Am I dating a Peter Pan?
November 24, 2012 5:50 AM Subscribe
Holidays always seem to bring relationship issues to the surface. My 46 year old boyfriend of five months isn't ready to cut the apron strings from his family - should I stick around and hope this changes or learn to accept it or move on? How do you accept something so annoying? Snowflake details inside.
posted by BlueMartini7 to Human Relations (43 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm dating a 46 year old man (I'm 37) who has never been married and very close to his family. We live in the same neighborhood, and are pretty much inseparable and have been that way from the beginning - we've been together for 5 going on 6 months now. We have the same group of friends, participate in the same activities (a lot of running, hiking, etc.) and generally really enjoy eachother's company. But here's the catch - he's so close to his family that he was really reluctant to bring me home - but he did last month. He comes from a very conservative family, he's the only boy, and his sister lives with her family in the same small town. He's I guess what you'd call a moma's boy and he has a father that I believe asks a lot of annoying questions so he tries to share as little as possible. When we take trips together, he cannot tell his mother that we've traveled together for fear that she'll realize that we've actually spent the night together. In reality we spend like almost every other night of every week together. They're the Billy Graham watching, fundamentalist type (no offense to those who are and I'd love your perspective as well) When I went home with him, I discovered his family, esp the dad knew almost nothing about me, in fact he said he only found out that i existed the day before I arrived. My BF became like a different person that weekend we went "home" to his parents. He was not at all affectionate, became distant and while he was in no way unkind or disrespectful, did nothing to indicate we were a couple. When his sister went to take a picture, he did not put his arm around me or even touch me. At one point when we were getting ready to go to church with his parents and his parents were in the car, he held my hand but as soon as we rounded the corner towards the car he pulled his hand away - he could not let his parents see him hold my hand. I pretty much lost it then and when his parents were out of earshot let him know I didn't appreciate that. I think he understood where I was coming from - but the issue still remains. I feel like he's a child, and not ready to be a grown adult and this annoys the living crap out of me. I've been ready to be in an adult relationship since I turned 18 it seems. He seems like Peter Pan a lot of the time and I just can't figure out if this is something he'll grow out of or it will never change.
The holidays roll around - he expresses no interest at all in spending them together as a couple. Over the course of these months, he's indicated to me he wants to get married (although he said he had never wanted to get married until he was about late 30s) and that he wants children. I do too. Is it too much to expect that we spend the holidays as a couple? Is it too soon? Are his mommy issues/closeness to his family always going to be in the way? Should I break up with him, and go back to being single trying to find a man who has no problems showing his family that he is in a relationship and is a fully grown adult?
I do love him and he has told me he loves me too - the other night he said he loved me soo much, and I just can't reciprocate the "soo much" part, his family/mommy issues really get to me. Have you been in this situation and have you overcome them? Are these deal breakers? I really don't want to make a big stink out of them and then have him take me home for christmas begrudgingly (I'll also mention that his parents house is very small and cramped and uncomfortable which is another reason he may not be eager to take me home), or spend christmas away from his family with mine begrudgingly. He does spend more time with my family which is local.
My last relationship question - is finding a compromise always a good thing? If one person always has to give up something in a situation, is that really a solution to a problem? Meaning, if he comes to christmas with me but spends the day sad about missing his family, is it really worth it - does this mean we just can't spend the holidays as a couple? Or if this is just a bad fit should I stop trying to make it work and move on?
Mefites, your advice and insight is always so helpful. Thanks.