Wednesday

Setting Sail on the S.S. Dreamboat...

QUESTION: Dear Chuck and Garland,

 
I stumbled onto your website and after what I thought would be a quick glimpse, I found myself reading around for an hour! I love how real you both are and saw a lot of clarity in your answers. After looking for an entry similar to my situation and failing to find one, I decided to get brave and write in for advice.

I am a 29 yr old female who is 2 months into a relationship with a 33 year old man. We met through a friend and the story is sorta funny- I went on a blind date that turned out to be a dud and a girlfriend met me at after the date ended at a bar to debrief and laugh a bit. The guy I'm currently dating (lets call him Dreamboat) happened to be there too, works in the military with my friends husband, walked over to say hello and I caught his eye. He was on his way to a Bachelor party and our meeting was brief but the chemistry was like a punch in the face. He later got my number from his friend and asked me out 2 days later and we've been dating ever since.
 
Before I get to my question let me say this - I have the tendency to be a bit assertive. I know what I want and am not afraid to say it. I ended my last relationship because the guy I was dating didn't know what he future held. So I cut my losses and moved on. However with Dreamboat, I realized with his high profile military job that he is used to being in control, so I gave him the reigns form the get go. He plans the dates, picks me up and has southern hospitality (which I love!)
About me- I have never been married, have no kids, no baggage and am ready to settle down. These past 2 months I have let him be the "man". We share a ton of the same interests and just click. I am falling in love and think he could easily be a forever thing.

We see each other at least twice a week and I stay the night at his place(I always wait for him to invite me to stay). Our first date was hands off, however the second date I slept with him. It was the best sex I have ever had. Period. Fireworks every single time.

BUT, here's my issue. He is divorced and has 2 sons under the age of 8. I have never dated a man with children OR one who has an ex wife. He told me that he only married this woman because she "got pregnant" and because of how he was raised, it was the right thing to do. After a hellish first year of marriage he planned on divorcing her but, BAM, pregnant again. So he stayed as to not leave her with a 2 year old and newborn. Then, after coming home from his 3rd deployment he divorced her.

Now, he sees his kids every weekend. That's his time slot. I have met the boys and we have done a number of fun things together. They are great kids and coming from a large family myself, I am a natural nurturer and adore them. They are not my worry.

He deploys in 4 weeks and I don't know how to have the "us" conversation or if I should even be the one to bring it up. I am a smart, ambitious good looking girl and I feel like he should be the one to make sure to secure things - like it's his duty if he cares. We have never discussed the "what are we" sort of thing either. I have met his brother, his friends and he takes me to all sorts of functions but we have never had the exclusivity talk. At one of the events he introduced me as his "girlfriend" and my jaw almost dropped. But since then, the subject has not come up. I assume he is not seeing anyone else (between the kids on the weekend and his demanding job I don't know when he would have the time). But I am curious about how he feels about me. What he wants at this point in his life... more children (because I want some of my own) or to be married again (because that is what I want. I am worried that because he is newly divorced (2 years) he may not want to marry for a while. I am assuming all of this, really want to know but am afraid to bring it up and ruin things. Even though I am ready to have that.

It would make me so happy to start a family and I see that all with him.

Lastly, he deploys in 6 weeks. For 8 months. I want to know where we stand before he goes. Sort of like, now, so I can cut my losses if he thinks this is just a casual thing before he does. I wonder if I should be the one to bring this up - the whole what are we, I will wait for you, I care about you... or if that's "his" job to ask. I don't want to look desperate or scare him away. I don't know which direction to take. I am totally analytical and like most women,I want to have the security of knowing the person I am investing time with feels the same.

I would love your insight. I don't want to say something too soon, out of impatience and mess this whole thing up. I also understand that men like "the chase" and need to do things on their own terms. Thanks, hope to hear from you soon!
 
GARLAND: Great question! And thanks for stopping at our blog, enjoying it and asking for our humble advice. I hope we can shed some positive light on things!
 
I like the way you present the facts and I really feel like your take on things.
 
Two months of dating is a pretty short period of time for a lot of people and I'd typically lay a bunch of short-time related 'cautions' around my reply, but I get a feeling that that's probably not needed for you. So, I'll cut to the chase  - Ask him what he's feeling for the long term expectations in your relationship.  You've given him a lot of say in your relationship, a lot of control in the direction things are going - the planning, the movement and the flow, but that sounds like it would get old very fast for a woman like you. It's probably easy for you to give a decent guy the rope and let him swing from it or hang from it based on his own decesions - but only for a while. I think you should take some of the control and flow from him and sit down and feel him out, this is your life after all, but you don't need me to tell you that.
 
I think it would be fine and reasonable to ask him what he expects while he's gone and when he returns.  Honestly, I think the time apart would give you both a good chance to catch your breath and see how things work when you are forced to be out of each others presence. I encourage you to be optimistic in his absence and not feel like you have to force an answer out of him BEFORE he leaves. By the way, don't toss marriage and kids up on the table right now and make him feel like his feet are to the fire - with him going to what could be a dangerous spot somewhere in the world, you need him relaxed and focused on his job and staying alive.  However, let him know how much he means to you and let him know that you want him in your future, and be comfortable in giving him some time to put his feelings together, even if it means answering you in the first few weeks of his deployment. You won't look desperate and you won't scare him off - at least not by asking!  Sometimes a long flight and some nights with free time will make a man understand where his priorities are. 
 
Best of luck in a positive outcome!
 
CHUCK's answer may follow in a few days. 

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