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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Should I Break Up With the Love of My Life?

DearSugar and Stuck Sasha need your help. She's found the man of her dreams, but he's not ready to make a commitment. While he says that he wants to settle down one day, she's not sure if she can trust such a vague promise. Should she hold out for the love of her life to one day be ready, or should she cut her losses and hope to find another man who's more stable for her future?
Dear Sugar,
I have been with my current boyfriend for one year. I'll start off by saying he is someone I can really see myself marrying. We have a wonderful, loving relationship. He is one of the most trustworthy, caring, and dependable individuals I have ever met. Our sex life is simply amazing, and we share many of the same passions. I am in my mid twenties and he is seven years older than me. He is an established musician and was recently away on tour, which left me a lot of time to myself to think. I started to get this anxious feeling about "where this is going." I know that we haven't been together very long in the grand scheme of things, but I started to get very worried about our future. Since the early months of our relationship, he has made it very clear that he does not anticipate being financially or emotionally ready to get married and have children within the next five years. Since I am only three years out of college, I hadn't even been thinking about settling down, so this declaration was never an issue. However, while he was gone, it really made me start to panic. I started to wonder if he will ever be ready to settle down. His music is his passion and I would never want to take that away from him, but he just seems so content constantly traveling and networking that I don't see him wanting to settle down with me — even after five years!

The dilemma this creates for me is that in five years, I'll be in my thirties and ready to have a husband and a family. I'm afraid that if I stay with him, I will end up with a man who won't commit, and I will have wasted my chance to find love in my 20s. I've tried to talk to him about this, but he stands by his decision. He says that he loves me, and that he thinks he will eventually have a family, but he can't promise anything. He's a free spirit and says that he has no idea what his life holds. He says he wants to be with me, but he understands if I'm not willing to take a gamble on my future. This is in no way an issue of trust — I have never trusted a man more than I trust him. He is not the type that would ever cheat — he is a loving, honest man, which is why he won't make me a promise he can't keep. What should I do? Gamble with my ultimate goal of having a husband and children in order to stay with my perfect guy or cut my losses and try to move on while I still have the chance?


Join The Conversation
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
I hate to say this, but this is not the man for you. He doesn't want the same things in the future that you want, and honestly, that's really important. Sure, he's great at everything else, but after a year, it's only natural to start looking towards the future. I say, you really have to move on. It'll only be hard on him if you want to constantly talk about marriage, kids and the future, and it'll be hard on you to realize you might be at a dead end. You can't wait around for him...You need to think about yourself. There's a guy out there that wants what you do!
0danielle0 0danielle0 9 years
Let's seeeeee, he's the love of your life, he's honest, and the sex is great? Honestly sweetheart, stick with him. Is it more important to you to be married and have kids, or to be in love and happy? That might be a tough question to answer, but it shouldn't be. Relationships like yours are rare. Wait it out. If he's not the one, you'll figure it out eventually. There's no hourglass that's going to run out once you turn a certain age. Be happy. Don't over-think things. Most women would kill for what you have. Granted, that might not make you feel any better, but trust that what you have is special. :)
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
why can't you just relax and bask in such a great relationship? i commend him for being honest with you from the beginning. my advice to you is don't think you can change him. i'm sure he means what he says. if you truly believe that happiness means being married by the time you're 30 and starting a family, then he's not the right guy for you. you are not on the same time line. you have this plan you're trying to adhere to...but, it's not his plan.
geebers geebers 9 years
I had to think about this post. I think that one year is a short time and you are young so I want to tell you to give it some time before you leave him. I am saying this because you say he is an amazing guy and everything else seems great. I believe that there is no such thing as a "waste of time". No matter how badly the relationship ends or does not go the way you planned, it is not a waste of time. You learn from it and you will know if you will change your priorities in the future or not. Obviously you are not truly ready to leave him so that tells me you should wait for a bit before you decide that you really do want to be married or if you would rather live your life with him.
sweetmteez sweetmteez 9 years
I hate to agree with smugirl, but I do... if you are feeling panicked now it might be a sign that you are ready for a more serious relationship, and if he isn't now (being so much older than you) I don't know if he will 7 years down the line either! Somebody else also made the point that if he is so much older than you he might think he can get away with not having to commit to you in any thing other than right now. If you're ok with being his "right now" girl, that's one thing...but from the sound of aren't! Basically, I have a fear that he will meet a girl that he will see himself with forever and it won't be you. He should know by now, and if he doesn't, he just doesn't see you that way. It makes me very annoyed at him to hear he can so casually let you go if you don't want to be with him. If he IS the love of your life he would be begging you not to go! The whole idea of letting you go because he loves you isn't something I agree with. If he loved you as much as you love him he would be terrified you'd leave. Of course nobody here knows your situation exactly and I've been burned recently several times, so I'm bitter. My only bit of advice from my recent burnings is to not put up with the "emo crap" guys throw at you. Get more into the "He's just not that into you" mentality. Do what will make YOU happy long-term and not for just-right now. You deserve to be happy for longer than what this guy can promise.
alltherage alltherage 9 years
i agree with hotstuff.
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
Hmmm I guess it depends how quickly you want to be married with kids. If you are ok just dating him until you are certain of this, then go ahead. But do not subtely manipulate him as someone else has suggested. I would think that he is probably with a girl like yourself who is substantially younger than him because no women his own age would stick around to see what happens, they wouldn't want to waste any time. No matter how much he loves you, he has made his terms very clear. He is a commitmentphobe who does not want kids or marriage any time soon or maybe ever. The fact that it sounds like he is already into his 30's makes me think that he knows what he wants because of experience. It is doubtful that he will change his mind soon, because this is usually the age where most men want to begin settling down and having a family. You said that he is your 'perfect man'. How is he your perfect man if he has totally different goals and values than you?? I don't understand. If you want to hang out with him and have fun, then go for it. But don't count on him changing what he wants for his future. Good luck.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
he's made it clear that you aren't on the same page. what else do you need to know? if you think he's going to change his mind because his love for you is so blinding and that he can't live without you, don't go there. here's what is most likely to happen; you give up what YOU want for him and then in 5 or 7 or 10 years you are still waiting for hin to grow up and settle down. this is YOUR LIFE, you make the decisions that are best FOR YOU. there are lots of men out there, lots of good men. i think you should part ways eith this guy. it's been nice but you want mutually exclusive things. one of you is going to be unhappy in the end, there is no other way given the wants you each have.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Wow! This is such a tough question! I think everyone gave some great advice, so I'll just offer another anecdote. My cousin dated seriously the hottest, most charming guys throughout her twenties. She has a "breeder" mentality, so she decided when she was 29, and none of the guys she had dated had wanted to settle down to seriously look only for guys who wanted to get married. She got married a year later to a really boring accountant she found online and had two kids in the next two years. My point don't HAVE to find love in your twenties, but if you wanted to, you could still do it even after dating this guy for a few years. It might be a compromise, but you have to figure out what your priorities are. Personally, I would just keep dating this guy. You are young, what if the next five years of your life are the best ever? Marriage is NOT the "start of the rest of your life" it is just another step in your life. Yes, if you're 30, and he still doesn't see himself settling down after five great years, then move on, but don't worry about if for now! Have fun with a "loving, honest" man!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
When you are 40 you have on average 2-10% chance of becoming pregnant if you haven't had children previous to this. So, life does not stop at 30, and everyone does not need to be parents, but we shouldn't kid ourselves either. Give it a little more time, 6 months or a year to see if you see any changes, and also to see if you can live with a travelling musician.
Ster Ster 9 years
If you leave him now, there's no guarantee that you'll be married with kids within five years. Nothing in life is guaranteed and every choice you make is a little gamble. You gamble by staying, because you run the risk he might not be ready in five years and maybe he'll never be ready. You gamble by leaving, because you don't know when and if you'll meet that someone. It's a personal choice really, and the question of what risk you prefer to run. I personally feel that no relationship is ever 100% secure and after a year of dating nothing is set in stone. If you open yourself emotionally you always run the risk of getting hurt or disappointed. The fact that he tells you it's ok to go, means he either doesn't love you or loves you so much that he'd rather see you happy with someone else than unhappy with him. I guess you should find out which one it is. Real and true love is a rare thing and you should think carefully before leaving that behind. Then again, you should never give up what you really want in life for someone else, because you will end up resenting him for it. Good luck making a decision.
sass317 sass317 9 years
Im sorry but to me part of finding the love of your life also means that you share the same goals and have similar views on marriage and children. As much as I love my husband I wouldnt have stuck around if he said he never wanted kids, bc that is extremely important to me. And personally whenever I hear "hes a free spirit" it makes me think he cheats and doesnt see anything wrong with it- bc he has to be free and cant be tied down blah blah blah
smugirl smugirl 9 years
Leave the relationship. If he was the same age as you I would have said stick around b/c you're both still young and a year is not a long time, but if he's older and still not ready for marriage and all that, he isn't going to be - with you. It does not take guys forever to figure it out. I had a similar relationship, I am in my twenties, he was 5 yrs older, said he was not ready for all that so I left (well really I was hoping he wouldn't let me go, and if he was really in love w/me, I don't think he would have) and now he says he sees himself getting married to... someone else (they've been dating 7 months)!! It doesn't take guys long to figure out if someone is the one, and I don't think it's gonna be you for him. Sorry.
petite42 petite42 9 years
I agree with hotstuff. Go date other people. If you don't find anyone you like better in the next few years, maybe by then this man will be ready to settle down, or you'll be more willing to settle for a relationship without the marriage and children part.
Bearwoman Bearwoman 9 years
Karlotta: Are you a Scandinavian like me, living with and American? I liked your answer a lot. I took it to heart, because I can identify with the post, and the way you describe your relationship. I too, do worry that I might be "wasting my time" with somebody who I deeply love, just to be dropped at the tender age of "I want to have babies and a family now". It's a touchy subject, but I do believe in my heart that being with the one you love, for three years or thirty, is never a waste of time.
nextjen nextjen 9 years
Life isn't over at 30! You say that 'I will have wasted my chance to find love in my 20s'. Obviously I understand the concept of wasting time, but is it so important to get married in your 20s? Also, I understand the idea of a biological clock, but it doesn't stop ticking at 30 either, and you should be fertile for at LEAST another ten years! You hear about women in their 40s who have kids too, so please don't panic! Keep talking. If you drive him away by bringing the topic up time and time again then he was never going to stick around anyway. If he really does see a future with you (or the possibility of a future with you) he should be willing to talk about it. You can't set ultimatums, but you may be able to set goals with this guy. If his career is just taking off, it's understandable that he doesn't want to feel tied down, but that doesn't mean he doesn't want to be with you. Relax! (For now, anyway.)
jexika34 jexika34 9 years
Wait for another year, it is still early days. Although I have waited for somebody like that for 3 years but I'm a little bit older, 34 years old. In the end realized it was never going to happen so I had to break up. I wish you luck.
emalove emalove 9 years
I think it's just about whether or not you're willing to make these sacrifices for your relationship...I'd say you have a lot of thinking to do.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I agree with Jamie as well... if he is truly the love of your life then you wouldn't even be thinking about leaving because he's not sure he wants to get married. That part just wouldn't matter, especially not at this point in your relationship.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
I really thought about this one and I have to be honest and say you need to LISTEN to him! This man is telling you that he is neither financially nor EMOTIONALLY ready to get married and he's telling you the truth. This man is 7 yrs older than you and has a pretty good clue at what he wants in life and marriage isn't it! Even if he propsed to you tomorrow that still wouldn't change music being his passion, lots of traveling, and him going away on tours. Is this the life YOU want? He's even giving you an out! I'm sorry hun but no man who has truely found the love of his life will let her get away so easily. I think he's not as into this as you and it would probably be wise of you to move on soon. Gambling on the hopes that an older man will change his mind in 5 YEARS is foolish.
hills hills 9 years
i agree with crackaddict, despite the unpromising name ;) {kidding} i think you should take this in your stride and don't panic so much, it's only been 1 year and that's basically the honeymoon period, take things as it comes, being so panicked by this could end up putting a strain on your relationship and u don't want to push him, he has said his piece and it sounds like he will be sticking to it. but if u feel in anyway that you just can't take this chance, then move on, there are plenty more men out there, it all comes down to how u feel though....
JoLee JoLee 9 years
Maybe you should be patient. If you both are the love of each other's lives it will happen. I gave up the love of my life to marry someone who live on the same continent as me. Now, in retrospect; I should have waited.
sunnyheart sunnyheart 9 years
I think the key issue is how much you enjoy your time together. If every day you feel happy to be together, to see him, that life is so much better because he is a part of it, I would say stay together for at least another year and see if you slowly move towards where you want to be like karlotta's relationship has done. He means it if he's consistantly by your side showing he loves you with actions if not words. However, if he is always on the road and you're miserable, that's quite different. Also, if the need for a more solid commitment makes it impossible for you to enjoy the relationship for what it is now(=you think about what could be more than what is), choose to leave amicably with the possibility of getting back together. A few years of maturing might help both of you decide what is best and fate will bring you back to each other when the timing is right.
bsglrok132 bsglrok132 9 years
I think it's to your advantage that he's seven years older, because if he waits until he's in his late thirties or forties to settle down, you'll still be young. He does say that he wants to settle down some day, so I would trust him and wait it out as long as I'm happy. I bet it will be worth the wait.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I agree with Jaime.
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