Words are labels intended to convey to someone else a picture in our head.
Actions are the results of our inner truth.
Thus the reason actions speak louder than words. We could lie in words-but really actions don't lie.
I can SAY "til death do us part" but I can't be certain that is true until one of us dies-because i can't predict the future.
I understand wanting the words-because they make us FEEL like we have more certainty-but the truth is-they aren't ACTUALLY increasing the certainty.
GG and I have 20 years now. At no point have we agreed to "life". Our dynamic has altered from "just friends" to "fwb" to "just friends" to part time lovers, to boyfriend/girlfriend, to roommates, to just friends, to co parents etc.
As needs have changed, the dynamic has changed and because we both accept that-the relationship hasn't ended.
I would focus more on authenticity then labels.
Also-kids. Kids need a lot from their parents. They need MORE during times of crisis and a divorce is a HUGE crisis for a child. It could be YEARS before they are settled and secure again.
One of the reasons I limit myself from casual dating is because of my kids. They are my first priority. I won't put them off for a job or a lover. Which means-lovers DO get put to the side for my kids.
That isn't true when the child is grown (I do have one who is grown). I tell her, "sorry, I have a date tonight". But-the ones still at home, they hold priority and it doesn't have to be a "legal emergency" for me to cancel my plans for them. If my 6 years old is an emotional basket case for some reason-I'm going to remain home and deal with it.
Some people find that to be TOO much when trying to date. I accept that. But, I don't alter my reality to meet that. They can date other people instead.
It's something to consider for you. Because he seems to be saying you ARE important but you need to be clear about need versus want. This is true for me too. If my bf says "I NEED you" and my kids just need tucked in but they are otherwise good to go-I will leave them with their older sister to tuck them in and go to him. But if he just wants to go dancing? I'm going to tuck them in first and he's going to wait.
"Love As Thou Wilt"