DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been with my boyfriend for five years now, and if I'm honest with myself, I feel like we are going nowhere fast. He says he wants to get married. So far, it's all talk. He says he will help around the house. Instead, he sits on the sofa, drinks beer and watches sports. He does go to work and apparently does well, but he sits and does nothing once he walks through the door at home. How can I get him to be interested in doing stuff in our life together? I don't want a couch potato life with my man. I want to get married and do things together and make a beautiful home and have a great life. -- Ready to Build, Muskegon, Mich.
DEAR READY TO BUILD: I hear the wise women's wisdom, which you won't like, but there is value in it. When you live together before you have worked out what your commitment is, you often stay stuck in whatever you started. Have you and your guy ever talked about marriage? Have you discussed your dreams about what a life together looks like?
It's time for that conversation. Daydreaming with your guy about your future is important if you intend to build a life with him. First of all, he needs to know that you are excited about the future and how the two of you can make something special happen if you do it together. Be energetic and enthusiastic as you talk to him about what's next rather than bemoaning his lethargy around the house.
Your job now is to inspire him to think differently about the everyday. If you want to marry him, talk to him about it. Be upfront about your dreams about marriage, family and the future. Find out if he shares your views. Tell him you need him to work with you to develop your home and your life. His responses will let you know if you two are on the same page. If not, you will have to decide if you want to wait or clear the slate so that you make space for the life partner you deserve.