that 7 months, is a little early to be planning the rest of your life, and way to soon to even know much about a person as far as long term. What's the hurry, just me, if your not enjoying getting to know some one really well, that's a red flag to me. Not being able to honestly communicate ones feelings, is another.
  • Apr 21, 2008, 12:00 PM
    confoundedj
    The relationship timeline.
    I've really enjoyed reading all these posts on relationships. I am, however, somewhat taken aback by how many people think that it should take about a year before the "I love yous" come out.

    I have not dated much. When I meet someone that I feel good about, I go for it. My instincts have not failed me yet. If you read my previous question, you know that I am on my second serious relationship. The first was with my college sweetheart. It only took 3 months for us to start saying we loved each other. We were together for 3.5 years and ended the relationship when we moved away from each other (him to pursue his Masters, and me to pursue my career). I was sad that it ended, but the long distance just didn't work for us. We still keep in touch with each other via the telephone and visit with each other when we go back home for the holidays.

    It took 2 years for me to meet the next guy "John," and I knew within 4 months how I felt about him. I didn't admit how I felt until 7mos in. I am 25 and he is 33 (I have always gotten along much better with older men). In general, readers felt that 7mos was way too early to expect an "I love you" back, let alone begin to talk about "the future."

    Is it because I am young/naive/undamaged that I believe I can know I love somebody in 3-4 months? Does it really have to take one YEAR for the "getting to know you/finding out if there is any love here" stage? I cannot ever imagine spending that long with someone and THEN finding out that they don't love me or care to be in a relationship with me anymore.

    SO dear reader, in your relationship history, how long was it before you felt love for the other person? How long was it before you thought about having a future with this person? Have you ever been with somebody you loved who wouldn't tell you they loved you back? Have you ever had to break up with someone you loved because they didn't want the same things as you did?
  • Apr 21, 2008, 12:32 PM
    ISneezeFunny
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by confoundedj
    SO dear reader, in your relationship history, how long was it before you felt love for the other person?

    Don't get me wrong. I feel love within 6 months... but to REALLY know... without the whole "honeymoon phase"... I wait about a year.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by confoundedj
    How long was it before you thought about having a future with this person?

    1 - 2 years

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by confoundedj
    Have you ever been with somebody you loved who wouldn't tell you they loved you back? Have you ever had to break up with someone you loved because they didn't want the same things as you did?

    Yes and yes.
  • Apr 21, 2008, 12:34 PM
    Hundalei
    I met my husband when I was just shy of my 19th birthday (and he was just past his). We spent every moment of our first 3 weeks together, and we both knew we were in love, and we both said it. Of course our love has changed and evolved over the years into something much more deep & intense than it was at 3 weeks, but we knew then, and we know now (7 years this summer). It was just to strong of a feeling to ignore or be confused about. I am also very confused by the people who need a year to figure it out. You either know or you don't. You either miss them every second of every day when your not with them, or you don't. Figure it out...
  • Apr 21, 2008, 12:37 PM
    Turasleon
    Well, allow me to be honest with you.

    Love is far different from infatuation. If you have known the person for a very long time, then saying "I love you" can occur very, very quickly. I've known my current girlfriend for ten years, and it took two weeks into the relationship to say it. We still feel it, it's been one year seven months.

    The thing is, most people in society seem to believe that love is something that you need to wait to say. Not necessarily true... most people just don't really know what love is. In general, they expect you to experience a lot of the other person in order to REALLY know them, so that you can say that you REALLY love them. I agree with this, but at the same time, you can experience a lot of another person relatively fast.

    This is, of course, my opinion. I'm also a bit tired at the moment, so I may not be able to express this the way I would like to, but nonetheless, that's my theory at this moment in time.
  • Apr 21, 2008, 12:39 PM
    Hundalei
    Just quickly re: the Honeymoon Phase... that is still love, unless you exercise incredibly poor judgement and end up with a complete jerk (sorry for the earlier word I used here, admin) who was never right for you to begin with. That and the honeymoon phase is 6 months tops. I'd say more like 3-6 months. Anyone who is "honeymooning" for a year and not discussing the future is living in La La Land (unless they are in High School)
  • Apr 21, 2008, 12:58 PM
    confoundedj
    I defined what I think love is in a previous post. Let me repost it here so to facilitate this discussion:

    Love: a choice you make every day to care about someone else, to place their needs equal to yours, the desire to see a person grow, be happy, be successful (whatever that means to them, not to you)

    I know there are many definitions of love, and yours may be different, but this is what I am thinking of when I refer to love.
  • Apr 21, 2008, 01:09 PM
    Hundalei
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by confoundedj
    love: a choice you make every day to care about someone else, to place their needs equal to yours, the desire to see a person grow, be happy, be successful (whatever that means to them, not to you)

    Can't hit the nail on the head much better than that! :)
  • Apr 21, 2008, 09:50 PM
    lmnotok
    Well, I skipped reading the 7 months part but what I meant there was just communicating. Yeah, you guys were right when spotting out the timing.
  • Apr 23, 2008, 06:43 PM
    confoundedj
    He stays angry for three days
    Whenever my boyfriend gets upset or angry about something, he shuts himself off for about three days. He claims that he doesn't know why it takes him that long to get it out of his system. He has gotten this way 3 times over the 8mos I have been with him. The first two times it wasn't about me, but still hurt me because he doesn't want to talk to me or see me when he is in his mood.

    This time I made some comment over the phone that upset him. He was talking about how he was thinking of leaving his job and I said something about him not being able to accept that nobody else had the integrity he had (I did not say this in the most sincere tone). He hung up on me. The next day he called to cancel plans we had together the following day. He would hardly speak to me, it took me a while to get what was bothering him out of him, and even after I apologized, he still would hardly speak. I told him how much I didn't understand this behavior and wished that he was able to talk things out and how hurt I felt when he decides to go into hiding like this. Eventually I got tired of talking to myself and told him to call me when he was back to himself.

    I do not understand this behavior at all. I talk problems out and then let go. He just holds on to the anger and doesn't seem to let go. He gets physically tense and then goes mute!! He never yells or anything, sometimes I wish he would.

    I know that this behavior will not change unless he decides he wants to change it and gets help to do so, and so if I stay with him this is something I will have to deal with.

    My question is does anybody have any insight into this sort of behavior? Has anybody had to deal with someone who deals with anger this way? It seems so abnormal to me because I have never seen anybody get like that.
  • Apr 23, 2008, 06:56 PM
    TrueFaith
    This Behavior is normaly Used. To control with the use of fear, To fear you into the fact you will be to scared to say anything to him because he will shut down. He sulcks to get his own way or to make his point
    He knows it hurts you so he will always use it to hurt you when he is angry or upset, you probable make a big deal to him saying this like.. Why don't you open up. It hurts me when your like this. It just feeds him more power

    Most weak people use this trick

    This is childish behavior. Tell him to grow up or you'll move on, switch it round on him.
    Because if he doesn't learn that.. this is not the way to deal with problems he will lose you. And I'm sure he will lose many others in the futuer

    Regards

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