I was surprised and upset that after five months of living together during exceptionally stressful circumstances, including both of us working from home, the idea of making it permanent had not occurred to him. Eventually, after another few days, he realized that he did want to live together, and we do now, but the way the conversation went was not what I was expecting, and it has really tarnished my excitement about living together formally.
I now am incredibly worried that he’s not on the same page as me about moving our relationship forward. I would like to speak with him about his timelines for marriage and children—I’m nearly 31, and feel that if he isn’t on the same page as I am regarding these big issues, I will need to reassess my feelings about the relationship. But given how he reacted to the idea of living together, I just have no idea how to bring these issues up. I don’t want to be pushy, but my biological clock is a real issue, and he knows that I desperately want children (and I know that he is fairly sure he does). I don’t want to feel like I am waiting for him to come to these decisions and for everything to happen on his timeline. I want for us to make important decisions about our lives and relationship together.
Is that too much to ask? How can I bring up these important topics without putting him on the defensive? I just feel so stuck, and I have no idea what to do.
It sounds like you’re doing a lot of guessing about what your boyfriend might be feeling, and at the same time, you’re afraid to share your true feelings with him.
The pandemic and your roommate situation prompted a conversation that was stressful for both of you, but it has showed you a door that will lead you to a deeper intimacy and better communication skills. Now, instead of making assumptions about the state of your relationship, you can have the kinds of conversations that would have been helpful all along. You just need to open that door.
So let’s go back to how things were pre-pandemic. You say that this is the best relationship you’ve ever had, and because you’re so happy, you’ve made three assumptions: first, that you and your boyfriend are compatible for the long term; second, that your boyfriend is as happy as you are; and third, that being happy in this relationship means the same thing to him that it does to you.
The thing about assumptions, of course, is that they might not be accurate. In terms of compatibility, you may seem well suited in the day-to-day, but I don’t know if you have enough information to make an assessment about your long-term compatibility. For instance, you say that you “desperately” want children, and that your boyfriend is “fairly sure” that he does. “Fairly sure” is very different from desperately wanting, and at almost two years into a relationship in your early 30s, this seems like a big life issue not to have discussed more fully. It’s of course possible that you have the same ideas about future children, but it’s also possible that you’re not as compatible as you think you are. You won’t know until you talk about this openly.