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I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year. We are both in our 40’s with secure jobs, and both homeowners, but live only a short distance apart. We are currently in this weird stage where I sleep over at his house basically every night, and usually stay 24 hours a day a few days a week. Lately I have been feeling frustrated, because he has made no move to make any space at all for me, yet wants me there. Is he just being a “guy” and not realizing the need for me to have a little space of my own as much as I stay there? He has never been married, but has been in at least one very long term relationship, which I don’t think involved the same arrangement (nor actually living together) according to his family’s comments about his “different” behavior with me. 

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Have him spend the night at your place.  If he insists on his, just say, there is no place for my stuff.  And if he says, "I can give you a drawer," respond with, "Thanks, but I need a place to hang m

Is he? what I mean by that is,  if it's true that he is absolutely wonderful and welcoming, why can't you talk to him? That's what you should be asking yourself.... About his communication issues

I don't think think it's a drawer or physical space that you has you wondering, but maybe where you fit in to his world emotionally.  In a later response you said you weren't good at waiting to s

Make space for you how? What exactly do you need him to do?

Also, just because he wants, doesn't mean you have to blindly oblige. If you need to spend less time at his so you can do things at home and have your own space then you should be doing so.

What do you ultimately want? Do you want to move in? Keep things as is? Basically, be clear with yourself about what you want and need and then talk to him about it and see what he says.

You are old enough to know that people can't read your mind.

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My husband and I didn't live together before marriage -we were 42.  We stayed at each other's places a lot.  It never occurred to me to need or ask for space to keep my things -there was space, I used it, he did the same when he stayed at mine.  It sounds like if he made you space you'd feel he was more emotionally committed somehow?  (Also there's a great scene about this in the movie About Last Night - also a great movie).  

What are your future plans with this guy?  It doesn't matter whether he's been married or not- he's an adult.  My husband and I weren't married before when we married. He behaved like he was very committed to me from the beginning.  

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Have him spend the night at your place.  If he insists on his, just say, there is no place for my stuff.  And if he says, "I can give you a drawer," respond with, "Thanks, but I need a place to hang my work clothes too." Or whatever. Exchange with toiletries, etc.  And if he says, "no, what for, you live so close by," then respond with, "I know, and that's where you'll find me as we take turns where we stay."

It can be a guy thing or not. But it's clearly you not piping up as well.  It's okay to be upfront with your needs.

Also, never give a man the test of life with wife, and play house if you can't talk about marriage and share life goals together.  Staying over every night doesn't get to closer to getting a proposal.  In fact, it can push you further away.  Maintain a life of your own at least once a week until you are getting closer to commitment.  Even then, always be vocal about your needs.  Never assume someone knows better.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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42 minutes ago, asp2021 said:

 I sleep over at his house basically every night, and usually stay 24 hours a day a few days a week. Lately I have been feeling frustrated, because he has made no move to make any space at all for me, yet wants me there. 

What do you mean by "space for you"?  If you have your own home, that's where you should be spending most of your time and keeping all your things.

Stop camping out at his home. You're not moving in, so don't de facto move in.

It sounds like you are crowding/suffocating him.

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Maybe you are staying over too much and have started to feel disoriented and displaced. Even though he invites you or wants you there, it doesn't mean you have to stay as much.

I'd look over if you should be spending that much time over and more time at your own home or see whether you both want to combine your lives and live together. You might be frustrated that this isn't moving to the next phase or there's some expectation that you both haven't talked about.

 

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Your choice to practically 'live' there.. you don't live too far away.  He probably doesn't see that need to offer you anything, if you just show up with your little 'overnight bag'- and go home again, eventually.

You've been involved one year.  Do not rush him.

Is all up to you if you want to go there. If you want to speak up & approach this.

Edited by SooSad33
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What did he say when you asked him to provide some space for you? Of course you asked him, correct?

Are you hoping to give up your home and move in with him full time?

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17 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

Maybe you are staying over too much and have started to feel disoriented and displaced. Even though he invites you or wants you there, it doesn't mean you have to stay as much.

I'd look over if you should be spending that much time over and more time at your own home or see whether you both want to combine your lives and live together. You might be frustrated that this isn't moving to the next phase or there's some expectation that you both haven't talked about.

 

I think you have touched on how I am feeling...we seem “stuck” in this phase. I am also aware that I struggle with just asking for what I need, as several others have pointed out. I have been working on speaking up more. I know I need to talk to him about how I am feeling, but I think (like the first reply points out), I am not 100% clear about what I want. “Home” hasn’t always been a safe place for me, and I finally own my own little place in the world. I am struggling with the thought of letting that go, so I guess I am feeling really torn right now. 

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Oh I do know what you mean. It's not easy trusting again. Is it possible to spend equal parts in your home and at his place or have him over sometimes? Give yourselves more time to figure out what you both want (not just you) and get back to celebrating and enjoying the dating part of things. 

That time might give you the clarity needed especially if you don't quite know what to do right now or what to say. 

Can I ask what's your relationship like? What kind of man is he? Understanding, busy, workaholic, do you feel comfortable around him, not so comfy, short tempered man, honest? Your feelings about moving in together might become clearer if you can ask those questions about what kind of person is he. 

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20 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

Oh I do know what you mean. It's not easy trusting again. Is it possible to spend equal parts in your home and at his place or have him over sometimes? Give yourselves more time to figure out what you both want (not just you) and get back to celebrating and enjoying the dating part of things. 

That time might give you the clarity needed especially if you don't quite know what to do right now or what to say. 

Can I ask what's your relationship like? What kind of man is he? Understanding, busy, workaholic, do you feel comfortable around him, not so comfy, short tempered man, honest? Your feelings about moving in together might become clearer if you can ask those questions about what kind of person is he. 

He is an absolutely wonderful person. He has past hurts that make him unsure of himself as well, and he also struggles with communication. He welcomes me into his home, cooks for me, and is very kind and gentle. I really think we have a future together, and we have both spoken about a future, we just haven’t had a conversation about exactly what it looks like for us. 

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1 hour ago, asp2021 said:

He is an absolutely wonderful person. He has past hurts that make him unsure of himself as well, and he also struggles with communication. He welcomes me into his home, cooks for me, and is very kind and gentle. I really think we have a future together, and we have both spoken about a future, we just haven’t had a conversation about exactly what it looks like for us. 

How do you mean he struggles with communication? This would make me pause a bit as it's hard seeing a future if getting info or understanding someone is like pulling teeth or there's room for misunderstanding/not enough effort. It takes two as in two people making equal efforts. There's also the possibility that you're spending so much time with him that it's hard to think objectively about the relationship or whether he's a good choice for you despite being a good man. 

If you're not sure about this give yourselves more time. Do you both go out together or do things outside of spending time at his place? It's good to see other aspects of a person or how they handle themselves.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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1 hour ago, asp2021 said:

He is an absolutely wonderful person. He has past hurts that make him unsure of himself as well, and he also struggles with communication. He welcomes me into his home, cooks for me, and is very kind and gentle. I really think we have a future together, and we have both spoken about a future, we just haven’t had a conversation about exactly what it looks like for us. 

Is he? what I mean by that is,  if it's true that he is absolutely wonderful and welcoming, why can't you talk to him? That's what you should be asking yourself....

About his communication issues, insecurities and past hurts... did he tell you these? Or did you assign this explanation to his behavior? 

be careful assuming people can't give you what you need. Especially when you haven't asked.  You guys are 40s... if you can't communicate now, when? 

Find a good time... when you're relaxed and having a good day together and talk to him. if he clams up or acts in a way that you don't like,  then you learned more in 5 minutes than you have the whole time you've been together. 

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2 hours ago, asp2021 said:

I think you have touched on how I am feeling...we seem “stuck” in this phase. I am also aware that I struggle with just asking for what I need, as several others have pointed out. I have been working on speaking up more. I know I need to talk to him about how I am feeling, but I think (like the first reply points out), I am not 100% clear about what I want. “Home” hasn’t always been a safe place for me, and I finally own my own little place in the world. I am struggling with the thought of letting that go, so I guess I am feeling really torn right now. 

Be careful that you don't think about relationships as black and white, all in or all out type deal. Especially when you are simply dating. You have your own little place and there is no reason to let that go even if you and him were to decide to live together. Rent your place out, but don't let it go. It is an asset and there is zero reason for you to get rid of it.

Even if this relationship went even further and you were to get married, at this point in life, I'd urge you to get a proper prenup precisely so that if things fall apart you don't find yourself in a situation where you've lost or given up what you've worked hard to gain and now have nothing later in life.

I'd avoid approaching this as feelings and focus more on working out what you actually want in more specific, pragmatic terms. It's impossible for him to do anything about your feelings and that can lead to a lot of tensions and misunderstandings, but it's very easy to talk about practical things like "I'd like some room to hang my clothes in the closet so I'm not living out of a suitcase all the time." or "I love seeing you and spending evenings with you, but I also need to spend a few nights a week at my home." or whatever it is that you need from him. The more you can be concrete about your needs the easier it is for another person to meet your needs. Feelings are vague and hard to respond to and can put a person of the defensive as well. Like he can easily think "how do you feel unwelcome when I cook and do this and that and that for you every single time you are here?"

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3 hours ago, asp2021 said:

 I finally own my own little place in the world. 

Why not spend closer to 50/50 at each others places? He may not want to be your bed and breakfast, especially since you are encroaching on his space to this extreme.

Also you don't pay bills there (nor should you) so why should he pay for you and your stuff to be stored there?

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Speak up!  Tell him that you'd like a place to store your belongings or continue living out of your suitcase.  Or, bring a container so you can place your items in it. 

You're both in your 40s and set in your ways including his communication style.  Discuss your concerns with him; not here on this forum.  You should be speaking with him; not with us.  He's the guy who needs to listen to your concerns. 

I agree with others.  Have him stay at your house more often so it's fair. 

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8 hours ago, Lambert said:

Is he? what I mean by that is,  if it's true that he is absolutely wonderful and welcoming, why can't you talk to him? That's what you should be asking yourself....

About his communication issues, insecurities and past hurts... did he tell you these? Or did you assign this explanation to his behavior? 

be careful assuming people can't give you what you need. Especially when you haven't asked.  You guys are 40s... if you can't communicate now, when? 

Find a good time... when you're relaxed and having a good day together and talk to him. if he clams up or acts in a way that you don't like,  then you learned more in 5 minutes than you have the whole time you've been together. 

Agree.  If you want a future, you need to speak of.  You must communicate.  

Why aren't you spending half the time in your home?  

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16 hours ago, asp2021 said:

I think you have touched on how I am feeling...we seem “stuck” in this phase. I am also aware that I struggle with just asking for what I need, as several others have pointed out. I have been working on speaking up more. I know I need to talk to him about how I am feeling, but I think (like the first reply points out), I am not 100% clear about what I want. “Home” hasn’t always been a safe place for me, and I finally own my own little place in the world. I am struggling with the thought of letting that go, so I guess I am feeling really torn right now. 

He's not inviting that idea, not because he's some clueless male you have to prod or hint,etc. but because he doesn't want to.

This isn't about speaking up. You're already way too far over the give-an-inch-take-a-mile zone.

Stop and say to yourself. "It's His House!" Frankly saying something borders on being pushy.

People who invite themselves to quasi move in via the move in creep are a red flag 🚩

Why aren't you working or spending time with your friends, family, kids, interests sports, hobbies etc.?

You're going to get hurt if you keep overstaying your welcome like this.

He's not as stupid and clueless as you think. His actions tell you he lives alone because he wants to and you're a guest, not a live-in GF.

He's also not so stupid that if you invite him to your place,and "teach him" by giving him a drawer, whatever that he'll have an epiphany and suddenly clear out parts of His home for Your stuff.

The best thing you can do is stop and reflect why you're afraid to be alone, don't have a life outside of him and want to escape your own place.

He's single by choice. He's not playing house with you by choice.

Avoid "speaking up" because it's not your house to "speak up" about.

You'll get hurt if you think you can accelerate moving in. Especially with manipulative tactics or pushy inviting yourself to.

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2 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

He's not inviting that idea, not because he's some clueless male you have to prod or hint,etc. but because he doesn't want to.

This isn't about speaking up. You're already way too far over the give-an-inch-take-a-mile zone.

Stop and say to yourself. "It's His House!" Frankly saying something borders on being pushy.

People who invite themselves to quasi move in via the move in creep are a red flag 🚩

Why aren't you working or spending time with your friends, family, kids, interests sports, hobbies etc.?

You're going to get hurt if you keep overstaying your welcome like this.

He's not as stupid and clueless as you think. His actions tell you he lives alone because he wants to and you're a guest, not a live-in GF.

He's also not so stupid that if you invite him to your place,and "teach him" by giving him a drawer, whatever that he'll have an epiphany and suddenly clear out parts of His home for Your stuff.

The best thing you can do is stop and reflect why you're afraid to be alone, don't have a life outside of him and want to escape your own place.

He's single by choice. He's not playing house with you by choice.

Avoid "speaking up" because it's not your house to "speak up" about.

You'll get hurt if you think you can accelerate moving in. Especially with manipulative tactics or pushy inviting yourself to.

You’re being pretty judgmental about someone you know nothing about. I work. I work out. I hike. I hang out with friends. I travel a lot with my job. I didn’t ask or push my way into staying at his house. It gradually happened over time and now I find myself feeling unsettled, like I am not really living anywhere, and I need to change gears. I only go over at his invitation, never once have I just dropped in, or stayed when he didn’t specifically ask. He just asks all the time. I am looking for advice, not criticism or judgement. 

I spoke to him yesterday and told him this almost verbatim, and his response was that he was sorry he has left me feeling this way and we need to fix it. I told him that it was also my fault for not telling him that I was feeling displaced. However, as I often do, I feel like he effectively shut down the conversation, which is likely the root of the problem...communication.

I plan to start staying at my own home more, which is what I have been needing. I realized that a drawer at his house isn’t going to make me feel any more “at home”. I need to BE at home more. 

Edited by asp2021
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6 minutes ago, asp2021 said:

I find myself feeling unsettled, like I am not really living anywhere

I told him that it was also my fault for not telling him that I was feeling displaced. However, as I often do, I feel like he effectively shut down the conversation.

I plan to start staying at my own home more, which is what I have been needing. 

Excellent. Stay at your own place. You're not homeless or displaced. You have your own place. He shut the conversation down because it's not his fault you feel displaced, it's yours.

As I advised, it's his place not yours, so the solution is to stay at your place more. In this conversation you claim was a "lack of communication", did you even invite him over?

Where is this homeless/displaced/unsettled thing coming from? Not from him, he's been kind enough to host you...way too much. In fact this statement of  "unsettled, like I am not really living anywhere" makes no sense when you have your own home.

Edited by Wiseman2
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8 minutes ago, asp2021 said:

You’re being pretty judgmental about someone you know nothing about. I work. I work out. I hike. I hang out with friends. I travel a lot with my job. I didn’t ask or push my way into staying at his house. It gradually happened over time and now I find myself feeling unsettled, like I am not really living anywhere, and I need to change gears. I only go over at his invitation, never once have I just dropped in, or stayed when he didn’t specifically ask. He just asks all the time. I am looking for advice, not criticism or judgement. 

I spoke to him yesterday and told him this almost verbatim, and his response was that he was sorry he has left me feeling this way and we need to fix it. I told him that it was also my fault for not telling him that I was feeling displaced. However, as I often do, I feel like he effectively shut down the conversation, which is likely the root of the problem...communication.

I plan to start staying at my own home more, which is what I have been needing. I realized that a drawer at his house isn’t going to make me feel any more “at home”. I need to BE at home more. 

It's good that you know yourself and what you need to feel at home, and what home means to you and what physical space means or does not mean to you.  It's wonderful I think that your bf listened and said it needed to be fixed.  I can't really relate to how you described your needs -I stayed over at serious boyfriends' places all the time (and vice versa, depending on convenience and other reasons) and didn't feel like you did at all so I can imagine your boyfriend might have been clueless too.  I have certain quirks about food/mealtimes/eating and find that I have to explain it to certain people or make the choice to be flexible and say nothing or simply avoid the situation.  But I know I cannot assume they will "get it".  

 I never felt my serious boyfriends -including my future husband -were hosting me but when I was serious with someone who lived with his sister I did have us check in with her as to her comfort level with when/how I stayed over.  I didn't feel they were my guest -we were a couple and we stayed in one of our places once we were serious, most of the time.

Edited by Batya33
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13 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

It's good that you know yourself and what you need to feel at home, and what home means to you and what physical space means or does not mean to you.  It's wonderful I think that your bf listened and said it needed to be fixed.  I can't really relate to how you described your needs -I stayed over at serious boyfriends' places all the time (and vice versa, depending on convenience and other reasons) and didn't feel like you did at all so I can imagine your boyfriend might have been clueless too.  I have certain quirks about food/mealtimes/eating and find that I have to explain it to certain people or make the choice to be flexible and say nothing or simply avoid the situation.  But I know I cannot assume they will "get it".  

 I never felt my serious boyfriends -including my future husband -were hosting me but when I was serious with someone who lived with his sister I did have us check in with her as to her comfort level with when/how I stayed over.  I didn't feel they were my guest -we were a couple and we stayed in one of our places once we were serious, most of the time.

I think what has complicated things a little is the fact that it is way more convenient for us to stay at his house than mine. Without giving too much potentially identifying info away, he has obligations associated with his home and job that I don’t have. 

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The most concerning thing is his relationship history. A lot of the time, you can see a pattern that will end up being your story as well. How long was this one longterm relationship? There's a possibility these women eventually got tired that he shut them down when they addressed concerns, and the relationship never progressed to the next level, so they broke up with him? Or, he broke up when he tired of their complaints?

Does he have a well-rounded life with hobbies/interests, guy friends? Does he take care of you when you're sick? Would he come to your aid if you had an emergency and needed his assistance? When do you have time to miss each other? Do you do things with other couples? Have group friends? What do your friends think of him?

It'd probably be a good idea to have a discussion and ask questions like: How do you envision our relationship two years from now. What will have changed? What will be the same?

If he can't answer these questions, then yes, no wonder you feel unstable because your relationship is built on sea sand and not concrete. He's never shared a house with a woman so that history suggests it's not happening for you. Of course you might be that special one who he wants to finally be serious with, but if he shuts you down when you try to discuss what you need from him, do you really think that's the case?

The best way to change someone else's behavior is to change your own. Have a spine. He says: Can you spend the night? Me: Let me know when you have five empty hangers for me to hang my clothes in X closet, and the second drawer in the bathroom for my toiletries, and I'll come over.

If you fear losing someone over reasonable requests, the relationship really isn't as strong as you hoped. The right person won't leave you feeling unsettled. Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

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11 minutes ago, Andrina said:

The best way to change someone else's behavior is to change your own. Have a spine. He says: Can you spend the night? Me: Let me know when you have five empty hangers for me to hang my clothes in X closet, and the second drawer in the bathroom for my toiletries, and I'll come over.

I disagree with this. Ultimatums never work, nor do tricks and manipulation. The solution is so simple. She needs to stop camping out there and stop thinking it's her place. It's not.

She has her own place. She does not pay the bills, she does not have the homeownership responsibilities and she belongs in her own home. 

 Also the crystal ball talk after dating a year is pointless, that as well is manipulative and attempts to force another ultimatum. What is he supposed to say? Move in? Marry me? I see you moving in, I see us marrying? 

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