How Do I Make My Boyfriend Want to Talk About Next Steps in Our Relationship

I am a 52-year-old twice-divorced woman who has been in a serious relationship with a great man for three years. He is kind, loyal, dedicated, hard-working, and treats me very well. We each have two teenage kids in high school and live in different school districts. Our divorces were tough on the kids and we have both done everything possible to keep them stable and happy. Neither one of us is willing to disrupt our kids and pull them out of their high schools and understand forcing for teenagers to live together under one roof would be a disaster. So for the past 3 years my boyfriend and I see each other every other weekend when our kids are with their other parent. We have created what I like to call a “weekend love bubble”. It’s just the two of us 2x a month and we get along wonderfully. No fighting or bickering because our time together is so special and limited. However, there’s also no talk of the future, marriage or anything past getting our kids through high school graduation. We talk on the phone every day to stay connected during our time apart; we spend holidays together with our families and occasionally get all the kids together for special events. Over Christmas vacation, we got to spend a glorious 5 uninterrupted days together in our love bubble and it was fabulous. I am deeply in love and understand our living situation cannot change for the next two years, but how do I break the cycle of this weekend love bubble and take this relationship to the next step? How do I get him to start talking about our future together with the unknown factor of four teenagers?

Sincerely,
Amy

Amy, this is a relationship of your own creation. It’s not something that happened to you against your will. It’s something you have chosen, again and again, for the past three years.

Now, to be fair, it sounds like he’s content with it. It sounds like you have been as well – otherwise, I’m presuming, you wouldn’t have accepted the notion of a 2X/month boyfriend for so long. But life is about tradeoffs and choices, my friend.

You and your boyfriend chose to keep separate lives, separate houses, separate school districts – all for the sake of your kids’ stability. I am not criticizing you; I am merely pointing out what you shared with me. Those were the terms of the deal.

You never “make” your boyfriend do anything. You ask him.

Now you want to change the terms of the deal. I’m with you. I don’t see a biweekly relationship as an ideal one, and I fully support you wanting to escalate things. However, you’re one of two people in the relationship, and your boyfriend has never made any noise about wanting to change. Which leads to the dreaded preamble, “How do I make my boyfriend…”

You never “make” your boyfriend do anything. You ask him.

“Sweetie, when the kids are out of the house, what would you like to see happen with us?”

See what he says.

If he says, “I like things exactly the way they are. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” you have some insight. If he says, “I’ve been hoping you’d say that. I want to sell my house and buy one in your town,” you have a different insight.

You created your “love bubble.” Only you can burst it.

The point is to not exert pressure on a given outcome, but merely to let him speak. Chances are, you will get neither answer. You will probably get “I haven’t really thought about it. Let’s cross that bridge in a few years when we both have empty nests.”

And you will have to learn to deal with being in a relationship that has little forward motion and no guarantees…because that is the relationship you agreed to three years ago.

You created your “love bubble.” Only you can burst it.