Meet down-to-earth advice columnist, Chris Stelmack. She takes her readers on a special ride inside the tumultuous lives of single professionals; whose imperfect love lives can use a little boost from an experienced and savvy matchmaking pro. Her no-nonsense advice on life and relationships is appreciated by her readers and clients alike. Chris is the founder of the 4M Club, a millionaire matchmaking agency serving clients nationwide. Visit www.4Mclub.com.
SINGLE PROFESSIONALS: You write, I answer!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Q & A / Weekend Lover Not Enough For Her
Q: Hi, Chris:
I've been dating a wonderful guy for about 1.5 years now.
We met on a dating website and hit it off immediately. Both of us are divorced with kids, and our families have grown to love each other dearly! My kids are in college, and his two kids are in high school (one is going to college this fall.)
He knows I want to get married, but he is still dealing with issues. How long should I wait?
I certainly don't want to give him an ultimatum, but I also want to get on with my life. I'm going to be 50 soon (he's 48); I don't want to waste my time if he's not interested in marrying me. And if he is thinking of waiting for both kids to be in college, I'm not sure I want to wait four years.
We are together all weekend, but when school starts on Monday, he is back to being a full-time dad and only has time to talk to me by phone.
I really do love him. He is the total opposite of my ex-husband. He is a real gem, but I don't know what I should do or say.
--- Frustrated in Ft. Lauderdale
A. Dear Bachelorette:
I hate to say this (and experienced it once myself); BUT, his kids come first and foremost--get used to it, or get out.
Since I don't see you "getting out," then deal with the fact he's a father first, and your lover/friend second. Personally, I think it shouldn't be a contest (ever!), but as someone who doesn't have children, it's easier for me to take this stance.
I think the real issue here is lack of communication. You've been with this man for almost two years, so you're way overdue for THE TALK.
Make him a lovely, romantic dinner and afterward take a stroll outside. Hand-in-hand, you can easily (and gently) tell him how you feel, and if he loves you as much as you love him, then he should take what you say very seriously. You have the right to know if this man plans on marrying you, and if so WHEN.
It sounds like you're his weekend lover. He shuts you out during the week (except for phone calls), when he turns into playing the role of Mr. Mom. While I commend his fatherly duties, it seems a little out-of-whack to me. Personally, if this man is crazy about you, he should sneak an evening or two during the work week. Even a quick bite to eat mid-week (with kids in tow or not) would be nice.
It sounds like a long-term relationship of convenience for him. Now go find out how much love there is in his tank (enough to marry you when you turn 50?) That actually would be pretty cool to celebrate both lasting love and your birthday!
While you don't want to give him an ultimatum, please be very clear about your needs. If he's not going to start planning marriage with you (and yes, 4-years is too long to wait, if it's going to make you miserable), then perhaps this isn't the right relationship for you.
You're not playing games here--this is serious business. And kids or not, YOU should be at the top of his list too!
I hope he steps up to the commitment plate. Let me know.
Stelmack, Dating Advice Pro