What happens when you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship… but your partner isn’t? In today’s edition of Dear Dating Bitch, I’ll be offering some advice on that very dilemma.

But first, if you’re new to the blog, Dear Dating Bitch is my advice column segment. I’m always happy to answer questions from readers, so if you’re in need of some advice, you can submit your questions here. And don’t worry – it’s always anonymous.

Now then, let’s get to the questions for today!

Advice on how to handle it when you're ready to take the next step but your partner isn't
*Note: Questions may have been edited for length/clarity

Dear Dating B: Advice on Moving Forward

Q: I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now, and I’m ready to take the next step by moving in. He lives almost an hour away, but he works close to my house. For some reason, though, he doesn’t want to move in together.

I’m getting frustrated by the distance. We get along well except for arguments about this. What should I do?

Ready to Move In

Dear Ready to Move in:

Have you discussed whether or not he’ll ever want to move in together? Or if there is a specific reason for his hesitation? If not, that should be your first priority.

Maybe he wants to be engaged/married/dating for X number of years before committing to a mortgage. It’s also possible that he just enjoys living by myself – regardless of where he works – and doesn’t want that to change.

But, regardless, I would try and stop arguing about this issue. He’s made his position clear for the time being.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to just passively accept the lack of progress in your relationship. You can (and should!) ask him more about his position – just make sure you do it in a constructive, rather than argumentative, way.

Pick a time when things are calm to bring it up. Make sure he knows you’re not trying to change his mind, but rather, that you want to understand where he’s coming from.

“Joe, I know you’re not open to the idea of living together right now. I’m wondering what kind of timeline you had in mind for that? Is there something specific about moving in that gives you pause?”

Once you know his reasons, you can figure out whether or not you want to continue in the relationship.

You can’t change his internal moving-in-together clock. Nor should you try to. But, since this is bothering you so much, it’s important to voice your concerns. It’s also important to evaluate your own wants and needs. It’s OK to walk away from someone you love who isn’t satisfying those needs.

Related Read: How to Have More Effective Communication in Relationships

Q: My boyfriend says he isn’t ready to be engaged for another year. I’m ready to take the next step now. I can’t help feeling like he isn’t considering what I want or how I feel.

What do I do here?

Wanting a Ring

Dear Wanting a Ring:

I’ll be honest, this is a harder one for me to answer.

My initial reaction was that of, Just wait another year, then. I’m not sure how old you are, but in the grand scheme of things, one year isn’t that long when you’re considering spending the rest of your life with someone.

But, again, this comes down to the ability to have an open and honest discussion as a couple. And, to an equal extent, with yourself.

Talk to your boyfriend about why he doesn’t feel ready right now. Why is he so sure he’ll be ready in a year? What are his current concerns?

As for you, ask yourself why you feel so hurt by this? Is a year a big deal to you or are you secretly afraid an engagement will never happen? Do you feel like he’s not mindful of your emotions in other areas or just this one?

Still, if you’re genuinely upset about the timeline alone and you trust that your boyfriend is being truthful, I think you should let this one go. A year really isn’t so long to wait.

☆ ☆ ☆

Conclusion

In a relationship, it’s important to be on the same page. When only one of you is ready to take the next step, it throws the whole partnership off balance. Like most things, it’s important to communicate.

What do you think of my advice this time? Let me know in the comments below!

And of course, thanks for reading. If you’ve got questions of your own, make sure to send them to me here!

xx
Katie

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4 Comments

  1. avatar

    It’s difficult when two people in a relationship are at different stages but it’s so important to respect both of the sides (not just your own) and talk openly and honestly about where you both are x

    1. avatar

      That’s so true. It could speak to the overall level of compatibility so being able to communicate is crucial.

  2. avatar

    The engagement one is tricky but you gave solid advice on how she should approach it.

    1. avatar

      I thought so too; a year isn’t too long to wait, but it seems like there might be an underlying issue there. Thanks for reading!

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30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.

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