DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I are about to mark our four-year anniversary. I’m really in love with this guy. We have had many ups and downs, but we stand together.
One thing that is troubling me is him not wanting any more kids. He has three kids from another relationship. By now, we have grown together as a family to where I feel comfortable taking care of his kids with him. But when I ask about us getting married and having our own child, he says he wants to keep working on us first, then go from there. What do you think that means? Sometimes I get mixed feelings about it and don’t know what to do. We have a great relationship, and he never specifies what needs working on. Do you have any tips or recommendations for how to expand this conversation? -- I Want Kids
DEAR I WANT KIDS: Step back for a minute and evaluate what you want. If you are ready to get married and be fully committed to this man, say so. Be clear about what is not enough. Being his girlfriend and becoming family with him without a clear commitment doesn’t sound like what you want. Say that.
Ask your boyfriend what he wants. Ask him what he wants to work on with you. Ask him what he is afraid of. He could be reluctant to commit since his previous relationship did not work. Get to the bottom of it and let him know what you are willing to do. Do not settle for less than what you want and deserve.