When He Says He Isn't Ready for Marriage "Yet"

I received this comment on my HUB When Your Girl Wants to Get Married and You Don't :

RealityTV says:

Veronica, is there any chance that when he says he just isn't ready that he will actually become ready one day?

Dear RealityTV,

Before me, my husband had a girlfriend we'll call Carol that wanted to get serious with him. By his own admission, he's told me she was just completely devoted to him and the relationship and she would be patient and understanding. But what I want to tell you is not what he's told me about that relationship. I want to tell you what mutual friends said to me about that relationship.

"Everyone was so shocked when he got married!"

I'll never forget that first drunken confessional conversation at the bar. Over many martini's, the girls took me into confidence.

"Carol said she'd try to talk about marriage and all he would say was that he was nowhere near ready. It wasn't the time. Now here he is a year and a half later, married!"

My husband isn't a dick. He's a guy. Actually, he's a good guy. And I'm sure when his ex was pressuring him to talk about the future he felt nothing for, he responded as honestly as he could. He wasn't ready. You have to read into that I guess to understand what he meant.

The first time I talked to my husband about our future, we had been together a few months. I told him this was "it." The big one. This was the relationship I wanted to be in for the rest of my life.

And he said, "Yeah. I know. Me too." He agreed. And the next time we talked about it, he brought it up.

There was no not ready bullshit.

I remember an episode of Who's the Boss where Tony described proposing to Samantha's mother. He explained exactly what it's supposed to be like. He said he had barely gotten "Will you marry me?" out of his mouth, when she leaped into his arms screaming, "YES!"

When it's right, it's right for both of you.

And it's that way long before the proposal.

I am not saying a guy that says he's not ready is being a jerk. Men interpret their feelings in a much broader way than women do. Men have a more limited range or interpretation to emotions. Often men have no need to discuss every emotion to death the way we do. For him, saying, "I'm not ready to get married," covers everything from - I'm not ready to tell you I don't want to marry you, to, Dude I don't ever even think about this, to, I'm not ready this month to get married.

He has no reason to explore the details of that aversion to its depths. He doesn't think about marrying you. Isn't that clear? The point that needs to be apparent here, is that when he IS ready, when he IS thinking about it, he'd know it and he'd tell you.

RealityTV, to answer your question, probably not. It's not really possible that he will want to marry you one day if this is his response now. That's what my experience has taught me. It's hard when it's happening to objectively listen to what he's actually saying instead of what you want to hear. I don't know the specifics of your situation. If he means it sincerely than he will be showing you his intentions. If he really thinks one day he will be ready to marry you, he will be doing whatever he needs to to SHOW you and keep you. He will have set up a joint bank account with you so you can save together for the wedding. He will be house shopping with you. He will be demonstrating committed thinking since he knows you want to see signs of his future with you.

If he isn't doing anything to show you and keep you, if all he's doing is saying he's not ready then you need to move on. Seriously. I'm sorry RealityTV but It's not going to happen with him.

Thanks for your comment. Good luck to you.

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All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are used with permission.

All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.

"Marry me and be my wife, you can have me all your life."

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Comments 173 comments

Jason 9 years ago

My friend Matt and I constantly argue about this. Oh we both agree totally with you Veronica. But we argue because I feel sorry for girls that are that lonely that they hang on believing, and he is just disgusted by any girls that are that stupid that they can't read between the lines. I think it's sad, he thinks they are just pathetic and will make fun of them. So we argue.

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Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Hey Jason,Thank you for the comment.I'm with you. My friend Steve said it so well:"It has been my experience that loneliness trumps rational thought every time."It's hard to judge anyone that is acting out of loneliness. But I do want to add that I don't think that's the case with all women in this situation. Some are just inexperienced and don't know better. Also, some people's circumstances do not fall into the parameters of what I am describing here. Some really are moving into the future.

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syaiful majid 8 years ago from Jogjakarta

Good contents of hub

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author




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WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area

Very tastefully written hub, thank you.

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Thanks, wedding!

Franz 8 years ago

I know so many deluded pathetic women that should read this. Although I am afraid if they did they I wouldn't get away with as much as I do.

You were right 8 years ago

A while back I had asked you for advice of whether or not my ex would ever be ready and you said based on our history he would not. We broke up when 'he' was ready to let go and he quickly jumped to dating another girl since the day we broke up four months ago. I just found out he is already engaged to this girl. I wished that I would have listened to my gut and to you and let go of him way back then. My advice is to follow your gut and your instincts and not wait on someone if they aren't sure you are the one.

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

You live and learn. If I hadn't screwed up over and over I wouldn't have known enough to get it right when I met my husband 12 years ago, and we're still going strong. Sometimes you have to go through those experiences to make you wiser, brighter, stronger and better. Sometimes no one can tell you anything, you just have to live it for yourself. And, look what you've learned: you've learned to trust your gut. That is priceless.

Thanks for stopping back and keeping us updated. Best to you.

Minnie 8 years ago

I don't know what to do. He keeps telling that he's not ready. After 3 years together, one child (20 Months old) and engaged for 2 years... What should I do? I don't like this feeling :(

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Trust your feelings.

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Maggie9 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I have a very similar situation in many ways to others' stories on here but mine is also very different in many ways and was wondering if you could give me some clear advice as for once in my life I am honestly at a loss.

My boyfriend is 24 and I am 23. I have graduated from college this year with 2 bachelors and have a stable job that I love. Although I don't make a ton of money it is enough to live off of as long as I stay at home. I could move out of my house into an apartment or condo but I have a german shepherd, a cat and a rabbit who I consider part of my family.

My boyfriend graduated from college this year with a BS in engineering. He is from Europe originally but we have worked through our cultural differences as we have been together for almost 4 years now. We have talked about getting married and kids and religion and money and many other things. We have read books about failed/succeeded marriages and relationships in general; however, I have always been the one to bring these up.

I have wanted to marry him for 3 years (1 year after we started dating). I finally feel confident in my ability tobe a good wife and mother. I know I am young so I guess I should also explain that I have severe endometriosis and he and I have already lost a baby as it was an unplanned pregnancy and I was hospitalized when I lost it at 11 weeks. We were both devastated. so a pregnancy is very difficult for me and while he and i are both okay with adopting ideally i would like to be able to have my children naturally and get pregnant the old-fashioned way.

I have been through quite a bit in my life and we both finally feel like I am healthy physically and mentally now. I was diagnosed with PTSD from a rough childhood and up until this past year was in and out of the ER atleast every 6 months with the last time me actually ending up in ICU for 2 days. So needless to say he and I have managed to work through a lot of things, a lot more than I ever thought possible.

Thus, he is a very good man and I am convinced he loves me a lot. The problem arises beause of my PTSD. I put him through quite a bit in the beginning of the relationship. I loved him and he was the reason i ended up in therapy. I saw I was hurting him with my fear and my emotions and I didn't want to do this.

I currently live with my parents like i said. But as I have also said I have PTSD from my childhood. I do not feel safe here very often. I want to move out but I do not want to leave my animals here and they are all old so they would be put down if I gave them to a shelter and I have been unable to find homes. I asked my boyfriend to take them but he says right now he can't handle them by himself.

I live near boston and work in boston itself so my dog has not been allowed in any condos or apartments I have been able to find since May of this year. My boyfriend's culture requires that we live with his parents for the rest of their lives to take care of them. We came to the compromise of an In-law apartment and that if within the first six months I couldn’t feel like I belonged there then we would move to a house near his parents' place instead. I suspect it will work out though. The in law apartment is done but not decorated (we still need furniture). His parents currently use it as another part of their house and he lives in the main part with them.

I told him I want to get married in May, he said he doesn't trust me yet. That he is afraid I am really not better and that I still sometimes act unrationally (telling him he is yelling at me when he says he is not) while this is not great and I don't wish to do this and I still want to get even better. I feel that my progress in itself in the last 3 years has been amazing and more than I have made in my whole life. I have waited until last night when I finally said I need the next step. He said he is still not ready. That he needs to see me stay healthy a little bit more. That he needs me not to be so sensitive and that he will try not to snap at me. He claims he would only need a month if we were both perfect – but I don’t believe this. And I don’t think anyone can ever be perfect.

I told him maybe we could just move in together then or get engaged and set the date later. He said no, because to do this in the in-law apartment he would have to tell his parents he is marryng me and he isn't ready to do that because he isn’t 100% sure he is going to marry me. He says he is 100% sure he wants to but is skeptical we can "fix" us. Meaning he doesn't think I can be better or he doesn’t think he can believe I am better.

So I suggested then we try to get a house together away from boston and I would commute longer for now. he said he isn't ready for that. I feel like I am out of ideas to compromise and he hasn't been able to think of any of them either. We both clearly love eachother. I was in many relationships. Most not healthy but I was in an okay one before this current one for 3 years and loved him but did not feel anywhere nearly as strong as for this current boyfriend. I am convinced he is my true love and the one true fit for me.

This is unfortunately his first relationship. So I don't know what to do. I know he thinks he can be ready. But I am afraid he doesn't know what he is thinking/feeling. I know he would never intentionally hurt me. but I just don't want to be waiting another 4 years. and I want out of my house. I have done a lot of thinking though and I know I want the marriage with him - not a wedding, or a marriage in general or just that I want only want out of my house and see him as my savior.

Can you please offer some advice? I do not want to lose him because I love him so much. If it was me he was waiting for I would say if he loved me enough and he was the one he would wait, so I expect the same of me but I just don't see a way to be happy right now until he is ready. Or unfortunately, if he ever will be ready with me or if I have done too much damage (which I hope with all my heart is not the case).

Thank you for all your help.


PS Sorry for such a long note.

I've also sent this to him so that he can be 100% sure what i am feeling in case for some reason there is a misunerstanding.

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


First, much applause to you for working so hard, being so focused, making such a beautiful and permanent commitment to the pets in your care, and for trying so hard to see all the sides of your situation. I'm impressed with you. I sincerely mean that.

I think that you have many needs right now. You need to stay healthy and work on that. You need to take care of your pets. And I am convinced with just the little you told me, that you need to move out of your parent's house.

I realize that marriage seems like an answer to all these things. But I truly believe marriage should never be the answer to your needs, it should be a choice.

I don't doubt your love for your boyfriend. But there are other very important critical things involved. You astutely observe this is his first relationship, and that you're both very young. I wish I could explain this in a way that would make sense to you right now, but the person you will be 5 years from now is a completely different person, and the same is true for him. Hell, his frontal lobe is only physiologically just completed developing. He is right to be cautious, and to say he isn't ready. He isn't. I don't need to know him to know that.

I have to also tell you, I don't like some of the things you've said in slight here. Things like he will try not to snap at you, and you need to be less sensitive, really proves that he is not ready to be a partner, and that your relationship may not be as good as you think it is. I think you're too close to the source to see that objectively.

The simple fact that you have to keep bringing up the next step should be enough for you to see that he isn't ready, and most likely isn't the one. As much as I have the feeling that you are remarkable, I have the feeling that he is not.  I think you need to stop trying to put all your happiness and hope on him. He clearly doesn't want it. He couldn't be clearer. And, it shouldn't be that way anyway. It should be you yourself that is the sole creator of your future.

I have the feeling that you are a remarkable person. I have the feeling you can do this, without him. I know you don't want to. But I know that it would be better, and healthier and I can promise you in the long run you will be happier.

If you have 2 degrees and a good job, I really am pretty sure you will be able to find a small apartment you can rent with your dog, rabbit and cat. I think that has to be your priority. One step at a time. My advice is that you stop focusing so much of your beauty and energy on this man. And instead, you focus it on yourself, and getting away from your parents. Please, make that a priority. Please do that, and never for a second doubt whether or not you can. I'm sure you can.

My first apartment by myself without roommates, I was just a little older than you. I had a good job, and a rabbit. I saved, I sold some jewelry and collectibles, I worked one night a week at a photo lab for some extra money, and I was able to do it. I had to pay a little extra of a cleaning deposit because I had a rabbit. So, please believe me, I know it's hard and I know it's a little scary, but I also know it can be done. And I promise you, you will be so glad you did it for yourself.

I want to repeat that I am impressed with you. I know you can do this. I hope that you will, and that you'll keep in touch.



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what to do 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

This is my first day reading some of your articles and you are great.

I have a situation similar to the first in this series, but with some key differences. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 10 years, since we were both 18. We own a house together, have a joint bank account, and own a business together. Basically, except for legally, we are married.

I want to get engaged and one day married. My boyfriend says he wants to also, but financially, we are not in a position for him get me the ring he thinks he needs to get me, or to pay for the wedding he thinks we need to have. I want him to get me a ring for Christmas, but he refuses to even look at them, saying that when he does ask me, he wants it to be a surprise. I even told him, not to get me a ring, we could just go get married quitely and not make a big thing of it. But, he feels some big obligation to do things the "right" way.

How do I know if the finances are just a cover for some deeper feelings he has? Other than these arguments, which aren't often, he is a wonderful guy. He makes me so happy, and is such a kind person. Whenever anyone asks him why we aren't married, he says something like "if I didn't want to be with her, I wouldn't be here." I know he loves me. I also worry that by pushing the engagement/marriage issue, I am making him feel inadequate as a man, because he isn't able to provide what I want.

So anyway, what to do?

Thanks for your help.

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

What To Do,

2 things about guys: One is that actions speak louder than Words. The other is, they want to control the surprise of the marriage thing.

You ask how can you tell. You can tell by his actions. It sounds to me like his actions speak pretty loudly. He bought a house with you, joined finances with you, and has a business with you. He even tells people a very direct and positive statement when they ask. He is showing you you have a future with him. He is showing you his commitment.

Of course, you could be leaving things out. You have to think about this yourself. Does he do things, like flirt with other girls, not save money, not have time for you... you know the things. And it certainly isn't like so many other ladies that have commented here. He isn't saying he doesn't want to get married, or doesn't believe in marriage, or all those other inane insane things that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not going to marry you.

From what you've shared, it's all good.

Now for the other thing. You're ruining this. I have no idea why the penis is hardwired in such a way that it requires the proposal to be a surprise and all his idea. I really don't. But believe me, he's not alone. The majority of them are like this. I can not even begin to tell you the people I personally know, and the people I have heard from through my articles, that have gone through exactly this. He gets turned off and pushed away because she brought up marriage first, or pushed the issue, or just never "got it" that he wanted it to be a surprise, and his idea, and done right with the right ring.

It's not logical, it's not right. But it's the way it is. Sounds like he's showing you his commitment. Try to let that be enough for right now and be patient. Stop bringing it up. Let him surprise you.

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tigerlily14 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I love all the advice you give and was wondering whether you could please give me some of your advice for my situation.

I am so confused. I have been with my boyfriend for two years and from the very start of our relationship we have said that this is the relationship that we want to be in forever. To be honest, it hasn't been the most stable of relationships. The first year was frustrating as he would do careless things like not call me for days or when he said he would, he wasn't very good on my birthday and we tended to argue a lot over these types of issues - his lack of engagement in the realtionship (although he said he was doing everything he could so maybe they were my issues). When I brought up the idea of living together after a year of sleeping at each other's houses every night, it actually led to a month long break because he said he felt pressured etc. It was after many highly emotional conversations where he was incredibly frustrated and angry I naturally backed off straight away and let him have his space. I also recognised and apologised for my actions (i.e - putting him under pressure).

Anyway, I was all ready to move into a place of my own (I was share housing with others at the time and the lease was up) when he suddenly came back and said that he wanted things to work and we began to look for houses together. During the break, he had also booked a flight to Paris for his 30th birthday trip which we were meant to go on together. I wasn't really upset, I just felt as though I'd brought this on by all the pressure I put on him and maybe that's reasonable.

Anyway, so then it's a year later and we are living together. A few months ago I brought up marriage and asked him how he felt about it. Well, I guess the conversation didn't go so well because it led to me in tears (I know this is not a great way to handle this) and him storming out. He basically said he was not ready and to let him get there in his own time. I was upset, but tried to leave the issue alone for another 4 months. I did bring up the fact that we should be saving a couple of times though, and tried to bring up some goals that we might try and reach as a couple. I usually do all the planning and organising in this relationship. I also tried very hard to work on myself over the time so he could see that I was really commited to the relationship and could be a good life partner.

4 months later and here we are. I brought the issue up again in what i thought, was the most innocent/joking of ways (although I can see now, it was probably a bad idea). He was talking about buying a very expensive guitar and I mentioned something along the lines of "Well, since your buying a guitar, maybe we could start looking at something for me!" I thought that would open up the issue in a light way, so he didn't feel like I was being aggressive. Again, he said that he wasn't ready. He said he loved me and that he would be one day, but not now. I asked him the reasons and he said he was scared of marriage (his parents had a bad one). He also said he wasn't really sure why and that he needed to get there in his own time. I told him my reasons for wanting marriage, which were that I strongly believe in a committed partnership and want to build and share my life with someone. He accused me of only wanting a wedding, that being the only thing I think of, he said I wanted a provider (to which I replied that I want a partner actually), he said that he couldn't afford the type of ring I would want, and that we weren't ready as a couple. He also said that I don't see the reality of the situation and that I only want what I want when I want it. He said I only wanted a 'dog' like companion and that I didn't care about his needs. I ended up in tears again and I asked him how we could compromise in this situation. He said that I just need to let him do it in his time.

The thing is, I am doing everything I can to help us get ready as a couple (well, at least I feel). I have almost finished paying off my credit card, I have asked him whether it would be good to open a bank account where we can save jointly. I have started going back to uni to do my post graduate study. I have also begun to look for cheaper accommodation for the both of us so we can save. I do our grocery shopping, I make sure the bills and the rent are paid on time. I try to organise things to do together so we can strengthen our bond (he often needs his space though so I find it difficult to do this). I've even started going to see a psychologist because I feel that maybe I need to be a better person before I get married or at least be in a fufilling lifelong partnership. I'm trying. I don't know what more I can do.

All he says is that I'm selfish and I pressure him. The other night he went out with a friend and got drunk (he drinks a lot as he is depressed). He ended up in hospital at 6 in the morning with cuts to his head because he passed out. Of course, he said it was because he was under so much pressure. The next day I took him to the doctor to talk to someone (although he was very resistant and argumentative.)

He has started to leave the house again without saying much, turn his phone off (he does this alot when we fight) and he is still and has been for two years, not good at calling me!

He says I can't communicate properly and maybe I'm not the best since I cry when this comes up, but I think I've tried in my actions. I think I'm so lost and confused that even I think that all I do is pressure him and I'm one of those crazy girls who are obsessed with a wedding and not a marriage. I thought I knew who I was, but now I'm not so sure.

I've said to him that I'm thinking about moving back home, saving some money etc. It's got to that point again where I'm sick of feeling like I'm pressuring him and feel so blamed that I'm willing to leave. He then uses this against me and tells me I'm never there for him when he needs me and that I'm selfish.

When it's good it's amazing and he tells me he loves me a lot. He says to trust him and that he'll get there one day. Maybe I should, but I don't know why I can't...

Sorry this is long Veronica! Any advice would help so much.

By the way, I am 26 and he is 31. We have stable full time jobs but we don't own a house yet. We are renting.

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Well, you asked for it, so here it is.

He could not be clearer. He isn't ready. His actions speak so loudly and clearly on this. He is not at all in any way ready for marriage. He drinks, he's depressed, he doesn't call, he flips out when you bring it up, he says over and over he isn't ready, he spends money on himself, he does nothing towards a future with you. His actions completely match his words.

I have no idea why you are so obsessed with trying to make something that isn't there, but like you said, are you the person you thought you were? I think you have some real soul searching to do here. My impression is that you are so obsessed with your own agenda that you can't even see how wrong this relationship is.

A relationship where you cry this much, make excuses for his behavior, say things like - "I'm so lost and confised that even I think all I do is pressure him", and clearly aren't getting what you think you want - is a BAD relationship. He doesn't want to marry you. He is very very very clear about that. What isn't clear is why you are so obsessed with forcing someone who so clearly does not want to marry you. Marriage is a huge life long full-on commitment, that you can't possibly have any concept of, if you want so badly to do it with this relationship.

I think what has happened here, is that you love too hard. You don't see what's actually there, you don't see how immature and wrong he is, you don't see anything that's real. You are blinded by your deep love. This is very sad, and very unhealthy.

I think what you need to do is stop. Stop this, it's scary and borderline dangerous. You need to stop putting so much energy and love into something that doesn't give you energy and love back. I suggest you find a therapist, and take your life and your love back. Stop sacrificing yourself so completely for a love that is so destructive.

MetryJen 8 years ago

I just want to say thank you so much for this hub. I hadn't ever been here before, but I was googling "I want marriage and he doesn't" and got directed here. You see, I just broke it off this morning with my bf of 5+ years because of this exact issue. We still haven't finalized everything, as far as splitting up the household and whatnot, and I'm still hurting pretty severely over the whole thing. But reading all these comments and tips helps me to feel like I'm doing the right thing. Like I told him - I love myself as much as I love you, and I'm not trying to spend the rest of my life waiting for you to figure out what you want. I'll be 30 this year, and I'm looking forward to livin' it up!

Thanks, Veronica.

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Thanks for letting me know this helped you in your situation. Congratulations on loving yourself and doing what's best for YOU. Best of luck to you.

MetryJen 8 years ago

Oy, now I'm all goofed up again - I broke up with him and now he's frantic and desperate that he doesn't want the relationship to end. He's talking counseling (because he doesn't know why he's afraid to get married and now he thinks he does), trial separation with courtship (we never properly courted in the first place), etc. I really don't know what to do here. I can't just let it go - if I do that then I risk falling right back into the cycle of waiting fruitlessly. We've been there before. But I do love this man, and I don't want to end what was a perfectly good relationship if he really does finally realize what he would miss out on. He is a good man - smart, funny, loyal, cute and good with his own son. All I can think of to do is agree to the separation with courtship and make him go stay with his mom or a friend for a while and see how that goes. But god it's hard to make him leave when he so obviously loves me. Whether we break up or not there are risks on both sides. What do you think, is it worth it to give it one more try?

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I think your idea of his moving out and the two of you courting sounds like a good plan. Actions speak louder than words, and if he really does follow through with counseling, and properly courting you, than I think you're on the right track.

At this point though you have to do something. Continuing in the situation of the two of you living together and nothing changing only reinforces that you don't mean what you say and he can get away with stagnation.

Lovey523 8 years ago

I have been going through the same thing as all these ladies, putting pressure on him to get married and waiting and waiting...we have been together over 2.5 years and it has been a loving relationship, but like an idiot I didn't listen from jump when he told me he didn't want a serious relationship leading to marriage...but then at that time I didn't want anything either but after our first year together things changed...I wanted a deeper commitment leading to marriage...I am 29 and he is 32 soon to be 33.

I don't feel that what we have is enough and whenever I bring it up which is rare these days he's says he can see himself married but not now...we took a break because he was having a hard time telling his parents about us as his parents live in India and they want him to marry someone in his culture, so finally about close to a year ago they came to the US for the first time and I met them, they like me and like them...he was very happy about it all...his parents even asked him why don't you marry her you two seem close and she practically lives with you...but again he told them he was not ready...we do have a very close relationship eventhough intially he said he wanted something less serious...but I now I think I need to move on either way and though I love and respect him I really don't want him to feel forced, but I guess the hardest part is letting go...I have decided to spend less time with him...it just seems hard for me understand how someone spends almost everyday with you but doesn not want to marry you and then when the girl leaves the guy quickly marries the next girl...like if the guy knows she not the one...way does he invest so much time in energy to only marry a girl he meets next month...why not ditch the girl you don't like and find the girl you do...I think I answered my own question...they don't want to hurt the girl there with and they don't have the balls to leave and then when the girl wises up and leaves he is free to find someone he feels is a better match wow...well aleast getting it out helps me put it in prospective...

ok so what would you advise a girl who decides to leave a relationship for this reason and maybe a year or 2 decides to date again, what should she do differently?

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Smart girl. You really learned a hard lesson, but wow! Look at that post! It's really insightful. 

I think everything you're saying is correct. And you do need to separate yourself from this. Women are such different creatures than men are. I give you alot of credit for going through this, and coming out with such a clear head. 

What to do differently next time.... that's a hard one. Of course you should listen when a guy says he doesn't want anything serious. But often times guys grow up, and change. It's always most important to remember that actions speak louder than words, and this works in both directions.

If he's saying: "Oh yes, i want to get married someday" But he won't save money for a wedding, spends money on things that have nothing to do with growth as a couple, won't move in with you... it doesn't matter what he's saying, he has no intention of marrying.

And on the other side of things, if he is saying, "I don't know that I ever want to get married" but he's doing things like saving money, cutting back on spending on things for just himself, moves in, well then obviously he IS growing and changing whether he wants to admit it or not.

One couple I know, the guy had said over and over he never wanted to get married. And they were at a wedding and he actually asked the bandleader for contact info and said "I think I'd like to hire you to play my wedding." He would tell her, "Don't hold your breath," and then they would be someplace and he'd say - "This is a great place to look for a starter house for us." He handed her his tax refund and said, start a savings account for the two of them with it. His actions were heard, she waited it out, and two years later he popped the question. 

But I can name off maybe 25 couples I've known, where the guy could not have been clearer in his actions that they were NEVER going to marry this girl. Some said it with words, but ALL of them said it with their actions. It pains me to think about these women, not hearing and not seeing what was so painfully clear to everyone else. One girl I knew stuck it out for 7 years. It really got pathetic, it was hard for any of us to look her in the eye, she seemed so delusional, just ignoring reality and living in her own fantasy that he would one day marry her. Making excuses, rationalizing. God, if I had to sit through one more of her "I know he really loves me, " speeches I would have called for the psych ward to come get her myself. 

It's not really that the guy is lying, it's that all guys are like a 14 year old kid with the excuses and the put-offs, and the resistance to growing up. They just have no idea how to be honest about these feelings. And when they do figure out a way to say it, often the girl just hears what she wants to hear and not what he actually said anyway. 

Lovey523, best to you, with that very smart head on your shoulders I am sure you are going to be fine. Go out there and get what you deserve.

Tahiti 8 years ago

I also wanted to say thank you very much for this hub and all the advice. I've been with my boyfriend for nearly 10 years. I'm 31 and he's 36.

For the first 6 years we were always talking about marriage, the future, etc. Then my friends started getting married and suddenly he started saying that he wasn't ready for marriage etc.

To cut a long story short the marriage issue started dominating the entire relationship, things went downhill and at the beginning of 2008 we decided to live separately but still see each other. Fast forward 6-7 months and I decided that the relationship was going nowhere (my friends all agreed) I mean if he doesn't know after 8 odd years - what's the point?

So I broke up with him but he said that he did want to get married and that he realised that he wanted to be with me 100% etc. We had a big heart to heart and I made it clear that I wanted to get married the following year and go travelling and he agreed to this plan (in theory! We even talked about whom we would invite - not just me him too!).

So in September we moved back in together. Everything was going very well - we were both happy, he made a big effort on my birthday (weekend away, lots of presents etc.) until the new year when I asked him whether he had any intention of proposing. The issue for me is that I am from a culture where my parents just won't accept my partner until I am married. If I didn't have that issue I don't know whether marriage would be such a make or break issue for me. Anyways a couple of weeks ago we talked properly and it turns out that he isn't ready?!? The reason - he wants to save money, etc. we had discussed all this the previous year and I thought we had come to a conclusion that we could still move forward with both our goals. I freaked out and accused him of lying etc. last year and we are now stuck in a flat that we can get out of for at least 3 months because of the contract!

I have now told him that I think we should split and I feel ridiculous for believing him last summer as I was as emotionally prepared as I could be for the split last summer whereas until recently I was operating under the illusion that we were going to get married. Having read all the advice on this site I have to say I have learnt a couple of things - first off you can so obsessed with the marriage thing that you lose sight of what's important like your life goals and whether these are in tune with the person you want to marry. Also if he ain't ready he probably never will be - that#s why I think the split is the only thing to do even though its breaking my heart! Thoughts?

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


No new thoughts. I think you pretty much got it all. I think you're doing the right thing splitting. You know in your heart that you are. Thank you so much for sharing your story here.


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candygirl954 8 years ago

I just wanted to say your hubs/comments are great and would like to post for myself as well. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 1/2 years now. I'll soon be 26 and he's 30.

About a year into our relationship, we went house hunting because he wanted to buy a house. He also wanted me to move in with him. I asked him if he was sure because I didn't want to move in with him if he didn't see us or think about us getting married in the future. He said yes, but after he finished his apprenticeship (only had 1 1/2 to go) and we both save up some money.

I then began to wait patiently and all has been well. He's been laid off a few times and I've had some money issues myself, but we both help each other out. I did ask him about a year ago (2 1/2 years in) about opening a joint bank account and then our own savings accounts on the side just so that we could get used to the combined funds, but not feel like we are spending each others money on unneeded things. He said no, not until we are married, which prompted me to bring up the marriage discussion.

We had a long chat about marriage and children. He said he wasn't ready of either. Named numerous reasons like look at the divorce rate, my friends are not married but live with their girlfriends and kids, my sister and other friends waited 5-8 years before getting married, a wedding would cost too much, and my personal favorite, its just a piece of paper. He then told me that he does see being with me and having children, but is just afraid of getting divorced shortly after or that I would leave him.

Yes, a red flag went up! I wasn't sure if I should run or stay, but I stayed. I figured we always talked things out and came up with a compromise and always know how each other feel in the situation we face together. We keep everything open and honest as possible.

6 Months ago I brang up marriage and children again. This time he didn't give me any excuses besides lets wait a few more years. My friends and family along with his have already begain to ask when and if we are going to get married/have children. He knows I would like to be married and have atleast one child by the time I'm 30. He doesn't want kids until he's married which is fine, but I also have some small fertility issuses which may make it take longer to conceive.

What makes me angry at the whole situation is that he won't even compromise with me on marriage. He says lets wait a few years but won't say if its 2 yrs, 4 yrs, but doesn't want to be in his late 30's when he has children. I have told him that I would wait, but not much longer than 4 years into our relationship. I've asked him if he's afraid of commetment, and he says no otherwise he would have broken up with me instead of still living with me.

My name is not on the mortgage, and he can maintain the house with out my financial help. He never says my or mine, he always says ours, us, we. He does see that we have a better relationship than most of our friends that are married or unmarried.

We are almost to the 4 year mark, and I think I've given him enough time. He knows marriage is important to me. I don't want him to feel like I'm forcing marriage on him, but I figure if he hasn't made up his mind and keeps on telling me we'll do it in another couple years, then I might not be the one for him. Then again I don't want him to get pissed that I'm leaving him and tell me he'll marry me and regret it later on.

I'm getting so confused on what to do. I love him and do beleive he's the one for me, but will leave him if he's still afraid to commet. He's more for children than for marriage. Should I just cut things off and look for other fish in the sea?

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candygirl954 8 years ago

Oops, sorry, forgot to spell check my post. Thank you for your thoughts ahead of time.

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


You are not getting what you want from this relationship. Communications have been clear. You're entire relationship is "his way" and he's made a lot of excuses as to why your needs don't factor in. I think it's time for you move on.

Nikki-bie 8 years ago

I am in a relationship with an Indian man, I am American and he is Muslim. I love him and he loves me, but his family doesn't want him to marry me. I don't know if I can stay in a relationship part time and them when he goes back to his home that is the end for us. I love him with all of my heart and he loves me too but I don't know how to make it last. I am not worried about money, he makes far less than me but that is not the matter in this situation. I want him to be my life partner and I want us to be happy with his family and my family. How do I do this?

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Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


If he really wanted to spend his life with you, it wouldn't matter to him what his family thinks. Whether it's an excuse, or a reflection of his culture, it should be a clear red flag for you.

Clearly, he chose his family over you. Why would you want to be with a man that doesn't put his life with you as a priority?

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Racqsm20 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I need your help. I live in the Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago.

I have been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years almost 3 years. We started to live together for about 1 and a half years now & in the beginning of the relationship he asked me to marry him but he wanted to just go into the court house and do it quickly which I was against, actually to tell you the truth I wasn't ready at the time because it was about 7 months into the relationship when he asked me. Anyway now its been almost 3 years and about a year ago I brought up the marriage thing and all he can say is that he's not ready. He is not from my country he is a Syrian but he treats me the best anyone has ever treated me before. We have a joint bank and savings account and he will do anything for me. My family loves him alot and he helps them out in whatever they need anytime.

Anyway, recently I've been bringing up marriage and all he can say is that he does not have that in his head right now and that if we get married he wants me to go back to Syria to live with him which I am not prepared to do at all and I told him this.

He also tells me that he loves me but cannot get married to me and if he does he will end up hurting me because he has to leave eventually to go back to his country to live. The other day for my birthday I brought up the topic again he shocked me when he said I asked you earlier and you told me no so why do you want to get married now.

Please help me he also tells me how much he loves me and will do anything for me but cannot get married to me. I am 28 years and I love this man will all my heart.

Please advise me what I should do?


Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

The whole "I have to go back to my country" thing really freaks me out. I have a big problem with that, and if I were you, I would be separating myself from this relationship. If he wants you, he can promise to stay where you are and marry you. If he doesn't, then that's that.

Sometimes there is a lot of middle ground in these scenarios. Sometimes there are hidden meanings and vague gestures, and things that really need a lot of consideration. Yours is not one of those. The threat that one day he must leave and go back to Syria is ridiculous to me. If I were you, I'd be saying, well if you must go eventually, then go now.

Good luck to you.

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Racqsm20 8 years ago

Thanks Veronica for that advice but its much easier said than done I really love this man & I want to move on but everytime I try to break things off with him he doesn't want it and its really hard because he tells me he loves me a lot. I think I need to really put "my foot down" & leave him because I cannot go on this way especially when I want to get married and have a family and time is going by and he is not even making a move to go back to his country, but keeps saying that he will soon.

But thanks again for the advice.

yellowbird 7 years ago

hi veronica,

Firstly, I am so glad to find this website containing this topic. I am in a slight odd yet somewhat close situation with the rest of the posts here and I sure do appreciate any advise you can give.

I'll make this short and sensible as possible. I met someone online. I'm a petitioned alien working here in the usa. I have a good job, a good salary and I am single and everyone that I know is shocked why because they think I have everything that a guy must be blind not to notice. I am just waiting for the spark , and boom, this guy has it everything. Months later after chatting, he finally said I love you, and I do love him back as much.

We had rough rides , moments and weeks where he went missing in action due to heavy work load. I understand that as he is a lawyer plus the time difference is aweful big. There were times I wanted to give up. But there are times he makes it up big time by staying up until wee hours in the morning their time just to catch up and spend time with me. He has done this lot and I can tell he does love me.Due to some financial setbacks months later at his work and after him cancelling twice his plans of coming here to meet me and after so many arguments about how things would have been different and how I would be able to see that his feelings are genuine only had we met, I finally took the risk to fly there and see him and find out what was there between us. I did make sure I was safe, I left friends here everything that was necessary to do and I got friends back in his place in case worse comes to worse during the meeting.

At the airport , it was so good heavenly to finally see and touch the person you are in love with. Finally, after 16 months of waiting to meet up there we were. It was surreal unbelievable like he kept saying that. Everything went so good, and our first hug felt like I finally found my soulmate. The connection is there, the passion, the feeling that you guys have known each other like for the longest time even if you just actually met.

The next day I found myself listening to him explaining that he couldn't do it as he realised he likes me so so much but he wasn't just yet over with his ex of 14 years. He was 31 then and they were together since he was 16. He kept explaining he did not want to make things worse and mess it up like he did to his ex. They split up cos they always argue nonstop. Anyway, I cried like there was no tomorrow, but I picked up myself. I asked that he take me to find a hotel where I could stay. I never even got to eat anything that day and I strolle d for 3 hours in the cold and rainy europe trying to get me a hotel room. It was so bad, really bad. The worse day of my life.

He made visits to me and he went back to work few days after. I went to my friends to find company and seek comfort. I thanked them for being there . That was utter stupidity that I did, but I had to do it to find out. Whilst at friends we talked on phone and he asked me not to ring his cell as it was for work purposes and he will get into trouble if he continues to use it aside work. That was very inconvenient for me to get in touch with him as he wanted to see me again the night before I leave. We agreed to meet 7 pm dining area at my hotel, and 8 pm past, 9 pm past. No sign of him . I rang his house number and hoped someone would pick up, and his bro did. He explained that he got tied with work still and will contact him right away to let him know I called up . This was confusing though! how would his bro contact him?? work phone?

Anyhow, half an hour later I rang again. I was anxious and pissed but yes I wanted to see him for the last time before my plane leaves. He finally picked up the phone and apologized as work was busy and he did not think he would get stuck in the office. He asked me to wait for him after two hours and he should be at the hotel. He asked me not to go out for the night without him. Two hours later, he wasn't there. So I went out with a friend and enjoyed my night . I rang his house, no response. God I must have rung twenty times. We went back to hotel , 1 am now and still no him around. Later on he rang me and said he was on his way and had to finish up something from work etc. Then there he was, at the hotel , and ended up spending the rest of the time I got left with me.

He offered to take me to the airport and at the line he kept saying that I not get married as he will visit me asap. The night before, I asked him what does he actually feel for me, he looked at me and said he felt like he is in love with me. I just thought , he needed time to get to his own thoughts.

Back here in usa I intended to take a break from him and told him that straight off. He said he understood that, but a week later, he was just scared as hell to do it and said I love you to me again. I told him that he doesn't know what he is saying and he doesn't know those words. He kept apologizing for the mess he has done and he will come here to see me and prove it to me. He said he realized he wants me and no one else. I felt happy , but cautious .

It has been 6 months since we met and I must admit I love this guy without any explanation. There are still rough rides but he tries to do his best even if it isn't really good enough for me . Then new year, I told him my plans that I am in the point where I want to settle down already and start my own family. We had a bit of off argument about this, and the next day he said he will move here asap to be with me, and he was considering settling down, and he doesn't want to lose me to nobody else. God I was happy. Then 3 weeks later comes the news from my immigration lawyer. He advised me that should I want to marry someone outside from usa, I have to do it within a year from now before I do another step of my immigration papers. He explained that If I do it later than a year, my husband can't be with me till after 5 years of waiting! I dont want to do that, I will be turning 26 and I just don't want that long years of waste waiting.

I explained this to him. At first I thought he understood it well. Due to bad timing to talk about this matter, we finally sat down and talked a month after I told him that news. Now , he freaked out. He told me he never said he wanted to get married, he told me he can't get married yet, and that he doesn't want to lose me but he understands if I don't want to wait for him anymore. I do agree that he said we just only met once and marriage right away is nuts. That, left me crying, wondering, what the hell just happened? He seemed to have change his mind.

Deep inside I know it's him. We still schedule to talk again all these matters. He is supposed to come in two months, but now we are talking about breaking up. I am not sure what to do anymore. I told him I dont want to lose him as he is my everything but I don't want to wait because those years of waiting I could not take back. His parents are divorced so maybe this contributes to his fear of marriage, or maybe we still need time to get to know each other. I dont know i am sleepless these days. please help me. I am in love with him , despite everything he has done. I am never a patient lady, but with him I have been . I want to spend time with him but now I dont know anymore should we keep on seeing each other and see how things go or just cut it off because he might now want to get married in the end still.Sorry for the long post.

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


He is not into you. He likes the idea of having you on the hook, but has no intention at all of marrying you. Had you not forced the initial meeting he would never have done it. He's been very clear with this in his actions, but he's a cowardly user in word, and has kept you by feeding you the bare minimum of commitment and emotion. And it's worked.

He's a player and a jerk. Stop it.

7 years ago


hopeless 7 years ago

My fiancé and I have been together for seven yrs and engaged for two yrs. We have two kids together. We also own a house together. We have a great relationship but everytime the marriage thing comes up it goes downhill. Initially we were planning a big wedding and he didn't want to go through with the hassel. Then we were planning a small wedding and he didn't want to do that either. He said that I am focusing too much on the wedding and not on the marriage. Then I suggested that we go elope and everytime I want to put down the deposit for the honeymoon something comes up. So I suggested that a month from now we go to the courthouse just do it. Now he says that he loves me and wants to marry me but he is not sure when. He says that he is scared of marriage and that we are already committed to each other and living together so why does anything have to change. Obviously, I was very upset and crying. We have been through so much and I cant understand why he doesn't want to make me his wife. At first I agreed to the 4 months and if he didn't marry me by then I would leave him. But I do not want to make him do something that he does not want to do. I feel like he just said that 4 months thing to make me happy. I feel like he will never be ready. What else do I have to do? He tells other people that I am his wife so I cant understand what is holding him back. Am I wasting my time?

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


I'm really sorry, you sound unhappy and upset over this, and that sucks. He's being very clear - he doesn't want to marry you. Giving him an ultimatum isn't going to change that. You may be able to get him to marry you but you can't ever make him want to.

Unfortunately you're given him everything he does want - a commitment, living together, you completely full time, even kids. So he has no reason to think about what he has to change about himself to get the things he wants. He already has them all. Also, he's aware of your desire to marry but you've proven that you will provide everything he wants without your getting that one thing you want, so again, he has no reason to do anything he doesn't want to.

You've put him in a very foolproof position. I am sorry, but if you're asking me for advice then you must be aware I don't pull any punches. You can't have both - you can either have him and the life you're living, or, you can go elsewhere.

I think you should stop letting yourself get all twisted over something you can't change, and instead focus on the very real choice you have to make: you can either stay with him and enjoy the commitment and children and house and his albeit limited partnership, or, you can decide marriage really is more important than all those things and end this situation that causes you such upset, and go out in the world and start again. Find someone else. And get married.

There is no wrong answer. On the one hand you have a certain life with him that probably has it's really good points. On the other, you are life partnered with someone who knows what you want and clearly CLEARLY clearly doesn't give a shit, is only concerned with what he wants.

Stop giving him all the power. Take your power back. Decide what is to become of your life for yourself. Stop waiting on someone else to completely change (which is NEVER going to happen) to give you what you want. Decide to let go of the marriage thing and embrace what you have, or decide to go out there in the world and get what you want.

On the Defense 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I met a great guy 5 years ago, and due to our age and location (college in different states) we agreed to be friends and casually date during our internship. Fast forward, he moved to my area, and we have been together for a wonderful 1 1/2 years.

During the course of this year, my boyfriend has been moving at a fast pace. Within the first few months he would discuss how many children he wanted, and state that he wanted me to be "the mother of his children". While we disagree on some major issues (when to have kids, where to live) we have always seemed to compromise and work together. As of a month ago, he stated that he saw us married by the end of the year (6 months), which I became flustered and said that I would need at least a year. (Not because I'm not ready, but because we are both busy and it is a lot of stress)

1 week after the marriage comment...he and I hit a roadblock on homes and where to live. He immediately proclaimed that he was not ready to ask my father if he may marry me, and that moving in together in 4 months was a bad idea. I am left shocked, and feeling completely betrayed. I feel as though he strung me along with these "fantasies", while he says he needs to organize his life (finances, health, etc.) before he can move forward with me.

I am pushing him away. I don't trust him, and my emotions are black and white. I feel so betrayed that I am ready to cut him from my life. I don't feel the effort is there (seeing each other 3 days a week, compared to 7 in the past) and I don't want to end plan my life with these expectations that we will work out.

Please help, I feel that my emotional issues, and past relationship issues where someone close to me used marriage as a way to reel me back in...is ultimately going to destroy what I truly love with my current boyfriend. At the same time, I don’t want to be so in love that I can’t see this happening to me again.

wwtk 7 years ago


i do agree with you to a great extent. however, i also think that girls need to be extremely vocal about their feelings when they start taking the relationship seriously. I have been in relatioships with guys who wanted to marry me but i didn't want to marry them.... so it works both ways..... and with my current bf, after dating for 2 years, i brought the subject up... and asked him what his plans are... my bf did say he has not thought about marriage yet... but i did not leave it at that.... i knew what this meant i didn't want to be taken for a ride.... so i told him to leave me if he didn't see the relationship working out.... but he had a different story to tell... he said that he does want to have a future with me... but he has not thought about the "when" part yet... and that the way our relationship is going, IT will happen finally... but he cant get married right now coz of his financial struggle.... all i am trying to say.. is that just coz a guy says he is not ready YET... does not mean he doesn't have the intention.... so if someone who's stressed out for the same reason reads ur post.. it will only make them a lil more negative... i honestly feel every relationship is different and no general view is going to be 100% accurate.... so if u have an issue with ur guy or girl about marriage espicially... i guess talk it out... also, action speaks louder than words.... like my guy doesn't just satisfy me physically but emotionally as well.... and that answers a lot of my questions.... so trust the person u are with... go with ur gut feel... anytime u think there is a problem in ur relationship... speak it out... each and every minute detail... if ur guy tries to escape ur questions and doesn't comfort u.... i guess the answer is clear... in my guy's case... everytime i bring the subject up.. he keeps his cool.. he listens to me.. and tries to sort out my worries.... so i can safely say... even if he's not ready for marriage yet... his intention is right :)

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birdmadgirl 7 years ago

Hi, Veronica,

Like another woman earlier in the thread, I found your site after googling the phrase, "he says he's not ready for marriage." I'm not sure if I'm asking for advice (although certainly feel free to enlighten me with your wisdom) as much as I am posting a cautionary tale for all those who pass by. Here's my story:

I am 32 years old and have been with a man for the past six years. In the beginning, he was an absolute dream come true. In my experience, men are largely uncommunicative and expect women to read between the lines, as it were. This man, however, was very verbally demonstrative about his interest in me. Although I am typically a very slow starter in relationships, he was so "into" me that I felt I'd be a fool not to accept his repeated requests for a date. Within ten minutes of seeing me for the first time (we met online), he gave me the hottest kiss I think I've ever received. That was pretty indicative of the first six months of our relationship. I left the country for a few months to take a work assignment and visit friends in Germany. Upon my return, I was welcomed home with flowers, a home-cooked meal, and a night of intense passion... all things that would impress even the most cynical and jaded of women. The following week, he took me to dinner and "proposed" that I be his real girlfriend. I was taken aback by the formality of the question, but he explained himself by telling me that he'd not found a woman worthy of such an attachment, as he placed a lot of importance on the title of 'girlfriend.' The next few months were blissful, and then...

I lost the job I held so dear. It was a very devastating time for me, because I had worked so hard to establish a career for myself, and I do not live in an area where jobs of this nature are plentiful. I was only 26 then (he was 24) and still had time to set things back on track, but I'll be the first to admit that the impact this event had on my psyche was tremendous. He was very consoling to me initially, but eventually began to withdraw.

The job search took several months, and I was eventually forced to accept a low-paying position that did not make use of my talents or education, and this compounded the issues I was having with myself. Other things happened that would make this post significantly longer than it will end up being, but the important lesson to take from it is this: It seemed as though each time I needed him, he'd withdraw, sometimes eventually to the extent that he ended our relationship.

The marriage issue was brought up about a year into it, when I foolishly began putting the pressure on. This was a huge mistake, not only because one should never have to coerce someone into taking that step, but also because it had already been proven that when the going got rough, he got going... as in gone. In retrospect, I think that it was the fact that he was around at all when I began losing so much of who I was that he became part of my new identity.

We had a major break in 2005 when I suffered a mental breakdown that landed me in the hospital for nine days. Two days into my stay, I learned that he and his mother (who despises me, and I her) had moved all of my things out of the apartment we were sharing and back into my mother's house. His excuse for that was that he wanted me to be with people who cared about me. I am very ashamed to admit that it took me until recently to understand what that statement meant: I want you to be with people who care about you because I do not.

I gathered myself and eventually tried to move on. I dated a few people, but for reasons that I'm still trying to understand, I loved this man deeply. At the end of that same year, we were back together again. He convinced me that his fear of serious commitment, confrontation, and dealing with adversity was gone, and that he had begun thinking in terms of the future. He didn't want it immediately, he said, but he could see it. Psh. I started seeing that his words -- "I want to get married maybe someday" -- and his actions -- growing distant the more I let my guard down and expected him to follow through -- never quite meshed. Again, with another painful breakup.

I did not wait very long to begin seeing someone else, but it also didn't take very long for word to get back to him that I had moved on. So, once again, he became Mr. Amazing. Doing and saying all the right things, angling for marriage, being very loving and demonstrative again... and I fell for it. Predictably, once I began feeling comfortable with his affection and asked him when he would make good on his promise to marry me, he lost interest. So I ended it and told him that there would not be another chance.


This last time, I decided I'd give it some time before reentering the dating scene, just to give myself a chance to REALLY heal and process things so that I'd be less likely to fall for anyone's b.s. ever again. And after a while, I did meet someone. To be fair, I was not really that into HIM, but he was good company in the beginning. Yet again (yes, this becomes painful to read, I'm sure), my ex discovered that I had moved on. I had maintained contact with him because his best friend had just committed suicide, and a huge part of me could not bear to see him suffer because of it. We had lots of long talks, but one day, he absolutely lost it because I mentioned that I would not see him because it wouldn't be fair to the person I was dating (although by this point, I knew it wouldn't last). He ended our contact, went back to our mutual friends and told them that *I* had devastated *him*, and that my timing sucked because -- lo and behold! -- he was ready for marriage. This time, I waited for a month, just to see if he'd stick with it. And when I went back to him (!), he seemed elated.

At first, HE would bring up marriage. His mother and I were not on good terms, as I've already mentioned, and he didn't have much family apart from her. My own family had grown tired of watching me walk back into this disaster time and time again, so I had little support on my end. In light of these factors, we agreed to go on a cruise and have a private elopement ceremony. After five years of struggle, I was finally watching this person follow through on his promise! Sounds incredible, doesn't it? Then, I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when he began balking at my INFREQUENT and TOTALLY PASSIVE suggestions that maybe we actually start saving for this rendezvous.

Things went to the backburner when my father passed away in December (tragically, of course, but not unexpectedly). At that time, marriage was really the last thing on my mind. What was concerning me then was the fact that my brother's brand-new girlfriend accompanied us to the funeral, while my guy hadn't even met my father during any of the time we had been together, despite having had opportunities to go with me to see him (he lived in another state). Moreover, when I simply needed consoling, he seemed fidgety and distant again. I sucked it up and worked through it alone, and eventually came back to the unresolved marriage issue. Why I still even wanted it is a mystery. Familiarity, I suppose? Masochism? Both? Probably.

Finally, after several weeks of biting my tongue, I asked him more directly if he had given any more thought to where we wanted to take a cruise. He promised he'd look that evening while he was at work (he has a third-shift techie job). The next morning, I was overjoyed to find that he was true to his word: there, in my inbox, was an email containing a link to a cruise. I smiled, clicked the link, and saw that it was regarding a 52-day cruise that cost well over $11,000 per person. Not a serious effort, as I'm sure you've surmised.

My boiling point had been reached. I demanded to know why it was that he kept dangling the tasty carrot of marriage if he had no plans of following through. Then, he said, "I'm not really sure if I want it. I mean, I DID, but now, I just don't know."

As with the countless other times before, why I did not just wish him a

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birdmadgirl 7 years ago

Ah, looks like it got cut off. Sorry about the length. ::blush::

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Birdmadgirl, np on the length. If there's more please finish, or email it to me. I will respond. Promise ;)

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cindyvine 7 years ago from Cape Town

I really think if they're not ready, don't push them or try and trap them as I have seen some women do. It always backfires!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

NJC - Your question is answered in your own hub. Please go here:


Boyfriend Says Not Now to Marrying GF with BPD

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lihar 7 years ago

Looking for some advice please. I have been going out with a guy for about 1 year. We are very close and moved intogether about 5 months ago. It was the best thing we could have done and was his suggestion as we'd been spending most nights together after work and then he went back home (his family are from europe and hes been living in uk for about 5 years) for a week. He said he thought we should bring forward living together as we both hated being apart. So all is going well. He is thoughtful considerate, not overly romantic in gestures but emotionally he is always telling me how much i mean to him, how i am everything to him, as important as his mother is (he is a "bit" of a mummys boy, but not too bad and to be fair he is thousands of miles away from his family) and how much he loves me. We talk about marriage and children and agree we would like that kind of life in a few years time. I am quite a paranoid and mistrusting person really as my parents divorced after 14 years because my dad had an affair with someone at work. I am still very close to both parents though. My boyfriends parents have been happily married for 30 years.

So despite all this sounding positive, I still am concerned. Because im 27, he's 28 and a lot of people we know are at the stage of getting engaged etc. Everytime it happens, i feel a twinge of jealousy and envy that it isn't me. My boyfriend says he can definitely see us getting married in about 2-3 years time, that he certainly wouldn't leave it 5 years to propose and that we would have children after that. Yesterday we had a really nice chat about rough timelines. He said he wants certain things to be in place first, like movign from rented to mortgage, having a regular job (currently he is working shifts with no regular pattern) and having savings as he doesn't want to welcome kids into a world of debt. But today, when one of my other friends announced her engagement, although he likes them as a couple he said he thought it was stupid that they'd got engaged after 7 months and even though they have bought a house and i think they must just know and want to crack on, he said it just seems too soon. He then went on to say that he couldn't necessarily see the big deal about getting married, that having kids was more of a commitment and that you could have children without getting marrired. A different story to yesterday. I told him that i have a different view of marriage, perhaps a more romantic view. He said that is normal.

Ive told him i dont want to pressure him and despite what he thinks i dont want to get married right now, i just want to know that he does want the same thing as me, because thinking you want to marry someone is a massive deal not to take lightly.

He will often come home after midnight from a late shift and jump into bed and cuddle me hard and whisper how much he loves me and last week he said "one day we are going to get married and have babies arent we?" and then the next day he called me just to ask what i thought about the "wedding idea". But then he says conflicting things a few days on.

I tried to explain that if he wants to be able to afford kids, then unfortunately 3-5 years probably wont be enough, if we were looking to save for a mortgage and save for a wedding. And literally yesterday he said he wouldn't be sure about having kids without getting married. So a total contradiction to what he said today. Generally I would say he is a very traditional person and he told my mum once that he definitely wants what his parents have - a loving relationship built on respect and he is not idealistic, thinknig that there has to be this passion all the time, that its not real life. My mum said she got a real sense from him about family values. He also told me that he used to be afraid of settling down but that i am his best and favourite girlfriend and he believes i will be his last girlfriend.

I dont know that ive explained this especially well, but i just feel a bit confused. He doesn't generally go out much, says when he has free time, he'd rather spend it with me, he's taken a course for a new career because he said it will give us a more settled and stable and regular life and that at the moment, although he has thought about us long term marriage etc, at the moment, he cant even work out what next weeks shift is, let alone what suit to wear at his wedding. That he just wants to get some stability and routine first.

So am i being emotional about the fact my friend has just got married and a bit unsympathetic to his changes in life to try to make us a future? By the way he saves money every month and does like us to live a bit of a high life at times, but he is also big on cuddling and staying in, just going out from time to time to a party night, type thing.

Help, Im confused?!

dating4ever 7 years ago

First, this is a great site with great info. So here's my issue on this subject. I have been dating my boyfriend for 3yrs, we're both in our late 40's. We when first started dating, we talked about what type of relationship we wanted and after we became exclusive we discussed the relationship in terms of moving forward and touched the subject of marriage to see how each felt about it - we both agreed that was something we wanted and in the meantime would let the relatinship grown - no problem. However 2 yrs down the road when i brought up the subject of marriage just to touch basis on the subject - he stated he wasn't ready and i knew that meant financially, which i totally understand, but my concern is that he's not doing anything about it, i.e. extra income, cutting back, etc...things just keep rolling along as does time. I know this man loves me and he has said he wants to be with me, we don't live together, but we spend every day together, take trips together, we're close with each other's family - we know we're in this for the long haul, but if he's not ready at almost 50 then i really don't see him being ready. It's not about just being married, its about us building a life/future together and that's what i don't see happending. Before calling it quits, should couples counseling be an option?

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You're right, actions speak louder than words. If he isn't doing anything to work toward the goal of marriage, like saving money or cutting back, then he's giving you a very clear sign.

Counseling is of course an option.

I think you'd do well to confront him about it. It sounds like he's happy with the relationship you have, and that you aren't, you want it to be working toward a marriage. There is nothing wrong with either perspective, however there is everything wrong with misrepresenting to your partner what it is you want.

Keep in mind that men tend not to want to rock a steady boat. If he likes the relationship as it is, he may not be planning marriage or any changes, because he's comfortable. You have to let him know that things as they are will not remain because you will be changing them.

You don't have to be bitchy or give an ultimatum in order to be clear. You can tell him you'd really like to talk about this, and state clearly what you want. Do so with a TIME FRAME. Stop this "in the future" talk. It gives him permission not to think about this "now." Communicate your honest feelings - for example, that you'd like to be engaged in the next 2 years, and married within the next 4 years. Offer steps you'd like to take to make that happen, like working a second job, or one of you selling an extra vehicle, whatever it is. Say you want to open a joint savings account where you can both start adding just $10 a week toward the cost of fun honeymoon and cool ceremony.

Listen to what he has to say about this. Really listen to him, not to what you want to hear, but to what he's actually saying.

If he's good with your plan, you'll see that in action. You'll see the little deposits, and you'll have talks about where a good honeymoon might be.

If he's not good with your plan, maybe he has one of his own. NOW would be the time for him to share it. Maybe he's thinking 5 years instead of 4. That's acceptable. Or maybe he's got some other idea in his head. Listen to him. Encourage him to share it.

But you have to be honest with yourself. If he says he doesn't know if he'll be ready in 4 years, or, if he has a bunch of excuses and avoidances, you need to consider what you want - him, or marriage, because you can't have both.

dating4ever 7 years ago


Thank you so much for your honest, direct approach. I agree and will heed your advice. But one more question though, isn't giving him a timeline the same as an ultimatum?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


No, you can be clear about your goals, without giving an ultimatum and without being nagging. You can say, "I want to be engaged within the next two years, this is my plan. In my life i want marriage and I would like you to be a part of that life," without saying, "If you don't marry me in 2 years I will leave. Propose or I'm out of here."

I wrote a hub on this.


Good luck

dating4ever 7 years ago

This was really helpful and a great hub as well - you're the best!!

long distance with nowhere to go... 7 years ago

Veronica -

I really enjoy your advice, however painful it may be to hear. My situation is somewhat similar to the previous postings, but I'd like to run it by you anyway.

I met my boyfriend two years ago. From day one the sparks were flying and both of us fell in love with each other very quickly and hard. At the time I met him, I was going through a separation and divorce as was he. We both lived in the same area and saw each other almost on a daily basis. He has children with his x-wife and they have joint custody with visitation rights a week at a time, every other week. Before I even came into the picture, he agreed to move out of state where the ex had moved to in order to continue the every other week visitation. Although an extremely difficult decision for me, I agreed to move out of state with him. The job I had in the new state was awful and I hated it and the entire situation. It put a huge strain on our relationship. I had an opportunity to move back "home" and open my own business. After much discussion, we agreed that would be best and have been having a long distance relationship (although only 2.5 hour drive) for the last 5 months. I'm at a point in my business where I either want to commit myself fully here or look for a new career where my bf lives. I do not, however, want to move again without an engagement. I feel that if I move, I am giving up entirely too much for only the chance of marriage down the road. I have communicated this to my boyfriend. He consistently says that he wants to marry me, he's just not ready to be married or engaged right now. I love him so much that I am afraid to let him go, but I want to start a life with someone. The lonely weeknights are killing me. I tell him that if he's not ready now, then I don't know what could change his mind in the future and that I feel like I am wasting my time. I'm not sure what to do. Part of me wants to cut him loose and move on to find someone who wants to get married, but the larger part of me loves him so much I want to stay in the relationship. Ugh. Help!

Despondent 7 years ago

Hi Veronica

I've been reading your advice with great interest and wonder if you could help me also. I again, am in the same situation, I want to get married n had kids. He says not yet. I'm 26, he's 28, we both have good jobs, nice house, decent savings or more than average couples our age. We met 5 yrs ago, I had just broke up with my ex and met him 3 months later, but I kept it casual for 7 more months before we agreed that we would be exclusive. I was totally in love with him, even before we became exclusive and I couldn't wait for him to tell me he loved me(I'm old fashioned that way) and have been dreaming of a proposal for the last 4.5 years.

In the beginning we lived in opposite ends of the country, I didn't necessarily like my home town and was happy to move away to live with him, I don't hold that against him in anyway. Before we moved intogether, 2 of his best friends were getting married, so, I guess to put any idea of a proposal out of my head he said that he would rather live with someone first before marriage as only then do you really get to know them. I totally agreed and was more than happy.

Shortly after I moved, things started going wrong which initiall I put down to a learning curve of living together. We had many arguments mainly about decorating our home and I'll be honest it became a power struggle as in my previous relationship I was the boss, I didn't like his attitude which was and still is, that he knows best. If is famous for it and even some of his lifelong friends have said he has always been like that. I've accepted him as the boss in the relationship now, because its true, I do look to him for advice etc. but also for an easy life at times. I feel I am more laid back about certain things. Anyway, I was later diagnosed with depression and put on antidepressants for 6 months, I realise that perhaps, in some of our arguments, I was a bit over the top with my emotional outbursts. I've since fully recovered and am no longer taking medication.

That was 2 years ago now, I am now starting to feel I would like to settle down, I want to be a mother and I would preferably like to be married first, however whenever I bring up these subjects he says not yet. At first I didn't argue with this but now I can't ignore it anymore. His reasoning being he is too selfish at the moment and would like to see more of the world. I respect that, as I do too, and we are making plans to go to Australia for a month in the next 18 months. However his non commitment over these 2 issues has me feeling deeply down again and I wonder am I wasting my time with him. He can be deeply selfish at times, only thinking of himself and making money, but I have no doubt he would be a great father, he can be very loving at times, and he does right by me and listens to my issues with work etc.

He also says that because the first year was soo bad he wants to see if we can get back to the way we were before we moved in together, I wish it could be too but to me that was the "honeymoon" period, before real life kicked in. He says he wants to be financially secure, we are as secure as we are going to get at this stage, both with young careers and decent savings. He also says he is unhappy with our sex life and feels that I led him on, because now my libido is no where near what it was. (Might I add that we only saw each other once a fortnight so we took advantage of it), we have some form of intercourse about 5 nights a week, which I think is pretty good but he feels is boring. When we spoke about this I agreed that we should make more of an effort but at times it is difficult for me to get aroused, especially If I'm not feeling particularly loved or wanted other than to satisfy his sexual needs.

In a previous discussion, I said I would like to be married by 28 and first child by 30, so that gives him 2 years. I also said, if in 2 years there was no sign of marriage, then I was coming off the pill, whether he liked it or not. That count down is presently at 18 months and I remind him of this every month, in a joking way to ensure there are no arguments. He says nothing when I mention it.

I realise my post is not as bad as some of the above and I admit that perhaps it is only my insecurity that is causing the problems, I'll be honest I do not feel he loves me as much as I love him. But its making me qustion our relationship, whether I should cut my losses and try to find someone who wants to settle down and dreams of being a father. Or stick with him and try to live with the way he makes me feel. Please help!!

Allison 7 years ago

Thank you so much for the enlightening information. I hope you can help me as well.

I'm 38 and my boyfriend of 1 and a half years is 32. He has never been in a "relationship" before, but I am divorced with 2 kids. His focus was college, then open a successful business. Once his business was settled in, he decided it was time to consider dating someone in a committed way. It all seems so text book with him. We met and I immediately knew I could marry this man. He's generally a sweet and honest guy, but his lack of experience in the relationship arena is frustrating. About 9 months ago he started staying at my house everynight and pretty much moved it. BUT he just moved in his clothes and stuff he needs every day. He still has his house and goes there several times a week to work and lift weights. (He works from home alot and claims that with the kids here he can't work) I have been asking for 6 months for some sign that he eventually wants to move in all the way. Such as moving his weights in. We do argue fairly frequently. It generally is about his lack of commitment or lack of affection that I need that we argue about. He RARELY tells me he loves me. If I say if first, he will say it back...if I cuddle first, he will cuddle back, etc. When confronted, he says he's just not that way. I feel that I need more though. He has though, made strides toward growing up over the past 18 months. He doesn't go out with the guys anymore or anything like that aside from the weekend fishing trips. But I'm beginning to think that he feels pressure because he knows what I want and he keeps saying the same thing. "I don't know what I want" He wants me to be patient, but I don't think I can wait any longer. He claims that every time we get in a fight he takes another step back because he doesn't want to move in and have us break up. I will admit that there have been a couple fights that I got to the point I am now and wanted to throw in the towel, so I told him it was over. Then I rethought it and told him I didn't mean it and I wanted it to work out. Each time we fight he tells me he will work on what bothers me, and for a week or so, he's ok...then he's back to who he really is. I'm getting too old for this. If I knew he would be ready in a year I would wait, but I really don't know if he'll ever be ready. Please help. I really love this man, and I want it to work out. I just don't know how to read he deep down thoughts.

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


He doesn't say I love you unless you say it first, he isn't affectionate unless you start it. He says he can't work around your kids. He only moved in the stuff he needs. He tells you he does not know what he wants. I read this over twice and it is very clear to me he doesn't want to marry you. He just doesn't want to be the bad guy and end it, he wants you to do it. that is obvious by the results of all the fights - you said he claims each fight pushes him farther away, and also you said with each fight he's ok for a week and then goes back to "who he really is." This is crystal clear, Allison. I'm not sure what it is you're claiming you don't know how to read.

If you re-read the parts you wrote here about how you are, with the fighting, and the complaining, and not being happy, and finally ending it but then going back on your word to do so - I think you will clearly see that you have become someone you aren't. Someone you can't be proud of.

You say you really love him and want this to work out. Why do you want this to work out? Why don't you want to be with someone who actually wants to marry you, and say I love you first, and be with you?

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marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

You covered this well. Honesty is the key. I won't even consider getting into a relationship that I know (for whatever reason) is just going to have to end later.

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


There are several very unhealthy things you've written about here. Especially stating you'll go off the pill and get pregnant in your time frame, without the two of you mutually agreeing and deciding to choose to have a baby together. I think you should talk to the doctor that diagnosed you with depression and see if that doctor can recommend a therapist for you. I think you have alot going on, and I think you would really benefit from some very focused sessions with a counselor regarding your specific situation.

Allison 7 years ago

Thanks Veronica,

You're 100% right. We decided to end it tonight. It hurts so bad though. I know it's the right thing, and time will heal. The sad part is that we cried on each others shoulders and talked about how we love each other but still said goodbye. Time will heal I'm sure, but right now it sure isn't easy!!

Thanks again.

Coco 7 years ago


I have been dating my boyfriend for a year. I feel that I have been pushing the marriage talk, but every time I even bring it up to discuss it openly, he shuts down and says he's not ready( I am 27 and he is 30). I ask him if he's not ready to marry me, or marry in general. All he can say is that he doesn't know, and he can't make me any promises. He is in the military and says he does not know where his career will lead him within the next few years. Once again, I asked him if he sees me as part of his future, and he says he doesn't see me as NOT being part of it. Huh? He is buying a condo, which I am not included whatsoever. This is what made me very insecure and pushed me to push him about marriage. We live two hours away from each other and I definitely am not interested in driving that distance for a few more years. He recently told me he needs some space to let the smoke clear after our last "comittment" conversation. I'm giving it to him, but don't know where to go from here. I feel very strongly about marriage in the next few years but I don't know if my hopes of having that with him are going to pan out. For a few weeks we have both been backing away in opposite directions and it seems he no longer wants to have these discussions. You have said numerous times in your responses that actions speak louder than words. His actions tell me that he is happy with where we are. I want some sort of hope for a future with him. Something that he is really not giving me. What is confusing is that he treats me like a princess, at least he was, everything he does includes me. We have the foundation for a great relationship, it's the future that we disagree upon. What should my next step be? It has been about a week since he asked me to give him time for the smoke to clear. We were supposed to go to NYC for a wedding and celebrate our one year anniversary, but he said going would no longer be a good idea. He has not contacted me since he said he needs space. Do I take that as a cop out for breaking it off easily, or is he really taking this time to reflect?

Thank you!

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You said, "he treats me like a princess, at least he was, everything he does includes me." but he is buying a condo that does not include you.

I think you're confusing the relationship you had with the relationship you are currently having. And they are entirely different.

I think he's being very clear here. He's said things like going to NYC to celebrate your anniversary would no longer be a good idea. He says he can't make any promises to you. He says he doesn't know if he wants to get married.

You're right, I say this all the time - actions speak louder than words. But the actions I'm talking about are the ones that answer the question of does he want to marry you. It's not the way he treats you in bed, or out on a date. the actions I'm talking about are ones that conclude with his intentions. Is he saving for a wedding. Is he checking out wedding bands. Is he saving for a house to buy together, is he doing anything at all that says he is working to make sure you have a future together.

And the answer is no - he's not doing anything that says he wants to marry you. As a matter of fact, he's buying a condo by himself. His actions could not be clearer. They are saying what his words are saying, only stronger.

It is a cop out, like you said, but that is what it is. You need to forget about him and move on. He has.

TX-Jen 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

Your hub was very insightful, and I was wondering if you could give me some advice on my particular situation.

To start off with some background details, I would like to mention that I am 21, nearing 22, and entering my last year of university. My boyfriend, of three years, is 23, graduated a year ago, and has a very stable job. While in college we lived together, one year with a third roommate and one year just the two of us in our own place. We have had the 'marriage' discussion before - in more of the 'what are your thoughts' sense, and not the 'let's talk about us' sense. We both felt that before we would get engaged, we would both be out of college, and I still feel that I want to wait until I graduate to get engaged.

However, we have come to a bump in the road. Recently, in a conversation sparked by his mother, (she asked him if he was thinking about marrying me, not in front of me, but he brought it up with me in private) we discovered that he and I have different views on when to get engaged and when to get married. (As a side note, the job I will be taking after graduation requires I do six months of extra, non-paid schooling. (While they pay for the education, I receive no in-pocket payment.) That means I would start working in March of '11.)

That being said, I'll get back to the conversation. So basically, I want to get engaged shortly after I graduate, but not actually get married until sometime in '12 or '13 - meaning we would have a fairly long engagement. He on the other hand expressed wanting to wait until we have our house and have been working and living together for a little while before getting married. So it seems like we agree right? Live together, have a house, then get married - on both our checklists... HOWEVER, the issue comes with the 'engagement' part. He doesn't want to get engaged until after we are living together, therefore, after I have a paying job, and then he wants to get married shortly after.

When I pointed out to him that it would be almost 2 more years before I had a job (therefore 2 more years before we would get engaged) he said, "Well that's just how I feel now, it could change." I don't know what the heck that is supposed to mean. I am pretty sure he wasn't aware that my job required me to put that much extra time into it - and maybe he thought I would start working immediately out of college. (I have been doing an in-college internship program which guarantees me a job, so the job is there, and is not just a 'hopeful' one.) Regardless though, I'm not sure how I am supposed to react to this situation. He has told me that he does see us together, but that he wants to make sure we'll both be happy since marriage is a life commitment. (We've had some issues with the amount of time he spends in his free time playing games vs. with me - but we've cleared that hurdle, though I think some of the memories still eat at him.) He also said he views engagement as the same thing as marriage, just without the legal benefits.

I don't know what to make of this, to be honest. He hasn't said "I'm not ready" in those exact words, and I think it's more so that he is one of those 'safety net' guys. He doesn't like to go out on a limb and take a risk, and he is a very logical thinker, and that he just wants to ‘test drive’ our lives together – since it will pretty much be like we’re married – we’ll be doing the same routines. Work-Home-Work-Home, etc. He has promised me though, on more than one occasion, that he would never let anything bad happen to me, and that he would always be there to support and protect me.

See where my confusion stems from? In your article it seems that if a guy isn't ready now to get married, he never will be. I think he is emotionally ready to be married, but logically he is not. We already act like an engaged couple - saving up for a house, talking about children, even about wedding size and colors... - but in his eyes we are not in the position to get married (and in my eyes we aren't in a position to get married, I do think I should have a job before we tie the knot) but I think we are nearing the time in our lives to get engaged.

So help! What am I missing? Is he just really bad at sending out hints that he doesn't want to get married(to me)? Am I just bad at picking them up? Could it be that he is being 100% honest, and really just wants to wait to get engaged and then get married shortly after? If so, how do I go about discussing my thoughts on a longer engagement with him without seeming like I am pressuring or pushing him into an engagement? I would like to be engaged before we buy a house together, I would also like to be engaged before I commit to my job location. (I haven’t really told him this yet, perhaps I should?) You can understand why I would want to be engaged before making those two life-commitments, right? I would like some sort of guarantee that our relationship is on the track towards marriage… other than words that is. Something more official I guess?

I could really use the help... I sort of wish he had never asked his mom what the difference between engagement rings and wedding rings were. ( I don't think it meant anything, since he asked her in front of me, I think he was just curious.) I have a feeling that sparked his mother into thinking about marriage. I am, though, kind of glad, because I have been thinking about it in the back of my mind.

Thank you in advance.

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pinkroses 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I am so glad I discovered this hub; there has been a lot of invaluable advice here. I have been grappling with my own problem and have decided to write to your for your insight.

I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years and we've been living together for a little over 2 years now. We're both in our late 20s and, lately, the topic of marriage has been on my mind. I basically know that this is the man that I want to spend my life with. I say "basically" because I know he isn't perfect and he does have certain things that I would like him to work on, but otherwise, he is perfect for me. The thing is, even though we would sometimes allude to growing old together and having kids, it was always something that seemed in the distant future, and we would never talk about marriage directly. During dinner recently, my parents asked him what his "intentions" were with me, which is a first for them. You see, they never liked the idea of us living together without some agreement of marriage, but I was stubborn and they've learned to live with it. But now 3 years into our relationship and still no ring on my finger, they were beginning to wonder what the issue was. As my boyfriend told me later, he was not too thrilled with suddenly being pressured into marrying their daughter, and he became very annoyed with them, saying that our relationship was really none of their business and that he felt it was unfair to live by their timeline. He also said that doesn't have the money for a ring and the wedding, and balked at their idea of them loaning him money. Afterwards, when we got home, he initially told me that he was just not ready for such a huge commitment, and that feelings change over time and he wanted to be absolutely sure that I was the one for him before he took the leap. His parents had a very rocky marriage and ultimately got divorced, and that made him very hesitant in considering the prospect of marriage. He cited the high divorce rate, and said that he didn't want us to potentially be stuck in a marriage where we hated one another.

Naturally, I got upset by him telling me that he was unsure if I was THE ONE, but he later on corrected what he said, and told me that he, in fact, does want to marry me, but that he's just not ready right now. He gave me examples of why he wasn't ready, such as the fact that he's applying to various grad schools and doesn't know where he'll end up, and he doesn't exactly have his financial situation in order. Whatever money he is making is going towards saving up for school tuition and bills. While I understand his point of view, I asked him, well, if he knew that I was the one he wanted to marry, then why not just have one less thing uncertain in your life and at least propose? We could have an extended engagement and at least then I would know that he truly saw me in his future. But all he gave me was the unsatisifying answer of, "I'm not ready." We've been together for 3 years, how long is too long to wait? If he is waiting for his finances to be the way he wants, that could potentially add another several years. I will be in my 30s by then and still waiting for a ring. I'm not sure what to do at this point, because my parents are convinced that the longer we stay in this current situation (us sharing an apartment together, with him basically getting the benefits of a wife without actually being married), the less inclined he will be to marry me. They are pushing me to live separately from him, and ideally for them, they hope that I will find someone else, someone that doesn't need to be talked into marriage. I am also starting to see it from that way, but I really do love him and want to be with him. I just don't know what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Confused 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I've been reading all your posts and I just want to start off by saying thank you for all the great advice you have given. To the rest of the ladies I want to say thank you for sharing your stories with us.

Ok so here is my situation.

I dated a guy for 3mo about 3mo ago. When I started dating him it had been 5mo since he had broken up with his ex g/f whom he was engaged to and had dated for 4yrs. He says he proposed b/c he felt pressured and b/c she had a kid (from another relationship) who had become very attached to (he didn't have a dad growing up and he liked the idea of being this child's dad). She wanted to get married but he kept telling her he wasn't ready. He says near the end he felt pressured and just did it but the engagement only lasted 5mo and he broke it off b/c he knew it wasn't what he wanted. He said he never felt sure about wanting to spend the rest of his life with her.

Because of what happened with his ex he wanted to make sure he chose the right girl next time. He said I don't want anything serious right away I want to take things slow. I wanted a serious relationship so I wasn't sure at first but he asked me to at least take the time to get to know him and I did.

Well after 1mo and 1/2 this guy went from not wanting anything serious to telling me he loved me and he wanted to marry me. He said he felt so sure b/c he had been with his ex for 4yrs and never felt he wanted to marry her and thought it was something that men just had to do. However, he said with me he realized what it really feels like to want to share your life with someone. His family and friends were also shocked about how different he was with me talking about marriage and all and not being scared of it. He would talk to all his friends about how great I was and all the qualities he liked about me.Everyone said they had never seen him so happy. He even started suggesting financial things we should do to make sure we could afford a house etc.

However, 3 mo after it all started it came crashing down. He told me he needed to talk to me. He admitted that his ex's kid had been calling him. He promised me he never picked up the phone b/c he said he didn't think that would be fair to me. However, he said it made him feel guilty to ignore the child b/c he told him he would always be there for him. He told me on fathers day the child made him a card and sent it to him. He said he didn't even call the child to say thank you, because again he felt it wouldn't be fair to me. What really made him feel bad was when he saw the kid at a soccer game and he came running up to him saying "daddy I miss you" (mind you he is not his biological father but he dated her for 4 yrs). This last time he saw his ex along with the kid. He told me he just started to feel guilty. He said he felt like those man that divorce their wife and kid and then quickly move to another woman. He said he loved me very much but he felt confused and didn't think it was fair to bring me down with him. This was very hard for me specially b/c he was crying and telling me he loved me and didn't want to hurt me while breaking up with me. He told me it wasn't that he wanted his ex back. He said after being with me he realized what a relationship should feel like and he could never go back with her. However, he said he needed time to figure things out. That seeing her made him realize that things don't always work out and it scared him. He said he felt he was falling and didn't want to bring me down with him.

So I gave him space. But within a week he was txting me. Since then we have kept txting back and forth so I know what is going on in his life and he knows what is going on in mine (but its only txt msgs we hadn't seen each other or talked on the phone). He went on a vacation to 2wks to try to clear his mind and when he came back he contacted me and told me he wanted to see me. I told him to wait b/c I was going to go to his city for a school thing and stay there for 2wks so I might as well see him during that time. During that waiting time I asked him "so what are u thinking now about us?" he told me "I care about you and I think your an awesome girl but I just can't give you what you want right now" ...."I can't give you or anyone a loving relationship right now. I'm just not ready".....I asked him what is keeping you from wanting that he said "I'm just confused I've lost my faith in love".

So when I was in his city for 2wks I didn't contact him I waited for him to contact me and he did. We went out a couple of times and it was great. Just like old times we got along so great. He told me about his travels and mentioned that it would be better if he doesn't go alone nxt time. He kind of hinted at me going with him if he travels again. My b-day is coming up in 2wks and he suggested we take a road trip for a weekend. However, he did make it clear that the trip wasn't a romantic getaway but a friend thing.

He hasn't dated anyone else, nor has he made any effort to go for his ex. He has told me many times that after dating me he knows what love should feel like and wouldn't go back with her.

I know you are going to tell me that even though he may have felt strongly about me in the past he doesn't anymore and I should move on. I agree thats true. But isn't it normal to have some feelings for your ex and the kid he knew for 4 yrs when he saw them? I think he shouldn't feel so guilty about having some feelings its not like he is cheating on me by doing that.

Also, there were some other issues that he mentioned as we were breaking up. One, he didn't like his job, but he recently got a new much better job. Two, my parents are kind of strict and although I'm 24 they still like to dictate what time I have to be home at and don't like me leaving for weekends. I had to lie to them a lot. He told me this made him fee like a child (he is 29) sneaking around. However, soon I'm gona be getting my own place (not for him, this was planned from before) and so that will change too. Also, I think he needs to realize that we were rushing and that maybe it was abnormal for us to be talking marriage after 1 and 1/2 mo. We can start again and just take it slower. Right now I feel he thinks if he starts dating me again we have to pick up were we left off. Talking about marriage etc and it doesn't have to be like that.

Right now I feel I have 2 options. One, keep being his friend go on this road trip with him (2wks from now). Bring up the issue of what could be different if we started dating again and see what happens. Two, nxt time he msgs me tell him "I love you to much to just be your friend. Call me when you are ready for more than friendship". My only prob with option 2 is i know he will interpret it as "call me when you are ready to marry me".

Can you please help me? I think I know what you will say but I need to hear it from you.

Thank you

Sharon 7 years ago

I like your site Veronica.

Women have to learn not to give marital benefits before they are married. This gives the man no reason to marry you. If you're giving him sex and having his kids, he will more than likely not marry you. Men have two types of women in mind - the ones they respect and can take home to momma and the ones they just want to sleep with and shack up with. They won't be taking you home to momma and men do love their mothers and care what they think.

I'm 30 years old and still a virgin. That is one trap that I refused to fall into. I have had friends and family members who have given men what they wanted and ended up unhappy, heartbroken, and single in the end. This was mostly due to the fact that they completely ignored what the man was truly trying to tell them. If the man says he's not ready to marry you, break up with him. If it's meant to be, he'll come back around without hesitation and marry you.

So women, if you want to know if a man really loves you for you, MAKE HIM WAIT ON GETTING SEX. If he loves you and really wants to marry you, he will wait on you. Try it. You'll be surprised how things work out. You may not be able to control many things in your life but the one thing you can control is what you do with your body. Stop creating soul ties with these men who may no longer want you after you have given them sex. Tell him you don't believe in premarital sex and see if he leaves smoke behind getting the heck out of your presence.

layla456 7 years ago

Okay... after ending up in the exact same situation with three guys in a row who "are not ready yet" (including the one I am with now who is really depressing me and the reason why I disparately googled this topic to get here)... I have to finally come to grips with reality. I am the common denominator in my last three relationships. Meaning, maybe it is just me and not that I have bad luck with men. I am 30, smart, attractive... My last three boyfriends have said, "you are amazing, wonderful, bla bla bla BUT..." That darned BUT! Reading some of these posts from women in similar situations I have realized a lot of us have something in common. We come across as needy and desperate to get married. It's like our actions in the relationship cry out "please marry me! pick me!" To men that is ultimately unattractive and what scares them away. We are sweet, nice, loving, nurturing, self-sacrificing... doing whatever we can to be the perfect girlfriend. Of course a guy wants us around!! Heck he would have us over every night because we try so hard to please them. Maybe even live with us a few years. Why not? We do the laundry, cook, and put out! BUT in the end when the time comes to make the BIG decision, we are not exciting enough, challenging enough, and they are BORED and start to think maybe there is someone out there that can really make them feel excited. I am convinced this is the issue. While, we are the ones they feel comfortable with, we are not the kind of woman they want to spend a lifetime with.

The problem for me now is... can I fix the relationship I am in? Can I suddenly change and be unavailable, more independent, busier, challenging, etc.? Interestingly enough... when I actually get the guts to sometimes "flip the switch" and be more aloof... all of a sudden he pays more attention to me. Interesting, no? I hate to believe this is the truth but it is... and it isn't about playing games. It's about paying more attention to yourself instead of your partner and "looking out for number one" ... then, naturally, you will be more unavailable, have your own things to do, be too busy to come right over and cook dinner.

I love my boyfriend, I love him more than I have ever loved anybody... He is younger than me (27) and judging him just his age and the fact that I am his first major relationship one can say he is definitely not ready to get married. But it isn't about that. When you are ready your are ready and it has nothing to do with age. Most of my friends are already married and they all got married to men under the age of 30. My boyfriend has an amazing job, he isn't into partying with the guys, he's almost angelic to be quite honest... If any guy were to get married at 27 I would say he seems like the ultimate candidate. But I'm afraid that I have scared him. I have acted like a desperate 31 year old hoping to get married really soon. He has said to me before that he's going to marry me... that he "just knows" it. However, whenever I bring up the subject of marriage he gets a little uncomfortable (he's never rude, insensitive or mean about it). He sweetly explains to me that he just needs some more time. He wants to be able to buy a house for us, etc. However, my fears of wasting time and ending up where my last relationships have left me screws with my head and gets the best of me... and I can't help but bring up the topic of marriage. I keep trying to coach myself and say to myself "helloooo... it's not going to work if you corner him all the time. Plus, why would you want to pressure someone to marry you???" Seriously, I wish someone would just hypnotize me into not caring about getting married and I bet you I would get proposed to within a year. lol!!

There is one interesting factor I would like to add to this topic as well... I surveyed all my friends who are married and 10 out of 12 of my good friends had to put there foot down with their boyfriend and basically gave their boyfriends an ultimatum. I have not done that yet and frankly it sounds like a horrible way to lead into a proposal. I've always wanted a guy to just want to propose on his own. But maybe these days that doesn't happen as often??? So my plan is to stop hinting about marriage, start focusing more on myself and creating my own happiness that has nothing to do with getting married or not getting married... and have a time limit of how long I am willing to wait for my boyfriend and if he hasn't proposed by then I am going to have to move on. Would love to get some feedback!!!

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sokelengl 7 years ago

I have another case like this. Everytime I press the " marriage button". He say he is not ready! and shouting " DON'T YOU SEE I'M TRYING HARD". Will he ever be ready????

I’m a 32 year old lady. I wasted 12 years on a deadbeat boyfriend. For the initial 7 years we are living in overseas ( in UK) and cohabited for 7 years. At that time we were students. Now we are living in different country. He visited me 3-4 times a year for the past 5 years.

This man will turn 37 soon, but has the maturity of an early twenty man. I was a fool who fell for a total jerk-off. He lives in flat with his mum and his mum’s partner. Therefore he has no rent to pay, no car and doesn’t has his own flat. He never takes a day of professional job once he graduated from university. After finished his undergraduate study, he pursued to his graduated study. He said the reason he pursue further studies was because he was afraid to come out working. He spent another 5 years in the university and failed to get a graduate degree. He wasted 5 years for northing. In my mind, I don’t see getting a phd is crucial. Plenty of people on the street still get a good earning and comfortable life with a basic degree. Being an understanding lady,I gave him plenty of time ( another 4 -5 years) and space to reset his career path.

As he staying with his mum, he whined a lot and hates the environment completely. He said he don’t have space and feel trapped in the flat. Because there is always someone in the flat and don’t have enough privacy to do his online business planning. Honestly say, I don’t think it is right to shift the blame to his mum. His mum is the at the semi-retired age ( 60 years old). At this age she is probably feel she is too tired to go out. He is the person who should responsible to get the life he wants.

When we would go out, which was rare, I always paid for my share. I feel very guilty to spend his money. For every visiting period, I will try my best to serve him very well. He doesn’t have money, therefore I make home cook food to cut down the expenses of eating out. I offered him good sex, keep myself fit to look well. I am trying my best to be a successful businesswomen, a good wife to be, an excellent chef, a sluttish lady in the bedroom. For all the efforts I put into this relationship, I received northing. No promised future and, not even a ring. This sink me into the deepest depression that I can ever imagine. The suicidal thoughts always come into my mind. The pictures of turning on the carbon monoxide in the car and sink my car into river bank always surface. My business life is so hectic and busy, it distracts me a lot. It numbs the sadness in my heart. On the outside I am still a bubbly lady. Even my parent living in the same household doesn’t know I am slowly sinking into the depression.

Like other jobless man, he talks about what he’s gonna do with his life, but always ends up in no result showing. He refuses to look up for job, because no one will hire a 37 years old man without any working experiences. He also has very bad temperament. Often he would disappear for 10 days plus , and ignore all my calls in that period. So I would decide to get rid myself of him and ignore his calls. This would cause him to flip out. He left nasty email messages . WHERE THE HELL IS YOUR MOBILE?

Due to unhappiness at his mum home, he asked me to move out from my parent home , find a new place and move in with him. He said he can pay his own foods and I paid the rest of the bill! I told him without his income stability I wont’ move a finger! This is an iron rule. He came back make this comment.

“i want to say more about moving out but because i know you and your artificial rules would meant its better not to discuss it further. but i will remember that you are in the position to help but you choose not to. so you better pray that you never ever need my help in the future cos i won't be rendering you any!”

He proposed to move out 2 years ago, luckily I never did it. Two years after he still remain jobless stay with mum.

I am angry at myself for staying with him for so long. It was difficult. He was really good in bed and had a few other good qualities. I have higher standards and expectations involving the company I keep. I am a great person, and I refuse to settle for anything less.

Should I leave this behind my back?

eolach1980 7 years ago

My boyfriend of 2 yrs just told me that he;s taking me to Paris for my 30th birthday but in the same conversation he told me (in a jokey way) that I wasn't to be expecting a ring! that we wouldn't be geeting engaged until we were together for 4 or 5 years I laughed about it but then realised that I was upset that he would say that. I told him & he said he was just joking & that he loves me very much & that we would get engaged just not yet. I 'm hurt & confused does he mean that he does want to get married to ME! or is this just something guys say when they haven't found 'the one'?

Entirely_commited_but_making_me_wait 7 years ago

Hello Veronica,

I stumbled upon your thread upon googling "not ready to get married"... Your advice is always well balanced and I thought I'd like to hear your take on my situation.

I've been dating my bf for almost 3 years. He's going on 31 and I'm 28. We both come from very traditional families and we both want to get married and have kids eventually. However, the "eventually" is much more defined for me then it seems to be for him.

We don't live together but I spend weekends at his condo which he purchased when we were dating for one year. He purchased it on his own but involved me in every step from choosing the actual condo unit to painting the walls to picking the couch and installing the curtains and mirrors. We often have conversations of what we would do with the condo once it's time for us to buy a house together (after we get married). We do not have a joint account but we are both very aware of each other's finances and make financial decisions together. I met his entire family early on in the relationship and get along great with them and he's met my family as well and all is good.

The wide majority of the people our age in our surroundings are now getting married and so about 6 months ago I began making little jokes (undercover hints) about us getting married. He went along with the jokes and sometimes makes them himself. Keep in mind this guy acts as if we were married and makes no decisions without asking my opinion from choosing a master's program in university to choosing a new car. He prepares my tax declaration every year and let's me take his car whenever I need it. This is of course reciprocal and I involve him 100% in every aspect of my life. About 3 months ago, we were just watching TV and we came upon the topic of marriage and the conversation led me to conclude that Monsieur did not see this happening anytime soon... from his speech I even concluded that he hadn't even given it any serious thought. I couldn't hide my surprise and how upset I was and he comforted me by saying I was the love of his life and that it was just a guy thing and that he needed time to adapt to the idea. And so our heavenly relationship continued as it had for the past 2.5 years. Yesterday, he was dropping me off at home, and we bumped into some old acquainteces who immediately asked us "When we were finally gonna get married and start our life together as we should..." and they were very cute and sweet about it... but as soon as they took off, my bf told my how annoying and irritating those comments were. I didn't understand what was so annoying and so lated on that evening, I asked him over the phone what was the problem. He immediately got annoyed that I asked and asked me how I would feel if people constantly pressured me into doing something I wasn't ready to do. I had nothing to say so I didn't say anything... but my brain has been spinning in circles ever since.

As you wisely said earlier, I don't want to push him... I want him to propose because he wants to, not because I threatened him with an ultimatum. But my life is in play also... and he's pushing me to wait. That's not any more fair. I feel like my life is on pause. Our relationship is amazing, and it seems to me that it's more then time to go somewhere with it and take it to the next step and make it blossom... he seems no where ready ... What on earth is going on in his head??

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littletiger 7 years ago

I too am in a similar place. I am 25 and he is 28. I asked my boyfriend of four years whether he had any plans for us and getting engaged and he simply told me he's not emotionally or financially ready to make such a big step. And I really respect that he views marriage so highly and takes it seriously because I believe alot of people these days do not and rush into things.

But I realise I am now in a place where I feel like I am ready to get married but he isn't. I too am stuck in that place where I am so happy with him and we love each other so much and we are both really comitted to the relationship to make it work. But I know that I can't wait around forever for him to realise whether he wants to get married to me or not.

Right now he can't tell me when he would be ready. He hasn't started saving for anything at all as he finds it difficult to sustain his finances now that he has a house with his brother with a mortgage etc etc. He wants to be married to me and have a family but he is also scared that it will change things. He's scared that the relationship we have now which is so great will change and he doesn't want that to change because things are going so well.

I don't know if it was right but I have put a time limit on it now. I told him that I can wait 6 more months but not longer than that. I've already been so patient with him I think this is fair. We had a good chat about it and he understands where I am coming from. But I am not willing to wait another couple of years to find out that he's still not ready. I don't want to be tied down in a relationship that isn't going anywhere.

its a bit touch. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I really like your hub Veronica and I like the way you look at things. But I'm wondering if I am doing the right thing here. YOu say that actions speak louder. Do you think what I am doing is right and fair?

SoConfused 7 years ago

Ok, so I probably already know the answer to this but I'm hoping someone will tell me that I'm the exception. I'm almost 24 and my boyfriend is 28. We've been dating for 5 years now. Yes, I started pressuring him to pop the question about 3 months ago and yes he said he wasn't ready yet, money issues, wants to surprise me, all the excuses possible. The third and last time he said "stop pressuring me" I finally said you know what, I don't want you to ask me because you obviously would be asking me for the wrong reasons. I want someone to ask me to marry them because they love me and want to share their life with me. After a little while he said "Baby, you can pressure me all you want" He always goes back and forth like this. I really don't understand what he really wants. He has mentioned marriage before to me too but sometimes he says he's not sure. He asked me to move in with him a year ago...(there was no pressure on the moving in thing, that he decided himself). I'm just so confused!!! Help!!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


Stop pressuring him. He's not giving you the "I don't know if I ever want to get married" thing. He's telling you, very clearly, over and over, that he just needs time. Living together, saying things like he's concerned about money and he wants it to be a surprise, bringing up marriage himself,... he's heading to the altar. That is, unless you blow it. You really said you don't want him to ask you because it would be for the wrong reason?? You need to relax. Shut up. Leave him alone. And a year from now you'll leave another comment telling us all you guys have set the date.

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show me a sign 7 years ago

I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years, he has three kids(7,8,17),and currently going through a divorce. I have no children and divorced. he lives with his sister since his separation and i live alone in my own house. We have a great relationship and get along well 99% of the time. I told him the other day that i am no longer comfortable with our arrangement( a few nights a week at my place and every other weekend together as he has his two younger kids every other weekend), I told him i would like things to change and i want to know what he has planned for US or I will have to move on because i would like more companionship, more permanence to the relationship, not necessarily marriage. I gave him some time to thing about what i said and then we would sit down to to talk about what his plans are for us. when we finally go around to it. he told me that he is not sure what level of committment he can give me now because his oldest son is a priority right now, until he graduates high school in a couple of months (he has sole custody of his 17 year old). he didnt say what the plan is after he graduates other than, we will travel and do a lot more things together as he will have more time to devote to me. I would like to know that he would like to get married agin some day, but from his reactions when his friends have announced that they are re-marrying, it appears as tho he would NEVER consider getting married again. I have NOT blantatly stated that i would like to get married or have a child with him, but i gather that he is not ready and do not want to pressure him. but at times i wonder if i should leave him and hope to find someone to love as much as i love him and that would be so turn off by remarrying and having another kid just because they're first marriage was a disaster. what should I do?

ManiSimone 7 years ago


Hi this is my situation.

I have been talking about marriage since the day we met and started to get to know each other. Im in a relationship for almost 2.5 yrs. Ever since from the start he knows I would want to marry. He would say that he does not find it important.

We have had many ups and downs and a pregnancy loss along the way. (I got deeply upset when he said that he wants to be with me but was not ready to marry yet)

I have given him an ultimatum once about this, then broke of because he did not gave me the answer I wanted to hear but rather ( Im not ready yet). Looking back now.. this was not the way to go. I was pressuring him and thats not right.

After we got back together he was the one mentioning this, but talking to him yesterday, He said he did it because he wanted to do it for me and not lose me, but does not want to regret later or resent me for it and that he still is saying that he does want to build a life/future with me but does not want to marry YET. He does want to marry me one day, but not now and not yet. I told him why (as usual) why I want this (age 26, dont want to have kid out of wedlock and if he loves me what is holding him against me?)

I told him that I was afraid of him marrying the next person he sees after we break up (if that should happen).. He said that he does not want to hurt my feelings or give me the idea that he is using me or anything. Just that he wants to marry me one day, but not now. I then told him that my legs will then be closed until the day he mentions it or marries me.

Im very much afraid that is is not going to happen, eventhough he tells me otherwise. He also finds it difficult that I keep bringing this issue up. But its not something I do delibratly. SO told me to act as if its not that important (marriage) and that I should just wait for him and stop mentioning marriage.. I could but Im afraid to have kids and still be not married which I find very wrong..

Sorry for the long note.. Im just very confused :(

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Dear ManiSimone,

I hope you will read this and take my advice:

You need to speak to a therapist or counsellor.

The first paragraph you wrote states that from day one with this man you said you want to get married, which is extreme in and of itself, and he responded by saying he clearly does not want what you want. But you chose to pursue a relationship with him, that would be based, from day one, on forcing him to change into what you want. That step begins an extreme and unhealthy journey for you. Have you asked yourself why if he stated right from the beginning that he doesn't find marriage important, you would get involved with him?

You build on that in the rest of your comment, everything showing your needing and expecting and trying to force him to change. You're so focused on what you want you even caused yourself a miscarriage? That is huge, and I'm very worried about you. You really need some professional help. I hope you will take my advice and find a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.

There's nothing wrong with your wanting to get married. But there is a lot of issue regarding how you're going about it. From what you've shared I have no idea what he's thinking or doing, other than that he's been clear, from day one, that he is not looking for marriage like you are. But whether it's not "yet" or not "ever" at this point doesn't matter as this can't work. You really need to speak with a professional.

Good luck to you.

coaxme 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I know you get a lot of letters but I'd really appreciate your opinion.

After not speaking since breaking up a few months ago, we spent almost the whole weekend together just now. It felt great to see that he still loved me, and that his feelings about me hadn't changed. We spoke at length about the issue. Here were his words:

"When we're together, we're like a couple of idiots, we don't get anything done" (this is true, we basically just moon over each other a lot and goof off). Continued: "And the way we were heading, it was towards marriage and kids, it seemed inevitable. But we haven't accomplished anything yet in our lives. People need to be prepared for those things. They get married, and look at how many people divorce a few years later."

I agree about the part where neither of us have accomplished much. And that as a couple, we don't tend to get much done. We act like kids, just wanting to have fun. I tell him as much.

Him, continued: "I think you're the most incredible person I've ever met in my life." But then he also said where marriage is concerned, he wants to be sure. He said he wants to date a few more girls first. Good lord, right? I mean on the one hand, I'll give him allowances for the fact that though 28, mentally he's stunted on account of past dramas and what not, so I can see why he's freaked about not having lived enough. But it feels like he wants to know if he can do better. This is after five months of being split up and neither of us dating, after a night of him confessing that he doesn't want to date anyone else.

He later brought it up again, suggesting we both be extremely respectful with regards to dating others. As in, he didn't want to find out about me dating. Then he just came out and said, "can you just not?" Joking, but yeah.

My thoughts: he's all over the place and hasn't figured out what he really wants yet. I believe he loves me but he's hurt me really badly now. I think he's an idiot for what he's messing up, but I also agree that it's an excellent opportunity for us both to get our lives together, and as he said earlier on, see how much better this could be when we're both happier with ourselves.

In other words, I'm all about the grey area. I want to move on, for now. As in, hey- we've got our whole lives ahead of us, what's the rush? He and I have this big, long history that dates back to being kids. If it's real, it's real, right? I want to believe it, so can you tell me it's okay to do so, or tell me I'm an idiot. Seems like you've heard it all by now!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Throughout your comment, I have what he's said in your relay to me, and then what you've interpreted. Like, his saying he wants to see other people and your hearing, to see if he can do better. His saying he wants to date other people and your saying, "good lord, right?"

I'm a little lost as to why you broke up in the first place. And then after being apart you spend a great weekend and he launches into why he doesn't want to get married yet. He said where marriage is concerned he wants to be sure... and all that. I mean, where would that come from? So, I'm going to conclude here that at least part of why you broke up was your pushing him for marriage and kids before he was ready.

He's 28, classic rites of passage age. Saturn Return. This is the point in his life where he will pretty much figure himself out. Everything he's saying, doing, and indicating sounds normal and healthy to me. Wanting to be at a certain place in life before marriage and kids - very good. Wanting to experience things before settling down - very smart. And it's clear he has serious feelings for you, but that your pushing for marriage way too fast when he's telling you he isn't ready, conflicts or cause conflicts with what he thinks is right for him.

He doesn't sound all over the place at all to me, and I'm not sure why you believe he is. You said you you believe he loves you but he's hurt you. You haven't shared anything with me about what he did that hurt you. You said you think he's an "idiot" for "messing up" but nothing you have told me was about his messing anything up, or being an idiot at all.

coaxme 6 years ago

Veronica... thanks, your response caught me off-guard. I guess I was half-expecting you to say that I'm deluding myself and all that stuff about actions over words.

He hurt me badly in the way we broke up- or the aftermath, rather. When I broke down, he went cold and cut himself off from me. I felt completely abandoned and betrayed by my best friend, the person closest to me. It turned the world upside down, and since then it's been difficult for me to have trust in my own emotions. I was swayed by the protective reactions of the men in my life- my father and brother, and our mutual guy friends (including his own best friend), who advised that I should never speak to him again.

Women, I think are more idealistic. Even my own mother volunteered to give him the benefit of the doubt, saying she'd always liked him and thinks he needs time to 'grow up'.

Even when he was with me last weekend, I wondered how I'd feel about it afterwards. In the moment, I trusted him entirely, and that was easy because before we broke up, my trust in him had grown really deep. It was a lot easier to trust than train myself not to. But I knew that later I'd grow skeptical of his words, for one because of how my friends and family have advised me to move on, and also because as you said, they're words... not actions.

That said, I'm glad you said what you did. It validates what I feel in my own gut- the gut I've had a hard time trusting. The last thing I wanted to hear you say was that I wasn't 'the one' and all that. And as far as pushing him into marriage and kids is concerned, I guess I'm guilty. I never meant to do it- it was more like I was being careened in that direction myself without even knowing if I was ready. There's a large part of me that isn't, and I knew that then too, but the love made me irrational. He pulled the right stops, I know it. Still hurts all the time though.

When we talked about it last week, I admitted how I'd come to see kids differently in the last year of our relationship. That seeing them made me want them. But then I said how it would be so sad if the two of us suddenly found ourselves struggling to raise a kid or two at this point in our lives- when we've still accomplished so few of our aspirations, and with neither of us even close to the semblance of the type of career we each want. When I said all this, he agreed fully, and had tears in his eyes.

It wasn't all me though- he was guilty of some of that pressure too. It really wasn't something either of us could avoid. We'd dated for two years as kids, and there had always been a tension and strong emotions between us ever since. I'd moved away for five years, and when I moved back home at 25, we jumped right into it. So in most ways, from day one, the weight of 'forever' was hanging over us. We talked about it whenever we were drunk enough to admit to it- how much we loved it but how scared it made us.

I want to believe that the difference as to how we've moved away from each other was that he was more able to be sensible. I reacted based on my emotions and not my head, and often I'll admit, I have trouble distinguishing thoughts and feelings. I was willing to forgo logic for the sake of fairy tale, but even in those dreadful few weeks after breaking up, in my stronger moments I knew that if there is any chance of a future for us, then this is the only way.

The passing of time helps. He pointed out that already in the few months since we split, I seem to have accomplished so much- I'm successful at my job, I've changed my place around, I've put more effort and style into my appearance, and I'm in really good shape. There's reason for that- I've made a very conscious effort in improving myself.

He said the way he feels about me is very much on his mind all the time but he thinks that in time, maybe it will become a smaller and quieter thought- I guess one so small that it will enable him to engage in relationships with other women and actually have his heart in it.

I just hope we haven't lost our shot at this. Everyone keeps saying "who knows who you'll meet?!" as though one day, he'll just be a memory of growing up. I want to have the chance to live and love and all that before settling down, but the way I feel about him and the future we could have, I don't want that to go away or lose it. How do I move on and hold on all at once?

jaygirl 6 years ago

hi Veronica,

I have dated my man for two year, he would be 29 this year. we have had a wonderful relationship, we hardly ever argue, the only thing is that i keep brining up marriage. I am a bit insecure, so i keep bringing up the marriage issue. i started bringing it up from the second month in the relationship, and he would tell me he wasnt sure (he didnt have a good job or a house back then). so sometimes we would break up to move on, and then come back again within the next five days. REcently he got a good job, and was planning to get a house, so i decided this was the right time to bring it up.

I brought it up again, and it was still the same story...not sure what he wants and not ready for marriage. i know he isnt so settled financially, but i expect that now that the money has started rolling in, he should at least start making plans. I broke up with him for six mweeks, hoping it would make him miss me and realise that he wanted marriage, but it didnt work.

We met up at the sixth week, and even though he begged me and wanted me back, he is still saying NO to marriage or promising marriage. what should i do? Part of me wants to stay and hope he changes his mind by the time everything settles in place, the other part wants to go, hoping that i find someone else........pls whats your advice?

thank you

jaygirl 6 years ago

hi Veronica,

I have dated my man for two year, he would be 29 this year. we have had a wonderful relationship, we hardly ever argue, the only thing is that i keep brining up marriage. I am a bit insecure, so i keep bringing up the marriage issue. i started bringing it up from the second month in the relationship, and he would tell me he wasnt sure (he didnt have a good job or a house back then). so sometimes we would break up to move on, and then come back again within the next five days. REcently he got a good job, and was planning to get a house, so i decided this was the right time to bring it up.

I brought it up again, and it was still the same story...not sure what he wants and not ready for marriage. i know he isnt so settled financially, but i expect that now that the money has started rolling in, he should at least start making plans. I broke up with him for six mweeks, hoping it would make him miss me and realise that he wanted marriage, but it didnt work.

We met up at the sixth week, and even though he begged me and wanted me back, he is still saying NO to marriage or promising marriage. what should i do? Part of me wants to stay and hope he changes his mind by the time everything settles in place, the other part wants to go, hoping that i find someone else........pls whats your advice?

thank you

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Why do you want to marry someone that so clearly does not want to marry you? Why doesn't your partner's opinions and feelings matter at all to you? Why are you with someone you are hellbent on changing?

You broke up with him hoping to change him? Wow, that's some serious manipulation. You don't care what he wants, you just want what you want, and you are willing to trick him, manipulate him, and bully him in order to force him to change.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I moved your comment to your very own hub, where I answered your question. I hope you'll check it out.



Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

proudmotherof4 -

Wow. I want to tackle your question in your own Hub. Hang on Darlin' I need to re-read your comment several more times, do a little research, and really think and work on this for you. I'm moving your comment over to it, and I will post the link here when it's done, later tonight. Check back, ok? XOXO

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

proudmotherof4 -

Here's your hub:



Concerned! 6 years ago

Did you ever answer "Entirely_commited_but_making_me_wait says"? Her situation is very similar to mine only my boyfriend still lives at home and is in the process of buying a condo. We've been together for 2.5 years. I'm 30 and he's 28. He says that he DOES want to marry me, but he's not ready. I have no idea what this means. Up until this point he hasn't been ready to move in with me either. I'm afraid I'm dating a man-child who just doens't want to grow up. I love him and he's a great communicator...except when it comes to the subject of marriage. Is it possible, I'm just not the one or is he really just not ready at this moment in time? I'm afraid that he will string me along and it will be too late for me to start a family. HELP!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Concerned! and Entirely_commited_but_making_me_wait -

I didn't answer directly, no. Sorry about that. I will answer you in your own Hub, and come back here and leave the link for you.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I answered your question from your comment in your very own hub. I moved your comment over to there. I hope you'll read it and let me know what you think. Here it is -



unsure 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I've been with my partner for 2 & 1/2 years. We moved in together after 3 months for convenience but have been living seperately for the past year as I have been studying and needed cheaper rent so i have moved back in with my mother. I am 20 and he is 25. Before we started dating I told him that I wanted to be married young and have children young, so he entered into the relationship knowing this. He has now turned around and admitted that he simply isnt ready and wants to wait til he is at least 30. This is fine, i completly understand and have also come to realise that realistically as much as I want those things, I am also probably not ready. He says that he wants to marry me and have kids with me, but just not yet...is this his way of saying he's not ready to tell me he doesnt want to marry me? or should i believe that he really does but just thinks we are too young? Most of our close circle of friends are engaged and starting to have kids and so this has really made me question where we are going. I am more than willing to wait, it would be pointless pushing him into something that neither of us are ready for and i honestly believe he is worth the wait, but i dont want to be waiting for nothing. I'd appreciate any advice or insight you can give me!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I answered your question on your own hub:


I moved your comment over to there. Thanks for posting!

Good luck to you,


profile image

bhappy 6 years ago

Hi,veronica.i know u must be very busy but i really dont know what to do n being very upset about the relationship that im having right now.Can I share my story? i really want to say it out instead of keeping in my heart n thinking of it all the time.

I start dating him 7months ago.He is 30 years old n Im 25.Recently, I found out i was pregnant.He dosent want the baby n He dosent want to settle down yet due to 3 reasons:

1) We r not there n he is not ready yet, he just planing tto go back school n change another job.

2) He grown up in a poor family. He had to take care of his younger brothers n sisters n the family since he was 10.

3) He is a marine. His best friend died when they were in Iraq.He even cried when he was talking about this. I never saw him cry.He think life is too short n unknown. He is tired of taking care of people. He just wanted to enjoy the life right now.

He cant let anybody inside his heart yet, he dosent want to have a family. And this is also the reason y he got ddivorced. I found out he was marriage due to a txt msg from his ex-wife.She said "babe,i miss u n love u blablabla.." I asked him n he admitted that he is still care about her but he dosent wanna go back.The reason why they broke up was his wfe cheated on him. His wife wanted to have a family(babies) but he didnt want to.His wife is also a marine. They lived separately after they got married.

I think it was a pity for them since they dont have much time together. They known wach other for above 12 years but tThe marriage only last for 3years. He dosent want to screw up with her since they knew each other when they were very young.His wife stays in east coast now n he in CA.

I cant change him n I dont want to force him to marry me. We decied to have an abortion. Both of us are changing jobs now. We both have schools n financial problems.

When I told him I was pregnant,he was shocked I guess.I told him I know he dosent love me n he is ok to says no. He reply: I still here for you as a friend anytime u need me.It broke my heart. I felt like being reject. He just dont want to settle down with me now.

He wasnt there when I did the surgery.His mom died so he had to go back to san diego. His mom got sick at the time when we first met.its only 7months and she couldnt make it.He kept telling me his mom conditions when he was at home n he kept saying sorry that he couldnt b with me when i did surgery. He said he is not worry about the surgery but worry about how i m.Two weeks later, he came back and we stayed together n had a good time. We get closer than b4.But we still need to face to the truth.He is going back to san diego in 2 months. Before it's because he wants to spend more time with his mom n back to school. His ffamilys r there. he can live with them for a while n the pay there r higher than here in san jose.

I love him n feel happy for him.I dont know if it is because of the abortions affects, I feel so upset n I need him badly.I m so easily get mad of his cellphone cuz I think he still hiding something behind me.It drives me crazy.

I juz want to b happy n both of us be happy. I juz want a simple relationship that we love each other. I want to set him free n myself also, but I dont want to loose him (cry~)

please help me

why life is so tough

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bhappy 6 years ago

Thank you veronica n good luck

NaturalBeauty 6 years ago

I am so happy to have found this page. I am hoping to receive some advice about my unique situation. I am 26 and my boyfriend is 27. We have been dating since we were in college, age 20 (6-7years ^_^). We have had some ups and downs, religious differences, cultural differences, many periods of long distance (internationally and domestic). We have overcome all of our odds except for marriage. I have always wanted to be married but he hasn't. I believe I was raised with that notion. I would have easily moved forward at the age of 23. I am happy I didn't because I had time to know him better. The more I learn about him the more I love him. I am sure he feels the same way. We have learned more about communication and growth during these years.

About 3 years ago, after he graduated university I decided it was time to start discussing marriage. He willingly joined the conversation. He started to contribute positive feelings towards the subject. I was elated! I hadn't had a response from him in that way before. I expected a proposal within a year. After that didn't happen I felt it was because of his career situation. I decided to remain happy in our state and push forward.

When the following year approached I began to wonder what's next. We moved in the same state after a period of long distance. Everything was starting to look great at the time. We hadn't had any arguments and had learned to communicate on a mature level. I believe it was the first time we really understood each others goals.So I was expecting the ring that year! He made several comments jokingly about me being his wife, rings on my finger, blah blah! But nothing!!! I remained sane still. For him moving in together was such a large step. He didn't want to go for marriage. When asked about the topic, he replied that he wasn't sure. I was in shock!!! Not sure!! I thought we were really working towards it.

I put my foot down and demanded an answer within 3 months!! I told him that I had given my life, time, patience and love to him.

I was surprised when we started to show improvement again. I didn't want to get my hopes up because I had experienced this feeling many times before. I felt that his conversations towards marriage we becoming serious again.

I currently live in a foreign country with my boyfriend. We have been here for a little over a year. I have family that would have to pay a high priced ticket to come to a marriage. I was so happy to find that my mother and my father would like to fly here 6 months from now. I thought it would be the perfect time to marry. The weather will be wonderful! My job has a week vacation! We have been together for almost 7 years! We know each other very well and are in love! Yay!! :( He still doesn't think its the right time for marriage. " He told me that he is sure of his feelings now more than ever. Really wants to move forward. Has never felt like this in his life. Wants to do everything when the time is right."

Am I wrong for wanting to start our future sooner??? I feel like we've had so much time together! 7 years! We're not engaged yet! I hate to be one of those girls, but all of my friends are now happily married to people they have known for only 7month or 1 year. My family is so ready!

My man is talking about 1 year to 1 1/2 years from now!!! Come on already!!!

Snoppins 6 years ago

Hi Veronica, I've been reading your hubs for the past couple months. Great material! I'm curious about your opinion on my situation as well. I am 25 and my boyfriend is 26. We live in a condo that he has owned for over a year, I pay him rent and we have 2 dogs. We rented an apartment together for about a year before that. I am always confused about us and often have this on the fence feeling. We have been together for 3 years, the beginning of last summer he broke up with me and I found another place to live and I continued to see him often in hopes of mending our relationship. I moved back in with him at the end of the summer but he seems to go back and forth with what our relationship status is, sometimes saying we are friends sometimes calling me his girlfriend.

We have had many discussions regarding the break up. At first he told me he needed to be alone, that he was not a good person and that he wants to fix himself. He was also very burdened by an alcoholic mother, that he said he had already mourned the loss of because she was no longer the same person. His father works overseas so he has to care for his mother when she gets in trouble.

He kept telling me he needed to be alone but we saw each other a lot and intimately throughout the summer. I learned that there was another girl, an ex, he was hoping to date and he explained to me it's just a distraction because he did not want a relationship at all, I was furious and frustrated. Nothing came of them. When we talked more of the future I was hopeful. We are friends with a couple that broke up for months and now engaged. He agreed with me that many couples go through this. He insisted he did not want a relationship when I pressed him. We were doing everything we used to so I felt like he was taking away a part of my dignity by not ackowledging the relationship. I felt badly for him and felt he would become better so I kept being patient and forgiving him.

That summer he told me he did want to marry me but could not be with me at the time. Later on he tells me that he felt he could not fulfill my demands. When we had talked before about marriage, which we both desire, he told me wanted to marry after grad school and at almost 30. He wanted a very short engagement and then to immediately have children. I told him I wanted to be engaged for 2 years and married for atleast 1 yr before having children. I wanted children at late twenties or now that I am older i am thinking more towards 30. This was just us talking about our wishes not planning out our lives, plus I felt our goals did match up I just did a little urging that perhaps marriage by 30 should have consideration of an engagement a few yrs beforehand and not wait til the last minute and rush everything just before having kids. Anyway near the end of that summer he ended up blaming the break up on me having an idealized schedule for these things to happen and he said he felt ignored and that he couldn't do what made me happy. The story had changed from it being him needing to be alone to fix himself being a bad person to me being too demanding and him not able to meet my needs. I know maybe him thinking about the issues may have made him realize this and both couldve been true. It may have taken a while for him to articulate his thoughts but I felt blamed and that he had changed his escuse to make me seem like the bad guy.

Regardless of all that we loved each other, the arguments and issues we had over that summer sparked more passion between us and I moved back in. I had wanted a dog my whole life and as soon as he bought his home I begun an enthusiastic campaign but he wasn't ready. Soon after I moved back in he found my dream dog and we adopted him. I was surprised and always thought getting a dog took months of saving up and

preparing, he felt ready and wanted the exact type of dog I described wanting (his favorite is a different breed). We both love this dog so much and refer to each other as mommy and daddy. He has impressed me with his training and care of our dog and we work together raising this pup. I think he got him for me but too stubborn to have it be anything but his own idea. I wanted a 2nd one, I also mentioned this in front of his friend and my boyfriend glared at me and was mad because we already have one dog and now I want another one. I showed him a photo of a cute dog online only a few months later and he insisted we meet him and get him! I was astonished, I was not ready for a 2nd one so soon. Our first was well trained at this point but not perfect yet, needlessto say we met the new one and fell in love. I started to notice a pattern here. I thought buying a home took years of saving, searching, etc but he found a great one and got it. The dogs, got them so quickly. Maybe marriage will happen without me fretting and wanting things all planned out. I know he wants to do things because he wants them, never because of me. Well now I am nearing 26 so I do wonder if I am wasting time or just not worry and things will happen to my delight.

And through further conversations I find out that he is cold and rude to me when we get too serious. He says he doesn't want to marry me as I am because I am lazy and don't follow through with things I say I want to do. He thinks i need to improve. I agree but he isn't perfect either and I forgive his flaws. We almost broke up again during this, he wanted me to try to change. I didn't know if I could be who he wanted and wished he would love me for me. He told me he was willing to try if I did. At that point I was upset at the way he treated me. He said it was harder to live with me than without, I didn't help out enough. I pointed out how I had improved since he met me, he is more neat than I am but I had the habit of cleaning and doing chores more often since living with him. I clean up after him too, it's mutual. He said my cleaning around the house did not count because those are things that "have to be done". I felt he could not be reasoned with, he said if we broke up I had to move out I could not take his dogs. If we stayed together he will try harder if I did. I told him no, I was done and was moving out. He said I did not mean it and only said that because I was angry. I felt he was trying to keep me without begging me. I decided to stay longer. I am happy with him, our home and our little family. I am just worried about him not wanting to get too serious, I am worried this won't last. He has been very good to me since. I am wary and feel like I always have one foot out the door, yet at the same time I am in love with our simple life together, we have similar interests and lifestyle preferences and I hope that he will want to get more serious..but I feel like I can't be the perfect person he wants, I don't want to have us be in each others way of finding spouses. It's confusing!

Snoppins 6 years ago

Hi Veronica, I've been reading your hubs for the past couple months. Great material! I'm curious about your opinion on my situation as well. I am 25 and my boyfriend is 26. We live in a condo that he has owned for over a year, I pay him rent and we have 2 dogs. We rented an apartment together for about a year before that. I am always confused about us and often have this on the fence feeling. We have been together for 3 years, the beginning of last summer he broke up with me and I found another place to live and I continued to see him often in hopes of mending our relationship. I moved back in with him at the end of the summer but he seems to go back and forth with what our relationship status is, sometimes saying we are friends sometimes calling me his girlfriend.

We have had many discussions regarding the break up. At first he told me he needed to be alone, that he was not a good person and that he wants to fix himself. He was also very burdened by an alcoholic mother, that he said he had already mourned the loss of because she was no longer the same person. His father works overseas so he has to care for his mother when she gets in trouble.

He kept telling me he needed to be alone but we saw each other a lot and intimately throughout the summer. I learned that there was another girl, an ex, he was hoping to date and he explained to me it's just a distraction because he did not want a relationship at all, I was furious and frustrated. Nothing came of them. When we talked more of the future I was hopeful. We are friends with a couple that broke up for months and now engaged. He agreed with me that many couples go through this. He insisted he did not want a relationship when I pressed him. We were doing everything we used to so I felt like he was taking away a part of my dignity by not ackowledging the relationship. I felt badly for him and felt he would become better so I kept being patient and forgiving him.

That summer he told me he did want to marry me but could not be with me at the time. Later on he tells me that he felt he could not fulfill my demands. When we had talked before about marriage, which we both desire, he told me wanted to marry after grad school and at almost 30. He wanted a very short engagement and then to immediately have children. I told him I wanted to be engaged for 2 years and married for atleast 1 yr before having children. I wanted children at late twenties or now that I am older i am thinking more towards 30. This was just us talking about our wishes not planning out our lives, plus I felt our goals did match up I just did a little urging that perhaps marriage by 30 should have consideration of an engagement a few yrs beforehand and not wait til the last minute and rush everything just before having kids. Anyway near the end of that summer he ended up blaming the break up on me having an idealized schedule for these things to happen and he said he felt ignored and that he couldn't do what made me happy. The story had changed from it being him needing to be alone to fix himself being a bad person to me being too demanding and him not able to meet my needs. I know maybe him thinking about the issues may have made him realize this and both couldve been true. It may have taken a while for him to articulate his thoughts but I felt blamed and that he had changed his escuse to make me seem like the bad guy.

Regardless of all that we loved each other, the arguments and issues we had over that summer sparked more passion between us and I moved back in. I had wanted a dog my whole life and as soon as he bought his home I begun an enthusiastic campaign but he wasn't ready. Soon after I moved back in he found my dream dog and we adopted him. I was surprised and always thought getting a dog took months of saving up and

preparing, he felt ready and wanted the exact type of dog I described wanting (his favorite is a different breed). We both love this dog so much and refer to each other as mommy and daddy. He has impressed me with his training and care of our dog and we work together raising this pup. I think he got him for me but too stubborn to have it be anything but his own idea. I wanted a 2nd one, I also mentioned this in front of his friend and my boyfriend glared at me and was mad because we already have one dog and now I want another one. I showed him a photo of a cute dog online only a few months later and he insisted we meet him and get him! I was astonished, I was not ready for a 2nd one so soon. Our first was well trained at this point but not perfect yet, needlessto say we met the new one and fell in love. I started to notice a pattern here. I thought buying a home took years of saving, searching, etc but he found a great one and got it. The dogs, got them so quickly. Maybe marriage will happen without me fretting and wanting things all planned out. I know he wants to do things because he wants them, never because of me. Well now I am nearing 26 so I do wonder if I am wasting time or just not worry and things will happen to my delight.

And through further conversations I find out that he is cold and rude to me when we get too serious. He says he doesn't want to marry me as I am because I am lazy and don't follow through with things I say I want to do. He thinks i need to improve. I agree but he isn't perfect either and I forgive his flaws. We almost broke up again during this, he wanted me to try to change. I didn't know if I could be who he wanted and wished he would love me for me. He told me he was willing to try if I did. At that point I was upset at the way he treated me. He said it was harder to live with me than without, I didn't help out enough. I pointed out how I had improved since he met me, he is more neat than I am but I had the habit of cleaning and doing chores more often since living with him. I clean up after him too, it's mutual. He said my cleaning around the house did not count because those are things that "have to be done". I felt he could not be reasoned with, he said if we broke up I had to move out I could not take his dogs. If we stayed together he will try harder if I did. I told him no, I was done and was moving out. He said I did not mean it and only said that because I was angry. I felt he was trying to keep me without begging me. I decided to stay longer. I am happy with him, our home and our little family. I am just worried about him not wanting to get too serious, I am worried this won't last. He has been very good to me since. I am wary and feel like I always have one foot out the door, yet at the same time I am in love with our simple life together, we have similar interests and lifestyle preferences and I hope that he will want to get more serious..but I feel like I can't be the perfect person he wants, I don't want to have us be in each others way of finding spouses. It's confusing!

Snoppins 6 years ago

Veronica, I still feel so confused. I've given this a lot of thought. My boyfriend's actions: buying a home, adopting the dogs, and lately he just paid off his car and is telling me he puts hundreds in the savings every month. I asked if we should have a joint account. He asked me what for and that we could if I wanted but he takes care of finances, mortgage and bills and I transfer rent to him so our system is simple and works well. These should all be good signs but I feel that he is not necessarily doing these things for us or our future. A lot of my friends are getting engaged now and he has told me he felt jealous and he wants to be married too. He also commented on how one of my friends is so lucky to have a good relationship. I asked him "don't you have a good relationship?" and he answered with "I don't know" and we went to sleep.

I find him very attractive, he has a great job and gets along very well with my friends and family. Everything is nearly perfect, which is more than I could hope for. Lately he has been saying that I am always right and he is wrong, he throws little fits. He acts as if I can't be reasoned with. He is defensive and sometimes easily offended by what I consider innocent questions or casual conversations we have and he cannot explain why he's offended. I know we are both arrogant and a bit stubborn. He told me that I am not spoiled but I have a big sense of self entitlement, that I think I deserve things without working for them.

He loves me but thinks I am too lazy. I think part of it is because he wants me to lose some weight too. These are all things I would like to improve about myself but it makes it harder when he acts negative when I thrive more on positive reinforcements as I think any living creature does. If I talk about marriage he tells me I better find a man who will marry me. I feel very confused and quite hopeless sometimes. His actions show me this could be going in the right direction but his remarks and attitude are of rejection to me.

I think it is clear to me that he wants me to improve in order to consider a lifelong commitment. I'm having a hard time, I work hard and long hours and still struggle with money. I have been getting better at chores but I think he still considers me as a lazy person. I do want to be better and to make everything right with us but a part of me feels it is so impossible and wishes he could love me for me as I am or is that taking the lazy easy way out? You have described what a man's actions are to show he is ready to be an adult and for a more serious commitment, what do you think for a woman's? I think I need to take baby steps and work my way up, that way it won't feel as intimidating but I don't think he recognizes small steps. He expects that I need to transform drastically to suit him! That type of thinking really sets me back and makes me feel bad.

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KelleyCampbell 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I'll try to make this short. My boyfriend and I got off to a very slow start. It took almost a year before we said I love you. (I said it first) It took over a year before he asked me to move in. He avoided a lot of intimate talk because he was afraid. He admits this now, that he was afraid to let the relationship get serious, and even gets teary-eyed when he talks about it. He admits that he wasn't willing to let anyone in and that it took my persistence and care to get him to do so. He also says that would have been the case no matter who it was, he just would not have pursued a relationship.

Several months ago, I brought up marriage. He said he wasn't ready to take the relationship to that level yet. I thought about ending the relationship then, but I remembered how long it took us to reach any stage in our relationship. (We dated for a year and a half before he ever called me during the work day... odd stuff like that) and I decided to give it a little more time. He also said at that point that he really only felt like we'd gotten close over the last 6 weeks or so. That was true as well.

Since I brought up marriage, he has opened up a lot more. He's telling me stories from his childhood, talking about how he feels on certain issues, and we're just doing a lot of connecting. He's even more open with us spending time with his friends. He's never tried to keep me away from them and he introduced me to his close circle early on, but now he's almost looking for opportunities to spend time with them. Signs seem good. A few days after I brought up marriage, we were at my parent's house and I was ready to leave, he wanted to stay referencing the fact that he's trying to build a relationship with my dad.

There's not much talk about the future, but he doesn't really mention the future in general, even his own. I do notice though, that everything is "we and our house." (I do live with him.) However, we don't "share" bank accounts or anything. We split the bills, but have separate accounts.

How do I know whether to wait or not? I read articles like this and think, Yea, I should be getting out of this and moving on with my life... but then, I remember that he's sorta right in the fact that it took almost 2 years before we started opening up to each other.

KelleyCampbell 6 years ago


I wanted to add to my earlier post, that when I brought up the topic of marriage, he didn't say a whole lot other than he wasn't ready yet. he didn't run from the conversation either, in fact, I left the room at one point and he followed. Still not saying anything, but he sat next to me, holding my hand. He didn't look afraid or bothered by the conversation, just said that he wasn't ready and that we'd only become close over the last 6 months or so.

KelleyCampbell 6 years ago

Ugggh, my last sentence was supposed to say 6 WEEKS... not months!

lauren 6 years ago

Hi , I am having trouble. My boyfriend of two years was so into the idea of marriage we bought our rings together and everything. Then one day after we looked at some apartments together he tells me he isn't ready to get married. He told me he thought he was but after thinking he decided he's not ready. I love him and I am willing to wait until he is ready. He tells me he knows he wants to be with me but he would rather wait until we both have better jobs and finances to have a better life together. I know this is a legitimate argument but i worry he isn't as serious as i thought he was. Do you think this is the case and he just doesn't want to hurt me, or do you think he means well?

Seriously? Really? 6 years ago

Long story short-

I know i want marriage someday- he doesnt. Completly in love, discussed planning for the future/ buying a house together, joint account to save for the down payment. Love him whole heartedly, but i know i want marriage someday in the near future. Clearly not an option. Do I end it? Or try and live with never getting married (dont think thats an option for me), or continue on with this great relationship that now has an 'experation date' attached to it?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Seriously? Really?

You are not alone. I so wish I had a magic answer for you, but I don't. What you have now you say is a great relationship with lots of love. But what you want, you say, is that marriage-commitment. I'm sure you've thought this through. If you leave, you may not find another you love like you love this man. And if you stay, you may really grow to resent him.

Is there any compromise in the middle that the two of you could live with? Having a commitment ceremony without the legal papers? Having a courthouse wedding so you're legally married but without the wedding and hoopla?

I can give you a piece factual advice though. Without being sure that this is the path you're going to stay on and sacrifice getting married, please be very very careful about the joint finances and co-ownership of a house without marriage; that will not end well if/when this relationship ends. The law will not be on your side.

unsure 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I wrote 8 weeks ago regarding my partner admitting that he wanted to wait another 5 years or so before even considering marriage and I was concerned that perhaps what he was really saying was that I wasnt the one, do you have any advice for me?

Many Thanks

happy about decision 6 years ago

I'm so glad that I stumbled upon this article. It feels good to finally hear stories from women in situations similar to mine. Everything else I've found related to this topic is either: "Girls are obsessed with marriage because of Barbie dolls" or "I'm 18 and have only been with my boyfriend for one month, but he's not ready to get married."

I'm 25. My boyfriend just turned 24. He's about a year and a half younger than me, which you wouldn't think would be such a huge difference on the maturity-meter, but guess again.

We've been together for about four years, and almost two years ago, we moved in together. We had talked about marriage before I had moved up here. (Previously we had lived about 2 and then 4 hours apart.) I thought that a proposal would come within the year, but it didn't.

Most of my friends are married, and most of them had whirlwind romances with spontaneous, romantic proposals. None of his friends are married or even in committed relationships.

I know he wants to get married, but he isn't where he wants to be in his career. Neither of us makes a ton of money, but we do alright. He's just the kind of guy who wants everything to be a certain way. The wait just seems ludicrous to me, and is turning me into the kind of girl who is obsessed with marriage! I'm not that kind of girl. The funny thing is, when we first started dating, he was the one pressuring me to commit.

It's just been hard for me to accept that, just because I've reached a place in my life where this is the next step, it doesn't mean that he has. Obviously, I want this to be something that we're both ready for when it happens.

I decided a month ago to move into my own place. He seemed hurt by it, but I know I'm making the right decision. I told him that I didn't want to live together anymore if we weren't engaged. Ultimatums are nasty, but sometimes they have to be made. I told him that I didn't want to force him into marriage. Girls that do that are disgusting to me. I can't see how that would make a healthy marriage. I also can't see waiting around anymore and making the sacrifices I've made. (I make a longer commute to work than he does. I also moved away from my family and friends, when his family lives 15 minutes away.) I think it will also be good for him to live on his own for a while and learn to do things for himself.

I think we may have rushed into the whole cohabitation thing and that this will be a fresh start for our relationship once the pressure to get married is taken off of both of us.

Hurt & Tired of Waiting 6 years ago


My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years. He is extremely bright but is losing at his profession (poker + trading) and has made those two things his main focus for the past year and a half. I know that money is an issue, but I'm heartbroken about his inability to give me a verbal commitment. For instance, I ask him when he thinks he wants to get married and he bluntly says "I don't know." I ask if he wants to marry me someday and he also says he doesn't know. I have told him for over a year that he is the one I want to marry, but he hasn't said it back to me.

He says that, if he tells me I'm "the one," it will basically be like proposing and we may as well be engaged. I have explained to him that I feel otherwise, that I just want to know if he wants me to be the person he marries. He says he wants to "be with me for a very long time" but right this moment, he doesn't want to get married.

I am planning on breaking up with him. I feel put down, dejected, sad, hurt and like he should know by now. I am also a strong Catholic who never wanted to move in before marriage until now. I live in a fairly expensive apartment complex, but in an unsafe area, so I feel unsafe at times. I want someone to live with me so I don't have to spend all my nights (except the wknds) alone. He says he doesn't believe in it (he's not even religious anyways) because it "ruins the newness at marriage." I trust him, but I feel like if he really loved me, he would be much more eager to advance our relationship - either by committing to marriage, talking about the future or atleast considering moving in.

What do you think? Am I being too "pushy"? Is 2.5 years not enough time for a man to know? Our relationship was strong, or so I thought. I hate to throw it away, but I can't continue on feeling so disappointed and hurt. I'm not a dramatic type, but it seems like he should at least be able to know and be able to tell me by now.

Thanks for any thoughts you can give me.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


There's a whole system of things I look for in each situation before offering my take. All of the ones I can see in your situation are bad. If he was saying "I don't know" but his actions were telling a different story that would be very meaningful. But his actions further confirm that he is not building his future with yours. Things like, if he says you're the one you might as well be engaged, is not an honest "I want to share my real feelings with you and I need you to listen" kind of partner share. It's an excuse. So is not staying over or living together and saying it ruins the newness of marriage. Unless he was tragically religious, that's really a put off.

Without knowing your ages I'm limited, but from what you've described I am assuming neither of you are terribly young, which solidifies my answer.

You are not being too pushy. 2.5 years in your case is time enough to see some serious signs and steps toward what he really intends. And you are seeing them, and they all say, "No. Not you." Your plan to break up is the smart one. Feeling put down, sad, hurt, etc, is absolutely no way to live and there's no reason for it.

End this. Close this door so new ones can open for you. Namaste.

shannon 6 years ago

I've been in a long distance relationship for 5 years and my boyfriend doesn't know when we'll live together and get married. I'm about to start university for a 4 year program and have asked him where we'll be in 4 years, and he commented that he didn't know where he would be in 4 years. Any suggestions? Should I let him go or maintain relationship while I attend school?

claire 6 years ago

Hi, my boyfriend or just now ex is 41. we dated for 6 months in total though by distance for the first 4. he had a terrible first marriage where his wife cheated on him. For the 10 years after he was closed up emotionally, met and dated some great women for about a year each but thought he never wanted to get married again. he reminisces about how he is sad he lost such great women because he was closed up since his divorce. 10 years later he finally told his family that he felt ready again, he was 39 and wanted a family. he then met a nice girl and fell head over heels for her immediately just like he did for his wife they dated for 7 months and he said he would have married her immediately. This girl however was still in love with her ex and after her ex chased her back she ran off with her ex and ended up breaking his heart all over again. He had been a mess "in hell" for 7 months after and dating and messing around with women he didn't care about until he met me. he broke all the ties with all the women and told everyone he wanted to do this with me. I moved country to be with him (although I had wanted to move there anyway, so i told him to not put pressure on that my move was about me and my life). we started spending every day together and for the first month it was wonderful, he treated me perfectly and is so physically loving and affectionate and everything in our relationship was great, except i think he only once ever called me his girlfriend and could never bring himself to tell me he loved me. He told me he knows he does want to get married and have children and he doesn't want anymore failed relationships or to get hurt anymore and he wants this with the next woman he fully opens his heart too. the problem is that i could tell he wasn't properly healed from his ex as he talked about her a lot and i could see his pain when he spoke about her. I also in the 2nd month started to tell that he didn't express for me the love the same way he did for her, he was holding back although in every other way he was amazing and loving and affectionate. eventually there was an opportunity for him to see her again and he said he thought he should do it just because seeing her now 1 year on still with this other guy might help him to completely move on and might help our relationship. i let him go there and he didn't contact me for 3 days when he saw her and then went back to himself being all sweet again to me. When he returned he was so loving and affectionate towards me, i felt a big change in him for the better, although still no words of real commitment. we had a wonderful week and then he took me out to an amazing restaurant and we started having a wonderful evening holding hands as usual and talking about stuff to do next week. Then we brought up his trip for the first time, i'd avoided it because of the wonderful week we'd had. He said the problem was everything but the girl. He said he felt nothing for her, nothing at all, but the problem was that he remembered how he felt when he was with her and he doesn't get that same feeling with me, he knew straight away he wanted to marry her and how we would do anything for her and he said he thinks i'm so much more amazing and with more substance than her or his ex wife, and he just doesn"t understand why he's holding back with me. He said if it had been me he met at that time when he was ready and open and not her, he knows we would be married by now. He said is so scared to let me go because he thinks i am perfect and knows he won't find anyone better, but he feels like he is still emotionally unavailable and doesn't want to do to me what he did to all those other girls after his divorce and date me for ages to find nothing changes. So we broke up and when we hugged we both cried and he his last words were "i'm making a big mistake". He texted me the next day just to apologise and to say that even though i probably hate him, he still cares and that he is so disappointed in himself. I replied saying i don't hate him and that he needs the care right now and not I and that i understand that it must be difficult to be in an emotionally confused place. I said that i hope he chooses very carefully the next time he chooses who to open his heart to and that I will always be here for him as a friend. The problem is that I am finding it so hard to believe it is over because of how confused he was and how sudden the break up was during such a nice evening.i haven't spoken with him since and it's been a week, i;ve moved my stuff out of his house. i just believe in my gut that we will try again sometime, i just don't know when and it is making it very hard to move on in the meantime

Snoppins 6 years ago

Hi Veronica, I am a huge fan of yours and hope that you will reply about my situation. I wrote a lot of details in your comments here about 2 months ago but I have more to add now. I had a discussion with my boyfriend and he told me that we are not together and since we broke up a year ago we had not gotten back together. This made me very upset. We live together, act like a couple and are parents to two dogs. I told him I was moving out then, he was being cold and distant again and I was fed up. Then he says how he doesn't want me to leave, he likes living with me, he wants to keep trying if I will also. He promised to be nice to me and he has been for the past few weeks very sweet. I have a wall up around my feelings though because there's no commitment. He said he does not want to be in a relationship with me until he knows that this is for real and we are on the path to marriage.

But I know he has said all along he will not think of getting married before grad school is done which is in 2 yrs. We will be about 28 then and I told him then we won't be married until 30 because I want 1 to 2 years to be engaged and prepare the wedding. He said no he would 28 and half because he wants to be engaged half year only. I explained that is unrealistic and he said that he won't wait til after grad school to consider marriage. He said that when he is done with finishing the basement he will consider it, and he said that will be less than a year.

I am happy with that, but it bothers me a lot that he doesn't want to be in a relationship right now in the meantime. We both have things to improve about ourselves. One of the things I want from him is commitment but he said something to me the other day and referred to me as his roommate! Maybe I am too sensitive but without that verbal agreement of us as a couple that did make me mad. My friends do not know we aren't officially together, I feel like I am living a lie in his home taking care of the dogs and doing chores and satisfying him in various ways and not even have him recognize me as his girlfriend now.

What should I say to him without being too pushy or is this a real bad situation that i need to leave? I love him and our life together.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I think his saying he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you, for whatever reason he adds especially something as lame as until he knows for sure, and referring to you as his roommate, are really very painfully clear signs that he is not into you, and not planning a future with you. He had to promise to be nice to you? You're right - this is a really bad situation that you need to leave. And I really hope you will take some time to be you, and not get into another paved out according-to-plan relationship. Instead of looking for the guy that fits your plan, try looking for a guy who actually loves you and wants to be with you. Best of luck to you.

Heather 6 years ago


What if a man tells you, some days he can't get to the altar fast enough, some days he wants to rush to Vegas and get married. Other times he is unsure and feels that it might not work out because of my negative attitude. He never talks about the future, or his feelings. Is it worth working on my attitude or is he making excuses? He says things like "the best is yet to come" and "I want you around for a long time," but he's never discussed marriage as if it's going to happen. HELP? Should I leave? You give such great advice, I'm hoping you can help me too!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Honestly I'm quite interested in your situation! He's saying some pretty severe and sure things. You said he's never discussed marriage as if it will happen, but some days wants to rush to Vegas? I'm not understanding. Would you please send me and email through my profile on here. Give me all the details, plus your ages and how long you're together. I would love to write a hub on your situation. Thanks!

Snoppins 6 years ago

Veronica thank you so much for replying to me. I am still stuck in the situation but will not tolerate it much longer. I told him I was moving out because I've given him so much time but we have not moved forward with our relationship. He was very upset and told me he has messed up a lot and that he is a messed up person for not thinking everything we have is enough for him. He says he does not want to lose me. He says he wants to be with me and that he wants to marry me but isn't sure why he resists. Even though he says we are not in a relationship he has shown through many actions that he may be building a life for us together.. buying the home, the dogs, how he loves my friends and family, and our plans for the future being very much the same.

I have started looking for new places but my friends and family do not know about this situation. We were already apart for last summer (see my previous posts here for details) and so I feel if we split again and I move out that is the final thing and he will never get another chance with me. I don't know how to help him.

I am thinking of giving him a deadline of one week but I don't want it to sound like an ultimatum but time is important since most housing leases start in September. I love him and if he can decide that we are building a life together I could give him the chance to do that..but the problem is he is not choosing either way and when I say enough is enough I am getting out of this.. he pulls me back into this weird relationship limbo again. When I say ok let's be together and plan our future he resists it. He also is frustrated and wants out of limbo but he can't decide.

If I were trying to get married, I know I would need to move on. But I think my goal is happiness.. and when I think of him, he is my best friend, we have a great home that I would not be able to afford this standard of living on my own, and the dogs that I am completely in love with I could not have, and how he's a great companion and fits in well with my friends and family.. these are all things that make me happy and are hard to lose. I am very happy in other aspects of my life, work and friends things are going very well. I just want to solve this lovelife problem.

Veronica he doesn't say he doesn't want a relationship with me, he says he does want it. But he can't. What is going on?

Margerite 6 years ago

Hi Veronica, I am in the same situation, I am 37 years old, and my boyfriend of 5 years and 6 months is 32. At the beginning of our relationship we had a lot of fights, we had cultural differences, I am from south america, he is from California. For the first 2 years I worked hard on myself, to change my feisty reactions to certain situations. The last 3 years have been much better, we have improved so much! we spent our free time together. We moved in together one year ago. I have been bringing up the marriage subject for over 2 years and every time I he has the same answer for me:" I am not ready, I love you so much, you are the most important person in my life, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, but I am not ready yet, and I don't know when I will be" I love him so much, and I think our relationship is great, but I am thinking that is time to move on, I told him this, and his answer is that he loves me and that he doesn't want me to move out. I need your opinion. Thank you

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


It sounds like you've worked hard to build something together, including working on yourself if you indeed had some "feisty" issues that were affecting your ability to be a partner. He is saying he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, but what do his actions say? Actions can speak louder than words in these situations. You've been living together for a year. Has he been saving toward the wedding? Cutting down on some expenses saving for the future? Have you and he put both your names on anything together. What signs is he giving you that you are a big part of his future?

If the answer is none, then maybe it is time to move on. If he's not doing anything to show you after 5 1/2 years, at the age of 32, that he isn't building his future to include you, then it isn't.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I've moved your comment to here -


and responded to your situation in your very own Hub. I hope you will read it.


Jules 6 years ago


Your advice is honest and very helpful. I also stumbled upon this page in a google search. I had a long conversation with my boyfriend of 1.5 years last night about marriage and it was difficult and somewhat confusing. I am 29 and he is 30. We have lived together now for a year and I have been very happy. He says that he is also happy and that he loves me very much. He told me last night that I am the most promising person he's ever dated (in terms of marriage) but that he is still unsure whether I am "the one." A little history: He and I knew each other for about 5 years before we dated, as acquaintances. He would flirt with me and ask me out frequently during this time but I always had a boyfriend and/or wasn't interested. When we finally did start to date he told me that I am the girl of his dreams and that he had been in love with me from afar for five years. Our relationship has grown and strengthened and I could see myself marrying him. Marriage is something I'd like to happen for me in the next few years. My boyfriends tells me that I am the best girl he could imagine being with and that he does not want anyone else. However, he is still unsure. I am confused and feel that his signals are mixed. I am unsure how to deal with this. I have read several posts and have determined that I should tell him my time frame in terms of marriage and let him know that if he feels differently then we are just not on the same page. Thank you very much for you advice!~

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Please read this Hub of mine, I really think it will help -


It's a good idea to express a time frame to him, meaning a clear idea of what you are going to do in your life and what your path and goals are. It is not however a good idea at all to give an ultimatum, or to be a nag.

While you have every right to be happy and to have what you want, your boyfriend has every right to want to be ready before committing the rest of his life. Nothing you've expressed about what he's saying is unclear to me, and nothing is a mixed signal, so I'm not sure where your getting mixed signals from. Everything you've relayed that he's said is very clear, very timely and nothing contradicts. It sounds like he's very into you, you're the one, and he's not ready to get married yet. That's normal, healthy, and honest.

Jules 6 years ago

Veronica, Thank you so much for answering my question. I actually got the idea to specify my time frame from the hub that you directed me to. I found that very helpful. I definitely don't want to come across as a nag or to pressure my boyfriend to marry me. That is not the sort of commitment that I'd feel happy with or that I would believe is lasting. I really appreciate your advice. My confusion, I guess, was in the fact that my boyfriend says I am the "best girl," but is still unsure if I'm "the one." These things seem to contradict themselves. Your answer has given me hope. I was feeling really down about things and it was so nice to hear an optimistic opinion. Thank you again. You are very skilled at dealing with people and their questions. You have the ability to be very honest while also caring and compassionate. I wish you the best. - Jules

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Thank you Jules.

There is no trick or magical thing you can say or do to get someone to love you, or marry you if he doesn't want to. However there are lots of things you can do to help show him things in different light. You can help him to clarify his thoughts and feelings, even if by that clarification he sees clearly that he is not ready, or not sure.

He may be truly in love with you, but that doesn't make him ready for marriage. It also doesn't mean he believes in marriage for himself. You could be the love of his life, but that doesn't automatically mean he wants to get married. There's no contradiction in that. But it may change your feelings about wanting to spend your life with him.

I really don't know from what you've shared where his life's journey is leading him. You can certainly do some things that might help him clarify how he feels about marriage, and when. Clearly, and non-judgingly sharing your life's goals and plans with him and your time frames on the things you want, will surely help. You both deserve to have the time to figure out what it is you want, and you both deserve to be happy. It would be very cool if it works out that your paths will run together. Best to you.

Jules 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

Thanks again for your advice. I realize that I was a bit vague in describing my situation. I should add that my boyfriend has expressed to me (from the beginning) that he would like to get married within the next five years. However, he has never said that he would like to be married to me. I talked with him today about my time frame and he responded positively. He said that he has no interest in dating me for several years without marriage and that he would not be with me today if he didn't picture marriage with me. He says he just needs more time. I think that is my answer and I'm trying not to over think it. I feel good about expressing my time frame to him. I told him that I want to be engaged or married in the next 2-3 years. I told him that I do not want to pressure him and that I understand if he cannot meet those needs, but that I choose to maintain my goals for marriage. I really would like to share my future with a partner and I'd love to be able to make plans together. He said that he shares my goals about marriage. I hope that our paths can run together in the future. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Waterlily-momof2 6 years ago

Hi, I really need advice. When I first met my boyfriend 6 years ago, I was actually contemplating suicide because of my living situation and my verbally and emotionally abusive family. At that time, I divorced my ex and really needed some confidence and he showed up at my aunts coffee shop. He didn't have guts to ask me out, but came to the coffe shop regularly and hoping that one day he will have enough guts to ask me out. Well, one day a gym trainer offered to help me work out for free, but never showed up. But, I took a chance on my boyfriend to take a walk with me that day and we hit it up. After about six months to a year, he told me that I was the one that he was waiting for after a terrifying divorce more than 40years a go. His ex who started to use drugs used meanest lawyer and took everythig from him. He was bankrupt after his ex was through with him. In the beginning, he constanly reminded that I had to face the reality that one cannot predict the future of the relationship. After three years later I pressed the question and he told me of course he will marry me when he is ready. Last year, he got me a temporary engagement ring, but told me that he wants a surprise engagement in the future, so not to press him. It's fraustrating because at least once a year, when we do get into a stupid arguement, he tells me that he can't do this anymore and that we need to end the relationship. Few months ago, I got enough courage to get out of my parents'(last of my child finally graduated, but both my children wants to live with their grandparents) home and moved in to my boyfriend,s home. Today, we got into a little arguement over a day trading(stock market we are about to venture into). We were on the two different page and I tried to tell him this, but he got fraustrated. He basically told me to pack up because of this 5 minute arguement. I really don't want to go back to my family, who totally ignores me and wants me to stay in one room with my two dogs(one dog was given to my daughter by her boyfriend 4 years ago, another dog my dad brought home about 3.5 years ago because a lady did not want her dog to be couped up inside her car while she worked-neither wants to take care of the dogs, so two dogs ended up with me and my boyfriends who now has the ownership) I think my heart just fell to pieces because I just found out yesterday that for his security code for online trading company, he put down that he met his spouse or significant others as where he met his ex wife whom he have not seen or talked to in 40years. Of course I got mad and asked him about this and he said he really did not think, but just filled out the question and did not have time to read througly and there was no thought put into it. Maybe I am thinking this too hard, but my gut feeling says he did not move on after 4 years of divorce. I really thought that we were going to build a future together because on the business planner, we've also set goals like getting married and getting a home for us. His past relationship did not last more than a year or two, but ours are lasted 6 years. I would never tell him that I want to end the relationship because I cannot have an occasion arguement with him because he can't take the stress of being in a relationship. I've invested too much time and effort and I love him. I admit I have PTSD and fear people and can't trust other people as well and he dealt with my PTSD for 6 years, but I am sort of tired of him using the pack up and get out language because I can't diagree at least once a year. We did talk through and I did remind him that although I will not go back to my abusive family, I will have to goto homeless shelter. I also told him that I would need to have my two dogs get adopted before I leave his place because the homeless shelter doesn't allow dogs. I will be looking into the homeless help shelter just in case because I am just tired of the say and don't care what comes out of my mouth attitude. I also talked more and told him that we will give 2 months of working simulated stock trading and if any other arguement comes up then we should not work together when we actually start the stock trding business and I would only be taking care of the booking and reception work. I think it is time we get couple cournseling, so he agrees and I will be looking for counselors. More over, I did tell him that I don't want hime to tell me to walk out the door because I will never look back and I will never come back and that it's over. Am I doing the right thing?

Waterlily-momof2 6 years ago


I can really use your advice.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Looking into getting a counsellor and looking into your options like a homeless shelter are smart things to do. This is not a healthy situation. If he goest to that place in his mind of "get out" then he is not demonstrating an ability to build a future. It's the way a child would argue, not the way a committed adult would. Overall though, your going from your parents home to his home is a big mistake. You can't be a good partner until you can be a good You. It doesn't sound like you are independent. Even at the onset of your comment, saying you were thinking about suicide when he came along. No one should be in the position of having to rescue you. I'm sure you don't mean it that way, but that's the feeling of that kind of responsibility. The healthiest, smartest thing you can do is stop putting effort into being part of a couple. Begin instead the remarkable path of self esteem and independence. Figure out how to find a real job and rent a room on your own. Make your own life, your own money, your own happiness. Don't be dependent on anyone else to provide stability and a life for you. It only perpetuates your being a victim. Stop the cycle.

Waterlily-momof2 6 years ago

Thanks Veronica!

I do agree with you, but I do need some counseling done due to more than 6 years of verbal and emotional abuse by my family.

As far as my boyfriend is concern, I am giving him last chance, since his outburst rarely happens.

Before I get a job, I am hoping that I have had enough counseling done to get my self-esteem back and to deal with PTSD. My self-esteem is so low that I hesitate about going to public places.

Sara  6 years ago

Hi Veronica. Reading this was enlightening. First of, I'm Indian. Most have become modernized in my culture and he seemed to be modern. Turns out he's super traditional in some respects. While I believe in girlfriend/boyfriend relationships, he only sees partying and then getting into a really serious relationship and marriage. Since I'm a makeup artist, he initially thought I was JUST a pretty face. However, I'm extremely independent and hard working in my career choice too. I thought he was more modern bc in other ways he really is: he lets his sisters do what they want, he admired my independence and that I ignored him at first, etc. HE came closer and he started to leave his friends but then did a 180 and talked about having no regrets. He had started to ditch his friends, stopped drinking (drowning them) when he went out, and always felt inadequate as far as his career is concerned. HE's not financially in a position to support me and I never thought along those lines, but he always tried to impress me not knowing I was just as competitive. It really touched me. In fact, he plans to go to graduate school and he needs to finish a super tough exam to get there. He would always feel insecure about his exam bc I had already finished my exams and everything.

In his need to have "no regrets" he blocked of all contact, and partied like crazy. In fact, he partied in a way I don't think is possible nor ever discussed in all his life. It felt like he was compensating for all the monthes he was good. I was scared there was another girl. That's also when I found out about his exams and everything. I admitted my feelings and he tried to approach me but when I finally gave him a chance, he slowly walked up to me and then RAN AWAY. On graduation, he hugged me goodbye. He stares at me endlessly but neither of us are willing to talk because in a way, I feel like we both KNOW. I know he needs time to reach his goals, to get it all out of his system (partying, ugh-women, drinking), and to have a finanical base secured.

Until I met him, I didn't know what I want other than flings here and there. I wish with all my heart it was time. I've never had someone care so protectively and beautifully. I feel like he just understood himself and us. I don't want to rule him out as an option for a future but must I? He never unblocked me from his social networks but even so, when I see him, and as it has always been, he has never given any other girl attention the way he did to me. Even when girls would openly flirt in front of me, he just ignored them and would come by me. Even after the "no regrets" thing at group settings, he would just stare at me and my group, not that he would realize it.

We are young but men don't usually mature until their 30s and thats a while away. Still, he felt like a guy that was bridging both worlds. I don't know where I stand or what I am or if I'm just being hopeful and ignoring tell-tale signs. AllI know is, I finally know what kind of things to look for, or atleast starting to. I'm so thankful for this but I don't want to re-initiate contact unless it's time. He cared in a way so unique and beautiful that I could not stand the pain if it were nto to work out. Besides, I still need to learn A LOT MORE ABOUT MYSELF. :)

Sara  6 years ago

I forgot to say thank you for your time and your wisdom on here.

toria 6 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I've been with my boyfriend for over 5years now since university, and I thought things were going pretty well. I was so surprised when he told me a few days ago that he didn't see himself getting married to me, since he wasn't even sure if he wanted to be married.

When we first started dating, he told me that he doesn't get what marriage is about, but if he did ever decide to get married, it would be me.

Throughout the years, he keeps telling me that he always wants to be there to take care of me, and that I was the one for him.

The only changes that have happened recently are that we both started working in permanent jobs since July, and have occasionally discussed some vague plans of investments, property, and long term goals.

Obviously his statement just knocked the wind out of me. I didn't ask him for any marriage proposal or hint at an engagement. In fact, I would be alright if we didn't even get married but just stayed together (though I never told him this).

So, I asked him to clarify what he meant by that, and if he thought that there was something missing in our relationship that would cause him to doubt our sustainability as a couple.

He said he's not sure that he even wants to get married in the future, and that he's worried that I'd be wasting my time with him. He says that if we do get married, that he knows for sure that we'd be great together as a team, and I'm perfect for him, but he's not sure if we'd work out as a couple for a lifetime.

I asked him if he wanted to end the relationship, and he said he was confused, and wasn't even sure if this was the biggest mistake he'd be making.

He's sending out such conflicting messages, and I really don't know what to think.

Could you please help me figure out what it is that he wants? You've left such helpful comments for past readers. It would be great if I could have some 3rd party thoughts.

Thank you.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I'm sorry, but I don't see "such conflicting messages" like you want to. To me, he's painfully clear. His saying he's "not sure if you'd work out as a couple for a lifetime" means he doesn't see a future with you. "Not sure" and those qualifying crap lines about gee this could be a mistake, are just for your benefit. His wording is all very reflective of someone very young, way too young to be thinking about marriage. He uses all the classic man-speak, none of it conflicts, it all says he doesn't want to be with you, he doesn't see a future with you, but he's too chicken to be honest about his feelings so he's going to keep throwing them out in these immature morsels until you've had enough and done the dirty work for him by leaving.

Instead of looking at what he said, for clarity look at what he hasn't said. He's not saying he sees a future with you. He's not saying he wants to be with you. He's using the marriage thing, and saying the exact opposite of anyone who wants to build a life with you. And don't include those old fantasy lines of wanting to take care of you. Those are fantasy prince charming lines. Wanting to take care of you, not wanting to build a life with you. Big clear painful difference.

I'm sorry, but he's not seeing a future with you, and he's communicating clearly for a very immature chicken shit.

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mystified 6 years ago

Dear Veronica,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for over two years now. I am 34, and he is 40. I have never been married, but he has been married twice before. The first time, he was very young (19) and in the military. He was sent away to war, and when he came back, he found that his wife had been cheating on him. Apparently she was the one who suggested divorce. After this experience, he dated, but he did not make a commitment to another relationship until he was in his early 30s. Although he now says that there were many "warning signs" in the relationship, he remarried b/c he felt that he had run from too many relationships. Again, she was not faithful. (He has stressed that he never cheated.) They tried counseling, but she left him. That was about 3 years before we met.

As for me, I followed my dream career out of college. I had to move around for various jobs and more schooling, so I was not settled until now. I now own a house and am ready for the "next step" in my life.

When we met, my boyfriend told me on several occasions that he was not "wasting my time". We both want children, although he brings it up more than I do. We talk about the future (albeit in general terms), and he gets along well with my family. He is even attempting to sell his house in another part of the state to move to my city permanently! (He works from home, so he works from my house for about two weeks a month.) Since he is at my house so often, he contributes to the bills, groceries, etc.

So what's the problem? When *I* bring up marriage in concrete terms, he says he feels pressured. I don't get it! Granted, both of my siblings were married this past year, and we have discussed how that makes each of us feel. I understand that for a guy, there must be a lot of pressure in that, but he has even picked out names for our future children! I come from a very traditional family, so I'm not willing to be a "baby mama", but if we want kids, it's getting to be late in the game!

I thought that we had the same wants and goals in life, and I love him dearly, but at this point, do I just keep my mouth shut about getting married? I understand that he has had a rocky past with marriages, but he has said many times that he never wanted either of the divorces. He seems to be embarrassed that he is divorced, and he told me that he wants a "normal family". It's hard for me to not be able to put in my two cents about our future without apparently pressuring him. We had two fights about it in the past couple of weeks. Do I just let him talk about the future while I keep quiet? I really need some guidance here! I'm beginning to worry that he is too scarred from his past to really move forward with our future. Thoughts??

Thank you.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


You've been dating over 2 years, you're 34, and you've discussed that you both want children and marriage. No, you should not be quiet. Nagging and ultimatums never work, but being very clear about what you want is essential. There are good signs on his part, like selling his house. If he's picking out names for the kids he's thinking about his future. So what's the problem? From what you've shared I'd say it's one of two things. The first being what you said, is he too scarred from his past to really move forward. Or, is he not deeply enough in love with you to marry you.

You are at a good age, you know what you want, and you're a whole person, ready to be a partner. Don't waste your time with someone that isn't going to be the partner you agreed together you'd both be.

RFox profile image

RFox 6 years ago

Great hub and advice!

Yep, guys aren't ready to get married "yet" until they meet the girl of their dreams right after they finish dating you....lol

Seen it happen to friends of mine.

And there's nothing wrong with guys who don't want to get married, period. But the guys who take issue with the institution of "marriage" itself are always upfront about their opposition to tradition...there is no "yet" in their vocabulary. These guys are not necessarily commitment-phobes either....just look at Gene Simmons for example.

Men are usually pretty decisive creatures...terrible communicators, great decision makers.

Red 6 years ago

Hi Veronica

I found this site last night and I find myself in the same type of situation and would value your opinion.

I have been with my boyfriend for 2.5 years he is 33 i am 36, i had just been through a pretty horrible 4yr relationship and breakup and he was so different that we both felt as though we had known each other for ages and fell in love. Within the first 6 months he had mentioned that he wanted to marry me, he had not proposed but the subject had come up and from him. I was surprised but please and I could see myself married to him. We than had a rocky patch I was living in another county and he would not move to me so the only option was for me to move to him, which I did, got a job and we found a house to rent. The problem is that he is now saying that he doesn't want to get married yet or have children yet, he is not ready for either. He wants to become finacially secure, he doesn't like planning, and why can't i be happy just knowing that he loves me and wants to be with me. Are all the reasons (excuses) he gives. Also when we talk about it he gets very defensive and we end up having an arguement.

I have told him that I want to start trying for a baby as i am 36 an chances are getting lesser every year. Also that I want to get married and spend ours lives together. He also said that he doesn't want to get married in England but in Fiji which is nice but bloody expensive and probably nigh on impossible.

Now I have had two previous relationship which for one reason or another have been ended by me, but the first one told me once i had decided to leave that he was just about to ask me to marry him, and the second said he had bought the ring to propose and then when we had a row he took it back. Any way what i need to know is do i cut my losses again and run.

This man is kind, generous, thoughtful, loving, insecure, childish at times, terrible with money, but i do love him. I also know that if i stay and he continues with 'if you just enjoy now and be happy everything will happen and fall into place one day' i will end up resenting him and probably hating him for not allowing me my chance at mother hood. I also know if i go that i could meet mr perfect tomorrow.

I am in a dilemma as i have invest time and effort to be here with him, i moved down to settle and he is just not hearing me when i tell him that it is getting quite urgent for me to get some thing more solid and an idea of timescale.

Am I wrong is it callous of me to consider leaving because he doesn't want the same things at the same time, or do i sit it out and wait and not say anything further for fear of presurising him more?

I want to believe him but my gut is telling me otherwise, but my head is also saying why leave a kind generous loving man, just because you dont want the same things?

so hope you can shed some of your wisdom on this one

Thanks Red.

denee 6 years ago

I really enjoy reading your page Veronica, but I'm still confused.

What if we already have definite plans to buy a house together, we have a bank account together for a long time now (not to save for the wedding, but in general)?

He still says he is just not ready and doesn't know when he will be ready?? He says, he wants me and wants to be with me, he is not hesitating because he has doubts or anything etc.

I don't think I understand his logic.

We are about 3.5 years now. We are forced to live far from each other, which was not always like this, but we will be together again and we do visit each other. If he is ready to commit as far as to buy a house together, what difference does it make getting married.?

Now that we are so far apart, I just feel like I need his commitment more than ever before.

I'd greatly appreciate anyone's opinion.



Sharon 6 years ago

I see women are making the same exact mistakes repeatedly. Why are you having sex with these men before they commit to you in marriage?

In today's society, men are not going to be quick to marry women because women are performing wifely duties before they are actually married. As long as you are giving a man what he wants, he is not going to be inclined to marry you. He will then determine you are not wife material or he won't be able to imagine you being his wife because he won't "feel" like he loves you.

If you want to know a man's true motives, lock yourself down. Do not let him into the "Garden of Eden" until he has married you. No man should be worthy of your body until he marries you. I just don't understand how people spend several years together having sex and making babies and then realize, "Oh this isn't going to work." Great, both of your times have been wasted.

Men have to be tested. They assume you are going to give them sex and many times they are right. If you give him something to look forward to and leave much to the imagination, you will naturally be able to keep him IF he is a mature man and ready for a commitment. You won't have to keep asking him to get married because he will ask. Instead as women, we get desperate and we want to be able to say the words, "my husband". You aren't looking at if it's the right thing to do. And then if he agrees to marry you, divorce quickly follows.

Also, women who are in a hurry to marry often overlook great characteristics that should be in a man. Is he financially stable? Is he law abiding? Is he capable of being a leader in the home? How many times has he been married? How many baby mommas does he have? Does he have a spiritual foundation? Unfortunately, these traits go by the wayside when a woman is desperate to marry. She lowers her standards just so she can say she has a husband.

This has got to stop. You cannot love anyone until you love yourself. You cannot love someone until you get rid of those insecurities. Many times, if a woman is feeling insecure, that's because she probably should be. We have a strong female intuition. If you're going to be insecure, try not to express those insecurities because it will bug the man. Instead, observe his behavior and then you will soon realize, your instincts were right. Or, you will discover that you were wrong. Either way, you'll get your answer.

And ladies, men often don't like clingy and needy women unless he is clingy and needy himself. At that point, women are turned off.

Not Married With Children 6 years ago


I need your help as I just can't see clearly in my situation anymore. but with kids in the picture, it is much more dire that I do.

My boyfriend and I met around 4 years ago and dated for about a year when I brought up the "where are we going?" conversation with him. At the time he was living at home with his mother (at 39, should have been a big red flag). He did not seem to be interested in even discussing the future with me and we were having issues already with his relationship with him mom, and how much time she took up in our relationship (traditional, widowed Italian mom that doesn't drive and lives alone tends to require alot of her son's attention!). I decided to throw in the flag as it seemed we were just going nowhere, even though I cared about him so much.

A couple months after I broke it off, we ran into eachother again and "got back together". This getting back together led to me becoming pregnant with twins!

We ended up staying together and working through our previous struggles and even bought a house together 6 months ago. Well, our twins are 2 years old now and I have tried to have the marraige talk with him numerous times...before the twins were born, and a couple after they were born and on all counts, he replied that he wasn't ready or didn't have the money to buy a ring (which I told him I didn't care about) or yada yada yada. Now, if we didn't have children together, I can honestly say I would have left a long time ago (which is what I did originally, but then slipped up and ended up in this tough spot) because I feel as though I'm being made a fool. But now, we have children and a house and I'm in so deep and don't know what to do. I want us to be a family and I really care for him but what do I do when I don't know how sure he is on all of it? I know he cares for me and maybe loves me, but how much could he really love me if he won't marry after having kids with me? I feel like he's waiting to feel the right feelings before he will propose, and that may never come. He has talked alot lately about wanting to get married, and tells me it will happen, but if that was the case, wouldn't he just make the move? He just recently wen't to a nice jewelry store and bought me a nice watch and a bracelet but sadly I wasn't even impressed. All I could think was, why didn't he just save his money to buy an engagement ring instead of this other stuff I don't need?

What is going on and what do I do? Do I leave even though we have children? Do I hang on for the sake of the children and wait until he's ready? Is he not ready because he really doesn't love me and so why should we be together anyways?? I just don't know anymore....


Heather 6 years ago

Really need an outsiders opinion!!

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 1 yr 2 mo. Things moved rather quickly in the beginning. He said "i love you" after 2 months, and we moved in together 5 months ago. Right after we moved in together he started talking about marriage. I remember the first night he brought it up because it came as such a shock to me. We had only been dating such a short period, and while the thought crossed my mind I didn't expect to start talking about it so soon. The talk went on for months. He would play with my ring finger, tell me he cannot wait to spend the rest of his life with me, and he wanted me to be his wife. I was thoroughly convinced that he was 'ready' to be married. He was constantly bringing it up, so after a few months and no proposal I finally said to him "I do not want to be mislead if you are not ready please do not keep talking about marriage" and just like that he stopped. Obviously not the answer I was looking for and I was confused to say the least. So I talked to him about it and he told me he isn't "ready". Then I became even more confused...how can you tell someone you love them, talk about marriage everyday for months, and ask them to move in with you but, your not ready? He finally told me that he thinks I put my dog before him and that I "threaten to leave" therefore, he isn’t ready. I explained to him that I am wrong for saying that (only happened 2 times & for good reasons) there was never any meaning behind it I was just angry. Hence, I'm still here!! So a few weeks later we are in Key West and he is going on and on about how amazing I am and he cannot live without me so on and so forth, so I say "if you cannot live without me then what are you waiting for?" He said "i'm not sure you are the one!" omg my heart almost came out of my throat!! He is an amazing, calm, patient and kind person and I couldn’t believe he would say such a thing. So I asked him if he doesn’t know if im the one why is he with me? He said he hopes I am there are things we talked about that he isnt sure of, i.e (me leaving, I put my dog before him) I am at a point now where i dont know what to do. I am not upset because he isnt 'ready' i am upset and hurt because he lead me to believe he was. One minute he says he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and the next he doesn’t know if I am the one?? I am at a loss and do not know what to do. He said he never meant to mislead me he thought we were on the same page that it would be a few years. Which I don't understand because I told him "when you propose I know what i'll say" He said his feelings for me never changed. I just don't understand how he can bring up marriage, talk about it for 5 months every single day, ask me to move in, but he isn't ready!! Please help! I need advise!

Charlotte 6 years ago

Hello Veronica,

I'm 26 and my partner is 33. We have been together for a year and I've known since the first month that this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

We work very well together and I know he loves me as much as can be. He's caring, loving, protective, patient, gentle and loyal. I truly believe he is my soulmate.

I've mentioned marriage now and again and I always get the response 'I don't know yet.' He says he's scared of breaking a promise that he's not sure he can keep by saying, 'Yes.' He says he doesn't want to break my heart if things don't end up working out. Yet his actions speak volumes when discussing the future. We've discussed children and how we would raise them, future living plans and so forth.

He has also mentioned that sometimes he sees a future with me, and sometimes he doesn't.

Am I just being impatient and obsessive about this? Do you think I should give him more time or do you think he doesn't believe I truly am 'the one' despite all the love he has for me?

Thank you!!

Jojo0205 6 years ago

I don't want to write a long drawn out post, so I am going to try to sum it all up. My fiancé and I have been together since 2002. We went away to college together and moved I'm with each other.  I'm currently 27 and he's 28. We broke up for about a year back in 2006 after college because I didn't feel as though out relationship was going in the right direction. We ended up getting back together and things were going really good. I know it sounds really corny, but it's like we feel in love all over again! He proposed to me back in Feb of 2009 and we set a date for our wedding as July 2010. 

We began the planning process, and selected a venue, purchased my dress and all. We put down deposits for the tuxedos, the bridesmaids purchased their dresses. Everything was falling right in place. The only huge downside was that I was paying for the majority of the wedding costs as I had been saving money for few years. I know that he was uncomfortable about this, but he went with it.  We had decided to do premarital counseling with a pastor that wad referred to us by a family friend. Well the pastor ended up being a total nut job and we both walked away from the sessions terrified! But we talked to our pastor who calmed us a bit. We didn't initially do counseling with our pastor as he is my father and we didn't want there being a conflict of interest. In the middle of the planning process he began a new career in law enforcement and definitely starting changing.The training process was very emotionally taxing for both of us. Well shortly after completing the training process for his new career he told me that he want ready to get married. I was devastated! I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. He kept saying that he loves me and knows that it's me he wants to marry, just not now. I was and still am so confused about what to do. Do I stay and wait or do I walk away. He says that he wants up to postpone getting married because he just isn't ready. He says that he loves me and is sorry for the hurt that this caused. We are still living together and he still refers to me as his fiancé. I love him and want to marry him, but the topic of marriage has now become the elephant in the room. In your opinion, am I wasting time on someone that just doesn't want to marry me??

The one guy 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

Having read through some of your comments, you obviously don't get questions from guys very often, but my girlfriend and I have a similar situation as other people in this thread. We've been dating 4 years, she's 28 and I'm 27. She's ready, I'm not, and it's causing a lot of tension. I love her more than the world and am so lucky that she's in my life, but I get nervous about marriage. I'm not totally sure why, but I think it's a combination of not being ready to grow up and being worried that marriage wrecks relationships because people stop trying. Also, as much as I’m fully committed to her, she’s my first real gf and I have no previous experiences to compare this relationship to, so it’s tough for me to tell if my feelings of reluctance are internal or if they’d be different with a different girl.

However, even though I’m nervous about marriage, I’ve always assumed I would get married at some point in the future (even before I met this girl), but thought of it more as a passive thing that would just happen to me, rather than an active process I needed to initiate. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but like a lot of guys, I just didn't really think about it too hard.

So now we're 4 years in, she's been pushing, and I've started thinking about it a lot more seriously. I want to be ready, but now I feel like I have this running clock where she's just constantly watching me, silently willing me to hurry it up. She's not even all that pushy, that's just how I feel because I know she's ready. I tell her that I'm fully committed to her and that's not the problem and she says "I know you believe that". I tell her I’m working on it and she says “wanting to marry me is not something you should have to force yourself to do.”

I love her and I want to be with her. I would move in with her tomorrow if she wanted to. I want to marry her one day, but something is stopping me from taking that leap. I can’t be sure when or if I will completely get over my reluctance. My question is – how much is compromise acceptable in this case? As in, if I ask her to marry me even though I’m still nervous (and I think I might always be at least a little nervous), is that a “wrong reason to get married”?

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Que_sera 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,I've been reading your hubs and thought you had amazing advice for everyone. I feel like I can relate to several hubs and the advice for each is slightly different. I was hoping that you could give me advice on my situation.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years (he is 22 and I'm 24). Within 3 or 4 months of dating I knew he was the one, and at a couple months short of a year we seriously started talking about the future. We both were sure that each other was the one and that we would be together forever. I knew/know we are young and during your early 20's you start to find out who you are, and I thought that we were really lucky to find each other and we would grow together. As our relationship continued the talks about our future became more and more serious, he even picked out a day that he wanted to get married (06/09/2012, we both have a thing about the number 3). Things were going perfect but last winter I started to severely suffer from depression, he took amazing care of me and even helped me find a counselor so I could feel better. During this time we both agreed that it would be best for me to move back home (3hrs away) once I was done with school so I could focus on getting better. We talked everyday and he would send me random text messages telling me he loved me.

At the end of the august we took a vacation together and rented a condo and as we both said it was a "preview" of living together. After the vacation he told me that he loved living together for the past week and couldn't wait until we got engaged and moved in together. However about a week ago he confessed to me that he was scared that I wasn't the one. He said that talking about the future made him uncomfortable but that he loved me and wanted things to work. When I asked him why he was questioning it he said he didn't know......so I asked him if he loved me or if he was IN love with me. He said he was in love with me but just couldn't figure out why he was second guessing everything. I don't understand how his feelings could drastically change so quickly (he said it happened within just a couple of days) I feel like I'm getting mixed messages from him and I don't know how I should handle this situation.

Tatiana 6 years ago

Hi verónica. I would much appreciate your advice.

I am from Colombia, and was studying in New York. I met this guy who I totally felt in love with. After 5 months he asked me to move in with him. We lived together for 10 months until I had to come back to Colombia, my visa would expire and I could not stay there anymore. We have been very frustrated about all this situation. He tells me that he loves me, that I am the one, etc. We are now in a long distance relationship, and he was supposed to come to visit on January. Unfortunately he is very insecure and he tells me now that he is afraid to come to my country, also he says that it is very difficult for him to keep a long distance relationship. We know that one way for me to come back is to get married, but he says that he is not ready to settle down yet. (no in the next 5 years, we are both 26 right now). I am very confused because he says no to be ready to settle down, but he wants me to come back to the country somehow (in my own) to continue living with him, to support each other and grow together. I am very sad and disappointed because I feel first used, and second i feel that his love is not enough to do something to save our relationship. Do you think this is selfish?

Since I moved back almost 3 months ago, this relationship has been in ups and downs. One week he tells me how much he loves me, and the other week he calls me sad and frustrated because we are not together and tells me that I need to be there for this to workout. Then next week he calls me to tell me he can't live without me, and that he would get married, and next week he calls me to tell me he has thought about it, and that he wants to be in a better situation when he gets married. Then he calls me to tell me he would come to visit, so we can be together and see each other, we started looking for flights, and next week he calls me and tells me he is not sure about he coming to my country, that I should be the one coming to the states. I told him that I was with him for a ling time there, and that I wanted he to come to meet all my family and the other part of my life. I told him I couldn't come back to the U.S. anytime soon because I don't have a visa anymore. It is definitely easier and cheaper for him to come. At this point I am very tired of this whole situation, I told him how I felt. I told him that I love him so much, that I would do whatever it takes me to be with him. But in the short run he should do something to keep the long distance relationship alive, like coming to visit. I really don't know what to think about what he really feels. I don't know if it is because personal issues he has had in the past that makes him so insecure. I do not know what to do to show him that if I am with him is not just for a paper, in case he feels like that. I am in so much pain right now. Last time we spoke I told him, that I didn't think he felt enough love for me, and that he should be more honest to me because it is hurting me more to be fine one week and to be very hurt the next week. I told that I would rather be hurt once if what he wanted was to break up, since he is not doing anything to be with me in this long distance relationship. He said that I was right and we decided to be friends. It's been only 2 days since this happened, and knowing how he is, I am afraid he is gonna call me back to tell me he misses me or something that would make me weak. I really don't want to be hurt anymore, and I want to maintain firm about his decision. Even the least I want is to lose him. I really really love this guy. However I would like to know what do you think about this specific situation. I would keep in mind your advice, and if necessary will let you know what was the end of this.

Write me back please,

Thank you,

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nettle 6 years ago

Veronica, I'm really hoping you will still be online and giving advice. My boyfriend and I live together and have been together almost 2 years. Up until this weekend I was really happy and thought this is the most perfect relationship ever.

He is from Australia and I'm English, we met and live in the UK. A few weeks ago he said the only think keeping him in this country is me and then this weekend he dropped the bomb that he wants to go home one day and when he goes he won't want to come back to the UK. He then said that his greatest fear is that we move to Australia (which I would do) and I get homesick and come home and take our kids with me... don't worry you haven't missed something, we don't actually have any kids yet! I think this comes from his past - his parents split when he was 4 and his mum moved them hundreds of miles away from his dad. He said he is feeling homesick and I would be worse as am closer to my family.

Then he said he isn't ready to get married, he doesn't want to make the mistakes his parents did and that he doesn't think I am either. I told him I was and I kinda thought he was getting that way too. He talks about it, just last week we were at a hotel and when I was signing for drinks he said to sign using his last name. He was also talking about what car he should buy next and said maybe it should be a 5 door so we could get the kids in the back more easily.

He says he loves me and that he isn't wasting my time but I just don't know what to believe. I feel like things are very conflicting.

Like I say until this conversation I was happy but now I feel like perhaps he doesn't think there is a future for us. I'm 28 and he is 30 and I don't want to waste my time which is what I told him but how do I know if I am?

I'm not sure that I should chuck away the best relationship I have ever had because he doesn't want to get married yet, when I'm not really that bothered about getting married yet... I just want to know that there is a future.

I know I should probably know the answer from all the other advice you have given out but I kinda want to believe you will see some bright hope for me???

If you could find time to give m some advice I would very much appreciate it.

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hootandahalf811 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

After reading many of your posts I can't tell you how much your posts and responses to other people's comments help me to understand what possibly might be going through my boyfriends head. However, I wanted to ask your advice anyhow.

And after reading the comment above I think I have a similar story to her. I'm 23 my boyfriend is 6 months younger than me. After reading a few posts I understand that we are "young" and that it's not a good idea to rush into things. However, we have been dating for a 2 years and 4 months. We've had a fantastic relationship. The best one I have ever been in. He truly is the best guy I have ever dated, and Love him dearly. My question is that We have had a few very heated discussions about marriage that all end the same... He's not ready to get married and he feels that I'm ready to walk down the aisle tomorrow. I've stated over and over that I'm not, I simply want to know if he can see me in is future, if he even thinks he wants to marry me one day or am I just wasting my time hoping that he changes his mind?

He's told me "It's not you I am worried about it's just getting married that freaks me out". He and I both have said that we are happy when we are together and that neither one of us want's to break up. However, we have both said that we haven't gotten that "magic light from God" saying She/He's the one. And I honestly don't know if I believe in that "feeling". I just think of it as a decision. If you love someone and want to be with them then make a decision to do so.

My main problem is that I feel that after 2 years of dating you should know or at least have an idea of whether or not you want to be with that person and or see a definite future with them. i.e. getting married, starting a family etc. I feel that we do have a good relationship and that I can see myself being with him and that if he were to ask me to marry him (later) I would say yes. But, it causes me to think other wise when we continue to argue, and especially when you hear the person you love say "well I want to be with you and I love you but I'm just not sure about getting married" and in my girlish mind all I hear is "I want to be with you I just don't want to marry you". Am I wrong in thinking this?

To make things a little more complicated...I just took a job in another state but am only a 2 hour drive away. This is the first time we've truly been apart from one another after being together for 2 years for longer than just a few days at a time. We started dating in college and have both been out of college for a year now. It's been 3 months into my job (either he or I will drive to see each other on the weekends) and I also just accepted a more permanent position for the time being (When I was job searching after graduating from college where we live I just couldn't find a job in the same area). So I took this job because at the time, I was under the impression that since we weren't married I needed to do this for me so that I can better myself and my career in the future, I felt it was ok to be selfish since we both aren't at a point where we are ready to get married. And it might help him realize how much he does care for me or not. I plan to be over here until he decides if he want's to marry me or not then I will take the steps to move back or he and I both will move somewhere else. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

And at first everything seemed to be fine... not major hiccups or arguments but we are both very strong willed and have stubborn personalities. Which here lately have reared their ugly head more than either of us can stand. We argue over the dumbest stuff imaginable, which makes me question if we really are going to make it.

I want to look towards the future and think about getting married and hopefully taking those next steps within the next year... I'm afraid of this being another failed relationship. My last boyfriend and I also were together for 2 years, talked a lot about getting married and then broke up due to me waking up and realizing he was trying to make me someone I didn't want to be. It took me a year to get over that and open myself up to falling for someone else.

He and I both have decided to try to get better about controlling our emotions and just letting the arguments go (which I think is our biggest problem) But we have also said that for the past 3 months and things haven't exactly changed.

So should I stick it out and hope things get better? Or should I just give up on the best relationship I've had and try to move on?

butterfly 6 years ago

I Veronica,

First of all, thank you for all your insightful remarks! My issue is the same as NaturalBeauty, and I was wondering what kind of advice you would have for us.

Thank you very much!

Heidi 6 years ago

I have been with my boyfriend for 1 year and half, everything started good, we were ok in the relationship, but after that year we start to having some fights, before when everything was going well we had talk about marriage it was ok, but 6 months ago with this fight everything starting to change, many times he said that he loves me so much, almost in October he come to live with me because he want to see if we are ok for the marriage and also his parents around 1 month later asked him what is going on with us, if he is going to marriage me or not, because if he is not ready is better to let me go, but they say is his decision, so by last month together many times we had a fight and always when I said bye he aske me if I forgive him and he is going to give me an enganched ring, so all the time said that, and he said he doesn't want to lose me, so in the end we had a fight and he let, he left 3 times, but this last time, he told me that is over, he said he needs time to think, I was waiting for one week in that week he called me many times to say hi and then he talk to me in the end and he said is better to finish because he is not ready for marriage, and maybe he doesn't want kids, so he told not is over, he is not ready, I give him time to think again and 1 week again he told me not, is better this way, he told me that I can found another men to get marriage, because he is not ready, and he said he needs time to think about his self and what he wants, but he wants to keep me as friend, because he said he care about me, so I don't understand how in few months he loves me, he even want to give enganched ring, he didn't want to lose me and the end he is not ready, he is not dating another woman I know, so I think he is scare for the marriage and his parents maybe push him, but I didn't say nothing that I want to get marriage, so I don't understand, Any one can give and advise.

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blueskies02 6 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I feel like I'm breathing a little easier after having found this hub and reading your comments. I need your help. I am 31 and in a relationship with a guy who is 32. We have been together for about a year and a half. From the beginning the relationship has been long distance between GA and VA. Then for 7 months I worked/lived out of the country. The strain of the long distance of being overseas did not bring out the best in either of us. We had many arguments and it eventually created quite a divide. I chose to come back to the States b/c I wanted a career change and because I knew the relationship would end otherwise.

For a long time we quite freely talked about marriage, kids, etc. He even told me to start looking at rings while I was overseas. Now he tells me he isn't ready "yet". He's says he's not healed from the damage of me being away (the arguments). He says that I am the one he sees himself with. He refers to our married life and our children in conversations. We have currently been living together for 4 months and he has been supporting us while I make a career change. Other than the marriage topic our relationship is quite easy and fun. This has become a very emotional and hurtful subject between us. Right or wrong, I feel like he is waiting to make up his mind about me. I feel mislead from our previous conversations about marriage to his current stance. I'm am debating seriously debating staying or leaving and would appreciate any insight you have. Thank you!

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Mog9 6 years ago

Hi there, I have been enjoying your posts here and I wanted to make a comment and I suppose ask my own question.

Firstly, I implore young men in their 20's not to waste away girls 20's with false promises and wishy washy answers about the future. Grow some balls and be honest, there are always more girls to sleep around with if that’s where your at!

This is the age that many women hope to meet the right guy, have kids etc. and btw we have an expiry date on having kids!! If you know that and keep her around anyway, what does that say about the kind of person you are?

I was foolish enough to have this happen to me during my 20's. I received many promises, gifts, promise rings, trips around the world and was close to his family. 7 years later he just left one day and that was it, no discussion, just gone. Looking back, I think it was more shameful that he wasted my 20's than all his bad behaviour etc. Bottom line I should have left a long time ago!

I am now with a really great guy, but I am getting the “I’m not ready and I don’t want things to change”. I am worried that my anxiety over commitment may be exacerbated by my previous relationship and my age (I am 29). Also, his previous g/f and her family pressured him a lot to marry her and he loathed it. She left him and married. I don't want to come off like that to him either.

He is a single father and a very straightforward person in general, he isn’t afraid to be honest even if it hurts your feelings. Initially we set boundaries right from the start and talked about what we were looking for in a relationship before getting attached. I guess at the time we both had bad previous relationships and didn’t want to waste each others time if we weren’t on the same page. We seemed to want the same things and really felt something special towards each other. So, we have been living together and dating for over 2 years. He shows tonnes of affection and love towards me, he surprises me with flowers and cards for no reason and always wants me to be happy. Our home life is great and he tells me he has never been happier and wants a future and kids with me. He talks about having kids a lot and tells me everyday how much he loves me…

Except, when it comes to talking about money, marriage and buying a home he gets angry and doesn’t want to discuss it. He likes things to be his way and is quite stubborn about it, he likes to live for today and has only just started to try and manage his finances better. On the other side of this when we talk about and i get upset he eventually comes and talks to me and tells me he loves me, not to worry so much and it will be okay, “just relax”.

Should I be more concerned? Or is it okay to relax and let it just happen when it happens? It almost seems that he is ready for more kids, but not marriage?! Thanks!

Debra R  5 years ago

I have read many of these posts. I am beside myself really. I know what I should do, but..... I guess that seems to be the final answer, butt....

Just to update you. I met a man two years ago in May (May 2009), he had been seperated from his wife of 30 years for two months. He was trying to 'punish' her for all of her cheating she done all them years. They moved to a higher class of living, he treated her like a queen. Knowing that she was in deed a county hooch. He was no saint. They played head games for 30 yrs, I'm sure no one will be surprised to hear that. It was always a 'I can do it better!'.

We have pretty much been together ever since. I have still maintained my own place the entire time, almost two years later. I have been staying with him 24/7 since July 09. I pretty much live as his wife, No I do 100%. I pamper him like he's a king, always have. I give 200% and he givces about 10%. He has always said that he shouldn't jump right into another relationship. Uh, you should have thought about that two years ago you think!.

I am an independant woman, pay my own bills, but for the life of me, cannot seem to give up just yet.

I keep thinking, you know, just give him time. But, how sad is that? I know right.

He is 51 this year, and I'm 42. I have been through two bad marriages already.

He made me an offer two weeks ago, he brought it up not me. He is going to pay for a procedure that we both want, no not boobs. And in turn, I'll move in and give up my place.

Well, do I need to say he has got all freaked out. I told him that I will not stop paying at my own apt.

He isn't afraid to be one on one. It's the entire 'commitment' of me being here actually 100% with not my own place.

He's a pretty honest man, but it's always about him. ???? help

Marriage 5 years ago

My partner and I have been together for four years. Things have been tight and I have been studying during this time which makes things hard on us both with money. This year he has started fully supporting me financially so I know and appreciate that he makes an effort with me, and is involved in this relationship. The thing is though that when I talk to him about marriage he 'literally' throws the blankets over his head and just says argghhh I don't want to talk about this, i don't know how I feel about marriage, I'm not ready, I don't know if I believe in it....

He's also asked me to try for kids this year though, and we I have discussed with him that I don't want diamonds, just a homemade ring and a promise for a future together so I know I'm not wasting my time. His parents divorced when he was young....I'm so confused by these mixed messages, do you think he will ever want to marry me, or am I just being one of these naive girls? Because unfortunately even though I know he is being amazingly supportive to me I think I might leave him in the next few months if I don't feel as though he wants to move forward because I don't want to get my heart broken in a years time

Willon 5 years ago

Hello, Veronica. i want to ask you something , im not english, so sorry for my grammar or spelling :). So, i met my bf on 7th of september last year, but he was still with his ex, and he told me that he has a gf, but he is not happy with her, and wants to break up. he broke up before christmas. i didnt have sex with him for long enough after we met. it happened on new years eve. there was still problems with his ex, they lived together for 5 years, they were engaged, so she is very disapointed about loosing him. he is 32 , im 24. he keeps saying me, that he is old, sometimes he jokes about marrying me, and having children. but yesterday we were talking, i asked him what does he think about me, he told different things and said "if talking about serious things, i dont want to get married, i live from week to week, i dont think about future" . so it means to me, that he is still not recovered after his ex relationship. im not telling that i want to marry him, or marry now, but does it mean that he is not serious with me, i think its too early because we just started to be together, we live 1 hour away from each other, we meet very rearly, once he suggested me to live together, but i told no! so as we meet i spend with him 4 days, or less, depends on how many days i have off. everything is ok, if his ex doesnt text him.. she stopped, but we met her last week, so she started again. she told him that i cant take care of him that much as she did, she saw that im young. but yes, im spoilt child, i hate cooking etc. maybe she's right, and maybe he thinks the same, and now he has doubts about me. Yes, i know im not ready for marriage, or children, but im just not sure if it will be long and serious relationship. im childish, and he sees that. im afraid of any relationship, because im not so self confident about my housekeeping and taking care ao other person. it seems that all i can be is just bauty and sex.

Sarah 5 years ago

Hi Veronica- great post!I do not want to bore you with a long story of my relationship. I do want to tell you that I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a little over 3 1/2 years now. We have been living together for almost a year. Our financial situation is perfectly okay. He has his masters degree and a good job in Manhattan. I quit my job and will be attending law school (finally!) this upcoming Fall. We talk a lot about marriage- through conversation- through jokes, etc. I heard him, about a month ago, go through my "ring trinket" box. So, that is when I finally thought "wow, I think he is getting me a ring- and wanted to take one of the rings he knows I wear on my ring finger for sizing purposes!". Well, of course, because I became overly anxious, I mentioned me hearing him go through my ring box. He just looked at me and "giggled". No denying, but no admitting. The next conversation we had about marriage included him saying "maybe in a year I'll propose to you, not now though". Silly me- I got upset. I said "well, Brian, I heard you in my ring box, I'm not stupid". His response was, "See Sarah, you take the fun out of everything". What do you think this means? My first guess would mean that he is in fact shopping for a ring or has one, but because I tend to not think before I speak, I'll bring up marriage- but I do it sometimes kiddingly- because he kids around with me all the time! So, what do you think that comment means? "Taking all the fun out of it". And do you think I should stop even "joking" about the subject.. for example, we live on the water- between Jersey and Manhattan- so we have a boardwalk at our condo complex that you can walk around and see the skyline of the city and the Statue of Liberty- one evening, he wanted to go for a walk- and he said he wished we brought our camera so we could take a pic of the full moon which was shining bright behind lady liberty. I said, yeah, I know what else we should have brought on this walk. He began laughing. What should I do and what do you think?!

suman 5 years ago

i m an indian from a conservative family and so is my boyfriend.....he is financially stronger dan my family...he is 22 and i m 24....he married me in a room without any formalities....we had bit sex and all....dat was 2 years back...we r dating for more dan 2 and half yrs...gradually he changed when he joined business wid his dad...i m studying...he helps me financially at times...but now he says dat he cant promise me a marriage..and if i can wait i sud or i sud go....i m emotionally dependent on him ...and i dont want to breakup coz i got physical and i think i m impure now, thanks to my indian mentality...i love him but he behaves very bad and non caring

Destiny Watson 5 years ago

This was a very wonderful place to come to and you just helped me get ready to move on from my ex. He said that he would try to be in a relationship but it didn't really seem to happen. His underlying problem is that he hasn't really ventured out and got with as many woman as he has wanted to. I've been with men and all that good stuff and I'm ready to just stop and be in a great relationship. He can't handle that situation and says I've had my fun and he has not had his so that's what he wants to do.

I told him that I would wait but I honestly can not wait forever. It does not feel right to me to wait around (we definitely were not talking between the time he was out and about) while he goes out and has fun. I told him if I find someone who wants to talk to me and be with me and I find them interesting I will slowly become friends and figure them out first, But I will still be here for him if I'm still here when he is ready.

Right now, I'm relaxing and getting to enjoy myself and in about a month I will be moving on. By the way, I'm 19 years old (really mature for my age) and he is 20.

Blue31 5 years ago

I left my boyfriend of 10 years almost 3 years ago. He said constantly throughout our relationship that he didn't want to get married 'right now'. I had enough and moved on even though it meant selling the house and starting again. I have been seeing a wonderful man for the past 2 years. We have a lot of fun together, his son loves me, and I couldn't imagine not spending the rest of my life with him. The problem is he doesn't know whether he will ever want to get married, although he's happy to consider more kids. We have yet to move in together, he is umming and ahhing at the moment as he knows this should be the next step, but after 10 years living alone after leaving his ex (they weren't married) he's undecided as to when to make this happen. However, given my history I am also cautious about moving in incase it leads to complacency and no ring. I guess my question would be whether I should give him a break as he's a naturally indecisive person, or should I push for a decision on both moving in and marriage, and how long do I wait before I have to choose whether I can live without marriage, or whether I leave him?

less and less hopeful 5 years ago


I truly love your advice and have been reading through all your answers related to marriage and commitment! I have a situation that I really need your level headed opinion.

I have been dating my 38 year old boyfriend for nearly one year. He travels for work a lot. Originally he had told me he travels about 2 months of the year, but he is actually gone more like 5 months. I'm 35 in two weeks.

We get along really well and he is a truly amazing boyfriend. His latest trip was a lot longer than usual - he was gone 6 weeks. The trip was hard on our relationship. I don't hear from him super regularly when he is gone as he has a really demanding job. He never Skype and we usually speak every other day, sometimes briefly. On one occasion I didn't hear from him when he said he would call and I had no idea if he was okay or what had happened to him.

I over reacted when we finally did speak and ended up asking if this is how his life and job is always going to be. He didn't know what I meant by always and the conversation ended up turning to marriage and kids. He was away and obviously under a lot of stress, so the conversation went badly. But he did say we would talk about things when he got back.

Well, he got back and a week went by without him bringing up the subject. In the meantime I began to notice that he was very non-committal when I asked things like where he wanted to live in a few years, how many kids he wanted and so on. I'm planning a trip in a few months and because of his work schedule he said he didn't know if he'd be joining me. This finally precipitated into the 'talk' - and it went badly!

I got over-emotional, for sure. It was a hard talk to have, and he is not the best at being serious. He is sensitive about his finances as he's just gone through near-bankruptcy, so his main concern was that he is no place to support a wife and child right now. Which I understand, but I said I needed to just know we were heading in that direction. He kept saying 'what do you need, you want a ring and children right now?'. The part that hurt the most was when he said 'do you really think 11 months is long enough to know that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone?'. I guess I had thought so! Anyway, I was extremely sad and cried a lot which I think was a bit scary for him. I also said that I am 35 and need to think about these things, about my future, if I'm to have chances of having a family. His last relationship was 8 years and he never proposed.

I understand a lot of this was a timing thing - it was a bad time to have the conversation, as we hadn't had the smoothest sailing over the previous few weeks. So I gave it a break. I was intending to just try and enjoy our time together for a few months at least. We managed two weeks. I kept myself busy with other things, and our time together has been wonderful. But I guess the topic came up again and I didn't try hard enough to keep my composure. It came up when he was vague with financial plans. I said I wished he would discuss these things with me and the 'talk' started again. This time he again said 'what do you want, a ring and kids right now?'. I said I needed to at least know that was the direction we were heading, and that it would be nice to discuss these things and our finances together. He said he's embarrassed about his finances, and that we haven't even lived together yet. I didn't get a chance to say it, but I don't even want to live with someone unless we're getting married! He said he needed some time to think about it, so we left things unresolved again.

I don't know what to think. We get on so well most of the time, but it seems we have a hard time communicating about serious things. I don't know whether this is just a growing pain that should be expected in a relationship, where we adjust to thinking as a team, or whether this a sign that he will never be able to commit to me. I want to be able to say 'Ok, I will leave this topic alone' for at least 1-2 months, but I feel insecure from time to time and don't know how to ignore the feeling that I might be making a mistake and that he's never going to want a future with me and then it will be too late. I don't know how to continue deepening this relationship with him if I'm only going to get hurt in the long run and will have to rebuild something with somebody else.

Any insights on where a soon to be 39 year old man might be in his head, and what the chances are that he thinks I am the right person for him?

Thank you Veronica!

Losing faith 5 years ago

I've never been one to comment just browse, however I feel as if I reaching my end. My bf & I have been together 4 yrs (known each other for 8) and have a 1 yr old son together. He was married before and has 2 other children he went through a nasty divorce and she still isn't pleasant. I've stuck with him through thick & thin and birthed his child and have wanted to marry him for the past 3 years, he always says we are working towards it keep the faith, my response is usually that he isn't God and I can't keep faith in him without him showing me a reason to. Lately he has been saying oh it's going to happen real soon don't rush it but recently we were talking about "it" & he says well I mean I just got out of a marriage. I felt as if I had been kicked in the chest by mule. He has been divorced for the duration of our relationship but he did not allow himself time to heal, I met him while he and his ex-wife (girlfriend) at the time were broken up then he wanted to settle down but I was too young and not ready we parted ways but stayed in touch (never sexually) but it wasn't until we reunited that I found out he had married her and was in the midst of a divorce....sigh I probably should've left then u cannot explain why I didn't, fastforward 4 years and we are in the same place living together only now with a precious lil boy which makes it all the more difficult for me. I don't want to have my son grow up without his daddy but I too would like to be happy. I feel myself withdrawing from him as of late and it breaks my heart bc we are each others best friend and over all a decent team, I just don't know how much longer I can put my feelings on the back burner. It doesn't help that I feel so guilty about continuing to live in sin with him. I m considering giving him one LAST year to make a move (but not telling him as I have sworn off all marriage talk) and then hitting the road. I owe it to my son to at least try right? Advice please

confusedilemma 5 years ago

hi, my long distance boyfriend wants us to be not so serious just because i told him that i missed him.He said that the only reason we re together is that because we knew when we d see each other and now since hes going to university for 3 years which he decided on his own. This is all because of the death of his best friend and he feels like he needs to be responsible to their family.So he is saying he doesnt know when we ll see each other and right now he donest see a future. But there is a possibilty. I know he is broke at the moment and is stressed about his future but I thought i was a part of it,he said he has had to re assesed his life after his friends death. I have now tried minimizing contact but we do chat once in a while because I cant blame him for all that has happened or should I be upset that he has not made a priority?

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jynelleybelly 5 years ago

I really like that this hub was so to the point and honest. I like the clear message you are sending to women out there that if a man wants to marry you, he will! You seemed to have covered all your bases as far as I am concerned. Of course each man is different and they may have different meanings about wanting to marry, whether they are ready "not now" literally meaning just not at this moment, or "not now" meaning not with you.

I voted this hub up and found it useful.

Keep at it! I like the clear and concise manner in which you wrote this piece.

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Dsgnyell22 5 years ago

My boyfriend and I were together for a few years and had an unexpected pregnancy and now have a beautiful son. He then cheated and I left him...this all happened about a year ago. About nine months ago he came back and said he wanted to work on things and we have been in counseling off and on since. Over the past few months we have began to fight over a commitment. He doesn't say he doesn't want to get married he says that he wants us to work through a few more of our issues before that happens. Meanwhile my son and I remain moved out as I am not going to keep going back and forth. I feel as though if he really wanted it to work after all he's done then he would be willing to make a commitment. He seems as though he is willing to lose me instead of proposing. Our arguments about this have gotten pretty bad with me most recently giving him a choice. His response to that was do you really want a forced proposal? Which the answer to that is no.

At this point I am just not sure what to do. I want to be with him and I want to create a stable environment for my son but I am just not sure if I am living in a fantasy that we will actually get there or if I need to move on.

Any advice is very much appreciated

beyond confused 5 years ago

Please help. Its a long one, but I'll be too the point. I've been dating this man on and off for 3 years. Initially, when we dated he had recently got a divorce (post 1 year) and swore he was ready to move on, but often was sad due to the seperation from his child. He lives in a seperate state and has custody of one child. The first two years were difficult as he was emotionally not available. After a while, I could not take his lack of affection and split. We split for about 5 months and both saw other people, his brother suddenly died and he called me. One thing led to another and we were back together. This time he is emotionally available and very much into me. As I assisted the family with the death, I was spending every night over his house and he always found a need for me to stay there. He would talk to me about marriage, "what type of wedding do you want," take me ring shopping, and mysteriously I had a diamond ring come up missing. I know for certain he has it as he tells me it will reappear and not to worry. (Plus, I know where he hid hit) Like any other woman I thought the proposal was comming. However, 7 months later I am still at his house and NO ring. I know that he is having some financial troubles as there were some changes at his job and he had to take a lower position. He has recently got a 2nd job . . .now he never ask me for money and anytime we have dinner he picks up the tab. I talked to him about marriage and he promises me that he is going to marry me. He does things like comes over to my house and will start helping me clean and encourages me to purge items I do not need because he already has it at "our other home". I mentioned us getting married again and he said hes not ready today, but understands that I want to have a baby and my timeline and promises all of this will happen. Then, he asked me about moving in permanently to his house. When I declined he was in shock and did not understand why.

Our entire situation is just very confusing and causing strain on our relationship. I want to believe him, but am I missing his actions? I would not mind moving in if I had something concrete, but without it I just cant.

Am I wasting my time or is a proposal comming.

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Haleysc 5 years ago

Hi. I wish I'd found this site before. I'm 34 as is my now ex boyfriend. We were together seven years meeting aged 26. We split up for a year after three years and then got back together and I hoped that he'd pop the question soon after. His finances were in a mess so I thought that was the reason he wasn't ready and then he only had a part time job. He then got diagnosed with a degenerative illness about three years ago which knocked us for six but I vowed to keep supporting him and told him I'd love him no matter what. In April last year he got a proper job and at that time we went to a wedding and everyone was saying you'll be next. The next day he spoke about what sort of wedding we'd have and I felt so happy. Then in September he suddenly dropped a bombshell that he loved me but wasn't sure about having kids and whether he could give me what I wanted. I ended up crying but the next day he said he was just drunk and of course he wanted to marry me and have children. A seed of paranoia was planted though. It resulted in me questioning whether we would get married and he'd say yes of course and then change the subject. Earlier this year I couldn't sleep and would end up crying about things all my friends were married and I was stuck I this relationship that want going anywhere. I said I needed to speak to him and asked him to tell me honestly if he thought we'd get married. He looked shocked and said "yesone day"! I ended up in tears again saying one day?!!! We've been together 7 years I can't wait for one day! He ended up storming into the other room and then later coming back and hugging me and saying he hoped to propose by the end of the year and he thought he was just scared of losing his youth etc (aged 34!). To see if there was any commitment I put my flat on the market

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Haleysc 5 years ago

Oops got cut off... Put my flat on Market (where we were Both living) to buy somewhere together with a joint mortgage. He went along with it but kept saying that our flat was so nice why didn't we just stay there etc. Then in April just as we found somewhere else he said we weren't getting on anymore and that we should split up. My world turned upside down as he said look if we were meant to get married we would have done do by now. I was heartbroken and told him to get out which he did. Two months later he returned saying he'd freaked out and the whole pressure had got to him and if we got back together it would be commitment and everything snd that he'd missed me so much. He continued this for a month or so and then when I said that commitment shouldn't be scary he freaked out again and said he didn't want marriage etc and he's now gone again saying he was sorry he is so confused and that he's never meant to hurt me. I wish I'd got out sooner I feel a fool for stating so long : I hope others take heed of this. I am left devastated feel like he strung me along being comfortable.

bethany amber 5 years ago


You give really great advice! I was wondering if you might be able to give some insight to my current situation. I recently met a man through a work meeting that I was taken with. We do not work together, there is no chance that we ever will, we just work for the same company. So I sent him an email, to ask him for an opinion on a work related issue. He seemed very excited to hear from me. Answered my question in great detail, and then assured me that he would be more than happy to help me with anything at all, I just needed to tell him. We have continued the conversation on for over a week. Then i ended it by thanking him for his time and all the advice etc(maybe a bad move, but i wanted to see if he would try and keep the conversation rolling.) Much to my surprise he did. He wrote back a novel. Now, all of our conversations have been professional, but hes getting a little less formal with me as of recently. He uses my name a lot in the emails, and often compliments me on things. Very genuine and appropriate compliments. For example he's told me that I have a great head on my shoulders, that my staff is very lucky to have someone so caring and dedicated to them, etc. My gutt instinct says that at least on some level there is an interest. At the same time though I am not really sure how to show an interest without crossing any lines professionally, and without being certain of how hes feeling.

Anon 5 years ago

OK, briefly these are the facts. I was married. I met my now bf extremely quickly after me and the ex husband split. Bf and I dated for approx 3 months, got into a relationship after that and were due to move in together after 9 months. However, in comes curve ball and his company send him to live overseas. He asks me to go with him. So after 9 months of being together we go to live overseas. Since the beginning of this relationship he has been emotionally unavailable. He does not talk about his feelings, he rarely tells me he love me. His actions are 'non-commital'. We dont have any joint finances. In fact I asked him about his finances, he tells me he doesnt know his position. I don't believe him. He doesnt want to get married - doesnt believe in it. He says he will buy a house with me when we move back to our home country in about a year. He says he will have kids when we are 37/38. I have said I want to get remarried and have kids sooner than that. There is no compromise to be had on the marriage thing and having done it before I know that it can just be ended and so I am still deciding if it is a deal breaker. Kids - he has said once we are home and have a house he will consider having kids sooner but we will have to 'see'. Everything in this relationship is on his terms. I know I am not getting what I want because I am miserable. I need to end it but it isn't as easy as that living overseas. My visa is reliant on him. To my mind I am thinking that I see it out for the next year and then when we move home see if his 'actions' do speak of commitment and if they don't call it a day. Thoughts xxx

Anon 5 years ago

Sorry I meant to add that we are both 33 and have been together for three years now. xx

Time 5 years ago

I have been with my boyfriend for three years. we have lived with each other for 1 and a half. A few months ago i moved out because he was moving in a family member and the only thought was Were not married i dont want to take care of u and them...I am not our wife...Since then we have gotten back with each other but i have not moved back in... He had Talked about marriage before, even our wedding. But it hadnt happen and i kept getting a not yet. I had to leave i felt stuck. Now every time i mention our futur he gets mad. he got drunk and told me he had the money to buy the ring but i left so he spent it. Keep in mind i am not the bad guy. He was taking me for granted in a lot of ways. Hence I DIDNT want to take care of him and his brother. But he has change now. But us getting married seems lost forever. Its feels like were going backwards.

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ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Wow this is more than a milestone. Sensational and awesome

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mindydr 5 years ago

I agree that a guy is leading you on when he does that. It happened to me. And, actually, yes, he is a jerk. I won't even date a guy who has done that to a girl. So what if he says wow he wants to marry you after he's done that to someone else; don't feel flattered, don't feel exstatic - he's selfish, and eventually, you'll feel the sting too. There are lots of guys who wouldn't do that to another girl, and you need to question his history. If he says he's not ready, he's a stringer alonger. If he says he's ready, find out how he's treated others.

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thistimeonly 5 years ago

Well here's the thing, I'm very confused.. I've been with my bf for 2.5 years now, we're both in our mid-twenties. When we started dating he said I was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with and he swore he'd marry me someday. A couple of months after he said he'd do it in 5 months and when the time came he told me he didn't want to put a time on it and that we're both not ready because we're still dependent on our families. I accepted that for a while, but now whenever this topic (marriage) arises he says he's not ready and we should get married when he's done school (4 years from now). Last time he was the one who brought it up, saying that I have a problem with it and need to talk about it so I told him that I don't understand why he changed his mind all of a sudden and that if he doesn't want to get married then he should just say so. He told me that he does want to get married but not until he's finished with his life education and that I should be patient and keep in mind that "we could still break up one day" and that "he doesn't want me to just break up with him if he's still not ready after he's finished school". I just finished college and got offered a really good job so I can definitely support both of us until he's done and he knows that but what I don't get is, why the drastic change of heart? From swearing to marry me in 5 months, to we might still break up or he might still not be ready in 4 years? Am I misunderstanding something here? Or is it just bad timing? The only reason I want to marry him is to me this is it, he's the one and I love him way too much, but given my culture and religion, I cant just stay in a relationship like that for 5-10 years without something official and he knows that it will be difficult for me to explain that to everyone I know I've already went through a lot to make my family accept him, and yet I'm supposed to understand and respect his decision but it's okay for him to not respect mine?

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BobbieDow 5 years ago


If he says he doesn't want to get married, he doesn't. If he says he doesn't have the money, he doesn't want to get married to you. UNLESS he really doesn't have the money and you want a HUGE wedding. Sometimes you have to compromise. There are fairy tale weddings that don't cost so much, but you have to be okay with that depending on the financial state of your man. If a guy wants to make sure he catches the girl, he'll do it. There are no questions. It's the same if a guy wants to have a girlfriend. There will be no question. I think the older generations had it right when they didn't live with a guy until they were married. The old saying "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" is true. And he can keep going out w/you and living with you while he keeps his options open. Why not? You're loyal and he knows you're willing to get married, but he can wait for something better. Men like a challenge. If you're just bitching about marriage, he will find that annoying. If he hasn't asked in the time you feel he should have, he probably won't ask. I think women give too much of themselves before there is a real commitment. Not to be a prude, but to be realistic. And every time you devote yourself to a guy who hasn't proposed in the time you thought he should, that's a lot of time you've given to him when he's being disrespectful. And it's a lot of time you've given to him when you could be finding the great guy who will make you happy. Just don't get snowed by promises. There's another saying..."S*it or get off the pot!"

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From India 5 years ago

I am so confused with my current situation.

I am 26yrs old and my bf is 37. We have been in a committed relationship for 4.5 years now. I waited for a proposal for months and months but when it didn't happen I gave him an ultimatum according to which he had to take THE DECISION by 31 Dec 2011. A few days back he told me that he cannot take this decision by then.

I am Indian and ny bf is American. I have a lot of pressure in this society to get married. However its not because if this pressure that I want to marry him. I want to marry him because I love him and I want to just be with him, have children and have everything else that only marriage can give.

He says that there is nobody else he wants to be with, he loves me but he is just not getting that feeling to get married, that he is not a 100% confident about it. It kills me to know that and the thought of breaking up kills me too. What should I do!

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yellowroses3 5 years ago

Hi Veronica, just came across this this morning and would like you to please advice me on what to do as my situation is somewhat similar but different.

I'm 23 and my boyfriend is 24, we've only been together for two years and have a son who is 1year old. we were only together for about 4 months when i fell pregnant.

before we atarted dating, he told me he didn't believe in marriage but i saw nothing of it because we weren't in love then and i didn't see us together. i have never believed in sex before marriage and was a virgin.

so to cut long story short, i was in a bad state in my life then and was rebelious; moved out tolive on my own. i guess i just wanted to be free and thought i could do whatever i wanted so i had sex with him. i didn't even love him.

anyways we fell in love over time though one may say 4 months is too short. i barely evenknew him. so after i had the baby, we moved in together. i always wanted to bring marriage up when i was pregnant but wasn't sure if i should.

so i waited until our baby turned 1. i asked him if we were ever gonna be married, and he laughed saying that's never gonna happen. i was so hurt cuz he knew what i believed in but i gave it all up for him.

i brought it up many times again and cried to him about it. but he still keeps to his belief saying he doesn't believe in marriage and that since we already live together and are happy, we should just stay like that. and also that havinga sonis bigger commitment than getting married.

so i asked him is having a son together is a bigger commitment, thenmarriage shouldn't be so hard for him. then he said his parents got divorced and that people are hypocritical about marriage. so it makes me feel like he already sees us being divorced even before being married. i just don't understand his belief to be honest. i do everything a wife does, have his child, keep the home homey, do his laundry, cook. i do everything. he doesn't even help aroundthe house and its always a problem when i ask him to help with nappy change. i don't even go out anymore, i've lost all my friends.he goes out whenever he likes and even sleeps out and i don't stop him from having fun.

i feel like he just wants to be free or something;idon't really know. even with all his annoying ways, i still love him and know he's the one for me but it seems like he doesn't believe in us. i feel like i'm being used most times. i can't sleep at night becausei think about marriage alot. this is how i was brought up, but i went at it the wrong way and now i feel stuck. please help me veronica, i really do not know what to do.

sometimes i feel i have to leave him and move on but i think about my son and how he would feel, because my parents were also divorced when i was really young and it affected me alot.don't want my son to go through that too. i am also afraid of being on my own to be honest; ijust don'tknowif i'll be able to cope.

also, i've never wanted to have kids for more than one man, and don't want to be with more than one man. this is just my belief because i have half siblings from both sides who idon't see for years and don't want that for my son. so i'd rather stay on my own if i have to leave my boyfriend...i really don't want to goon and on so i'llstop here :-)...please tell me what you think i should do

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bluehair 5 years ago

Dear Veronica:

I am 23 and have been with my 28 year old boyfriend for almost 2 years.

He is kind, compassionate, genuine, supportive, loyal and, honestly (no matter how cheesy it sounds) the most wonderful person I have ever met. Every day I wake up excited because I get to spend another day with the person who makes me happiest in the entire world.

I have gone through a series of medical issues this year, and he has been unquestionably there for me through the entire thing, and once told me that the "in sickness and in health part" comes with the boyfriend package. He has gone out of his way to help me through the most difficult times and reassured me time and time again that my medical problems have not affected his love for me and that he is entirely sure that in the future I will get better and we can continue adventuring like we used to.

He was first to say "I love you" after only a couple months and invited me to live with him after only 5 months. He makes a great deal more money than I do, so he pays the rent and bills, but I make a very big point of paying for things like groceries and household items and doing things around the house to show my commitment to our life together, and he seems happy with this arrangement. I have offered to pay him rent/bill money many times, and he always declines the offer, saying that since he has the money and I don't, he would rather me save my money for later on down the road.

We are both immature in our own rights-- we both play way too many video games and are terrible at keeping the house clean, but we also make a point of playing games together and we work together the clean the house when it gets too ridiculous. What I'm saying is that we work together-- really well.

I love his family and they seem to really like me as well. His mom and I get along better than my own mother, and I frequently visit with them (even when he isn't there).

We have talked about our life together, and we have both agreed that we are in this for "the long haul". We have outrightly said that we want to spend the rest of our lives together, and he has repeatedly told me that I am in his future and he sees us continuing our relationship together, and I have said the same.

My problem is that I am unsure about how to approach the marriage situation. I really want to get married. I don't need a giant wedding or an expensive ring, I just want to voice that commitment that we have made to each other in front of the people who are a part of our life together.

We have talked about marriage twice. The first time, I rambled incoherently for a long time, burst into tears and explained that I had been planning on proposing to him that weekend. He told me that while he could see marriage in the future, he wasn't ready for it at the point.

The second time, admittedly, probably too soon after our first conversation, was a few days ago, when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told him that I would like him to ask me to marry him. He let that sit for a couple of days and then brought it up. I apologized for making him feel "trapped", and explained that I wasn't looking for a ring that instant, I just wanted to re-affirm that I really want to be a part of his life, and we went through the same discussion that we have had numerous times before, about how we are committed to our life together and we make each other stupidly happy. He asked if I was "jonesing to get married", and I told him that no, I wasn't obsessed with getting married in a certain time frame (because I'm not), but I would like it to happen at some point.

Practically speaking, we, together, make enough money to live comfortably, but we aren't rich. I know that he is not satisfied with his job, but he is unsure about what he wants to do in the future, because following his passion would mean going back to school full-time.

I told him that if he chooses to go back to school, I will get a second job or full-time job in order to be able to support him as he has supported me, and he seems hesitant to take me up on the offer.

It makes sense in my head that he isn't ready right now--he doesn't have his job situation figured out and we don't have enough money to pay for a big wedding-- but we both know that we are there for each other and we will unconditionally support the other person, no matter what.

Should I just shut up about the whole marriage thing? Right now, I can tell that we are on the same page in terms of our commitment, but I think he is looking at the prospect of marriage from the idea that "well, it's going really well, so why do we have to?", but I am looking at it from "well, it's going really well, so why don't we?"

I don't want to push the issue, and I don't want to scare him off, but I am struggling to find a way to express how I feel without bringing up the "m" word. I don't want him to feel pressured if the time is not right for him.

I know how lucky I am and how absolutely blessed I am to have found this amazing, wonderful person to spend the rest of my life with.

I know, deep down, that it is just a piece of paper, so it shouldn't matter- but it still does, to me. I know that I should count myself lucky and not press the issue, but honestly, I am just so happy that I want to "seal the deal" officially, not just with a fist-bump. Because that happened once. :)

Your advice is amazing, and I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

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heather2012 5 years ago

Hi Veronica,

i m in the same situation as others.i have been dating him for 1 year 3 months.i m asian and he is french.he is 4 years younger and will be 26 this year.we both are working with enough earning our own.

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