Question: I have been dating this widower, Bob, for about three months now. He has had a woman at work, Deborah, hitting on him. In fact, she pretty much has asked Bob to marry her. I told him he needs to tell her about me, but he said his personal life is none of her business. I began feeling insecure and pushed the issue of marriage, feeling that if she can ask and is not in a relationship with him than I should be at the top of the list for a proposal.
Bob has told me has plans for me and he knows what it takes to get lucky. He even brings marriage up every time we are in a restaurant if the person has on a wedding band. I am not ready to get married at this point and explained this to him. He sent me a text message saying we are on pause for now and will not answer my calls. I have decided to give him his space at this moment. Should I just move on? And I’m not sure if this makes a difference, but he is white, I’m black and this is the first interracial relationship for us both. Deborah is white. We also both have children. Mine know about him, however he has not told his about me. I would like your opinion of where you think he is and if this relationship is truly over. ...Lisa
Answer: Here’s my take on your situation: Because you had been dating for such a short time, your interest in marriage has caused Bob to stop and re-evaluate your relationship. And while initially you may have brought up marriage merely as a way of “rightfully staking your claim,” your push in that direction has given Bob pause. First, he is probably scared that things are moving faster than he is comfortable with. Second, your pushing the marriage issue may cause him to perceive you as someone with an agenda. He may now view you as a woman less interested in him and more interested in achieving your goal, which is, in this case, to get him to the alter. Third, while his mentioning marriage may be within his comfort zone, your doing so may cause him to feel ill-at-ease. Yes, it’s a double standard, but nonetheless it still may be how he actually feels. Also, he may feel like he’s being played or manipulated – something else which moves you from the category of appealing partner, to someone he needs to keep his guard up around. Fourth, he may still have unresolved issues with his late wife. He may feel like now that you’ve made this relationship seem “more important” than the more casual one he thought he was initially pursuing, he had better take a step back and reassess whether or not he’s ready to actually “move on” from his late wife and invest his whole heart in someone new.