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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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We are an older couple with three children each. His are older

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We are an older couple with three children each. His are older (23, 21, 18), mine are (18, 16, 12). We have been dating for over two years and last October, we agreed to move in together once the two highschool seniors leave for college this next summer.

I love my man and do want to move forward, but I was having difficulty with moving my children into his house without a deeper commitment. I was married for 18 years and didn't think I wanted to do that again, but as time passed, I realized that it was too casual for me to move in with my "boyfriend." I felt vulnerable as I was putting my children at risk.

So this past April, I was ready, I simply said that I would like to get married and at least engaged before I move my family. He responded positively and said "when."

Since then, very typical of him not to move on getting me a ring or discussing a move in date although we have mentioned little things here and there until this past Friday. We were discussing some things about the move and rooms and such but what told me he was serious about the merge is when he had already had a budget in mind and how we would share expenses. I said "have you picked out a ring?" His response was - "I was waiting for you to coordinate a date so we can go shopping." When was I suppose to know that?

So rather than taking this personally, I simplay emailed him the next morning saying, "this saturday WE are going shopping for OUR engagement rings ALL day. I am sooo excited!"

He did not respond.

He also has tried to push the move in to January for clear reasons but I said no for very valid reasons so the move would be this summer.

I'm away this week on business and my kids are alone. I had asked that he drop by and say hello to them. I called because he asked me to and found out he was over friends I have never met before and he had plans the following day and I didn't want to ask anymore but most likely plans for the week.

I get that men don't communicate and I don't want to control the relationship. So I'm trying to get myself to a point where I'm away on business to not care if he makes plans with out telling me and I will try NOT to ask specific questions to find out what he was doing. Our conversation may go something like "Hi, how was your week? Mine was good and yours? Good too, great!" and that would be the end of that.

So I'm depressed because he did not respond to my email about our rings, he's out all week, he didn't bother to visit my kids last night AFTER I reminded him to please do me the favor as they are alone and I'm on the other side of the country.

Does he really want to get married and have me move in?

I would have preferred a man proactive with something like this, but a lack of response is a typical reaction when he's upset with the topic, does not agree, is not looking forward to it or when things are not on the forefront of his mind. Like fixing his roof, he'll wait until significant damage is done do finally get it fixed.

I don't want to be depressed about this but I am and I don't really know why this is hitting me hard. Should I cancel the ring thing this Saturday and if I do what do I say?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.
You have someone that rather than discuss how they are feeling he holds it in or ignores it. The ring could be just about money, it might have nothing to do with him not wanting to marry you. When you love someone you want to get them the best of everything. You don't want them to go out shopping for a ring and you can't buy the ring of their dreams. I see this relationship moving in a very positive direction. I don't see any doubts I think he is someone who is preparing to give you the best. He loves you and is just not an expressive person about how he feels about things, so you have to watch for his emotions without him expressing them. You are both preparing a life together. You are going to get engaged and you never know he might not want to say anything because he could be planning something that is a suprise. I wouldn't cancel Saturday because you will give him the impression that you don't want to marry him. He might get scared and back off thinking that you don't want to spend the rest of your life with him. Everything looks very positive in this relationship, keep moving forward and build a life together. He sounds like he wants to be engaged and spend the rest of his life with you. It's ok if he didn't respond about the ring, it could be just him setting things up to give you the best ring and the best engagement.
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