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My boyfriend of 7 years did not propose and I just ended the relationship over it. Help me.

Tagged as: Breaking up, Marriage problems, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (26 March 2008) 9 Answers - (Newest, 29 May 2010)
A female United States age 30-35, *adinjersey writes:

Hi there, I have been in a serious relationship for 7 years. It has mostly been wonderful, our friends and families all approve, we deeply love eachother, and we get along great for the most part (silly problems here and there). I have had some pretty bad problems with depression over the past few years and it has caused some problems in our relationship. He does not understand things about me taht I cannot change.

I feel that this is what is holdign us back or it is something else that he will not tell me. I do not want to pressure anyone to marry me but I feel at this point he should have proposed by now! If not, then he may never!

I am getting older everyday and could be wasting the younger years of my life on a relationship taht is going nowhere. My younger sister just got engaged a few months ago, and I was very stressed and upset over it. Easter sunday my best friend got engaged to her boyfriend of two years!

I can't help but wonder what is so wrong with my relationship taht we do not have it? whenever I ask him, he says that we will get married when the time is right for us. I broke up wtih him yesterday did I do the right thing?

View related questions: best friend, broke up, engaged

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A female reader, sarahgul75 Pakistan +, writes (29 May 2010):

sarahgul75 agony auntwell i am in a similar relationship since 5 years and if i get a proposal from someone who is ready to commit i d move forward.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2008):

I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years also. He acts like he has no clue why I did it, when all I felt like I did was express myself, letting him know how I felt sad about waiting for him to propose. He always aid that he was waiting to get me a ring. I think that was an excuse. I understand what the original poster says about wasting time in a relationship that isn't going anywhere.

Actions speak louder than words. I think that if my ex wanted to really marry me, that he would have proposed, rather than taking me for granted.

The decision to break up was an extremely difficult one. I have my doubts some days, whether I did the right thing or not. I ask myself if I should have waited another 6 months feeling unsure, bitter and pissed off? Is feeling all those feelings worth it just to be able to talk to my best friend?

I know I made the right decision deep down, I feel better- happier now that I am in control of my future and that I am not waiting for this man to dictate what the rest of my life will be like.

I guess I just miss my friend. I can't have peace of mind and be happy in a go nowhere relationship, and I am finding it difficult to go on day to day knowing that he will not be there. This sucks..

Why couldn't things just have worked out???

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2008):

There used to be a time years ago when getting married was a pre-requisite for having sex, living together 'in sin' was virtually unheard of and children born out of wedlock were considered second-class citizens.

These days there is hardly any social stigma affixed to an unmarried couple or a child whose parents are not married. Many people live together happily for many years without getting engaged and married. In fact, in the UK at least, there's finacial incentives for NOT getting married!

Those who say that marriage 'is just a piece of paper' are in my opinion quite right. Whether you are married or not has no bearing on how long you'll stay happy together. Sometimes quite the reverse happens - one or other of you suddenly feels trapped and for no apparent reason suddenly feels most unhappy about it. There's a lot to be said for the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' way of looking at things.

Look at the big picture. In nature, Swans for example pair for life, as do many other animals. They don't get married as such, they just make a commitment to each other. A relationship where the partners stay together because they want to is far healthier than the one where a couple stay together 'for the sake of the kids' or because they can't afford a divorce, and consequently living in misery for most of the time.

What do you expect the benefits of getting married to be? If it's security, forget that because divorce is easily arranged. Your name can be changed to match his without getting married and you can call yourself 'Mrs' if you wish. Kids can take their father's name without any problems.

The fact is that you don't have to be married to have a successful, happy relationship. If however you can't continue life without spending a King's ransom on the big day to get that little piece of paper, you've done the right thing by ending it with him.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (26 March 2008):

Tisha-1 agony auntI think that you may find it's not completely over, if you two truly love each other. Some men find the idea of total commitment in the form of marriage to be a huge mental hurdle. It is fear of the perceived loss of freedom, of options, of independence that can hold a man back from proposing. It really doesn't have anything to do with you, counterintuitive as that sounds. It's not you, it's him. And you need to accept that his feelings are real and valid, even though it hurts you.

I'm going to recommend that you get the book 'A Fine Romance' by Judith Sills PhD, one that helped me in a very similar situation. Read it and then give it to your guy so that he can read it too.

In the meantime, while you're faced with the idea of life without him, make sure that you have lots of friends and family supporting you. Surround yourself with positive people and stay as busy as you can.

And don't be surprised when he realizes that he wants you back in his life...

All the best, and let us know how it goes. You can post again here on the question if you want some more support too!

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A female reader, Laura1318 Malaysia +, writes (26 March 2008):

Laura1318 agony auntIf you have been more lucky , you would have been married and

having 3 children in two......

Sorry, only empty promises and it is better you cut ties with

him than dragged on without any plans or commitments from a

man who can just only exist .

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2008):

Did you break up with him because you think the relationship needs to go to that next stage of commitment, or did you do it because you saw that your sister and friend got engaged and started to panic feeling you'd be left on the shelf?

I think if you broke up with him because you genuinely felt the relationship wasn't progressing anymore, then you have probably done the right thing.

But, if you done it because it seemed like you were the only one who wasn't getting married then perhaps it wasn't.

Maybe it's a case of the grass is always greener? You don't really know what your sister's or friend's relationship is like behind the scenes. How do you know their marriages won't end (or even start) badly?

What happens if you were in an otherwise perfect relationship, but that you ended it out of fear and insecurity of being alone, rather than because the relationship wasn't right for you?

Lots of people your age get worried about ending up single and alone, and that every day they are getting older. These are also signs of depression. You're only in your 20's, that is nothing. Try not to compare yourself to everyone else, look at what you have, and make sure you really did end the relationship for the right reasons rather than out of a fear of being alone.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2008):

I think you have done the right thing. If someone is not ready after seven years together then you have to ask what exactly is it that he is waiting for? What is he waiting for and will continuing the relationship provide any sort of garauntee he will find it? 'we will get married when the time is right' is a very elusive statement as it does not provide you with any information about what is required for the time to be right...you could find yourself waiting for a very long time, waiting for him, and honestly do you want to spend the rest of your life waiting for someone to make a decision that he won't even discuss with you? By breaking up with him at least you have taken back some control in your life! It is really hurtful when you see other people getting married when they have not been together as long as you, but at least it exposes the fact that seven years is a very long time for anybody! I know it really hurts that you feel there must be something wrong with your relationship, but to be honest it is probably less to do with your relationship and more to do with him. It may turn out that breaking up with him will make him realise what he has lost, and that he does what to marry you. However, in the meantime you make sure that you are not sitting around waiting for him to call (because he may not) go out and do things that you would not normally do, go and have fun living your life instead of waiting in limbo for him to decide he wants to marry you.

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A female reader, thatgothgirl20 United States +, writes (26 March 2008):

thatgothgirl20 agony auntI think that you should've given it another year or two, but you did what you thought was best for you. Suppose you did wait longer and he never married you? Then it would've been harder to break up with him, because you would've known/been with him longer.

Oh the reader above has a good idea too: Or he could get you a promise ring!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2008):

you cant force someone into marriage but 7 years is a long time I know a few people that have been together for 20 years and they didnt get married my fiance does not want to get married but he did propose we are engaged and thats how it will be for us a looooong engagement no wedding and im ok with that as ive been married before and divorce can be ugly I dont really want to go down that path again either. Why dont you just ask him if engagment is ok with him as a start this will make you feel more secure and let you know that the relationship is as real for him as it is for you..

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