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Should I Give up or Keep Trying?

Dear Sugar

I'm 27 years old and have been dating a guy for about a year and a half now. We both have so much in common and get along extremely well, however, I am at a point in my life where I am ready to settle down. He is three years younger and while he admits he doesn't think he'll ever find another girl that makes him happier, he doesn't feel that he's had enough experiences with other women. He wants to take a break and sow his wild oats, although he acknowledges that he has no idea if he'll get over this phase in a month or in 5 years.

I'm crushed and confused. I don't want to take a break, but I also don't want our relationship to end up in divorce court because he married before he was ready to settle down. If it were just a matter of giving us more time, I would do it, but the thought of him with other women just crushes my spirit. Do I kick him to the curb or give him the chance to have some fun before having a family and settling down? --Decision Time Debbie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Decision Time Debbie--

It can be so heartbreaking to find the "perfect" man for you when the timing isn't right so I am sorry you are hurting. Your boyfriend is being extremely honest with you, which I admire. While taking a break might not be the ideal situation, pressuring him into settling down before he is ready is sure to backfire, potentially hurting you more in the long run. It sounds as though your boyfriend needs some time to explore himself, so if you don't want him going behind your back, I suggest giving him the space he needs right now. You're right, you don't want to end up in divorce court or have your husband resent you for pressuring him into a premature marriage.

While some people think taking a break is a bad idea, others find time apart to be a blessing in disguise. I don't blame you for being hurt by your boyfriend's desires, but unfortunately you are going to have to respect his needs one way or another. Oftentimes distance does make the heart grow fonder, so keep faith in your relationship and hopefully, sooner than later, your boyfriend will realize that you're the woman for him! Good luck and stay strong.


Join The Conversation
amborsita amborsita 9 years
I totally agree with popgoestheworld. If a guy were to tell you that he needs to experience other WOMEN, forget about it. No one deserves to have to wait on the sidelines while their significant other goes around with other people, expecting you to be there when they're done. However, perhaps this guy wants a clean slate. perhaps he hasn't been without a relationship for a long time and simply wants to reconnect with old friends, hobbies and interests, that we all know we tend to neglect in relationships once in awhile. Again, if the guy doesn't do anything during that time that would ruin the chances of getting back together, then it's obviously personal issues with himself and not with the relationship or the person he's with. But if he is simply asking to sleep with other women before settling down...he's a jerk and he needs to get lost.
Eternity Eternity 10 years
I was in the same situation after a 4 year relationship a couple of years ago, and it was a very good idea. The thing is- if you don't allow him to do this he might cheat on you. In my experience it was a year apart that allowed me to really grow as an individual, and eventually we got back together (we are apart now...that time also gave me a chance to evaluate what I really wanted in a relationship, and he wasn't able to deliever in the end)
Vsugar Vsugar 10 years
I don't really know if I agree with all the people who are saying that they admire your boyfriend for being honest with you. I mean, ok, it's better than cheating on you, but are we really giving kudos now to men who DON'T cheat on their girlfriends??? Shouldn't that be a given? I think that his behaviour is incredibly selfish. I think the whole "i-need-to-screw-more-people-before-I-settle-down" thing is a crock of you-know-what. What he is really saying to you is, there is no compelling reason to break up while you are still willing to sleep with me and try to make me happy. You want to be married to someone who is running towards you with open arms and as excited about being with you as you are with them. It is time to cut this loser-boy loose and find a real man. It's what you deserve.
Marci Marci 10 years
Wow, I feel for you in this situation. It's tough to care for someone enough that you'd want to marry them, yet the timing isn't right. And there's not much you can do about that. If your boyfriend feels he needs to go out and do his thing, then that's what he has to do. If you convince him not to, then you could live to regret that everyday of your life, either through his dissatisfaction, his possible doing that after you marry, or his blaming you everytime you have an argument. I am actually one of those people who don't see taking a break as lethal. One never knows. And I've known plenty of people who have gotten back together after a break and moving onto a good life together. Essentially, there's that old saying that if you love someone then let them go; if they come back blah blah blah.....but basically saying that if they come back to you, they were yours all along and if they don't, they never really were. I say, let the guy do his thing, but don't wait around for him. Move on and date or whatever. But don't waste any time hoping he'll be back because there's no guarantee. Good luck. I'll be thinking of you.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Well, no matter what, he shouldn't need to take a break. I just asked my boyfriend and he said to drop him because if he really felt the way that he says he feels about you, there would be no question and he would not have to. _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
Lilith1 Lilith1 10 years
I know you love him to bits, but waiting would be practically not respecting yourself... How could you just stand by pulling your heart out when he's fooling around? I don't think it's a wise decision to make, and I know how hard it can be to be in a relationship with someone younger, my bf's also younger than me. But then again why be with a guy who's not ready to commit?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
We are all assuming this means he wants to sleep with other people. Maybe he does, but maybe he just wants to date around or just see what it feels like to be young and twenty-something and single. At least he's being honest about it! I'm sorry, but 24 is young! And it sounds like they've been together since he was pretty much out of college and he is scared about settling down. I think those are normal feelings for a guy who is young with a serious girlfriend who hasn't had much time to be on his own. I don't think she should sit around and wait for him, but I do think that if she's okay with a break, they should set some ground rules and have at it, and see what happens. A good guy friend had these same types of feelings when he started work out of college. He told his girlfriend, did NOT go sleep around, but just saw what being a young-ish single male was like outside of college (the last time he was single), realized it wasn't what he wanted, and he has been married now for 15 years to his college sweetheart! Anyway, it's hard to judge without knowing what "sow his wild oats" actually refers to. I agree it could easily mean sleep around (in which case, yeah, ditch the guy) but it could also mean this guy just isn't sure that settling down is the right option for him at the moment and doesn't want to drag his girlfriend down while he's unsure.
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
WHAT A TOOL! Seriously. I'm not done screwing around with other women? He's 24 years old, when will he ever be done if that is the case? Yeah, tell him to go suck a duck because you won't hang around until he's finished dicking about. >.<
honey31 honey31 10 years
Read the book called Hes just not that into you or something like that!Kick him to the curb before he really hurts you more!
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
...i'm so sorry to read this. it's really hard to have a loved boyfriend say he needs to sleep with other women to feel complete. it sucks but you don't need him. you don't need to be told that you aren't enough for someone. it sounds like he's just not ready to be a big boy and stay in a committed relationship. you're in different stages in life. :hug:
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Kick him to the curb. He may find out you are the one he wants, but you can't wait around for it. Esp if this means sleeping with other women-sounds like he just wants an excuse to cheat. my boyf is 2 years younger, so i know how you feel, and we have been dating over 5 years...if he decided he needed to sow his wild oats i would walk away. _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
nicachica nicachica 10 years
i swear, it's that whole "sowing my wild oats" statement that just threw me for a loop with this post! while i appreciate the boyfriend's honesty, i agree with Grl in the World...what will it accomplish? sigh...this definitely isn't an easy decision for you so i wish you the best of luck. i hope you two can work it out and if not, that you can find someone that is right for you.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I agree with Nicachica, cycy and simplybe. I think he's feeling pressure from being in a serious relationship, and he's balking at the commitment he feels you want from him. It really does sound like he wants to have sex with a bunch of other women...but for what reason? To see if he can find someone "better" than you? Don't you find that insulting? While it's good that he has been honest and not just gone around screwing other chicks, it also tells you something about his maturity level. You two are obviously not on the same page and YOU DESERVE BETTER!! I am also 27 and my boyfriend is 23, we've been together since he was 19, I am willing to give him more time before marriage, but if he suggested he wanted to date other women I would drop him like a hot potato. You want to get on with your life and you deserve to do so with someone who has the same goals as yourself. Let him go, but don't wait around for him, there is someone else out there who is more mature and who will be absolutely devoted to you and only you!
steen steen 10 years
I broke up with my high school sweetheart after four years because I was in the same situation as your boyfriend --- he was talking about moving to Michigan, where he's from, and whatnot. He initially stood by, thinking it was a phase, but once I actually started seeing other guys, he couldn't handle it. We ended up drifting apart and we both eventually moved on. But candy apple is right --- the solution to your problem lies between you two and actually talking about what both of you want. If that's not compatible and there is no compromise, you'll be better off saving yourself heartbreak later on.
candy-apple candy-apple 10 years
i have a female friend who wants to do just that. her boyfriend wants a settled future but she feels she hasn't been with enough men yet to know what she truly wants. indicision is something we all have- i do too, how can you ever be sure of anything when it comes to feelings? however, i told my friend straight out i didn't think a break would be a good idea. i mean, that's like a slap in the face for the other partner: " i love you, but can u just hang around until im done humping everything in sight to get it out of my system?". and who really wants to be with anyone whose self-esteem is low enough to accept that kind of deal?! sorry, i just don't think it's fair. either break up for real, with no guarantees or expectations, and both go look for what's out there, and maybe (i said MAYBE) wind up together in the end.. or work your way through this by working on your relationship. i do understand both sides of the situation though so... i just think the solution is different for every couple. sorry for such a lame conclusion :)
simplybe1 simplybe1 10 years
i completely agree with nicachica! he should count himself lucky to have you, and to want to let you go to have sex with who knows what dirty women....i'd have to tell him, if you leave, you can't come back. not only is it an ego thing for me (how dare he not realize how incredible you are? and how dare he want the opportunity to have his cake and eat it too?) but, he specifically stated he wants to leave to be with other women..what happens when he comes back carrying god-knows-what diseases? it's a selfish decision for him to push in your face. when it comes down to it, i don't think i could accept what i consider to be an insult. you love me but you don't want to stay? everything's great but you need more? you can't pressure him into marriage for fear of the consequences, but what are the consequences of accepting him back after allowing him to run around screwing everything with legs? what if that destroys your confidence, in yourself, and in your relationship with him? what will you do when he hits a mid-life crisis and wants to do this all over again? on the other is hard to let go. if you really love someone, you're supposed want them to be happy no matter what right? i don't know the answer to this problem, but i don't that i could let someone do this to me. i guess i love myself the most.
Cycy Cycy 10 years
I agree with Nicachica. Let this one go to someone else that deserves his young and immature ways. Likewise for you, find someone that deserves you and is on the same page with you. Personally I prefer for my guys to be a little bit older than me just so we're at least on the same page.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
hey, if he loves you this much, let him go....i had a few friends (female)whop did this and 6-ish months later realized they didn't want anyone but their boyfriends, and only went on a few dates the whole time and it just wasn't the same for them...because the new guy wasn't their love
nicachica nicachica 10 years
lol...i know i sound a bit harsh, but it just hit me a bit personally...
nicachica nicachica 10 years
okay so i know that you should probably let him go and let him realize how much he loves you, but the thing that gets me is that he wants to "sow his wild oats" and then possibily go back to you. seriously, that's gross because it sounds like he just wants to have a bunch of random sex with different women and as soon as he's done getting his fill, what...he'll go back to you and settle down and expect everything to go back to the way it was? yeah, that just tweaks me the wrong way. sounds like he wants to break up and do his own thing for awhile. be honest with yourself that he may not come back and get on with your life. if he realizes that you're the one you may have already found someone better for you by then. that's the risk HE has to take so be sure to let him know that!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I also admire your boyfriend for being honest with you. I know many married couples who went through similar experiences, so all hope is not lost. This is definitely one of those "If you love them, let them go" type situations. If you do decide to go on a break, do not let him lean on you too soon. He's going to miss you, and if his oat-sewing escapades don't go well, he'll probably come crawling back. Make sure that you don't let him use you as a crutch while getting his bearings. And you should also use the time to explore what's around. Everything will work out in the end!
ilove2ski ilove2ski 10 years
Take this time for yourself too. It could end up being for the best. I always live by whatever happens will happen. And you can't change that. You may realize that he is the one for you, and neither of you want anyone else. Or you may see that you want something more, and it would be for the better. Don't pressure him, that will only push him away. Just take some time and find out what exactly it is what you want in life. ****************************************** Is butter a carb?
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