DEAR AMY: My guy "T" and I are in our 50s. We have been dating almost a year. I love T very much. He is very loving and giving. However, he is stubborn when it comes to change. One change in particular is a roadblock in our relationship. I live in an apartment. He owns a house. He has been married twice. In both his earlier marriages, they resided in his (current) home. I have stated that we both need to move to another house and make it "our" home. He says that is a ridiculous idea. When I tell him that committed couples do it all the time to remove the memories and attachments to a house, he just rolls his eyes and says he's never heard of such a thing. Am I out of touch or do couples still do this for each other? I'm not asking for brand new. I'd be happy downsizing. We could still live close to his work.
DEAR FRUSTRATED: The idea that couples relocate to a new home to "remove the memories and attachments" of their previous lives is contingent on very nonromantic factors, such as housing values, the economy, professional ties, etc.
Does it make any sense for your guy to sell his house? If his current house is paid for and he couldn't get something comparable in your area, taking on debt at your ages would be unwise.
If he can't or won't sell his house, is he willing to renovate it or redecorate so that it feels like a new space for you both? Is he willing to invest in a little vacation place with you?
If your guy is genuinely change-averse and is not willing to at least entertain the idea of starting with a clean slate, then he is likely to grow less flexible through time. Do you want to grow old alongside him in his house? If you decide to marry, you two are candidates for a prenup. You should look into it.
DEAR AMY: Give me a break. You were so sympathetic to the teenage farmboy ("Employee in Idaho") who said he felt like an employee rather than a son to his hardworking father. I would have said, "Quit your whining, you brat. It's called a 'family farm' for a reason."
-- Disgusted Dad
DEAR DISGUSTED: The son did not want to stop working. He wanted a connection with his father.
Given your attitude, I'm wondering what your relationship with your children is like.