My girlfriend recently called me asking for advice. She has been in a relationship for two years and they are really happy, but there has been no talk about the future. In fact, her boyfriend told her he is a “commitment-phobe” because his parents divorced when he was young. He is committed to her and they have traveled internationally with both their families and friends — yet he hasn’t made any movement to take the next step. Both of them are in their thirties, and although she isn’t feeling her biological clock ticking, she is wondering when their relationship will move forward.
I suggested she speak with him about it in a no-pressure tone, with non-aggressive wording, a laid-back posture, and without making him feel like it’s a test. I told her to put it on him by asking him where he sees their relationship going and then letting him take the lead in the conversation. It may seem somewhat passive of her, but people who claim to be commitment-phobic will run when not approached the right way.
My friend needed to realize that her needs are important, and that she shouldn’t accept less from him when she wanted more. She wasn’t being unrealistic, it had been two years after all, but she needed to assert herself. Therefore, I also counseled her on what to do after hearing his response — whether it was what she wanted to hear or not, she needed to let him know what she wants and they can hopefully move forward from there, together, to the next stage.