I am a single mother with four children. I have been dating my current boyfriend for five years, and although I love him dearly, I can't help but feel like our relationship has hit a standstill. We're currently living in separate towns a couple of hours apart. I'm ready for us to move in with each other and get engaged, but he just won't do it. He comes to see me often and spends a few days but nothing more. Half the time he says he can't see himself living in my town permanently because it's so far away from everything, but the rest of the time, he says he just needs more time. I know he loves me and my children, and I love him, but I'm just not sure I can wait for him anymore.
I feel completely brokenhearted, and I just don't know what I can do. Do you have any advice for getting through this? Can I make it work?
— Tired of Waiting Tamara
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Dear Tired of Waiting Tamara,
There's nothing more difficult than wanting something to work that just won't. It also seems nearly impossible to walk away from a five-year relationship with a man you love and who cares deeply for your children, but currently there's a huge level of dissatisfaction that you're obviously unable to ignore. If he needs you to wait, and you're not willing to wait anymore, then to me the answer is clear.
Sit down with your boyfriend and tell him that you've hit your limit. Perhaps there's something specific holding him back that you guys can work through together — maybe he really doesn't want to move into your area or perhaps the idea of marriage is scaring him away from the move. However, if he's unsure if he'll ever be ready, then no matter how much you might want him to marry you, you could end up in the same position another five years down the road. Focus on talking with him for now, and hopefully you'll get the answers you need to make your decision.