I’ve stared dating a younger man and things seem to be simply amazing: we share similar views and values, have the same sense of humour, respect each other and have lots of fun together. He said that he feels happy with me and so do I. In fact, this may be the most rewarding relationship I’ve ever been in. However, when I brought up the topic of our potential future together, he became very hesitant and even suggested we keep our relationship open which was totally unexpected to me. I am 6 years older and ready for a commitment, while he hints he needs more time to think about it. I don’t want to push things, but waiting around until he makes up his mind let alone dates other women to convince himself if he wants to be with me does not feel right. What should I do?
Deborah, 36
Answered by:
Dating, Commitment Issues & Romance Adviser

Dating a younger man is quite a dilemma that you find yourself in! You have met a nice guy who you feel comfortable with and who you envision building a future with, and you want to drive the relationship with him forward while he wants to slam on the brakes. This is a man who may not realise it, but time stops for no man (or woman for that matter). Time will not wait for you to catch up. You can choose to invest your heart and your time into this man who has made it clear that he is not ready to declare that you are his one and only partner. However, if you make that choice, it would be a foolish decision.

You are already 36 years old, and whether or not you have realized it, time can move very quickly. Six years from now, you will be 42 and he will be 36 years old. If you want to have a family with this man, it is best that you make that very clear upfront, because women do not get to decide when their bodies shut down and are no longer capable of reproducing. Menopause happens whether a woman wants it or not. Men, of course, can reproduce well into their senior years.

You have made it clear that you are looking for a life mate, not a lust mate. When one person wants an open relationship and the other person in the relationship wants to be exclusive, the relationship is most likely not going to work out. Why should you have to settle for sharing your man with another woman when you don’t want to? You should not have to. Stop worrying about how he will react if you press the issue about commitment and start thinking about how you will feel six years from now if you and your guy are in the same position and nothing has changed; he wants to be carefree and you want to be committed. You will feel like you have wasted your time and regret not taking action to change your situation sooner. It is time to be very upfront with your boyfriend and let him know that you are not willing to play second fiddle to other women. If he is not on the same page as you, then you need to close that book and start a new chapter with another love interest.

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