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He's not sure if I'm "the one yet" but I'm sure - and ready for marriage.

Tagged as: Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (24 February 2010) 5 Answers - (Newest, 19 March 2010)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

My boyfriend (28) and I (24), have been together for almost 3 years. We have not had any major issues, or separated within that time. Aside from the few pet peeves, we get along very well.

I have expressed to him that I am ready for marriage and I know that he is "the one." He sees us having a future together, but is not ready to get engaged yet. Once he mentioned he was worried that he wouldn't be able to keep me happy forever, or that he contributes to my unhappiness sometimes. But every time in the past year that I've brought up marriage he says he still "doesn't know." I ask him to work on his issues, but I have no reason to believe he's putting any thought or effort into it (until the next time I ask him).

I know giving him an ultimatum is not the answer. I don't want to force him into marrying me, obviously. In fact, I would be ok with waiting, if I knew he wanted to marry me in a year or even two. But I can't live with this feeling of imbalance - the "I want him, but does he want me feeling?" that I constantly have. It mentally consumes me, I have to fight off feeling depressed because I want to spend the rest of my life with him, yet he still "isn't sure." My family members and friends ask me all the time, "where's the ring," "when are you getting hitched?" and I just tell them "soon, hopefully," because I'm too embarrassed to tell them that he doesn't know if I'm the one yet. So while I don't want to give him a marriage ultimatum, I feel like I might have to set a limit on the amount of time I'm mentally able to cope with this feeling. For the record, I've made it clear how much it hurts me, but yet he still hasn't seemed to work out his feelings - not even knowing the pain it causes me.

I don't want to leave him, but I also don't know if I can wait around for someone who is knowingly tearing me up inside. I know he is a guy - and guys are generally slower to make these type of "decisions of the heart," and further, he is very analytical, systematic, and calculated. He spent months researching TVs, watching prices fluctuate before he finally bought one (mostly because we had friends coming into town). And it's not like he's tight on cash, he pulls in well-over six figures annually. But this is his personality - very slow to make decisions.

A little more about our situation: He bought a house last year (after looking every weekend for two years), I don't live there (want to wait until marriage), but he says he wouldn't have bought the house without me. It's the kind of house you start a life, a family in - and before he was leaning towards one-bedroom condos. But where's the commitment to me? The house is just a sensible investment in the future, but not in me.

I'm running out of mental storage space to keep all these feelings. I don't know what to do. Do I cut my losses and bail? Do I give him a time limit? Do I just suck it up and wait? None of these options are what I want to do ...

I always thought I would meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, and we'd both decide we are ready for marriage at the same time ... not that I'd have to wait for years for him to come around.

View related questions: depressed, engaged

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 March 2010):

I'm in the same ocean, different boat. My guy and I have been together for going on 8 years and I've been telling him that I think he's the one for at least four of those years. It eats me up inside that he is unable to express even similar feelings about me, but says that he wants to stay with me because he loves me. But tonight, during one of our discussions about our future, brought up by me, of course, he said that he wants to wait and see if he can deal with my imperfections(!?). 8 years!

It sounds like your bf is sorta like mine, however he seems to have taken some steps towards laying a foundation for a future with you( the house). I regret having allowed the four extra years after I told him about how I felt about our future, thinking that eventually he'd come around. He still hasn't. I sucked it up and waited, and he's still not sure! I have become bitter and resentful and I think that had I left four years ago, I would have been ok by now, but now I'm in even deeper and I've lost four years and my faith. Think about what sucking it up will do to you. Maybe it's one of those "let it go and if it comes back it's meant to be" situations. You're definitely not alone in this situation!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 March 2010):

You are miserable not knowing whether or not he is interested in entering a marriage with you at all. Don't be miserable. If while you are with him, he sees that you are miserable, he will feel incapable as many men feel great when their girlfriend is happy. This is one reason to pull out of the relationship with you and just remain friends if they pressure is too much. Give him a little time and space. You are 24 and still young. :) I'm 24 too. Just my 2 cents!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2010):

Well, I have to defend your boyfriend. It sounds like he is taking steps to building a future with you by buying the house, securing a well paying job and having a fulfilling and happy relationship with you. His actions all speak of him being committed to you.

My son was very similar in personality to your boyfriend. He dated his wife for 7 years before they got married and they are very happy. He had to have everything in place before the wedding happened. He finished school (he is a chemical engineer), bought a house and car and only then went forward with the marriage proposal.

I think he sounds like a good guy that just is making sure all his ducks are in a row before he asks you to marry him. He may even have a ring on lay-away that he is paying just don't know. Why don't you relax for a year (or whatever time frame you are comfortable with) and just have fun with him, that will probably make his decision much easier than if he feels constantly pressured. Men are particularly stubborn when they feel they are being forced into something and they want to feel they are in control. Allow him to feel his natural instinct to protect you and provide for you, the rest will follow.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (25 February 2010):

janniepeg agony auntI think you should slowly detach yourself from him and only focus on the positive things in the relationship. Realize you are the one making yourself miserable. He's probably feeling your depression right now and if he can't make you happy while you're dating, he can't make you happy after you get married. The fact is that most people proclaim the other is the one, say yes I do, then bail out when something goes wrong. There is no right or wrong about what you feel, and no right or wrong to deciding to get married or not. What are the chances that he would propose to you by your time limit versus you finding another guy who would do it in a few year's time, at the same time he's the one you want? My brother and his fiance dated for 8 years and are getting married next June. Again, everybody is different. I can't speak for you, but I were you I would enjoy my last years of being single before tying the knot. People are getting married and having children later and later nowadays. I sometimes feel that the idea of marriage can be overrated. Don't be bitter and suck it up, but rather change your perspective and research about the reality of married couples, both men and women. Understand reasons why men don't want to commit while they also thrive on emotionally stable relationships. This is my honest opinion and I would give it to my child when he's grown up.

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A male reader, CaringGuy United Kingdom +, writes (25 February 2010):

Really, after 3 years a man should know whether he wants to commit to you or not. And this is what your family have seen too. All right, men can take their time in making this kind of a decision. But 3 years is frankly enough time. This sounds more suspiciously like he's not the committing type and is happier to keep you as a girlfriend more than anything. You've even spoken to him about it and he still hasn't made up his mind. Don't give him the time limit, because it won't work as you have seen. Set yourself a time limit and stick to it. If after that time limit he has still not made a decision, then leave. But I'll warn you now that from the sound of it this isn't a committing kind of guy.

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