Gosh, so many of us are right around the same age! Funny.
I do hate the mixed signals. Major 'dropping the ball' over the weekend when it came down to making space in his life to spend quality time building rapport with my children. It's more than half a year after I initiated the 'I would like to spend more time the 4 of us so you can get to know my kids' topic of discussion, and on our holiday abroad last month with his family, I initiated the discussion again with greater seriousness over a dinner just the two of us and he said all the right things. Then, somehow, it just doesn't happen. He has 'errands' or needs 'to go to the post office and pick up a package and then hit the gym' or 'sleep until noon' on his weekends (he works like 10-12 hours a day or even more if he's on a business trip during the week, so I get that his weekend hours are kinda precious to do things other than work and such) and then afternoons that could have been spent doing lovely things with me and my boys just don't happen. I'm getting frustrated.
On the other hand, this man is SO honest and claims that he is in no way ignoring the fact that I am a package deal, and that he wants to spend more time with them, etc.... he just acts like we have all the time in the world and is Mr. Snail about this, as he is about so many other things (saying 'I love you' or indicating that he thinks I might be the one for him, etc).
Yesterday it popped out of his mouth an idea of what vacation we could take after the holidays next winter. Yes, seriously. We will have been together 18 months by then, for goodness sakes, and he is in no way not privy to the whole childbearing issue nor wanting to postpone his own procreation plans indefinitely, as he imagines himself, only partially kidding, (at 34!) to be way over the hill already, and especially not wanting to put off kids until his parents are so old they won't have as much time to enjoy a grandparent relationship with them. He wouldn't imagine us staying together a year, two years, etc in that ballpark if he DID NOT clearly imagine a possible future with me, right? I don't' think he would. He's not obtuse. He wouldn't try to waste my years for nothing.
That said, I'm giving him the summer without pushing too much. I respect that his pace is slow and steady and he gives a lot of signals that he is very very serious about me (um, holidays with all his family, including at his mom's at Christmas, going abroad with them, and next month another holiday weekend with all his siblings and their significant others at his mom's farm house, which is a 4 hour drive away--and remember this man dated no one else during the previous 7 years, so him having ANY girlfriend, much less one he's blending into his family, is kinda huge in and of itself).
I want to see him acknowledge our one year anniversary in July if he can possibly remember it and maybe even do something romantic (offer a gift, a special night out, etc)......, and hopefully then, or by the end of summer when we're celebrating my kids' birthdays (he'd better be there) and then hopefully acknowledge my 32nd birthday in September in a special way......., and, eventually there must be some sort of verbal initiation on his end about a future or possibility thereof. If not, I'll tell him I love him and I want us to be a family and just see what he says. It'll hurt if he tells me he doesn't see it, but in the long run it's best that I hear it and accept it and move on in a timely fashion.
What do ya'll say: is 13-14 months an adequate time frame of 'just dating' (without explicit talk of anything besides the said dates) to lay down the gauntlet and show your hand and every other euphemism for addressing the elephant in the room that I can think of and just FINDING OUT already..... or is it too soon? too late? Remember this man's pace is SO different from my own, and he is the slow, deliberate, thoughtful, sure, responsible, steady kinda guy who has never once gotten swept up into anything and rushed into anything in his life. It took him 11 dates to even become more than platonic pals with me because he had to be 100% sure he was ready to date a single mom, since that was brand new territory to him and something he had never before thought of so needed to explore in his mind thoroughly before moving forward. So living under the same roof as me and my kids will surely be something that takes more than 11 dates or even 11 months of dating, and that's fine. But.... given the lack of even uttering the L word or much similar.... I'm wondering if we are just FWB with no prayer of a future life together and I don't even know it. meh.