When Will He Be Ready to Commit?

Q: I've been dating a man for a year. He's 29, I'm 26, and this is his first relationship. Some months ago we decided to move in together, and I also took him home to meet my family in Europe. Everything was going good until, two weeks after the trip, he decided he wanted to be single and focus on his career. Soon, though, he wanted to get back together. He said he got cold feet after he met my family, that everything was getting very serious.

Then he decided he loves me, he made a plan to propose, have kids, and that he wants me in his life forever. I love him, so I took him back. Things are going much better now. However, I feel like we cannot even plan a future together because he might get cold feet and leave again. I'm trying to give him time and not talk about anything related to the future, hoping everything will eventually fall into place. But it doesn't feel right that there is just no talk about the future whatsoever, nor of living together. I haven't mentioned these thoughts, because I am scared that it will end up like last time. What do you think I should do??? — Sophie, 26

Dr. Susan: You're both young to decide your forever future, especially as this is his first relationship. It seems he doesn't want to lose you, but also is a bit afraid to commit at this point. I wouldn't push him right now, nor would I rush living together yet. So many marriages fail that the longer you wait to know one another, the better chance you will make a wise decision. I understand your discomfort. One thing you can do is open a conversation about these feelings. Without urging him to do anything he's not ready for, you can explore with him your fears and worries, as well as his own ambivalence. I'd give this great relationship another year before even considering writing him off.

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