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When Your Girl Wants to Get Married and You Don't


Is It the End? Hmmm . . . Probably.

I got a question posted in the comments of something I wrote:

Anonymous said:

"I got a ques for ya.

my gf of 2 years is really pushing to get married. I think we're good like we are. I don't want to lose her but I don't think I want to get married yet. Or ever. I don't know. What should I do?"

The first time I read this, anon, I had only had 1 martini, and my advice was to try to reason with her.

Now that I've had 3 martinis, my advice is to break it off.

I get feistier with each martini.

OK, maybe that's a bit hasty. Let's look at this closely. First of all, someone you're with for 2 years, that you would even entertain the thought of marrying, deserves your honesty. You need to sit down with this chick and say it like you said it to me. You're happy with things the way they are. And you don't want to lose her. But you don't want to get married right now, and you aren't sure if that feeling is ever going to change.

She should be someone that appreciates your honesty, candor, and willingness to have a conversation about this. She should hear you. She should respect that you have the right to feel the way you do, and she should appreciate you for who you are, not who she wants to change you into being.

On the flipside, you need to listen to her. Ask her why she wants to take this next step, and why she's pressuring you. She may just feel insecure. She may be better after you tell her you don't want to lose her.

Talk about this. Talk this through. Maybe some patience and reassurance is all either of you needs right now. A good open dialogue does wonders for the soul, and there is nothing wrong with taking a month, or 6, or a year, to be sure about what you both really want.


Anon, dear, there is a damn good chance she just has it in her mind that she is getting married. Period. No matter how good your relationship is, she may be perfectly willing to throw it away because she wants to get married. She may want children the old fashioned way. She may be under pressure from family. She may want a wedding more than a marriage. She may be fiercely dependant and afraid to be alone. It doesn't really matter whether or not you think they are good reasons, or piss-poor reasons; they are her reasons, not yours.

I don't think there is anything wrong with someone wanting to get married. I really don't. But I also see nothing wrong with not wanting to get married. What I see as wrong, is not respecting your needs as well as respecting the needs of your partner. It's wrong when two people can't accept that they each want different things in life. She really can't expect to be able to pressure you into taking a huge life altering step that you don't want to take. But guess what, Skippy. It works both ways. The same goes for you. You can't expect her to give up on a huge life changing step that she wants to take.

I know the marriage step is a source of many couple's demise. I've read that men marry at the right time and will make any woman the right woman when the time comes. Women marry the right guy, and will make any time the right time when the right guy comes. When a woman meets the right guy, and the guy is at the right time, the angels sing and all is right in the world.

I'm not sure I believe that completely, but I see the validity in the thought. At the very least, I see that you may not be at the right time in your life for marriage. If you take this huge step because of pressure, or to not lose her, or for any reason other than that you actually want to, then you're a fool that will regret it. I'm sorry, buddy, but that's my three martini answer.

All photos are used with permission. All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2007 Veronica


tacoma6h on April 11, 2012:

hi veronica. i have been reading your very insightful advise. maybe you can shine a light at the end of the tunnel here. i'm 44 & my boyfriend is 53. we are more than a yr in our relationship right now and living together as well. he kept saying that i am his possible future lifetime partner. what does he mean by it? he has a very few and selected close friends, families and friends of his departed parents. they all telling him that he should lock me up and never let go bec. i'm the best thing that ever happened to him, that he would be the craziest person if he ever let me go. he is still a bachelor at that age. he never had a nice girl that treat him well, let alone treat him right. he said he never believe in marriage but at the same time keep on saying that i'm his possible future lifetime partner. i love him so much, i never love anyone like this in my whole life. i'm the kind of person that when hurt, i just back off and disappear and don't ever get hysterical at all. i lick my wounds alone when no one can see. my honey, he said that he loves me so much, said that he could never find another one like me, will never do and won't. please what is the meaning of that statement.

Lindsey79 from CA on March 28, 2012:

Miss Unsure -- I don't have Veronica's way with words, so please accept my apologies in advance for how rough this may come out. I'm worried that you're going to end up investing more in a man that's showing so little true actualization. Sure, he may have TONS of potential, but very little actualization (i.e. making that potential reality). And at the end of the day, that's what matters -- what he actually manages to do, not what he theoretically can do. As Calvin Coolidge said, "nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent."

At the end of the day, it's the actualization that matters. Whether he's got it in him to be there for you as a partner and your child as a father? It's rising above your own personal problems to actualize that potential which is the hallmark of character -- being there when you're sick, when the baby has had a hard night, not running off to just think of himself and letting you do all the heavy lifting in the relationship and at the house. From what you've said so far, it sounds like he has very little chance of actualizing much of this potential you see in him.

Secondly, the other thing that worries me is this sentiment that if you love someone enough, it will all work out. I couldn't disagree more. Selfish people can still "love" or you can still "love" selfish people, but loving one another won't change their inherent selfish character. There are plenty of other personality traits you can substitute for selfishness -- emotional cowardice, addiction, etc. No amount of love from you or anyone else will change these things -- they have to be things that the individual wants to change.

I really hope things work out for you and this guy rises to the occasion, but from what you've said, it sounds like you've fallen in love with a loser, a deeply wounded man who has shown you no substantial desire to heal his wounds so he can give back to you as a true partner does. And you'll be crippled by his woundedness as well.

Miss Unsure on March 27, 2012:

Lindsey79- Well to be honest, I have loved him since we started dating. It's something that has not changed for me despite how much he has made me cry or second guess myself. I love him for the man I know he can be, and lately he has been making more of an effort. We turned a new leaf a couple days ago. I finally got him to sit down and talk to me about marriage and about our relationship. He told me that since his divorce he has a bad out look on marriage that has nothing to do with me. I can understand that, but I told him that the circumstances between his marriage and what he says he feels with me are completely different. I got him to realize that when you truly love someone, you just know it's going to work out, and he agreed. He apologized for not treating me the way I deserve to be treated and for not talking things out with me sooner. He says that he's scared because he thinks I deserve the wedding of my dreams, and he wont be able to afford to give it to me. I told him that a big wedding would be nice, but what's most important to me is being his wife. I'll be perfectly happy with just getting married by court and having a small get together with close family and friends. That seemed to reassure him a bit, and he said that he'd be more than happy to make me his wife. :) So with those words, I'm more confident in where I stand. I believe that despite how much someone hurts you, when you look back and can recount more times and moments that made you happy, that's when you know that things are not as bad as you think. I believe people can change if they really want to. My boyfriend has truly matured for the man he once was. Even though he was more romantic in the beginning, I think that's the case for a lot of couples. Relationships are always the most romantic in the beginning stages and slowly calms down through out your time together, but as long as you both still love each other, there's always hope for a Happily Ever After. Communication has a lot to do with how well or how bad your relationship gets. During my pregnancy, we didn't communicate much, I tried, but he wasn't willing & that hurt our relationship. He's finding out though that the more we talk things out, the better our relationship gets, & I can see how happy he gets after our conversations and how much better I always feel. I always tell him, if it weren't for all my efforts at communicating, we probably wouldn't be together, & he agrees. So hopefully things continue to get better, but all I can say now is I'm so happy I finally got a straight answer and explanation from him. :)

Lindsey79 from CA on March 15, 2012:

Miss Unsure -- why do you love a guy that cheated on you when you were carrying his child? I can't think of anything more cruel and selfish -- it seems like that would be illustration enough of his character, or lack thereof. I know you may feel like you "love" him, but his actions are not loving. Instead of focusing on him and his "mixed signals", you may want to look within yourself and see why you'd tolerate, let alone love, a man that would treat you so poorly.

Miss Unsure on March 14, 2012:

Dear Veronica,

I have been with my boyfriend for 2 and a half years and we have a 1 and a half year old together. When we met, he was going through a divorce, he had been married to his ex wife for 2 years. When we talked about his marriage, he told me he wansn't ready to get married and he didn't want to marry her, but he felt pressured to do so because she had told him she was pregnant. When he found out that she was not pregnant, his first thought was he didnt have to marry her after all, but after talking to his mother, she convinced him it would be wrong to not marry her just because there is no baby, so he went through with it. Well obviously it didn't work out and they filed for divorce. Towards the end of his divorce, we met and started dating. Things moved pretty fast between us. We felt so in love and things were so good, and he couldn't imagine being with anyone else. He asked me to move in with him a few times and I said no because I wanted to get married first. He didn't say much on the subject at all, and I didn't think much into it because I figured it was too soon for a man who had just gotten divorced. Well 3 months into our relationship, things changed. I got pregnant and since I was living with my mother at the time, I had no other choice but to move in with him. I was happy that we were together and I was optimistic about our future and he seemed really excited too. Well my mother did not approve of us living together before marriage let alone having a child out of wedlock, so she tried to pressure him into marring be. I defended him and told my mother that I did not want him to be pressured because he is not ready, but I have faith that when he's ready, he'll do it. Despite how hard she tried, I did not allow it and it created a wedge between my mother and I, but I was willing to wait. Well 5 months into my pregnancy, he started acting different. He no longer wanted to be around me, he was constantly out at all hours of the night and he was acting pretty shady. Sometimes we would get into arguments and instead of talking to me, he'd leave and not come home until the next morning. I was highly depressed and confused. Well to make a longer story short, after I had our son, things changed a bit. I found out he had cheated on me towards the end of my pregnancy and I threatened to leave. The moment he realized I was serious, he sat down and talked to me and promised that he'd change, and he has. I forgave him and things have gotten much better, but now the issue of marriage is troubling me. We have talked about it a few times and I still try not to pressure him but he doesn't seem to understand that I need answers. All he tells me is he has thought about it. At times when we get into our arguments, he tells me he doesnt want to marry me because he's afraid I'll be a mistake or because I don't do enough around the house, knowing Im a full time mom and a full time student and we aren't the only ones that live in this house, yet he wants me to be doing everything while he goes to work. Im fine with that and all but I am not fine with the fact that it's a necessity for me to be everyone's maid in order for him to marry me. other times he takes it all back and says he does want to get married but he doesn't say when or how far along down the road. I have a feeling he is just keeping me on the fence because we have a child together. I've told him a couple times that I am not going to wait around forever and I think that 2 and a half years is long enough to make up your mind about your future with someone especially since we already live together and have a child. It's frustrating and confusing because he gives me so many mixed signals and I just want to know where I really stand because I'm tired of hearing excuses. I feel that I've been patient long enough and I've put a lot of effort into our relationship, and I don't seem to get the same amount of effort from him. Despite how many times he tells me he loves me and that he knows he wants to be with me, I'd expect him to show that more. He has forgotten our anniversary twice, and hasn't done much to show me he means everything he says. I feel depression coming on because I can't seem to understand what's so wrong with me. I've tried everything to make him happy but he doesn't seem to care about my happiness and it hurts. I don't want to be with someone else, I love him, but I just don't know how much he means what he says. He doesn't have to actually propose right now, but at least a promise ring would reassure me that he means it. What do you think is going on? Please help!

nemar on March 11, 2012:

HI, i am living with my partner for the last 4 years. I am divorced with two children and 40 years old. My partner is 42 years old and never married. Last year he told me we will get married in October. As the months when by i ask him if we were going to get married and then he said he was very busy with work that better next year. He knows how important is the married commiment to me, so I just ask when we will get married and he just look at me and said Ocotber again. It really bothers me the face and month. Do you think i should move on and forget about it.

engagements on February 09, 2012:


Myself and my boyfriend have been dating for 6 and a half years and living together for 5 of those years. Im 35 and he is 40. we both love each other and want to spend our lives together. I would like to get married now. Problem is he says that getting engaged makes him nervous. He is also worried that he may let me down in the future, as he has done in the past.(one big mistake) I tried to reassure him that he is wiser and stronger for it.He has seen alot of marraiges fall apart. He doesnt believe in marraige but will marry me if this is what I really want. He says he does not want to loose me. Is this enough to get engaged or should I walk away now. I feel that if we were to get married it would be because I pressurised him. We are fully committed in every other way.Please can someone advise me on what to do. Honestly i would be gutted if we stayed together and did not get married.

undecided83 on January 23, 2012:

Hi Veronica,

I read some of your replies and comments from up to 4 years ago and they are great. I really hope you can help shed some insight for my case.

I am 28 and my girlfriend is 25 (turning 26 this year). We have been together for about 6 months. We both stay with our respective parents (we are not from America and in my culture, we all usually stay with our parents until we get married - that's when 80% of the population here move out). I usually go over to stay at her place on Friday nights, and she comes over to stay on Saturday nights. Sunday morning we go church together.

Our relationship is generally very good. We have good chemistry, we settle disputes maturely and we both make effort to work out our differences. There is no trust issue, I trust her completely and I believe she trusts me too. Our sex appetites match, and we can sit down for pretty long just talking.

There is one concern. She has a certain "timeline" of when she wants to get married. To get married, we also have to look for a place to buy and stay together (it is what everyone does here - there are housing policies that give young couples subsidized housing etc. that make it such that young couples must ballot for a place to stay, so in a way, you have to act fast to get a good place or wait it out for the next time a good place becomes available, which is uncertain). To pay the downpayment and option of the house, we would both probably have to wipe out our savings.

The next house viewing is in this coming Feb. However, I am not sure if I want to get married with her, because we are only 6 months into the relationship. I also have some nagging concerns that she may be wanting to get married for possibly the wrong reasons - she might be wanting to get out of her parents house because things are not so good at her place; she has always wanted to get married and (from what she told me) her past two relationships were very close to getting married but didn't work out. And personally, I have doubts about whether I am ready to get married at all. Her spending habits (she likes branded stuff a lot) also worries me.

Please do let me know what I should do.

heart47 on January 19, 2012:

Hi Veronica,

Everything about my relationship with my boyfriend is great: the attraction, the communication, and the affection. I wouldn't change a thing except that maybe we don't have future together?

I recently asked my boyfriend if he thinks we have a future together. He replied yes we do, but that he only wants to get married when he is ready and that may be a long time down the road. About 6 years or so when he has his desired career. We're both 24.

Because that is such a long time away he said it is probably unlikely we will be together when he is ready to get married. He also said that if he were in a position where he was going to get married, he would marry me. So basically this means he doesn't care who he marries really?

And Is this code for "I don't ever want to marry you"? Should I be with someone who can't imagine his life without me? Or should I be patient for a while and see how things go? I love him and I know he loves me but I just don't know what to do.

I did suggest that maybe we should go our separate ways but he disagrees. He really doesn't want to break up.

Could you please give me some advise? I don't know what all of this means.

memorycard on January 08, 2012:

@kamikazmar if you really love your woman, her physical appearance shouldn't be a problem. Although sexual attraction is an important factor in a successful relationship, I don't see how you could let her appearance be the only obstacle in your future marriage. If that's really something that's bothering you, I think you and her aren't meant to be. Love is about accepting other people's faults and loving them for who they truly are. No matter who you marry, that person will end up being wrinkly and ugly in 40 years. And when that day comes, are you going to be happier with your present fiancée or with someone else you married for their looks?

I think you should stay with your fiancée. From what I can deduct, you love her a lot and she has a kind heart. Try and look past her appearance, and love her for who she is.

aires0413 on January 06, 2012:

If your in a relationship just shy of 6 years. Both successful at the career in your life,have great familys on both ends and various people as in coworkers/frends in your life. Loving,caring,honest and respectful to one another. What time would you think youd get married? ..

Ive seen time passing and its not going any slower. It starts to move alot faster as you grow older.. unfortunatley. We've both discussed being married numerous times. many dreams weve built and talk of the future.. we still do to this day. Im not going anywhere and as far as I know neither is he. Patience is hard but ive been very patient. I love this man with all my heart. Need you to advise and looking for some input please. thanks in advance.

kamikazmar on December 29, 2011:

Dear Veronica,

Thank you for your amazing and helpful topics. You are a blessing.

I met my gf 3 years ago.she is a very special woman, an amazing person, with a unique character. she has lots of friends because she is so caring and loving. People love her and keep telling me how lucky I am to be with her.She is the only child in her family.(Her family is wealthy and Im not at her level financially, and they offered us a house)

I m 29 and she is 26. Last year, she started pushing about marriage.I wasn't ready for this big step, because I never thought of getting this far in any relationship before.

I love her and always wanted to make her happy, and really consider her a unique person. My only concern is about her physical appearance.I think she is cute but not enough so I get married to her. I m a well looking man and always assumed that I will end up marrying a better looking woman.

I know I sound very materialistic, boyish and immature, but this has been frustrating me so much.

I keep looking around for more beautiful woman, and wishing she was more beautiful.

We got engaged a year ago. And planning for our wedding next summer. But I m still hesitating. I faced her with truth and told her everything. She doesn't' like that I don't' find her very attractive, but that didn't' stop her from loving me and continuing the plan of marriage. She is very excited about marriage, and always pushing a step further. I wanted a simple bf/gf relationship at the beginning, and now we are engaged getting married in less than a year.

I m afraid to lose her, because I love her, and because I consider her so unique, and special, and because of her good financial situation, we don't have to worry about money a lot. I am afraid if I lose her, never find a unique woman like her. On the other hand, I don't find her very attractive, and I don't' want to spend my entire life looking around for more beautiful women !

We tried to take a short time break, so I think clearly,but the reasons are still there so it didn't work out. And she told me if I consider taking another break, she will end up the relationship, because she is sick of my hesitation. She doesn't want to delay our wedding preparations, and I keep thinking if her physical appearance should be an obstacle in our way.

Thank you

blahhh222222 on December 28, 2011:

This post is great, I feel like I learned a lot from all of you. I just had big fight regarding this issue with my boyfriend. we are together for nearly 8 years...(i know it's crazy). but i have to say i met him when i was 16, so i'm turning 24, and he is turning 26. so we are still quite young. but i just dont know how long you should wait, it's been 8 years, i'm just afraid things will never happen for us...and we were arguing and he just said "just break up then"...which made me feel really hurt, but i know he truly loves me, i have no doubt about it. But i guess similar to many couples who have left their comments, he is simply just not ready. I found a great job right after graduating from university, we graduated together. he hasn't been doing anything since his graduation...not looking for job or applying for further education. he has a wealth family who provides for him, thus he has absolutely no financial pressure. i am afraid that he'll never grow up and change. my life has changed greatly since i started working, many of my co-workers are recently engaged or married, which makes me feel like my relationship should have evolved too, but i can't see anything happening in the near future...and just for the fact that he can say "break up" so easily shows how immature he is. (well he obviously think i am not actually brave enough to actually leave him...after 8 years). we are not leaving together, but we see each other everything. going to his house after work, seeing him playing video games is very frustrating...we are happy when we avoid talking abt these problems. but i know how long i can ignore the fact that he is not doing anything and our life is not moving forward at all. he said he'll be ready once he know what he wants to do with his life...but i duno how he'll ever know by playing games everyday. it has been almost 9 months now since our graduation...i don't understand how a person can stand doing nothing for 9 months...which is another thing that terrifies me. aside from this, he is the perfect guy. he's very loving and have a great heart. he just refuse to face the reality and refuse to grow up...what if he'll never be? am i being too pushy?

rainlyn from phillippines on December 27, 2011:

HI VERONICA,MY NAME IS RAINLYN,im 27 and my live in partner is 36,we have a dauhter shes 6 y.o now,weve been togeteher for 9yrs,hes now 9 months working in qatar and were here in the phillipines with my daughter,we live in my partner house with his family,his mom and dad and his brother,he is verry responsible father,he give anything we want specially financially,and we have a good communication ever,in short we are a happy family, although we are not yet married,,the story behind and the reason not marrying me, 6yrs ago he found out that beside him i had a fling fling boyfriend but not seriously,ofcourse i still choosed him to be with me, and i become pregnant,and from there up to now he is still looking backfrom my past,and its not helping,were always fighting when i ask for marrage.and untill now when i open up about it that i want to get married he still say no,time will come for that,at the right time he said,,but when will be the right time??if untill now he cant move on from my past?? i ask for married because i loved him,and my daughter is getting older,although my daughter carry his surname ,we are still not assured right?but im still hoping time will come for us,,As of now we are verry happy as a family without married,but ofcourse a girl i want to be assured,veronica can you give me some advice regarding my story?/thank you

lalaec124 on December 20, 2011:

p.p.s.- I forgot to mention that he is in grad school right now and I'm applying to grad school. Another reason why I couldn't see getting married anytime soon, and I was wondering if this also has to do with him not being able to picture marriage and kids?

lalaec124 on December 20, 2011:

p.p.s.- I forgot to mention that he is in grad school right now and I'm applying to grad school. Another reason why I couldn't see getting married anytime soon, and I was wondering if this also has to do with him not being able to picture marriage and kids?

lalaec124 on December 20, 2011:

Hi Veronica, this is a great post, and I'm wondering what you would have to say about my situation. I'm 23 and my bf is 26, and we've been together for about 3.5 years. We actually dated for 1 year, broke up (because he was moving after graduation), and then got back together a year later. The second time, because he's matured, has been much better and is more serious because we chose to get back together.

All that said, we've been discussing our future, and we have a bit of a conflict. I have always envisioned getting married and having children, and he and I have had convos discussing child-rearing, children's names, what kind of house we want, etc. Yet, he often changes his mind and says that he doesn't ever want children and doesn't want to get married (doesn't believe a legal document or ceremony makes a commitment any more real/is needed to validate a relationship). He honestly goes between saying "we should get married someday" and "let's have a few kids one day" to "I am never having kids, ever. I want to live a life that wouldn't be good for raising kids and I don't want to be that responsible to anyone."

Now we've been discussing how, because I want a family and he (often) does not, it doesn't seem like we can have a future together (though he has said repeatedly that he would date me forever and be committed to me, just sans kids or a wedding). (Part of this is also the idea that having a family implies a desire to be settled down in a stable life in one place, while he wants to travel and move around depending on where his work takes him.) I don't know if I should walk away now, assuming that he will never truly want those things and just move on, or if perhaps he will settle on the side of himself that says he does want kids and marriage. The changing his mind is what gets me - if he were adamant that he never wanted kids and never, ever said otherwise, I would know to let this go (which would still be sad, because we get along incredibly well, are very close and very in love). Is it wishful thinking to hope that as he ages he will come to want to settle down? Or is it possible since he's only 26 and could very well think differently when he's 30?

I should note that at 23, I do not want to get married any time soon - we've talked about marriage and a future in the context of sweet, romantic conversations rather than a serious discussion involving financial and logistic planning, because that stage of our lives is still years off. It seems silly to me to give up a relationship that makes me very happy (when we're not discussing our mismatched visions of the future and inevitable breakup) because of the issue of marriage and children when I do not want those things for another 5 years at least.

What should I do? How long should I wait before it IS reasonable to walk away so that I can find someone whose ideas about a future are compatible with mine? (Or, is there a usual age where men decide they do want a family? Are we just too young to be discussing this and should we let it go and try to ignore it?)



p.s.- we've been having these discussions lately because neither of us really believes in dating with the knowledge that you're going to break up/that you cannot have a future (which is interesting, because he doesn't believe in marriage anyway).

greensam21 on December 19, 2011:

Hi Veronica!

I have a question for you.

I have been with my boyfriend for two years and we have been living together for about a year and a half. Most everything is great! We don't fight over small stuff and love each others family.

The problem is I cant tell if hes just waiting for a better time to pop the question or if he is just making up excuses. early on in the relationship we started talking about marriage as an option i said i would like it to happen around the two year mark. he did not give his own time line but didnt disagree with mine.

I really want to get married now, but its not something i want to have to convince him of...but it bugs me that he hasnt really brought it up lately.

somedays he acts like his close to asking and even talks about moving closer to his job and buying a house together. then others he comes up with every reason not to. they range anywhere from he cant afford the ring to his friend waited 7 years so we should do that too.

I WILL NOT wait 7 years, and i have told him this. I dont expect him to ask today, or even tomorrow. I was just wondering if you think he is on the right track to asking of should i pack up and move on?

hope to hear from you soon!


fa4life on December 17, 2011:

Thank you so much for posting these. and i hope you will be able to help me out. I am 22 and so is my boyfriend. We have now been dating for 3 years. i am his first girlfriend ever! We brok up 2 years ago for a few months because he thought he wanted to be single but he came right back saying he messed up and i am the only one for him. We are very happy together we live with each other in a one bedroom apartment. we have car ins together, i pay most of the bills right now becausehe is in school to becoming a pilot and that takes all his money away. we do trade off paying for food and he helps out when he can and i joke that he is my investment i pay everything now so that when he is a pilot he will be able to take care of me. But he still has about another year before he is done so it will be while before that happens. He always talks about us getting married and have kids and he says he at least wants to wait untill he is done with school before we get engaged. I totally agreee with this but but the part the scares me is he also says he is no where near ready right now and not sure when he will be. I have had many boyfriends and i know he is the one. And i am willing to wait another year or two for him but im scared that after the year or two he still wont be ready. he says yes he can see himself marrying me and having kids with me but he just isnt ready to go the next step and he doesnt know when or if he will be. I know we are only 22 and he is still in school. But do u think we have a chance or is he just to scared to break it off? please help!

fairydragon on December 07, 2011:

I need some advise, I have been driving myself to depression thinking about this for a few months now, I have read through all the comments here and thought i would share my situation.. August was my "anniversary" me and my boyfriend have now been together for just over 5 years, during that time he has always said he wanted to make me his wife and im his perfect girl and he wants to marry me. However we have been living together in a flat for nearly a year now and we have had a few problems but nothing really bad to make us want to split up.. Recently though I have noticed that whenever somebody mentions a ring or engagement he will shrug it off or joke about it or for example. Our friend asked us if he was getting me a ring for christmas the other day and she barely finished the sentence before he said "NO" no yes, no maybe, but a loud NO. I just sat there and welled up. A few months ago he said he couldn't afford a ring and now he says he has the money but doesn't want to yet. I feel completely led on and i feel like he is just stringing me along until something better comes his way. Ok hes a great boyfriend but I feel that if he doesn't want to even just get engaged now what hope is there for marriage and kids? I feel like he is having second thoughts about wanting to be with me for the rest of his life. P.S we are both 24 years old.. He has his career sorted, knows what hes doing in life and me.. not so much but its not been a problem so far. I have a job so I dont completely live off him. I do the shopping every week etc...

ladyladym on November 17, 2011:

Hi Veronica,

I'm 25 and my boyfriend of 3.5 years is 31. We've lived together now for 2 years. I'm a recent new graduate RN and he has a great career with financial stability. I love him deeply and have never been more certain that he is the person for me (and vice versa). I've wanted to get married for about a year or so but my boyfriend has been honest with me and said he's not ready for that yet.. So, about 4-5 months ago I accepted that it just isn't our time yet and tried to embrace our relationship and enjoy the present. It has been really great. I thought I was truly ok with pushing the idea of marriage off the plate for the time being. However, tonight, I found out that my little brother just purchased an engagement ring for his girlfriend of one year and will be proposing in the next couple of weeks. I completely broke down and cried my eyes out when I got home. This, of course, made my boyfriend feel pretty terrible. I'm now feeling stuck. If I'm honest with myself, deep down, I do really want to get married. But, now I've gone and stirred the pot and added unwanted pressure to my relationship. I don't want to pressure our relationship to take a step that we are both not ready for, but I feel I did just that by my actions. But at the same time, I don't want to disregard my feelings and where my head and heart are at. can you help make sense of my confused mind?

advice please.

Kevomel on October 19, 2011:

For me I am now 28yrs goin on 29 and my boyfriend is 33 goin on 34, we have been together for 4years and although at the very begining of the relationship he knew i wanted a family life he have always said when the time is right for him based on his career. till now his career is still failing and our relationship cannot move forward because of this. I have fertility problems and desperately wants to at least try to have a baby as it's my dream, passion and goal to have a family life. I have put my dreams of getting married and living with him aside as he refuses to leave home and his family hates me, we have no future with him staying there. He doesn't want to rent, he thinks only stupid people rent, he talks about building a house on land his mother told me i am not allowed on. after 4years and nothing how long am i supposed to wait for his dreams to be fulfilled before mine passes me by? i have very little time to have a baby and yet he doesn't seem to care enough to make me happy. I love him so much yet i don't want to resent him for something i feel, if i want a baby i should be the one to try and forget him. it's either i please me or him but in d end it would be my own life i ruin so he could have the life he always dreamt about. he keeps saying after this and after that. oh he loves me but really waht is love or do i suck it in and move on?

Jen1502 on October 15, 2011:

Hi Veronica,

love your answers to previous questions on this, hope you can help me out ! Me (I'm 24) and my bf (he's 25) have been dating 18 months, and living together for 6, I have a 2 year old from a previous relationship (his father has no involvement whatsoever). Before my bf moved in with me and my son I had asked him (fairly early on in the relationship) what his views were on marriage and having children (I explained to him I thought it was important to talk about this incase our opinions were completely different) and he told me he didnt see himself getting married 'for a very long time' but yes somewhere down the line. There have been a couple of things that have rang alarm bells with me, 4/5 months ago he had been making enquiries about going to study a college course for a year without asking me what i thought about it all. I told him I wouldn't be up for having a long distance relationship (way too confusing for my son for starters) so it's been forgotten about now. The next thing was I had suggested we open a joint bank account since we are living together instead of paying 50% each for living costs, he skirted around this and would rather keep things separate. The other thing was last week he left a quote by the comedian George Carlin on his Facebook page which said:

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

- George Carlin RIP

Do you think he's trying to tell me something?? Or am I reading into things too much? I am totally in love with my bf and I would be so happy to spend the rest of my life with him, and he's awesome with my son, he's told me he loves him even, we have so much in common and were brought up with the same morals and values. I want to have marriage on the cards soon, do you think I should wait it out, or do you think with the things I've mentioned above there is no hope of a proposal? Please help

beachbaby36 on October 10, 2011:

I must say I am truly disappointed in myself for getting into this situation and I despise myself for being one of those sterotypes that will do anything to marry their bf. I will confess here I want it badly.

You see, Veronica, I am now 37 and my SO (yeah he's a guy but I feel so funny calling him my "boyfriend") is 46. We have both been married before, he has no children from his previous marriage and I came into the relationship with three. We have been together 6 years and cohabitating for five. He has a very lucrative career and I had a good career as well. We have a child together who is almost two. When I was pregnant I got very ill and spent much of the time in the hospital. During this time we wanted to move to a larger place about 20 mins away but over the state line. Since it was over the state line my ex took issue with it and sued me for custody. He lost but I agreed for my oldest who was in high school to stay with him to finish his two years. My SO also convinced me to drop child support because we didn't need it and brought up the subject of me staying home permanently after the baby was born. I had reservations but the biggest one was health insurance. I have health issues; nothing life threatening but maintenance was needed. After the baby was born I called my employer to discuss options and found out my group had been moved 50 miles further to make my commute 80 miles, so that was that. We picked up COBRA and thanks to Obama it was pretty cheap. I had a good amount of savings and we were all very happy in our new life. Little by little I dwindled away my savings. Daughter needed braces, I helped out finishing the basement..things like that. I considered it investing in our future. Then he was asked to be in a friend's wedding and in my opinion these two should NOT be getting married. The reason they gave was she was getting old and her father is sick. WHAAAAAT???? I never really cared about getting married before but since the baby and me home taking care of the kids and house I really felt the desire. Maybe it is the insecurity of not having a job, the hormone change, who knows? The fact was I wanted to get married. He said he didn't want to marry anyone ever but he loves me and wanted me to stay. Then it hit me....I don't have a damn choice. The house is in is name (it was his before we met..long story) I don't have a job, no support for the other two, and I can't find a job in this market making what I need to make to pay daycare and support everyone...plus uprooting the kids again. I really had no choice but to make the most of it the way it is. I felt trapped and tied down with an infant. So after a few weeks of depression I decided to make myself happy in other ways. I joined a gym and did a diet program. I also started volunteering with the kids' organizations and have been happy for a while......until COBRA ran out in July. I brought up the marriage thing again, but I admit much more rationally this time and still got the same answer. Really in my mind how will our lives change? I don't want a wedding. My day consists of taking care of the kids, the house, and laundry. Not to mention I pick out his clothes and pack for him when he travels. I am on his arm at all the functions looking elegant :) I have to say in the past 6 years he catapulted from lower management to senior management in a fortune 100 company in the past 5 years. While most of it is his merit a lot of that has to do with the life I gave him. Sorry I digress, but what I need is his goddam health benefits!!!! I truly think I deserve them! so the recent development is he bought me my own policy to the tune of $650/month plus a $2000 deductable which will be met after one treatment. So he is willing to spend 10g on my healthcare next year as opposed to marry me....that really hurts. He told me to not take it personally, but how? After he signed me up he then pulled up the statements and went over what we spend and says we need to cut back and I may need to get a job because we have been spending at a deficit each month. One of the complaints was my dental bill. I got really upset and reminded him that if I had his dental insurance there wouldn't be that bill. I am in so much pain over this. I am so confused and don't know what to do. I can't leave, financially I am stuck. He is an attentive lover and a devoted father and I couldn't imagine my life without him but I admit I don't get it. There is so much more to this story as there always is. At this point I am sick, tired, and rejected. What I really need is an objective person to be painfully honest. I ask that you please be that for me. Thanks

woop woop on September 26, 2011:

Hey Veronica,

I'm in need of some major advice/clarity.

You see I have been with my girlfriend for just about 8 months. I'm 25 and she is 30.

We met at work last year and we slowly started to get to know each other and started dating at the beginning of this year. About a month into the relationship she tells me she loves me, I was hesitant to say it back because I felt it was too soon.

A month later she says she want to get engaged with me and that's where it all begins. I tell that it is not feasible because we have only been together for 2 months. She tells me she wont bring it up but that i should at least give it some thought. Another 3 months later she brings up the conversation again and then tones it down by saying at the very least she wants me to move in with her.

We have a discussion regarding the matter where I'm saying I'm still not ready. She says that she understands because she tells me she does not want to pressure me into anything.

Well about a week ago she finds how the house she lives in is being put up for sale and she's freaking out about what she's gonna do and the conversation comes up about living together and being engaged again.

My dilemma is that this is my very first relationship and is too soon to move to the next level when there are so many things to thinks about. She refuses to see it that way and instead thinks I don't truly want to be with her and that if she doesn't push me that I will never be ready for marriage.

I still live with my family and I have a comfort zone that i feel im not ready to move away from. I threw that last part in so that it doesn't look like she's the only one with a problem because I do love her and care for her very much and i want us to come out of this hurdle stronger.

Need HELP,

woop woop


bnharrisb123 from Michigan on September 25, 2011:

Dear Veronica,

I loved your article and I felt that it had a very even look at the issues of one partner wanting to marry while the other one does not. I have seen many of my friends (male and female) want to marry their significant others and be rejected based on the reasoning of timing and of fear from all the prejudices they have about marriage.

Lets face it, we live in a time when marriage does not offer the security that it used to. Since marriages can just as easily end as they do begin, people are beginning to equate the concept of marriage with something more than what it was intended for... The concept of marriage in America is constantly under scrutiny, especially with the issue of gay marriage constantly challenging the traditional notions of the purpose of marriage. It seems to me that in the end, marriage is an agreement between two people to work together as a partnership throughout their life. Therefore, you cant really trust what you get when you step into a marriage but you must accept that no matter what you do get, you have to stay there and work to accept it or work to change it, together, forever... Or, admit failure and quit.

It is easy to see why some people fear the concept of marriage and why others throw themselves at it with open arms. Marriage, in many cases offers the security that no matter what, someone has to work with you. To many women the issue of male abortion is a fact that they have to deal with - the possibility of being left alone with a child by a male is a constant fear - and marriage offers a great solution to the inequalities of gender biases. To many men the issue of fidelity is a fact that they have to deal with and marriage offers a solution to this. People have just as many reasons for getting married as they have reasons for not getting married. I would have loved to see more of these reasons pointed out in the article.

However, the point is that it all boils down to what you concluded... The freedom to want your expectations met by your partner. I guess Im just wondering how people get into these messes in the first place? If you know who you are and what you want you should speak up about it in your relationship and if your partner does not accept you and you are unwilling to change... leave. There are plenty of fish in the sea... Basically, one of you will have to conquer a fear to make it work.

punky on September 17, 2011:

Dear Veronica:

I love all your answers and im hoping for some advice.. I come from a very old fashioned and conservative familly (im 21) my mom only talks about marriage and my dad does not believe in doing anything before marrying (traveling, living together, nothing).

My boyfriend is 25 and we have been together for a year in which we lived in the sam country, but now he left and is in europe with his familly, he comes from a very liberal familly his dad has been married 4 times and his mom 3 times... he lives alone since a very young age, i still live with my parents and for them its the natural thing for me to leave till im married..

So, hes there, im here, we have a super relationship, we complete each other because of our totally different backgrounds.. Here my friends are getting married, everyone talks about the next step because everybody is so old fashioned, and with him everybody is moving in with each other and no one talks about marriage... its hard.

I cant be with him unless we are married or else its throwing everything for him and probably loosing familly in the process... and he is back there we have a great present but im uncertain about the future, its not that i want to get married right now but i just need some plans of the future.. if we joke about it then there are a lot of future plans.. but talking seriously he always seems to talk about HIS plans and what he is going to achieve, i get upset at him for it and then feel bad because we are long distance.

in a year we both graduate.. i need to now what the objective is because its not easy to have a long distance relationship.. but he keeps saying that he cant make plans until he has the financial stability, and he can go of and dream if he doesnt know whats going to happen.

What does this mean? i love him and want to be with him, its hard because we are to totaly diferent cultures, is putting financial stability as a condition a pretext? should i keep investing on a relationship without a sure path? is it wrong for me to want to see the horizon or the objective to be able to keep walking?


Delta on September 12, 2011:

Please advise me. I am divorced after 29 years, financially stable. My wife decided to leave me for another after we went through 1 year of empty nest. All I planned with a family is gone. I met a women six month later, who is a Christian like me, but I think she is very controlling. She moved in right away. We have lived together for 3 years and she wants to get married. I am afraid. She controls what we watch on the TV and does not want to go out much other than church or Dinner once in awhile. If we go shopping together I get scolded for looking at women that I do not look at. If a commercial come on the TV, with a women advertising she call her a slut and accuses me of looking. If a women drives by or walks by, my girlfriend is extremely agitated and her behavior is anger to me. I on the other hand am afraid of being alone. I am 53 she is only 3 years younger. I have not built an emotional support group accept this woman. She helps so much with the house hold duties and cooks great. She fills the roll of a wife. I pay the bills and do the work outside. I am just so afraid of losing my self. I am usually a happy outgoing man who is athletic but find myself changing. Change is good and I could always be more humble but the stress is great. I just am afraid of any grief that would come from sepparation. Its hard to explain all the facts. I am a good man, she has a temper. Perhaps I would not feel so stressed if she was the right one. Going Crazy

mimiangel on September 08, 2011:

Hi veronica,

i hope you can help. I met a man online about 10 months ago and met up and immediatly started seeing each other daily, he is a widow, he had a marriage that became unhappy due to his wifes alchoholism, He had not had a long term relationship since she died 5 years ago. He was very into me at first, and then we moved in together, his idea, after a few months. He and I have our ups and downs but we love each other. He appeared to come out with saying did i want to get married just after an argument a couple of months ago, but i got embarrsed as it felt weird after an argument, he said that his timing was out, although it did not sound like a serious proposal really. But i thought he may be thinking about doing it when we went on holiday a week later but he did not. He says he thinks we have a future together but it appears that he thinks that this is living together, as he has now recently said he would not have got married if he had known what it would be like, but he sees himself marrying again , But he does not say to who. He also previously said tonight when i said about future and marriage, he said he did not rush things (although it did not take him long to live with me!), that he has mentioned it before and i said i wanted it done right, that i complain at him because he snores, that not the right time to mention it after an an argument and that i had embarrased him. Please can you advise, Thanks

flower on September 08, 2011:


I have been with my boyfriend for going on 6 years. He is 29 and I am 26. I love him dearly and we have been through alot together including the death of my father and my mum's diagnosis of Parkinsons disease. He did not have any easy childhood which has led him to find it hard to stick with things..ie jobs and houses. He moves around alot. He has been settled in London where I live for the last 4 years and is just going into his final year at university as a mature student.

I am not ready for marriage or children yet but he knows it is definitely what I want in the future with him.

He says he can not see that yet as he needs to focus on his career but wants to me with me.

Knowing his past, I am impressed that he has stayed in this relationship for 6 years. I am the only constant in his life.

Lately though I have become frustrated with him as I feel as though I would like our lives to be alittle more intwined. However, he is very independant and likes us to follow our own paths.

I feel a little bit stuck and do not know what to do.

At the moment I am having some space to work out these issues in my head. I do not feel very secure as to my place in his future. Any ideas what I should do?

Rebecca on September 07, 2011:

I have been with my boyfriend for 1 1/2 years, and known him for a couple of years longer. I am in my early 20's and he is approaching 27.

We have a very good relationship with each other. We both have good jobs, we have a mortgage and house together and are generally very happy. We often get complimented on our relationship by others.

We have both discussed the future and we both agree that we would like children in the distant future. At the moment we would like to just be happy as we are together.

The problem is marriage. I would like to be married before I have children. I have no logical reasoning for this, it's just something I really want. However my boyfriend doesn't see the point.

This has caused a couple of problems between us.

He has said that if it is really that important to me, that in time we can get married, but I feel uneasy about this.

I don't want to force him into marriage because I know it's not what he wants, and I also don't want to get married to someone who doesn't see the values in it.

I feel that I would struggle to deal with the idea that I'd be married to someone who doesn't really want to be married at all.

We both love each other very much, and I think we're both willing to sacrifice our views to make the other happy.

I just have this niggling feeling that neither of us should have to give up on what we really want out of life to make the other happy.

This has really been confusing me. My heart really wants to stay in this relationship, but my head is telling me that either of us sacrificing what we want will just make us unhappy in the long run.

I appreciate that he is willing to make the step to make me happy, I just don't think it's something he should really have to do.

I'm not sure if there's a long lasting future for us

Joanna on September 06, 2011:


I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years now. My boyfriend is telling me that when we were together for two years he wanted to marry me. Unfortunaltey I went overboard with looking for a ring and trying to find the perfect ring. He felt what he was offering wasnt good enough (ring). Currently at four years my mother is mentally ill. His mother has picked up with his dad and moved to another country. He says he wishes we had gotten married two years ago. Now he says he doesn't feel the same way about getting married. He currently doesn't want to marry me. I spend everyday with this man. I give him all of my time as much as I can spare but I feel that what I am doing is not enough to make him feel like he used to about me. Sadly I feel like I have ruined things. But I would love to marry this man I feel he is the right person for me and he makes me so happy. I am not sure how to make him feel the way he did about me 2 years ago. He says that we have a lot of family problems his mother is older now and she wants to live by herself while his father comes back to the states. He is worried that something will happen to her and that is why he wants to go see her for 2 months. I am not very happy about this but its not in my hands. I honestly don't know what to do.

If you could offer some advice I would greatly appreciate it.

jelly on September 06, 2011:

Dear Veronica,

My ex-boyfriend is 35 and I am 29. We have been dating for 1 year. I wanted to start a family but I didn't want to push him. Last month I found out I was pregnant but he said he wanted to make some changes to his career and we had to get my pregnancy aborted.

I was very sad and I left him after the abortion.

He wants us to be together after the abortion and I still think about him all the time. Do you think I should move on or get back with him? Thanks,

Craig on August 31, 2011:

Well im in a situation. Im a 30 yr old guy who has been married before. I didnt really want to but i did it anyway. To be honest you ladies pressure us so much on this. Anyway im divorced now and in a different relationship. She has a son who might as well be mine too. She is always talking about getting married. But as far as im concerned im not too sure i ever wanna do it again. I know the dreams you ladies have. The dress and that day are whats so important. Once the day is over its over. You cant say its because of commitment. As far as im concerned you should be committed to anyone that you are dating. My gf has told me i have 2 yrs to propose or she's gone. I told her i wasnt going to be pressured like that or threatend. I love her very much and her and our son mean everything to me but ive been divorced now for about 2 yrs. Im not ready. Im not really writing to ask a question. Im just saying how i feel. Ladies marriage doesnt guarantee your guy will be faithful. If he's not when your dating then marriage wont change it. Dont let your family pressure you to pressure us. When my gf's parents start doing that theyre in for a rude awakining. Promise rings are a freakin joke too. Maybe it depends on who your with too. If it was the right person maybe id be pumped to do it again. i dont know. Im not trying to be a jerk im just saying how frustrating it is when were pressured. Im 30 and my gf is 22.

nicole on August 28, 2011:

well Ive been a relationship for 6 years getting ready to go on 7 here soon. We have two young kids together and live together and the money is all together but he still says hes not ready. He once did propose but we kinda broke it off and he still hasn't put the ring back on. He says hes not ready to be married. Its been almost 2 years since we broke it off. We both agree its not far to either one to give into the other one. What should we do??

Holly Winn on August 27, 2011:

Well im only 19 here, and ive been with my bf for 7 months now and we talked about marrige and my bf dont want to get married ever and he dont want kids either..i was so upset when he told me that..i love him to death and i dont want to lose him, maybe down the road he will change his mind, but he said he will never change his mind.. what should i do? im going to respect his decision. Well i have a life time till the time comes, who knows...the weird thing is he told me he can see himself marrying me and being with me his whole life and i see it too, but we are still young im 19 and he's 20 so, im gonna give him time.

bunny on August 26, 2011:

This has never been a subject I really cared about untill my family started bringing it up... so I guess my question is: how do you deal with family preassure? do i talk to him about it? will i sound like the girlfriend that just wants to get married... in my mind a ring dose not make all that much difference. if some girl wants to go after my boyfriend a ring will not always stop her, and if my man wants to ... cheat... then i dont think the ring is going to make that much difference. what dose make the difference is how he feels about me. but i still dont know how to handle the family issue before it gets blown up by one person or the other.

Diva on August 26, 2011:

Hi, i am glad that i find out this page where you can share your stories. I am in a relationship for three and a half years and there was a time when i wanted marriage at that time i was only 19 years old and love, marriage everything was like a dream to me. But today as the days passed and i came to know the real world and also realised that my BF doesn't earn anything not a single penny (Though i will say it's his bad luck because he tries a lot to get a job, and works hard too) but today he wants us to get married but i am not sure about marriage as i dont see a safe future. I am very confused wat to do, i love him a lot but i don't think marriage can only bring you together we meet everyday, go out, go for long weekends so we are together it's just staying with each one's family. Can anyone suggest what should i do as i feel like crying whenever i think about future.

confusion on August 09, 2011:

Hi Veronica, This is a great hub! Hope you can help me here.

I just had my 33 birthday,my bf took me to a very nice place for a long weekend, everything was great, apart from he didn't want to tell me where he was taking me to,so it was a Surprise birthday weekend away. When I came back, many of my friends rang me and they thought the surprise was a ring as birthday present, and the people in the office were also teasing me about it. I am very frustrated.

He is 35, we have been together for nearly 5 years. About 2 years ago, I was asking him about the future plan, the answer I got wasn't great, we were on the edge of breaking up and I eventually stepped back as I think I may have pushed him too much.

We are great together,we love each other. However the pressure from family and friend really stress me out. I know I shouldn't get stress about this, but they keep asking about our relationship all the time. Sometimes make me feel like want to shout at them and tell them to Shut up, and mind their own business.

I think the reason for me to get so angry is that I don't know the answer, they should ask my bf, not me.

But I am really confused now, I thought I want to get married, but I just don't see myself walking down the aisle, I don't know is this just because he doesn't give me any confidence about our future or I can't do it with anyone.

Another thing is his father passed away 5 month ago, he was only over 60s. And my Bf's health isn't great neither, he pretty much looks like his Dad, and someone dead in work, he was only over 40s, left with his wife and young kids. I am so afraid and worried that will be me after number of years if we got married.

I have been very down since our weekend away, he keep asking me what's wrong with me but I don't know how to say to him yet, I am very confused. I really don't know what do I want, but I know what he doesn't want.

Probably what I wrote here doesn't make any sence as I am in tears when I think about it.

Any advice will be appreciate it. Thanks.

cinthia on July 28, 2011:

Hi, Lindsey and Veronica,

Four months ago I came here asking for guidance as I was in deep emotional pain for the loss of a relationship with a non-commital man. I would like to thank you very much because your words were so important in a moment of extreme heartache. Now my grief is finally over (after eleven months) and I have found myself again: I feel free and whole and happy at last. No, I have not found another man yet, but I am pretty sure I am much better equipped to recognize a much better match. To all of you women and men out there who are enduring pain because of a non-commital partner: hang in there, it is a long journey to full recovery but in the end, you will have found a most invaluable treasure: that you are strong enough to provide yourself with love and courage and wisdom and that you are really brave to have walked away from a situation that was not fullfiling your dreams.

Duck on July 27, 2011:

I'm really stuck. Me and bf been together 6 years- he always said he wanted the same things as me marriage, kids etc even jokingly would get down on one knee and would ask questions like what type of ring would I like? Etc. More recently we talked about getting a house together- I was living at his flat for the last 3 years. More recently he started saying that he didn't see us moving for another 2+years- which was news to me. We argued and I was stressed that he wasn't really telling me what he wants- not communicating! Then we agreed to compromise and start saving for a house and see where we were up to by next year- were not particularly financially sound either of us so then a months later he's sulking and withholding affection - I thought it was because I booked a hol withe the girls and he thought I was a hypocrite which may be true, spending money on hols. Then out of the blue he wants a break! not sure he wants the same things, feels confused, I'm pressurising him etc. I had to move out back to mum and dads- I'd told him that I wanted a commitment coz I was afraid of the rug being pulled out from under my feet, and he does it! So I waited a week then said- you obviously want to break up- he said he'd made a mistake and wanted to put ms on his morgage but then hesitated bout me moving my stuff back in- wanted to to out on dates first. I broke things off coz he was obviously still unsure and I don't think he should have to settled for me or say things like- "I think after 6 years we owe it to give it another chance". In between my distress I messed up my pill dates and he slept with me even though I was crying the whole time now I'm pregnant- not told him. What to do now?!!!

Duck on July 27, 2011:

I'm really stuck. Me and bf been together 6 years- he always said he wanted the same things as me marriage, kids etc even jokingly would get down on one knee and would ask questions like what type of ring would I like? Etc. More recently we talked about getting a house together- I was living at his flat for the last 3 years. More recently he started saying that he didn't see us moving for another 2+years- which was news to me. We argued and I was stressed that he wasn't really telling me what he wants- not communicating! Then we agreed to compromise and start saving for a house and see where we were up to by next year- were not particularly financially sound either of us so then a months later he's sulking and withholding affection - I thought it was because I booked a hol withe the girls and he thought I was a hypocrite which may be true, spending money on hols. Then out of the blue he wants a break! not sure he wants the same things, feels confused, I'm pressurising him etc. I had to move out back to mum and dads- I'd told him that I wanted a commitment coz I was afraid of the rug being pulled out from under my feet, and he does it! So I waited a week then said- you obviously want to break up- he said he'd made a mistake and wanted to put ms on his morgage but then hesitated bout me moving my stuff back in- wanted to to out on dates first. I broke things off coz he was obviously still unsure and I don't think he should have to settled for me or say things like- "I think after 6 years we owe it to give it another chance". In between my distress I messed up my pill dates and he slept with me even though I was crying the whole time now I'm pregnant- not told him. What to do now?!!!

ShellBell on July 23, 2011:

I just want to say that everything about not convincing the other party into marriage is sage advice. My bf of 3 years I thought was The One. Until last night, when he said that he didn't see our future. We had broken up once before a year ago, and when he came crawling back to me, I thought he was serious. The part I don't get is that he had been really great lately- everything indicating that he was looking to the future, too. He even bought me a computer for my birthday less than 3 weeks ago. He had put up with my overprotective family a lot this past year, so I don't get why it felt as if he was acting with me for the past few months. I'm overly emotional, as it was less than 24 hours ago that this hit me, but I just need some clarity and closure. Everyone I know thought we were headed to marriage- and soon. Last night hit me like a brick.

Dan on June 29, 2011:

Sorry im 25 and she is 24

Dan on June 29, 2011:

Hi Veronica, I am amazed with your advice.. I'm hoping you can shed some light on my situation.

Me and my girlfriend have been together for 2 1/2 years. She and her family is pressuring into getting married. I feel that im not yet ready for the committment. My parents dont get along, everyone around me gets divorved and to top it off most of my friends that are married tell me DONT DO IT. Not sure if she isnt the one or i have a committment issue. We were engaged last year 2010 and broke it off 2 months later because she didnt get along with my sisters and that sparked a huge fight. ( i proposed because she gave me an altimatum) Now im back to square one. Im scared to lose her because shes such a good girl, but at the same time i want to make sure im making the right decision.



Monica on June 21, 2011:

Dear Veronica and Lindsey,

I am 32 years old. I was married for six years and had two children from that marriage. Unfortuatley, my husband died in a tragic car accident. This was four years ago. I am now in a relationship with a 36 year old man and we're going on 1 year and 8 months. He has never been married and has no children. I have fallen in love with this man and he says he's deeply in love with me. He is good to me and my children. He has his own home and a good job. I too have my own house, im going to school and have my own job. We seem to have a good relationship, but he has told me more than once that he's not ready for a "commitment" meaning marriage. He does say he wants children of his own soemday and i too would like at least one more child but he says that hes not thinking about all that just yet. This confuses me at times becuse theres times when he says things like when "we have a kid" and "when we get married". So i dont know what to think. I know what I want and life has taught me that life truly is short. I want the whole family life again. I want to be married but more specifically i want to marry this man. He has been a positive influence in my life. But these past few months i havent been truly happy. Knowing that he's still not sure if im "the one" hurts to the core, especially when i feel that he is "the one" for me. Im not the type to pressure anyone but this just feels like he wants to have his cake and eat it too. Hes said it himself that he realizes he's being selfish but he also cant see his life without me. He says we need to take it day by day. I recently agreed to do that with the condition we bring up this subject again once we hit our 2 year mark. He said that was fair. Im just not sure what waiting for the 2 year mark is going to do or what exactly im waiting for. Sometimes i feel as if i cant go on with someone who is not as sure about me as i am about him especailly at our age!! He can have kids forever whereas us women cant. Plus, i have two kids to think about. They have gotten really attached to him and that scares me too knowing that he might not be around someday because "he wasnt ready".... What do you think i should do? Wait around or just call it quits now... Do you think he's wasting my time? I believe my kids and i have been through enough to be played with emotionally... What do you believe? Please some advice...

Monica on June 21, 2011:

Dear Veronica or Lindsey,

Blue Gardenia on June 09, 2011:

Dear Veronica,

I have been with my boyfriend for nearly 3 years. He is 27, I am 30. Right now we are long distance with little chance of being in the same city in the future due to our jobs (military) though we would have more chance if we were to get married. He says he is not ready but he does want a future with me. I just want a sign of commitment. It is so hard being long distance. What keeps playing in my mind is that last year he broke up with me because he needed to experience things on his own. Then 2 months later he deeply regretted it and new he wanted me in his life more than anything. He was serious about me. I don't have a promise ring, or property together. We do have a phone plan in his name, he pays the bill. He is very generous with his money. He is a wonderful man, whenever we do have weekends together it is fantastic. But I keep thinking, we will never be posted together unless we marry, and what if he changes his mind again and breaks up with me again? I am getting very clucky, plus I want us to be together again, I don't really want to be in a long distance relationship until he feels ready. My family and friends think I should end it. But I love him. I don't know how long to wait for him.

just'a'guy on June 09, 2011:

@JZ :

I didnot get you.Could you please explain me in detail?


JZ on June 08, 2011:

With all do respect to the person above, this is not India. This America! You scared her off.. move on and dont make the same mistake twice. Get to know someone, and allow them to get to know you before purposing.

just'a'guy on June 07, 2011:

First of all, a wonderful site.I really appreciate.I read down this page from top to bottom this night.It is 04:43 a.m India time when I am writing this.I am Indian.24 Years Old.My gf is 23.We know each other for the last 1.5 years.

We are both software engineers with me being one promotion above her.I am an engineer from one of the best Engineering Institutes of India.And when I say besT,I mean it (You can compare it with MIT of USA).I am intelligent with strong academic background and career ambitious.Just recently I have got this plum job 4 hours away from the current place I am living.Roll back 1.5 years before-

I fell in love with my girl and proposed her after 3 months.She was into me and she told me that she is attracted to me but not yet in love.In 3 months (without any physical relationship),we ended up breaking up with each other as she said she was not into this all (relationships,having bf etc).We did not talk for next 5 months.Then after 5 months she approached me and finally after 1 month or so we ended up in physical relationship.FYI,in India getting in physical relationship is a very BIG thing for a girl.For these 6 months she comes and stays at my place every weekend (we both live away from our parents independently).I love her.She loves me.We fight over small issues sometimes and she gets angry on small things(which I tend to ignore thinking that she is being little childlike there).I get angry sometimes too.This is my first real relationship.I love this girl but I would be frank to say that I do not lust her.She is very beautiful but ,you can call me stupid,asshole,anything,I also find a lot of girls who are way more sexy and beautiful.

Now she visit her parents at her hometown and when she return back ,throws me that Big question- ''What do you think about our future?Do you plan to marry me?Because I have to inform my parents otherwise they will start finding me groom (arranged marriage tradition in India).If they start that I cannot say no to my parents.Then it would be late.Decide.''

I reply saying - Wait.I am not ready yet.

She is really pushing this up now and has given me ultimatum to inform her about my decision before leaving the current place for my new job.She wants(not very happy and willing though due to 4 hours of travel every weekend)to still continue visiting me on weekends.But wants her answer (in the next 15 days from today).I told her to wait and right time will come when I would feel ready and want to make that decision solely by myself without any compulsions and pressure.

Now I am in a fix,what if I say her to wait?I am not yet ready and want to settle in my new job and make myself stable.I am not even sure if she is the one.But she has told me that 'no' will break her heart.And I do care for her.I sometimes find her really awesome,the best,the one to be.But sometimes I just don't.I fear that this decision of mine may result into loss of my first love.Sometimes I feel it may result into something the very best I always desire.

I don't want to marry before 27.AND if say yes,It would be practically saying yes to marriage under compulsion.Though she is ready to wait if I engage with her but if I say yes to engagement too,I would never rollback my decision and will pretty much come down to the same situation.I just don't want to make her waste her years in this waiting game.Though I wish if this (the wait)could have happened without any issues.I could think of marrying her someday.

What should I do?

Confused and Waiting on June 07, 2011:

Hi Veronica,

I really enjoy all of your candid advice, and would love to hear your thoughts on my relationship. My boyfriend and I are both 26 and have been dating for over 6 years (a few years long distance after college). We are very close, and he generally isn't afraid of commitment (moving to be near me, helping me financially through school, we've been living together for a year, looking into purchasing a home, etc.). That said, he acts and speaks like we are already married, or as if we have already talked about it. And, we hadn't until I brought it up six months ago.

Last year, I began to feel upset that he hadn't proposed or hadn't talked about it with me seriously. These feelings were brought on because we were trying to move to a new location together due to his work, and I felt awkward trying to explain to my work personnel that I wanted to move for "my boyfriend" (even though he had done it for me). The result was that I was not allowed to switch offices, and as a result, he stayed and declined the new work opportunity. Yet, the lack of marriage discussion bothered me. I would think, doesn't he know that I would likely be able to transfer if we were engaged? (Note: I didn't want to get engaged to ease a move - how unromantic! - but wanted to at least have him think about it). I brought it up casually then, and he said something to the effect of sorry, and that he didn't want to get engaged to ease a move. We then moved in together, and over the next year, I've felt less and less secure about our relationship because I keep thinking about this issue. Everyone else I know that has been in a relationship this long is married or engaged. I just want to have a satisfactory discussion and decision about it (but I also want the pizzazz somewhat).

Eventually, I just brought it up because he wanted to completely intermingle our finances, and I didn't feel comfortable with it and this issue had been bearing down on my thoughts and making me surly. He said that he did want to get married and had thought about it, but as far as I could see he hadn't taken any steps towards that end. After the discussion, we decided that we'd pick out a ring together, so we went to look at rings and I know he is having one made that I essentially picked out. However, it has already been over six months since our discussion and still nothing (I know he had messed up the ring once). I don't know what to think anymore. I know he is serious, but I get really frustrated over our relationship and in our relationship due to this issue.

Personally, I am not sure I even believe in the institution of marriage, or want to have the ceremony, but I do feel the external pressures. Towards him, I'm angry that he has taken the surprise away from me, has waited so long, lacks initiative in this regard (and I know I am being unfair because he has shown initiative in other areas of our relationship). When we talk about it, it doesn't go that well because I am accusatory and he claims that he is trying to remedy the situation. The waiting and additional time just makes me bitter. I feel that he's taken away the surpise, the enjoyment over the ring, the happily saying yes to a proposal, and an exciting marriage ceremony, now that I have had such negative feelings in this regard for over a year.

I guess I wonder about your thoughts generally. If you have any ideas about how to get out of this funk? I often feel like it is a catch-22, like whatever he does anymore regarding marriage, will not be enough to remedy how I feel about waiting.

artistkelsey on May 31, 2011:

Hi I need some advice about my relationship. Let me start by say I'm 22 and my boyfriend of 4.5 years is 24. I am at a loss, we have discussed marriage and engagement many many times and everytime the subject is broached he swears he would love nothing more then to marry me that second. However this is not the vibe I'm getting. To understand our relationship you have to know a few things, my boyfriend has been with me through hell, when we first met I had just been diagnosed with bipolar, and to be honest attempted to end my own life shortly after. He was there everytime I needed him though, he spent data with me in the hospital while I got the help I needed and we

quickly fell in love. Within a year of meeting we decided to move in together, everything was going smoothly until last year when out of the blue my liver began to fail, its taken til about a month ago for everything to fix itself but he stated with me through that too. However while I

was sick I had to do a lot more growing up then I honestly should have because the liver problems meant I had to battle my bipolar without any medical help, which let me say is not a simple task stopping yourself from doing what every fiber of your mind tells you to. And although my liver has healed I have been basically told that the.medication I was taking was the cause if the problem so it is no longer an option, so I am still fighting my disease on my own, so for now working and finishing school is out of the question. Last year I began asking my bf if he was planning on asking for my hand anytime in the near future, and he replied of course hopefully by Christmas. Well Christmas came and went. As did the day we celebrate as our anniversary and I still have no proposal, and anytime I breach the subject he blames finances and puts a new by this time date in my head. i sausaid I grew up a lot last year and I want nothing more then to be

with hmm forever, but to me personally having been loving with him for three years now and getting the same excuse I have to wonder if maybe he is never going to commit to me, and with the experience I had last year I feel like he is the one person I could see myself spend my life with...the

question is do you think its the same in his eyes, or does my medical standing mean he will never commit.

Lindsey79 from CA on May 31, 2011:

Dawn -- I'll give it a whirl. First off, I have to let you know that infidelity is a hot button issue for me, so I may not be the best person to ask in this resort. I see a man that has a year-long affair on his wife is a man that doesn't honor his commitments, who lies and is a selfish coward. I simply could never trust a man that was so openly deceitful. He could have been honorable and ended his marriage before pursuing you. The fact that he chose not to do that (without some extreme extenuating circumstances, of which you made no mention other than not really loving his wife) says that he has serious lack of character issues -- that he'll put his own needs above those of the woman he pledged his life to. That says to me he's very selfish and a coward. Being of such negligible character, I have a hard time seeing him being a stand-up guy with you. I see him more likely putting his needs first and not really caring how it affects you. So that's my first big caveat.

Putting the cheating issue aside and looking at your situation as if that wasn't how it started, it looks like he has everything he wants and there is no reason for him to change. You have to get over this wanting him to have a desire to marry. He doesn't. You can't change that. You can't make someone want something. But if he is sincere in being willing to marry to make you happy, that is significant. That would be a sign of a partner. He's not standing on some bs principle or letting his fear dominate his life. If you can believe that he can sincerely do this for you to show his commitment and because he believes that it's important to you, then you should be satisfied with that.

We do things for our partners all the time that we don't like or care for but we do them because it makes our partners happy or is important to them. If such partners then complained that it didn't count because we didn't really like it, that would be ridiculous and not to mention ridiculously selfish. I not only want you to go to the opera and be pleasant company (i.e. fake it) because this is something I want to do, I also want you to want to go to the opera (just never going to happen for most men). Instead of recognizing someone sacrificing something to make you happy (whether it's a night at the opera or getting married), you're focused on his intentions and desires. He's entitled to have his own desires and emotions -- that's not something you can control. Your desire to control that is your problem not his.

The fact that you're so adamant about wanting him to want to get to married I think stems from what he told you about his first marriage. That you fear that he doesn't really want to marry you and somewhere down the road will have an affair with someone else much like he did with you because he doesn't really want to get married (and he'll use the same story of not really wanting to marry you). I don't know what I'd do there. That's a hard call. I think you really need to search your soul and see if you can trust his intentions -- and given how your relationship started and what he said about his first wife, that's understandably difficult. But I think you have to make that call. If you can trust his intentions as sincere, then go ahead with the marriage -- let go of this foolish "I want him to want it too". It's unrealistic, controlling and a little juvenile. If you feel that you can't, then you may want to seriously reconsider your relationship altogether. Your relationship may ultimately be a poisoned well given the infidelity at the start, but only you know whether that's an issue for you or not.

I personally would never believe someone that said he was 100% committed but refused to get married. I don't understand that viewpoint, although I understand it's out there and for some people it's okay. I look at it like I do any other contract. Sure, you can make an oral contract, but for important stuff, people put contracts in writing. I think the same goes for relationships/marriage. I think being married is a bigger deal than living together as an unmarried couple. Others disagree, but that's my take on it.

I think you've got some soul searching to do, Dawn, and only you really have the ultimate answers. Best of luck to you! I hope you find all that you seek.

Lindsey79 from CA on May 31, 2011:

Vicky -- I can't actually say why you personally are having a hard time letting go and accepting the reality of this situation. However, I can say that it is a very common thing -- I know I struggled with it too (as I imagine many women in such situations would/have).

It may be as simple as just letting go of love. Many people in such a situation have a hard time letting go because they love their partner deeply. Unfortunately, their bf doesn't want the same things in life -- they don't want to be married to their gfs. You want fundamentally different things in your relationship. That's a really, really hard truth to accept (especially when he's telling you how much he loves you).

If you're interested in figuring out your issues personally, I'd really suggest considering seeing a counselor. Unless it's really obvious, a good counselor will really help you parse out these issues. I know there is a concept out there that says people are attracted to each other that fill some void they have as a person, or a core wound. And sometimes when you find such a person that fills that void, it can blind you to other areas where you don't fit because filling that void is so important to you. I'll give an example from my life.

I struggle with abandonment issues and not feeling truly lovable due to my familial background. So when I "feel" very loved, I can blind myself to other issues. It was very difficult for me to break something off with a man that made me feel very loved and cherished but didn't want to marry me. Being married and making the commitment is extremely important to me. I want to feel loved and find my Person -- that individual that will be with me through thick and thin, that will be my rock and partner through all of Life's trials and tribulations (if you see how Veronica talks about her husband and marriage -- I want that!). But to let go of that immediate feeling of love because I knew there was no future was very, very hard. And it hurt like hell. And it took time to grief that loss -- and it is very much a loss. Acceptance is the last step in the grieving process and I don't think it can be rushed (other steps are denial/isolation, anger, bargaining, depression -- and you can jump from one to the other and back again). The comfort was that I knew I was doing what was best for me in the longrun -- then I could find someone that only made me feel loved in the present but would also promise to be there for me in the future and with whom I could build a life together.

Perhaps your bf has some quality that fills a particular void in you -- a core wound. If you can figure out what that is and then work on healing it from within, then you won't be so susceptible to it in the future because you will have filled it yourself. You won't be so blinded by it.

Just remember all your good qualities during these hard times. You sound amazing. You're educated, well-rounded, come from a great family, are very intuitive and self-aware, sound very generous with a big heart. If he can't see all those qualities, then that's a lacking on his part, not yours. And once you end this relationship, you'll be able to go out and find someone that can see all of you and will feel blessed and cherished to have such an amazing woman in his life. Best of luck -- and definitely keep us updated on how it goes. I feel for ya and know you'll be okay and eventually back to feeling amazing.

long overdue! on May 31, 2011:

Dear Veronica,

So I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years, were 23 and 24 and will qualify as doctors in a year. When I question him on marriage he says he will consider it after our foundation years.... in 3 years time. I'm not saying I want to get married right now, but some sort of further commitment would be good. He is from a different culture and isn't meant to have girlfriends and so, even though it has been 4 years, I have never once met his family. Do you think I'm just being strung along? When I try to ask him he just seems unable to have a proper debate and we never get anywhere, he just wont talk about it all!


dawn on May 31, 2011:

Hi Victoria and Lindsey, I'm really looking forward to (dying actually!) to hear what you have to say about my situation.



Vicky on May 30, 2011:

You’re right! Deep down I do know everything you just said to me. What I don’t understand is that: I am an educated, well rounded woman that comes from a great family and has a lot going for her. Why can I not walk away from this? (This is not my first long-term relationship, and I may be only 24 but I've lived a VERY different life than most-in many ways.) I like to be able to full heartedly ACCPET all of this, and make the decision to move forward with my life--knowing that you can’t lose something that was never yours. It’s all so much easier said than done, but I can do it and will do it eventually. Thank you for your advice, and please keep me in your prayers. I will keep you posted on my improvement!

Lindsey79 from CA on May 29, 2011:

Vicky -- You may not like to hear this, but given what you've written, I'd definitely say your relationship is not worth it. I would have bailed a long, long time ago. Here are my thoughts.

First -- mom and sister. Your bf's family is going to be a big part of your life. They say when you marry someone, you marry their family as well. I find this to be very true. Now, plenty of us come from hot mess families, so it's not like you can never date someone because they have a crazy family. But how they treat you in relation to their family is very telling. You don't say much about where your bf is in this mess, but it sounds like to me that he isn't very supportive of you --- likely that he just wants to stay out of it which leaves you having to constantly deal with his nutty sister and mom? That's a really rough situation, especially since you describe them as so controlling and manipulative. For me, unless my bf was helping to make me feel really safe and secure in our relationship, how he felt about me, including in how he protected me from others (including his crazy family), I'd be out of there. It sounds like he isn't making you feel like he's got your back and you're number 1 in his life. That would be a HUGE problem for me. I've dated a guy much like your bf in this regard (actually worse) and it really wore on me--bone deep soul/heart wearing sort of thing. It was exhausting as I felt I was having to constantly fight them and defend myself -- it really drained me. One of the reasons we eventually ended things was because despite loving him very much, certain members of his family tearing me down (while he sat by and watched, made excuses for them or asked me to be more understanding of their lack of empathy and compassion) just killed my respect and eventually my love of him. I'd never do that again.

Second -- you don't sound like a good emotional match. People express emotions and relate to people in different ways. Neither is better than the other, just different. But it is important that you have some overlap and some compatibility. There's a book out there called the 5 Love Languages and it describes how people express emotion/love -- touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts and quality time. They're all valid methods of expressing emotion, but problems arise when you guys speak completely different languages, which seems to be the case with your bf. You want to touch, cuddle, hold hands (me too!) but he doesn't and I bet that oftentimes makes you feel rejected, stifled or at least not as close. It's this sort of crossed wires that can be really difficult. Neither of you is wrong or bad, you just express things differently. This would be another big concern of mine because I'm not sure how much people can really re-wire themselves to want to love to be expressed in certain ways or to alter their own natural inclination of expression. Some movement is probably possible, but if you're too different (which is sounds like you are) it's just too much change to ask for realistically.

Third -- He gives out his number to other women? Really? I'm usually pretty chill and think men and women can be friends sometimes, but I get the impression that you don't think this is innocent. If that's the case, I'd say trust your gut.

Fourth--You're only 24. What's the rush? Why are you with a guy that is 10 years older? Why at 21 would you want to date a 31 year-old guy seriously? Your bf sounds like he has some serious issues and I don't think it makes sense for you to invest any more time or energy helping to "fix" him or help him heal these issues. That is for him to, or not do. I have to wonder if at 31, he sought out a 21 year-old because a more experienced woman would see through a lot of his bs and issues very soon and wouldn't bother to keep giving him the benefit of doubt. She'd stop throwing good money after bad rather quickly -- and I suggest you do the same.

Enjoy being in your early/mid 20s. Go out, have fun, explore. Bfs are great, but there really is no reason to rush into marriage. Enjoy this time. Eat out, try new restaurants, try new hobbies or that new dance class you've always been interested in. Take this time to explore and figure out who Vicky is and who Vicky wants to be. Live it up. Don't spend any more time on this 34 year-old guy that lets his family treat your poorly, is giving out his phone number to other women or who has some serious emotion issues he needs to work on before he can be a true parter. To me, it sounds like you're settling for a broken, possibly selfish guy. I'd say end it and move onto bigger and better pastures. And I think deep down you already know this. Best of luck!

Vicky on May 28, 2011:

I spent some time reading your advices to other people, and you guys seem very experienced and intellectual in the health relationships. I am looking forward to reading your response to my post Victoria or Lindsey!

Best Regards,


dawn on May 26, 2011:

Please help!

I am 34 and have never been married.

My boyfriend is 45 and divorced with 2 kids. His "story" about his first marriage is that he did it because that was the thing to do (everyone was doing it etc), never REALLY loved her and thought with time he would. Had children soon after the marriage. The kids are his life! Was happy living as a "family" but was never truly happy with his wife. She fooled around, he found out, they tried to work on things. about year later we meet through our jobs, starting communicating innocently a lot by e-mail, a couple months later that lead to seeing each other in person and a few months after that we were having a full blown affair. The affair last just over a year. Throughout the time he would tell me that he wanted to be with me but had a really hard time thinking he then wouldn't be able to see his kids every day. She found out, they tried to work it out, he still couldn't stop seeing me, she found out again and ended it quickly.

we've been living together for 4.5 years. we own our home and have no financial issues. we've been trying to have children for 2 years and have been getting fertility help. The years that we've been together have been busy with renovations to our home, trying to make a baby, sick and dying parents, on going issues with his ex, and his struggle not seeing his kids every day. It has been rough, but we love each other more than anything, don't have any issues with each other, are 100% committed to our relationship and grown old together.

here's the problem. I want to get married, and have been open and honest about this. Through our discussions throughout the years he's communicated that at some point we'd marry. Over the past year he's made comments to friends and family about us getting married, he's asked what kind of a ring style I like, what size and so on.

we went on a much needed vacation last week by ourselves to just relax. Paid a lot of money to go to a very high end beach resort that we went to at the start of our relationship that we really like. To be totally honest I think he is going to propose at every minute of the day and it never happens. this time I was positive that he would. each day that passed and he did not I got more and more depressed and angry. Finally on our second last night I told him that I thought he would have proposed. this lead to a big discussion and ended with me saying I was done. we've spend the last 5 days ignoring this issue or arguing about it and it hasn't resolved anything.

his position: He has though about and gone through the motions to getting ready to propose. He had planned on asking me while we were away and had discussions with a jeweler until he realized that he was just doing it because I want it so much, and he didn't want it, and therefore it wasn't the right time for him. He has now told me that he does not have the desire to marry. He does have the desire to marry me but that's to make me happy, I want it more than he does. He is 100% fully committed to this relationship, growing our family, and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. He does not feel like we need to be married. He is very upset and does not understand how I can throw all this away because he does not have the DESIRE to want to marry, and I do NOT want him to do it just to make me happy.

If we stay together I either have to settle for never being married. Or if the does propose at some point I will think that it is just because I want it and it is not genuine. Or he is doing it because he is scared that I will eventually keep my word and leave if he does not propose.

Am I unrealistic to want the fairy tale proposal with the speech about his love for me and desire to want to marry me?


Should I be happy that I'm in this committed relationship with a man who says he is 100% committed to us?

Vicky on May 26, 2011:

I have truly hit a point where I need to decide to continue on this highway or take the next exit off. I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years. He is 34 years old and I am 24 years old. He has been married before and has a natural fear of marriage due to the fact that his wife abandoning him right after he had surgery on both of his knees. He also comes from a broken home. His mother has been married 2 times and is praying for the 3rd to come around. She has become extremely religious and claims herself and her oldest daughter to be prophets. They go to weekly prophet meetings and don’t believe or respect any other religion other than Christianity…. My point in sharing this information with you is not to judge the way they are living their lives--I respect it! My intention is to paint you a small picture of what it has been like for the past 3 years. His mother and sister are in constant attempts to control my boyfriend through me. They want to change him into what they believe God wants him to be. His mom knows that her son and I have started to entertain the thoughts of marriage. She knows how much I LOVE children. She said to me, “I’m not getting confirmation from God about this.” And followed on by telling me that I may not be able to ever get pregnant because I’m too petite. – After that point, I had HAD IT! I was so hurt and disgusted, I went to my boyfriend and told him what kind of hell it was for me being around his mother and sister. He talked to her “leader” and I don’t know anything else. Not pastor but “leader” is the one that told me 2 years ago that my boyfriend and I needed to break up because he was not the one for me. I’ve never been around so many manipulative, controlling, judgmental people in my life.

Oh, did I mention I come from a Muslim family? Ha.. ha… yes. His mother and sister have never, and will never bluntly say that him and I are not meant to be to HIS face. But they have said to me that God has reviled to them that we are not equally yoked. She tries to convert my mother and father who don’t even practice Islam, don’t call themselves Muslims. They have been married for 28 years, are constantly involved in community charities, and are truly good people! ANYWAYS -- all of the above aside, I am naturally a very affectionate person. I am very guarded of my heart, but when I love I love with all mind and soul--I love unconditionally. I need, and want to cuddle, kiss, and hold hands. My boyfriend is not like this. He is literally the opposite of me. He gets mad when I roll over to cuddle with him in bed sometimes, because he gets freakishly hot. He gives out his phone number to other woman (“she’s just my sister’s friend--it’s not like I would ever hang out with her alone”). I’ve hit a point where I need to be honest with myself weighing the whole situation and answering the question. Is this worth it? Is it?

Lindsey79 from CA on May 24, 2011:

Charles -- My best advice for you is to be single for a while. You seem all over the place, running from one situation/woman to the next. Rebounds are rebounds for a reason -- oftentimes a person's attempt to avoid the pain of mourning a relationship, they start a new one. But eventually find out that they were just using that new relationship as a crutch and it dissolves shortly thereafter.

I have a really hard time imagining jumping into this new relationship has helped you gain any clarity. Instead, it sounds like it has just further muddied the waters and introduced a new person and additional dynamic into the mix.

It's nice that you don't want to hurt either your ex or your current squeeze, but that's now unavoidable. It's hard to see some guy you spent the past 6 years with immediately go out with another woman. I think it's understandable and probably points to your inability to be alone, but I can also understand your ex feeling very hurt. You say the new squeeze knows your situation, then she should understand your need to be alone and figure out yourself. You're on a rollercoaster of emotions right now -- going from your ex to the new girl and in between. Until you get off that rollercoaster and allow the dust to settle (i.e. not be involved with either woman), it will be very difficult for you to figure out how you really feel as you'll be so overwhelmed and mixed up in these two women's emotions.

Take some time to be by yourself. Mourn your past relationship or at least take some time and distance to gain perspective on it (after all, you may decide that you ultimately want to be with her). But you'll never figure this out if you just jump from one situation to the next. Good luck!

Charles on May 23, 2011:

Hello, I don't know if you remember me. I posted a couple of months ago about the problems I was having with my girlfriend. Unfortunately things haven't gone the way I would have wanted. In my last post I wrote that we (or I) had decided to spend some time apart to figure things out. My (ex) girlfriend has been calling me and texting me since that day, which stressed me a lot. She lives across the street so everytime I left my house she would call me to ask me where I was going. I felt so bad that I just decided to turn off my cell phone. I'm a complete mess right now, and I just don't know what to do anymore. After a few days after breaking up I started going out with this other girl. It was supposed go really slow, I just wanted to relax and talk. She knew my situation, and we were just going out as friends, but it didn't go that way, in fact, things went really fast. My (ex) girlfriend still calls and texts me every once in a while, and has written to me asking me if I'm seeing someone else. My life is out of control, I feel bad for hurting my (ex) girlfriend, I really do, and I've even been thinking that I made a huge mistake in leaving her. Now, I'm with this new girl, who has been really nice to me. I feel so guilty, this new girl had always had avoided relationships for fear, and now she opened up to me. To make this even worse, she was a virgin and didn't tell me until we were right at the moment. On saturday we went to a restaurant and one of my (ex)gf's friends was there and saw me with this new girl. Well last night when I got home my ex gf called me crying because her friend told her she had seen me. I'm confused and I have a lot of doubts, I some times feel like I want to go back to my ex, but at the same time I don't want to hurt this new girl. I don't want to hurt either one.

I know this is not really the topic of this thread, but I feel lost.

Lindsey79 from CA on May 21, 2011:

Cindy -- Honestly, you sound too young/immature to get married. You've been dating for 5.5 years, so I have to assume that you're in your early 20s at the very least (if you're older than 25, then it's even more alarming). But if your stepfather's blessing has really stopped the engagement, that's a problem. A big problem.

Now, I understand wanting a parent's approval. I like the traditional route of asking for a woman's hand in marriage from her parents. But after 5.5 years, it shouldn't have been a surprise. The fact that your stepdad withheld that says something to me -- either they don't think very much of your bf or something else is afoot (like major control issues). But if you're both adults, you should be able to decide for yourselves when you get married.

To me, you sound very young and immature. I'm shocked that you're not angry with your bf for not proposing or at your stepdad for interfering in your relationship by withholding his consent/blessing. I think you need to learn how to be an adult and a master of your own destiny for a while before you get married -- be responsible for yourself for a while. Your concerns about a ring and its size should be the least of your worries.

Cindy on May 19, 2011:

Ok here's mine. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 1/2 years. We've been living together most of that time. About two months ago he asked my stepdad for my hand in marriage. He said no basically that we need more time!! (the thing is my parents are pastors and they don't like that we live together and he's not Christian) That night there was a lot of yelling and crying. The trip was basically ruined because it was SUPPOSED to be my engagement. He had planned an amazing NY trip. We went on it anyway :( The next day on our trip I saw the ring and loved it but I felt so angry that all this negative crap went along with it and I couldn't wear it because we're not TECHNICALLY engaged anymore. The following day after in my anger and resentment I said I love this ring and its perfect but can I upgrade it to a carat. I think I did this because I wanted control over something because I felt like everyone else is making my decisions for me. He ACTED like it was fine and he was thinking the same thing. The next day he returned it. 2 weeks later, he flipped out saying I was superficial to my surprise because earlier he was fine. I tried to explain why I did it but it was too late. Now him and my stepdad meet every two weeks to talk but I have no ring. Every day that goes by I get sadder and sadder because I almost had what I had been fighting for and waiting for and now all we do is argue because I'm pressuring him because I told him just get my old ring back. Now he says he doesn't have the money which makes no sense because he's using my old promise ring as a down payment. He doesn't have the money for the BIGGER ring but I just want the old one back. It would be fine. All we do is fight and I don't know when I'll ever be engaged at this point. Any suggestions?

Lindsey79 from CA on May 04, 2011:

Sando -- I think you tell her exactly as you did here. Simply and succinctly. I must admit that it's hard for some of us women to understand that you know that you want to marry her someday, but aren't ready today. If you know you want to marry her in 5 years, why not now? So expect some pushback or desire for explanation from her. I think a lot of us fear that we're just being lead on, that he'll never be ready or simply doesn't want to marry us and can't admit that. If you'd consider a long engagement, that may help reassure her that you're serious about marrying her, just not at the moment. Or doing other things to show her that you're planning for your future together -- like opening a joint savings account in which you put a certain amount of money in it every month towards the wedding, ring, etc. Then she'll have some tangible sign that you mean what you say and you're not just putting her off with pretty words.

I also think if you can narrow down the reasons you want to wait and what goals you want to accomplish before you marry would be immensely helpful. If you want to save a certain amount of money, achieve a certain level/position at your work, etc.--tell her that. So she can see you're working towards those goals and ultimately marriage. Also if you can give a specific timeline, that would also help -- say you're not ready now, but will get in engaged in a year, two years, etc. and married in three years, etc. Something specific she can hold onto will also help reassure her that you're serious and not just talking and so that she knows that she's not perpetually waiting without an end in sight.

But also be prepared for the possibility that she may not want to wait for these things. Just as you want to wait, she is just as valid in not wanting to wait. So she may decide to break up with you, and that's her choice. She may want to be with someone that's ready to move forward and since you're not him, she may choose to look for someone else that is ready. Neither view point is wrong or right, but she's just as entitled to her feelings as you are to yours. Sometimes you can't always get what you want. But hopefully, if you guys talk it out, you'll be able to find some middle ground. Finding that middle ground is key. Best of luck to you!

Sando on May 04, 2011:


My girlfriend and I are both really in love with each other, still. I love her a lot and lately she's been showing signs of wanting to marry me.

Quite frankly, I'm just not ready to get married yet. There's still things I need to do before I can settle down with her. Plus I don't want to give her a meager wedding. Regardless though, she is the one I love and cherish, and if it was for the situation to be any different, I would jump in the boat with her within a snap.

Due to these factors, I am not ready yet. However, I have seen several comments stating that a break-up might be what we need. Which is the last thing we both need. If one marries, is it not because they found their life-mate in that person? And what's the best way to tell her I am not ready now, but will definitely ask her to marry me at a certain point in time when I am ready. I also don't want to make it seem like it's still going to take forever - which it won't.


John Philip on May 01, 2011:

I have been reading this hub and i see that you had amazing advices about the feelings of being ready and not ready, i have a same problem and i would really appreciate some advice too.

We both are in our 30's she's bigger than me and she has already children of her own that cannot see due the father she has a divorce with has the custody. I live in Guatemala and she lives in the States, for 3 years we have been taking care of our relationship, and unfortunately i got a lung health problem that has made me go into hospital several times and, because of that, i have been more and more not able to contact her like in the daily basis, to the point she has been thinking i have another possible relationship here at guatemala, what has brought a lot of fights.

Lately she just wants to marry me now, no matter how but now, saying i must hear her needs and how she is tired of being alone dealing with all her family and the custody of children, I even agreed on marry her but i told her to me to be fully ok to do it but has taken me months to do that, i think is a way to have a grasp on me because she is afraid. Honestly i asked after that to wait and had a commitment after a year i would of come to california and marry her, but even she is pushing it so hard that for 3 times she were extremely nasty with me in a way i would of never do to her, because when i say her to wait that time she gets extremely pissed and snaps at me, even to the point she has told me we are over. Or saying that "i have very easy on my side because i don't have to deal as much she does"

I love her and but i had my limits and i broke with her once, but i came back because i can't be without her, but she has also again threaten me to leave me if is not now is never, the things hurts me most is the things i never would of thought she will say to me when she is upset.

Even now she is thinking about an long distance wedding over an non present layers, but i think that is a fraud or i think is too not my way of do the things. Should i keep up with this with this so much pressure ? please i would like some advice.

Laura on April 30, 2011:

Hi Veronica

Your posts are ver informative and I would like to ask your advice on my siutuation. My boyfriend is 38 and I am 30. He was previously married for 10 years 6 years ago and we have den dating for The last 2 years. We have been through quite slot together he was bankrupt and left with very little money after living a very luxurious life and always being a home owner to living in poor rented accommodation but I have stood by him regardless because unlike his previous relationships I loved the person not the money. On a sadder note he has been there for me after my mother passed away unexpectedly. We are good together but where I want to marry and have children with him it's sometimes on the cards and then sometimes it's not what he wants right now. For me at my age I don't think I can wait for him to be certain and feel I've passed my chance to have children healthily but also I want my father to see me married with children because unfortunately my mum couldn't. I'm not sure what to do because we have a good relationship but this issue causing slot of riffs between us. I just want my dad to see me in love and with a family. As well as have children that I dont want to pass away unexpectedly and leave them at a young age it hurts enough at 30 without a mum.

Lindsey79 from CA on April 25, 2011:

Anna -- Perhaps your guilt over the beginning of your relationship has blinded you to your present dilemma. Perhaps I'm wrong for focusing on that, but I find it very telling that you decided to divulge those facts in the very beginning. As Veronica often says, those appear to me to be quite significant "tells". If you didn't want someone to comment on those issues or didn't think they played into your present dilemma, then why did you mention them at all in the first place?

From where I sit those are very important things -- not to condemn you or anything else negative at this point, but as part of the reality that you need to accept. You started dating a guy in a very compromised position -- someone from the very get-go that showed you that he wasn't honest, wasn't honorable, was lacking integrity and couldn't commit to a woman with whom he had a relationship for 8 years and shared 3 children! It seems incredibly unlikely that a man with that past, who has shown no desire to change these qualities (at least you haven't said anything of the sort to indicate that) would have any likelihood of being the sort of guy you want in your life --- kind, honest, honorable man that wants to commit to one woman.

Open your eyes. See the reality of what is rather than what you wish it were. Stop throwing good money after bad. He is a loser. Then take that energy and work on yourself -- look into those deep dark reasons why you were attracted to him in the first place, what need did he fulfill for you that you willingly looked past all these obvious bad parts? I think if you figure some of those out --- and I think a professional therapist can really help you in sorting those out -- that you'll be better equipped to seek out that which you truly want and hopefully deserve. Someone that is kind, honest, genuine, honorable and wants and can commit to lifelong partnership. Your current guy is not that!

Anna on April 25, 2011:

Again, to reiterate, I found this site b/c of my marriage dilemma, not because I wanted someone's opinion on the start of my relationship 2.5 years ago. I'm sure that there are blogs/sites that I could go on if I wanted opinions on that aspect of my relationship. I feel Lindsey that unless you have something else that is valuable to my original question to add, then you are simply wasting your time telling me what you would or wouldn't do if you were in my situation. I don't know you and therefore I have no interest to read about how you would act differently than me. In all honesty, everyone makes their own choices and we are all responsible for our consequences - end of story. All that matters to me is that my friends/family accepted my relationship and the way it began (and everyone has!) - but again, that is not the issue here. I had a question about marriage/commitment, not the whole cheating thing you keep talking in circles about.

Lindsey79 from CA on April 25, 2011:

Anna -- I was really trying to hold back on the insults. Your actions speak for themselves. I'm sorry if you were insulted by them, but I was trying to be honest and compassionate (it's just hard to be compassionate in your situation where there was so little honor and compassion for your guy's former gf and wife of his 3 kids).

And, yes, somethings don't work out all well or don't start well but that doesn't justify acting badly. We all have choices in this life. We can all choose to act honorably or not honorably, with kindness or without kindness. Sometimes there are crazy, extenuating circumstances, but sometimes we just make bad, selfish decisions and they come back to bite us in the butt (which appears to be more your situation).

I'm just saying that I would have never started a relationship with a man that was entangled with another woman --- because I think that would not only lessen my own honor but also I wouldn't be attracted to a guy that showed such lack of honor, honesty and integrity himself. It would simply be a non-starter for me and frankly I have a hard time understanding why it's not a non-starter for more women. If you're deceived by him (i.e. thinking he was single and he lied about his gf/wife), that I can understand more. Though once finding out about the deception, it would kill a lot of my attraction for him too because now I'd know he was a huge liar. But knowingly starting a relationship with a man that is involved with another woman, I don't understand women that do that. I think such women have serious issues and need help to figure out why they'd do such a thing---why they're attracted to such a louse and why they'd put themselves in a such a lose-lose situation.

If I found myself attracted to such a guy and he said something to me about wanting to be together, I'd tell him "perhaps one day we can explore that. But not so long as you're with someone else. If you're ever single, look me up. Otherwise, I want nothing to do with you. Handle your own business at home -- don't pull me into your drama and use me as a crutch, a distraction from your problems, etc. I'm only interested in nurturing something healthy and real and we couldn't do that if we're both not single."

You chose not to do that. Fine, but don't be upset when others point out the real lack of integrity and honor in those actions or the fact that it lessens their compassion for you current situation that grew out of such dishonorable actions in the first place.

Anna on April 25, 2011:

Thanks Lindsey - I actually didn't write on this blog looking for finger pointing and judgement. I've dealt with my guilt and my role in this a long time ago and have accepted it (as has everyone else in my life who knew how we got together). And FYI: not every couple starts off perfectly (single boy meets single girl and they live happily ever after) - in fact I was part of a wedding recently in which the bride and groom both left their significant others to be with one another (both got involved when they were very very young and stayed with their partners for the sake of the kids). They have now been together for many years and I've never seen a couple that is more in love (their exes have happily moved on and remarried shortly after the separations). Turns out none of the 4 people involved were happy and the affair was the best thing that happened for everyone involved.

Anyways, you raise some valid points and yes I have thought a lot about the fact that this guy might have commitment issues since he didn't marry the mother of his children and your observations highlight this. I appreciate your thoughts, I sincerely do - however your advice could have been given without the insults.

Lindsey79 from CA on April 25, 2011:

Anna -- Really? This is surprising to you? You had an affair with a man who was with a woman for 8 years and had 3 children with her and you're surprised that he doesn't want to marry you? I hate to be so harsh -- but, wow, you are in major denial. You know right off the bat that he's a liar and would forsake a family he created with another woman -- that's not honorable. Now, considering you were the willing partner in such an affair, I have my doubts about your honorability too.

I usually try to empathize with folks in such situations, but your self-described actions are making that difficult. Some would say that you're getting exactly what you deserve and I must admit that I'm having a hard time not feeling a lot of that too. But putting the complicity in the betrayal and cheating aside, this guy has not shown much character -- really, you want a liar, a cheat, someone that betrays the mother of is 3 children! as a soulmate? I think you have some major issues to work on and should look into professional counseling ASAP to figure out why you'd hitch your wagon to this guy's star --- it's really terribly unhealthy all the way around.

Don't you want to be with a man that has honor, that can commit, that can tell you honestly and with an open heart that you're the one and only woman for him? Why are you bothering with this loser? The only consolation is that unlike his former partner, you don't have any kids with him---consider that a HUGE blessing and a major bullet dodge. Drop him like a bad habit, get yourself into therapy and then seek out someone that has good values, strong character and is a decent, loving human being. This guy, regardless of however much you think he is your "best friend" or "soul mate" is none of these things.

Anna on April 23, 2011:


I've been googling articles about marriage pressures and stumbled upon this very helpful site! I feel that reading other people's stories helps me get through my own situation.

Me: I'm 32 and my ex partner is 35. We've been together for 2.5 years. He was with someone for 8 years had 3 children with her and then had an affair with me (they weren't married - just common law). So technically, although we agreed we were together for 2.5 years, we took our relationship public just a bit over 1.5 years ago. From the moment we got together (we were best friends beforehand) he kept telling me he wants to marry me (although he never believed in marriage with his ex). Everything led me to believe that we were soulmates and I never doubted his love for me.

Well fast forward to our 2.5 year anniversary and I'm scratching my head wondering where my ring is?! We went to look at rings in the fall and I had "the talk" with him last summer about what my thoughts on marriage were. I told him if he'd like to marry me than I would like to be engaged within a year (I want to have a child and be married before I do so - yes, very old fashioned). Although he wanted to wait an additional 2 years he said he was willing to compromise b/c he loved me and wanted to be with me. Over the past few months though I started noticing that although he said all the right things, he wasn't doing things that told me he was serious about marrying me in the near future. I was the one that had to keep pushing him to get a legal separation from his common law wife (which finally happened this year!) otherwise he'd keep dragging his feet. For some crazy reason, the 2.5 year mark was my cutoff time.

We were also experiencing other issues and ultimately I broke up with him (right around the 2.5 year mark). Three weeks went by before I realized that I made a mistake and wanted to work on our relationship (during our time apart he tried to reason with me to no avail). By the time I wanted to save our relationship, he told me he was really frustrated with me and my negativity (in terms of always expecting the worst). He told me he felt pressured to marry me and no longer knew if I was "the one". I was shocked. Its been over a month now and I am still heart broken. On the one hand I feel that I did the right thing by initiating the break up b/c he clearly wouldn't have proposed to me anytime soon. On the other hand I feel full of regret for not trusting in him and our love and pushing him to the point of no return. I am driving myself crazy with my thoughts - if he truly loved me, he'd come back wouldn't he? or can a woman's marriage pressures really make a man walk away from the entire relationship forever? Maybe I was naive all along in thinking that he'd finally commit if he wasn't able to commit to the mother of his children after 8 years. Any advice on how I can regain my sanity and move forward, accepting that its too late to cry over spilled milk? I always thought a proposal should be easier - you date, you love each other, you get engaged (esp if both partners are in their 30s) - maybe this just happens in the movies?! Sorry for the loooooong post :)

loribeth2 on April 20, 2011:

I have been with my partner almost 11yrs now. Early on in our relationship I told him my dream in life was to settle down and get married and have a half decent job. Just over a year after start relationship we had a baby (un-planned but not regretted)and not long after that we got engaged on my 21st birthday. The problem is we’re still not married, everytime I bring it up all i get from him is “It’s a waste of money” or “it’s just a bit of paper – means nothing”. Obviously i would love the dream wedding but accept it’s never going to happen, i’ve offered to book a registry office with just the two of us there which would cost about £100 so that is not this issue either but merely an excuse.

I’m in no doubt that my partner loves me, we are like soul mates and we are each others best friend. He does however have issues showing emotions, he is not romantic, (aside from our sex life) we don’t kiss or cuddle, very rarely talk about emotions or how we feel and if i’m upset, he would be silent or walk out the room rather than have to talk about it. When talking about the wedding he’ll just change the subject or just refuse to talk about it.

I believe what he’s says when he says being married doesn’t mean anything to him, but what about what it means to me?. I also think the ceremony would be hard for him as he can’t handle attention being on him.

The problem I have is I don’t know where to go from here, I do not want to end our relationship at all as I love him to much and we have a child together. But at the same time i feel he’s being incredibly selfish by not marrying me after building my hopes up getting engaged. I think I may have to come to terms with the fact that if I want to stay in this relationship then I will never be married and im not sure I can cope with that. Maybe if I knew from the start that he would never want to be married then our relationship would have never of got this far. Where do I go from here?

Lindsey79 on April 12, 2011:

Jesse 824 -- I think you're being very, very reasonable. I too would want to know how tied to my significant others' family I would be before marrying him. I’m very close to my family in an emotional capacity, but my parents fully appreciate that although we are their children we are adults in our own right as well. They do not attempt to control us in significant ways, but this can vary greatly among different cultures. Some people are very close to their families and their needs come second to those of the elder generation. For example, I know this can be an issue with East Indian families and it can cause a big conflict when marrying outside of that cultural understanding. I think this may be more similar to the dynamic you describe with your girlfriend and her family. So I can relate on some level to what you're saying and how incredibly frustrating it is for you.

I think you really need to sit down with her and have a discussion on these cultural and value differences--don't attack them, but discuss your concerns about potential incompatibility. Discuss how much influence you both envision extended families interacting with your own family and what sort of dynamics you desire or won’t tolerate. To me, it sounds like you’re saying that you want you and your gf (and your children) to be the first priority to one another but you fear that she is not ready or does not want to do that – that her parents/siblings come first to her and then you and your son. As a result, you want to live with her outside of her family’s immediate influence to see if she can draw healthy boundaries with them. I think you’re incredibly astute and wise to want to do this (and at 24!). I too would insist upon it.

I find it very disturbing that your gf is telling you through her actions (i.e. using your “get your own apt” money for other purposes) that she either doesn’t want to do this, fears it or doesn’t respect your desires in this regard. It’s very inconsiderate and selfish of her--she's not being a good partner when she does this. Even if it’s motivated by fear of separating from her family, it’s simply not something I’d want in a partner either.

Although I’m not a big fan of ultimatums generally, I think you do need to draw the line in the sand with her. Explain to her your concerns about her not being able to live separately from her family. Get some books that are aimed at just this (1001 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married, 10 Conversations You Must Have Before Getting Married, Your Intercultural Marriage: A Guide to Healthy, Happy Relationship) – these will help you have these conversations and be able to explain things better for both of you. Perhaps even go to counseling to help with this – having a third party help navigate these difficult issues can really help. But at the end of the day, you need to have some experience with her apart from her family and an ability to reasonably rely on her ability to be autonomous.

Some people will ultimately never leave their families. Ironically, you often see this in Momma’s Boys. They will always choose their mothers over their wives and many of those wives would have loved to known that before they got married (and many likely wouldn’t have married if they’d known that either). If your gf is unable to do this – live apart from her family before you marry or somehow give you some other type of reasonable assurance that it will be you, she and your son as no. 1 priorities and her parents and siblings second to that --- then you’ve got to decide whether you can live with that. I definitely couldn’t live with that and given what you’ve said I suspect you can’t either. I generally really like to encourage people to try and work it out, but in this case, you’ve been really great and now need to see if your gf can bridge the gap. If she can step up to the plate and be the type of partner you want and need too. She may be able to, she may not be able to. Neither is really wrong or right here – just compatible or incompatible. I wish you the best luck – please come back and tell us how it works out.

Jesse824 on April 11, 2011:

Hey Veronica,

My situation's a little different, as I'm a man wishing to marry my girlfriend. Some facts: I'm 24, she's 28, we have a 2yr old (devilishly handsome) boy and we've been together 5 years.

Here's where it gets problematic. For three years, I've been living with her family, upon her request. Yes, she's 28 and still lives at home with her two brothers and mother in a tiny house. Her family is Phillipino and I'm assuming this is a cultural thing ... how tight-knit they are (and why she hasn't moved out). Due to cultural differences and conflicts in how I do things compared to her family's house rules ... things have gotten pretty tense between her family and I. All the while, she is pushing for marriage because, and I agree with her on this, we've been together 5 years and have a child!

Now, I know many people might feel it was wrong for me to do so, but I gave her a stipulation for our engagement. I wanted to move out of her family's house before I proposed. My reasoning: with how little privacy I've had with my girlfriend in these past 3 years (intimacy is VERY HARD with her family so close to our bedroom), it feels like I'd be marrying her AS WELL AS her direct family. Feeling this way, I just can't bring myself to pop the question before we move out. She labels my reasoning as an excuse to just not get married.

I need to know how she acts away from her family. There's a difference (ALWAYS a difference) between the woman I love outside her family's house, and the daughter I tolerate while she's with her mother. And, at 28yrs of age, I need to know if she can live WITHOUT her family.

We've saved money on two separate occasions to afford a down-payment on our own apartment, thus fulfilling her end of my bargain and i was ready to propose but ... each time, she's spent that money on trips to be with her family.

I'm torn. I never thought I'd be so close to marrying or leaving someone. I also think its humorous we both want to marry each other, and its in that feeling that the distance is growing between us.

She wants to marry me and still live at home ... I want to branch out and start our own family with our son. Am I the bad guy for staying adamantly against marriage until we move out? I really feel I'm just being practical about it considering where we are in college and employment...

I have 2 options, really at the rate its going. I can either give up on my last (and only) demand and marry her (while we still have no set timeline on when we'll move OUT of her family's house) ... or I can move out myself, because I dont think she's ready to leave her family ... but I'd be leaving my son there with them.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense lol I'm prone to anxiety attacks and just trying to weather all of this has done a number on my psyche and my constant struggle for mental balance, but any advice or questions for more detail would be greatly appreciated.

BrittneyC on April 05, 2011:

We started dating in high school, so I know that we will probably be together for longer before he propposes than if we had met older. However, he went from being very future focused to not-so-much. We took a break, only a little under 2 months. Since we got back togetehr I was mroe hesitant to talk future plans but he continued to sya he wanted them. Now he is pulling the " I d owant to, but not yet." We have been going out for 3 years, I am 19 and he is 20. How much longer should I wait? and does the concept of him saying not yet and meaning not at all still apply since we are younger?

Lindsey79 from CA on March 23, 2011:

Carolyn -- Whoa. There is a lot here in what you wrote. I'm not as wise as Veronica (she's truly sage), but I'll try to share what I see in your words.

First off, I'm concerned for you. What leapt out to me the most was when you said you felt worthless. You buried it in the middle of a middle paragraph, but that's exactly what I was thinking when reading so much of your letter. You really seem to be seeking your worth and validation from the outside, and specifically from your bf. You're doing all these things for him, contorting yourself in all these ways to be what you think he wants/needs, and then he doesn't propose, and you feel terrible -- as if you're not good enough, what you're doing is not good enough.

I can totally understand you feeling that way. I've felt that way before. You love him and want him to love you back in similar way, but it doesn't work that way. You're looking to him to fill a hole in yourself -- a hole only you can fill. You can't get your self-worth from him just like you can't get it from your parents or your boss or your friends. You have to develop that within yourself first. You have to believe you're worth it. And you are worth it -- you just don't see or truly believe that yet.

I think talking with a therapist would really help with this – help you to find your self-worth within yourself. If therapy isn’t an option, consider doing things to improve yourself. Take a painting class, join a book club, learn a new skill or hobby that interests you, take that ballroom dancing class you always wanted to, join a yoga class, a running group or get a gym membership. Do things that make you feel good about yourself merely for doing/accomplishing them. Invest in yourself and you’ll start to feel the beginnings of self-worth blossom.

My gut tells me that you're a giver, and that's a great thing. Being generous is a very good trait to have; however, that comes with a big caveat -- you have to know how and when to give in a healthy manner. Giving to people that just take advantage of you isn’t a good thing. If you give so much that it hurts you, then it becomes a destructive behavior. Do you have alcoholism, addiction or abuse in your family? I know that's a leap, but this is a classic sign of a co-dependent person. Someone that sacrifices so much of herself that she can't express or own her own needs.

Everyone has needs. It's great to be generous, but if you're the only one giving, it's not a good thing. You need to learn to give to those that deserve it and can reciprocate it -- who can see your worth and respond accordingly. From what you've said thus far, your bf sounds like a taker. You keep giving and he keeps taking. That's not a good balance and I think in large part why you're so hurt, angry and frustrated. You keep wanting him to give to you like you give to him, but he doesn't.

As you develop more self-worth, you’ll learn to give more judiciously. You’ll be able to see how truly amazing you are and you’ll want to associate with other amazing people. And even better, other amazing people will naturally be attracted to you. You won’t want to waste yourself on people that can’t or won’t give back, those that just take and never give or those that only think of themselves. But right now, I don’t think you’re seeing all that. You don’t realize that you deserve better – and you do!

You aren't ready to get married. Not because you're too young, but because you haven't even really figured out who YOU are yet. You're trying to mold yourself into this perfect gf/wife for your bf, but what about Carolyn? What is the right thing for Carolyn? Who is Carolyn? Who does Carolyn want to be one day? Aside from being a wife and mother, what other dreams does Carolyn have? Does she want to travel? Does she want to learn to dance? Does she want to learn a new language?

Being a wife and a mother is great -- it's a honorable and valuable calling for many, but you'll also be much more than that. You'll be a daughter, perhaps a sister, a woman, a dancer, an artist, a friend, an employee, etc. -- so many other things in addition to a wife and mother. You need to learn to feed these other parts of your soul as well -- they're equally as important. And when you do, it will strengthen all of you and help make you that much better of a wife and mother too!

The great thing is that you are still so young -- there is plenty of time to find this out. To figure out who you are, who you want to be and where you want to go. I know it can be hard when everyone else seems to be getting married and you feel left behind, but remember that is a fear in your head more than anything. There are plenty of people that don't get married until much later. There is plenty of time.

I'm not set against people getting married before a certain age per se as I do really believe that there are some people that are ready to get married at your age. But I also realize that those people are the extreme exception rather than the rule. The younger people get married, the riskier it is because so many people are still figuring out who they are and who they want to be throughout their 20s. That's a major reason why so many folks that get married before 25 get divorced a few years later. Whereas if you get married in your early 30s, you're more likely to have a stronger grasp of who you are and choose a good partner. You've settled into your skin more as you get older.

I'm not sure if there is a cultural issue at play, but from what you've said about his family and his issue with religion, I think there may be, so take this last bit with a grain of salt as it may not be as applicable when viewed through a different cultural lens. Your bf does not sound ready to get married either. Even though he may have a good job, he still seems fairly immature. You've given me no evidence of how he is acting like a good partner for you. You've told me many things that you've done for him, including changing your religion so as to be better accepted by him and his family!, but you've told me nothing about what he's done for you. This really worries me.

The good part is that I think deep down you already know most of these things. Towards the end of your letter, I see these things coming out. You do know that you deserve better. That you do deserve to be with someone that treats you as well as you treat him. Your desire not to be taken advantage of comes shining through. You want him to do his own thing and you do your own thing – you want the time and space to pursue your own life and develop yourself as an individual. This is fantastic! This is exactly what you need to do.

I know it’s scary to leave a comfortable relationship, but I think you already know that is what you need to do. That you need some time to just focus on yourself. To figure out who you are and want to be. It’s not an easy path, but its rewards far exceed the struggle. Learn to become a truly happy, fulfilled individual and you’ll attract someone that is equally worthy. Then, you’ll be ready to be a true partner and build a life with someone else. Best of luck and please let us know how you are doing.

Carolyn on March 23, 2011:

HEllo lyndsey

I recently stumbled across this page when googling for the same question. After reading through all the posts and all the replies, I thought I will give it a go..

I am 23 and my boyfriend of 4 years is 26. We have lived together for 3 and a half years now. I have always been ready for marrriage and kids and that s all i talk about all the time. He is very much aware of it.. (we were friends for a year before we started dating). We both have graduated and have very stable careers.

We have always had a religion issue, where I was not comfortable with his and that made him very sad. Unfortunately he decided to take the revenge out on me when we met the parents. He had cried to his parents on how I am not the right girl because i am not comfortable with his religion and his parents telling me a marriage is out of the question and that I should leave him alone and get away from him and coming from a very decent family , I thought that this was completely inappropriate.However, sad sad me did not know that my bf had cried to his parents and naturally they were protecting him.Anyway, following this incident, we lived apart for two months, during which I realised I have been oh so cruel to him and I realised my mistake and against my parents wishes, embraced his religion as my own. This was a big big massive giant step for me in my life and I did it only becos i thought he loved me and his parents were pressurising him that I was nt the right girl.

All done! I got back to him as his gf after those 2 months and he really appreciated me for the changes I made in myself for his sake and embraced me. However, 3 months after everything was fine between my bf and I, I come to know that he had cried to his parents and told mean stuff about me to them, this really hurt me and we had a conversation about it, and that was it! Recently I started talking to him about marriage again and he feels that it is still to early to talk about it! I mean, I have practically changed my entire belief system for him, changed myself emotionally to show him I am ready, i.e I practicallyN do everything for him, cook , pack his lunch for work, clean, laundry,when I go away on jobs for a week or two I still cook his food and put it in the refrigerator for him etc.Now remember I am in a high fly career that puts a mountain of stress on me and no matter how tired i turn up in the evening, he seems to think i am responsible for cooking dinner. We seem to be at a good relationship stage and me being me and always wanting a baby and marriage, I do ask him on when it is going to happen etc.. for which his standard answer is two years.. everytime i ask, std answer 'two years'.

This is now really bugging me and I a week ago I asked him to break the two years down for me, for which his reply was, for the first 6 months he wants to enjoy having me back as the gf who understands him and his religion. and for the next year or so be a good son to his parents and spend more time with them(he left abroad at 19 for higher studies, so he feels like he never enjoyed being a son to his parents)

I completely respect his decision, and I put up with it. But every time I See a friend getting married I break down and in the last few months nearly 12 of the people I know got married!!!!! IT s crazy, when life shoves things on your face!!!!

So, whenever I see the wedding pictures or get an invite to a friends wedding I go into this real depression mode cursing myself for putting myself through this. Recently, I have also had suicidal thoughts. I do speak to the samaritans and the helpline often to keep me from doing anything crazy. I feel worthless, like I am no marriage material, like everything I have done for him means nothing to him. I try and prevent myself from getting upset by not loking at my friends wedding pictures and I did not even turn up for a couple of weddings because it hurt me so much.

I know you might probably look at me and say I am too young to be wanting a marriage and let alone kids, it was something I always wanted with the right guy. Although he felt like the right guy, I am starting to think he is probably not!!!!

We don t fight, but him thinking it s too early for me wanting a marriage and not understanding my needs is making me feel like an idiot for understanding him and changing myself for him.

I want to pack my bags and move out, but he says he loves me and wants to marry me when he is ready. I totally appreciate it and my answer is, go have a good time with ur parents, enjoy being a good son, enjoy your life and in the mean time let me enjoy mine as well. Why should I live like your wife, when you clearly are not ready for one? Let me focus on other things in life!!

He does nt want me to go away from him. My only option looks like I have to deal with living with a guy who is enjoying his life and change my needs and focus on something else.

I don t know if I should pack my bags and leave and enjoy my life as well rather than signing up to him at this point or live with him and enjoy the life as a couple. Any comments are appreciated.

DizzyDame on March 23, 2011:

Thanks for the quick response, Lindsey! Yeah, I've decided that marriage isn't a necessity really, allthough it would be quite nice and flattering to be proposed to one day! I've just seen more drama then fun and good times revolving around the married couples I know so its not that big a deal to me. It just sucks to know that its not an option from jump street...The other night when he was over and we were discussing where we stand, he asked me if what we had wasn't good enough. He expressed that he takes our relationship extremely seriously and doesn't want to lose me, but would understand if I decided to end it since he cannot ultimately meet my expectations, which he knows are valid at my age.I mean, my bf before him (40 yr old man-child) never introduced me to his parents(I'm black and they're white, a whole seperate story!)or siblings after 3.5 years and right before we broke up he bought a house and didn't ask me to even move in with him, even though all through the relationship he would openly fantasize about being married and living together. I guess you can say I have commitment issues!...It just comes down to knowing that someone actually wants to spend their life with me and not just live in the moment and see what happens on a weekly basis. I can't even get him to go away to Costa Rica with me(free lodging!) because of his divorce paranoia. He thinks he doesn't deserve a vacation until all of his shit is in order. I love him to pieces, but there's so many hang ups that I'm going to have to work around or get over and the only sacrifice he'll have to make is the 1 1/2 drive down to see me on the weekends. I know I probably shouldn't have let myself fall for him in the first place, but he's got this Elvis thing goin on and was persistent and made me feel like a woman again after years of piddly once a month sex with my ex...Oy, his parents were showing me his childhood photos a few weeks ago and I instantly wanted to have his babies...love is torture!!

Lindsey79 from CA on March 22, 2011:

DizzyDame -- It looks like you have a strong grasp of your situation. From what you've described, it sounds like you have a great relationship in many respects. There is nothing confusing or deceptive going on from what I can tell, and that you totally get where he's coming from. I see this situation as merely being one of those things that you have to decide for yourself.

He seems like a great guy, but he's not in a place to move forward with a relationship like you'd like to (i.e. marriage, etc.). That's the sum total of it. It totally makes sense why he feels that way and it seems like you completely understand and respect that. This may ultimately just be one of those things where you love each other a lot but the timing is off or you have fundamentally different desires in life.

On one side, you can try to accept what you have though it's less than you want, but you run the risk of growing resentment (probably for both yourself and him). Or you can leave and seek out someone that is seeking compatible life goals, someone that ready and wants to have a relationship that leads to marriage, but then you lose this great guy. That's ultimately a decision only you can make. What's more important to you? Being with him or finding someone that believes in marriage and wants to be your husband one day? Right now, he's clearly telling you that he doesn't want that and can't even say if he'll ever want that again.

It's like dating a guy, falling for him and then finding out he definitely doesn't want kids when you definitely do. What's more important -- having kids or being with him? There's no right or wrong, just two fundamentally incompatible things.

True, he may one day come around about the marriage thing, but it's near impossible to tell when or if that will ever happen. To hang around waiting for that is a big risk for you to take, but only you can make that call on whether the risk is worth it or not. There really is no right or wrong answer here -- it's only what is right or wrong for you, and only you really know that. All I can say is be as honest with yourself as possible and be true to yourself.

Personally, for me, I'd leave just because I know in my heart of hearts that I ultimately want a life partner that wants to be my husband. It's also probably why I likely wouldn't get involved with a separated man to begin with---just too risky, but life sometimes just works out that way (I'm dating a younger guy and I thought I'd never do that either for the same reasons -- unlikely he's going to be on the same page on commitment in the same time frame, but working on figuring something out too, so I completely understand taking the bigger risk sometimes). But I'm not you, so you may choose differently. Best of luck!

DizzyDame on March 22, 2011:

Hi ladies,I'm sure I already know the answer to this lil problem of mine, but I'll ask for your input anyways :)...So I've been seeing a super awesome/sexy/handy/lovable older man who lives about an hour and a half away in NY for about a year an a half now. He's 44 and I'm 29. We're madly in love with eachother and because of the distance and the fact that we both own businesses in our own respective towns, we only see eachother on the weekends. We have the perfect relationship full of passion, stellar sex, no fights,butterflies and all that jazz, except fot the fact that he still hasn't finalized his divorce from his wife of 15 years. They are by no means still actively married and have been seperated for over 2 years, but process has been messy and she is bi-polar/without income so he's stuck having to support her which is bleeding him dry. The fact that he has been so tainted by this failed marriage has left him feeling less than optimistic about getting married again, which is totally understandable. I'm ok with that part as he's still healing and all that, but what bothers me is when he tells me that he will never want to remarry or have kids and doesn't know if he can offer me anything by way of a "future together" because he's been so financially devestated with the divorce. He says he wants to be with me but he can't move on to the next level (whatever that is). When we first got together he did all the persuing and traveling down to visit me every weekend and when I told him I was falling for him after a couple months he kind of gave me the "I’m falling for you too, but I'm going through a divorce and don't know where I'll be" line. At that point I told him that he should stop coming to see me if he didn't want this to evolve into something more. He of course took it back and said he wanted to continue on with the relationship.Now, in the year and a half we've been together I've only requested maybe 4 or 5 divorce status updates and every time is the same thing. It’s as if our relationship hasn't motivated him to expedite the process faster so he can start a new life with me. They still share a house that is up for sale , but he never stays there as he has an apartment set up in his shop building. I’ve met all his friends and been to numerous family functions so I’m by no means the “other woman” in this situation. At this point I'm ready to make some changes in my life, not marriage or baby stuff yet or ever (but possibly), just location and lifestyle and I'm considering moving up to NY and it would be an added bonus that we could spend more time together. When I bring this up he tells me to go for it although he doesn't know if he'll ever want to live with someone again, but maybe and he still can’t make any promises. I mean, I know he’s totally entitled to feel the way he does and I appreciate that he’s being honest, but I can’t feel good continuing on with him when I know so many relationship perks would be out of the question for him… My heart is telling me to just be satisfied with the loving relationship that we have, and I guess I could stifle my expectations, but I’ll end up being hurt in the end or making sacrifices that I’ll one day regret. I adore this man and so do my friends and family. He’s very supportive and does his best to take care of me and I him... Should I just live in the now and worry about the future later or cut him loose to save ourselves the drama later?

Lindsey79 from CA on March 19, 2011:

Charles -- I hope you figure it out. It sounds like you're being very honest with yourself and your gf, even though it's hard, and that's a very good, brave thing -- not only for yourself, but also for your relationship.

Sometimes a little time away can be a good thing -- sometimes you don't realize how much you really value a person until they're not there. Although I can understand your gf being very sad and anxious, I hope she's able to deal with that and give you the time and space you need. Best of luck figuring it all out.

Lindsey79 from CA on March 19, 2011:

Charles -- I hope you figure it out. It sounds like you're being very honest with yourself and your gf, even though it's hard, and that's a very good, brave thing -- not only for yourself, but also for your relationship.

Sometimes a little time away can be a good thing -- sometimes you don't realize how much you really value a person until they're not there. Although I can understand your gf being very sad and anxious, I hope she's able to deal with that and give you the time and space you need. Best of luck figuring it all out.

Charles on March 19, 2011:

Hello again. As I has said before I didn't feel comfortable even after talking to my girlfriend. The fact is I was still feeling some pressure of some kind, and that didn't let me focus. I've been distracted and distant, and she noticed it. I just talked to her this morning again, and I asked her for some time alone. I really wanto explore how it feels to be alone for some days, I want find out if I really miss her, and also I want to know how she reacts to being alone. I need some space, lately I even my cellphone stresses me because I know it would be her calling and texting me and I don't feel I can do the things I have to do freely. I explained all this to her, and I will spend some days alone, she didn't like it at all and got very sad. She has been texting me all afternoon asking me to talk again, but I can't, not now. I really wanto stop this pressure inside of me and only then I'll be able to talk to her and decide if I want to continue or not. I want to test our relationship now, because if we decide to continue, I want to be sure we will be able to resist the troubles we find in the future.

Lindsey79 from CA on March 18, 2011:

Charles -- She just may need some time to adjust and take it in. Given what you said about her shutting down in difficult emotional situations and not even wanting to talk about them later, I think she may be someone like I once was that is not very emotionally connected within herself. She may try to use her brain to analyze and understand things, so it may take her a while to truly know what she feels because she's not used to being in touch with her feeling side (ironically, this is often a common guy issue). I imagine this may be one of the reasons you're feeling sort of conflicted about it -- you're hearing one thing from her but intuitively you aren't really believing it at this point. Give it a little time to settle down and see where it goes -- you may have a few more conversations about it as she's able to digest it.

Also, you may feel just sort of bad about it because it may ultimately end up being in a situation where you both love each other but want different things in life. That is always a hard place to be. It's hard to walk away from someone that you love and treats you well but ultimately isn't compatible with you, whether it's because you don't see things the same on a big dealbreaker issue like whether to have kids or because your timing is just off --- she wants to move forward with someone, though she'd prefer it to be you, and you're just not ready for it. It is sort of a bittersweet feeling. You feel better about it because you know you're being true to yourself, but sort of crappy too because you may be inherently incompatible though you wish you weren't.

She may also just feel very calm and relaxed because she's accepted the reality for what it is. She's not trying to make you ready any more and realizes she can't. There is a great liberating feeling when you come to understand and accept that. You're not being ready is about you and not her or your relationship and that can be a big weight off a girl's shoulders. No more guesswork needed or hoping that it will be different. Now she just needs to decide what she wants -- whether she's willing to wait and take a risk on you one day being ready or whether she'll move on to someone that knows he's ready. It's a hard place too. Best of luck!

Charles on March 18, 2011:

Thank you for all your comments. I talked to my girlfriend lastnight which was hard for me because she was a good mood. I was forward with her and told her I didn't want to marry her yet. I explained to her I wasn't ready and that maybe in the future it will happen but I can't set a date for that. I also told her all those things that I felt had weakened our relationship, and well I couldn't get much out her in that aspect. She agreed to continue, but to tell you the truth, I don't feel completely good about it. I think that I caught her off guard and that she got scared of a break up so sudden. She wants to continue, but when she said, her expressions were nothing like she usually is. Believe me, we've had many discussions before, and this time her answers were to calm, too relaxed. We agreed to work things out, but I don't see her changing her behavior, I mean, she has been angry and unhappy for several months now, and I don't expect her to change now that her ultimatum thing is not gonna happen. Still, I'm willing to give it one last try, if in the end it doesn't work, well at least I'll know I did everything I could. Sadly I still don't feel good, I feel better, but not satisfied with what happened. I was ready for a positive or negative solution, and either way I would be fine. But now I got a positive one, but I don't believe her. Maybe it's because of all the times we argued and I have in my mind all that she has said before, I don't belive all those words can be changed. When she argued with me, you could see she had everything analized, her voice sounded firm and solid, she wasn't bluffing. We'll see how it goes, thanks a lot to all you. I'll keep you informed of what happens.

lovemaster on March 18, 2011:

as long as you cant agree on marriage together, then it means there is no love the first place and someone is using another. just wait, and only move on when you finds someone you love and that is ready to marry you...at that point you will dumped him/her and he/she would have to pay the price of refusing your gift. love is not about love or looking after each other, but most importantly you have a common vision and direction ---if this is not the case, the there is no love and better remained as enemy friends.

Lindsey79 from CA on March 17, 2011:

Charles -- I know it's hard, but this is where relationships are made. In the hard times. Life is always going to throw you curve balls and difficulties, how you decide to handle them both individually and as a couple will prove the mettle of your relationship.

If she is a truly good partner for you, she'll want to discuss this with you even though it may be very hard on both of you. She shouldn't want you to suffer and experience the things you're experiencing. She'll want to find a solution where you're both happy and getting your needs met.

Don't be afraid to speak your truth, just do it with compassion and love. If she's the right girl for you and a good partner, she'll do the same. And you guys will find a way to navigate through these stormy seas, becoming ultimately much stronger and more loving. As Veronica often says, namaste.

Charles on March 17, 2011:

Lindsey79: Thank you for all your advice, I really appreciate it. Right now I'm waiting for my girlfriend to talk to her. I don't know how it will go, and I'm saddened because she seems to be in a very good mood today. I need to talk to her now though, because all this stress has been affecting big time these last 2 days, I've even had insomnia, and it's affecting me in my job too. I don't even know how to start, I feel bad to bring this up when she's in a good mood, but I'm hoping she will be more open if it's this way. I'll let you know how it goes, although I think she has been getting the courage to leave me all this time, and that's why she felt confident enough to give a deadline. I'll everything I can.

Lindsey79 from CA on March 17, 2011:

Charles -- Thanks for the additional information. One last thing, would you at all be interested in couples counseling with your current gf -- to see if you and she can work through the issues? I completely understand the not talking thing. I have to admit that I was guilty of this in a prior relationship. As the relationship went on without a proposal (I too was at the 5-6 year mark) without some explanation of why, the more unsafe I felt. I felt I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing and it still wasn't good enough, that something about me wasn't good enough -- it was a real self-esteem crusher. I had a real fear of vulnerability that I developed from my family and let that fear really contribute to the end of my relationship because I allowed it to kill our ability (or at least a large part of my ability) to communicate effectively. I just shut down, he ran into the arms of another woman and we broke up. We both made huge fear-based mistakes. And if I count him, he'd be the 4th guy that regretted his decision -- in fact, he currently says it's the greatest regret of his life (4 years later and he's still single and looking too). But there is no doubt that I contributed a great deal to the mess of that relationship.

Now, I'm not placing blame on either of you, but just trying to give a perspective how these sort of things can happen. If you just feel it's futile or she won't go to counseling, I think that's your answer. It just sounds to me that something may be salvageable if you're both willing to work at it and I think a good marital counselor (even though you're not technically married) will help you work out some of these issues. Help you get clarification to see if you can work things out.

In my current relationship, my bf actually suggested that as we're in the "will we get married" phase too and he was having a hard time communicating or even identifying his reservations. I was actually incredibly impressed that he suggested it and saw it as a big statement from him about how much he wants our relationship to work out. It's helped him get in touch with a lot of his feelings on things, both in our relationship and fears he has brought with him from prior experiences (I'd done some personal therapy before meeting him so had done a lot of this sort of stuff on my own and am far more balanced and true to myself than I was in my prior relationship).

Maybe I'm struggling here too much to make something work that ultimately won't work, but 6 years (especially at 29) isn't something to minimize either. That's more than half of your adult life. I imagine you both must see a lot of good in one another and I wouldn't want you to turn your back on that unless you were pretty darn confident that was the right thing for you.

As for the other woman, I have a different take on it than Veronica. Although I can see how it may be an indicator of your gf not being the right one for you, I can also see it just looking/feeling safe. Like a married man with kids (or woman for that matter) that seeks out an affair. It often doesn't mean that he doesn't love his wife and kids anymore, but that he's overwhelmed with his commitments or unhappy in his marriage and instead of addressing those issue, looks for something easier/safer -- and thinks a mistress is just that person. Unfortunately, this never works well because that is just an illusion.

Wherever you go, Charles, that's where you are. Changing scenery won't solve the problems or challenges within you. You'll just play the same story out with different characters and different scenery. You can't make people behave as you'd like them, but you can control your own actions. If you really think you've given all you can in this relationship, then so be it. Recognize that it isn't and won't work and part ways. But if you think there is any chance for it, please give it your all so you won't look back and wish you'd tried harder (supposedly 40% of people that get divorced say that they wish they tried harder and that in retrospect they think the marriage was salvageable). Best of luck to you and please let us know how it goes...

Charles on March 17, 2011:

Thanks a lot for your comments Veronica, the fact is that I've been giving this a lot of thought, and it has come to a point where I feel I need to make a decision no matter how hard it is. Our being 29 years old puts a lot of pressure on us, or should say her. We live in Mexico and people expect the girls to be married by the age of 24 or 25 if not before.

Lindsey79, back when we starting having this problems, I told her that I didn't want to get married for financial reasons, we were making enough money. That was part of the truth, but I expected that as time passed by and our relationship grew, I would feel ready to marry her. Our finances have improved a little, but my feelings haven't. Something happened this january, my gf's sister got married to a guy had met a few months before (like 6 to more exact). Before this guy, she had been in a relationship with another guy for more than 6 years. So I do believe what someone said in a comment, maybe the time for my girlfriend to get married has come and she's going to do it with or without me.

There's also another thing that bothers me. With all the arguments we've had over the years, and with the weakening we've had with the subject of marring, I've come to see some things I don't like in her. Things that I don't want my wife to have, she gets upset and stops talking to me (which might normal, I'll give you that), but what bothers me is that after it passes she still won't talk about it now matter how much I try to talk to her. I feel that behavior has left a lot of unfinished business which have contributed to this whole thing.I have to admit that the more I think this through and read the comments, I see that I'm just a coward who doesn't have the guts to tell her I don't wan to get married because I don't want to hurt her, and I don't want to be hurt when she leaves.

This other girl has been really nice to me in the sense that she tells me to figure this out on my own, and has out no pressure on me. She was very clear to me, try to fix your relationship, if in the end you can't, then we can start something, but the right way.

Lindsey79 from CA on March 17, 2011:

Thanks for the compliments, Veronica. I always enjoy our dialogue -- if we always thought the same, it wouldn't be much fun, would it? Also, thanks for the plug!

A little more for Charles -- I admit that my first reaction was similar to Veronica's advice. That he was looking for validation, and if that's the case, Veronica is spot on. I was just afraid that his feelings were more fear-based---we all have insecurities and fears, but letting them rule us is never a good thing either.

The reason I went the direction I did because I thought of 3 guys I've known over the years who were in Charles's position and didn't feel ready, but didn't really know why. All of them decided not to marry their longterm gf and all 3 lataer regretted it. Now, I'm sure there are others that thought differently and didn't marry, but these 3 guys' stories really resonated with me with Charles's story. And people rarely talk about these guys -- the guys that said no and then later regretted it. But they do exist and I wanted Charles to really contemplate that possibility as well.

One had been with his gf for 13 years (since they were 16), one for 6 years since 23 and and one for 4 years since 24 -- all were in the 28/29 age group. And what all of them later told me is that fear just froze them, not really fear of their relationship but fear of other things that they projected onto their relationship or gfs (of course, this was much later upon reflection). Two were from divorced families and realized that they had hang ups about commitment from that that they'd never really addressed or confronted before. Not really sure what the other one was.

But all 3 told me later that they didn't really appreciate how good they had it until they lost it -- and this seems to be a very common human experience. One later married at 38 after a near decade of dating. He never thought it would take nearly a decade to find another great woman, but it did. The other two (one is 34 and the other 33) are still single and looking and they chuckle about how now that they're finally "ready", they can't seem to find someone that's on the same page and wish they too had figured out their issues earlier. And dating in the early 30s isn't the same as it was in their early/mid-20s. Not as many available women, more women with significant other ties (divorce, kids, etc.), not as much time to explore each other as when they were in school or in the early stages of a career because these of these other commitments. It is a vastly different dating landscape for many.

Now I'm not saying Charles that you should marry her, but just really, really search your soul. Look into your reasons why you don't want to commit. You may be looking for validation just as Veronica suspects, but I just don't want you to end up like one of my friends who greatly regretted his decision when in the exact same circumstances.

Amazing opportunities don't come around all the time. Don't let your fear, if it's fear driving this marriage decision, to rule your life. Think long and hard because this is a really big decision and take the path that you think will have the least regrets, whichever one that is for you.

Veronica (author) from NY on March 16, 2011:

I just read Lindsey79's advice and I see that we have different views and advice for Charles.

I just want to say here that I enjoy Lindsey79's comments on my hubs. I sometimes disagree with them, but I always value them and post them. As a matter of fact I don't even have to read her comments before approving them. As soon as I see her name I just click approve, and then I read them, lol.

With 257 (as of this moment) Hubs, I can't always respond to all the comments I get and I appreciate the readers that come back to them and keep posting or adding advice. It keeps the conversation going, and that's always good.

We don't have to agree. If there's value added to the conversation in a comment, I will post it.

Charles, Lindsey79 writes Hubs too. If you feel her advice resonated with you, you are welcome to click on her name. It will take you to her profile on this site and you can see her other hubs and maybe write to her directly through her profile as she said, if you have any other questions. It's all good. Different people with different opinions is what makes a good conversation, right?

Namaste, fellow babies.

Veronica (author) from NY on March 16, 2011:


The only good reason to get married is because you want to get married.

This is a no-brainer. You are clearly stating, you do not feel ready to get married. That's it then. Don't. It would be a huge mistake you will regret for the rest of your life if you get married when you aren't ready to.

Trying to psych yourself into it because someone else is ready to get married, or because society has brainwashed you into thinking you have to do it someday, is wrong.

You are only 29, you're at the Saturn Return of your life right now. The entirety of this relationship took place prior to your Rites of Passage age, or more bluntly, prior to your ability to know what you want to really do with your life.

Now that you've experienced this major change into your true being and core, you will attract and meet different people.

There are a lot of tells in your word choices that prove you aren't ready to get married, exactly as you state. And the biggest clearest one is that you admit you have feelings for another woman. These things don't just go away when you get married.

You know yourself, you know you don't want this, I think you're just looking for permission or validation in your choice. You're going to have to give that to yourself.

You need to be honest with your girlfriend and that means, don't give her false hope. Tell her how you really feel so she can move on.

Becbec on March 16, 2011:

Hi Veronica I have a situation for you?

My boyfriend and I have been together now for nearly 7 years, we have just built a house together and life is great but I am at the stage where I want to get married in the next 1-2 years. We have spoken about it in the past and we have always agreed on what we want for the future but lately he has decided he does not want to get married anytime soon or if at all. he can not give me any reasons why just that he is not ready yet but if he were to one day ever get married it would be to me.. I am very confused and frustrated I don't know what to do? your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

Lindsey79 from CA on March 16, 2011:

Charles -- Do you have any idea why you're not ready? Have you explored any reasons why that is? Is it money-based (i.e. would prefer more financial security before getting married and possibly starting a family)? Is it fear-based (e.g. your parents are divorced so you're afraid of making a similar mistake)? Is it career-based (i.e. want to get to a certain place in your career or schooling)? I ask because you haven't given any other reasons than not feeling ready. The why you don't feel ready may make a huge difference, both to you figuring out how to get to ready and for her deciding whether she should hang around and give you some more time.

I've found in life things rarely happen when we want them to -- they either come earlier than we'd like and we have to decide whether we're willing to act on them not feeling as prepared as we'd like to be or whether we're willing to let them pass us by and hope another good opportunity comes around. Then, when we're "ready", it often takes a long time for another great opportunity to present itself. I find that it's very rare that opportunity and "readiness" go hand-hand. Timing sucks in this regard, but it is what it is -- part of making adult decisions and navigating hard places.

I also feel great partners don't grow on trees -- if she's a great girl that you can see spending the rest of your life with, then you better figure this out pronto before you lose her. You've had 6 years to contemplate this and you're nearly 30 -- it's not like she hasn't been patient or you haven't had a lot of time to grow and mature. Whether you've done that is a whole other issue, but it's certainly not premature or should be surprising to you that you're 29 year-old girlfriend of 6 years! wants to get married.

I guess you really have to ask yourself if you don't take the marriage plunge, will you regret it later? Will you regret not building a life with this woman? Some men would and have and others haven't. Personally, without further extenuating circumstances, I don't see how anything else is going to happen. If you don't propose, she'll leave. If you don't go after her with a ring, then she'll have her answer and you'll both go your separate ways. I don't think there is anything else you "can do". You are where the rubber meets the road. Man up and make a decision.

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