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

Is it the End? Hmmm... Probably.

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

Anonymous said:

"I got a ques for ya.

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

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

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

I get feistier with each martini.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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All text is original content by Veronica.

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Billy 9 years ago

Awesome answer! 'Can't even tell you how many of my friends have had women they ended it with because the woman pushed and pushed about marriage. They want you to do what they want, and don't care about what you want. They want to get married for the sake of getting married. They can't just live in the present and enjoy the relationship as it is right now. They blow it for themselves.

Irene 9 years ago

I like that you also included that just like she can't expect him to do something he doesn't want to do, also he can't expect her to give up on something she wants. So I think that was good, and that makes this article well balanced. I'm one of those girls that really wants to get married, and maybe it's wrong but if I am with a guy for a while and he isn't talking marriage I am out of there. But I can see what you are saying. I don't know, maybe I haven't really met the right guy, or else I would have waited it out?

bipbi 9 years ago

Hi Veronica. Do you still hold that answer if the guy says he really wants to marry that girl somewhere down the road, just not right now?

kranky 9 years ago

you haven't expained how do two people who love each other so much get over this hurdle, without afflicting anymore emotional heatrache

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

bipbi and kranky,

Sorry for the delay in answering; I guess with the new Hub changes, there was a delay in comment notification. I just got these comments now. Thanks for reading and commenting.

If the guy says he wants to marry the girl down the road, he's really saying he doesn't want to marry her.  Alot of it is about timing, but clearly the time is wrong for him. Girl needs to see this for what it is, not what she wants it to be.

Kranky, the only hurdle is for the person that wants to get married to realize her partner doesn't want to marry her, and get on with her  life.  This is not something a couple can work through. This is most typically the woman not wanting to see the situation for what it is, and the man not having the balls to just break it off  and be honest with her.

bambie 9 years ago

What if it's been six years and the guy still does not prepare for the future? Say for example, the girl is 27 yrs old and the guy is 28? He still want to buy very expensive phones and a car! He knows how difficult it is to earn money. And yet he doesn't think of preparing for the future.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


If he really doesn't think about the future, then he probaby doesn't want to. He's not ready. Or, it's not what he wants. 

miahbell 9 years ago

Observing from experience I would have to say that it is only a good idea to marry if the two are in love with each other. Such issues like the overabundancy of money or the expensive luxuries that one partner has and expects, are reasons enough to look at the whole situation and evaluate with reasoning. Are they going to be another expense account overdrawn or are they going to treasure every moment available with you? I would want to think that my husband would want I for the reason of love and not for money. Then again I'm not married. To know that you could be someone greater if you were with your partner all of the time still stands to be seen. Usually, one out of the two puts in more into the relationship than the other and tends to make argumental reasonings become a showdown of wit. Sometimes this showdown comes to a conclusion that leads to a having of your cake and eating it too. Then other times, that showdown only leads to some romantic interlude or some good sex. Either way, the design of the reasoning being verbalized or argued against had the love shared and put into a different perspective? The instances that one shares with the person you are going to marry, should be ones that have "you" put in the spotlight and made to feel loved and appreciated for yourself, and not the money that you put into action. When you lack the beauty of being young or the what if you go broke? Will they still love you? If "yes", then marry them. If not for love, then why did the both even start talikng and sharing moments together for in the first place. There had to be an attraction of ideals, or an admiration of one another? If not, then it's just lust and not love. If you cannot see yourself prettier or more handsome around them, then that love is not love. Someone that loves you, makes you feel special; they tell you that they love you. With those sentiments having been expressed, you look at yourself differently in the mirror and tend to have good days instead of bad. Some marry for money and whatever that love brings. Stay away from them, cause and effect. Either way in that whole proposition-only you end up with your feelings hurt and with a smaller wallet. Money can buy so much, but never will it buy love...,unless you're purchasing a pet.

akenfar 9 years ago

i am akenfar from morocco and i am looking for awoman to marry me

waiting 9 years ago

So how long do you wait before you walk. I have been in a five year relationship, going on 6. I love my boyfriend but I am ready to get married, ready for a family. I have waited and waited because I didn't want to "push" him into anything. He says he loves me and sees a future together and doesn't want to lose me, but still nothing. When is enough, enough?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Dear Waiting -

Your ages play a part in this. Are you on the sunny side of 30? 25? Also, your place in life. Are you both out on your own, well on your way in your careers? Your life goals are also involved here. Are you planning to have children and pushing 40?

You say you don't want to push him, but he isn't thinking twice about pushing you to wait. The harsh truth is, some people are never ready. Or at least never reach that ready feeling with a given individual. His SAYING he loves you and wants a future is much different than ACTING that way. Has he given you a promise ring, set up a joint bank account for a future house purchase with you, done anything that says FUTURE instead of doing only things that say RIGHT NOW. All you are doing by waiting is proving to him that what he's doing is acceptable. He has every right to not want to move forward. But you have every right to get what you want, and not just accept the fate he's providing.

I think 6 years is a very long time. I think if you're adults, on your own, on your way in your careers, than you're a fool to wait another minute. 6 years?? If what you want now out of life is not what this man wants now, then stop being the "Eternal Girlfriend" and break free of this. Enough is enough.

bipbi 9 years ago

Dear Veronica,

It's great to have you listen and talk about things like this. Thank you! I say this because in times of confusion and hurtful emotions like such, one (or probably me only) cannot be able to think it through.

I try to read your advice and figure something for myself. But as I say it's all so confusing. I guess it's because I still desperately hope my relationship to last the way I want. But I'm not at all sure it will now.

I'm 27 and he's 23. I've been with this guy for 4 years and it's been long distance for 3 years. We saw each other once every year for 1-3 months. Everything got better as time went by, because (I think, of course) we overcame quite a lot of things to get to know each other better. We talked about the future too but never came up with a specific plan. This summer I graduate and he graduates too, and we will return home both. I'm quite flexible with my plans for the future because I jave a good job at home and at the same time can return for further study abroad. But it would be more difficult for him if he stays home.

3 months ago he was offered a scholarship for further study. He will of course accept it, which means we're gonna be apart if I dont find my way there with him. As eager and sure about a future together as I was, I talked to him over Instant Messaging about marriage in the next 1 or 2 years. Then he told me he always truly wants to marry me but he's not ready now. The reason is he's not confident with all family responsibilities. I was upset. But that time he was busy with his dissertation so I left him alone and didn't talk about that for a while. A month later he told me he was ready and wanted to take all the responsibilities. He talked about what we should do with our families this summer when we're back and other stuff that I love to hear. I was so happy. But only for a few days. He then told me I should find a way to apply for study so we can be together because he doesn't want marriage that soon. This time the reason is he doesn't feel happy when thinking about marriage. I was hopeless and hurt, until now.

Things are the same for 2 months now. I have read a lot about similar situations. But I am moving toward a negative decision, that he doesn't really want me for his life as he always says. Do you think I am right? Do you think I should move on?

I'd appreciate your thought and advice a lot. I want a happy future with him, but with or without it I don't think I should be this miserable.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Dear Bipbi,

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

Basically you answered your own questions with your sign off. You are miserable. And that's not a good thing. And right now your misery or your happiness is dependent upon this guy's ability to make a major life decision that he has told you in a couple of different ways that he is not ready to make.

You and your guy are still young. You've journied intelligently on the path toward good careers. Maybe its time to enjoy being independent and on your own for the first time. Who knows, maybe your paths will lead back toward each other one day.

But for now, listen to your own Words in that last paragraph you wrote. Make your own happy future. Don't let your happiness depend upon a decision he has told you he isn't ready to make. When it's really right, it's right for both of you. By your own admission, you're miserable. Being miserable is a major indicator that you need to move on.

Best of luck.

bipbi 9 years ago

Dear Veronica,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. It's helpful and encouraging.

It's hard to focus on just myself now after a long time of "us". And it's harder to believe that we're not gonna be together any more. He wants being together without talking about marriage for a while. But I'm not happy with that.

You said about some possible happy day in the future and that eases the pain I'm feeling. This is for me a great way to get through the first hardest phase of breaking-up. Because somehow I still believe, despite what people often say about the "not ready" symptom, that he's just too young for it, not that he doesn't want me. Or this's just an illusion I choose to create, I dont know. Still I think I need to enjoy life and have fun. And thanks to you I have more courage to go for that now.

Thanks for being here, Veronica.

Helen 9 years ago

I think that I am the clingy type. I see myself so differently after I read your articles. I wish you were my therapist.

Ditch? 9 years ago

i was introduced to a girl 2 months ago and after just 2-3 times of meeting her i felt very close to her and had never felt as comfortable talking to someone as i had with her....we have alot of similar interests and share similar ideas for what we want for our future, so everything was goin well.......however i was told that i would have to make a decision with 2 months as to whether i wanted to marry her or not......I know you can never know someone until you live with them, and from what i do know i like....well up until now at least....cos i have to make a decision so soon i have to think about all factors, (which may sound trivial).

Based on what i know i like apart from lately when i've spoke to her she's sounded quite down and when i think about it some more, during a few of our conversations in the past sometimes she's been happy and others she hasn't, when i've asked if she's ok, she just says she's had a bad day at work, but doesn't seem as happy (on the phone) from one day to the next....this concerns me as i don't like the idea of being married to someone who's emotions vary from one day to the next..sometimes i think its just nerves on her part, but surely those nerves should disapear when we talk....ideally i'd have liked more time to get to know her before committing myself to her, but i was affriad of missing out her as i couldn't think of a reason not to say yes. However, now i feel as if i've dug a big ditch, but am hoping that she cheers up so the ditch turns into a mountain (cornie i know)........hope you can read between the lines and help me out.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


I answered you in your own special Hub-


Perseverance  9 years ago

I think this is a very interesting article. I think a breakup isn't ALWAYS the right answer, however; sometimes, "I'm not ready yet" means exactly that, and if you can have a little patience, things will work out all right.

My finace and I went through a long period of "I want to get serious about the future" and "he doesn't want to have to make a commitment or change the way things are now." For me, this was nearly intolerable because I have a lot of health problems and was struggling with carrying my own health insurance, and he had some of the best insurance available anywhere in our state (through graduate school, and at an absurdly low cost). It was very painful to hear "I love you, I want to be with you, but I don't want to marry you even though it would mean a HUGE financial and emotional burden off your shoulders, because I'm not sure I want to be with you forever." I understood what he was saying, but it was still frustrating.

Still, we talked it through, and came up with a compromise: he wasn't ready to make that commitment . . . YET . . . but he understood that my main impetus for pushing marriage was the financial issue, so he would help me pay for my insurance if I would table the marriage issue for a while. I did so, and I'd also like to say that he was there for me emotionally through a lot of extremely difficult times. We've had our share of problems, but I'd like to think we've come through them stronger.

We got engaged in January, after nearly 5 years of dating. It's going to be a long engagement, as he's still a little nervous about the whole concept of marriage, but my patience paid off. We really listened to each other, and discovered that our goals were NOT actually insurmountably different -- unlike a lot of the scenarios Veronica has presented, we had a way to meet in the middle. In March of 2009, after 7 years together, we will become husband and wife.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Congratulations on your engagement! And best to you regarding your health issues.

Your situation is very different from the one that initiated this HUB, but it actually touches upon a theme I've discussed in other HUBS. That theme is that relationships should be based on honesty, communication, and compromise. You and your man had those things. You were honest, you both communicated well about your feelings and intentions, and he stepped up and reached a compromise that worked for both of you. I'm very happy for you. I hope your story serves to demonstrate the way good relationships actually work to all that read this HUB.


Bipbi 9 years ago

Dear Veronica,

My boyfriend came back home and said he was not ready because he just needed some time to think over the whole idea of getting married soon and how he could adjust to it. And he proposed us do anything I want as long as I am happy, i.e. getting married next year. Because my being happy would make him happy, even though he doesn't really want marriage as bad as I do at the moment.

Now it's my turn to step back and hesitate. I dont feel as happy as I think I should be with what he just tells me. I have a feeling that if he just does it for me, it won't last. And as much as I want a future with him, I do want to have a happy future with someone who is fully ready and does want and need the same things with me. And I think the latter part seems now to be more important to me. So now I am confused. Is he what I want, or is it just a happy marriage life with someone who needs it for himself, not just for me?

Do you have any Hub about this kind of confusion? Or do you have any advice about how I can clear my mind and know what I really want?


Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


Check this one out, see if it lends any insight.




John Disher 9 years ago

hi, nice website, i was looking for this kind of help, let me tell you a little about my relationship, my gf and i have been together for 2 and a half years now, and i have been 6 months now out of town working (it's a job that will help make a good financial future) i go see her every half a month, anyway, she has been pushing about the "let's plan for the future" issue, i don't like the idea of her pushing this issue, i think its a "us" decision to start talking about that.. i dunno, maybe i'm not ready yet, maybe im selfish on the issue, i love her a lot, she loves me the same and a little bit more, she says to me that i don't care being far from her, that i sound "super" when we chat over the phone and she's always talking like a truck full of rocks were on her shoulders...very depressing..that she wants to se me and all that ( i want to see her too and be with her, but i have a job and i cant, i see reality, she sees fantasy... i dunno) and i feel like crap for that, but i can't feel miserable here were i am right now, i need, i must maintain the hope that soon i will comeback to our town (where i used to live, and she lives in the present) thats my plan, make a few bucks were i am right now and get back with her, and MAYBE, when i return, JUST MAYBE then... i will think about marriage, like she does right now.. i dont want to hurt her feelings, that's all. and besides all this... i see that she has a lot of problems at her house, and her sister just got married a few couple of years and live next to her house (life's a beach at her house compared to her parents house) , and then i think to myself.... she wants to marry because she want out of her house or because she's ready?? she's 25, im 31.

thanks for reading this, i hope i get an answer, ty, im confused.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

You said, you see reality and she sees fantasy.

I think that's close. I think it's that you see NOW and she sees what she wants for LATER. Also, she sees nothing but herself, and now sadly thats all you see too. What about you?

She is ruining the "now" by making you miserable. The fact that you wrote this clearly shows she is not enjoying the obvious care and affection you have for her. She can't function patiently through this out-of-town temporary thing for you, and support you through it. A real life partner would be making this easier for you, not harder.

It is also clear she has other agendas; other reasons she wants to get married. This is not good, John Disher.

She is thinking about herself. She talks to you about her wants, her needs, her life. She inflicts manipulative emotions on you to put priority on her wants. She is not thinking about you, and what would be good for you, and what would make you happy. She doesn't go into your phone calls thinking, "I love this man, and want his happiness. What can I say in this conversation that would make him feel my love, and make him happy?"

All of these immature behaviors on her part show her age. Actually, she sounds immature for even 25 but that probably has to do with the major problems at her house.

She is no where near ready to marry. And she won't be until she starts showing you that your happiness and opinions and frame of mind matter just as much as hers.

John Disher 9 years ago

Thanks a lot Veronica for your reply, I feel a little better now, i was afraid i was being shelfish but now that i read your reply, i see things with another perspective, usually i don't look out for my needs or feelings, intead of that i just want to make my gf happy, but what about me and my life?? lol, thx again Veronica, grettings.

cutie 9 years ago

just love and merrige

KLChicago 9 years ago

What a great topic and advice Veronica. I hope you can shed some light on my situation. My girlfriend is 32, soon to be 33, and I just turned 32. She was previously engaged but broke it off because her ex fiancé was a druggie and this is really the first serious relationship I have had that lasted more than 9 months. We've been together for just over a year now. We recently went on a break about a month ago for various reasons. One of these reasons was that she expects me to talk about our future more but doesn't really hear it from me. We love each other but I am the type to only talk about things like moving in together, marriage, children, etc. only when I am ready and when I can truly see that happening (maybe its just a guy thing). Anyway, I make a very decent salary but have always had money/credit issues since college...trying to dig out of debt, etc. We had a discussion tonight that ultimately drove me to search the internet and find your website. It went like this: We go out to eat ALOT and I almost always pay the bill (dinner for two in Chicago can get expensive). She wanted to go to dinner this Friday at a very nice Italian place and I told her I felt like we shouldn't go out as often because I need to really start saving money for my debt issues and to be able to be comfortable for the future (I know, I'm 32 and should be there already but I'm a late bloomer and have always had an issue saving $$). She brought up the fact that I spend money on other things (golfing, etc) that can get expensive and I agree I need to budget better all the way around. However, the conversation led to the fact that she looks around at all my friends and they are almost all married with kids and she feels "behind" and that she's "not getting any younger" and she doesn't want to be like some of her friends that are in their late 30's/early 40's with no family or significant other. I agree with this but I am not ready financially and want to be together for another year or so before I even start thinking of marriage and to be able to give myself some time to really fix my money issues. She wondered outloud what I'm waiting for (to start saving for a ring, etc) and I'm thinking "what heck, we've only been together a year and most of my friends dated for 5 - 7 before getting married". I feel she is pressuring me before I even have a chance to be ready to marry her and if I tell to wait a year I'm not sure how she'll react. Any advice on my rambling? Thanks!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


Thanks for the comment. I answered you in your very own HUB:


I hope it helps.


jacksonBusiness profile image

jacksonBusiness 9 years ago from Downingtown

Very useful informat

Keep it HUH


kitten 9 years ago

i'm in the same situation you can hardly blame a lady she wasted her time and invested in the future a future now that seems to be never going to happen it sad that this happens but as far as getting married goes if he don;'t want to marry her she may not be pressuring him constantly she maybe thinking well if he don't want it i will find someone that does.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Amen, Kitten

space 9 years ago

Hi Veronica, I am glad that I find this website. Me and my bf has been together for 2 years. I thought we were having a great time, and of course, like a lots of other women, I pressured him into getting married. He on the other hand, went through a nasty divorce before, and one of his buddies is getting divorced now, so he suddenly said that he need some space. then he said that he just want to live together, no marriage, no divorce. I was very angry at the beginning, but then I realized that I kind of pushed him away by giving him these pressure. I am kind of confused now, I feel I am facing a choice of either break up, looking for other man who wants to get married someday, or be happy with him (we were happy together), be honest with you, I don't even know why I want to get married, I don't want kid, I guess it is the pressure from my family, and seeing other friends all getting married. Help please.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


It is very key that you said you don't know why you even wanted to get married, and that you are happy in your relationship with him.

There is nothing wrong with being happy. It sounds to me like you should just continue to be happy, and be with him without pressures that belong to your friends and family, not you. If you enjoy living with him, then do it.

If in the future you change and are no longer happy, that would be the time to talk to him again about this. Without pressure, you'd tell him you're just not happy anymore, and give him the reasons why. They should be your reasons, not reasons implanted by family and friends that clearly are not living your life. You can decide at that time how the two of you will proceed, together or apart.

I think it is great that you saw what you were doing, and you stopped it. It sounds to me like you're growing in this relationship. You have a nice balance of what makes you happy and what he needs for happiness. Good for you! I have the feeling you will continue to be happy no matter what you do.



African hotel 9 years ago

I'll remember to save this article so that i can refer to it in the future when i have kids of my own. You never know.

myfavoritenook 9 years ago

RealityTV 9 years ago

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

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

RealityTV I answered you in your own HUB.


Please check it out and let me know what you think.


confused 9 years ago

hi veronica.. the first time i saw this website, its awesome! after i read all of those love problems, i want also to share my own love story...

im in a relationship right now for 2 years and a half. honestly i want to get married to my bf and he said he is not yet ready... but he wants to a have a baby first...? is it fair to have a baby first before we get married...? please help me, im so confused!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Hi confused,

I answered your question in your very own HUB. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks!


Coconut profile image

Coconut 9 years ago

K Williams 9 years ago

.....maybe she no longer wants to live as an unpaid whore.

Renaissance profile image

Renaissance 9 years ago

Veronica, this particular Hub was the one which introduced me to hubpages.com. A Web search of the very phrase which makes up the title brought me to this site.

Great answer, and thanks for introducing me to HubPages!Here is one of my own Hubs on a similar topic: http://hubpages.com/misc/Not_Ready_For_Engagement

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Great news, Renaisaance. Welcome!

thanks for giving us the link to your HUB

Renaissance profile image

Renaissance 9 years ago

Veronica, here's that Hub you suggested I write:


Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

I love it when people do HUBS on my suggestions ;)

And this one is pretty intense! Everybody, go read that thing. What he said.

Dino 9 years ago

This is another excellent article, Veronica. You're so right. When two people in a relationship are not on the same page it isn't fair to eaither of them. Girls LOVE to delude themselves and think their guy is different, their situation is different. But any guy who reads this is pretty much nodding and smiling to himself.

sipoom99 9 years ago

Hope every pass it.

hunny1980 9 years ago

well, i have the same problem. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years now.He used to say he wanted to marry me but, now he doesn't AT ALL! When he gets around his buddies he makes rude and nasty comments about how he will NEVER get married (with me sitting there listening) like i am not even there. It makes me feel worthless and like I am not worth marryng. if there is something so wrong with me, why is he even with me at all? I am sorry but i disagree that its ok not to want to get married. I understand not wanting to get married after a few months or even a couple of years but, after that, they are just trying to keep you at arms length and trying to get out of a commitment. If they are not ready to get married, i feel like they are basically wasting your time because it is more or less telling you that they are not sure if they want to spend the rest of their life with you. I am almost to the point of moving on myself because i have been pushed far enough.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


Your boyfriend is telling you he doesn't want to marry you every time he says it in public in front of you. He's telling you in the most cowardice and immature way there is, but he is telling you.

There is nothing wrong with someone not wanting to get married. (Like Susan Sarandon & Tim Robbins, or Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, or any forever-bachelor, to offer examples.) However, there is everything wrong with someone not being honest with a partner about what they want. They are two entirely separate things, that I think you've confused. If your boyfriend doesn't want to get married, there's nothing wrong with that at all. That's his right, and no one else can say what's right or wrong for him. However, there is something VERY wrong with your boyfriend, because instead of talking to you about his feelings, fears, and future, he makes "rude and nasty comments how he will never get married with [you} sitting there (making you feel worthless.)" It's very sick that he does that to you. And he continues to do it because you sit there and let him.

You deserve better.

I hope you will move on, and find a man that wants what you want in life, and who will treat you with the respect you deserve.

Me 9 years ago

I'm 23 and my boyfriend is 28. He's been married before (at the age of 18) and that wasn;t the best decision in his life. He has an 9 year old son who lives here 7 days a week. We've been together now for 5 years and 4 of them living together. We got engaged 5-5-2007 because I " proposed" Now he wants to get out of the marriage, because he's not ready yet. He thinks marriage is something not necessary and says we have a good life the way it is.. I want to move on and get married and I understand that I'm pressuring him right now... I do want to be with him the rest of my life, but marriage is very important to me. We have a date 08-08-08 and while he's not sure of marriage, I cant plan anything. He knows that I already got the wedding dress and I know that the pre wedding planning is the most fun for women! But I cant have fun before I know what he really wants... Well I already know of course, but I dont know if I want to be with a man that never wants to get married... what should I do???

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

He is telling you he isn't ready, and you are asking what to do? Your partner does not want to get married, didn't initiate any of the marriage events like the biggest one - the proposal, and you don't know what to do? Are you serious?

23 is ridiculously young to be getting married. 28 is young as well, and add to that he's already been through this, has a child, knows what he's talking about, and DOESN'T WANT TO GET MARRIED.

Everything you said is about how much you want to plan a wedding, not about how much you want to be in a marriage. Your age shows. You've proven you aren't ready for marriage by wanting to disregard his feelings for your own wants.

I have no idea why you'd even entertain the idea of forcing someone that clearly does not want to do this, into marrying you. But I can tell you this: if you continue to force him to do what you want regardless of what he clearly tells you, it will end in disaster.

Jessica 9 years ago

Wow, Veronica! Way to be blunt! you say what every one who reads that is thinking, but we're all afraid to say it. I know I always want to be liked and wind up like many people not telling the truth about how i really feel. But i guess that is why your hubs are so popular, you really tell it like it is. I will never understand why women get so caught up in wanting to have a wedding that they totally don't look at what it takes to actually be part of a marriage. This one doesn't even want to wait til the guy proposes to her. I feel sorry for her,but your advice is correct. she needs to stop thinking about her dream wedding and think about what it means to be a partner.

Ali 9 years ago

I have been reading some of the post and I love your advice but every situation is different and I would really appreciate your advice on mine. I am 24 yrs old and my bf is 27. We have been together for 6.5 yrs and living together for 1.5yrs. We have had our tough times and had a couple of breaks early in the relationship but gotten through it all. I would love to get married and have spoken to my partner about this and he recently said he just isn't sure yet. I was in shock when I heard this as a year ago he said in the next year we'll probably get engaged. Now that year is almost up and we arent going anywhere. He always tells me he loves me and wants to be with me but I am worried we have become more like flatmates rather than a couple. He has it very good with me and I feel he doesn't appreciate it and its making me feel like his mother. When I talk to him about this I always feel like Im being pushy and he then makes me feel like Im the bad guy. I am just worried that its never going ot happen and I have sacrificed alot of time, and things I would like for him. I am starting to think I shouldn't sacrifice anymore time as that you cant get back. I love him but I think he takes advantage of that. What should I do? Please help

ppp 9 years ago

me ur boy friend is fooling u u choose safe direction otherwise ur life will be distroyed.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


At age 24 you should not be sacrificing things you want in the hopes that your boyfriend will one day marry you.

You're feeling that flat-mate only feeling, you're saying he thinks you're pushy when you talk about marriage, you're feeling taken advantage of, and at your very young age you're aware that you can't get this time back and you're questioning that you've sacrificed a lot of time.

You're answer is in all the things you said. Move out. You have to, for your sanity, your dignity, and your life. I'm not going to give you coddling advice. If he's taking you for granted, the ONLY way you can show him is to LEAVE. Not threaten to leave, not talk about leaving, but to actually do it and leave. And spend some time apart.

One of two things will happen -

1 -he will miss you and fight for you, or

2 - he won't.

If it's #1 and he does miss you, make him fight. Don't make it easy. Don't cave in. Let him have the time he needs to truly understand that you are worthwhile.

You don't have to be a bitch. You can be civil and just explain, the situation you're in with him is not what you want, you feel taken for granted, taken advantage of, and that there is no future. You can be pleasant when he calls, but do NOT be calling him or going out of your way to see him. Spend time on YOU, and your friendships that have probably suffered, make new friends, do things for YOU. Reclaim your dignity and mystery. And by all means reclaim all the self respect you've lost. Go out again, even try to date again. Let him see that he doesn't own you, that you aren't sitting home waiting. I'm serious. You have to do this all the way - for real.

If it's #2 and he lets you go, and he quickly gets serious with someone else, well then at least you called him out on his true self before having to hire divorce lawyers.


Good luck.

Ali 9 years ago

Thankyou Veronica. I was thinking I needed to do that but just wasn't sure if I should.

You are right in that is the only option. And I will do it. I'm sure he knows its coming but has always thought I wouldn't go through with it.

I am lucky that we are renting. It is my lease and am not locked in anymore so as soon as I find a place we will go our separate ways. Will let you know how it goes.

Any advice on what to do about our 2 dogs? we both love them and got them together. So not sure what would happen there.

It is nice to get such an honest opinion which sometimes you cant get from your friends or family.

Thankyou again so much

Samantha 9 years ago

Hello Veronica,

My situation is a little different, I guess anyways. My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over 2 years and we are engaged. He proposed a little of a month of us being together (way too fast yes, whirlwind romance) We have no been engaged this whole time and he refuses to set a date. Everytime we do he comes back a few weeks later and says he isn't ready right now and doesn't know why. I'm struggling with my wanting to move our relationship forward and him wanting us to stand still, well actually he wants us to move in together next year, which is stricly against BOTH of our religions(catholic). But I don't want to pressure him because I don't want him to really want to do this not because I forced him to. But I'm struggling to deal with standing still and him constantly unsetting the date.

Confused on where to go from here, and how long do you wait for him to be ready?

Samantha 9 years ago

I'm sorry I guess I should add that I am 25 and he is turning 32 on Monday.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Dear Samantha,

I believe you're quite bright to be seeing this from so many angles.

I think two years is normally enough time to know if you want to bring the relationship to the next level, but I also think your ages are very relative. For example, if you are 38 and want to have children, enough is enough. Move on. You don't have oodles of time to wait and see. On the other hand, if you are 22, what are you doing?? He's too young, he's not ready, and you should relax and enjoy your youth. You should be building your career, working on your self and your personal goals. And on the other other hand, if you are say.... 28? Then this gets much harder.

These are loose examples. The point I'm trying to make is, this really depends on where you both are in your lives. He was crazy enough about you to propose. Then he was rational enough to calm down and slow down. These are both understandable moves. But he continues to not be able to step up and keep the commitment to the future. I'm not sure what he's doing now. It sounds like he wants to be with you but he is afraid to take this step. You need to figure out WHY.

If you're both young, then he's right to be unsure about this step - Relax and take some time. There is no rush.

But if you're of a more mature age, settled in your career, set in your life, truly ready to be a lifetime partner, then you may want to move on. If that's the situation then his not being ready, is not really acceptable.

Stick to your guns about not living together. If it's not something you believe in for spiritual reasons, don't compromise that because the guy isn't sure he wants to marry you. You'll regret caving on that principle.

Good luck.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

I just read your second comment.

Well, that falls right in that area where I said, "this gets more complicated." The advice is the same however - you need to figure out why he's vacillating. One good thing is that you are young enough to give this some time if that's what you choose to do. 25 is young. There is no rush. Trust me.

Instead of asking him to set a date for the wedding, how about asking him to set a date to set the date? Tell him, for example, by Christmas next year (2008) you want to be able to announce the date. It gives him another step to try to take. That might make all the difference in the world. Careful - do not word it like an ultimatum. Make it more like a compromise. Don't threaten what you'll do if he doesn't come through. Just put it out there and see how he does, and promise not to hound him- promise that the subject is dropped until that date. Think also, if there is something you could do in return. Not that you "should" have to do something, but it might be a gesture that shows just how ready you are for marriage, (which might be a concern for him being that he's older) and that may help him over his hurdle. For example, tell him by that same date, you promise to have all your credit cards paid off. (or something, you know.)

When that dates come around, if he hasn't set the date, you have your answer.

erika 9 years ago

Hi veronica,

Thank you for putting up such an inspiring article.

Let me share you my experience. Me and my boyfriend have been together for 2 years now. I'm only around 24 but my boyfriend is around 33. A few months ago, he started to propose for me to get married with him, I accepted and we started the preparations for the wedding.

However, in the past few weeks, he kept changing his mind, 1 day he said he wanted to marry, and the next day, he said he wanted to postpone. He keep being undecided ever since which makes me really fed up about it. Does he want to marry or does he not?

I had a talk with him and we discussed it through, it seemed to me that he is worried about financial problems. We both sat together and do some planning on financial stuff, how much can we save up, how much do we have and how much we can allocate for emergency situations. It look pretty nice and he agreed, so he carried on with the plan.

Unfortunately, a few days ago, he started worrying on other things, like what if I get retrenched, what if accidents happen, what if this and what if that.. you know unexpected things. Well, I don't deny it won't happen but I don't really see the point of worrying of all that, you can't see when it comes, but you should not really let that prevent a marriage.

We both love each other but sometimes I think that this marriage is not going to work as he keep postponing and worrying for unnecessary things, 1 after another. My friend said maybe he's not into the marriage thing. Unfortunately I am into marriage, I want to build a family and future with him.

Eventhough we're young, but I want to know how should I handle this kind of situation. Should i just wait for him or should I not waste both our times and move on with my life. I'm just afraid of waiting for something that will never come.

Talked to him on this before, but he doesn't seem to get what I'm saying and act really touchy on it. Can you advice on this?

Really appreciate your comment

Thank you and have a nice day

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Hi Erika,

I think you situation applies to the advice I gave to Ali above, who is also 24. I think 24 is very young marry, but if you want to force him to stop worrying and start moving, move out/move on. You have to follow through. It will make him shit or get off the pot. Please scroll up and see the comment I left in response to Ali. And good luck.

Dee 9 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I like reading your comments and you make a lot of sense so I was wondering if you might be able to offer insight into my problem. My issue is that I'm almost 24 and my b/f is 26 and we have been together for 5 years now and living together for 3 of them. I have a child from a previous relationship and he has been in her life from the beginning. My issue is that after all this time together:5 years I want something definite. I know that he is the one I want to spend my life with but he doesn't know what he wants. We didn't have the talk until recently because I've tried not to pressure him but I want to know that we are on the same path. I've just started going back to school and with school and work, I know it's been a stressful time for both of us. But now he says that he doesn't know what he wants anymore and he's going to stay at his Mom's for awhile to "clear his head." I told him that I would move out and we could break up because it doesn't feel that we want the same things but he said that he doesn't want that. He just needs time to figure things out. My question is am I making a mistake by leaving the ball in his court? I don't want him to be with me because he feels I need him. I want him to be with me because he wants to be. I don't know if this separation is a good idea or if it the beginning of the end? I love him so much but I'm hurting. Do I just give him time or do I walk away? Thanks-Dee

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


It certainly sounds like you have a grounded and realistic grip of the situation. Bravo for that. Not everyone sees as clearly as you do. I think it was smart that you offered to break up and end things since it's becoming apparent that you both want different things.

There are many angles with which we can look at this:

For one, you're young, so very young. And you do have some time to give this relationship. And, I am positive that this is not your last chance love.

However another angle is your daughter. You have to think about the people that come in and out of her life, and the vibes that you give off from that. No matter how well you explain something to her, she will still pick up the palpable feelings of loss and hurt and betryal and disappointment that you are feeling. These things happen, and are unavoidable, but you still want to minimize her exposure. If he's gone, you only want to go through this once, for her sake. You don't want to do the revolving door thing, and the holding on to hope thing, that will all only prolong the anxiety she can pick up.

Another thing to consider is that factually when a guy says he needs time or needs to clear his head, what he's really saying is he wants out but can't face up to that mess yet so he's going to selfishly drag you through tiny steps of his leaving instead of just dealing with the fall out like a man. Men will even tell themselves it is easier for you to be put through a very long unsure unstable ride of a break up. The truth is the opposite. Dee, your man may be the exception to this, but one of the angles I can take here is that the odds are he's already gone.

My advice is never ever to leave the ball in his court. Ever. Once he knows he can get away with that kind of behavior and you will accept and validate it, he has no reason to step up, grow up, respect you and behave better. You may swear he treats you great. But his leaving to "clear his head" is not treating you great. See it for what it is.

Here is my advice: Proceed as if he has already left you. Tell him calmly you won't do this in-between shit. You know what you want, and after 5 years he should too. His going to stay with his mommy is a clear sign to you that he isn't the man you had hoped he was. So, his leaving may be just as well. (I'm serious. He needs to hear this.) Pick a date, and tell him that's the drop dead date. Do not make this sound like an ultimatum. It isn't an ultimatum, you're already presuming he's broken up with you in his heart he just hasn't admitted it. Now all you're doing is giving him your schedule. It's not a threat, it's a plan. It's your plan for yourself. There is a huge difference. Tell him on January first you are moving out. On December first (or whatever date you pick but not one far off) you are giving your landlord your 30 day notice. (or whatever plans need to be made). Concrete steps, with dates, that show you're moving on.

An ultimatum says, "If you don't do this, I will do that!" That's not what you're doing. You're saying, "This IS what I'm doing. It has nothing to do with you at this point. This IS my life now. ...But if you read between the lines you can figure out how to prevent me from my plan if you really wanted."

Focus forward, not backward.

Dee, the truth is if he really did just need some time, then he will NOT just sit by and let you move out without a fight. He will fight for you, and he will snap out of his black-out and move forward in his commitment with you. And sadly, if he wasn't just looking for time, and he really was ending it in his own way, he will let you go.

My advice is to do this with dignity and honor. Try as hard as you can not to be angry or vicious. Showing your sadness and disappointment is fine, as long as you never let yourself look pathetic or needy. Men hate that. Be as strong as you can be. Let him see you strong, independent, self respecting, and in control of your own destiny despite anything he does. It's not only attractive, it's also the BEST way you can be as a role model for your daughter. Life hurts, but you get up brush yourself off and deal with it. And then good things can come. New doors can't open until old ones close.

Dee, I wish you luck, but I have the feeling you're going to be just fine. I hope you'll stop back in and keep us informed.



Bianca 9 years ago

Hi Veronica

I can not begin to tell you how much I love what you relay to your readers. I am in a bit of a tangle. I want to get married very much so but even my own father has told me to be okay if it does not happened since I will be career successful. I don't want to give up and become like so many other successful women in my family, but I don't want to turn into this desperate prune that settles. I am only twenty one and feel so stressed about the situation. I know I should take a chill pill because I am young, but it's hard, many of my college girlfriends feel the same way. So, what should we do?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

I want you to honestly think about something. Think about the boy you had the biggest crush on when you were twelve. Seriously, a boy in class or from your neighborhood that at the time you thought kicked ass. Now think about how much you have drastically changed and grown since you were twelve. Honestly, if you had married that boy when you were 12, would you be happy with him now at 21?

The guys you think are terrific right now, are NOT going to be the guys you think are terrific when you're 25. or 28. or 31. The difference between age 12 and 21 is slight compared to how much different you're going to be at age 30.

You aren't even close to ready to pick out the person you want to spend the next 60 years with. I guarantee it. Right now you would be much smarter to concentrate on your career. And when you date, you will do well if you are open to meeting different kinds of people. That's the best way to learn about yourself; about what you bring to a relationship, what you need from a partner, what things that you thought were important aren't really all that important, and what things actually are deal-breakers.

I am head over heels happily married ten years now. I got married when I was 31, already owned my own home, had dated many guys, and had a solid career. I think back to the guy I was dating when I was 21 and I am so fucking glad I wasn't stupid enough to think that at 21 I could make any kind of marriage decision. Honey, relax. Take that chill pill you mentioned. Meet people, date, have fun, have a career. Stop worrying about getting married, it will only ruin the relationships that are appropriate for you to be having at this point in your life. Good luck.

MiamiBabyMama 9 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I need your advice. I am 29 and my boyfriend is 24. After only knowing each other for a few months we were very much in love and decided to have a baby together. He is the one that 1st brought up the question and after about a month or two of talking about it, contemplating and compromising my beliefs of marriage before children, here we are a year & a half later with a six month old. I love my boyfriend very much, but I broke up with him because now I realize I do want to get married and he says he's not ready. He finishes with school next year and he says sometime after that we will get married because he will be more financially stable and he'll be able to "be a man", but after hearing so many situations where the girl is waiting years for a ring and also knowing people in the same situation I feel I better get out now while I'm still young enough to find someone who wants to get married and have more children. I also have heard that when a guy says he's "not ready" it really means I'm just not the one. Even if he was to propose now I feel like it would only be to make me happy and he may throw it in my face later that he never wanted to get married. Also I feel like if he really loved me he would have asked me already, especially when I was pregnant or even after seeing our beautiful baby! Sometimes I think he is too young anyway. Am I being selfish? Am I right? Please help!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


I agree with you. If he wanted to marry you, he would have asked you before he asked you to have a baby, let alone while you were pregnant or after the baby was born.

I think it is crystal-fucking clear in your situation: he doesn't want to marry you. You are not being selfish. He apparently thought of you as a potentially good "mom", and that obviously is different from "wife". I have a prediction regarding him. I am willing to bet he's going to set up franchises. He will have several children, with different women, out of marriage.

I'm glad you broke up with him. New doors can't open until you fully close some old doors. Best to you.

*undecided 9 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I need your expertise on my situation. I am 30 yrs old and my bf is 28. We have been together for two years. We moved very fast in our relationship. I was the first girl he ever lived with. We were living together but after not knowing if he wanted to marry me ever and catching him in a lie, I asked him to move out and get his own place. He was and is very resentful that I asked him to move out. That same night he moved out he was terribly upset and said he was a fool for not telling me that he sees a future in us. I think he was saying all of those things because he was scared of losing me. Five months later he forgets what he said and we are back to square one.

He's a really good guy with great family values and I love that about him. He's sweet, attentive and I am very much in love with him. The problem I'm having is that it's not about when we will get married, it's IF we will get married. He doesn't know if I am the one. It doesn't help that my family is constantly asking when we are going to get married and that I have four of my friend's wedding coming up early next year. He has a lot of debt from college and it's a big stress factor in his life. I don't have any debt and make double what he makes. I think he resents that too. I know it's hard for a guy to feel secure when his partner makes more money than he does. I can tell he feels inferior sometimes and I wish he wouldn't. I have even told him that if we elope and forego the wedding that we could use that money to pay some of his debt. I like to think that when you are married you are a team and should address all issues together.

There has been a couple of time where I hinted breaking up and he got very upset and was even crying. How can someone that loves me so much just not know? When we first started dating he told me that his dad cheated on his mom and that it was very hurtful to the whole family. His parents worked things out and stayed together. I think that changed his outlook on marriage. I think he's scared of that happening to him.

I know some men like to be in control of their financial situation before taking that leap. He used to hint about our future together, but after I started putting the pressure on him he completely stopped and even retreats. He doesn't want to break up and now I'm the one who has asked him for some time to clear my head. It has definitely hurt my ego that he doesn't know if I am the one yet.. after two years. Should I give up and move on or give him some more time?


Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


2 years, and your given ages, plus already having gone through living together, breaking up, moving out, and potentially losing you,.... umm... yes, he should be able to know if you're the one. Absolutely.

The problem isn't that he doesn't know. It's that he knows, and he doesn't want to admit it. He's hoping it will change. It won't.

My husband went through this with the girl he was with prior to meeting me. He claimed things like he didn't know if she was the one and didn't know if he ever wanted to get married. He's not an ass. I'm sure at the time, that was how he interpreted what he felt, which was that she wasn't the one. When it's right - it's right. There is no doubt. It's a fire inside that can't be dissuaded.

Undecided, from here it is painfully clear that he just doesn't want to marry you. It may not be clear to him, and it may not be clear to you, but that is the clear truth. The tears are believable; I'm sure he'd really like it if you were the one. He's not crying because he doesn't know. He's crying because he does.

It is definitely time for you to move on.

Let me stick one more piece of advice into this. Discovering your feelings and growing into a relationship with a real future are very beautiful and personal things. The last thing someone wants when they are going through that, is constantly being asked by the potential in-laws when you'll be getting married. Nothing can wreck the mood faster. I realize they care about you, and are excited at the prospect, but to pretty much any potential mate it is intrusive, pushy, and a sure way to scare him off fast. It plants a seed of things to come if he spends his life with you of their pressuring him and interfering in his life. You need to put an end to that interference pronto. It might have been a hurtful factor in this relationship, don't let it be one in the next.

Good luck.

Feelingverydown 9 years ago


   I'm a 26 year old male, going on 27 soon.  I've been in a wonderful relationship with a beautiful woman for about 6, almost 7 years.  She is 26.  There are some problems, however, in which I really would appreciate your input.  I will try to make this short.  Its a bit of a narrative, but its all relavant.  Since we graduated from college in 2003, I've hopped from one job to the next and i've hopped from one business idea or career idea to the next.  In the back of my mind, however, regardless of all the job hopping and scattered thoughts, I was always set on two big things:  1.  eventually marrying her  2.  trading stocks and making a really good living doing that.  Well, I eventually saved up the money i needed to trade stocks which took me a few years.  I started trading this year.  To make a long story short, I lost most of my money; most of my savings.  Moreover, I lost my dream, my hope in a financially secure future for both of us because I depended so much upon trading as my career and I failed horribly. 

After that devastating reality check and some personal health problems, I fell into a severe depression--for the very first time in my life.  I have always been the socialable happy friendly guy.  I've been like this for at least 6 months, but I feel that I'm slowly recovering.

Here's what's up.  Again, I'm almost 27, she's 26.  We've been together--let me see--it will be 7 years in February 2008!!!  We are NOT married yet.  I feel like a complete loser!  Why?  Because we are not married yet, I still live at home with my parents (although that will change soon cause they are getting a divorce and the house is in foreclosure), and she just deserves much more than this!  why we are not married has much to do with what i told you:  I lost so much money in the stock market and depended so much upon trading as our way out of the rat race and such and such.  I just got fired from my job too! (first time ever being unemployed and/or fired). I fell into this severe depression.  And finally, I DON'T KNOW WHAT CAREER PATH TO CHOOSE!  We are both actually trying to find our way--careerwise.  Four years have passed since we graduated from college and neither of us has a graduate degree, set career, or solid idea of a career direction! We've been asking ourselves, what have we been doing the last four years. Its sad, but not much, at least in terms of building careers. Our future careers or lack of them will ultimately have a huge impact on our relationship or lack of a relationship. We've seem to have lost focus on our individual career directions and the relationship is partly suffering because of it, but I feel that I'm mostly to blame, at least for not living together and being married.  

 I love her, Veronica, very much.  I just feel like a boy in a man's body who's been beaten the hell out of by Reality.  I want her.  I love her so much.  During my darkest moments, hundreds of memories we had together, hundreds more movements, gestures, sounds, and smells of her shot through my memory waves.  I love her more than she knows.   

what should I do?  for the first time in my life, I'm financially and spirtually broke.  She knows this.  She knows my pain and is still standing by my side.  i told her that I love her so much and want to marry her.  I told her that i'm getting out of this depression, looking at graduate schools, trying to decide what career path to go on, trying for a lack of better words, to get my shit together.  I'm willing to do whatever I can for her.  I told her that I want us to move in together. by the way, she lives at her home with her mother. She threw me a curve ball, however, and said that she thinks I should get my own apartment first by myself, show that I can pay my own bills, be responsible, etc.  that seriously hurt me cause I've always been financially stable (till I lost the $ trading)and responsible. I did have my own place when we first met and was paying my own bills, handling things very well all the while graduating with honors! (magna cum laude)  I moved in with my parents years later to save up money for the stock market.   

All in all, I feel like the biggest failure in the world. I love her so much that many of times i want to tell her to leave me, to find somebody better and stronger than me if it would make her happier in the end.  I would rather her be happy, even if that means her being with some other damn lucky schmuck.  But I know that what she wants most is for me to get my act together, ask her to marry me, move in together, and get started on a career path. She should have an engagement ring, a house with me, and a real man (me) who has a solid career, solid mind, and strong spirit. Granted we have had a really great many years together--even traveling in Europe (France, Poland, Germany, etc.) for a month, visiting California twice and so so so much more. I feel, now, however, that I'm taking time away from her, time away from her precious youth, time she could be using for better things.   please help me.

P.S. I'm confident, Veronica, that you will give it to me straight and honest, no sugarcoating it, like you have in your previous responses to others. I highly admire that. Thank-you!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Dear Feeling,

You wanted my direct blunt take on things, so here it is.

I think you ROCK. Seriously. First of all, for where you are in age you are at an appropriate place in life. Stop stressing that so much.

Second, it was brave as hell for you to give your dream career a shot straight out of college. I applaud that. I’m sorry it failed, but I still think it’s awesome, and I think it’s better than being 50 one day sitting at the kitchen table saying, “I always wanted to be a trader and I never even tried.”

And third, it is very admirable that you have this long term relationship with this woman you clearly love deeply. And that you want the best things in the world for her.These are all good things. I think you’re pretty terrific, and I think the two of you have a real future together. Unlike most of the people that post to this HUB article, you actually DO want to get married. You are doing and saying things to show that fact.I don’t think what she’s asking is out of bounds. It’s great that you were once independent and had your own place. It is entirely another to do it again after losing everything.

My advice to these ladies here when they say their bf’s claim they aren’t ready to marry, it isn’t the time, is to look at what he’s saying and doing. If he isn’t doing anything toward that future, he isn’t going to marry you. So my advice to you, Feeling, is to do things toward your end. All she’s asking you to do is to move out first. It’s really not a lot. So do it. It has to be done anyway. When you find your place make it a point to speak of it as if you are expecting her to join you one day there. Little things like “I noticed a Chinese restaurant a block away, and I know you love Chinese food,” or “This closet will eventually be yours, but for now I have my books and things in it I haven’t sorted through yet.” Ask her opinion of things as you do them to the apartment, include her in the choices, but don’t make her have to make them. Do you know what I mean? It’s your place, you don’t expect her to do all the work, just let her see that her opinion really counts.

Since your next life goal is so focused on marrying her, make sure your career steps are safe ones for now. I am sure with your college education and your experience in the stock market that you can get your foot in the door at a good safe solid company. Even if the job doesn’t feel like something great or something you’d be interested in, take it for now, and use it as a vehicle to move upward in the company. I’m sorry your parents house is in foreclosure and that they are parting. You’ve certainly had your share of road blocks. But honey you’re a diamond in the rough. I wish you could see it from an objective standpoint like I can. Try to remain positive especially around her. Seeing how you act while struggling or disappointed is a clear reflection on the type of life partner you will be. Shit happens – people get sick, have health issues and limitations, they lose jobs and money, they lose their homes, they go through all kinds of changes and many are unpleasant ones. Show her, and yourself, that you can survive with a smile.

Another thing I think would really demonstrate your commitment is a ring. For the holidays, get her a ring. Go to HSN or QVC and get one of those fake diamond rings for $19. (Don’t spend any more than you’d spend on half a tank of gas.) Give it to her privately, tell her you wish it was an engagement ring, and you fully intend to have it replaced with a real one on her finger within the next few years. THANK her for her support and her commitment to you, thank her for the best years and memories, and promise her that there will be many many more to come. If she doesn’t wear it, that’s fine. It was a keepsake little token of a promise, that exists between you and her. No one else needs to know.

Best to you. You deserve it. Keep us posted!

Confused 9 years ago

My bofriend and I have been dating for a year and seven months now. He is 22 and I am 23. I am ready to start my life with him. I am ready to get married, move in and have kids. He says he loves me and wants to marry me. He keeps saying we will get engaged just give him time. I told him how am I supposed to know that. Then he gets defensive and asks me if I want a promise ring and that he didn't know I needed a monatary item to show commitment. How do I know I am not just waiting around and wasting my time on an empty commitment.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Confused -

1 year and seven months at your ages isn't enough time. You're too young and haven't been together nearly long enough to even think about marriage.

His response that he "didn't know you needed a monetary item to show commitment" is pretty asinine. At any age and at any point in any relationship, that quip is bogus. You need to think about that bullshit very carefuly. One of two reasons is behind that stupidity:

1 - He's just saying whatever ignorant thing pops into his head because he's so frustrated with your pushing for a marriage neither of you is ready for, or

2 - He is really that clueless about the norms, traditions, laws and expectations of people in committed relationships.

If you decide it's number 1, then lay off. Back off, stop pushing, and just relax. Enjoy being young and in a young relationship. Take at least a year off from making him crazy and see what happens. In good time where he is free to think and grow naturally, he will find his way to giving you a promise ring on his own, without the pressure. And, I promise you, it will mean 1000 x's more when you get a ring because he wants to give one and not because you demanded one. When you push and pressure you go from being in a two way relationship, into being in one way relationship, and there is only "one way" a relationship like that can go. Serioiusly, if you think about how immature that comment is, you can see how "not even close to ready" he is for marriage. And it's just as immature that you're pushing so hard. You're both proving you're not old enough, and not ready. Neither of you is behaving like a partner. His asking for time is reasonable and rational, and you need to stop trying to mess up what you have before you ruin it.

However - If you think the answer is number 2, then get out. Don't waste any time with a guy that is already laying ground work to tell you he has no intentions of being a good partner. 16 year olds exchange promise rings after 6 months. It has nothing to do with age or time together. It's a symbol that says "I promise I'm as into you as I possibly can be, and I have every intention of going the next step when it's time." That sentiment is relative. Unless you picked out an expensive promise ring, or wanted it to accompany a contract signed in blood, there isn't anything odd or excessively monetary about your request. If that statement truly is refelctive of his inner most beliefs, then you two obviously want very different future paths in life, and you should bail.

Bri 9 years ago

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 6 years now. Currently we are both 24, which I know is young. We never intended our relationship to be long term, and seperated a couple times in the middle and went out with other people, but neither of us met anyone who meant half as much to us. Now we have graduated college and I have a fixed job in one location while he accepted a job with a training program, where he moves across the country every few months. He lived with me for 6 months during which he always talked about the future, which house we would get, our values for life etc. Then I started talking about marriage and he backed off, saying he wasn't ready yet, he wanted to travel and to experience life first. I on the other hand want to travel and experience life with the one I love, giving shared memories. I said since we didn't want the same things we should break up and go our own way, which was the hardest thing I have ever done. He however wanted some time to think about things, so I said ok, I could give him that. During this time I have tried to not talk about the future or what plans we would have, which I thought he would appreciate while making his decision. Once I stopped talking about commitment or the future, he started again. But I know that as soon as I talk about again he will back off.

As I have told him, I don't necessisarly want to be married right now, I just want to know that it is what he wants and that he will eventually take steps to make it happen, like tell his job to station him in one location. I am fine with letting him travel and advance his career now, but would like to know a long term plan, and he cannot give it to me. The mixed messages he is giving me are driving me crazy, and he makes me feel like I am unreasonable for wanting to know that continuing a long term relationship will get me what I want out of life. Any advice?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


Kuddos to you for letting it be known that you believe you both want different things out of life and that you feel that means you should go your own way.

As far as the mixed messages go, you didn't relay any to me. I'm just going by what you said. You said, he speaks of things staying the way they are with the two of you, and about purchasing a house, and spending future time with you and your shared values for life. On an entirely different note, you said YOU speak about MARRIAGE. These are very distinctly different things. Again, I only have what you told me to go with. You did no share any mixed messages from him at all.

Do you realize that not everyone ties up marriage into their plans for the future? It's painfully clear he doesn't. It's also painfully clear you do. He's not being evasive, or mixed, or confusing. If what you said is true, he wants you in his future, he just doesn't want to get married. And he hasn't done or said anything mixed about that. You, on the other hand, clearly want to get married so badly that even though you've really done everything correctly (And I applaud that sincerely) it doesn't sound like you can separate your desire to get married from what he's doing and giving.

When you told him you wanted to separate because you want to get married, at his young age and with his not wanting to get married, he was willing to give it time and revisit it in his head and heart. And again he tells you how his future plans include you. From here, he sounds like a keeper. He sounds committed, and patient, and honest. He isn't giving any mixed messages. He just doesn't want to get married. And that may change esspecially since you are both so young, but it also may not.

If you really are that caught up with the "marriage or nothing" thing at your age then this just isn't going to work. You'll want what you want, and you'll give up everything you already have to get it. You should not be in this relationship if you aren't happy. However, if your really do want my advice, it sounds to me like he's been great, and he's worth a few more years of growing together.

eric 9 years ago


After reading your other replies, I think your advice sounds very grounded and honest. My own situation is similar, and I would appreciate your insight.

I am 33 and have been dating a 31 ye old woman for about 13 months now. We just broke up (for the 3 time) yesterday for the same issue as before; because although i know i love her, i'm not sure if i want to spend the rest of my life with her.

We both want to be married and have kids. My career is great and i'll be financially fine, so these aren't issues.

I do love her, and this is the most commited and serious relationship i have been involved in. We enjoy so many of the same things, and have spent this last year together almost daily.

I feel like if I choose to make her the one I will marry, then we could be happy. But the fact that I'm not sure about whether she's the girl i should marry makes me very scared. I don't think I should have to think logically to make a decision about something that should come naturally.

and yes, at my age, I get very scared that she might be the best chance i ever have at happiness, and that if i let this go i'll never have another opportunity.

Well, we broke it off, b/c i could not lie to her and tell her that if we stay together we will definitely get married. I want her to be the one. But i don't want to force anything and end up with a divorce several years later.

I would like to just live with her and see how it works out. But I also suspect that wouldn't be fair to her, b/c I would probably end up feeling just as ambivalent as before i moved in with her.

So, I guess my question is: Would it be wrong to move in with her while I wait to make a decision about marrying her? Do the people in these on-again/ off-again relationships ever end up having a happy marriage?

thanks for your input...eric

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


You sound like a really good hearted, level headed man. I applaud your being honest with the gf and telling her you just aren't sure. That took guts. At her age, and with her wanting children and marriage, that really was the fair and noble thing to do.

There are quite a few questions woven in to your text. Yes, it would have been wrong for you to move in with her knowing she wants marriage and kids while you figure out if you're going to be able to make her the one. And, yes, actually sometimes those on again off again relationships do wind up in very happy marriages.

I believe that you love her, and that you want her to be the one. I don't think you've done anything wrong here. I think 13 months is pretty much enough time at your age to figure things out, too.

But I believe with everything in my being that when it's right, you know it. I don't think you can make someone be the one just because you really wish it was. I think as much as you really wanted this to work, she just wasn't the one. That's what I'm picking up from the words you chose.

Something else I think, is that when people say what if this was my only chance, that they are usually just scared and sad. It really probably isn't your only chance. Don't let the fear of the unknown make this decision. The only thing that should make this decision is that feeling inside you that screams out "God, YES!" when you imagine being married to her and spending every second of your life with her. And with no other woman ever.

My advice is to stay on the path you've newly carved. You've broken it off. Now try to move on. Sign up for Harmony.com or match.com or ask out a co worker immediately. Get right back out there and see how that feels. Do some dating, some flirting, let your friends take you out and set you up and walk up to that hot chick in D'Agostino's and ask her to join you for a coffee.

And here's my bottom line advice: give it at least 6 months out there of really trying. Of going out. Of meeting new women, and dating and everything. Really try it. And if you really are suddenly sure that the ex gf was the one, (And I mean REALLY sure it's HER, not just that you're lonely) then go back to her. Even if now she says she won't wait, even if you haven't spoken to her, just show up. At work, at her door, someplace you know you'll catch her. And tell her how you feel. At that point you can't put her through another waiting game. That would be cruel. You're only chance is to show up with the ring.

Good luck to you. I hope you will keep us posted.

Leilani 9 years ago

Hey Veronica,

All of this has been speaking to me quite a bit.... As, of course, I'm going through something similar.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years; about six months ago we decided to move together from Seattle to New York. We had then, and currently have, a really great relationship, i.e. we have a lot of fun together, we are understanding and respectful and share a common set of values. We laugh a lot and spend holidays with each other's families.

Shortly after we moved here though, I brought up the idea of commitment -- mind you, not marriage/wedding/hoopla but just a commitment to each other that we would do everything we could to make it work through hard times or easy times and all times. We had never talked about a future together before that. I was very shocked when my boyfriend said "No, I'm not ready to make a commitment to you". It was a very difficult time to get through, but I understood and we moved forward. I brought it up again, six months later and got the same response. It's really hurtful.

I can't help but wonder if he doesn't have a fear of commitment just a fear of committing to me. He says "I really believe I'll be ready someday, but I don't know when that day will be". How long am I supposed to wait? How long am I supposed to believe him? Am I just fooling myself into thinking he'll ever be ready?

I'm 28 years old, so I'm not old, but I ain't no spring chicken... and to be honest, this "rejection" is making me a little angry and bitter and sowing the seeds of a potential break up. What can I do?

Thanks for any help... I appreciate it.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author


First, kudos to you thus far. From what you've shared, it sounds that after a reasonable time together you began with a request for a baby step toward commitment. When rejected, you waited, and then tried again a reasonable amount of time later.

Being 28 makes things a bit difficult. You're right, you have time. But at this point in your life, why should you be forced to wait.

You're smart to wonder if his commitment adversion is general, or if it translates to you. Like you said, you weren't pushing for a wedding, just a step toward the future and he couldn't even do that. I think by now he should have not only made that step, but also that he should have been the one to initiate it. I'm sorry to say this, but if I were you I would be moving out. You're wonderfully honest that you're feeling bitter and angry and "sowing the seeds" of a break-up. You have every right to feel this way. I wouldn't leave in a threatening ultimatum-type way. But I would tell him he should have been ready by now, and that you need to move on. If he is commitment phobic this will snap him out of it. But if it's specific to your relationship, he might react but overall he will step back and let you go.

You sound articulate, caring, intelligent, patient and mature. I have no doubt that you're going to be just fine. I hope you'll keep us posted. Best to you.

Leilani 9 years ago

Hello again!

I wrote in a few days ago regarding my "commitment" predicament with my boyfriend. I followed your advice and told my boyfiend that in the near future I would probably leave for a while to let us both think about our needs and our futures. I wasn't pushy or ultimatum-y. He said that made him sad but he understood.

Well, a day or so later, he said he had thought about it and was ready to make a commitment to a future together. That he was really comfortable with that decision and was happy to have spent some time thinking it over.

So, thank you for the advice. We'll see where we go from here. But at least now I can make life plans including him without feeling like a tool. ;-)


Should I give it try? or not? 9 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I’m very happy that I found your website. I’ve been very confused with my current situation.

Regarding marriage, I’ve been proposed since I was 22. (I’m now 28) I turned down some of the proposals because I thought I was too young to get married, and other it just wasn’t meant to be. Several months ago, I was dating this guy, and he was too end up asking me to marry him. But then, I rejected the proposal because I wasn’t sure that he is the love of my life. In other words, if I marry that guy, I would only do it just to fulfill my ‘wedding fantasy’ without even respecting and falling in deeply to the guy’.

Now, I guess I’m experiencing my karma. My life is like a love comedy. Now, I realize that I do want to get settled. Not to be a snob or a bi**h, but I have several admirers. Off all the other available guys or guys who are in the same page with me (i.e ready to settle), I chose to falling in love with a guy 3 years younger then me ( he is 25 years old).

We were click, we have many things in common, we enjoy each other company, nonetheless, we‘ve been together for only 4 months. The thing is we are completely honest with each other. He knows the story of my marriage proposals and he is honest regarding his family background. I should tell you that his family background is urr I could say very unique. His mother divorce three times and currently dating another ‘new’ man. As I was told, my current boyfriend has some ‘issues’ regarding trusting women. I think this has something to do with his family background. So, I never brought up his family issues. But he is very honest with me in telling all his feelings towards his family situation. My parents also got divorced when I was young, but then remarried again and live happily. But the impact on me is that I should carefully chose the right guy.

Please don’t get bored =). Now Im getting to the core of the story. One night we were discussing about marriage. But somehow we get into the conclusion that ‘ I was ready to find that special someone’ .. While he has not even considering to get married. Quoted from him “I don’t know what will happen to me for the next 1-2 years, but I know my self truly, and I don’t think I want to settle in the next following year”. Then I joked “ Oww so its not ‘us’ then and he replied “ that depends when” (whatever that means!!).

The thing is, every time he got the vibes that I want to do the right thing (correct me if Im wrong), that I should not be with a guy who does not want the same thing with me, therefore start creating space between me and him, he comes with a gesture of loving me.

However, when we end up discussing the ‘issue’ again, he said “lets not discuss it because it gonna hurt us both”. I know he loves me.. You can tell when a man truly loves you. He done nothing but trying to make me happy, listen to me, and spend most of his time with me .Ow, another facts is he brake up with his previous girlfriend because he wasn’t ready to commit.

Am I wasting my time? Or it is too young to tell even he already say it to me that the term “marriage” has not occurred in his mind yet? Thank you so much for your time =)

Kind Regards,

Big Question Mark

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY Author

Big Question Mark,

Deep breath...

I congratulate you on your decisions. Your choice not to marry for the dream wedding, instead to hold out for true love, is admirable, and correct, and in my opinion the only way to live your life. It is not karma that your current bf is sharing the same values in that regard. Considering his background and his very young age, he sounds very responsible in his hesitations. Kudos to him for being honest about things, too. You both sound like you have a lot on the ball.

I can't tell if you are wasting your time with him or not. You have been together a very short amount of time, you are young and he is very young.

You already know he has broken off relationships because the girl pushed about commitment, so I do think you need to relax at this point. You do not have enough time invested in him to be as assertive as I think you're being. However, if it affects your ability to be happy, then you're just going to have to do what you need to do and accept your fate. If you really feel the need to push this to a point where you will wreck this relationship, you could at least do it in stages. Suggest that you not be exclusive. That way you could still keep things open with him, and you could still "look" for someone who is as ready as you are for marriage whom you feel as deeply for. Be aware though that if you decide to see other people, that he could be out there finding the special someone else, too.

My suggestion is to calm down and slow down. I'd give him more time to see where this goes. Actions can speak louder than words in these situations. Watch to see if he begins to "act" like he's becoming ready, ie: saving for a house, long term financial planning, asking your opinion of major purchases, planning vacations together, his bringing up life partner issues in conversation instead of just date/gf things.

If it winds up that this isn't the relationship you'll be in for the rest of your life, it still sounds as if it was a life changing one. One that showed you love is out there, and it is better to be with someone you are in love with, than someone that is just ready to marry.

Good luck.

Big Question Mark 9 years ago

Dear Veronica,

Thank YOU so much! This is the best advice that i 've received!..most of my friends scrutinizing me for turning down the last marriage proposal.. and they also critizing me that why i should wasting my time with this guy. So the conclusion is just go 'with the flow' with in mind that i should always keep my eyes, heart and mind open so i know when right time to decide what is right for me. Thank you! I'll keep you posted!

Kind Regards,

Big Question Mark

RFox profile image

RFox 9 years ago

So it's 1.30am and I guess I'm in the mood to comment on hubs! hahaha.

I just have to say one thing to all the people who are pushing for marriage or considering it just to keep their partner happy: DON'T DO IT!

I was 21 when I married. I have never been the type of woman who wanted 'The Dream Wedding' or all those other girly things. I've always been independent and still can't believe I said 'I DO' so young. I was not ready and it was not my dream in life.

I am now divorced. And yes, I was the one who ended it. My ex was not a bad person. He had a good heart. He did have issues which as I grew up I was not prepared to deal with and that's my point.

People need the chance to 'grow up' before they even consider a lifetime commitment. I knew I was not ready for marriage but I didn't want to hurt my partner. I thought I could grow and change within the relationship and that maybe my feelings would become more solid with more time together. IT DOESN'T WORK. You have to be ready before you say 'yes'. I applaud the guys and girls who are saying they're not ready. They are being honest. And they are certainly braver than I was!

Listen to their words. Even if they capitulate to your demands eventually it will fall apart and it is a difficult thing to go through a divorce. Even an amicable one. You don't want to experience it.

Now at 30 I have arrived at the point where I know who I am and what I want and actually feel that I am ready for such a commitment when the man and time is right. My inner voice was telling me at 21 that I wasn't ready but I chose to ignore it and hurt a lot of people in the process, incuding myself.

You can't rush anyone into being ready. Some people are ready at 21 or some (like me) need to experience more in life to be able to be a fulfilling, committed partner. Let people choose their pace in life and if it doesn't match yours then it's not meant to be. Doesn't mean either party is wrong or unworthy or anything of the sort. As they always say "true love is in the timing."

Another great advice hub Veronica!

arrow sheds profile image

arrow sheds 9 years ago

If you have to push a guy to get married, it won't be good.

Lily 8 years ago

Dear Veronica,

Here I am another woman wanting to get married and wondering what's the deal with my guy??!!!

While I was in college I was never involved in a serious relationship because I wanted to focus on my degree. Once I graduated and got a stable job, I didn't rush it and just enjoyed myself. Two years ago I met the man I am with now. He is and has been wonderful to me. It is a real mature relationship and it was everything I wanted and can safely say we are very much in love with each other.

We dated for a year and moved in together. He was married before and never even slept with his ex-wife before they married, so he insisted that living together before marriage was a way to truly get to know a person. I really didn't have any reservations about living together before marriage. However when we moved in I made it clear that I had no problem doing so, but that I would not have a baby without getting married. This is my opinion and I've told him this from the beginning so that there were no surprises.

The very first day we met I asked if he was ever married and he said yes and that he would like to get married again. He said he enjoyed being married and had no issues even though he was divorced. From the beginning of our relationship he had a very positive attitude towards marriage. After we moved in together he seems to be a happier person, but his attitude towards marriage is more non-chalant. He doesn't say he doesn't want to get married, it's more like when we're ready. I'm ready now, I'm 27 he's 34 and we've lived together for a year and half, it's been wonderful and he's always known that this was important to me. We've both even talked about and agreed that we would like to have a baby soon, but how can I have a baby with a man that I'm not married to? Why would we have a baby if that's an even bigger commitment than marriage? If you're not ready for marriage why would you be ready for parenthood?

I have been told by many family members that he is looking for a ring. He carries a picture of the ring I want in his wallet, his whole family tells me that they know we will be engaged soon. But a couple of weeks ago he said I took away his ability to choose whether we "should" get married. I was highly upset since he knew from the beginning that I wanted a serious relationship because I wanted to get married and start a family. I respect him if he doesn't want to marry again but I was clear that that is what I wanted. If he didn't want that he didn't have to stick around and I would've understood. But now after he claims he's buying a ring (because he's made comments also) he says that. He also said that he wants it to be when it's right for us (it's right for me already, i don't know what's taking him so long) then he says he doesn't want a wedding, he's fine with just going down to city hall. I'm not trying to be a drama queen but just because he had a circus of a wedding doesn't mean I can't get so much as a celebration dinner, I don't think that's fair. And if he just wants to go to city hall what's taking him so long to want to get married, if he thinks it's just about the wedding and not the marriage.

To make matters worst, last time we spoke he said he could do without marriage but would do it just for me. I don't know how that sounds to others but I want a man to marry me because he wants to, not to just shut me up, which is what it'll feel like if he does that now.

He's very indecisive and sometimes says things and a week later will say something completely different. I try to not let things get to me and just enjoy what we have now but I dont want to see myself stuck with a man who doesn't want to marry me or is doing it to shut me up. How do I know if I should stay and if he does propose how do I know he means it?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Dear Lily,


Let me start by saying very clearly that you have done everything right. I applaud you. From your priorities, to your clarity, to your time line, to your communication, to your realism - you are a strong intelligent woman that has taken all the smart steps, in the smart order.

So let's be clear. You've asked my advice, and I'm giving it. I am giving it in regards to how I think you might want to go about handling this "man" of yours. But honestly, I've just got to tell you, you have your head on straight and I really don't think you need any advice. I think you'll be just fine.

There is a stage puppies go through after you've trained them, when they revert. For example, you get them housebroken, and then suddenly for no reason around 9 months - 15 months of age they just seem to "forget", or backslide for a bit. You teach them not to chew your shoes, and suddenly they seem to forget that rule. Or, out of no where they are suddenly afraid of the vacuum when they never showed any fear of it prior. We don't actually know why this happens. We just know it happens. And if you're just a little mindful and patient, they snap out of it.

Men go through something similar after they've made the decision to marry. Suddenly all their fears and anxieties flair. They seem to forget why they wanted to marry, or what you've been teaching them all this time about yourself and your values. They pee on the floor for no reason. They say things that make no sense in the context of your history together.

I think he made the decision to marry you.

You are absolutely right - do NOT have a baby prior to marriage -because the package is what you want. Do NOT marry a man that is marrying to shut you up. Do NOT marry a man so selfish he is trying to ruin what should be the greatest day of your life, with petty comments or no celebration.

I think the truth probably is, that those flares you've seen are a product of that puppy that has suddenly developed a fear of the vacuum and forgets not to chew your shoes. Who the hell knows what goes on in the male brain sometimes.

In all seriousness, my advice to you is to give him some time. I think he's right there, he's just panicking. When he says something completely asinine like how you've taken his ability to decide if you should get married away, smile. Shrug. Say, "OK. Whatever. Want to get a pizza?" Don't bring up the subject. If he brings it up, try to just listen and not offer any advice or opinions. Hopefully this will help de-stress him. Just shrug it off for now. Honestly everything has already been said. He knows it all. Nothing you are going to say now is new. It's just going to add to his freak. So don't go there. Just smile and shrug.

You're feeding on each other's nerves right now. It's up to you to get it all back under control, because he can't.

Obviously, you don't want to smile and shrug forever. Give yourself a time frame. I'd suggest a year. If you just can't find that in you, that's ok. But set that limit in your own head for your own sanity. 6 months. 8 months. At 27 you have more than a few years to relax here even though you are ready. So let him freak. Smile. If he asks if you want to talk about "all this" just smile and say, "Ah, lets just have a nice night, ok? Let's go to a movie or take a bubble bath or something."

I think you will be very surprised at how much calmer he will be once your stress isn't feeding his. I predict in a year you'll be engaged, and someone will be calling you mommy by the time you're 30.

And I also predict, that you're gonna be just fine, Lily, no matter what.

Keep on being exemplary.

RFox profile image

RFox 8 years ago

Ditto, Veronica!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Thanks, RFox! Let's hope Lily checks back in with us!

Lily 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

thanks a lot for your advice and positive comments. I'm happy to hear that my "puppy" might just be scared. I've thought of that too but we are our toughest critics so I brushed him being scared off and just assumed the worst, that he doesn't want to marry me, and that he's wasting my time.

I will definitely be patient and give him some time, I love being with him and we have a wonderful life together so it won't be hard. Hopefully your prediction will be right and I'll look back and giggle about my insecurity.

confused 8 years ago

*saves to favorites before typing comment*

Veronica, my boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years in a long distance relationship. I consider our relationship to be serious and we are in love with each other. Currently I am in my senior year of college and I'm 21...my boyfriend is 24 has graduated college and is trying to START his career. He is currently living with his family--not because he's a bum--until he is hired by one of the many jobs he's applied to. Towards the begginning of the relationship (about a year or so ago), he mentioned marriage....there were conversations, which consisted of a future with us...lately, those talks have been diminished....

I am approaching graduation (dec 08) and we are in a long distance relationship, therefore lately I have been wondering what IS the next step. I brought my thoughts up to him and he told me that we should take one day at a time. Being that my insecurity can get the best of me sometimes....I questioned him again, this time wondering if we should look at some states we'd like to live in and find careers there.....in result of that, he feels as if i'm pressuring him to marry me. I brought up to him that he was the FIRST one to mention marriage and lately I haven't been hearing anything about it, which has caused me to wonder if he thinks I am the "one" any more. I don't want to get married now because I am still in college and without a career...it would be completely unwise for me to do so right now. I told him that I am not trying to pressure him to marry me now or in the future, but I'd just like to know what is going on because I'm graduating soon..blah blah blah...I don't want to lose him...I feel that he is husband potential and can see us having a future together until we're old. He reassured me and said he feels the same and that he thinks that my main focus right now should be school and finding a career, not what the future holds for our relationship. He thinks I'm focusing too much on him, but I can't help it...i love this man!!! I kind of see it as him looking out for me because he wants me to graduate college with a decent gpa and land the job of my dreams, but another part of me can't help but wonder if he no longer thinks i'm the one, but doesn't want to hurt me.

The other day he made a comment saying he wanted his favorite singer to perform at our wedding...if we happen to wed each other. I took offense to that because I feel that true love needs no if's....I asked him why he said that and he said and he said "life is uncertain...I love you and I love what we have right now...let's take one day at a time...its hard for me to say we will get married because anything can happen...."......i feel this is complete and utter bullshit because any thing you do in life involves risks...does that mean you say you're not sure if you are going to do it or not? men propose to women every damn day uncertain of whether their marriage will last, but they don't take the ring back due to those uncertainties.........

He told me that I am worrying way too much and I need to stop pressuring him and painting him into a corner as if this is his LAST and final relationship...yet he says that I am wife material and he sees a future...just not now cause we are both too young.....

Could it be that he is the logical one and I am irrational for wanting an answer about marriage when the future is uncertain or am I right for wanting to know if he sees me as his future wife? I'm afraid I could possibly be ruining the relationship with all my questioning, but I don't want to waste my time being in a relationship with someone who doesn't want me as his wife one day. If he were to ask me I can honestly say I can see him as my husband possibly 5 years down the road or whatever? I don't want to get married now...I just want security...certainty...why can't he just say, "I love you and do want to marry you one day?".....

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Oh Dear Confused...

You very much sound 21 years old.

Asking him for this guarantee for how he will feel 5 years from now is irrational. Feeling you are wasting your time at 21 in a relationship that isn't a guarantee for marriage, is a much bigger issue. It's much worse than irrational, or immature, or unrealistic. It is reflective of being insecure and codependant.

For what it's worth, he sounds very nice, very caring, and very much his age. He has the correct amount of thoughts of the future, the perfect grip on reality, and he is actually secure enough to verbalize his balanced future wishes with little innuendos, like mentioning the band he'd like at the wedding. It's quite unfortunate for him that you can't appreciate that, and have instead turned it into this.

I could be harsh and say, you've done nothing and know nothing about life, love, or marriage. You've never worked, never lived on your own, never expienced anything other than non-adult life. Or, I could be clinical and try to explain to you that you will change so much in the next five years, let alone ten years, that what you think you want right now will mean nothing once you've grown up. Or, I could be very very patient and kind and say gee, maybe just maybe you are ruining your relationship by not listening to him, and constantly asking him to make promises about things he can't guarantee.

But I'm not going to take any of those approaches. Instead, what I would really like to do, is ask you why, at 21, months away from graduation, are you so dependant on someone else to make promises and guarantees for your future happiness and dreams, instead of looking to yourself. Your boyfriend is right. You are way too focused on him. It's unhealthy. I suggest to you that you speak to a counselor at school, or a private therapist if you have one. You said, "I don't want to get married now..I just want security.. certainty..." That statement scared me. I don't know if you are so scared of graduating and growing up, and how uncertain the future is, that you've transferred all that fear onto your relationship so you can blame somebody else, or what's going on. But I know that if you can't snap out of this, you need to get some help. There is no shame in getting help.

Good luck to you.

confused 8 years ago

thank you very much for you advice veronica....it could be that i am possibly dependent on him, but not so much to the point that I would sacrifice my career...it could be that i am also insecure and I do need a bit of maturing to do, but it is kind of confusing when someone brings up marriage from time to time, yet when I mention it, I'm the one that is pressuring, when indeed I'm not....we are in a long distance relationship...he on the east coast, me on the south...I am simply just wondering.....what's next...do I not have the right to ask? I simply asked should we relocate to an area in which we are closer....it's not that I'm asking for a guarantee (guess I should have articulated that better) later on down the line..its that if I am going to invest so much time in a relationship with someone who i can see my future with..he should feel the same...

he mentions marriage, yet he contradicts his statements with if's and tomorrow's not promised....maybe i'm buying into the socially constructed concept of "if you know someone's the one....you know".......I am aware that you can't base a marriage or a relationship off feelings of whether someone is the right one for you or not...that's nonsense, that feeling must also be accompanied with similar qualities/morals, compatability.....

Although I have not been exposed to all of life's complexities, I believe I have a good head on my shoulders and I am definitely naiive...maybe I did not properly communicate the issue at hand to you for you to understand exactly where I am coming from. We are in love and I feel he is my soul mate....we have been through A LOT together...we share the same morals and qualties (same religion, both are into saving/investing, music, etc)......this is not some fleeting romance, we do have substance and this past month I have been thinking about it a lot because I WANT to share my life with him in the future....

I thank you for your candid response for you are way more experienced than I...and I am not crazy!

B Girl 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I was hoping to get some of your candid advice on my situation. I've been going out with my boyfriend for 18 months. 6 months after we met, he asked me to move in with him. I said I'd love to, but maybe we should wait until we'd been together over a year, until we knew each other better. I've lived with someone before and it didn't work out, so wanted to be sure we were compatable.

2 months before we were due to move in together, he told me he'd told his mum he was moving out. Just for info- he's always lived at home with his mum. His dad died 5 years ago, and he has become somewhat of a replacement husband. I own my own house, and rent 3 rooms out to other girls. We are both 28.

6 weeks before we were going to move in together, he changed his mind and decided he wasn't ready. I was hurt by this as it was him that was initially pushing it. He moved in with his friend, who lives around the corner from me, as he wanted to be independent. Fair enough, I wanted to be independent too, only i did it when i was 18 for the first time, not 28! But people move at different speeds.

So he tells me we will move in together in 'a few months'. 6 months have passed and now he says he doesn't know when it will be, but he does want to do it 'one day.'

Every 8 weeks or so we are having a blow up about this. I can't help but feel insecure- he wanted to and then he let me down by changing his mind (didn't actually even tell me, I had to ask) he assures me he does want to do it 'one day' but just can't tell me when- even ballpark. He has so many issue surrounding his dad's death- he is scared to commit incase he loses that person, he wants to be 'successful' in his career before he commits, he is scared incase it doesn't work out. He is Catholic and wants to wait 'to be sure' before moving in with someone, as he sees moving in together and marriage as synonymous. I am very black and white about things and think that if he wanted and loved me enough, he would have made a move towards moving in toegther by now, or at least think 'i'll live with mate for a year, and then move in with girlfriend.' He doesn't want to say 'when' incase he feels differently when we get to that time.

I feel he will eventually commit, we have a great friendship, love and passion, but I am findnign it hard to cope with someone who is so vague and unsure about everything. Whatever I read about this, and logic tells me that i am just not the 'one' for him, that if he was sure he would jus tdo it. I cannot decide whether he is just unsure about me, or he truly wants to just give it a bit more time and then definitely do it.

We are now having some time apart as I cannot go on living like this- feeling worried all the time. I think that after 18 months you would have an idea of when you'd like to move in together. I understand that he cannot go on feeling pressured to do it, but at the same time, why should i wait and wait just feeling stressed all the time that he doesn't feel the same way i do?

I feel like i'm screwed either way- if i stay with him, i will always feel worried, and can't help but every 2 months or so get a bit upset because we are just 'drifting along'. If he did move in with me it'd jus tbe to please me, so that's not the right thing to do- not that he would, he doesn't do anything he doesn't want to, and rightly so. If i break up with him, I will stop feeling worried and insecure, but i will lose my best friend, lover, and potentially 'the one'. What if i regret it and realise I should've jus tgiven him some more time?

Conversely, he doesn't want to lose me, last week before we went on our 'break' he broke down, had spent the day thinking about all the little things we do together, our bond, little in jokes, and doesn't want it to end, but just wants to keep things how they are for now. I'm afraid I won't be happy if it continues too much longer without some sort of commitment. I think after 2 years if you are not committing, there is something wrong.

Am I being stupid and not reading between the lines that he does not love me enough, or is it a case of giving him time to grow up and do things in his own time? If i do carry on, i think we need some sort of solution in the meantime that will make me feel more secure. We do spend time together, talk all the time, have fun- should this be enough? I just feel like i need some reassurance about the future to carry on, and i know if he wanted it, he should naturally be volunteering thoughts about the future. Because he's not, does it mean he never will?

So confused!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I think you are truly ready to be cohabitational, or married, or whatever level of commitment you want to take.

I do not think you're boyfriend is anywhere near there.

You are healthy, strong, responsible and independent, to have moved out at 18, to own your house by 28, to have an established career, a little rental income, and so on. You know what you're doing in the world, and you are out there doing it. I think you have all the facts straight regarding your bf situation. But let's go through just a couple and clarify them.

Your bf's first major flag is that he lived with his mum 'til 28. I don't mean to sound un-sympathetic towards the loss of his dad to his family. I lost my dad, I know what it did to my mom. And my husband's mother died when he was a teen, and we see the affect on his dad. All I am saying is, this is something that happens. Parents die, and as hard as that is, life goes on. Please try to be clearer about this. His choice to stay at home with his mum was not the noble choice, or the responsible thing. It was just a choice. Technically, it was probably the most unhealthy choice. As you intimated, it left his mother enabled with a substitute husband which has probably greatly reduced her ability to move on and find closure. And the truth on his part is probably that he just did not want to move out. He put the focus of that decision on the death of his father. He wasn't sacrificing, he was indulging himself.

The fact that he HAS finally moved out and has said he wants to be independent is great! Maybe he sees how much farther advanced you are in life, in maturity, and in being a whole person. I have to give him kudos here, because it would have been the classic mama's boy thing for him to move out of her home and into yours. But he didn't. He picked a harder path. This makes me think he's a little slow on the uptake but all in all, he's ok. I see why you want to keep him.

So this is where you both are now. He's only now doing what he should've at 18, and you are ten years into your adult life. This is not so simple, BGirl. I'd hesitate to advise that you dump him and move on, because he actually sounds like he's a pretty good guy. And I don't get the sense that he's fucking with you. I truly just think he's maturing very slowly. And he may be a little more intimidated by you then you're realizing. Especially since he's saying he wants to establish his career first too. He's not ready, BGirl.

On the other hand, I can't in good conscience advise you wait for him. It could take him ten years to get where you are. He's finally seeing the world a little clearer and he's going to want to maintain that clarity, especially with his fear of making the wrong decision. One other concern is transition. This is a classic concept. The person you were in high school is not the person you were in college. And that isn't the person you are now at 28. Think about your high school bf's. Your college bf's.... Sometimes when we transition, when we move from one phase of life into another level of maturity and understanding, we leave behind the relationships of the past. Don't blow this out of proportion, but there is a chance that as his independence develops and he transitions, he will change, and he will move on.

You can't make this decision based on him.

He has too many variables. You have to make this decision based on you. You are a strong independent healthy woman. You are ready to be in a committed relaitonship. The one you are in, isn't doing it for you.

The real problem is the stress factor. You are no longer even enjoying the relationship you're in. I'm sorry for that. It isn't your fault. It just is what it is. There is no reason for you to be miserable. I applaud the two of you taking a break. If you really pressed me for my opinion, I'd say since you're on a break, you start dating. Look around out there at the guys who are 30 - 40, who want to be in the kind of committed relationship you want to be in. Guys that moved out at an appropriate age, and have established their careers already.

If your bf matures at the speed of light and is suddenly ready and discovers that you really are his "one", believe me, he won't hesitate to let you know. He will step right back up and fight for you back. But I don't think you should wait for that.

Good luck to you.

B Girl 8 years ago


Thank you so much for the advice- you've broken down in a clear way the slightly mixed up feelings in my head and made them into sensible insightful paragraphs!

That is my fear ultimately- that he will change and move on himself, though he does not see this as a possibility right now, I have experienced it with an ex boyfriend (when I was younger, more naïve and jus tlet things 'happen' to me- not any more!) and I do not want to go through this again.

You have rightly commended him on his first move to independance- it is a step in the right direction. I only wish he had done this years ago, we may have been on more of an equal footing if he had- sod's law naturally dictates otherwise! I think it is a matter of bad timing, not being at the same stage, at the same time.

The problem with continuing in this manner is the stress and enjoyment factor as you say- how can I live like that? Continually unsure of how he feels about me in the long term. I am not one for living in denial, my personal mantra being one of truth, knowledge, respect and awareness in life. I do see things in quite black and white terms (leaning towards the 'he's just not that into you' mode of thinking), though the idealistic part of me that loves the bones of this man wants to believe love will conquer all- i just can't let myself believe it- as you say, there are too many variables.

We have had a short break, although i think he is not seeing it as anything serious- he does need to realise we have a problem. His apathy to the situation tells me he is not realising the full extent of the trouble we are in. He just wants things to go back to 'normal'. Thing is I think we've gone too far to just go back. At this stage I need a reason to stay. We had an idea about working out a system to reassure me until he is ready, but i'm not sure i'll actually believe what he is saying. I'd be absolutely gutted to lose him (this week i've realised the true meaning of that word- every time i've thought about not being with him, it makes me feel like my insides fall out). If we both started dating again, i don't know if I could handle knowing he was out with other girls. And it would take me a long time to get to the stage where I could date other men, I would still feel too strongly for him. If I stay and he does change into a newer, more independent him, and outgrows me, or I push him away with my sadness, I will be alone, possibly 30, starting AGAIN. If I go, I will not be worrying all the time, but I am possibly giving up something that could be wonderful.

This is possibly the hardest relationship problem i've ever had to deal with to date. There is NO easy solution to this one!

Thanks for you straight forward advice Veronica, it really has helped.

Sweety 8 years ago

Hi Veronica, great website. I found you because I was googling on "Why Men want to get married" I have similar situation in a different context. I'm 35, divorced for 1 yr & my fiancé 39. divorced for 4 years with 1 kid. Since the first time we met, he always say that he want to marry me, spend the rest of his life with me, and other all grow old together stuff, future crap things. Everything going great. We get along really well. We can talk on the phone like hours. He is like the man of my dream. I feel like in heaven at that time & thought finally God answer my prayer. He proposed to me 3 weeks after we met. 5 Months after that, I moved in with him, leave my good job, my country, & my family (I know it sound stupid). With something on my mind that we will get married when I'm arrived.

3 Month we together, there's no sign from him that he want to plan our wedding (I am not talking big wedding, just say our vows in front of marriage celebrant) Everytime I asked, he said off course he want to get married, but no action. I was disappointed. Not only because no action from him on the wedding plan, & it seems that he has "amnesia" a lot. Say a lot of things (promise) even a small thing but none is come to reality. After 3 months, I got back to my country to extend my visa. I was staying longer than I suppose to on purpose & was thinking to not go back to him. When I said that to him, he was panic & begging me to come back. He promise (again) that as soon as I arrive he will arrange everything.. Stupid I am, I came back. And things are going back the same like 3 months of hell. He seems occupied with himself and I don't think he even realize that I am there. We rarely talk. I feel like a guest in his house.

This April we will get married. It finally happen because of my initiative. I googling on how to get married in this country. He doesn't care on how it will get done. He didn't get involve at all on all this thing. He just ask me on when is The Date that he suppose to be there & put it on his palm pilot for his reminder like that is the date for him to get a vaccination or something.

The thing is, now I have doubt. I don't want to get a divorce again. I am not sure if I want to get married now. I feel like he doesn't even need me. I am not sure why he need a wife, and now I am not sure if he really love me (even he said that he is). I am not sure what is the reason for him to get married. I asked him all that questions, and he said, he want to marry me because so many reasons but couldn't even name 1.

Do you think I should break this off?

litzitan 8 years ago

id like to know your opinion about my relationship. i am 26 yrs. old and my bf is 32. he is my bf for 4 years now. we talked about getting married someday but i am not sure if he's really serious about it. because he's not saying when to really formally announce it. Last year, he told me that he wants to get married this year but he told me lately that he wants to finish our house first. he is currently processing the papers to build his house but I think it will finish late this year. he told me one time that he is afraid because he doesnt want me to experience difficulties/hardships with me. I understand him but i told him that whatever happens i will be here to support him. Do you think he really loves me? or he just saying some reasons/alibis to postpone the marriage? thanks!

litzitan 8 years ago

id like to know your opinion about my relationship. i am 26 yrs. old and my bf is 32. he is my bf for 4 years now. we talked about getting married someday but i am not sure if he's really serious about it. because he's not saying when to really formally announce it. Last year, he told me that he wants to get married this year but he told me lately that he wants to finish our house first. he is currently processing the papers to build his house but I think it will finish late this year. he told me one time that he is afraid because he doesn't want me to experience difficulties/hardships with me. I understand him but i told him that whatever happens i will be here to support him. Do you think he really loves me? or he just saying some reasons/alibis to postpone the marriage? thanks!

litzitan 8 years ago

id like to know your opinion about my relationship. i am 26 yrs. old and my bf is 32. he is my bf for 4 years now. we talked about getting married someday but i am not sure if he's really serious about it. because he's not saying when to really formally announce it. Last year, he told me that he wants to get married this year but he told me lately that he wants to finish our house first. he is currently processing the papers to build his house but I think it will finish late this year. he told me one time that he is afraid because he doesn't want me to experience difficulties/hardships with me. I understand him but i told him that whatever happens i will be here to support him. Do you think he really loves me? or he just saying some reasons/alibis to postpone the marriage? thanks!

litzitan 8 years ago

id like to know your opinion about my relationship. i am 26 yrs. old and my bf is 32. he is my bf for 4 years now. we talked about getting married someday but i am not sure if he's really serious about it. because he's not saying when to really formally announce it. Last year, he told me that he wants to get married this year but he told me lately that he wants to finish our house first. he is currently processing the papers to build his house but I think it will finish late this year. he told me one time that he is afraid because he doesn't want me to experience difficulties/hardships with me. I understand him but i told him that whatever happens i will be here to support him. Do you think he really loves me? or he just saying some reasons/alibis to postpone the marriage? thanks!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I don't have a lot to go on here. I think a man's concern for providing a house for his family is admirable. His not wanting you to experience difficulties sounds like it's tied up in that. If he's right there at the brink of budiling a house, it's not like he's just making long term plans and blaming them for not wanting to marry sooner. It sounds reasonable to me, from what you've said, for him to put off the wedding until the house is built. One major expense at a time. One goal at a time. I mean, I can understand where his head is at.

I don't think you have anything to lose to wait til the house is built. If he comes up with another goal that suddenly gets president after the house, again postponing the wedding plans, you know you have a problem.

Bgirl 8 years ago

Hi again Veronica,

I posted on here a week or so ago, my problem is further up the board. Well we've had a little time apart to think. Now is decision time. My thoughts were to have a proper break, and date others etc (though this would kill me, and him) or i was prepared to give him until the end of the year, and see where we're at. Not an ultimatum, but just say, 'I can wait this long, and if you're still not ready, I have to let it go'

But he's surprised me by saying that we should just do it- move in together, jump in at the deep end (not that it is so deep after 18 months), get a 6 month rental contract and see how it goes. Could make or break us. I still have my house that I can fully rent out as an investment.

At the end of 6 months we decide what to do. Carry on, and rent again or possibly buy somewhere if it went swimmingly, or break up if it's a disaster.

He finally has pinpointed the reasons he's been so aprehensive, which I knew all along, but he just buried in the back of his mind.

He's scared. Terrified. The reasons about him being scared because his father died and he's scared of losing someone are there, but the main reason is he's scared of the idea of one person 'forever'. And of missing out on the banter with the guys. Grass is always greener syndrome springs to mind...I knew it!

But he said he's thought about it, gone through all the other situations he could be in if he wasn't with me.

Living with his friend has not been all he imagined (surprise surprise). He thought they'd be out for drinks a couple of times a week, and the reality is that they hardly see each other due to work, seeing other friends and girlfriends. I think he thought it would be like being a student. We've all got full time jobs now so it's a bit different. I remember going with my student friends to our favourite cheesy club every Tuesday night for 2 for 1 cocktails, but we don't do it anymore!

So he's realised that the fantasy is better than the reality.

And if he was single, he'd be out with the couple of single friends he's got left, attempting to pull girls again. By the sounds of it he didn't enjoy that too much before he met me. One night stands aren't all they are cracked up to be, he said. Again, big surprise.

So his idea to try living together is what i've wanted all along. Thing is, now it's my turn to be apprehensive. It's not the ideal way in which i'd like to shack up with the guy I love. Wondering if he's thinking 'is the grass greener? What are the lads up to? Am I missing out?'

The grass is pretty sweet from where I stand, except for this issue with him. I've had a few relationships, and I know from experience it can be fun being single, but I always got to a point where I missed being in a relationship. I guess he's not had that, having never actually hada proper girlfriend before. maybe he needs to experience it first hand.

I'm nervous about accepting his proposition to give it a try. I might still be miserable because I don't feel like he really really wants it. He's partly doing it so he doesn't lose me. But like a friend of mine said, you could give him 20 years to decide and he'll still not fully know. You have to put him in the situation to see if he likes it. I think he might realise he does like it- he'll still see his friends just as much, he's a bit of a domestic goddess, and so am I, so he won't be getting annoyed with the boys making the house a mess. I'll be happier and our relationship could flourish. Hopefully. On the other hand it could die a painful death if he feels trapped.

But at least we'll know then. I wouldn't wait any longer than the end of this year anyway, so we'd break up then anyway. I can't say it's how I imagined moving in with someone (in fact i've moved in with a bf before and he really wanted it, so iknwo it's possible) but I guess we're here so maybe we should give it a go.

My instincts tell me it's not quite right, and that's obviously a major red flag. Do you think it's worth a try? Never know, it could save us.

B girl 8 years ago

Veronica,Once again thanks you for replying. I've talked to as many people as I can about this but it really helps to have an impartial viewpoint.I have changed since my early twenties yes. I identify with what you say as I too was a total party girl- the party started on Thursday and sometimes didn't end til Sundays. I travelled, partied for 3 days on top of a mountain in Spain, had the odd one night stand too. I don't regret any of it, I had a blast.I still have a good social life, but now it’s meals out, the odd night dancing on the tiles, instead of every weekend being a drugs and alcohol fuelled crazy-a-thon. I don't live such a hedonistic life anymore. Except for the odd occasion when the mood takes me! I’m left with an amazing close set of friends from those days. I had a trip down memory lane to Ibiza with my friends last year without the bf, he's been away with the boys many weekends away. That’s absolutely fine, but now I’m at the stage where i want to build a life with him as well as have our lives as they are. I wish he had the same urge. I think as he’s always lived with his mother, he’s not ever felt independent. He probably needs to feel he’s had that time standing on his own two feet before he lives with me. I’m trying to be patient and wait for him. I can’t wait forever though, hence the idea to wait til the end of this year to let him stand on his own two feet. That’s as long as I can compromise, it’s hard enough as it is, so that’s how long I’m prepared to feel like this. He’s compromised himself by saying ‘let’s just do it’ which is an amazing thing to do, I’m just apprehensive about it, as he might be compromising himself too much. I don’t want him to feel like he never had that time alone in years to come. It’s unfortunate timing on both our parts. It’d be a shame to throw it away as I think if we can get through this time, I think long term we’ll be great. Currently he sees committing as a very scary thing to do, but you're right he is getting there. It’s not that I don’t want him to socialise, I suppose if i'm honest i resent him a bit. That’s probably what came through in my post. I have re evaluated, I want commitment, definitely. I also want our lives to carry on as they are. It’s the fact he is so reluctant to commit that bothers me, not the way his life is so much. I see him trying to live the single life, with me ‘on the side’. If he had his heart set on making a life with me, and still went out, it wouldn't bother me at all. See the difference? Nobody should stop doing what they want to do for a partner, I wouldn't want him to stop me either, as long as you do have that desire to be with each other as well. I think it’s healthy to have some time apart. Usually it is him who goes on boys nights out, but every 3 out of 4 times, it’s the other way around. Last weekend I went out dancing with the girls and stumbled home at 4am, and he stayed in and watched tv! You're right, you can have a marriage and live that lifestyle. I totally agree, that night I was out with married friends who do just that. It’s getting him to see that that is the problem.I think like you observed, the problem is my boyfriend sees commitment as change-having to stay in, never go out- not have a life basically! This is in his head, and it’s something he has to see for himself, that it doesn’t have to be like that. I can see where he's picked this up from- his brother is never 'allowed' to go out by his wife! I think that’s where he gets his idea of commitment from. That's not what I want for us. Admittedly I do want a slightly more settled life, but what I mean by settled is being sure that he wants to build a life with me, not changing our lifestyle. If he wants to go drinking mid week, he can, but what I meant was, it’s like he wants one more blast at that early twenties lifestyle before committing, not having to answer to anyone, and by answer I mean ‘tell them what you’re doing’ – he doesn’t like the idea of having to tell me he’s even going out, but as I pointed out, he already does that, we speak all the time and live around the corner from each other! Not even many of his friends have that lifestyle so much anymore, so he’s not really gonna get it unless he moves in with students! It’s rare that I’ll go and get wrecked mid week, I’m more likely to go for dinner at a friend’s house, or to the gym. Like I said, the grass is pretty sweet from where I’m standing. I’ve got my friends who have become like a family, I’ve got my independence, I’ve got him. I’m not wondering what it’d be like if I was single. Well except when he tells me he’s so scared of committing! Thing is, he’s already committed! I don’t think he does even want to sleep around anymore either, or even want to drink himself into oblivion every other day; he just is scared of the idea that he won’t have that life again. Just have to let him come to his own conclusion I think that what we have is pretty good, if he decides he does need more of the constant crazy life and to sow his wild oats then I guess we aren’t meant to be. I would possibly want kids in the next 5 years, but not right now. I'd just like to know it was going that way. I think he'll be a great partner and possibly dad one day, he shows signs of it anyway. I still don't think that would mean he can't socialise, or I couldn't either, I'd hope we could still keep living the life we do, albeit I’m sure on a less regular basis. If he could get the single life independent urge out of his system, and get his head round being committed and that it's not all that scary, and he can still have a life, i think we'd be on our way. I don’t think we do want different things ultimately, he’s just having trouble taking the next step so he’s been sitting on the fence, I don’t think it is lack of love that is the problem, but he has a commitment phobia, he’s the same with his job, always wondering if it’s the right thing to do.It makes me think he doesn’t want it enough, and maybe he doesn’t. But I’ve given him a push and he’s suggested taking the plunge, instead of suggesting breaking up. It’s not my ideal way I’d like my guy to commit to me, I wish he just ‘had to have me’, I don’t want to settle for someone who’s not as keen on the idea as I am. I’m not gonna end it without trying my best to work it out, but if it looks like I’m flogging a dead horse, I have to get out. I’ve written an essay! Thanks for letting me bend your ear Veronica, and thanks for taking the time to reply to a stranger’s problems.Take care.p.s. loved the blog posts- very erotic reading!

B girl 8 years ago

litzitan 8 years ago

thanks veronica. you've enlightened me.

mysexxxylady 8 years ago

hi veronica,

i have a boyfriend of 4 years. i can say that i am happy with him but i am confused about a former classmate in college knowing that she a girl too. i admit that i am boyish but i am sure that what i want to be with is a man. but i admit that i admired this girl before because she's really intelligent and nice to everyone. actually she's not that pretty. we were not close but i often notice her staring at me. we never had a chance to get closer. i am not sure if you have the same belief like i do because i believe that you will also feel if you are like by someone you know what i mean. sometimes, i am thinking about her. i dont know whats happening to me.

Tonya 8 years ago

I have been dating my boyfriend for 13 months now. I am 33 and he is 36. We both have been married previously and divorced. I have been divorced for 7 years and he has been divorced for 6 years. Our relationship is great and he just purchased a house to combine our families into one. The concern I have he has told me that his family and friends asked him when we were getting married. He replied by saying that out of all the girlfriends he has had I have the best shot. But when we start talking about marriage it seems like he freaks out. I asked him what he has against marriage and in return he asked me why would I want to get remarried. I explained to him commitment means alot to me. It is nice to have someone who loves you enough to want to be with you for the long haul. Someone to feel secure with and feel like your life is complete. Then I get mixed feelings because he tells me he would like me to show him what type of rings I like but he never indicated what type of ring. This is all confusing to me.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Just give him some time. You're both ready, and mature and smart, and I have no doubt you're doing the right things. However, 13 months isn't a very long time especially after the heartbreak of divorce. Give him some space. Let him take some time. He's doing everything to indicate he is moving in that direction with his joking and his ring questions. He is not talking the talk, he's walking the walk. He bought a house, and is combining your lives. He's doing it.

There are many happy couples that have spent their lives completely committed, but didn't marry. It's a personal decision. It's important that you be honest with him and with yourself about what it is you want. It sounds like you've done that. Harping on it isn't going to make it happen, it more than likely will only have the opposite effect.

Relax. Enjoy this time together. He knows what you want and he's showing you he's getting there. He sounds like a good guy. Just relax, and give him time. I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Tonya 8 years ago

Thank you Veronica. He is a great guy and I am sure we will continue to be happy. I was just getting confused on how he was handling things. Thanks for your opinion on the situation.

feelingbluemarch 8 years ago

Okay, so I'm sure my situation is a combination of the above, but I have to say that your advice is great... so I figured why not?

My boyfriend of 20 months has told me that he's not ready to get engaged. He knows that it's something that I really want and he says that he's upset that he doesn't feel compelled to go buy a ring. He says that he wants to be able to give me what I want, but nothing in his gut is telling him he should do it right now. He says that he loves me and he thinks that he wants to get married and have kids (he said he's always seen himself as the type to have a family eventually). He doesn't know why he doesn't want to get married. I've tried asking him. Bachelor lifestyle? Finances straight first? Is it me or us? Etc? But he can't put his finger on it which is even more frustrating to me but I know it's also frustrating for him not to be able to figure it out. (FYI; He is 29 and I am 26.) We were both visibly upset last night. He tells me that he's just not ready yet, but that begs the question, will he ever be ready?

To make matters worse, I moved overseas to live with him 3 months ago after he took a job offer abroad. I now work and live abroad, too and feel that I have given up a lot to make "sure" that we work. The fact that he doesn't want to get married makes me feel badly about myself. If he was SO swept off his feet, wouldn't he want to marry me? There has to be something wrong with me or us as a match, no? Could it really be anything else and am I wasting my time waiting around for something that may never happen? I don't want to wake up 10 years from now and realize that I've made a big mistake.

I joke around and give him ultimatums saying that I'll leave at the 2 year point (4 months from now) if he doensn't propose. He hates the ultimatum but when do I decide - at what point in time - do I decide that I can't hold out any longer? After I've wasted 2 years? 3 years? 10 years? I feel like telling him tonight that he has to make a decision by tonight. I know that may seem unfair, but things shouldn't always be in the guy's control.

Any advice? Comments? Thanks :)

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I'm going to give it to you straight. I do not think your relationship is going to work.

You moved abroad to be with him. You made a huge step and a huge commitment, and you are at that place where you HAVE to see the effort returned.

He, on the other hand, is telling you nothing in his gut is saying to take another step.

This one is pretty black and white.

I do applaud him for being so honest. He's obviously walking head-on into some very tense and angry conversations because of his honesty. Many men would be cowards about that, hand you a bullshit line to avoid the confrontation and continue to push you out. So, I really do give him credit. I see why you want to be with him just from this.

It may be that it is just timing for him. You are both relatively pretty young, and maybe he is just taking his life in a prioritized way. But the truth is, at this point it doesn't matter. You are clearly completely ready for something he clearly is completely NOT ready for.

Things aren't in the guy's control. They are in yours. You aren't happy. Take your control back, and go. Things are only in the guy's control when you let them be. Waiting because he may one day be ready, is exactly what I'm talking about. Good luck to you.

gaye 8 years ago

hi veronica,

my bf and i are together for 4 years, we are both helping our own family esp. financial aspect. he wants to get married this Aug. 2008, i was happy when he told me that but also felt lonely for my family. i cant explain. im thinking of my family but i also dont want to lose him. is this normal? pls. help me.

thank you,


Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Well, it happens, I wouldn't exactly say it's normal.

I am positive you should get married. The natural thing, the normal thing, is for baby birds to fly away.

I'm serious. It would be abnormal, unnatural, and an absolute tragedy if you didn't get married and stayed with your family. You would resent them, it would change everything. You would not be a self sacrificing martyr. You would be a fool. You would regret it for ever.

Andyp 8 years ago


i was with my girlfriend for just over 3 years. thanks had been going good, we had had our little arguments and stuff but nothing really major.

a couple of days after her 21st and she turned round and told me the the matching jewllery set that cost me over £200 was not good enough it wasnt what she really wanted for her birthday. she was actually wanting me to get her an enegagement ring bcoz thats all shes been thinking bout since like a year into the relationship.

i know i want to spend the rest of my life with her but i want to concentrate on uni and getting the career i want before i go and do that. i know youve said if shes in that place that why should she wait. but if she really did think that i was the one and she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me then should it not be that she would b willing to wait instead of going and trying to get that feeling all over again.

the other thing is is that she believes in soulmates and she believes im the one. if she honestly believes that why would she be willing to throw away a relationship over say a year or 2?

to be honest i want her back but i feel the only way is to get engaged and im not at that point just now. a couple of years but right now no

just wondering what your opinion of the situation is

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


21 is way too young to be thinking about marriage. You have your head on straight, wanting to focus on school and a career and yourself, first.

It's very true, I believe when someone is ready to marry, they need to evaluate if their partner is in the same headspace, and they should move on in most cases.

However, I don't think you're gf is ready to get married. At 21 no one is ready. She's being very unrealistic. You can't build a future with that.I promise you, if you get married when you know you aren't ready just because your 21 year old gf thinks she's ready, you will be miserable and regret it for the rest of your life.

Good luck.

daisy_ 8 years ago

Hi Veronica. I think you have wonderful insight on relationships and would like your take on a recent conversation I had with my boyfriend of a few months. We somehow got to talking about marriage and family, and he disclosed that he does not believe in marriage because it is unreasonable for people to believe they can stay with the same person forever, and because it would end in divorce anyway. He said people can be committed without being married. And he said he not want kids until he was in his 40s, and he would probably end up with someone 15 yrs younger than him like his dad did. BTW, we are both 28.

I said that it appears I could never fit into those plans, and I did not see the point of continuing on in the relationship if there was no possibility of a future. I know you can't put a timeline on things, but I would like to be married with kids before I am 40. He immediately took back what he said--he said a lot of what he said was not the truth and he doesn't know why he said it. He further assured me that he was happy with our relationship, and he can't predict what he might want in a year or two. At that, I decided to simply live in the moment, see how things go with him, and if I start feeling really serious about him, I could revisit the issue.

But now I am not sure that is the best course, because what is the point in delaying the inevitable? I do not know why he would say those things if they are not true---and if that is the case, there is no point in staying in an exclusive relationship with someone who does not want the same things as me. Alternatively, if what he said was not true, why would he say them? That is almost worse because then he is playing games with me or is not an honest person. Or maybe he was just talking??? He has never been in a long-term relationship before, so maybe if we do fall in love and get serious he would change his mind?? But I don't want to be naive and believe something about him that is not true. Any thoughts?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Many things to consider here.

First, kudos to you for stating very clearly in the moment that you want something different than what he said, so you wanted out.

At 28 I think you both probably have a fairly realistic grasp of what you want in your future. At only 3 months together, you can't really tell yet if you'll fall in love and how you'll play into each other's plans.

He recanted his speech about not wanting kids til he's in his 40's, and ending up with someone 15 years younger, like his father. You were smart to let him. It's always smart to see someone's actions louder than their Words.

2 things are obvious to me in the little you've shared. Number 1 - he has father issues. He said, "like his father". Defense mechanism? Justification for his father's life? Wanting to relate? I don't know exactly. But there is so very much that our parents do that fuck us up for the rest of our lives. Don't hold that against him. He probably wants to be free of it as much as you want him freed.

And number two - that whole little speech, to me, sounds like a power play. His way of setting ground rules. His way of saying he's in charge and you won't pressure him or own him. (Not that you were attempting to do any of that.) Ahhh little boys and their forts and their clubs.

You handled it with maturity and class. "Oh, ok. Bye, then."

And you watched him recant.

I think he tried to show you his canned thoughtless knee-jerk reactionary powerplay, and you said, "Yeah, I'm not gonna go for that." And he took it back.

Yes, you should repeat the conversation, at the 9 month point in the relationship, if you're still into him. My advice is do not bring up the asinine thing he said before. Let him let it go. Ask him as if it's brand new. And don't ask in generalizations. Ask in specifics. "So, how do you think you'd feel about having a future with me? How do you think having children will play into that?" See what happens.

Keep us posted!

Zaray 8 years ago

Hey Veronica. It seems like everyone has the same issues but I need to get your advice on my situation (maybe a personal note will hit harder).

Me and my g/f were a couple for a little while when we were 19 years old far away in a nother country in what seems to be another life. We broke up when I decided to move to the US. 4 years later we run into eachother here in the US and nothing felt more right in my life.

We have been together for over 3 years now and it's great. We really get eachother in most ways.

I work very hard and for now make good money but I still rent a one bedroom apartment, I still love to play with my band and enjoy life the way they are.

I back my g/f up completely, she is going to school and works. I pay the rent, I bring a made to help with cleaning and also when we go out at night or on vacations.

Last month we had our first big fight and it was about this subject. I do see my future with her but not in the timeline she sees it.

I am really going crazy thinking about this day and night. She wants to get married soon and probably have a baby before she is 30. I understand that, but I only see myself married at 30 (if I am where I want to be in my career) and a baby possibly at 34-35. I understand that a woman has that ticking clock issues but I also no that as a man I have no clock. I am affraid that I will marry her and then if I wont get to my goals I will always blame it on that.

Until the fight she really didn't do much around the house and I was bitter about that. I also think that for a man to feel better about a woman as a wife he needs to experience that life. So now she started helping with cleaning more and she even cooksa couple of nights a week.

For now we agreed on staying together for 6 more months and see if I change my mind about this. I am afraid I am wasting her time. She made it clear she wants a ring. Anything I am not seing? Am I crazy to feel the way I do? It seems like today it takes a fortune to raise a child in Los angeles, plus I think when you have a kid a big part of your life has to change and most of your time off work revolves around the child. HELP!!!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


You're right - it takes a fortune to raise a kid, especially in LA. Your gf hasn't shown you that she's ready, she just tells you that she is. (Up until recently, anyway. And that's not enough.) She hasn't shown you in the home, and she certainly hasn't shown you that she knows how to be a partner: clearly, your feelings and plans on this matter mean nothing to her. She isn't showing you she's ready to marry, she's showing you how NOT ready she is.

Yeah yeah, it's true about the woman's time clock thing. But it's also true women get very thick about this subject. They just decide "now" is when they will marry, and nothing else matters, including your feelings, your plans, your career, your goals, your efforts to support her while she doesn't chip in....

It killed me to read, you're staying together 6 more months to see if YOU change your mind. Not to see if as a couple you feel differently together about your future, or, if she wakes up and decides to act like a team player and consider your plans and your career.

Getting married because someone pushes you into it, is not right. Getting married because she claims she's ready and clearly doesn't care about your very realistic and grounded plans, is not right.

Zaray, you know the answer. You know what to do. Good luck to you.

Zaray 8 years ago

Thank you for the answer, I guess I knew what you would say but still you lay things in a perspective that is new to me.

I think it may not be fair since you only see my side of the coin. I think I will have my g/f read this and she may write you soon.

Again thanks, this page is great, reading other peoples stories helps so much.

virtuallymaggie profile image

virtuallymaggie 8 years ago

I think there are a lot of women out there who are happy with their relationships the way they are, but they start pressuring their guy to get married because they are overcome by societal pressure to do so. Women often wonder "what will people think" if they've been with a guy for a number of years and they aren't married. They take it personally and worry that maybe they are not "marriage-worthy."

Of course, it would be ideal if we women didn't care what other people think--and kudos to those women who don't! But the pressure that women put on each other, especially about this topic, can be difficult to endure for some.

There are also some women who just want to be married! They love the guy they are with and they want to take the relationship to that next level--which isn't always a bad thing!

AW 8 years ago

Even after only two wines (vs 3 martinis) something says it might be a good idea to wait in this case. You need to really want to get married yourself.

pink_heart95 profile image

pink_heart95 8 years ago

..maybe things wont work out if u will marry the guy.. so its ok to be friends than the husband and wife relationship..!

trsh335 8 years ago


Hi, I have been reading your reply posts on here for a while now and I respect your opinion very much. Right now I am seeking some of your advice for my relationship. I have been with my girlfriend for 4 years. We began dating in our senior year of high school. Her age is now 22 and mine is 21 soon to be 22. In one week, I am going to graduate college with my bachelors degree. Meanwhile, she has a year long internship requirement for her bachelors beginning in the fall of this year.

We have been arguing alot lately in regards to engagement and marriage. For the past 21 years, I have been coddeled by my parents and haven't had much responsibility. This is all about to change very quickly when I am introduced to the real world. I see this situation and know it will be expensive. Therefore, I want to find a job before I get engaged and married to the girl I love. To me this seems like a reasonable request, finding a job before I ask her to marry me. However, she doesn't see it that way at all.

She always brings up the fact that we have been dating for 4 years, which I hate, because we started dating in high school when things weren't all that serious. I look at the fact that we are both still in our early 20's and don't see a reason to rush into anything, especially if I'm not employed. I honestly think she feels pressure from those around her to get married. She has two siblings that were married around this time of their lives. Also, she has been to a few of her similar-aged friend's weddings which doesn't help her mindset.

Earlier this year in February, we had talked about getting engaged this year and getting marriend next summer. Now it's the beggining of May and she is wondering where her ring is? I tell her that I want to find a job first before I pop the question. She gets all upset and freaks out at me. Apparently, by me saying this, I all of a suddent don't want to marry her. I don't understand, what's so wrong with wanting to find a job before I get engaged and married and then must support two people? I haven't even had to support myself, let alone two people! She says that I am choosing money over her!

It feels like she is literally threatening to break up with me if she doesn't get a ring. This makes me so angry that she doesn't see where I'm coming from and just translates me wanting to get a job into me not wanting to marry her.

I don't know maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that having a job is pretty important! I just don't know what to tell her anymore. If you could please analyze our situation and let me know your thoughts and personal opinion. I know it can be difficult because you don't know all of the details, but please just help me out here. What should we do?


Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I applaud you. I applaud you for your maturity at your tender young age. I applaud you for trying so hard to do the right thing. I applaud you for realizing your parents coddled you, and that life is about to switch gears. I applaud you for understanding the responsibilities of marriage, which include finances, and career, and growth, and mutual respect.

This is going to be a 3 martini answer.

There is no applause for your girlfriend. I use the term "girl" with emphasis. This is not a woman. Her being unable to understand that your wanting to be stable prior to engagement is proof alone of that.

You are both YEARS from ready for marriage regardless of how many other 22 year old children have gotten married and missed out on so much. The person you are right now, is not the person you will be at 25. And that is not the person you wil be at 30. Please trust me on this. Anyone who tells you differently is either delusional, or a fucking liar. You can not possibly make a decision at 21 that will be the right decision for the rest of your life. Anyone who can is the exception, the exception does not prove the rule. You have so much growing ahead of you. Like you said, life is about to change. It's hard to live in the real world, with taxes and insurance and mortgages and jobs. It's hard to budget, and that goes for alot more than just money.

The thing here, is that you realize this. You're aware and rational. Your girl there is completely clueless. The fact that she doesn't seem to care about your concerns or future or comfort level is a major indicator of how not ready she is to be a life partner. Bringing up that you've been together for 4 years is insane. The years you were together, you were children. If she was 44 it would be relative.

I promise you, if you marry her because she's pushing you into it when you are so clearly not ready, you will regret it for the rest of your life. I promise.

My advice is this: Tell her you're not going to have this conversation at 21. It's ridiculous. She's acting immature, self centered, and short sited. Her age is showing. I'm serious here. Really put your foot down about this. Tell her, ENOUGH. If she can't figure out that talk of marriage at this point in your lives is ludicrous, then she can move on.

My guess is that she will. But, as she grows up, she will most likely realize how wrong she was, and she'll come back.

You have nothing to lose here. The relationship you had, the girl you had, are gone. They have been replaced by a child of 22 who just wants to get married, and doesn't want to be a partner. That person you loved isn't going to come back. You have to accept this reality. The best you can do is work toward being there when she grows out of this fantasy stage, and grows into a more mature and responsible one. And if that doesn't happen, you're still left with you - smart, responsible, bound-to-be-successful you. I'm sure you'll be just fine.


shalani 8 years ago

Really interesting

elizabeth 8 years ago

hi veronica, i would like to seek some advice. My bf and I are together for 4 years now. Infact we are planning to get married late this year or next year. My problem is there's an opportunity for me to work in other country and obviously I will be apart with my boyfriend. id like to accept the offer but I have also second thoughts, I dont want to leave my bf although he allowed me to pursue it and it hurts me because I felt that it's easy for him to let me go. I dont know what to do. i am so confused. pls. help me. thank you

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Oh hon, I feel for ya. The thing is here, is not allowing your estrogen to think for you. If the bf had said don't go, we'd be upset he's trying to contain us. And if the bf says go ahead and go, we're upset because it's so easy for him to let go.

Deep breath. These reactions are just hormonal. Let it go. And try to think clearly about this.

My personal opinion is to take the job. You didn't state your ages, but I have the feeling you're quite young. Pursue your career, especially the opportunities that are once-in-a-lifetime. They will not keep presenting themselves. I believe the right relationship finds a way. The right guy wants you to be your personal best, and will always encourage you in your goals. I can't even tell you how many girlfriends I have that are in their 40's, that sit around the kitchen tables, too late to pursue the careers and dreams and goals and arts and travel and experiences that got away. Stuck, in their little soccer mom lives that started wayyyyyy to young, stripped of their own real identities so they could be this one's wife and that one's mother, lost and hating it.

One other piece of advice I offer is this: when you're deciding between two things like this, consider which decision is more reversible than the other. If you decide to take this job, you go overseas, you get there, and it turns out it sucks, you can quit. You can come back. If this guy is the right guy, he'll be here. Even if for any reason he wasn't, you have the opportunity to try to reconnect. I'm not saying it would be easy, I'm saying there are possibilities.

However, if you don't go, if you don't take this job you really want and this chance you have earned, it's gone forever. You can't reverse that decision.

Take the job.

Now, as far as the guy. There are three possibilities.

1 - He's totally into you, and doesn't think your pursuing your career is detramental to your phenomenal relationship.

2 - He's young. You're young. He's on the fence anyway. He needs time. He's age appropriate, and has no idea what to do. He wants you to go because he wants what's best for you and also wants a little time to pursue his career and think as well.

3 - He's not into you. He's looking for an excuse to break up.

I will tell you right now, you know which one of those three he is. If he's in #1, get over your estrogen and believe in yourselves, and pursue your dreams.

If he's #3, this is over. Whether you take the job or not, it's over. It's just waiting to die. Let it go. You can't make someone love you. Respect yourself.

And if he's #2 - if you're both young, or not ready, or just feeling healthy normal limbo about everything, you need to talk to him. In general, men are not gushing communicative emotional waterfalls. It's up to you to lead this conversation with him. Talk about your fears and your dreams, personal and together. The relationship may or may not survive your career move, but I still believe you should take the job. If it's the right relationship, it will survive. It's rather pathetic and pitiful to sacrifice yourself to secure someone else into your life. It doesn't work, and I promise you, it's not attractive. Be strong and independent. Resepct yourself. Unless he's an idiot, he will always respect you for that.

Keep us posted. Good luck to you.


AFD 8 years ago

I am blown away by how specific and thoughtful your advice is. This last one is amazing. You're 100% on target, and you included every angle and possibilitiy. But you didn't just talk. You gave your opinion. I hate it when people ask advice and all they get back is well that's up to you. OBVIOUSLY it's up to the person. But they are ASKING for your advice. Your advice is strong and thoughtful, and i'm really impressed. I wish I had found you before I married my first wife. I only married because she was pressuring me. Of course it didn't work. Of course we are divorced, that was a stupid reason to marry. I used to think she was strong, but I soon saw she was selfish and dependant and pathetic. I'm happily married to my second wife now for 5 months. She is a very independant strong woman, and you are so right. It is so attractive. I look at her every day and feel lucky. Keep up the great work veronica! I am emailing you a question for help I am needing in work related situation.

elizabeth 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

Thank you for your advices especially for your time reading and responding all our messages. I appreciate it a lot. Im sorry i forgot to tell you our age. Im 27 yrs.old and my bf’s 33 yrs. old. He also has a stable job. Yesterday, I was able to talk to him regarding this. Before, I was already telling this matter to him although it was not yet confirmed and I’ve told you that he never disagreed on this. Now that it’s absolutely confirmed, I told him the whole thing. I told him that I’d like to take the job but I don’t want to accept it because I will be assigned in the other country and we will be apart. I was a bit surprised by his reaction. He doesn’t want me to go. I asked him why because before it was really fine with him. He told me that he realized that he doesn’t want us to be distant. He told me that he’s not getting any younger. He told me that he knows that I’m not that strong and independent so I should not take the job. He told me I need him and he needs me…

As of the moment, my boss still gives me time to think. I’m still confused.

Thank you V.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Your Boyfriend told you you're "not that strong and independent" and you don't know what to do? Are you kidding me?

You're much more than a fool to give up that job for a man that tells you how not strong you are.

My advice is, that you need some professional help. I think you should seek out a therapist and find out why you would be in such a relationship in the first place. Good luck to you.

whoknows 8 years ago

Dear Veronica,

My boyfriend and I have been togeather for two years. One year ago we bought our first home togeather. I love him very much and until recently saw our relationship becoming more committed. After living togeather for a year, I started talking to him about marriage. He grew up in a shaky home life and many of his friends are divorced, so hes skeptical. I gave an ultimatum, which i knew would be a mistake, of wanting to get engaged by a certain date. He does better with time line and I thought this might give me an answer either way. The date came and went.

He now says that our long term goals are whats holding him back. I would like to stay living near my family. He would like the option of obtaining his PhD and moving for a job. My compromise of him obtaining his PhD and working at one the local colleges is not good enough. He would like to be able to run for senate. He would like to join the National Guard. I think thats ridiculous. He feels that he cant commit to me because he does not want to give up his 18 year old goals. He says hes not ready to get married.

I am 26 and he is 30. I know Im happy with him. We rarely fight. We have fun togeather. I genuinely like him. But this is tearing us apart. I would wait, if I knew there was light at the end of the tunnell. But at this point its looking a little black.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Little birds grow up and fly away. It's natural, and normal, and it's part of life. Not being open to flying away because you want to live near your family shows you are not ready to grow up and get married and be a partner. You're still in the nest, whether you've bought your house in it or not.The irony is, he's admitting he's not ready to get married, and you're the one saying you are. Meanwhile, he's he one with goals that involve a future, and you're the one stuck in the past.Your "compromise" of choosing a local college for him, and limiting his life goals so you don't have to grow up and move away from your family, isn't at all what someone who's ready to marry would offer. If you were actually ready to be part of a marriage, your future goals and his future goals would be on the table for discussion, instead of what you can do to avoid leaving mommy and daddy.

At your young age of 26, I don't think there's anything wrong with your just not being mature enough or ready yet to be a part of a real adult relationship. It's ok. But this is on you, not him. You're the one that doesn't want to leave home. You're the one that calls his goals ridiculous. You're the one that isn't part of the partnership here. The only odd part to me here is that you're the one pushing and giving ultimatums, for something you are in no way ready for.

Good luck.

whoknows 8 years ago


There is a difference between wanting to live near you family and not growing up. I lived apart from my family for 5 years. My grandparents are sick and I moved home to help. I know that I want children and because of the professions we have pursued money will always be tight. Therefore, I will need to work. I do not want my children to be raised in daycare. I would like them to have all the advantages possible. Being near my family gives me that advantage.

I also have goals. Im sorry I did not post them. I am going for my MSW and almost done. My goals are goals I have developed in my adulthood and not some pipe dream that I had at 18. They have been tweaked and changed and bettered as I matured. My point about his is that they have not changed since he was 18. And I am willing to compromise some of those and he is not.

I am in a real adult relationship. So is he.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Congratulations on the MSW.

It seems you have your life very planned out: Where you want to live, what you want to do, the kids you want to have, the family help with daycare. It doesn't sound like he's in your plan.

You're pretty clear with ridiculing his goals. I am not saying his are realistic or that yours are. Social Work is an admirable goal, wanting to care for elderly relatives if very kind of you, and you've obviously done some things in your short life, that most people your age have not. Kudos to you, on your many facets and your good heart. Without taking away from that, what I'm saying is, it doesn't sound to me like what he wants is all that important to you. If you think his goals are "ridiculous", "pipe dreams" and that they mean less since they are lifelong instead of adult-life realizations, I don't understand why you want to marry him. Clearly, he doesn't fit into your plan. If you've made compromises for him for his goals, its obvious you're done. You're tired of doing that. You've reached a mental state that says my way or the highway.

Here's a twist to think about just for perspective: I personally don't understand the desire to have children, be rooted in the same place your family lives, while not even having your MSW or career on its way. I'm not arguing, I just don't understand it. For the most part, I don't understand why most people want children. And I know so very many people that have had kids and completely regretted it. I read your plan, and to someone like me, it might sound very little, limited, narrow and shortsited. (I'm not saying it does.)

I am only bringing that up just to demonstrate one point. You're comments are presented in a way that says you are very sure your side is right and his is wrong. From here, I can't see it that way.

From what you've shared his goals do not sound ridiculous. Maybe they are, I don't know. Many people told me I was ridiculous thinking I would be a writer. I have wanted to do nothing else with my life since I was maybe 7 years old.

I think what you want from me, is permission to do what you already know you want to do. This isn't about right and wrong. He doesn't sound wrong to me. He just sounds like he doesn't fit in with what you've decided for yourself. Maybe he did at one time, or maybe you just didn't know he wouldn't. In any case, you're at the point where although you love him and you enjoyed the relationship, you think it's time to move on.

As someone interested in social work, you're most likely someone that likes to see the right and the wrong in a situation. And I think you're looking for it here. But I don't think he's wrong. I think he just doesn't fit. And that's ok.

You sound strong. You sound like you know what you want. I think you know that you don't want to use words like ridiculous and pipe dreams when you describe the goals of the man you truly want to spend the rest of your life with. Pushing someone with ultimatums to surrender their dreams and goals, even if they are "ridiculous", isn't the way to start a marriage.

No matter how great he is, he isn't the one for you, is he.

I hesitated pushing so hard, but now I'm glad I did. I think you just articulated yourself really well. I think you just answered yourself, too. Let go of the need to blame, or the insistance that only one of you is compromising. It's not going to lead to an answer. Just see this for what it is. You're over here and he's over there. It's ok to say, "This isn't this the relationship I want."

I'd wish you luck, but I dont think you're going to need to it. ;) You'll be just fine.

Ali 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I wrote to you about 6mths ago and wanted to give you an update (and ask for some more advice)! :)

I actually had the guts to tell my partner to move out and I had the will power to stand my ground and follow though. I even let a couple of guys take me out and spoil me, got to know who I was and got my self confidence back. I guess I was lucky enough that outcome number 1 happened and he did fight for him (as this is what I had hoped for). He was absolutely devastated at losing me and I was truly shocked (in a good way) at his reaction and then the actions he took in order to get me back in his life.

Do not fear though! I did not let him back into my life easily and I still have not allowed him to move back in with me but I would definately say we are dating each other again. We communicate alot more, he is taking me out and spoiling me, showing me how much he appreciates me and I am just really happy now.

My family are aware that he is back in my life and are supportive as long as I am happy, however now I am facing the problem of telling my friends.

I am really anxious about telling them because some of them have said that "People can't change" and when I have brought up the topic of my ex and that he did something special for me or that I still have feelings for him, they would quickly brush it off by saying "He wont change, there is someone so much better for you out there."

A couple of my friends that know we are dating each other again are really supportive and have been great, but they know him quite well, where as some of my other friends who don't really know him that well, (and unfortuantly for me they probably only hear the negative things I have to say about him as these are the people I vent to when there is a drama) are not going to be as easy to convince!

I know this sounds a bit funny but he is like my 'Mr Big' (from Sex & the City) and I don't want to feel like I am going behind my friend's backs by seeing him. Do you have any advice for me on how I can deal with this?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I just went back and read your original comment, and my advice. It's so great to hear back from you after 6 months! Congratulations. I am so happy to hear you took my advice, and that it worked. Wow, you completely have the upper hand now. And, you can see how attractive he finds that. I'm happy you're getting what you want. I hope the 2 dogs are ok.

Your partner doesn't sound like a MR. Big. I would use a different reference to Sex and the City. Aidan. I hope you aren't an Aidan, and that is what your friends are worried about. Carrie Bradshaw broke that good man's heart. And moved on. And then decided she wanted him back. And, when he finally took a chance and took her back, she did it to him again. She hurt him again.

Ali, no body knows what the oucome will be for you and your partner. I think you've done the right things so far. It's nice that you have friends that care for you. I will give you two pieces of advice on that.

1 - The relationship is not between your friends and him. It's between you and him. Your friends need to understand that. Tell them. If they say why didn't you tell us, then you can say, because I thought you would judge me. If they have a lot to say, you can decide who's really your friend from the fall out. True friends don't judge you, or make you feel like shit. True friends have your back, even when they think you're fucking up. True friends might give you their opinions, but in the end, they accept you for who you are and they love you, no matter what. They are not your friends if you have to go behind their backs to see a man you love this much.

2 - If you truly value your friend's choices, judgments, and feelings, you *might* want to take a deep breath and heed. Are they giving you truth you just don't want to hear?

Good luck and keep us posted.

BONZ 8 years ago

hi veronica,

i've been an avid reader of this site and honestly i cannot help but admire you. im getting married next year but i dont know whats happening to me. I always think of you and i really want to see you. i think im falling inlove with you.

sandra 8 years ago

hi veronica,

i'd like to seek some advice. i am 26 years old and my bf is 30 yrs. old. we've been together for 3 years. Before, I used to know him as a joker esp. to girls, he's like always flirting with girls. Then, unexpectedly he courted me and one thing I was worried was his attitude. but obviously, I accepted him. Because of his attitude I became so jealous and doubtful, When I cannot hide my feelings anymore because I always get hurt, I talked to him about it and he assured me that he changed. But I dont know why until now, I always think that He's still the old man he is. Am I just a really a jealous person? But luckily, until now I havent caught him with other girls, I know that he's faithful though. pls. help me. thank you

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Not being better informed prevents me from offering you more specific advice. But I will give you two general thoughts on which to chew:

1 - Jealousy is a natural emotion, it happens to all of us. But it's not a good thing, and needs to be kept in check. Keeping an open communication with your partner is important, but it's also important to accept that this may all be you, and therefore up to you to correct.

2 - He was a certain person when you met him. He was who he was. If you didn't like and appreciate the person he was, why would you go out with him? I can understand that people grow up and mature. He may have been a joker, but sees that when he's in a relationship there is a more appropriate way to conduct himself. I can understand that "change" or that maturity.

BUT, in general, he should be allowed to be who he is. You stated he was that way before you two got together. I never think it's healthy when a woman writes and says she wants her bf to change from who he was when she met him. I'm not talking about naturally devloping, maturing, and showing respect. But I am saying that in general if you can't accept the person he has always been, then this is on you, and you're in the wrong relationship.

Don't date people if you believe you need to "change" them.

Good luck


Marta 8 years ago

My boyfriend and I, both 28, have been dating for three and a half years. He says he loves me and wants to get married someday but isn't ready now. He says the reason he's not ready is b/c we fight too much and I don't get along with his family. While I might disagree with these two statements, the point is, to me that doesn't say "I'm not ready" that says "I'm not sure you're the one". I don't think my personality is going to change at all, or his, and I'm satisfied that we could live a happy life together. But, since now it is clear that he isn't sure, how long should I stick around before I give up?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I think you're dead on. I think his saying he's not ready does translate to what you've deciphered - "I'm not sure you're the one."

You're right, if there are too many fights, and you don't get along with his family, it's not like things will change, which would be the case if he was saying, wait til I graduate law school. This is his way of saying - "Life with you is too hard, and I'm not thinking future."

I think 3 1/2 years is enough time to know. I think your ages are appropriate to be making these decisions. I think you know it's time to move on, because you are clear about what it is he is actually saying.

However, if you do really disagree with those two statements as you intimated, you could set a certain time line to give his incorrect view of them a final run. Say, 6 months - where you consciously do not fight with him, and point out how agreeable and easy and willing to compromise you are. Go out of your way to repair and work on the relationship with his family. It's obviously important enough for him to not want to move forward with you, because of it. Dedicate 6 months to fixing these two things, making the sacrifices, doing the real work.

One of two things might happen:

You might see at the end of that time frame that he was actually right. You might see that the compromise and work on your part was worth it - that he's happier and life is better, and that you're being so difficult really wasn't a good thing. Relationships take work, and you just might see that this one is worth the work you have to put in.

On the other hand, you might reach the end of that time frame and decide it's too fake. It's not you. You LIKE fighting (some people do) and you really don't like his parents. At least at this point you will see he was right all along and it will be easier to move on.

Marta 8 years ago

So, I talked to my man... and told him that I loved him, but it was really important to me to be in a "forever" relationship and not something shorter-term. I cried and told him I was thinking about going away for a while to think about things NOT to break up. Just to think.

So today, over the phone on his lunch break while I was crying he said. What do you want? A commitment? Sure. Fine. Let's commit. Let's get married.

It feels so shallow and crappy. When I kept crying he couldn't understand why. Aren't commitments supposed to be joyous? He refused to understand saying "isn't that what you wanted?" "i don't want to lose you" I feel like we're further away from committing than we were even before. I don't know how I feel about being with a man who would react in such a way. Did he commit on the phone over his lunch break b/c he wanted me to be insulted? Ugg. I hate overthinking. I need a vaykay.

Livia 8 years ago

hi veronica,

my bf and i have been together for 5 years now. we plan to get married this year. i just want to ask why is it we always fight considering that we're together for 5 years. still, we cannot avoid arguing. even in the simplest thing we fight. i am confused now, whether we get married this year or we still need to work things out before we get married. i love him so much and i know that he also loves me so much too but i dont know why we always argue on things and fight. the only good thing is that we still end up loving each other. but sometimes it doesnt also feel good. hope you would give me advice. thank you very much for your time



Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


2 points I want to make right off the bat. One is that some people, like it or not, are fighters. They argue and get heated, and really don't know how to be any other way. When they are in calmer cooler relationships, they get wanderlust, because they miss the heat and passion.

Second, you said, it doesn't always feel good. So, that does mean there is an issue. But I'm not sure exactly what it is.

It may be that just one of you likes the passion and heat of a lot of fighting. Or that the fights have just gotten out of control.

Lots of things to ask yourself, and your partner, here. Are the fights another way to let off some steam and passion? Is the sex life lacking lately? Are you fighting with each other because you can't fight with other people that you'd really rather be fighting with, like bosses, coworkers, neighbors or family? Do you have other stress, like finances or work or school, and are you taking it out on each other lately? Are there other issues you can think of, like your living arrangements or the wedding plans?

The best thing for you to do is to prepare by thinking these things through, get some perspective on your thoughts and opinions about why this is, and sit down with him. A pot of coffee, or a bottle of wine... and a long serious talk about this.

Keep in mind it's not a problem that you're fighting. The problem is, that you said it doesn't feel good sometimes. Either figure out how to fight so that it doesn't feel bad, or figure out why your'e fighting and stop it. You said, you still end up loving each other. Your words felt solid. I bet you can figure this out. Good luck.

Ryan 8 years ago

I just went through this same situation a few weeks ago. I miss her very much but she wanted more than I can give at this very moment. I do want her back and iwll certainly entertain the idea in awhile but she has a way of not enjoying the moment and thiking about the future so much. It's EXTREMLY frustrating when you really love the person. I can't tell you how it feels unless you have gone through it yourself.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Ryan - thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate hearing a guy's perspective on these things.

Nick 8 years ago

So I just did a search on the net asking why I don't want to get married to my girlfriend right now and this was at the top of the list. It's amazing because the original question posted is my exact story except I DO want to get married at some point. It's been two years and I love my girlfriend, I miss her when she's not around, and she still has a glow about her when I look at her. I just feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I'm almost 29 and she's 26. For about 6 months she has been bringing up marriage every 2 weeks. It's a weird feeling I get, first I get irritated because it's a conversation I hate having because I'm not ready financially (which might be a cop-out), then I feel an amazing sensation because this girl wants to marry ME so much. I don't want to hurt her and thinking about breaking up is unbearable. I'm at a lost. I don't know what to do. I love her but I might not have the courage to make this right.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Let me commend you on this comment. Your self awareness is fabulous. Certain facts, like that you were actually on the internet trying to learn why you're doing what you're doing, and the idea that you wonder if the financial hesitation is a cop out, and your freely admitting how crazy about this girl you are, all lead me to believe you are a good, honest, self aware kinda guy.

The big difference between the original emailer, and you, or: the guy that doesn't want to get married and the guy that does eventually, is all in the actions. Your action of looking around online for some understanding is exactly the kind of action I mean. Other clearer ones would be a joint savings, or even just saving at all with the thoughts of a marriage type purchase like an engagement ring or the wedding itself.

A really good action would be a promise ring.

I don't think there's anything wrong here. I just think you two need to communicate alot more clearly. You have the right not to be ready right now. And she has the right to be ready and want to know exactly where you stand. Her bringing it up every two weeks is unfair. And you're leaving her wondering about the stability of her future is also unfair. If she's bringing it up so often, obviously you aren't giving her a clear enough answer.

You said some beautiful things here. Say them to her. Say them all together in the context of the marriage question. Say: The thought of breaking up is unbareable. You do want to get married someday. The thought that this incredible girl wants to marry you is amazing. You miss her when she isn't there. And you think she glows.

After you say all that, show her the clear action your taking enroute to the engagement day. Give her a promise ring and tell her in exactly one year you will have THE conversation with her. In the meantime she has to give you a break, not bringing it up every two weeks. Give her a savings passbook with both your names on it, or the paperwork from the bank that shows you went down there and got the info to do this. Believe me, the fact that you went to the bank scores big for you. It doesn't matter if you can only put $100 in to start it. It's the thought that counts. This will show her you are planning, you are thinking, you are doing. This gives her a clear time frame, and assures her that her future is not all in limbo. This proves to her the one year you're asking for isn't a put off, it's really honestly time that you need. At 26 she can afford to give you that time - a year or 4 without batting an eyelash. And you can afford to give her some surity.

One of the things that's great about the promise ring is that she can show it to her friends. Women go through stupid-ass pressure from moms and sisters and friends that push push push into things that are none of their business. If she is under any pressure or scrutiny, this will give her a pass. I know it's ridiculous, but it is what it is. If you don't like the idea of the promise ring, you can give her a family heirloom piece of jewelry. Just something that clearly you would not give to just a girlfriend. You would only give this to the woman you intend to spend your life with.

Guys have a thing about surprise. They want the whole proposal thing to be a surprise. Fuck the surprise. Talk to her instead, and give her something to hang on to like a wedding savings account and a promise ring.

Keep us posted!

julia 8 years ago

We’ve been together for 4 and half years. He’s 32 and I am 27. he’s my first bf and I am also his first gf. I don’t know if these things matter with our arguments. This is our problem eversince. Everytime he wants to go out with his officemates or friends he will always tell me his schedules but he says that he just tells me about these so that I know where he is and I know his schedule but it doesn’t mean that I have the right to approve it or not. He informed me but doesn’t care about my permission. He doesn’t want that set up. Honestly, I don’t want him to go out with his friends more often because I feel that we only have little time for each other. We only see each other every weekends because of our individual work schedule so of course I feel mad if he goes out with others. Actually, I get mad when he tells me that he doesn’t need my approval on those, he just wants to inform his schedule. Is this a good attitude? I got hurt. I felt that I am nothing to him. I don’t know if I am the problem. I don’t know if I am being too much possessive. Because if I have schedule with my friends to go out, I want to ask his permission. If he wont allow me then I wont go. I always do that even if he tells me that its ok with him. The important is that I informed him. I don’t get him. Please advice me. Thanks

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I see from your IP address that you are writing from the Philippines. I think we have a major cultural difference. Personally, I would never ask permission to go out with my friends, and I don't understand why you would expect him to. It's unthinkable to me. I think it's good that he doesn't have a double standard - he tells you that you don't have to ask to go out with your friends, too. I also think it's great that he tells you where he's going. That's common courtesy, so you know where he is and you don't have to worry, and god forbid there was ever an emergency.

If you feel he doesn't spend enough time with you, that's something different. I wrote a hub about that:


Maybe you'll find some ideas in there that will help you sort out your feelings and your situation.

Good luck to you Julia.

spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

Just stumbled onto this hub since it received recent attention. Great advice...no damn perfect advice. Even if you swap the genders around, it's the same advice. Kudos!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Thanks, Spryte! Oh yes, swap the genders, double the genders, it makes no nevermind. ;)

Cindy 8 years ago

Veronica, my boyfriend and I are currently on a break and im very confused. we have been together for over a year and I made it clear that in the future I want to get married. He's going into the military soon, and he told me he doesnt want to get married until he's in his 30's or 40's( he's 27 right now). I don't want to be with someone who isnt even sure if they want to get married in there 30's or 40's. What should I do? should I stay and see if he changes his mind? or should I just leave him now? He is my first love, all I want is a future with him.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Hi Cindy,

Not alot of detail to go by here. But what you said is key. Should you stay "to see if he changes his mind," not - should you stay to see if you change yours. There's no focus here on the relationship or on the person you're with, or his needs. The only focus is about the future you want. You can't even enjoy the present when you're so narrowly focused on the future. I assume that's why you're on a break.

Look, you said, you don't want to be with someone who isn't even sure if they want to get married. Then don't be.

Cindy 8 years ago


Thanks for being so real about this. You make a very good point, I cant enjoy the present because i'm so focused on trying to make the future how I want it. To be honest, I think he's scared of getting married because in the past in proposed to 2 women and it never followed through. Do you think that is the reason why?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Cindy, I think his experiences have probably helped him form the way he feels now about the subject, sure.

anon 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I've read you fo a while and gathered that you met your husband when you were around 30, moved in together and made it clear that you were moving in with the intention of spending your life together and getting married. What would you have done if he hadn't have wanted to get married? Would you not have felt sad that he didn't feel the same? Would you have waited to see if he or you changed your mind/ stayed with him and accepted the relationship as it was or would you have left him, since you wanted to marry him? Don't have to answer if you don't want, I was just curious!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


It's a good question. I met my husband when I was 30. After about 6 months of dating, and talking, and feeling sure that we both wanted the same things, he moved in. I would never have taken the cohabitational step unless I was sure he wanted the same future I did. I had never lived with a guy before him, I always said no when the opportunity arose.

To answer your question, if he didn't want to get married, I would never have moved in with him. If we lived together thinking marriage as we did, and suddenly he changed his mind, I would have asked him to move out. I'm positive I would have been sad, but I would have ended it. When we decided to live together it was with expressed decisions about our future together.

I would not have stayed with him, or anyone, waiting for them to change. I wouldn't have been with him if I had to have this constant thought and awareness of waiting for one of us to change about something very major. It would mean this wasn't right. Realize, I was 30, and really knew what I wanted.

I do accept people and relationships for what they are. And if what they are isn't someplace that makes me feel right, then I would move on. I had great relationships prior to meeting my husband because I accepted them for what they were. Had I been in them just waiting for the other person to change about something major in both our lives, they wouldn't be remembered as great relationships. (And the ones that aren't remembered as great, are the ones where this problem occurred. And yes, I've had my broken a couple times, and I've broken a couple too. It's part of life. No one is immune.)

Here's another way to put it. When it's "the one", it's "the one." And you both know it. And if you don't both know it, then it's not "the one."

Did I answer your question?

Jcorrigan 8 years ago

Hi Veronica, I've just found this article as I've been searching for answers to my own questions and I have have found it extremely useful.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 4 years. He's Irish and I'm American and we live in Scotland. We met at grad shcool in Edinburgh and it was love at first sight and moved in together after 3 months. I'm currently back in the US sorting out my third immigration visa so I can continue to live in the UK with him.

He's been telling me for 2 years that he doesn't want to get married "yet". (A word I am growing to really despise!). Since I've been back in the US for 2 months, I've really had time to think about "us". I still want to get married and recently told him this. After a week of "discussion", he now understands my desire for marriage (him, love, children, future, etc) and says he's ready to take the next step. His reason for not wanting to get married was that his love should have been committment enough. I understand love plays a HUGE part in a relationship but I wanted to take the relationship a step further.

I would NEVER want to pressure him. My biggest fear is that he looks back 5 years from now, is completely unhappy and says to me, "well you made me do it". But I feel like I need to talk about the future and do what's right for me as well. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard spot. Should I have just waited for him to discuss it with me? I'm almost 28. He is 28. I want to have kids (with him) and have them after I'm married. He told me I'm taking all the romance out of any possible engagement by talking about marriage. But honestly, I feel like I'm talking about the furture and, more importantly, a future with him.

By the way, he and I have a fantastic relationship, very loving and understanding. He's a great guy and I adore him and can't imagine my life without him.

I think I'm just feeling scared that I'm making him do something that he doesn't want to do. How do you know if he's ready? Or if you've pressured him?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


His saying things like his love should be commitment enough, and that you take the romance out of engagement when you talk about marriage - are serious signs of immaturity, or excuses. You know that. Really big bad signs.

On the other hand, guys in general can be full of knee jerk excuses and immaturity. It's not that they grow up over night, but it is completely possible that they realize over night they have been growing up and have avoided it, and are finally willing to admit they want something different then they did 7 years ago.

It is possible he's in that transition, realizing and reevaluating himself and his future.

Your question is, how can you tell if he really does want it or if he's just been pressured into it. That my dear is all in the actions. It's one thing to push him into saying "Alright, I'll marry you." It's completely something different to see him save money for a wedding or a house, speak to his friends about wanting to marry you, looking in shops for engagement rings. A man that is actually ready to get married will act like it. You'll see it in his choices and his actions. Maybe it's in his not splurging on a leather jacket or not going out for dinner so much so he can tuck some bucks away. Maybe you'll see it in his turning down his mates when they invite him to do something he should have outgrown by now. Maybe you'll see it in the way he tells his mother you two are planning your future, or the way he says "joint tax return" or something. Something that shows he is not thinking as a single man anymore, something significant that says clearly, this is a "partner", this is someone who is planning on your being in his future in a very permanent and legal way.

Being 28, having a good relationship as it stands, and dating for 4 years are all good signs. His saying for 2 years he doesn't want to get married "yet" is a really big bad one. I don't think you did anything wrong telling him what your wants and needs are. But I think you have to really hear what his response actually is - not just the words you may or may not have encouraged him to say. See if his actions are those of a mature man in love that wants to marry and spend forever with you.

Anon 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

Yes you did answer my question, thank you. I was just curious really, having read the rest of the board and your blog. Your answer was what i'd expected though. It's reassuring to hear the way others think on this matter, as my boyfriend and I are thinking of buying a place in the next year or so and I don't want to do it unless marriage is on the cards. Not yet, but in the next 4 or 5 years. I'm not dying to get down the aisle, but i love him and believe he is my one, but I do need to know i'm his one too if we're making a commitment like buying a place. I know he believes in marriage and wants to 'one day' but he's not ready yet, and neither am i to be honest. I'm ready for cohabiting, and i know i want to marry him in a few years, but not right now. He's still transitioning and developing, and I need to be sure he's ready for it, and we're both a little further on in our careers and have tried living together and are sure it's all right.

We have talked about marriage before, in moments where we've been loved up with each other, but not seriously. Mostly lighthearted, in a way that to him i think was a romantic notion, not a relaistic possibility in the near future. Weh nwe have talked about it seriously, he's said he's not ready right now but he does want to do it once we've been together a decent amount of time and he's got his business off the ground and we've lived together. Which is goos, we think along the same lines on that. He'll slip in a little hint occasionally (mentioned joint accounts, jokes about rings etc) that says that's where we're headed (not yet but in a few years) and that's fine with me, i don't want it now, just to know that after a certain amount of time, he's thinking it too. We had a few problems over him committing (he was into it, then got scared and backed off, he upset me, we had a break, but now he seems to have grown up and is talking about it without me bringing it up.) The only problem we have now is that I sometimes worry that he'll back off again and that makes me feel on edge and over react sometimes. That's my problem to sort out. I can't help but worry sometimes but so far so good.

We are gonna move in together at the beginning of Sept, into my place and then buy a place together when his business takes off (fingers crossed!) I was just thinking recently that when we do start to look at buying, I need to have that conversation with him. I don't want to pressure him into something he doesn't want, or isn't ready for, but i think if we're buying i need to know it's gonna go that way. If it's not, or he gets scared again, and all those conversations were jus thypothetical, i wouldn't buy a house with him.

Thanks for the input Veronica!

Anon 8 years ago

p.s. I like that you accept things for what they are and don't live in a fantasy world. I think it's great that people can come to this board and see what, i think it's helped a lot of people, myself included reevaluate things and see reality, not fantasy. I've had relationships in the past that were just fun, just casual and no strings, but I always knew we weren't in love, it was just sex, or clubbing, or a holiday thing, and i do have fond memories of those. They ended just fine. But like you i have broken hearts, which I felt terrible about, but had my heart broken twice too, and that has hurt. I wouldn't wish anyone to go through that, but it happens. And they have been for reasons that we couldn't get past, different things, but we just weren't compatable. It's been a great learning experience though, and I don't regret them becasue I wouldn't know what I know now if I hadn't met them, or learnt what I do really want and what I don't, and learnt to stand up for myself. Even though I still need to talk things through when I have a problem, eg. when my now BF had issues with taking the relationship to it's next stage, I feel stronger, and clearer about things, I know what I can tolerate and what I can't, and what I need and want. And I don't feel bad about that anymore.

fishes 8 years ago

Hi veronica,

I need some advice. So My fiance and I are both 26, have our collage degree, and have great jobs that provide us with good finantial standings. My fiance had proposed to me last year, and we set a date for October 3rd of this year ( 2008) We have been living together ever since the proposal, a little more than a year ago, and things are great.

All the wedding planning is done, and the invitations have been sent out, now my fiance comes and tells me maybe we should wait another 6 months before marrying. At first my natural reaction was to be furiouse, not only is it embarrassing sending out invites, and then telling all of our families, never mind we are waiting six more months, not to menchine its a waist of money..and he waited last moment to tell me..but Ive come to realize I need to respect his opinion. so we sat down and talked.

His parents arnt particularily fond of me, so he figured if we waited they can warm up to me some more, hes afraid of losing his family, but he really wants to get married, also he says we can save a little more money incase emergency things happen..like a car breaks down and he needs a new one or w/e. He said he's not sure if he's just nervouse, or if it doesnt feel right getting married in october..he cant ell the difference because he's never been married. He sais he wants to do it, wheather we wait 6 months or not, but maybe 6 months more is better. We've been together for 4 years already..what do we do..and how do you know if its just nerves, or not right at all.

he said he is not unhappy

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I'm glad you realized you have to respect his feelings and his needs, and that you really talked.

Regarding his waiting 'til 6 months prior to the wedding to voice this could be because he knew you'd be "furious" instead of understanding. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, just trying to give you some reasoning. Also, my cousin's finance canceled the wedding THE DAY BEFORE. Out of town guests had already arrived, the church and the hall had been decorated, the flowers arranged, cake made, dresses picked up altered etc.... It was a total loss, and there was no way to contact everyone. I don't think 6 months prior is "last minute" like you said. You have plenty of time to cancel arrangements, contact everyone, and maybe even get some deposits back.

The real demon in your scenario are your in-laws. If they love their son, and you aren't some kind of psycho felon, then they really should have shut the fuck up about their "not being so fond of you". You can only imagine what that must have done to his poor head and heart. What selfish bastards.

If I were you, I would give it the 6 months he's asking for. Cancel the arrangements, and be as supportive of him as you can be. He's saying to you if he has to choose, he chooses you. He's saying he will marry anyway, but he's hoping 6 months will help. I think the other shit he said about maybe not in October and things like that are just cold feet brought out by selfish meddling parents. Stay focused on the fact that he loves you and wants to marry you and that he is not the villan. He's trying to please every one and when anyone does that, they wind up failing. So, when he fails, make sure it's his family he fails with, and not you.

Be the happy, supportive life partner. Listen to him. Hold him. Calm his fears. Do whatever he asks regarding the parents. It's 6 months out of your life, and it will help him make a huge decision regarding the rest of his. If you love him, then it's worth it.

If they come around, great. And if they don't, well he will have seen how understanding and supportive you are, while they are being anything but understanding and supportive. the choice he told you he will make if he has to, will be all the more clear and easy.

Just give it the 6 months he's asking for. It's not too much.

Vic 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I am 41, my gf is 31, we have been in a relationship for around 2 1/2 yrs. We dated for 6 mo and then she moved in w me. We both have 1 child. My child is w me part time. After 1 1/2 yr she up and moved out while i was out of town her reasoning was she cant stand being alone. We have continued dating for around 6 mo. I think my house was just to small for all of us and she really missed her things in storage. She has moved into an apartment near by and we have continued to try to make it work. Recently she has stated that she want to be married and she wants it all. I have said i would love to get married eventually and tried to reason w her that we should save money to buy a place together and build a home together and be patient about this. I don't think she wants this, I think she just wants to be married now and I am not ready to jeapordize everything i own over a marriage contract right now unless she is willing to put forthe some effort to build something together. What are your thoughts? I have just pulled the plug w her about 4 weeks ago, miss her terribely, everytime she says she wants it all i shreik.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Personally, I can't get passed that she moved out on you when you were out of town. That's a pretty chicken-shit maneuver. That's a serious trust violation. I have no idea how you got passed that.

You're telling her you want what she wants, you want to marry, and you're offering a plan toward that goal. Saving together, building a home together. She said no. You are very justified not to want to risk everything you have and your future with someone who doesn't want to work toward these things together with you, and who sneaks out while you're back is turned. Clearly, this is not someone who wants to be with you, this is someone that just wants to be married. There's a big difference.

Vic, you asked my take, and based on what you've given me, there it is. Only you know if you've not shared the whole story. But if this really is the accurate picture, then I say this to you - Sorry you miss her. Get over it. She wasn't the one.

Vic 8 years ago


Thanks for your take on this and you are right, the trust issue will probably never go away from leaving on a whim. I guess I should have run away then, foolish for holding on. I believe she is a very insecure person and sometimes can be a bit immature. She wants someone to take care of her and her child at any cost. I guess if she would have never mentioned the word marriage, I probably would still be with her and doing my best for her and her child, there is just no justifing marriage at this stage in our relationship. It kinda bothers me some women do not care about the man and only care about being secure in a marriage to fall back on something. Most of her friends are very young and i think this has alot to do w what she thinks she wants. Maybe i just miss the sex and the fact our children are around the same age so it makes a nice ready made blended family that had alot of fun. I will miss that part. It feels good to try to express this to someone....thanks again....

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Anytime, Vic.

If you think about what you're saying/feeling, you miss convenience, and niceties, and comfort, and sex... All perfectly normal. But you aren't saying anything like you're heart and soul are aching because you are so madly in love with her.

That's the only reason to get married as far as I'm concerned.

You'll get over this. And I hope you do meet a kick-ass woman that loves you for YOU and not the promise of marriage and security. New doors can't open til old doors close. Close this door. Move on.

Best to you.

Vic 8 years ago


I have been thinking about this alot over the weekend. I have got to stop thinking about all the niceties and conveniences of a relationship for now. I was not willing to yeild to the pressure. I can not say I was madley in love w her for the long haul. I feel angered by this that it is my fault for not being done with this last year w she took off. I have since found out she is already dating. Why should I care about her anyway. I still have a few things of hers she will probably want to get but i am afraid I will be so mad when and if we talk, I just want to tell her to *&&^ off and die. Is this ok to get mad as hell?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Anger is part of the healing process.

It is perfectly OK to be that mad. It is normal. However, you don't have to express that anger to her, you can choose to feel it and let it go without having that confrontation. That is up to you. As far as her stuff is concerned, you can put it in storage and send her the bill - she can pay it and go get her stuff. Or if its small enough just put it in a box and ship it.  Or leave it with a friend. You do not have to see her again. Don't make excuses. If you choose to see her, and if you choose to express some anger, that's fine, just know they are your choices.

Close this door, so new ones can open.  Let go.

Good luck.

Just For Fun profile image

Just For Fun 8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

Good advice. I was hoping when I saw this title it wasn't going to be another "just cave in and do what he/she wants" answer posted for the writer's selfish reasons. You answered it perfectly. (And Vic if you're still reading, I agree with Veronica. Someone more interested in security than you is not worth your time)

My cousin announced that he was getting engaged. I could tell he was less than enthused so I asked him jokingly when she wasn't around "So are you getting married because you want to or because you feel like you have to?" He said seriouslessly "Because I feel like I have to." I like his fiance but I think he's making a mistake. Obviously I hope I'm wrong.

8 years ago

nice article

Jennifer 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 2 years. I'm 24 and he's about to be 27. He has talked about me being "the one" since pretty much the beginning. I am definitely at the point in my life where I want to settle down and get married. I have never really put it out there to him because I didn't want to pressure him. I wanted him to do it when he's ready. Well, just because he's not very good at hiding secrets, I figured out that he has gotten me a ring. He doesn't know that I've figured it out but he's been keeping it in his car, in a black jewlery bag, and I've seen the bag. I know that's what it is by the way he guards it constantly and judging by the changes he's started making. He's kicked bad habits and is bettering himself. He has constantly talked about marrying me and even came out and asked me about a week ago, "If I asked you to marry me, what would you say?"...Okay, the question, he has the ring. I know he's had it for at least a few weeks now, but that's it. Nothing has happened...I know, I'm get way to antsy but he has made no big plans, no plan to take me to dinner, nothing. And he was acting very loving and complimentary and now we are starting to bicker. I know obviously I have no choice but to wait...but what is he doing? He's had plenty of great moments since he's had it to propose and hasn't done it.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author



You're right, all you have to do is wait. And go out of your way NOT to bicker. Take the stress and deal with it and get it off of him.  He is preparing to take the biggest step of his life, and the stress is probably immense.

You don't know that he doesn't have something planned, or in the works. You don't know what he's thinking or doing, or who's in on it with him. You also don't know that the moments you thought were great, were also great for him. Let him pick his moment. Let him create his surprise. Let him do what he wants to do. You've come this far. Please don't ruin this for him, or for yourself. Just sit tight. Deep breath. Give him all the patience he needs from you right now. You have no idea how many guys have written to me who had the ring, and changed their minds because they saw shadows of the impatient controlling or judging wife the gf could turn out to be. BE COOL. Be you. Be patient. And just trust him. 

Keep us posted, will you?

Jennifer 8 years ago

Thank you. I do need to just take a breather. And I will keep you posted.

Jennifer 8 years ago

One more thing Veronica,

He's got his eye on a house that we both like and he wants to buy it asap. I really don't think it's a good idea to buy it before we're married b/c we would have to go through trying to get my name put on it afterward. But, it's a house we both really want. I just don't know how to say it without it sounding like I'm pressuring him to get married. Any ideas??


Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Jennifer -

I feel strongly about this advice. If he is looking at houses he is serious about your future. Let him take these steps. I'm so serious about this. In a short amount of time you will be a partner. Until then, let him show you he can be a provider. Look at it as a guy thing. It's wonderful that he's bought the ring and wants to buy the house. 

Getting your name put on the house is NOTHING. It's a document  lawyer draws up in a second, you have notorized and you drop it of at the county building. It's not even a full lunch break to handle.  

Stop over thinking the pressure. You're going to blow this. Calm down and let it go. Let him propose his way. One thing at a time. If he has an opportunity to buy a house you both love, let him. You're name will get on it fast enough. He's doing everything right, hon. Let him.

B Girl 8 years ago


Veronica is right, just take a deep breath and wait. He's got the ring now, he wants to do it, it's just a matter of when. You've been with him 2 years, a little longer won't hurt.

I can't tell you how lucky you are to have a guy who wants to marry you and is taking all the steps by himself to buy a house and marry you. I'd kill to be in your position!

In the meantime just be you, and act how you normally would, do the things you always do. That's obviously why he loves you and wants to marry you.

I have a few good guy friends, and one of them proposed to his live in gf (also a good friend of mine) a couple of years ago. They got married a year ago and it's their anniversary this week. He told me he was going to propose in the November, got the ring in January, and didn't actually propose until her birthday in May. for a couple of the months in between, she rang and emailed me quite a bit, thinking he was going off her and worried that their relationship would end. He had gone quiet from time to time, she said, and things seemed different. On the other hand I was talking to him, and I knew the reason things were 'different' was because he was thinking about proposing and going through all the emotions of making that commitment. There were times he was scared, worried, but then excited and committed. It took some time before he did it, but he'd planned it all out so it'd be a special surprise on her birthday. He'd bought the ring way in advance because he got it specially made.

So through the months she was stressing out, thinking he was going to end it, I knew what was really going on and had to just keep reassuring her that everything would turn out ok, and not to worry, but I couldn't tell her any more than that!

Just wait, he might have planned something liek that, a surprise trip or to propose on a holiday or birthday or something.

Enjoy it! All the best to you:)

Jill 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I have been in a relationship for almost 10 years. My bf and I live together and are very happy. He has been wanting to get married for the past 5 years and I kept putting it off. We picked out a ring this year and now I am getting very nervous about getting married. If we are happy and nothing is going to change, why am I so nervous about it? I wonder if it's because I never dated anyone else (since we've been together most of my adult life) I think the only solution is for me to move out but when I think about moving out I get so depressed. I am afraid of losing the best man I've ever been with but why is it so hard for me to say I do? I don't think it should be this hard. My friends and family say to just do it because we are so compatable and it's like we are already married but I think I should be feeling more excited about it? We broke up for three months 5 years ago becuase I didn't want to get married, and I was miserable. We got back together and now I still don't know what to do. It's not fair to him to make him wait, he's a good man who deserves better.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I think you need to speak to a therapist. I think you sound rational, focused, intelligent and realistic. There aren't any obvious fixes or problems here. I think something outside of the framework of your relationship needs to be addressed.

It sounds like you really appreciate him, and value the relationship, and that you're trying to do everything right. You also sound self reflective and caring. You have so much going for you, you just have this one obstacle that doesn't seem to make sense. I think the best thing you can do is to speak to a professional about why you feel the way you feel.

I was in therapy for a couple years when I was in my twenties. It was a wonderful process. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. I realized some things about myself I hadn't been aware of before. I value those ideas and lessons, even now. I left there clearer about why I do some of the things I do. I hope you consider this option, and I wish you the best.



Jill 8 years ago

Thank you Veronica for your response. I do agree that I should see a therapist, hopefully it will help.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

I'm so glad, Jill. You're obviously quite an intelligent lady with good priorities, and alot of care in you. You have your shit together. You're not doing anything wrong. There just seems to be something we can't reach, some issue under the surface. I'm sure a good therapist will help you figure it out.

Best to you.

Kika Rose profile image

Kika Rose 8 years ago from Minnesota

Do you do a dating-advice blog or something? Or was it just a random question some guy asked you? Because I have a similar problem, and your answer was very well put, so I was hoping I could ask you. If not, can I ask anyway? :-P

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Hi Kika Rose,


I have a blog,


with more than 400 posts, which is not dating advice, but has alot of my dating experiences.

Here on hubpages I have 86 articles published, most are dating/ relationship/ sex/ marriage advice.

Feel free to ask me anything. Message me through my profile here on Hbpages, email me through my blog, leave your question here in comments, whatever you feel comfortable with. I'm happy to tackle your problem.



Kika Rose profile image

Kika Rose 8 years ago from Minnesota


I've been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years.

That's a pretty long time, all things considered.

He wants me to move out to California to be with him. I'm all for that. The faster I can get away from Minnesota winters, the happier I'll be. I have no problem moving out there to be with him.

Except, now he's talking about marriage. And that scares the crap right out of me.

I mean, I'm only 18; he's only 20; we have a 1.5 year age difference. I'm not ready to jump head first into anything that serious at this age. I'd rather wait until I'm, oh, 25 before I even think about that kind of stuff. But he's so sure we'll make it, that we'll be perfect, that it almost makes me want to hide under a rock for the next 10 years. I love his stupid butt to death and all, and I'm not against marrying him, just Not Right Now.

It's confusing and confounding and confuddling and it's making my brain scream all sorts of lovely things. I just don't know what to do about it anymore.

Got any advice on that?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Kika Rose,

First, you have to realize he may just be saying thoughts that are in his head, not making solid definite plans for this year. His marriage talk may just be his way of expressing to you that he is the kind of guy that wants to get married some day, and wants to go the distance with you, and wants you to move out to California to be with him. He may be trying to give you a time line on these thoughts because he thinks that will make you feel secure.

The big deciding factor with this move to the west coast is that you are obviously into making the change in homespace. If you didn't want to move, and were only contemplating it for him, I'd say think twice. But this is a win - win.

My advice is to make the move. You want to do it, and you love his stupid butt, so go for it. You are dead on with your realization that you are wayyyyyy too young to get married. When he talks marriage don't shoot the shit out of him. Instead, let him know you really appreciate how he lets you know what he's feeling, and you love being a part of his present and his future. But that you'd like to take things one step at a time. Tell him, let's make one profound life altering decision at a time. 

If he really pushes, then you can push back a little harder and say - "No marriage talk yet. Not yet. Later." But I have the feeling if you take the next step of moving to Cali to be with him, he'll relax a little about the steps that might follow over the next several years.

Keep us posted.

Kika Rose profile image

Kika Rose 8 years ago from Minnesota

I will. Thank you so much. Y'know, you should consider writing an advice column for a newspaper. You're very helpful. ^_^

Yenzz 8 years ago

I already with him 1,5 years but I never thought to married that fast. I still wanna enjoy my free life and keep working like this. I dont mean that I dont wanna get married someday but please not now. I can't imagine that I am married now and just stay home caring my kids. I really can't for this time.

Maybe some girl just worry if her boy friend will leave him someday.While He said that he will never leave her or whatever but who knows what will happen tomorrow? But think that if he is yours it must be yours.

Anon 8 years ago

My guy friend has been with his girlfriend for around 2 years but they've known each other since they were 6 (he's 28 now). For as long as I've known him he has said he will never get married. A few days ago he told me he's engaged. I asked him how he could say he never wants to get married one day and be engaged the next. Basically his response was he loves her, wants to be with her and didn't want to get married but he guesses he's come to grips with the idea. He also said that if she didn't want to get married then he would not have proposed. He also admitted that he has feelings for someone else.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Boys grow up. They all start out in the He-Man Woman Hater's Club, and then they grow up, and become men. I'm not surprised he's been saying "all his life" he doesn't want to get married, and is only 28 now. This was a sentiment of adolescence. 

His response is that he loves her. Surely, it's possible that when he was a teenager and making such a broad and assuming statement, he didn't realize what mature love would feel like. And with it, often, the longing for forever.

If he has outgrown that feeling of never wanting to get married, then it's probably hard for him to admit he was a child when he made that decision. Thus, coming up with blames and excuses - "Hey I'm doing it because she wants to, I've come to grips."He grew up. And so has his needs and wants. It's especially hard to admit that when you have friends reminding you of the immature things you said all your life.

If he hasn't outgrown that feeling, and really doesn't want to get married, then obviously this is a mistake. Hopefully he will catch that before he takes the plunge. But i really doubt that's what's happening here. 

Anon 8 years ago

Thanks for the input. I never really thought about it that way...maybe he has matured. He still says that he doesn't want to give up his single life and freedom.

What about his feelings for the other girl? It's more than just lust. He's been seeing her longer than he's been with his girlfriend. He was with her less than 2 weeks ago.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Well, it could be that final hoorah- he could just be enjoying that feeling that he's with the other woman because he can be. A final statement of freedom. Men do things like that. Then again, maybe he would like to marry his gf but would like an open relationship - it is possible he really loves his gf, but wants to have sexual relationships outside of the marriage too. I'm not one to judge that, but if that is the case he NEEDS to be honest with his partner about it. Having an open marriage is not a decision you can make in secret.

I always have a hard time thinking the "other" woman is little more than just lust. You love the one you're "with" not the one you keep secret. But maybe he's different. I just don't think so.

And of course it's possible he's really not ready to get married in the traditional monogamous way, and give up freedoms like this. Maybe he's feeling that real and mature love we discussed for his GF, but he just isn't ready to take the next step yet. There is nothing wrong with that. If that is the case, I hope he slows things down and allows himself time to finish maturing and growing into the next phases of the relationship, instead of moving too quickly and fucking things up. 

B Girl 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I wrote to you months ago when my bf and I were having some problems. The messages are further up the board. I really appreciated you advice and it helped me when I was going through that.

So we moved in together, a couple of months ago, and it's all going really well. In the months after that turmoil we went through he seemed to relax about commitment, we had a few months living apart after that, looking at places to rent on the net and getting used to the idea. He actually seemed enthusiastic.

We decided in the end to move into my place together- I couldn't really move out legally (without getting a buy to let mortgage which cost thousands to change from the one I have) and it seemed the easiest option. He had originally said he didn't want to do this as it would be 'living under my wing' but then when it came to it, he had forgotton he'd said this and suggested it himself. Confusing, but he'd said it at a time when he wanted to live on his own. When he was moving out of the family home for the first time, so I guess he wanted independance which is understandable. Since he suggested it again, that's what we did.

He seems to have chilled out about it all. When he moved in we cleaned out the house, rearranged stuff together and made him a study to work in. He's talking about relandscaping the garden. He's mentioned buying a house together when his business takes off. He said the other week that I am more than a girlfriend, I'm his partner, lover, friend. Things between us are great.

I'm writing again as there are things that I've held onto from that tough time. Six months of hearing, 'I'm not ready, and I don't know when I will be', 'Maybe if I was away from you for a bit I would realise I wanted to live together', 'I'm a free spirit, I don't want to have to tell you when I'll be home all the time.'

Phrases like these reverbarate around my mind in those dark corners. They hurt. I was in a dark place for a while. I was ready to commit and I was with someone who was shutting me out. Sometimes the things he said come back to me and all I can do is wallow in it for a while, cry and then let go again. But they come back time after time.

I want to let go of that, but there's comething that worries me- what if he does that to me again, what if he gets scared again? The fear won't let me let go. I'm not very good at forgetting things that hurt me. I wish I was. I've always been this way and so is my father. I can't talk to him about it becasue he hates bringing up the past. What I'm really asking is, how, after you've been through some heartache with someone, do you let go of the pain?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Excellent question. So excellent in fact, that it got it's own hub.


I gave you my advice there, I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think.

Best to you.

North of Everywhere 8 years ago

Hi Veronica

I have just read the whole of this page and i'm really impressed by your realistic and logical advice. Looks like you've struck a chord with quite a few people, me included. Can you spare some more advice?!

My partner and I have been together for 4 years and have a bloody great life together. (I'm 25 and he's 32.) We have owned our own house together for 2 years and lived together for a year before that. We have good steady professional incomes (think social worker not doctor!) and as we're from the UK our student debt isn't too bad. Our relationship just keeps getting better and we've really supported each other in achieving some great things. We are very in love.

And compared to all this my question seems so trivial. After we'd been togther about a year he mentioned marriage, but wasn't sure if he believed in it all, etc. As we had not been together long and I was quite young I didn't think too of it - I was flattered and we talked more about our future together. After we'd been together 3 years we talked about it some more and he asked me about what types of rings I liked and told me all about what he wanted the wedding like. It became quite a regular discussion and I even mentioned it to friends and family, which in retrospect I probably shouldn't have. Soon after he started talking about it he started to come up with reasons why it wasn't such a great time/wasn't right - money usually, but sometimes really odd things like the fact that i'm a feminist and he's not sure how marriage sits with my ethics! (I told him that was for me to decide!) That really felt like he was clutching at straws and it really hurt. Now it has become the only ugly part of our relationship. Our other future plans haven't changed, if anything we've become more committed. (We've found out that my chances of kids aren't as good as they could be so are looking at kids in 2-3 years rather than 5-6 as we'd planned. He has been really supportive with all of this.)

Should I be bothered at all by this marriage stuff? I know I am, but i'm not sure why. I think maybe because all the changing attitudes he has on a marriage actually feel like changes attitudes he has towards me, regardless of whether they are or not. Should I forget the marriage thing for good?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

North of Everywhere,

The most important piece of information I need to answer your question, you've left out: Do YOU want to get married?

It sounds as if you were fine with not getting married when that was what he put on the table. It also sounds like you were fine with the idea of getting married when 3 years later he asked what kind of ring you want. Now, you're saying you're feeling as if his changing attitudes might be about you instead of about marriage, even though you know deep down that's not the case.

There is no where in your comment where you say - I want to get married and he's not respecting that. Or - I want A and he wants B.

I don't think it's actually his off again - on again marriage view that's bothering you. I think what's bothering you is his inconsistancy and lack of forthright communication about something that governs your future together.

What bothers me, is why is this all about what he wants, with no mention of what you want.

It is very obvious from your comment that you are a smart lady. You are in a healthy relationship. He is showing you with great actions that he is completely committed to you - from the house purchasing to the children planning.  I believe you've really got it together, and you're in a very solid relationship.

So this is my advice. 

I think you need to decide what you WANT. Not what you're willing to go along with, or what you're willing to do without. I think you actually need to make a decision about what it is YOU WANT. And by the way, it is perfectly fine if you realize that what you want is more time to decide. It's also fine if you decide you really do want the wedding thing. There is nothing wrong with that.

Next, I think you need to communicate that want clearly to your beau. Tell him you really need a true sit-down with him. Tell him what you want, what you truly feel. Tell him you love your life together, and that this conversation isn't a deal breaker or anything crazy like that. It's just a conversation. It's time to clear the air. Tell him you want to listen, you want to hear the changes he's gone through. He started out not believing in marriage, then obviously changed his mind. And now, he's making excuses like trying to put it on you and your feminism, or time and money - laugh that off and say, "Come on. You know those are lame excuses. Let's really talk about this." Hold his hand, open a bottle of wine and tell him you want to hear what he has to say about all this, for real. What is he really afraid of. What is he really thinking.

And, my dear, you have to express what you really feel as well. Does he actually have any idea what you want? This isn't something he gets to decide by himself. This is a team decision. 

I'll give you two more smaller pieces of advice, but that's the big one. That's the thing I really think you need to do.

After that talk, 2 things you might want to consider are 1 - the next talk and 2 - the half way point.

Tell him this conversation does NOT need to settle anything. It may, but it's also ok if it doesn't. It was important to express what you're both really feeling, and it's important that you are both thinking about the other one's needs as well as your own. And that now that you each have some new things to consider, plan to talk again like this in 6 months. Make it a date, mark it in the calendar. It doesn't matter whether you actually keep that exact date or not, it's a good exercise to demonstrate that this conversation is continuing.

And the half way point: Between any two points, there is a point half way. If either or both of you are still feeling your way through the idea of marriage, take the step to the point between where you are now, and marriage. Maybe a commitment ceremony. Or a promise ring. Friends of mine just had a lovely commitment ceremony. They invited friends and had a dinner and stood up together and recited vows. It isn't legally binding, but it was very emotional and inspiring. 

A promise ring is a token of intention, and you can wear it on your ring finger, and feel the tangible proof of his love. It isn't silly. It's a very real thing.

Thanks for your comment. Keep us posted.

confused 8 years ago

So here I am reading all of these comments and I can find myself in many of the comments.

My bf and I have been together for more than 10 years now, living together in an apartment for more than 8 years. When we started dating he kept looking at me saying: "five years and I'll marry you". I was 19 back then and didn't take this very serious. I finished school, lived abroad and returned, we moved together and I got a job so I thought OK, this is the time to make promises come true. I proposed to him (oh yes, I did!) and we decided to take things slow. Two years later, I didn't push but thought we might get serious and talk about what each of us expected and wanted from a wedding. But we just talked, never made any serious decisions because I felt in these talks that he didn't want to get serious. I waited and waited and waited and at some point started asking what exactly he wanted from life, where he sees himself in the future. His answer was that he'd like to have a family, be a dad someday. He didn't mention marriage and I foolishly didn't ask.

Through the years all our friends started asking when we'll get married, when we'll finally have kids and after I had been honest for a while saying we can't decide. Honestly I believe if he said, let's go, I'd be ready to say I do right away. But I feel like he just doesn't want it, not now and probably never.

Since this is such a tough thing for us, I stopped really talking about it. I tried really hard to let go of it realizing that I might not ever get married but it still keeps bugging me.

He just bought a house and desperately wants kids. I told him jokingly and seriously that there won't be kids without a wedding. Unfortunately he doesn't respond to that or any other comments about this topic. He never said "I don't want to get married" straight in my face but commented like "these days you don't have to be married to have kids" or similar. I've never wanted a house or kids but I'm willing to compromise for him. How come he can't compromise for me? Then again, do I want marriage on the basis of compromise? Don't get me wrong, I don't need the big wedding and white dress, I just want my shot at happily ever after. I can't imagine ever getting married to someone else so I'm trying hard to figure out if I should let go of the marriage idea or if I just tried the wrong things. Also I'm worried because with this we keep blocking eachother for our future plans, I think.

I really hope you can help this confused person too.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


If someone won't talk to you or even acknowledge your questions about a subject- that is a very major disrespect. For most of us, the fact that he won't be a man and be honest with you and tell you to your face he doesn't want to get married, would be a deal breaker. I'm not sure how you can be with someone that treats your needs and wants so carelessly.

If he's talking about having kids with you, he's willing to have you in his life. But it sounds to me more like, he's willing to have you there to provide a service. I can see his commitment to you, and I have no problem with people that decide they don't want to get married. I also understand when someone wants to have children, and doesn't want to get married. But there is a major problem with someone who wants kids and not marriage being with a partner that wants marriage. There is an even bigger problem with how he has handled that. It is a major reflection of things to come if you were to have kids with him. He's demonstrated for years now he says things and doesn't follow through, doesn't communicate, won't express his feelings, expects you to make all the compromises and has absolutely no respect or regard for you as a person or as his girlfriend. Just imagine how you will be treated as a mother to his kids. You will be demoted. Right now you have something he wants, and that could be the only reason he's tolerable at all. Once he gets it, he's already proven what he thinks of your needs. Things will absolutely get worse.

I think it's very sad you can't picture marrying anyone except for this guy that doesn't communicate and doesn't care about your feelings. Very sad indeed.


extremeanes_007 8 years ago

I think that when a guy says that he loves and wants his girlfriend and sees future with her, but at that particular time he is not ready to marry her is OK, because I am very young but I have been with the same girl for 4 years, I love her very much and she means a world to me but somehow I know that I'm not gonna be rady to marry her in the next 10 years or more because we are both goal setters and I think that it's more important to build up a career than getting married, if she's ready to be with me in a realtionship for that time I'll love her forever, but if not I guess you have right when you say guys are looking for the right time and girls are looking for the right guy, if metting married is all she cares about then she's not looking for the right guy, she's looking to get married,it is so stupid when you can enjoy relationship and be with someone you truly love!

Martin 8 years ago

well welll well, after reading some of the advices here for some question, i am tinkin, like"geeze" well for me , i dont think i am gettin married. b'cuz , my parents , infact , my whole family is against every girl i know ,, and i told them "i am staying single" and no one can change my mind, u know what will b amazing , if someone can get me to change my mind, well we know for a fact that , there is no one in my family, and as for friends, i dont hav any, so , gettin me to change my mind is a gud challenge!!! :) Blesss!! :D

anon 8 years ago


When a girl thinks she's found the right guy, and she wants to marry him, it doesn't necessarily mean she 'just wants to get married' (to anyone). She wants to marry him. And if he doesn't feel the same, that hurts.

When you know what you want (and by that I mean marriage to that person) and the other person can't say they want that, that is hard to deal with, so she may leave. It's unfair to ask her to wait for 10 years (!!!) if she is ready to commit to you NOW. It's too hard for her. That is something that you need to understand. If you aren't ready to get married that's fine, but you need to understand that she may truly love you and because of that she's ready to marry. I've met a few men with the your attitude and i'm not saying it's wrong but try and look at it from the perspective of the person who wants to get married. Why should they just wait and wait for the person they are with who can't tell them when they will (if ever!) want to get married.

If you truly loved her, you would be able to talk to a girlfriend about it and perhaps compromise instead of making her wait and wait. But I wouldn't say if she truly loved you she would wait, you need to communicate with her about it, not just make her wait.

If you are both happy to wait 10 years, then that's fine of course. You might feel differently when you've built up your career, you might be ready for it then and understand how it feels when you want to get married. It doesn't necessarily mean you 'just want to get married' when you have the urge- it may be that a person thinks they have found their 'one' and want to marry that person.

Hope that makes sense!

ModerateInAllThings 8 years ago

I don't see marriage as the be-all and end-all of relationships. It's one way, but not the only way, of being in a committed and loving relationship.

I've been living with my boyfriend for 11 years now, and we have a 3 year old son. Marriage isn't really important to either of us, what is important is our love for each other and our son.

TravelMonkey profile image

TravelMonkey 8 years ago from United Kingdom

I know plenty of people who do not feel the need to get married, take away the white wedding and the girls won't be half as keen.

Wendy Juniper 8 years ago

TravelMonkey- funny your should say that, I'm the exact opposite, i want the marriage, not the wedding. I never played dress up in a mock bridal dress when I was little, or anything like that, I didn't even think about getting married until a couple of years ago when i felt my current bf is the 'one'. I'd be quite happy to just go off on our own and get married somewhere low key, it's my bf who wants the big do! We're not all shallow, you know.

no one 8 years ago

i have question not a comment its for a project >but why do people get married when they know thier not ready. Its very complicated to understand but alot of people are doing it and then getting a divorce.

Lisa, Phoenix 8 years ago

This site just made me realize I'm getting out of my relationship. We've been together for 5 years. We lived together for a year (we were soo young and the house had other roommates that made for mad drama!). So we left that sitaution. Now things are great - I've graduated college and working and feel like I'm ready to be an adult with marriage and kids. He's still in school getting his MBA and it's becoming clear that he's no where ready to do that yet. I don't mind waiting for him, but he can't even discuss the future now without having all these bad memories about when we did live together 4 years ago. And now it's becoming clear that he's going to be more of a career man than a family man. And basically when he does get married and have kids, it will be like I'm a single mom and he'll be gone for wok 90% of the time. And I don't want that. So come January, heartbreaking as it is because I love him so much and had high hopes for us, we're just going to be friends and I'm going to look for someone with the same interests as me - the same family values and someone who's ready. Think that's realistic to find?

Wendy Juniper 8 years ago

Hi Lisa,

I think you're brave for realising it's not what you want anymore. And yeah, I think it's realistic to find someone like that. It might take a little while but if you look you'll find it.

The fact he can't discuss the future is worrying- especially after 5 years. If I was you I'd sit down with him and say exactly how you feel and make him realise you are serious about what you want and if he still won't discuss it you know you need to make the break. What's the point if he won't even talk about things?

I had a problem a year ago with my bf, he wouldn't talk about the future at all and I felt like he was keeping me at arms length. He wanted to move in together, marriage etc 'one day' he said but wouldn't be any more specific than that and wouldn't talk about when he might want to do that. I knew I wanted to do it in the near future, and the fact that I felt like I was left hanging, not knowing what he wanted told me that he didn't know himself, and if he didn't know, that wasn't enough for me. It was too painful being with someone and wanting more, and not him not knowing. He wanted me just to wait and wait until he wanted to discuss it, and that could have been years away for all I knew. So I decided that wasn't for me, I KNEW so clearly that wanted more than that from a partner. So I initiated a break. Gave each of us time to think. And at the end he had got so worried about losing me, he'd realised he was being immature by refusing to discuss anything.

Then it was HE who suggested moving in together. I had some reservations as I didn't understand how someone could do a complete 360 and change like that. We talked about that for a while and started looking for somewhere and in the end we moved in together. I still get scared sometimes he'll revert to that person he was but every time I get worried he does something that shows me he's ready to be a partner. He's far more open about the future and although he's not propsoing or anything, we've at least talked about it and how we would like things to be. I reckon in a couple of years when his business has taken off and we've bought somewhere together, that'll be the next thing we'll do.

So what i'm saying is, although there's been some bumps in the road, because I stood up and said, 'the way things are isn't what I want', he stopped being beligerant and immature and started talking. Maybe try that and if it doesnt work, you know it's not right.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


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Jennifer 8 years ago

I dated my boyfriend long-distance for a year. I was becoming insecure about his commitment and admittedly a bit too needy, and brought up my interest in getting married and having kids. I realize now I was too quick to bring that up; perhaps I should have just opened the conversation by asking him what he saw for our future. Anyway, it didn't go well, and he said he thought we needed to spend more time together (especially in light of my insecurities and how I was acting out somewhat) and that he was happy with the way things were and needed to see if we were compatible. I ended the relationship in haste, but now wish we could start over. I see that I wasn't really listening to him. He says he's unsure because he already knows what I want and is afraid we'll find ourselves in the same spot where I am ready for more and he is not, and that everything will get dramatic and emotional again. Also, his sister is going through a divorce, which is making my less comfortable with rushing into anything. He also feels like he'll have to walk on eggshells on the subject of marriage to avoid finding ourselves not on the same page again and all the drama and emotion that entailed.

I'd like to try again -- we had wonderful chemistry -- but at our age s(37 and 38) it seems like a bad idea.

Any thoughts?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Wow. I give you both a lot of credit. You for realizing where you went wrong, and him for hanging in there and actually communicating his fears clearly.

My thought is this: WHY do you want to try again?

Do you want to try again because you miss him and enjoyed what you had with him and want to have that again? OR, do you want to try again meaning, you want to try to get him to marry you again.

If it's the latter, I recommend walking away. He's been (impressively) clear about his feelings. He is not ready to get married, isn't the one bringing up marriage, isn't talking marriage, hasn't been given time to even think about if he wants to marry, and has clearly communicated he does not want to do "that" again, where you want more than he wants, and things get dramatic. He has even been clear that he's afraid he has to walk on eggshells because of all this. He could not be clearer.

If you can hear what he's clearly saying, and you want to get back together for the right reason, than I wish you the best.

But if you can't hear what he's saying, if you want to get together to serve a hidden (or not so hidden) agenda, if you are just biding your time until he wants to get married, then don't do this. Don't do it to him, and more importantly don't do it to yourself. Yeah, of course if you get back together there's a chance that in time he will be ready to marry. But that could be years away, and wanting something that isn't there isn't a good enough reason to get back together.

If you really do want to get married and that is more important than this particular man is to you, then let go of this. Go out there and find someone that wants what you want now. There is nothing wrong with that. At your age, you're allowed to know what you want. And more than likely you deserve to get what you want. If you can just be honest with yourself, you just might get it.

Jennifer 8 years ago

Thanks, Veronica. Your response is really helpful, and I'll give it some thought because I'm not sure what I want. On the one hand, I miss him and enjoyed what we had togther and think it ended too prematurely and would just like to be with him again in the present here and now. On the other hand, there were some legitimate (I think) reasons for my insecurities, such as his comfort with letting a couple of months go by between visits. Certainly, when I was thinking that we were on the road to marriage, that was very frustrating. I expect that, in taking marriage talk/ideas off the table, I would be less antsy about when our next meeting would be because I wouldn't be looking to his desire to get together as a sign of whether he was on the road to marriage or was committed to me. But I'm not sure.

livelovecoffee profile image

livelovecoffee 8 years ago from Georgia

I love this hub - I was trying to make it through all of the comments but it became a little too much and I get easily distracted so I didnt want to lose my thoughts.I have been in this position, seen this happen and watched both ends to this story unfold. Unfortunately, many girls grow up dreaming about a lavish wedding that is needless to say perfect! Where most guys don't really entertain this thought (or really start) till their twenties - this is kinda - sorta - think about it. So that would mean girls on average have a huge head start so getting married can only be a wish for long before you get tired of wishing are ready for something...anything to happen. That is typically when a wedding takes hold over the marriage part. Not the best thing but very common.I could go on forever about this, but I will stop there. EXCELLENT POST!

al 8 years ago

hi my boyrfriend and I have been dating for 3 years...I want to get married and he says he's not ready...he's 22 and I'm 21....do you think this makes a difference?...he's also VERY reluctant to talk about it ..or even say that'd he'd want to get married in the future....right now i'm in limbo, and i'm really upset...but he just keeps trying to hug and kiss and tell me he loves me till i don't want to get married anymore...this is crazy because we are bestfriends and i love him as a person and i don't want to break up, i can't stop thinking about him not wanting to get married MEANS.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


He probably doesn't know what he means. Physiolgocially, his frontal lobe has only just developed, making him cognizant of long term implications and commitments. What I'm saying is, at his very young age, he can't know what he feels about marriage yet. It's not physically possible. The person he was a year ago is a different person than who he'll be 9 years from now.

Since your both wayyyyyyyy too young to be talking about marriage, my advice is to stop talking about it and just enjoy what sounds like a very loving relationship. Enjoy him, and kiss him back when he kisses you to shut you up (That's adorable btw.) And grow together. There's a very very good chance you two will in fact one day marry. But not if you keep trying to talk about it and get some kind of promise that is this premature.

Sonick 8 years ago


Let me start by saying I am so glad I found this page. You have given some awesome advice in these previous posts.

The reason I found this page is because my girlfriend that I have been with now for a year has been in my opinion pressuring me to get married. I turned 23 this past September and she is 24 turning 25 in April.

I want to start off by saying I am not your ordinary 23yr old. I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 19. I have been living on my own for 4yrs now paying my bills and my way through school. I have decent job, I am a commodities broker and I am pretty good at what I do. Before my current gf I was single and living up life for over two years. When I found her, I finally decided to slow down and commit myself to her. This past year with her has been great, she is my other half. I am at my best when I am with her, at least she makes me feel that way. For the past couple of months we have been talking about our future. I knew about 6 months into our relationship that I wanted to marry this girl one day. She asked me where I saw us going and I told her sometime in 2009 I want to get engaged. She was ecstatic. I told her the first thing I want to do is get myself in a good financial situation before we take that step. She was fine with that at the time. Then about a month later she told me how she felt she was getting old and how her biological clock is ticking and she thinks she is never going to get married. And she is sad because she has no idea when or where it is going to happen. She likes to be in the know on things and it kills her she doesn’t have anything concrete with this. I asked to just be patient with me and give me time to get my ducks in a row. Now here we are, the New Year has just started and she is sad. Why? Because she thought I was going to propose on New Year’s. I didn’t obviously. She brought up that we both come from the Hindu faith and it is kind of frowned upon when to people date as long as she and I have and not at least be engaged. She also said she feels it’s just “never going to happen” that she and I will just be “dating” for a long time. I keep asking her to be patient with me but it seems that she can’t. How do I respond to her actions? I could go buy her a ring right now but it would put me in a bad financial situation. I tell her that all I need to do is just build some more cushion under myself and then we can go forward. She doesn’t seem to like that. She says she needs reassurance and that when we get engaged she will be okay. She says the longer I put it off the less likely it is to happen. She is getting pressure from her family to hurry up and get married. I think they are the ones telling her she is getting old and filling her head with nonsense. I have talked to my family and they are all for me getting married if that’s what I want to do. They think I should finish school first. But whatever I decide they respect. I don’t want to lose her and I also don’t want to put myself in a fragile position financially. No one pays my bills but me. How do I handle this situation without being an insensitive prick? Again this is the girl I want to marry I just need things to be right on my end before we take the next step. What do I do! Help!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


It sounds to me like you showed her with your actions AND your words where your relationship was going, and you were very clear about your feelings. You even said - sometime in 2009 - for the engagement.

For a normal, healthy, self-respecting woman in a good relationship, that would be the gold standard.

For her to say things like she's getting old at her age, and to put all this additional pressure on you is not only disrespectful to you, but is also a serious sign of a host of psychological problems. At her age, and with being in a healthy stable relationship with clear future goals, she should be enjoying herself. She should be happy and content and concentrating on the things in her life that made her a whole and unique person. Instead, she's demonstrating a very controlling nature, she's being unreasonable, and she is proving her total dependence.

And Woe! You're not even finished school yet? Honey, I realize you moved out at a reasonable age - not young age, just a reasonable age - and that you're making it and paying all your bills. But you're just a babe. You will be a completely different person at age 30 then you are now, with a much deeper understanding of yourself and of the life you want to have.

Though you do seem very mature and together for your age, she sounds very immature for her age. Very fixated on getting married. Very unhealthy, especially considering what she has.She has no trust in you to say the things she's saying. She has no patience, and no faith in you or your word or the relationship.

I think you should tell her that you were very clear that sometime in 2009, but she's going to have to take a chill pill and stop this nonsense. Be clear with her that her pushing and emotional instability in no way makes you want to propose earlier. It's the opposite. It makes you doubt spending the next 60 years with someone like this. Honey, just be honest and tell her what she's doing, and the effect it is having.

Good luck.

Sonick 8 years ago

Thank you Veronica for the advice. And thanks for the prompt response. I will try what you have told me and see how it goes over. What should I do if nothing changes and she is still the same way?

Jennifer 8 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I am 23 and my fiance is 26. He proposed to me in September and I said yes. I love him very much and I know he loves me also. I was absolutely sure I wanted to marry him when he asked me but now I'm not so sure. I'm really confused. We are very compatible in a lot of ways but here's the issue. We are happy I would say 80% of the time and when we are it is utopia for us both. But, when we argue, we cannot argue civily (if that's even a word) He has an anger problem to where it doesn't take a whole lot to set him off and he cannot control how angry he gets so he gets ridiculously mad at the smallest things. I cannot stand it. He says I provoke him and when we are arguing, we do not communicate well at all. He says pretty mean things to me. Afterwards he always apologizes alot and says when he gets like that he can't control it that it just comes out. I love him very much and am always excited about marrying him but when we come away from an argument, I feel less and less for him and alot of times think to myself that I don't want to marry him. I've always thought of marriage as a sacred thing due to my parents divorcing when I was young and I always said that I will never get a divorce and I've told him this and he says he feels the same way but I just don't know if we will both be happy years down the road when we get married. Any suggestions?


Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


Get out of this.

Anger issues are not the kind of things you can turn your back on. 80% of the time things are ok? OMG, girl. Not enough. Not even close. And you're just 23?? You're wayyyyy too young to be getting married, let alone marrying someone who says he can't control his temper. I promise you, if you marry this guy, the next 60 years of your life will be hell. His anger will keep escalating, because by being with him you are proving to him he doesn't have to do anything about this very serious mental problem he has. You are reinforcing that he doesn't need to get it under control or get help, because you're already putting up with it. His anger will get worse and worse. Do you want to have kids? Do you want to put your babies in harms' way? Do you want to raise children to think it's OK to be screamed at the way he screams at you?

Nothing good can come of this. My father had Rage Disorder Syndrome. His anger was like a light switch, it would flip on for almost no reason and then could not flip off. He was a miserable awful man who made everything around him a living hell. Jennifer I know what I am talking about. End this and get away from him before it's too late.

Rebecca 8 years ago

Well Google brought me here, the comments have been interesting...

I think my situation is a lot different from everyone else's. I've been with my boyfriend for four years. We have a significant age difference, I'm 29 and he's 47. Odd as that may sound, we have a tremendous amount in common--we love football, old movies, the Beatles, etc. We spend a lot of time together, I'm at his house four or five days a week sometimes.

I'm working on my MA, and he has a full time job, so he has more money than I do. He got flooded this summer, so he's quite broke and complains about it quite a bit. I keep telling him that it really bothers me when he says this, because he usually is helping me keep afloat, and the only way I can help would be if I moved in.

Problem is, is my cat. I love my cat and have a responsibility to her. He likes cats, but does not want the fur in his house. His ex-wife has a dog and the dog was destructive and shed a lot. I asked him why he had the dog then, and he said it was one of those things you do when you get married. BUT, he does understand that I would not give up my cat under any circumstances. We are both stubborn and even though he's not wild about it now, I believe he would eventually give in because he will realize it isn't worth it to lose me over the cat. (he's pretty logical, being a Virgo--I'm a Libra, on the cusp of Scorpio as well, which makes it fun)

Another problem is that he has been married twice--once at 20, he married a girl he had a long correspondence with, had a child, and divorced within 18 months. Not a great marriage, not a good reason to get married. The second ex he shouldn't have married either--he got her a small ring, not to say "let's get married" but "I really like you and let's see what happens" and she took it as "let's get married". This was three months in, mind you. She was also my age, and he figured at the time he couldn't go wrong.

They eventually split because while they get along well, there was a lot they didn't have in common. I must also confess he and I were talking at the time, but things had been quite bad for them before I came along--they hadn't had sex for two years before I ever came into the picture.

After all that, he's obviously REALLY against the idea of getting married. I can't entirely say as I blame him, but I keep trying to point out logically that he can't base everything about being married off of those experiences--he's a different person now, and I'm different than his exes. He also is around a lot of guys he works with that aren't entirely happy in their marriages, and I don't think that's helping one bit.

I've made it clear that I want to move in and I want to get married. He raised a son for quite a number of years (not with his first ex, he made some mistakes when he was 18-22!) and so post divorce (2005) was the first time he'd lived alone since 1991.

Truthfully, our relationship is really great right now, better than it's been, and it keeps getting great. Our sex life is dynamite (so much so I don't talk about it a lot because it sounds like I'm bragging!) We can communicate honestly about everything and especially sexually. (the biggest problem in both of our previous relationships). We have common interests, but separate ones too.

I want to get married because I think that since things are so good, and they keep getting better, that getting married would make it better as well. After looking around online tonight, I'm starting to rethink the living together before getting married thing, because I don't want to spend more of my life waiting to see what happens. (I did that with my last ex.) I also don't want to increase our chances of divorce, and I don't want to live together without a firm idea in place of what it will lead to.

I'm not sure what to do. 98% of the time, I'm very happy. But then someone will say they are engaged, or I start thinking about how I'm almost 30, and it gets to me. I don't want to give him an ultimatum--I told him what I would ideally like (move in at the end of my lease this summer, engaged when I graduate with the MA in 2010) but I told him that I didn't expect those things to happen, but I wanted to be honest about would I would IDEALLY like.

I also hate the idea of walking away as a form of forcing a commitment. I know he does miss me when I'm gone; I had all night classes last semester and he missed me terribly. (as did I) The other thing is that as cliche as it sounds, neither of us would date anyone else again if we split. For one, he's just getting older and would have a hard time meeting someone who was as compatible as me, and in my case, he is so utterly the right one for me, we are totally soulmates, corny as that sounds. We would really be just wrecks alone without each other.

I don't know where this leaves me. I try to live in the moment, and enjoy what I have, and like I said--98% of the time, I'm very, very, VERY happy. But then I think about finishing my degree, getting older, the years passing--I've told him I won't wait around for ten years or anything crazy like that. But it's been four and while I understand his issues, I don't know how much slow change I can deal with, logistically. He has said he doesn't want to live together at the moment, but he is more amiable to the idea than he used to be. He says he doesn't know of any good reasons to get married. I don't like calling him my boyfriend--he's hardly a boy--and I want to be his wife, I want the commitment. I don't even care about a wedding, we can get married in the backyard for all I care. Basically, he says right now he doesn't want to get married, but he also said that he can't honestly say he wouldn't change his mind at some point. I also think that me not working full time, being rather poor, and my student loans have him nervous as well.

Phew, that's a lot I put out there!

I suppose the question is this: at what point do I realize that I'm "wasting" my time? (I don't think of time with him as wasted, but in the grand scheme of things.) We really are wonderful together, we have an open, honest relationship and I really feel we are meant to be and I'm so happy and thankful I have found him.

Ack! So much stuff...part of me wants to just continue the way things are, keep my hopes of living together and getting married to myself (as I often do), and part of me wants to pull the bitch card and threaten to leave, but I don't know if that would do more harm that good. I did tell him that I have thought of doing that, that I don't want to, but the thought has crossed my mind. (Like I said, we're very honest.)

Sorry for the book...what's your take on all of this?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


I have several "takes." Where to start...

First, your reasons for wanting to get married are good ones. And you sound level headed about wanting a "marriage" instead of the all-too-familiar focus on the wedding. So, these are good things.

But let me give you a reality check about a few other things. First, cats barely shed and even the most not-cat friendly guys don't really care so much as to make it an issue. The cat thing is an excuse on his part. Having a cat is just not that evasive. (BTW major kudos to you for stating you have a responsibility to the cat. Good for you! I hate it when pet owners don't understand that. That sentence alone makes me like you. Thumbs up.)

Another point of reality I really need to point out is your feeling that if you were to leave him he wouldn't find anyone else. Oh honey. That's pretty delusional. Single available women outnumber men by a landslide, and no matter his age, his sexual kinks, his difficultness or his anything-else, I guarantee you there will be women at the ready. Maybe they won't be as "ideal" as you think you are, but they'll do. Believe me.

The age difference doesn't phase me. But there are several other aspects to the relationship that do. Firstly, you hinted that you met while he was still married to his ex. No matter what you want to tell yourself, and what you want to believe, the real truth is if he did it with you, he can do it to you. He can keep secrets, and lie, and be available to more than one person at a time. There could be someone in the wings right now. The fact that this is part of the foundation of your relationship is not good.

Another not good thing is the money slant. Whenever a couple starts out with one person paying more of the bills than the other, like in your case being a student, and unable to, there is a dependence president set that will not easily be broken. You aren't equals. No matter what, he will always see it that way.

The last not good thing I'll point out is his saying he doesn't want to get married again. He's even making excuses as to why he doesn't even want to live together. Deeds are louder than words and nothing you're sharing with me indicates he's doing anything to show you that he can't imagine spending the rest of his life with anyone but you.

It sounds like the relationship you have is nice, the sex being great and that there are other things in common. It sounds like he's happy with it where it is and doesn't want it to get any more serious or committed. It also sounds like you want much more and are convincing yourself that there is a possibility of much more, even though there is no indication at all of that.

I think you have a choice. You can enjoy what you have for what it actually is. Or, you can move on and seek out someone who wants to go the distance with you.

I hope you'll keep us posted. Good luck to you.



Rebecca 8 years ago

Oh, I flat out told him that he was using the cat as an excuse. :-) I know he knows it...I'm not dumb!

I suppose it does sound silly to say we wouldn't find anyone else, but I know in my heart anyone else I found would automatically be compared to him, and that isn't fair to anyone new. He likes younger women and the odds of finding someone who has things in common with him aren't great either.

As for the met when he was married thing, that is one thing that I will say he's been very committed to me about. Though we have both cheated in the past, we have discussed it extensively and I really have zero fears of him doing the same to me. He realizes it was a mistake, and he actually has a really decent relationship with his ex--they do lunch, etc., and every time he comes away very happy with his decision. I'm not even worried about a sexual attraction since they didn't sleep together the last two years.

Basically, that doesn't worry me. I know him too well, and he doesn't even want to find a guy on the side without my imput. We were corresponding with a guy a couple of weeks ago who moved a little faster on him than I was okay with, and he was very upfront about telling him that it made ME uncomfortable. I know typically that's an issue, but I do know he loves me a lot, is in love with me much more than he was with his ex.

I know we are in different places, mostly because of the age. We go around about this issue every six months or so, and while it seems like we are rehashing things, there is progress. The only reason this came up now was a conversation he had with a coworker about the cat thing. Like I said, I told him flat out he was using it as an excuse. On the other hand, I don't mind living alone sometimes either. Some days I love living alone, some days I pine to live with him, some days I'm dead split down the middle. Same about getting married.

I'm not that worried about finances either, I'm looking forward to getting done with school and (hopefully!) finding a decent job and making the scales more even. I always make a point to thank him for anything he does spend on me, and he never makes me feel guilty for that--I just feel guilty because I know he is unhappy about his sudden financial insecurity post-flood.

I can't fathom the thought of leaving...things are immensely good and I would be utterly miserable if I did. While the progress has been sloooooow in our relationship, there has been progress, which is hard to convey in a box of text. :-) I think he's just had so many bad experiences in relationships (and frankly, in life) that he wants to sit back and just chill for a while...and I suppose when I think about the big picture, I'm okay with how things were. I think I get suckered in by the people around me, and society, and the stupid commercials with the big flashy rocks...

At any rate...it's good to get another perspective. Even though I would like to get married, I don't think it's worth losing the best thing I've had with any other human over that. So I'll stick with it for now. :-)

princessnady 8 years ago

Well i think that you should talk with her about wat you want if you already didnt..

Car guy 8 years ago

Hi Veronica

I read all the questions people made you and your answers were very good. So, I hope you have time to read my case and give me some insight too.

I just turned 25 and my fiance just turned 24, we've been dating for a bit more than 3 years. Since we started dating, it all went fine and we loved each other more and more each day. About 16 months ago I moved out of the country to study at an excellent school and get a shot at my dream job. Even though I would be studying abroad, 3 times a year I would have a 3-4 weeks break and go back to see her (and my family and friends).

She was ok with it and we got engaged before I left. We didn't schedule the wedding but decided that we would wait for the right time. So, 16 months have passed, I've come gone home on vacation about 4 times but things are getting worse between us. Every time I come back she wants to spend most of the time just the two of us, but I still miss my family and friends and want to be with them too. To make things worse, she said she can't wait another year and a half to get married (that's when I graduate) and want to do it in about a year.

So here's the deal: she wants to get married even though she might not be able to move in with me (it's illegal for student's spouses to work). She is ok with getting married and having to wait for me to graduate and get a job so she can come live with me (assuming I get hired right out of college, which is not certain). I want her to move in with me first, try to get a job on her own, and then marry after I get hired and start working. According to her, living together for that long without being married is wrong.

I have no scholarships and live on my parent's expenses, I don't wanna tell them that, besides my tuition and living costs, they're gonna have to spend even more money on a wedding...

She broke up with me yesterday because she says she waited too long for me already and doesn't wanna wait much longer. Should I let her go?? I don't wanna be the cause of pain to her, but I don't wanna lose her either. I believe she's the on..e, but I also believe in that taking big steps on the right time is the right thing to do.

Thanks for reading

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author

Car guy

Yes, you should let her go.

You're living off your parents, and even debating getting married?

You aren't ready. You have a smart plan - school, graduating, working, making decisions regarding your dream career. This is all healthy and stable and good.

I'm going to guess she doesn't have a full life - there aren't things going on like a good career or education for her to spending time on. Expecting you to marry her because she has decided she wants to with no regard for you, your plans, the expense, or your parents, is not only selfish, it proves she's way too immature to be a good life partner.

OMG car guy, do you really have to ask? Let her go. She did you a favor ending it.

Best to you

Car guy 8 years ago

Gee Victoria, you got it right, she doesn't have a full life, and I guess that's partly why she wants to get married, although she never actually said it with those words.

She says I'm being a coward and that I'm scared of facing the situation, scared of comitting to her the same way I comitted to my career path, or the same way she comitted to me. And the fact is that without a job, without a way of maintaining life, I don't wanna face so many troubles while having to concentrate on my studies because I only get this one shot, and if I don't do it right, it might compromise what I have in the future and might compromise the way we feel about each other.

I'll try reasoning with her, but I don't see much hope in this. She's really mad at me.

Well, this is it, thanks again Veronica!

icreongame 8 years ago

Very nicely answer..that's the power of martini :) it dragged out the hidden truth.


hopeful26 8 years ago

Hey Veronica,

I've been reading nearly every post you have on here, looking for some sort of commen thread, or link to the problems I am dealing with.

I was wondering, hoping.. you could help?

I'm 26 years old, my boyfriend is 31.. we've been together for almost 3 years... we both have pretty demanding careers in journalism where we are constantly on the move every couple of years to different cities.

About a year and a half ago, we moved together across the country.. both got jobs at the same place (although, we don't work DIRECTLY with eachother everyday)... but it was the first time we moved in together.

To put things simple: we get along great, we both treat eachother with respect, we rarely fight, and we spend a lot of time together because we enjoy doing the same things. Since we've been together it's always been what "we" will be doing in a few years.. where "we" will be.. that sort of thing, so... never was question of whether or not we'd have a future together.

Well, recently over the holidays my boyfriend and I were talking about the next step.. because really, we've never discussed marriage SPECIFICALLY...

He brought it up, and said it just seems like at the point we're at (3 years together, living together) our relationship should be progressing.. but he says it feels like we aren't. He says he has always thought he'd get married, and have kids... but now that he's getting to that point, he just can't picture himself doing those things, and he doesn't know what that means.

So basically, where we're at is... he is trying to work through these issues... to figure out if in the future.. what he wants with us., whether its marriage.. or he's just someone that is supposed to be alone.

He tells me over and over and over... they are HIS issues ... and that the way he feels has NOTHING to do with me, or how he feels about me directly. He says he wants to be with me.. and that he doesn't know what is wrong with him, because in his words I am "perfect" .. and do everything right.. so it's nothing I did.

So now, I'm at the point where.. I just feel rejected. From reading a lot of stuff.. many people say.. if he doesn't want to get married.. it means he doesn't want to get married TO YOU... and that makes me really wonder if that's true?

Could he just be nervous that he's approaching that time in his life, and he's just not ready?

The odd thing is, I'm not pushing marriage AT ALL... I am not even in any sort of rush to do that...I don't fantasize about my wedding, or name my children.We've been together for 3 years.. and I'm 26.. and right now enjoying things the way they are. However, at some point.. I know marriage & children is something I will want... but.. not if I can't have those things with him.

Does this make sense?

So basically, where I'm at is... I am willing to wait..and hang in there.. until he can figure things out and work through his .. as he calls it "issues". I think he is worth it, and I love him and at least owe it to him to figure things out.

Am I dumb for waiting around? How long is too long?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


This is going to be a long one.

There are several different aspects and possibilities at play here. So let's go through them.

First I want to point out that I agree with what you've read - when he says he doesn't want to get married, what he's really saying is he doesn't want to marry you. BUT, as I've said over and over in these articles, actions speak louder than words. You have to consider how he moved in with you, and moved across the country with you. So, I don't pick up that this is about "you." I don't even think it's about marrying you. I think this may be about having children. And I think this is about him.

Let's start with his saying he thought he'd want marriage and children someday, and now he doesn't know. I think this is the core of what's going on with you guys. For generations people got the idea in their head that they would grow up, get married, and breed. They didn't doubt it, or consider all the wonderful alternatives and possibilities. Let's say for a moment he was a victim of that social stigma and assumed he would trot down the same thoughtless path as everyone does. So now he finds himself 31 years old, and he probably has friends and workmates that have married and had children. He's hearing and seeing first hand the reality of that commitment for the first time. He's hearing about other people's unhappiness and sacrifices. He's seeing people give up on their dreams, make awful career choices, complain, not be able to go out or vacation or spend stupid money... and for the first time he's actually realizing that he has choices. It isn't a given that you have to get married and have kids. Maybe he's loving his career. And his life with you right now as it is. And his freedom. By freedom I mean, the ability to make decisions based on only yourself. He can take a job assignment, leave a job he doesn't like, take work that he loves that doesn't pay great, travel, move... all without having to stop and consider the other lives he effects, like a wife and children. Maybe he is realizing he likes having a nice living room that isn't filled with toys, and his own schedule which doesn't revolve around school and bed time and soccer practice. Maybe he likes working late or going to the gym and grabbing a beer, or flying off to Mexico with a moment's notice. Maybe he's smart enough to realize you can't live like that when you have children.

Saying you're supportive of his career and understanding and don't care about money, or that you don't mind if he goes out with the guys - is all healthy and nice. But it's still missing the point. If he were married, he would have to make alot of choices a lot differently. And if he is sure you want kids, he isn't separating the two in his head.

I don't think waiting for someone to change is ever a good idea. And I don't think it's wise to stay in a relationship when you know it's not going where you want. However in your situation, this is all in too much of a gray area to make that call. He hasn't said he doesn't want these things, it's that he's questioning them now for the first time, and doesn't know what he wants.

Another factor is your age. At 26 you have oodles of time to wait. It's so good and healthy that you aren't pushing for marriage and kids. Take time to enjoy your career and become an adult. You sound so smart and strong and grounded.

This situation comes down to a couple decisions on your part. First, how long do you want to wait until his rethinking major life decisions takes? And second, if you can't have both, which one do you want -  him, or marriage and children.

The first decision, giving him some time, should not be a concrete ultimatum kind of thing. You can do this privately and take it in baby steps. For example, you could pick a number of weeks or months at which time you will revisit this seriously again. Tell yourself - "I'm going to let this go, and enjoy what we have, and then think about it again in 6 weeks, or 2 months, and see how I feel at that time." Part of the benefit of this is the positive reinforcement you will show him of life with you. If he's suddenly fearing a committed future, show him through actions the things about the relationship that are great. Be happy and positive. Be someone he can't wait to spend time with. If he's on the fence the last thing you want to do is give him proof of how emotional and difficult life in the future with you will be. It will help him make up his mind pretty fast. Also, giving yourself these timed little steps are a great mental exercise. You aren't putting things off indefinitely, you have a timeline that will help gauge your actions, over reactions, and anticipations. Tell yourself - "I'm letting this go for 6 weeks. For 6 weeks I'm not worrying. I'm going to be fine. And then in 6 weeks I will let it all out and cry and think and talk and do whatever I need to do for ME."

Alot of times, all the guy needs is time. Time to think. Time to work things through on his own. You have the luxury of time. As long as you don't let it drive you insane, give him that time.

As far as the other decision goes, I think you'd do well if you prepared yourself now for the possibility that he chooses not to marry and breed. That doesn't mean he doesn't want to be with you, it means what it means. He wants things as they are. (Meaning, not having children.)

There is no right or wrong choice. If you love him and love your life with him, then the choice may be easy. But if you are that sure that one day you want children, you should start emotionally preparing yourself for separation now. You have as much right to the future you want as he does. You can not choose for him. But you can choose for yourself.

Best to you.

hopeful26 8 years ago


Thank you so much for your prompt, and thoughtful response. I think much of what you are saying, is what I already told myself I would do. Let it go for a little while, not let it drive me nuts, and just be "us".. and enjoy our time together. I think I really know in my heart, that he wants to be with me, so, I find it ridiculous like many women might say.. to "leave him and move on". Everyone has issues they need to work through, everyone has different needs, and it's like we are supposed to just sweep perfectly good men aside because they don't feel the EXACT way we do at the exact same time. I'm not going to do that... he's an amazing man, who treats me great, I really couldn't ask for anything more...

As I've said, I'm not in a rush to get married, I'm not going to give him any sort of ultimatum, I don't want to change him... why would I want to be engaged/married to someone who doesn't 110% want that?

I really think (HOPE) my boyfriend is just being cautious, letting me know how he's feeling WHEN he's feeling it.. without even know what those feelings mean. I'm thankful for that, it just brings a whole new perspective into the relationship.

As for the children thing, if that IS the underlying issue here... I'll have to think things through more... I love children, and would like to have them one day.. WITH HIM. Until I met him, I never even considered having them.... so.. to end the relationship on that alone... doesn't seem to make much sense?

Anyways, I'm just thinking outloud now.. but it helps :) Thanks again for your advice. Appreciate it.

Rob 8 years ago

Veronica - help! I need advice.

I'm engaged to be married this summer, and I'm having mixed feelings (they tend to appear and disappear every so often).

Back-story: I'm 29, but I've always been a late bloomer emotionally. For example, as pathetic as this sounds, I still live at home (although this is because my fiance always had a place and I plan on moving in there...anyway). I also started dating late (in my early 20's), and haven't had many relationships or dating experience (this is my 2nd real one).

As much as I love my fiance, and think we can make it work, I really feel like I haven't lived life enough as an independent human being to be entering into this marriage. I essentially gave into an ultimatum on her part...well...perhaps that's a bit harsh, but I definitely felt pressure to propose.

I really don't like the person I am in terms of my life experience, and my inability to pursue things I want career-wise, hobby-wise, etc (versus always doing the "right" thing, getting a stable job (which I have), keeping other people happy...my over-controlling parents...my fiance, etc.).

A subset of these feelings are specifically related to women, sex, and my (lack of) sexual experiences in life. I see so many women on a daily basis that I'm attracted to, and I wonder if that's just a typical guy thing that all guys experience (married or not), or if there is something more to it. I'm not a cheater, and I never see myself cheating, but I'm afraid this particular topic, and the others I've alluded to above are going to eat away at me for the rest of my life.

Then again, I realize this could be a "grass is always greener" situation. Though most people who come to that realization do so by themselves as a reult of their own life experiences, and not by simply guessing.

It appears I'm just rambling now. I would love some of your insightful advice. Thanks!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY Author


You are not ready to get married. Nothing you said is even close to the right reasons to marry. Especially, "I think we can make it work." and "I really don't like the person I am in terms of life experience." and that you gave into an ultimatum sort of. OMG, Rob. RUN!!!

In order to have a successful marriage, you have to have a successful outlook on yourself. You have to be happy about who you are before you can even think about being a partner. By your admission, you are not happy with who you are yet. You have things to try and explore.

Are you saying you've never even lived alone? You went from your controlling parent's home to your sort-of-ultimatum giving fiance's home?

Those feelings of being curious about other women and "what if" absolutely go away once they are explored. So, explore them! And some day you will be ready. But you can't possibly think you'll be more satisfied with your unsatisfying life by signing the commitment papers. Those feelings you're having will get worse and worse. I promise you. 

Rob, get your own place. Work on yourself - on those things you said you would like to do. You said you want life experiences and I applaud that!! Travel. Hang out with the guys. Enjoy your hobbies. Work on your career. Date. Have sex. Flirt. Pick up women. Go out there and explore all the many many different kinds of women and relationships that are healthy, and normal. BE HAPPY. Life is way too fucking short for you to ruin your future. It is completely ridiculous for you to deny yourself the chance to be a normal adult. I guarantee you, if you get married now, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

Lgali profile image

Lgali 8 years ago

nice hub

britneydavidson profile image

britneydavidson 8 years ago from united kingdom

well really nice post i will say may be boy is not mentally ready as after marrige he has to take really good care of his wife.he might be thinking lets get setteled first with good job and good salary then it will be fun after marrige.so girl should understand about this rather than feeling insequire.and boy has to understand even life is very uncertain,if he has job today it wont be tommorow.well i will say they should get marry and enjoy each second of their life...all the best

Sam 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

First of all I want to say that this forum is excellent - I haven't found anything like it on the internet.

I have mixed emotions at the moment and don't know how to proceed or what to do and I feel pressured into marriage really soon. Pleeeeeeeease help me :'(

I have lived with my fiance for 3 years and everything is perfect. We care for one another, we live like a married couple and were always there for each other. We met in October 2005 in Paris and moved in together in January 2006. We moved in together pretty quickly, but we get along together perfectly, we practically have never fought. When we met I was 21 and she was 25. We are now engaged and don't live in europe anymore and she is 29 turning 30 and I'm 24 turning 25. She want's to get married this December but I feel like I am not ready and want to put it off until next year. She clearly sees this as a sign that I never want to get married to her. We spoke and she told me that she feel's like she is getting old and all her friends are always saying to her that ''you 2 are a perfect couple when is the marriage?''.....So she is feeling pressured in a way I guess and the biological body clock has started ringing. I really love this girl with all my heart and don't want to lose her either but at the same time I don't want to say to her, ''yes, let's do it in December'' because...well...I know it sounds stupid but I just want to wait another year. Maybe it's the whole "marriage" title that scares me. I dunno. I told her about my decision today, and at first she seemed ok with it but then she started speaking all of her concerns.

She also said that she will wait but she will not be happy inside.

Please help me with this problem, I don't want my stupidity to affect the relationship but at the same time I have to listen to my heart and my heart is saying, wait up Sam..Don't rush into it, take it slowly. Do you think that we should talk together to find a compromise? Your advice would be appreciated. By the way, we've been engaged for about 12 months....

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


Don't say "your stupidity." There is absolutely NOTHING stupid about anything you said.

Honestly, I think you two sound like you're going to make it. It sounds like you are marrying for the right reasons, and doing things right. Sounds like you communicate well. So, it's just a matter of getting through this next pivotal year. We can do that.

At your young age you absolutely deserve to take another year. And someone who really loves you and will spend the rest of your life with you, should be able to give you that year. Do NOT get married until you are ready. Period.

On her side of things, 30 is this big fucking deal, and it's not even sensical sometimes, but women just have this total meltdown and flip out.

Actions speak louder than words. You've already gotten engaged. Is there something else you can do to show her you are seriously going to marry her, you just need another year. Do you own a house? Do you have joint finances? Do you have a special wedding account? Any of those things that aren't already in place would be a great step to help her through the year you need. It will ground things more and show your commitment. She knows it in her heart, but having it tangible and seeing you plan for your future marriage is something more.

If you're sure you only need a year, go ahead and set a date. Let her plan the wedding. Being engaged one year all ready is nothing. set a date for 2011. And really do the planning with her. Pick the venue, pick the flowers and start going to those cake samplings and dress shows. Her seeing you so attentive about the wedding plans will really help ease the date being a year later than she had hoped.

Remember this - she told you she will wait but she will not be happy inside. Tell her, she will not be happy inside for a year. One year. If you marry her when you aren't ready, you will not be happy for alot more than one year. As emotional and hard as "30" is, she has to realize she can't demand your unhappiness for her happiness. That isn't what partnership is all about.

The final compromise I can think of is, 6 months. She wants now, you want a year, the compromise is 6 months. Set a date and write it on the calendar right now. August 1, 2009 the wedding planning begins!  Draw a big red heart around it. Plan a really nice romantic dinner, have champagne and tell her you're looking forward to that date, when you begin to plan the wedding with her.

Whether you decide to set a wedding date in 2011, or set a date to begin planning a wedding, you need to give her something concrete. There is a world of difference to a woman between saying "6 months maybe" and saying "August 1st. Write it down. That's the date." Give her something she can mark on her calendar and tell her friends.

Sam, you have to listen to your heart. Don't rush. If you aren't ready don't do it. I promise you if you do it before you're ready you will regret it for the rest of your life. If she is the woman for you, and a good partner, she will give you the time you're asking for. If you are a good partner, you will help her get through this emotional episode for her by giving her a date to count on, showing her with real deeds and intentions that you are really planning to wed and marry and be with her forever.

Please keep us posted! Good luck.

Sam 7 years ago

Thanks Veronica. The advise that you have given is invaluable, I appreciate it. The worst thing I would want to do is rush into something that I am not ready for - it would kill the relationship and I don't want to be unhappy for the rest of my life, period, or else it would force us apart. Luckily, I can hear that voice inside that's telling me to wait.... Thanks again and I will keep you posted on the outcome!! :)

Sam 7 years ago

Thanks Veronica. The advise that you have given is invaluable, I appreciate it. The worst thing I would want to do is rush into something that I am not ready for - it would kill the relationship and I don't want to be unhappy for the rest of my life, period, or else it would force us apart. Luckily, I can hear that voice inside that's telling me to wait.... Thanks again and I will keep you posted on the outcome!! :)

takesatraintocry 7 years ago

Hi Veronica-

I've read through a lot of the questions and responses to this question and several of your other entries. I am extremely interested in not only the topics, but the reactions they have evoked, and your responses to the reactions. Here comes the "me" part.

I'm fully behind you when you say "when it's right, it's right for both of you."My situation is a bit uncommon. I've known my current boyfriend my whole life- our moms grew up together and were best friends. We played as children, then kept only in distant touch for years. We later reconnected after high school, and the two of us have been very close friends for going on six years or so. We've been a couple for about two years now- maybe more- sometimes it's hard to remember when the line blurred over. (I only remember the physical contact starting!) We have talked openly about just about everything at this point- and had just about every fight- although I am sure there are more to be had. He has said on numerous occasions that he wants to marry me. He's referred to me as his "future wife." He brings it up.

Neither of us really expected to get married. (Ironically, I remember being 18 and discussing that at great length with him.) I have never wanted a wedding, still don't. When he has brought it up I usually tease him about it and shrug it off- push it back. Say we're not ready, etc. I have thought about marriage in the meantime. I don't think we are ready right now. I think that it bothers me that he has asked me- even flirtingly and jokingly- if I would marry him. I think I take it very seriously and especially so as I get older. I do want to be proposed to, decently. I don't need a storybook affair- but I want to know a man is truly serious about me enough to consider purchasing a ring and asking me in a serious way. I've mentioned that to him, but I'm not sure how much he understands, or understands how much that means to me.

I take my faith very seriously, and I do not want to move in with a man before I am married to him. I know this is old-fashioned in today's world, but it stands. He very much wants us to live together, although he agrees with me about waiting for marriage (And yes, on his own, not because I am forcing him). Trouble is, he has these odd notions of marriage. We're in our mid twenties. Still young, but not unreasonably young to make a commitment. Whenever he hears of people getting married near or above our age he seems surprised. It's like he doesn't realize how old he is- he only remarks that he always pictured people older than him getting married. This makes me raise my eyebrows a bit- for he'll get older every year, and that will make that "right older age" increase without him ever catching up. I feel like that mentality directly conflicts with the one that has discussed marriage to me and living alongside me. I am skeptical by nature- I have a hard time trusting men to commit. This isn't helping. We have already argued about the age in which to have children. I don't want to have kids much past 30, although I don't want to start having them until I am at least 26 or 27, etc.

I hope this is coherent! We work through things together, and we are very committed to making things work- but I am feeling uncomfortable about the whole marriage thing. It's like he is coming from two completely different directions. We were invited to his buddy's wedding in October, and he seems a little surprised about that even. On the same note- he mentioned he would possibly be able to get time off his job at the end of the year if we needed it. (We had discussed making things official in November a while back). I had suggested we could wait another year if we needed to at that time and he seemed opposed to that as well. I feel a bit confused- I am willing to give him all the time he needs (within reason, of course) but I don't know what to expect. If he is serious about me and about us, I would like a ring. Something to show me that this is for real and he means it. If he isn't for a long time yet, I'd like to know that too. If he is unsure in any way, I'd rather it not even be a discussion.

This is of course not my main focus in life- I am very busy with work and school and my own pursuits, as is he. It is something I think about from time to time though- especially when he makes what I percieve as conflicting statements so close together in time. I am interested to hear your input, especially after reading so much of your thoughts and insights.

Thanks for your time & effort in advance


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


Thanks for writing in.

I think the life-long friends turned lovers thing is beautiful. I hope this works out for you, and I have the feeling it will. From what you shared, I do have some thoughts~~

The first is, when you've been a kid and a joke-ster and best friend with someone for so long, you get used to getting away with too much playfulness and always having that childish streak. Believe me - I do not mean that's a bad thing. I think it's a tension reliever and the kind of thing that sustains a couple through tough times. But right now, it really may honestly be getting in the way of his ability to absorb how serious you are about a real ring and a real proposal the old fashioned way. My number one advice for you is to make sure you break through with that information.

The next thing I want to impress is that actions speak louder than words. Look at what he does. Look for the signs of his future intentions. Guys tend to express alot of thoughts, including the ones they shouldn't because they are just thinking out loud and don't actually "mean" what they're saying in it's entirety.  He says one thing, then he says another. That's typical "guy." It doesn't mean anything. He's growing, he's changing, he's talking his way through his realizations and his dreams and his reservations, and he's doing it out loud. He's doing it with his best friend.

If you step back and look at what you wrote to me, a lot of the worry you're expressing is based in your ages. I know you don't want to hear it, but you're both young. Not too young, but young enough that these are the kinds of things you're dealing with. I can tell you I really think the things you're wound up over are going to dissipate with time and growth. As the romantic relationship matures these points of concern are going to work themselves through.

I'm going to wrap this up with one piece of advice for you: You have very clear ideas about exactly what you want, and how you want it, and at what age, and this is how it is. Period. While it's nice to know yourself, the wording you're using and the pattern of this in everything you spoke about, indicates you're not really ready to be a partner yet. And that's fine, there is nothing wrong with that. You need to be YOU before you can be a good partner.

When you're ready to be a partner, you don't express the points of the future regarding your partnership in the way that you have. Your verbiage would be based in compromise, and what's best for "us", not "me." It's more open, and includes what he wants, not just what you want and whether he happens to agrees with you or understands what you want, or not. I'm glad you have work and school and interests of your own.  I think you're fine, and your relationship is fine. Relax and don't rush.

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bspilner 7 years ago from Altanta, Ga.

This has to be one of my all time favorite hubs. I absolutely love you advice and the way to approach both sides. You make an incredibly thought provokin point that you could probably write an entire hub on "Physiolgocially, his frontal lobe has only just developed, making him cognizant of long term implications and commitments." It was in response to Al's comment.

This is extremely well written and an enjoyable read - I will be reading it again because you make very valid points.

Stanley 7 years ago


My girlfriend of 4 years and I are in our mid 40's. She lives an hour away. She mostly comes here. She's great, cute , funny etc. BUT our relationship is always stalled because at night she cries and says "I don't want this", I want to get married. It makes me feel like crap. Now I think I love her but at first she wanted a child, perhaps more than a relationship. then for us to live closer, then live together, she said it doesn't have to be married. Now its married or she will most likely leave me soon. I don't want to be without her. One more thing. I am unemployed about a year and live (rent) in a great little house in a beautiful place with an amazingly low rent which I love. I mean Love this place!!! She wants me to move out to start a place of our own. She is welcome to live with me here but it would be over 1 hour each way commute to her. She has met my family many times and likes them. also she doesn't drive. I tried to teach her but she doesn't make any efforts plus she once had serious debt (maybe still) and refuses to even tell me how much she owes. Saying we don't have a relationship where we share finances so I won't tell you. Sorry for the long winded comment. Please Help!!! Please please advise. Drink a few martinis if you must but help me!



Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Oh Stanley...

Bad girlfriend. You must get away from this.

Every single thing you said about her, is her doing the "Me me me" dance. She doesn't want to drive, she doesn't want to learn, she doesn't want to have "this," she wants to be married, she wants you to move from a place you love with no regard for your loving it, she doesn't want to even tell you about finances...

She has proven to you she is not a "partner." She just wants what she wants, and doesn't seem to give two shits about what you want. She pulls that crap in bed saying she doesn't want this. OMG how lame. And it makes you feel like shit! I promise you if you were to marry someone that self involved it will only get worse. She will spend her time not caring if she makes you feel like shit, and you will spend your time feeling like shit. I PROMISE.  And here is a great big fat red flag of NO - she says she wants to marry you but refuses to even TELL you what her debt is?? That is insane. I guarantee you, marriage with her will be nothing but her "Me me me" dance, secrets, hidden debt, making you feel like shit until she gets what she wants and absolutely no regard for anything that you want.

The only question I have is, you said she wanted to breed, then you dropped it. Did you have a child with her? God, I really hope you didn't. But if you did, and you're tied to her legally, hire a damn good lawyer now. Fast.

Do NOT give up a low rent house you love!! Any one who actually cares about you wouldn't want you to.

Don't confuse being used to something, with love. Once you close one door, other better ones can open.

stanley 7 years ago


No child. She once said she wanted one more than a relationship but she realizes its not feasible as she is mid 40's. She has paid a lot of money on busses and trains visiting me for 4 years, always shares expenses (dinner movies,concerts etc.) she even takes out my trash. I'm not willing to leave this place and I don't like being without her so I will probably grit my teeth and endure until she leaves me.

Thanks for your insight!

Worried Girl 7 years ago

I've been with my bf for three years now, and I'm worry that we never get married because he's not ready. He gave me the ring two months ago just to tell me that he is serious bout marriage. He suppose to look for the house/apartment, but he keeps put it off. I told him to get an apartment, and he looked for it for few days; then he told me that if he can find a cheap house our monthly payment will be the same, so I told him OK, look for the house. He only looked for it for a day or two after I bring it up, and then he stopped looking. I don't have a job right now, and with his salary it's hard to get married. I understand that, but I have a feeling that he is making excuses, and he really doesnt want to get married.I'm worried that we never get married. I almost broke up with him, and told him that I am going to give him the ring back; he looked for a place for three days, and then he stopped. It's really really hard for me to break up with him. What should I do?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

I think you're right and he's making excuses.

Trust your instincts.

realist 7 years ago

I have a question. Is this woman wanting to get married because she wants a safe and secure place for children, or because she is a narcissistic and selfish person as some people think here? This is an important difference.If a woman wants a marriage in an unthinking, self-serving way, then no, that is not okay. If a woman wants to be married because she wants to know that you really love her and will be there for children and for when she is no longer the most attractive thing in the room, then that is valid. Otherwise, she may just be someone you are using, for sex and fun. So, for a man, it's easy to take this easy route.

Woman may indeed be selfish, neurotic and mean. Men may also be these things. When men regard marriage as exclusively a female power game, that is inaccurate. Men need to also aknowledge that for eons having sex with a woman without comitting to taking care of offspring, i.e. marriage, was considered immoral, selfish and abusive. There's a reason for that. That's Dads would shoot these guys, that whole steretype - because they didn't want a woman they loved, their daughter, used for sex by a man who didn't love her, or have "noble" intentions. Relationships, especially sexual, are not there just for fun. Sex makes children. Men seem unconscious of the fact that they are demanding their own pleasure at the expense of compassion for what they are using for themselves. This selishness dialoge - it goes both ways.

Having said all that, don't marry someone you don't love. And don't marry someone who doesn't love you. That would be downright silly. But do please consider that her need is a valid one of self-respect for what a female human body is and does. It isn't necessarily a selfish power play.



Rhiannon_2009 7 years ago

Good advice! And my feeling is - DON'T do it if you are not ready.

Never do it for the wrong reasons. Never do it to make someone else happy, or because someone else expects it, or because of pressure from friends or family. You have to want it for yourself, and you have to be ready.

And even if you take the risk of losing her by saying NO, you are better off to end the relationship than for either of you to end up frustrated and unhappy. It is too high a price to pay. If being married is really important to her, she has a right to pursue what she wants, but she needs to be respectful of your feelings. If you're not ready, then you aren't the right guy. Never sacrifice your own happiness to make someone else happy. You will be really sorry for it later.

One in two marriages ends in divorce, and everyone loses except the attorneys involved. Those of us who have been there know the pain of divorce, and if you can avoid going there, all the better.

If it's not right, someone else will come along (for both of you).

Valentine Trouble 7 years ago

Hey Veronice,

This forum is going to serve generations to come ;-)

My story is like this:

I have a great g/f for over 4 years, we are both 28 an live together for the past 3 years.

I do see myself married but the only reason for me to wed is to have kids, and that is something I won't have as people say "No matter what". I want to own a home abd have some basic securities that can make me know I can give my family a good life. I don't know if you are up with the news but that lady with the 8 babies got me thinking and I preffer not to have kids but live a remarkable life to have kids but barely get by.

My g/f is really great, beautiful, smart, loving but she is very emotional and I know she wants a wedding and kids and she is the only one I can see myself with but still I won't get myself into a situation that I clearly see will not work for me.

I have just recently started my new business but with the state of the economy no one knows how long will I have to work to start making real money, and my girlfriend is still in school and probably will be for the next 3 years.

We are very open and talk about this but we always get to the same end where I say logically that in this case there are no compromises, if I get to the point that I'm ready then great. If I don't and she feels like she want a wedding or family and she wants it soon, then we should part ways, as sad as it sounds, this is one issue where there is no meeting half way.

What do you think?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Valentine Trouble,

It's great that you are being honest with your girlfriend. It is rare that a man just admits that the only reason he will marry is to breed, if that is how he feels.

I agree with you. People that say they want to have children no matter what, are irresponsible dingbats. Nadya Suleman is a psychopath. I hate that my tax dollars support her, and I truly hope social services removes those babies from her care, and that she is sterilized.

I think many men feel the way you do, but are dishonest about it.

Conflictingly, many women want to marry for love. They want to marry because they have found that soulmate that makes the journey of life brighter and better. And as may be the case with your terrific girlfriend, she may just not want to believe that you will not be marrying for love, you will be marrying to procreate only.

Stating clearly for her, "the only reason for me to wed is to have kids," should have been enough to dash her romantic ideals to pieces. I'm sorry she wants to believe there is more there than you are honestly admitting. Without having heard her side, I am willing to go out on a limb and say she wants to marry for love, and if she wants to have children, she wants to have them as part of the celebration of love she and her soulmate share.

Although she may some day have marriage and children with you, she will never ever have that ideal with you. With you, she will never be loved like a soulmate, proposed to like the love of a man's life, and her children will not be the celebration of that love. I think once the full reality of that sinks in, she will move on, and your worries will be over.

Judyti 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I think your advice has been great and would like to get your opinion on the following;

My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. We had both recently gotten divorced when we met and found comfort in how much in common our situations had been. We had both felt trapped in our past marriage and took us a very long time to stir up the courage to get out. In the begining of our relationship I told him I could care less if I ever got married again and once or twice after a couple of drinks he told me he would someday want to marry me and that I was the perfect women for him.

We moved in together right away and it's been fantastic ever since. We get along great and have a great life together. He is the love of my life and according to him, I the love of his. I am 35 and he is 42 neither one of us has children nore are interested in having children. His family is very religious and is completely against us living together without being married. I think this is what stirred things up to begin with. We spoke about marriage about a year ago and all of a sudden he tells me that he doesn't know if he ever wants to get married again. I have no dought that he loves me, I think he is just terrified of feeling trapped and unable to get out again. Also, I know that his family was very dissapointed when he got divorced because of their religious background, so I know that deep inside he doesn't want to put them through that again. I can understand and although I am not in any rush to get married, I think it just upsets me that he doesn't WANT to marry me. I think if he simply told me that he did want to marry me in 2030, I would be ok with it. It's mainly the fact that he doesn't want to that upsets me.

The way I see it is, I had someone before who wanted to marry me that I was totally miserable with and now I am with someone that doesn't want to marry me but makes me totally happy, so why does this bother me so much????

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


I think it is common that once there has been a hard divorce in someone's life, that they don't want to marry again. And like you're saying, that does not mean that he didn't love again. Quite the opposite actually. I think it's common that once someone knows what it is like to be trapped with the wrong person, they bend over backwards not to be with the wrong person ever again.

I believe you when you say he loves you. You probably are the love of his life. He is with you because he chooses it, against his family's wishes. He is with you because he wants to be, not because he has to be.

Why that isn't enough for you, I don't know. You sound very smart and insightful as you as me why. You sound like you know exactly how great this relationship is, and how great this guy is.

You feel the way you do because of outside influences. It is because of the way you were raised and the things your girlfriends have said your whole life. It is because of the media and our social surroundings. Women grow up brainwashed, thinking a man can't really love and commit if there is no legal document to prove it. It's part of the same brainwashing that says a woman can't be happy without a man and kids.

You've conquered parts of the brainwashing. Now, take a deep breath, and seriously honestly LOOK at the people that are part of the brainwashing. Do you honestly see them as happier than you are? Do they really have better relationships just because they are married?

The truth is, no. No, what you have is probably better than what any of the marriage pushers have.

It is HARD to get those voices out of your head. They've been there since you're a little girl. But believe me, you can do it. Whenever you start to flip out just think about what you have. What you HAVE.

And here's one final thought. If you did get married, there is a good chance you won't have what you have now. What do you really want, in your heart of hearts? This man and this relationship.... or a piece of paper.

Judyti 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

Thank you so much for your words. When we ask for advice deep inside we already know what the correct answer is but sometimes it gets a little fuzzed out with all of the other stuff that makes it's way in there. You are absolutely right and what matters most to me is the man and the realtionship that we share. When you think about it, it's true none of the people trying to push you into what to them is the "correct situation" are happy at all.

Thanks ;)

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


I knew that you knew the answer that was right for you - it was very well revealed in all your questions and thoughts.

Now that we've gotten to the heart of things, I do have a suggestion! lol!

Maybe you can have a little compromise. Not right now. Right now he sounds like he's still very fucked up from his divorce. (For some people it takes many years.) But maybe at some point in the future you can have a ceremony. Not a legal contract, not anything recognized by the law. But just a simple ceremony. Maybe something semi private, just invite some of your friends, where you can stand up infront of them and just recite a poem to each other. It doesn't have to be "vows" or promises, it should be fun and relaxed. And it doesn't have to have an officiator. Really, just a small private romantic party where you get to stand up infront of the people closest to you and just say to each other - "I'm happy, and I love you."

Best to you, sweetie.

Judyti 7 years ago

Thank you so much, that sounds great. I have officially decided to take it one day at a time. We had a conversation and I told him exactly how I felt about everything and promised I would never touch this subject again. This way, he knows how I feel and should he ever decide that he's comfortable with the idea, we'll take it from there. As long as he continues being with me the way he is and we are in love and happy, I am good. The one thing I realized is that the LAST thing I would ever want is for someone to marry me because they feel obligated instead of because they really feel like that's what they want. So, I am just going to enjoy the moment. That's what life is anyone, just a few good moments here and there and I am very lucky that I am right in the middle of a very good one right now.

Once again, thank you so much.

DJ 7 years ago

Wow. This is the exact situation I'm in right now. My girlfriend of two years wants to get married / live together. And she feels rejected and deeply hurt that I'm not ready for it. But it's not her, it's just a step I need a little more time for.

This is a person I can envision spending the rest of my life with, but there are certain things I feel the need to accomplish on my own before marriage (a very man thing for me to say, I'm sure).

The problem is our relationship is quickly deteriorating because of it. I feel like she's going to wind up resenting me because we're not on the same page at the same time.

It's compounded by the fact that I'm buying a condo and she feels I'm moving ahead without her. I understand this feeling, but I'm really only buying it because the time is right financially.

I feel like a jerk and I'm really depressed by the fact I may lose her...

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


As long as you're honest with her you aren't being a jerk.

If she was really ready to be an actual life partner she would not be neglecting your feelings to push her own. Believe me, if you were to cave in to this, it would be a foreshadow of the way every major decision of the rest of your life would go. DO NOT get married until you want to.

teleassistência 7 years ago

Well... When your girl wants to get married and you don't want to... just don't do it!

Judyti 7 years ago

I don't think its as simple as that. I think that most of the time men don't know HOW to tell a women what is on his mind. They try to express themselves and it just comes out wrong!! I can guarantee that if DJ tells his girlfriend that she is that special women that he wants to spend the rest of his life with but that she needs to be a little more patient with him, she would understand. He can also let her make the choice.

"I could ask you to marry me now out of fear of loosing you and simply wanting to make you happy and later resent you for not giving me much of a choice in the matter or would you like me to do it when I am ready and feel like this is the right decision for me as well as you?" Ask her what the main reason for her wanting to marry you is? Because if it's love then the right choice is to wait until both people are ready. This of course doesn't mean that she's going to wait forever. She will proove her love by waiting and you will prove yours by asking when your ready. Now.....if you feel like she may not be "the one" or that you may never be ready...please be honest with her and yourself.

Judyti 7 years ago

I don't think its as simple as that. I think that most of the time men don't know HOW to tell a women what is on his mind. They try to express themselves and it just comes out wrong!! I can guarantee that if DJ tells his girlfriend that she is that special women that he wants to spend the rest of his life with but that she needs to be a little more patient with him, she would understand. He can also let her make the choice.

"I could ask you to marry me now out of fear of loosing you and simply wanting to make you happy and later resent you for not giving me much of a choice in the matter or would you like me to do it when I am ready and feel like this is the right decision for me as well as you?" Ask her what the main reason for her wanting to marry you is? Because if it's love then the right choice is to wait until both people are ready. This of course doesn't mean that she's going to wait forever. She will proove her love by waiting and you will prove yours by asking when your ready. Now.....if you feel like she may not be "the one" or that you may never be ready...please be honest with her and yourself.

kariberry 7 years ago

Hi Veronica -

I just sent this as an email, because I didn't realize how to post it.  Feel free to respond either way.  Thanks for your insights. 

I appreciate your thoughtful insights, and I'd love your take on my situation.  I have been with my bf for 2.5 years, living together for about 8 months.  He is 25 and I will turn 30 in one month.  We have had ups and downs, but also have excellent communication and a lot of love for each other, both as lovers and friends.  I've been clear with him that I am looking for a long-term committed relationship, and have given him space to feel this out for himself.  Our agreement to take the pressure off was that I would give him the space he needed and he would let me know if he got clear about not wanting to be together for the long term.  About a month ago, he came to me and let me know he's not ready for committment  - we freaked out and broke up, but realized that didn't quite feel right....so we've come back togeher, and are living together, holding the space to figure it out.  We are communicating well, staying connected.  He continues to feel clear that he isn't interested in exploring the long-term, but he also doesn't want to break up.  I really want a long term partner, and am confused about how to work with him on this.  He has decided to see a counselor to see what's really going on with him, but I am feeling like I can't take much more of this unknown space - and I am feeling like the only one fighting for this relationship.  He is really sad at the idea of splitting up, but still doesn't want to consider the long term.  I want us both to be happy.  Do you think it's worth continuing to be in the process with him?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


He's being very clear. He doesn't want a long term commitment, he wants what he has with you with no commitment. I'm not sure what you're asking me. Is it worth continuing to be in what process with him? The process of just being together without a long term commitment? That's up to you. It doesn't sound like that is what you want.

You say, you want a long term partner and your confused about how to work on this with him. Do you mean, how to work on your getting past wanting a long term partner?

If you're asking me how to change him, how to make him want something he's telling you he doesn't want, I can't do that.

You said, you feel like you're the only one fighting for this relationship. Are you saying, you're the only one fighting to change him? Or fighting to change what you want, so you can be happy with the relationship you have instead?

He's being very clear that he doesn't want what you want. Very clear. He'll be sad to lose what you have together, but he doesn't want what you want. He really couldn't be clearer.

Gypsie 7 years ago


Im so scared of asking the question as I dont want to see the answer.

I have been with my b/f 4 years now. I am 36 and he is 43. We moved in together 3 years ago and things are 90% of the time not bad. The rest of the time I dont like him. For the first 2 years of our relationship, he was stil visiting his ex due to his daughter being upset about loosing her. I accepted this and allowed the visits. I then stumbled over some emails of him trying to contact another ex. He claims it was to explain to her why he walked out on her 10 yrs ago. 2 years ago i was visiting my parents for a week, i came back to see he had been chatting online to a woman who he then called on the phone for an hour. H says he was boared and it was a very stupid thing to do. Last week i caught him sending flirt and cuddle messaged to "his best friends sister" via facebook. I am very upset and angry with him.

He says i am jealous, insecure and possesive. I dont think i am but he give me reason to be insecure.

I am at a 2 way road now, leave him as he wont change or stay and work through it.

I have told him i want to get married and he has said ok if thats what you want. I was again furious about his answer.

Do i leave him or work it out?

Gypsie 7 years ago


Im so scared of asking the question as I dont want to see the answer.

I have been with my b/f 4 years now. I am 36 and he is 43. We moved in together 3 years ago and things are 90% of the time not bad. The rest of the time I dont like him. For the first 2 years of our relationship, he was stil visiting his ex due to his daughter being upset about loosing her. I accepted this and allowed the visits. I then stumbled over some emails of him trying to contact another ex. He claims it was to explain to her why he walked out on her 10 yrs ago. 2 years ago i was visiting my parents for a week, i came back to see he had been chatting online to a woman who he then called on the phone for an hour. H says he was boared and it was a very stupid thing to do. Last week i caught him sending flirt and cuddle messaged to "his best friends sister" via facebook. I am very upset and angry with him.

He says i am jealous, insecure and possesive. I dont think i am but he give me reason to be insecure.

I am at a 2 way road now, leave him as he wont change or stay and work through it.

I have told him i want to get married and he has said ok if thats what you want. I was again furious about his answer.

Do i leave him or work it out?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


Oprah defined "cheating" on one of her shows in this way: if it is behavior you would hide from your partner, then it's cheating. If it's something you would never dream to do infront of your partner, then it's at least a form of cheating.

I can also understand contact with an ex over a child, and I can even understand contact with an ex because you suddenly realize no, through being in love, how badly you had behaved with this ex, and want to apologize.

But if these were innocent he would have talked to you about them. The fact that you had to find out about the apology by stumbling on an email, shows it had ulterior motives. EVery example you listed after that includes secrecy. That's your big tip-off that he's up to no good.

When the subject of marriage comes up, people in love with hearts full do not respond in the same way as if you had said you'd like to buy new garbage cans. "OK. If that's what you want." is strangely cold and deattached.

You know the answer, hon. You don't want this, and you don't need this. You deserve a partner that isn't cheating (even if it's only in his head) who is honest and open, and you deserve to be married to someone who WANTS to be married to you.

just me 7 years ago

I have been in a relationship for 4 years and my BF and I also have a 2 year old son. I am 32 and he is 48. In this time marriage has been brought up a few times. Well at first he said he would marry me to put me on his health insurance. I didn't want to get married for that reason also it was too soon. That was after being together only 4 months

Then in a converstation he told me my job was keeping our relationship from going further. So I got a new job. Then after the baby was born we would get married on the baby's first birthday. Then when I was about to leave he said he wanted to marry me just give time time but not to much time. A year later still nothing. Then one day out of the blue he says to me find the court house where you have to go to get a marriage license and I will take a day off work and we will go get it. Then two hours later he said he didn't want to get married. He says he wants to get married but I know that's not true. Two different times I have over heard him say that he didn't. I love him so much. I don't just want to up and leave. but I also don't want to be his girlfriend forever. Is there any hope or should I just move on with my life and find someone who does want marriage.

It sucks to have to start all over. I mean I have spent 4 years with him.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Just me,

The hard thing here is that he knows he doesn't have to marry you. If he's been vacillating and leading you on and not following through all this time even through childbirth and you're still around, he knows he can do that forever. Like you just said, you don't want to just move on, and he knows it. You've proven it.

Personally, I think you've done too much sacrificing. You got a new job, you had a baby out of wedlock - which for someone that wants to get married is a big deal. You've put up with his being in full control of this, canceling and changing his mind. Personally. I couldn't take being disrespected in that way, and I would go.

But in all things, you really do have a choice. And another option here is for you to accept the situation you have, and let go of your dream of wanting to marry. If you are happy, and if you really do love being with someone who really doesn't care about this important issue for you, then maybe you should re-evaluate what it is you want. Do you want him, or do you want to get married.

Honesty 7 years ago

I think that it just isn't a woman pushing men into what they want but also men pushing woman into what they don't want.

"Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?"

Men will put off marriage and tell his SO that he wants marriage just to keep getting what he wants. Who doesn't love all the conveniences of a marriage without actually being married. I am sure alot of men are raising their hands.

Alot of woman would bend over backwards to please their man, to do anything for their man cause she has been told "one day we will marry" When his real intentions are to just keep milking the cow. When in the end if the man really loves her and just loves the idea of having a wife without all the paper work then he will take it and eventually the woman will realize that this guy is a complete jerk and move on.

If men would be honest up front before a woman even moves in with him, woman wouldn't have to "push" men into getting married.

If a bad divorce is keeping you from marrying your wonderful woman, get over it or you will lose probably the best thing to ever happen to you.

Comparing your ex with a current girlfriend is wrong and unfair.

raymondphilippe profile image

raymondphilippe 7 years ago from The Netherlands

This is a great hub you've got here! You're right before getting married both parties should always be honest with each other and should consider each other's thoughts about it.

B-girl 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I wrote to you on this board over a year ago when my bf had some probles with commitment and moving in together. You've given me so much advice on this topic and I have had lots from friends and family too. We moved in together. We trialed it and it's been about 9 months now.We're in a very strange place at the moment.

Ideally I would have liked to have moved in under different circumstances, us both really wanting it, not as a 'trial' for him to see if he could get over his fear and this has impacted our relationship a little, I've felt insecure. I guess I need someone to want it as much as I do. I would have liked to have had the discussion about marriage before we moved in, and for someone to want that too. But as it was I took baby steps with him 'to see' how it would turn out.

We've come to a point where I think I got to end it. He is just not ready for what I want. We love each other enormously, and although there's been some painful arguements over theis topic, we're now just talking honestly and openly about it, which is good. I don't feel pushed away or hurt by his comments and defensiveness anymore. He's told me he's 'a million miles' from marriage. He loves me and doesn't want to lose me but just doesn't know when he will be emotionally ready for marriage.

I have to walk away. I can see now in everything he does and says how not ready he is. His priorities are different to mine and he is still attached to his mother like I was when I was about 8. It's so sad to think this person who is my best friend and love is just not on the same page as me, but i guess that's just life. It all makes sense now, it's so clear. In terms of relationships, he's at the sam stage I was at about 19. So he's a long way to go before he gets where I am. In other ways he is mature, he has a great work ethic and is an all round good guy, non of this has been deliberate to hurt me, he just went with how he felt.

I'm having trouble actually saying it's over, though we've come close to it in the last few weeks. I think he knows we'll have to split, but he doesn;t want to either. It's not fair to hang on though to either of us. We have some great trips planned and I'm reluctant to end it now becasue of these which is selfish, we were gonna have such a great time though! Part of me wants to give him a few months to let the discussions we have had sink in and then we can make a mutual decision to end it. I just can't imagine getting over him whilst knowing we still love each other. Such a weird feeling thinking I won't see him every day, make food together, tickle each other and mess around how we do. There's just this big issue we have and we know we need to end it. Just don't know how to actually say the words.

Life is so unfair, if we were on the same page about this, I would be so happy. We were driving through the countryside yesterday and imagining it was all a big joke, he'd turn around and say haha, fooled you! Of course I want those things with you. But he doesn't, he just says his future is a big grey cloud and he doesn't know what it brings. He needs to be successful in his new business to gain confidence in himself and respect from others before he thinks about marriage. And if he never makes it career wise he says he'd rather just be alone. He sees money equating with marriage and having kids. Of course it'd be nice to be comfortable but I love him however much he earns. My dad says if you want something, you go out of your way to get it, if you don't, you use every excuse in the book to get out of it, which I tend to agree with.

Such a shame:(

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Wise advice.

Thanks for keeping us updated. Good luck to you.


AngelKisses 7 years ago

I ended a 5 1/2 year relationship last night over the marriage topic. I'm 38 and he's 53. I feel like it's time to tie the knot he doesn't. I've put my whole heart into this relationship, moved 400 miles, left my entire family behind. What has he given up? If a man doesn't want to spend his life with you then turn him loose. If all he wants is a sex partner he can find that at the local bar. don't waste years like i have. Be true to yourself and don't wait around on someone that will leave you hanging. Get on with your life and find your real happiness.

mikefraz 7 years ago

HEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPP me! i've already made plans to propose to my girl this summer but just this morning she hit me with the dreadful U word, that's right an ultimatum. I cant believe this, after finally coming up with what i consider the perfect proposal she goes and does this and makes me think that maybe this isn't the girl for me after all, we already have a small child together and i've known her since i was in middle school and i really do love her but now i feel like she's making me ask her to marry me. call it old fashioned or just being a guy but i WON"T be pressureed into anything, what should i do? ps we've been back together for just under 5 years.

mikefraz 7 years ago

HEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPP me! i've already made plans to propose to my girl this summer but just this morning she hit me with the dreadful U word, that's right an ultimatum. I cant believe this, after finally coming up with what i consider the perfect proposal she goes and does this and makes me think that maybe this isn't the girl for me after all, we already have a small child together and i've known her since i was in middle school and i really do love her but now i feel like she's making me ask her to marry me. call it old fashioned or just being a guy but i WON"T be pressureed into anything, what should i do? ps we've been back together for just under 5 years.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You already made the decision to marry her, you already have a kid together. It sounds like you're looking for an excuse to change your mind. She's wrong to do the ultimatum thing, but you're wrong for saying AFTER you decided to propose that you won't be pressured into doing anything. If you already decided to do it, how is anyone pressuring you to decide to do it?

You know now that the woman who has had your child, who you've already decided you want to propose to and spend the rest of your life with, is freaking out. Why is it then when you have that information, that she's scared and doesn't trust that you want to spend your life with her and that you don't want the same things - why is it that your first reaction isn't a mature manly committed desire to calm her fears? Why is your first reaction to make it about you, and that you won't be pressured. You need to answer that question. Either it's that you're still too immature to fully appreciate what it is to be a real "partner," or it's that you're looking for an excuse to run and you don't want to own that, you'd rather blame her.

If you really are ready for a lifetime commitment, and you really do want to be with this woman, then put her fears to rest. This isn't a game. Keeping her scared and guessing so you can have a surprise proposal - is game playing. Most women would much rather have a man that cares about their fears and feelings, not a game player who would let her suffer so they can have their surprise the way they want it.

You asked me what you should do. If you really are mature enough to know she's the one, and you're ready to spend your life with her, then this is exactly what you should do. You should give her a head's up. Tell her you are planning something, and ask her to relax because you want it to be perfect.  Tell her you're not saying anything else because you want this to be a certain way and you don't want to spoil it.

Jojo 7 years ago

Does any of this change when the man you're dating has been divorced? (His wife left him, very coldly, and at the time, unexpectedly). My boyfriend of almost 2 years is not ready for marriage, and while I understand and accept his not being ready, as I do not feel 2 years is too long to be dating (though also believe it is long enough to want to get married)...does this mean he will never be ready? I love him immensely and he loves me, says he wants to marry again someday, and that he wants to marry me... We have an amazing relationship and communicate everything very openly and honestly so both of us always knows where the other is at. I love him and want to wait for him...but my fear is that he will never "feel ready" again... What I'm wondering is...is this any different? I feel like I cut him more slack because he has been hurt and betrayed so badly...but if he's not ready now, will he ever be? Or am I just the wrong one for him? (He's 33; I'm 29).

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


Well, you're right - 2 years isn't too long to be waiting. And if you really are happy, and he's saying he wants the same things you want (meaning the two of you getting married) then waiting another couple years is not out of the question. It is possible that your patience will work out.

It's generous that you're giving him some slack since he was burned before. But yes, it is possible that the idea I'm driving at in this hub, applies to your boyfriend. It's also possible that he will not marry again if the first experience was that bad, no matter what he's telling you or himself. It may be something he can never get past.

Jojo, you need to ask yourself two questions. One is, which is more important to you - the relationship you have right now with this man, or the need to get married to someone. There is a good chance you can't have both. And the second question is, are you happy? And you'll have to keep asking yourself that because the answer can change. No matter how logical you want to be, or how much you dissect his motives, the bottom line is your happiness. Are you happy? If you aren't, then you owe it to yourself to make a change, and go out into the world and find your happiness.

If you are happy,

then be happy.

Bethieg 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I've been reading your advice and I must agree with the readers, your advice is very thoughtful and from the heart.

I'm hoping you have some advice for my situation.

I have been dating my boyfriend 4 years now. We've been living together for almost 2 years - I'm 25 and he is 37. At first we took it slow, I wasn't in a hurry to settle down and he was just coming out of a committed relationship and wasn't looking to jump into another serious one.

After two years, he suggested that we move in together. I wasn't keen on the idea because I didn't know where we were at in our relationship. He assured me that he was looking for something long term and that he was trying to show me this by asking me to move in with him. That was the only assurance that I needed at that point in my life.

However, two years have come and gone. During this time we have only had the "M" discussion twice. Both times as a result of my initiating the conversation (I purposely held off because I didn't want to seem pushy and also because I was young and in no rush). The first time I brought it up, he shrugged it off saying, I knew what he wanted. I did know that he wanted a committed relationship but I didn't know what kind. With marriage - without? He wouldn't answer my question. I waited 6 months before bringing it up again. This time, I expressed my concerns of not knowing how committed he wanted to be and feeling like he was blowing me off when I wanted to talk about this. He apologized and told me in so many words that it was marriage he was looking for. He said that he was waiting until he was financially stable to do anything and perhaps a year from now, he could do something. He just started a new business and I know how tight things can be, financially. This was 6 months ago and I haven't brought the subject up again.

Instead of being anxious about it, I've helped him get the business off the ground - which thankfully, there's a light at the end of that tunnel! I've also been thinking about ways in which I need to mature as an individual and I've been trying to work on these things - although I will be the first to admit that I am still pretty immature at times!

What brought me to your blog was a google search on this topic. We were walking home from dinner one night last week and there was a bridal party outside of their hotel. My boyfriend had indulged in a few drinks, and as we were walking by shouted "don't do it, there's still time to get out". I know it was an attempt at humor, but it still hurt me.

Now I'm unsure as to what I should do. Do I bring this up again to him? I wanted to wait until next year or whenever he was fiscally sound to say anything and give him the benefit of the doubt, but I'm beginning to feel strongly that this is not what he wants.

It's not that I want to get married at this moment, but I need to start thinking about my future and I want to know if that future includes him.

I'm sorry for the length of my post, but after reading your comments to the other readers, I would value any input you have in the matter!



countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

This question can't be answered without further in depth information. The reason I won't dwell into answering this question one way or the other is due to the particular situation i.,e is the guy postponing due to fear of commitment, starting a family (including financial reason), or simply not serious about the girl. And from the girls point of view is she rushing him (due to other factors like family), afraid of losing him, and so on. I guess one needs to understand the situation in depth to give an opinion hence I would prefer not to make an assertion without further information :D

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


Your partner's attempt at humor to the bridal party you saw is very telling.

My advice to you is not to bring it up again in word, instead you should nring it up in "deed." Look - he totally blew you off the first time you brought it up. And he yelled 'don't do it' at a total stranger's bridal party? Clearly he has issues and despite your ages, he's showing that he's not nearly as mature as you are regarding commitment. Instead of listening to his words, examine his actions.

He told you he wants to be more financially stable first. Are you seeing him save, spend wisely, really cut back on frivolous things... is he putting his money where his mouth is.

Do things where he can show you in his actions what his truth is. If you hear a band play someplace, tell him they would be a great band for a wedding, and he should get their contact info. If you aren't already financially joint, open a savings account and tell him it's the wedding fund, and that you can both stick some extra money in there from time to time. Suggest those deposits yourself - for example, one night you're supposed to go out to eat, tell him instead of spending that money, you'd rather put half in the wedding savings and spend the other half on making him a romantic dinner at home, or going to a less expensive place. If you're online at Starbucks together, as he's getting his $3 change, ask him for it for the wedding fund.

Remember, the dollar amounts don't mean anything. It's the symbolism. If he says "ok" and hands you the change for the savings account, then you have a winner. But if he reacts as badly to these opportunities to show his true colors as he did when passing that stranger's wedding, then you will have a clearer answer, even though it isn't the one you wanted.

PLEASE keep in touch and let us know your thoughts and what happens.

LOVE SD 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I stumbled upon this page b/c a coworker of mine was talking about getting married at the same time that my bf and I, now fiance, was talking about getting married.

Anyhow, it started with her saying that her and her bf was thinking about getting married. Not long after, she was always looking a diamonds online and not long after that, she picked out her diamond, it was abt 2.5 carats. Anyhow, he purchased the diamond but now is saying he is unsure and not ready to get married. That was what lead me to google this subject. That and bc I was bored at work. This is going to be pretty long, so pls bear with me.

My fiance and I have been dating for over 4 yrs. We spoke about marriage before but never as serious as in the recent months. Matter of fact, I was going to seriously end things with him last yr. Not b/c of the marriage thing but more b/c he was showing no signs of planning any type of future (saving, looking for a steady job, etc). I was pretty fed up with things b/c I have always been getting out of my comfort zone to get myself in a better financial situation (looking for better job opportunities). I kept pushing myself b/c I knew if I wouldnt, nothing was going to change. I thought by doing this, this would set an example for him and that if he truly wanted and beleived in a future together, he would do the same.

I was pretty much sure he was 'the one' after abt a yr and half dating. But with things happening and what lead me to really consider breaking things off last year, I wasnt so sure anymore. I'm a couple yrs older than he was so I always said that I knew this going into our relationship, it would be such a shame for me to get out of it for the same reason. So throughout this whole time, I kept telling myself that I needed to be more patient...and so I have been.

After I suggested that we break things off, my heart was really not that into it anymore. We were physically still together, still had that title, but perhaps that was the case b/c I wasnt fully ready to let go. Selfish on my part perhaps...but I couldnt fully detach myself until I was fully ready and felt like I really had nothing to look back to.

Last summer, I started talking to an ex. Dont know if I can really consider him an ex b/c we only 'dated' for about 1/2 yr. This was like 7 yrs ago. He lives on the east coast, me on the west. We met b/c I was there with a friend, her on business, me just tagging along for pleasure, b/c I've never been. Anyhow, we met and kept in touch. That summer we talked everyday and I went back to visit for a couple of weeks. We started 'dating' and having a long distance relationship. I saw went back again to visit not long after my first visit, things were absolutely great. A couple of months after I came back from that trip (we literally talked every moment we had), things started to change. He stopped calling one day and I knew something was wrong. Not long after that, we talked and he told me some bad news. I dont want to say exactly what it was, but lets just say I was still willing to support him thru this time. However, it was more his decision just to end things.

We stopped talking, years past, we both moved on. Until last year, we started talking again. Although I was with my bf for over 3 yrs at the time, for some strange reason, my feelings for him started to resurface. He didnt know this until one day, dont know what got over me, but I decided to write him and tell him how I feel. Not to start anything again, but more to have some closure from the way things ended, bc I felt that was what I was lacking and the reason why i'm having all these feelings again.

I made another trip out there late last year. We hung out and I had no doubt that my feelings were still there. I didnt go out there with the intentions of starting anything, b/c I was still w/my bf.

We hung out but that was it. We exchanged a couple of texts after I got back but basically he told me that he wants to be friends.

I am now engaged, but my thoughts and feelings for this person has resurfaced. I know that my fiance will be a loving husband/father. My mother always told me to find a person that loves you a little more than you love them. i think I found that. I just understand why I'm still wondering about this other person. I dont want to cheat on my fiance in anyway, not even to think in a certain way for another person, but I dont understand why I keep going back to that person.

I apologize for the novel...your input would be greatly appreciated.

future planner 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, how are you? I´ve been with my boyfriend for two years. We´re both 26 and whenever the marriage subject poped up he kept telling me he didn´t want to get married ever! After hearing this answer a couple of times, tired of questioning myself why he thinks in that way, we´ve decided be apart for a while so that he can decide what to do. I know he loves me and I really don´t want to get married tomorrow, or in two years, but I do want marriage in the future. I find his denial frustrating and if he can´t commit I see no reason to stay in such a relation. I think, though it´s makes me sad, it´s better to move on and find another person.

Am I wrong? Should I take into consideration that he MAY change his mind someday?

Please I need some insight!

future planner 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, how are you? I´ve been with my boyfriend for two years. We´re both 26 and whenever the marriage subject poped up he kept telling me he didn´t want to get married ever! After hearing this answer a couple of times, tired of questioning myself why he thinks in that way, we´ve decided be apart for a while so that he can decide what to do. I know he loves me and I really don´t want to get married tomorrow, or in two years, but I do want marriage in the future. I find his denial frustrating and if he can´t commit I see no reason to stay in such a relation. I think, though it´s makes me sad, it´s better to move on and find another person.

Am I wrong? Should I take into consideration that he MAY change his mind someday?

Please I need some insight!

future planner 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, how are you? I´ve been with my boyfriend for two years. We´re both 26 and whenever the marriage subject poped up he kept telling me he didn´t want to get married ever! After hearing this answer a couple of times, tired of questioning myself why he thinks in that way, we´ve decided be apart for a while so that he can decide what to do. I know he loves me and I really don´t want to get married tomorrow, or in two years, but I do want marriage in the future. I find his denial frustrating and if he can´t commit I see no reason to stay in such a relation. I think, though it´s makes me sad, it´s better to move on and find another person.

Am I wrong? Should I take into consideration that he MAY change his mind someday?

Please I need some insight!

future planner 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, how are you? I´ve been with my boyfriend for two years. We´re both 26 and whenever the marriage subject poped up he kept telling me he didn´t want to get married ever! After hearing this answer a couple of times, tired of questioning myself why he thinks in that way, we´ve decided be apart for a while so that he can decide what to do. I know he loves me and I really don´t want to get married tomorrow, or in two years, but I do want marriage in the future. I find his denial frustrating and if he can´t commit I see no reason to stay in such a relation. I think, though it´s makes me sad, it´s better to move on and find another person.

Am I wrong? Should I take into consideration that he MAY change his mind someday?

Please I need some insight!

future planner 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, how are you? I´ve been with my boyfriend for two years. We´re both 26 and whenever the marriage subject poped up he kept telling me he didn´t want to get married ever! After hearing this answer a couple of times, tired of questioning myself why he thinks in that way, we´ve decided be apart for a while so that he can decide what to do. I know he loves me and I really don´t want to get married tomorrow, or in two years, but I do want marriage in the future. I find his denial frustrating and if he can´t commit I see no reason to stay in such a relation. I think, though it´s makes me sad, it´s better to move on and find another person.

Am I wrong? Should I take into consideration that he MAY change his mind someday?

Please I need some insight!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

future -

He's stated, clearly, more than once, that he doesn't want to marry you. Ever.

I'm not sure where the confusion is here. You said you took a break so he can decide what to do? What does he have to decide? He's been painfully clear.

I can't fathom being in a relationship with someone because you're waiting for them to change. You should be with him because you love him and want the relationship you have with him. You should not be with him waiting for him to change, or waiting for him to "Decide" something he's already very painfully clearly decided. If you want him, stay. But if you want to get married, go. Listen to what he's saying, not to what you want to pretend to hear.

Right This Time 7 years ago


I'm 47. He's 60. We were friends only for a year before we starting dating. We've been dating now for 1 1/2 yrs. I heard him say to other people before we started seeing each other that he did not want to remarry. He has been divorced for 5 yrs. He immediately went into another relationship after his divorce. That relationship ended very badly. He was mistreated horribly.

Because I had heard him say he had no intentions of remarrying and because I knew he had been hurt, I told him at the beginning of our relationship that I did consider him marriage worthy and if he truly had no intentions of remarrying I needed to know at that time. He said he had nothing against marriage but he needed to work through this issues from his past relationship. He said he did not want to lose me. I assured him that I understood and would be there for him in anyway I could. We both agreed that there was nothing I could do for him but to continue to listen if he needed me. We agreed that "at all cost - we would preserve our friendship".

It's 1 1/2 yrs later and he says has been able to come to terms with the previous relationship. We see each other every day. There is no doubt in either of our minds that we love each other.

Eight months ago he came to me and said he was ready to pull this relationship together. I agreed. I am ready to start working toward marriage. I have asked him if he were on the same page twice in the past eight months and he said he didn't want to discuss this now. The last time (only twice) was a week ago. We both know the questions is still out there. I feel that if he wanted to move forward he would say so but I also think that if he doesn't he should say so too!

What should I do?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You wrote a good deal about him and his history and his steps, and nothing about your history.

I think that alone is very tell-tale.

You're not looking inward, you're looking outward. You don't want to compromise or change, you want him to.

You're 47, and you got involved with a man you heard state he did not want to get married again. You put yourself in a situation where you're involved with someone that has to change in order to be what you want.

You asked me what should you do. I think you should relax and give him more time to heal and travel his road. But more importantly I think you should work on yourself instead of working so hard on him.

May 7 years ago

Hi Veronica! Me and my fiance (both 25) have been together for over a year and got engaged 6 months ago. It's a long distance relationship but a really close one - we both went through ups and downs within that time and it brought us very much together. I live in UK and he lives in the States and being so far apart is of course not fun, however, in order to be able to live together we would have to get married. I've always been a fan of "try it out before you buy" but in our case it is not possible. We have been talking about getting married for quite a while (clearly, since we got engaged) but we have not set an actual date. About a month ago I mentioned that I would like to eventually move but we did not really talk about it and I did not want to push so the topic was dropped. A few days ago he raised the issue and said he would like to start talking about me moving there, despite being a little scared about the whole process. We then talked about it and it became clear that he is not fully convinced to this step. But the problem is that, while he has no problem with making a commitment, he feels like it is a lot of responsibility to take on, regarding planning for two people and generally quitting single careless lifestyle. I feel completely differently on that - I do not plan on becoming a old-fashioned lady inviting family and friends to dinners every Sunday afternoon. I still want to have fun, travel and do everything we do now, not being married. I think he has this stereotypical image of "married life" painted in his head and is scared of it. May I add that it is clear for both of us that we do not plan to have children for the next few years.

So what do I do about his fears? Ideal situation would be if we could live together for a while so that he would see that it is not such a scary thing, but it is not an option for us. Sometimes I just want to convince him to get married despite his doubts and then show him that there is really nothing to be scared of. But then the wiser part of me knows that it is not the way to go. How do I go about this then?

Nicole 7 years ago

Hey Veronica,

I'm having a silmilar situation. We have a bit of an age difference, which is a reason I'm more concerned. I'm younger 20s and not looking to get married or have kids any time soon. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is lower 30s and has been married for 8 years and convinced its recipe for failure. However, he really wants to have kids without ever wanting marriage. Both of our families have highlighted in some way that our relationship is not really serious unless we are married. My mother is of course highly religious and his dad has said comments along the lines of, "Well it doesn't matter what you do because you're not married". In the future, I would like to do the whole family number and get married and because I'm young, I have opportunities now to be the college girl and go out and about. I feel l am somewhat married already because we live together and he is older and more "settled" and I feel like I'm giving up a little bit of myself to stay with him and be "settled". Especially because, as a female, it's a little concerning when a man is standing in front of you telling you they want babies in the future but never want to get married because, lets face it, accidents happen and that would be a sticky situation to be in all around. What does it really mean if a guy doesnt want to tie the knot, ever, no matter what you think and whether or not there is children involved? So...we have been together a couple of years and I feel like I'm being selfish for up and leaving over the document...but I feel like its not fair to me to stay in a relationship when I never had the chance to at least TRY marriage for myself and I'm basically living with the ghost of his own divorce. So after a series of run-on sentences and such, I would like to know...is there a right thing to do here? Would I be stupid for leaving even if we are doing relatively well in our day to day relationship? Or should I just stay true to what I want for myself in the FUTURE? My justification has always been that I'm happy now and I don't want the marriage and kids now anyway, but the clock is ticking and its apparently not going to the next level... ever... even if a kid were to come into the picture. As always, the conversation comes up occasionally and usually generates an argument and ends with a , "Well, I don't know what I'll want in 5 years" coming from his end. Honestly, I would have to be a dumbass to believe that so, what 's the advice, Veronica? Should I stay or go?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Nicole - I answered you in your own Hub. Go check it out. I hope this helps:


Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You said several times that it is not an option to live together, but you never said why not. Neither of you sound ready for marriage. But you sound like you have a nice relationship going. Marrying too early will ruin it. Like you should, you should try it out before you buy it, and show him (and you) what living together will actually be like. Moving to the US from England is completely possible without marriage. Marriage now makes no sense.

May 7 years ago

Veronica, thank you for your answer.

There are two reasons - first he said that he does not want that. And that would maybe be discussable if it was not for the second reason - immigration laws. I did look at other possibilities and the only other way for me to move there without getting married would be to get a job there and convince the potential employer to apply for a work permit for me. And I know that there are people that go to the States to work, but they are usually specialists or moving within company and therefore their employers are willing to put effort into organising the paperwork for them. On the other hand, if we did get married I would be able to work there immediately.

This is really an important part because being a housewife is not appealing to me whatsoever (no offence to any housewives), I want to be able to work. Just to add, my fiance has a government job and cannot quit it until his contract is finished - this is why it would have to be me moving over to where he lives.

I just don't quite understand this sudden change of tone - he proposed without any pressure on my side and was really excited about it. Logically that would mean he wants to get married, wouldn't it?

confused 7 years ago


I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years, but we were friends for a couple years before that. When I met him, he was married, but after walking in on his wife cheating on him, he moved out. We started dating and now we live together. He has made many comments about our future together. We just bought a boat and put both names on the title. he has no problems or hesitations with us purchasing things together, joint accounts and plans for the future but he still says he doesn't want to get married. He knows I do but I have always said, "someday in the future. I am not in any rush". Which is true but I am not sure he will ever want to. I keep telling myself that it is pain from his marriage that makes him not want to get married and maybe he will come around.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


My answer to you kept getting longer and longer. So I gave it its own HUB.


Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Thanks so much for your comment. Good luck.

heartbroken 7 years ago


I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 1 1/2 years. The realtionship itself was wonderful. He is an amazing man. I never wanted to get married or have children until I met him. However, he said on several occassions he never wanted to get married (again) or have children. We did talk about moving in together soon. He started traveling for work a couple of months ago, 3-4 weeks at a time. On one of his return trips he said he bought me a gift, and for a split second I thought he was going to propose. It was at the time I realized I needed to get out. I told him that I did want a family ONE day, but I was in no rush, but I couldn't continue in a relationship that wasn't headed in that direction. My head knows I made the right decision, but my heart wonders if everything was so wonderful, should that have been enough? Should I have just waited it out longer? His response, by the way, was that he understood and he wished he could say he would feel differently in the future. As I'm writing this It seems completely obvious that I did the right thing. I guess I have doubts because he was soo good to me. I know he loved me, and treated me so well. I just need an objective person to tell me I did the right thing.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You did the right thing.

He was clear about what he wanted. And when you told him you were leaving he reaffirmed those things.

There doesn't have to be a bad guy. You wanted different things. That's all.

Good luck to you.

Confused 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for the last two years. I am 24 and he is 27, we are very stable with our career and we do not live together. He treats me very well and giving me everything that I ever ask for. We used to joke about the future, and kids, he also even giving me a promised ring after a year of dating. I recently popped the questions about our future and being married just to know where are going from here, but he told me that he is not ready and he doesn't really planning that far (this is true because he just that type of guy and I know that too). He also told me that he loves me and does not want to lose me, but he can't really giving me a promise for our future right now because he doesn't really see himself being married in the next year or two. This whole talk really ruin our relationship because I can't bring myself to not thinking about it every single seconds. I can't get myself back to being mornal anymore because it's upseting me. I know that I am really pressuring him right now (I don't want to it's just happens). I am not asking to being married in the next year or two, i just wanted to know where this relationship is going (he also told me that he doesn't know). What should I do?


paige 7 years ago

My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years and in that time marriage has been brought up and always his response has been he is not ready. So this last time it was brought up and he said that I said then if you have intentions of marrying me then why can't we be engaged. So he agreed and he gave me the money to go get a ring. I brought it to him (we live together) and he said it was nice and asked me if I was going to wear it. I was actually seeing if he would take it and if not propose at least put it on my finger. He didn't do that though.

Also I thought that when people are engaged they tell their family. He hasn't said anything to his family or anyone. He ignors me when I ask him. However though his sister knows cause she seen the ring.

I am kind of thinking that the ring was to buy him more time. Because another fact is that. We had talked together and he said we could get married at the end of the year when he took vacation. Well he plans on taking vacation in August. I have a funny feeling marriage is not going to happen. He has promised me other times that we would get married and on those certain dates nothing. This is the first time he has bought me a ring. But again I think cause it will buy him more time.

I hate wearing something that is one expensive and number two doesn't mean anything. Tell me if you agree with me on this one. I feel like I should take that ring back and buy a cheap ring because he is never going to marry me. Why waste all that money on something I probably wont be wearing that long.

Any advice would help. I want to add this too and maybe this makes it obvious I just want another opinion. He has always come up with excuses on why we shouldn't get married but never on why he wants to or why we should.

Advice please

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You are right. Bring the ring back. You are not engaged. He did not ask you to marry him. He gave you money to buy yourself a piece of jewelry. That's it. He's not intending to marry you. It's clear.

Paige 7 years ago

Ok this might sound silly but I am obviously going to take the ring back. Is it a good idea to buy a really cheap one because he will notice that it is not on my finger and ask questions and honestly. When I have brought up the fact that I didn't think he was serious even though I have a ring he denies it and such and well, I just dont feel like getting into anything on why I am not wearing a ring because if I know him he will suggest now that I don't want to get married and turn the whole thing around even though I know he doesn't really want to.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


What are you doing? You can't talk to him because he will turn his not wanting to marry you into a game of it's your fault? Why in the world do you want to marry someone that you can't talk to, that doesn't want to marry you, and is trying to set you up into taking the fall for his being too chicken shit to be honest? Why would you want to buy a cheap ring, for yourself, to pretend you are engaged?

This isn't a partnership. He's playing a game. And you are proving over and over that it is acceptable. You are telling him over and over that you'll just play along and he never has to man up and be a partner.

End this.

Paige 7 years ago

In all honesty, I have thought this through and everything I have thought about made me decide that I infact don't want what I thought I wanted. I know and have known for sometime that his intentions are not to marry me. Exactly what I said above, the giving me money to buy the ring is just away to buy more time an expensive way but a way.

Right now I am in the situation where I can not just up and leave. I am on disability right now and am waiting a settlement and when that time comes I will go my seperate ways. I have no family I can live with and all my friends (what little friends I have) They all have husbands and children and dont have the space right now. I too have a little one with this man.

It isn't that I can't talk to him because I have talks with him all the time. This particular talk however is much different because of the fact I now don't want to get married and in the last two years, well have asked several times and never got any where with him and now he says he does even though both you and I know he has no intentions on marrying me.

John 7 years ago

Hi, I came across this page while searching for this exact question and even though it's 2 years old you're still replying to comments so maybe I'll ask.

I've been with a girl now for 5+ years and I met her while I was living overseas. 6 months into our relationship I moved back to Canada and she moved over here with me (she had already been planning to come here since before we met). After being together for a year I proposed; she hesitantly said yes but said she wasn't ready. Fast forward three years, she still wasn't ready and my proposal was still a secret from her friends and family back home. We broke up for a few months but then got back together. She wants to get married but now I'm the hesitant one and not ready. I think I was naive before and I don't think I was really ready nor do I think I am now. On top of that she really wants me to move with her back overseas, but honestly I would prefer to stay here. I do love her but even after so much time I don't think I ready for marriage and I am unable to give her a satisfactory answer as to why not.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You didn't tell me your ages, but I have the feeling I know what happened.

There are physiological changes a man's brain goes through that are significant. I've talked about this in a lot of my hubs regarding relationships. 

Your frontal lobes are the part of the brain that discern long term concepts. Things like commitment, forever, repercussion, consequence. the reactions to your actions.... these are all concepts that you really can not grasp before your frontal lobes develop. This can happen sometime over the period of time where you were 20 - 24. 

My guess is, you initially proposed prior to that development's completion. I'm not saying you weren't psychologically ready for marriage, I'm saying physiologically you couldn't actually understand what it takes to get married. You changed immensely as a man after your frontal lobes completed development. And, quite possibly, once you did understand the ramifications of committing the rest of your life to one woman, you still wanted to be with her.

But a second development has happened, or has begun. For most men, this is at the age of 28. (As with the lobes, this can vary, 28 is an average.) This in many cultures is considered a Rites of Passage age. Your hormones settle, you aren't as reactive or quick to judge. You mature. You think. You see. You speculate about the outcomes of certain decisions that will affect the long term, and now that you can fully appreciate consequence and repercussion, you tread much more responsibly and thoughfully.

So, I'm guessing you were between 20 - 26 when the relationship began, and now you're somewhere between 25 - 31.

I can not tell you why she was hesitant and is now surer. I can not tell you if her biological clock is part of it, or if she plans to move home but doesn't want to lose you, and that's why she is  finally saying yes. I also can't even say why you aren't sure - if its ben her years of hesitancy that has made you doubt the depth of the relationship now that you can fully grasp what marriage is, or if it's her moving away. 

But I can tell you this - there is absolutely nothing wrong with your changing your mind. It physically makes sense. There is actually a tangible real reason why your thinking may have changed and shifted. There is nothing wrong with you. In short, you matured. And you're looking at things differently. That's all. And there's nothing wrong with that. 

You didn't ask me what I think you should do. I don't think you actually want me to tell you. I think you wanted to hear whether or not your feelings make sense. You said you're unable to give her a satisfactory answer. But you are more than satisfactorily feeling the true weight and responsibility of major long term steps. That is reason enough. Trust yourself and your newly developed understandings to do what's really right for you. Good luck.

just a kid. 7 years ago

Thank you billy... finally!!

Somebody who agrees...

This advice has been most helpful.

LSL 7 years ago

SOS Veronica and folks!

I have been living with my boyfriend for 10 months and we have been for one year together. I am 28 and he is 29 years old. We don t have financial troubles thanks God, but the stability of our jobs is not optimal.

We are happy together, and we love each other a lot. We talk about plans for our future, like buying a house together, but he is really evasive on the subject of getting married. I introduced the marriage topic to him by making small jokes, in a friendly way, expressing my desire to marry him. He was taking a censorship kind of attitude towards my jokes so we discussed that and he acknowledged his attitude. Now, I can joke in a friendly way about the topic and it is fine with him, but he is still not willing to talk about it. I feel frustrated, downgraded, and it hurts so much that I am reckoning making a move. How should I manage all these feelings? I started questioning myself in many aspects....for example, should I be living with him? I don t want to hurt myself , neither want I to hurt him. And I only want us to get married when we both really want it.

Living with him make it more difficult for me to cope with these feelings. I am considering moving out. What shall I do?

LSL 7 years ago

SOS Veronica and folks!

I have been living with my boyfriend for 10 months and we have been for one year together. I am 28 and he is 29 years old. We don t have financial troubles thanks God, but the stability of our jobs is not optimal.

We are happy together, and we love each other a lot. We talk about plans for our future, like buying a house together, but he is really evasive on the subject of getting married. I introduced the marriage topic to him by making small jokes, in a friendly way, expressing my desire to marry him. He was taking a censorship kind of attitude towards my jokes so we discussed that and he acknowledged his attitude. Now, I can joke in a friendly way about the topic and it is fine with him, but he is still not willing to talk about it. I feel frustrated, downgraded, and it hurts so much that I am reckoning making a move. How should I manage all these feelings? I started questioning myself in many aspects....for example, should I be living with him? I don t want to hurt myself , neither want I to hurt him. And I only want us to get married when we both really want it.

Living with him make it more difficult for me to cope with these feelings. I am considering moving out. What shall I do?

sad 7 years ago

I'm really upset, so i decided to write how i feel. I just wanted to share...

I’m tired and frustrated.

Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I stop being emotional? I can feel big walls building around me again. I’m starting to step back. I don’t feel like giving myself, my whole self, because I’m afraid that eventually I’m going to get hurt.

Yes, other people live together for the rest of their lives unmarried. But I’m not one of those people. I’m happy for them but I don’t want what they have. I want something more. Something secured.

Now, no matter how hard I try not to think about it, I just can’t. Eventually it might go out of my mind but surely my frustrations will manifest on my actions. I just can’t give myself wholly right now. I’m really scared that this is happening.

I don’t feel like being intimate anymore. I don’t want it. I don’t feel like doing it.

My chest feels heavy. I can’t breathe. Pain… so much pain….

I love you but I’m saddened by you…

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


Thank you for sharing your feelings here.

I don't think there is anything wrong with your instinct not to be intimate right now.

I think it's healthy that you admit your fears, and your observations, and that you've articulated what you're thinking so clearly.

I hope you will continue to do so, maybe in some sort of therapy or counseling venue. I saw a therapist for a few years when I was in my early 20's, and it was so very eye opening, beneficial and reaffirming.

Best to you.

Mylee 7 years ago

I've enjoyed reading all these comments and can hardly believe it spans over two years! You're very dedicated, Veronica, I admire that!

Anyway, apologies for bothering you, but I've not really found an answer in spite of all the experiences I've read here.

I've been with my boyfriend for three years - four years on Thursday. We met at University and as such have been living together more or less from the start - we lived opposite each other in Halls (I believe they're called Dorms in the States; we're English) and then in shared house the following year, finally moving into our own house the year after. We're now both 22, which I know is young to be thinking about marriage, but given the time we've been together, combined with other trials (financial, family and personal illness, bringing up puppies!) we have a certain mature closeness. At least I like to think so!

The issue is that I want to get married, but he is not ready. His not readiness is apparently not to do with love, not wanting to get married and so on but to do with our lives. He has just given up his job to pursue an MSc, not only to better himself but because he has suffered from (according to therapy abuse induced) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from the age of eight, meaning he can't really cope with the restraints of an office.

I don't believe I am wholly obsessed with my own desire here. I try all the time to ensure he is happy, safe and secure - at times I feel more like a mother than a girlfriend. I take care of the cooking and most of the cleaning, as these are things he simply can't do without falling into compulsive patterns. I often feel our relationship has become rather one sided in this sense and I worry that this is going to eventually make me bitter, as when I try to talk about getting married I always end up feeling selfish and needy, trying to get something that I feel I want.

I'm feeling very confused about this now. I want to be married for the extra layer of security and solidarity I feel it would give me - call me naive or idealistic if you will, but I imagine being his wife will just be the embodiment of the feelings of closeness and friendship I already have for him.

And yet, he doesn't want to get married, because he says he'd rather wait until he's in a happier place. But he has been ill for over fourteen years, he may never be able to work - it's impossible for me to see when he'll be in a happier place!

Any advice you have would be appreciated. Again, apologies for my minor thread necromancy.

ajnorth 7 years ago

This is a fantastic page. I was hoping you might be able to shed a little light on my situation. I have been dating my girlfriend for 3 1/2 years now, however, it doesnt seem like that long due to a job I had that took me away from home for 4 months and a trip for work that she took for 6 months. Over the past year she has had many friends get married, which has turned into a lot of eyes looking at me wondering why we arent engaged, and I hate it. Additionally, over the past year she has taken a new job that requires long hours, and evenings full of studying. She also plans on going to get a graduate degree. She constantly complains about having little to no social time, however she does it to herself since she is so ambitious. Because of all this our relationship has started to get stale and boring for stretches of time. Its almost as if we are an old boring married couple already. I hate this as well. How can I even consider the idea of marriage to someone who is so consumed with where they want their career to go? How can I talk to her about the fact that I am getting bored without hurting her feelings. We live together and have a very decent life, but I never expected to be this bored in a relationship with someone who is looking at me to propose. What in the world am I supposed to do?

loveygal 29 7 years ago

Hi there,

I have been reading the other posts and I wanted to add my story...I love my bofriend to pieces and in the past he was greatly opposed to marriage where I had gotten to the point that I loved him so much that maybe I would be ok if we never married...I've never been a big marriage person but when I became serious with THIS person it just seemed like the step logical step, this is my first mature relationship and most enjoyable of all, we have been together 3 years I am going to be 30 Sunday and he is 33. In the last 8months he was been talking about marriage alot and what I our children are going to be named, and we both agreed on a timeline that at the end of 2009 we would make a firm decision about both our futures...until them I try my damnest not to bring up the conversation we agree on a time line so I try not to mention...

recently he has been down and not in the best mood and we were not getting along and then he tells me doesn't want to get married and I am like wow, then he like I just don't want to maybe not even for 5 years, mind you he is 33 that would make 38 and me 35...after he said it he starts crying, he never cries, im hurt and upset I leave and go home in the morning don't return. He wants me to come back but I don't I feel like so I am home...I feel like we are back at square one..I had really hoped he was past this...he asked me to call him tonight he had been calling most of the day just to say hi...

so I call him and I ask him why? and when did things change? He had been saying yes to marriage for the last 8 months or more he is saying I can't do it, won't do it for 5 years. I told him i can't understand...he says he just doesn't want to come home to wife and kids it is too much pressure...I say ok then its not much further we can go from here, I think it might be time to move on...it truely sucks that this has come up after all the things we have been through together and all we have shared....not sure if there is anything to be done but any advise you can offer would wonderful

Thank you

Gilly 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I am 36 and my girlfriend is 21. We've lived together for 2 years and she has told me that at some point she would love to marry me and have children together. I love her to bits too, very very much but i just don't want marriage and i don't have a fatherly urge to reproduce either. We had the "chat" about it a few weeks ago and she cried even though I explained my feelings for her grow all the time.

Am I being a coward? Should I tell her to leave and cause her (and myself) alot of pain now, rather than a huge amount more in later years? Maybe I will change my mind on it all though - and I would be a fool to let her go - she is an amazing girl, beautiful, bright and sooo mature - she has an old soul. Her family love me to bits too and her mum who is 20 years my senior said she would love me as a son in law. I love her family too but i just feel too much of a free spirit, and i don't mean about other women either, I mean generally. I cannot stand being told to do something i don't want and i think i am pretty selfish on that side of things, but then i don't expect other people to do anything other than what they want either. Me and my girlfriend generally do the same things cos we like the same things - otherwise it would not have lasted 2 years! I think my family upbringing because it was so very restrictive and I wasn't allowed to do hardly anything i wanted might be somewhat responsible for the way i am now, and my parents argued all the time and me and my sister would sit at dinner crying when we were small. Maybe that is why i don't want marriage, who knows... :(

Lee Thacker profile image

Lee Thacker 7 years ago

I like the way your brain thinks, makes me feel alive listening to what your thinking, very cool...Keep it up ...PS Now I Know Why I bookmarked your page ;-) ...Hope you are doing well,

worried 7 years ago

I have been with my boyfriend for over 5 years now and we are both in our late 20's. For the first four years my boyfriend spoke of marriage all the time. THEN HE CHANGED HIS MIND!! this change of mind coincided with him moving to another country (i didnt) We have maintained a long distance relationship but I am going to emigrate and join him next week. I have quit my good job to do this and i feel hurt and angry and stupid!! what will i do?!?

judyti 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I wrote to you a while back regarding my non-commital boyfriend. As much as I believe myself to be a rational person the thought of my boyfriend of 2 years not wanting to marry me consumed me. I came to the realization that when he would tell me that he didn't want to get married what I was hearing was "I don't love you enough to know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you". That became to much to bare. I am not the type of woman to nag at anyone so one night I just started talking to him about it and he told me that he knew for a fact that he NEVER wanted to get married and that it had nothing to do with me "He didn't want to marry me or anybody ever". Never the less I beleive in my heart that if the right person came along he would chang his mind. I was no longer happy in that situation so I moved out.

He was Ok with it at first but after about a month he wrote me asking me to meet him so that we could talk. At this point in time I had already found a new apartment and was living on my own. He told me that he had thought about it and he did want to get married someday and that if things went well him and I would marry. We got back together but I did not move back in. I refuse to move back in with him unless we are married. Not that he wanted me to move back in at this point anyway. After about two months of being back together when the subject is brought up again he tells me that he doesn't know when and IF he will ever be ready and he doesn't even want to live with anyone right now. So, I am back at square one. Part of me thinks that perhaps I heard in his apology what I wanted to hear and not what he was really saying. I am so angry at myself for having put myself in this situation once again. I feel like I should have been stronger and have been more specific about what I wanted before I took him back.

The deal is that its not about marriage really, its more about the feeling of rejection. When you tell someone that you want to marry them your telling them that you consider them the right person for you, that special person you are willing to spend the rest of your days with. That is a huge deal, and when that person tells you that they don't want to marry you what you hear is "your not as special to me and I am not AS SURE about how I feel about you". It's not a good feeling when you realize that your the one the loves more in a relationship.

MGUY 7 years ago

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for about a year and a half now. When I entered in to this relationship, I had no intention of making it as serious as it is, but it has certainly gotten there now and it feels like quite a mess.

I am 23 and my gf is 20. She is constantly pressuring me to get married. But I dont feel ready for it yet, because of my selfish reasons such as having a career. She has an abusive father, so that is another reason that she wants to drop out of college and start living with me, so she doesnt have to deal with her family.

Also, she suffers from something called trichotillomania, where she cant stop pulling her hair when upset, so I am kinda scared of having conversations with her that might piss her off.

She is also overly dependent on me, and not mature enough to think how her actions will affect me in my circumstances.

All this being said, she is certainly a very loving person as well, and has a good heart, some temper problems, and does a lot for me in this relationship. Like I know if we are married she will do all she can to take care of me as long as she isnt having one of her anger tantrums.

I dont mean to rant on about my gf, I know I have my faults too, and I can get lazy, and seem too non-chalante in this relationship at times, and cant decide if I ever want to be married.

Currently, she is driving me insane by asking me to propose, and I love this person but I am just not ready yet.

She seems to go through phases of depression (i feel like) due to her horrible family, and in the past has talked about committing suicide, at which point I would talk to her and make her feel better.

So, my question is, I have pretty much had it in this relationship and know that I am not built to handle the fights and junk and I want out!! She either needs to change for which I will give her as long as she needs, but I will certainly leave her if she doesnt get it and keeps pressuring me to get engaged.

But, I am worried. Will she is able to move on? Because she is very stubborn, almost clinically depressed, antisocial at times, has talked about suicide in the past, freaks out over everything.. I have tried everything in all different forms to try to get her to go to a therapist, but she is just too stubborn. Her parents are retarded enough to not address it either and just make it worse by getting mad at her for it.

I know.. FML

I dont wanna break up with someone i love and then find out later on that she did something horrible to herself.. I wont be able to forgive myself.

I have considered faking how I feel and staying in this relationship till she gets better and is able to get a hold of her life, and then dump her, just so that I kinda know that she will fare well after me.

Sorry for this poorly organized post, but what should I do??

MGUY 7 years ago

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for about a year and a half now. When I entered in to this relationship, I had no intention of making it as serious as it is, but it has certainly gotten there now and it feels like quite a mess.

I am 23 and my gf is 20. She is constantly pressuring me to get married. But I dont feel ready for it yet, because of my selfish reasons such as having a career. She has an abusive father, so that is another reason that she wants to drop out of college and start living with me, so she doesnt have to deal with her family.

Also, she suffers from something called trichotillomania, where she cant stop pulling her hair when upset, so I am kinda scared of having conversations with her that might piss her off.

She is also overly dependent on me, and not mature enough to think how her actions will affect me in my circumstances.

All this being said, she is certainly a very loving person as well, and has a good heart, some temper problems, and does a lot for me in this relationship. Like I know if we are married she will do all she can to take care of me as long as she isnt having one of her anger tantrums.

I dont mean to rant on about my gf, I know I have my faults too, and I can get lazy, and seem too non-chalante in this relationship at times, and cant decide if I ever want to be married.

Currently, she is driving me insane by asking me to propose, and I love this person but I am just not ready yet.

She seems to go through phases of depression (i feel like) due to her horrible family, and in the past has talked about committing suicide, at which point I would talk to her and make her feel better.

So, my question is, I have pretty much had it in this relationship and know that I am not built to handle the fights and junk and I want out!! She either needs to change for which I will give her as long as she needs, but I will certainly leave her if she doesnt get it and keeps pressuring me to get engaged.

But, I am worried. Will she is able to move on? Because she is very stubborn, almost clinically depressed, antisocial at times, has talked about suicide in the past, freaks out over everything.. I have tried everything in all different forms to try to get her to go to a therapist, but she is just too stubborn. Her parents are retarded enough to not address it either and just make it worse by getting mad at her for it.

I know.. FML

I dont wanna break up with someone i love and then find out later on that she did something horrible to herself.. I wont be able to forgive myself.

I have considered faking how I feel and staying in this relationship till she gets better and is able to get a hold of her life, and then dump her, just so that I kinda know that she will fare well after me.

Sorry for this poorly organized post, but what should I do??

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


I don't envy you, you've let yourself really wind up in a tough spot. You sound very mature and smart and sensitive for 23, I give you alot of credit.

You have made the decision that you want out, but you don't want to find out that she has hurt herself. I understand that, and commend you for your sense of responsibility here. But there is something you really need to know - this is not your fault. It is not your fault that she has an abusive family and is emotionally needy. It's not your fault that she hurts herself, acts anti-socially and depressed. It's not your fault that she is stubborn, freaks out and has a bad temper. It's not your fault that she is so dependent on someone else saving her and giving her a life.

The longer you put this off the harder it will be. Speak to any friends she has, or siblings, or anyone she is close to that knows about her illnesses and abuse. You're going to have to accept that they may view you as the bad guy. You have to know that you aren't. It would also be wise if you could bring in a counselor or therapist, perhaps there are some available to you through her school.

Your words, actions, and signals need to be clear. You can't vacillate, you can't give her false hope, that will only set her up for an even harder fall.

I don't feel you picked on her. You said she was very loving and devoted, and that you have flaws too, but the issues you described with her are serious ones. This is a tremendous amount of weight for your very young shoulders. There is nothing wrong with you. I wish you alot of luck with this. I hope you'll keep us posted.

unknown 7 years ago

my sis has been with this guy for 3 years and he has another son with someone else but my sister is 21 and he is 35 and they had a child thats 4 months old do you think they will get married

XLAURAX 7 years ago

Hi Veronica I'm really impressed by all the posts I have read and the advice that you have given. I've been in a relationship for almost 9 years now. Both me and my boyfriend are 40 years old and have been seeing each other since we were 31. We both have 16 yr old boys from previous relationships, we have a lot in common as well. My problem is that now that I'm 40 I want to get married, the boyfriend don't he says he wants to wait till hes 40-50 yrs old. I have broken it off with him, but he still has yet to get it through his head that we are over. He still tries to get me to come over for dinner etc. Of course I turn all offers down. I was very good to him friends, family see it. I do for him as if he was already my husband and we don't even live together. When at his house I cook clean do his laundry clean his whole house for him. I feel he has gotten way to comfortable with the way things are and him not having to make a commitment to me. He tells me hes faithful which i do believe and says that is the only commitment he can make to me and continue to be faithful. Oh and by the way he was married twice before at the age of 18 which lasted 2 months then again at 22 which didn't even last a year. He sees I'm being strong this time and not giving in and its making him upset and he says stuff to me out of anger, but yet tells me he loves me I really don't think he wants to lose me but at the same time he doesn't want to marry me. I hope you can give me some advice as to what I should do. Thanks Veroncia!

Slowly breaking 7 years ago

Hello. I've told my family about my situation and I am just looking for a 20th opinion... My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half and we were friends for 2 years before we realized we were both madly in love. Not even 3 months into our relationship he began to talk about marriage and kids. (I am 25 and he is 26.) I never saw myself as the type to be concerned with marriage as I never worried about it in my past relationships but since my boyfriend seemed so passionate about it and so sure, I began to love the idea of sharing the joy of marriage an parenthood with him. The problems began once he started to become wishy-washy about our future. On one side he is pounding our lovely future into my head and even his family knew about his plan to propose and how many kids he wanted. On the other end, he would act like I was pressuring him if I tried to talk about our future like what kind of wedding he wanted. He had previously stated that we should start coming up with a plan even without the official proposal. Yet if I brought it up he would act like I was nagging him so I would drop it and just days later he would ask me if I had been searching wedding options... At around 6 months of dating with him giving me mixed signals he wanted to take me ring shopping and we found the perfect one for me and he even browsed for his ring. I assumed at that time that it okay to proceed with the wedding plans and he again brushed it off and told me to drop it so I did. After being with him for 6 months I had discovered that he was still talking to his ex's and doing his best to hide it from me. I was upset because I knew it wasn't just innocent conversation because he was so sneaky about it and there were times when I would sit down by him and coincidentally catch him in the act of texting something he obviously didn't want me to see because he would delete it immediately. I tried to pay no mind to it until I found out he attempted to go to an ex's house without me. He then wondered why I was acting paranoid and untrusting... I finally told him I was not okay with him communicating with those women anymore because I felt he had something to hide. He agreed to discontinue but it still took me some time to have full trust in him again. That must have made him rethink our relationship because all the wedding talk stopped on his end. 6 months later we had reached a year and was back on track and we began planning our future. Within 2 months we had it all planned out and had even put down non-refundable deposits. We were still not engaged nor had he purchased my ring but our wedding was otherwise in full swing. He even told me to go buy a wedding dress so I did. Things were going well and we had informed everyone we were planning to invite of our date. His mother is very over-bearing and he is her "baby" and as a diagnosed and proud of it bipolar she is constantly screwing with our relationship and getting into his head. She only likes me when I do as she says which is almost never so she calls him everyday to state her feelings on me and our relationship and he usually listens. (She is a whole other story to tell and I don't think any of us have time for that) about a week after he and I made our wedding deposits his mom suggested we change our date because it didn't work for one of her sisters. My bf pushed me to change the date and then within the next 2 weeks she managed to get him to feel pity for her and change our date 3 note times!! No joke! I began to try and stick up for myself and informed him that it's not his mothers wedding, it's ours and he proceeded to tell me that he needed to make his mother happy. Okay, but what about me? Your future wife. She then managed to convince him that we should just cancel our plans for a family oriented wedding and go to Vegas. He agreed and of course I felt I had to as well so I managed to get back our biggest deposit which still left us (mostly my money) to call it a loss on about $1000. We figured out our Vegas wedding plan and then his mom (again) told us it was "okay" for us to just proceed with our ORIGINAL wedding plan and date but before we could get it all back together (and after me finding myself holding back from wanting to beat them both senseless! Too much?) my bf and his mother went house hunting and decided to put the wedding on hold all together (which I fully expressed my hurt feelings of him letting our plans fall down the drain just like that) because he found a house that we can barely afford and had to have it so we could no longer afford a wedding. He could also no longer afford my ring. We moved in 2 months ago and out of the blue he mentions selling his motorcycle to be able to afford my ring. I was shocked but didn't get my hopes up. He didn't sell his bike but he did text me while he was at the mall to tell me about a $1800 tv that he wants but is "thinking it can wait cause he is gonna buy my ring." he came home with the tv! No ring. I tell him that sucks and he is making me feel like he doesn't want a future with me and he goes off and tells me that I'm selfish and all I think about is what I want, marriage and kids, and that he bought this nice house for me to live in which I should be grateful for because he'd much rather have a house than get married and i just unleashed on him and said that if he hadn't screwed with my head for over a year and put my feelings aside constantly I wouldn't be so bothered by it all and I'm grateful for this nice house but he is the one making me look obsessed with getting married when I was only going along with him at his pace yet it's "my fault" that I'm still concerned with our future?! Last month he started talking about a court house wedding and trying for a baby. I told him that after he proposes we will talk and he and I agreed to just buy cheapy rings to seal the deal til we can afford the real deal. He bought my ring online for $50 and it has been in the house for a month now. He went and spent nearly $1000 on a akc puppy and in my opinion is usin it as an excuse to not be able to afford or have time for kids in the future and just yesterday he asked when we could go apply for our marriage license and I told him we could make an appointment to go in this week and he "no, let's wait awhile. I want the time to feel right." so now I'm back at square one and he shows no signs of proposing yet he professes his love to me daily and still manages to be in complete denial that there's something wrong with his logic and our relationship! He blames it all on me... That we can't afford the things we want like a wedding or kids because "I don't bring in sh*t money wise." He is ignoring me a lot lately and disregarding my opinions and if he asks me something like "why does our dog keep peeing in the house? Is he marking his territory?" and he knows I know the answer because I used to work taking care of dogs and I tell him the answer and he looks at me like I'm stupid, calls his mom (not an expert by any means) and asks her, she says the opposite of what I say and he believes her and then the vet tells him what I said and he finally believes it and then tells me he "knew I was right but wasn't sure." he does this often and i don't know if it's just me or he just doesn't take me seriously and thinks that this is his world and I just live in it. I am sorry this is so very long but I needed to give the whole story to an unbiased party to know if I'm wrong and what I should do. Help me please!

MGUY  7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

So, as you recommended, I told her the truth, that she was using my relationship as something to hide behind and it was allowing herself to become weaker and not really deal with her life. I told her that I am not gonna be able to constantly save her as she would like because I will have my own life to deal with.

She took it all to heart, and broke up with me. She says we arent on the same page and so she will not be with me anymore. She said the relationship was just hurting her.

I know she is very depressed atm, and I feel very shitty also. I think I have really hurt her this time and may have created too much destruction to be able to get back.

But were my reasons right?? I mean I know is not my responsibility to fix her life, but she was suffering a lot. She had trichotillomania, and an abusive father that makes her life hell and keeps on verbally abusing her. I feel like she deserved to just leave her home and get married with someone to get away from all that. But I held out on her like a jerk, and all I did was threw her back in the fire by telling her that she needed to learn to deal with it on her own..

Now, she is probably at a very low point in her life. She will probably get very suicidal at times and she wont allow me to help her out anymore. I know she doesnt deserve this.

She wouldnt want me to tell her family, who dont know the extent of the depression and suicidal feelings she has. Her dad just tells her that she is a bitch for her depression and trichotillomania and wont allow her to get proper help from a doctor.

Should I interfere, against my gf's wish and may be try to meet and tell her mother (who I hope is more considering but probably wont be) or her brother, and make a case that she need to get help from a doctor?? I mean chances are that her family will probably blame her again, give her shit, and keep on abusing her. But then on the flip side, may be it will have an effect and they will get her help.

My gf is gonna hate me completely if I do this without her knowing, and she will probably try to retaliate, but I think she needs help, and if things arent addressed in her life, she will only get worse.

Her parents are very asian, so there is a great cultural divide. I hate them, because I think that they are very much responsible for my gf's situation. Idk if they will even care for what I have to say. But should I still try to talk??

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You said she broke up with you, but you still refer to her as your girlfriend.

I read what you said you told her: "that she was using my relationship as something to hide behind and it was allowing herself to become weaker and not really deal with her life. I told her that I am not gonna be able to constantly save her as she would like because I will have my own life to deal with."

Hmm... not exactly what I was thinking, but if that's your truth, than OK.

I don't know her family or her, and really can't know if you should or shouldn't interfere.

You weren't being a jerk for not marrying her to rescue her from her life.

There is only one reason to get married: that you're in love, that you've found the person you see your future with, that you can't stand the thought of being alive with out this person. You aren't even ready to experience that kind of feeling, let alone be feeling it.

Even if you think she deserves to be married to be rescued, which... I won't jump on here... then you have to at least see that the person marrying her should be in love with her and at a point in life where they are ready to marry. At least realize this: by her breaking up with you, maybe she has opened the door now to meet that person that really is right for her.

I feel very sorry for her, she sounds very sick, and in need of real help. The cultural thing is such ass, and I'm really sorry she is surrounded with an incompetent reckless family. As a human being, I do hope there is someone that can intercede and try to tell HER to make the break, get away from these people that don't care about her at all, and get some real help so she can be a whole person. If you feel her brother or mother or friend or teacher might be someone that can help, that's great. But I can't advise you on that one.

As much as I really do feel sorry for her, you really do have to accept the fact that this is not your responsibility. You are admirable for being so caring and proactive, but you really have to know that this isn't your fault or responsibility.

Naomi 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

Hi, I'm 26yrs old from Japan and my bf is same age as me but American. We’ve been together for over a year and have mutual friends to hang out with.

I let him to spend time with his friends whenever he wants and never put any pressure on him. We don't fight, things were really great between us.

Last week he came back from work told me that there’s no future between us. I told him that I don’t want to get married in 4 years.

But he said he can't live in Japan forever and I can't move to America for him. He was worried a lot of international relationship ends badly and it might happen to us.

He doesn’t even know when he wants to get married and if we move to America together, he thinks i would be almost like a marriage, a huge commitment and he’s not ready for that.

I’ve lived in states for a year when I was in college and I also know that life in America with him would be tough but I’m willing to try not just for him for myself too.

He is planning to stay in Japan for another year but said that he can’t drag me on this and I deserve someone better who doesn’t feel this way when he tells me he loves me and cares about me..

I def want to keep our relationship no matter what but he thinks that brings us a bad ending..

What should I do..? I need help.

Flip-flop 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half (I am 24 and he is 25). Before that we dated on an off for 5 years, mostly because he is in the military and I was in college and neither of us were in a place where we wanted a serious relationship. Yet, somehow we always managed to circle back to one another. The current situation is this: we have lived together for 6 months and while I do not want to get married anytime soon (I am only 24 after all), I don’t want to waste my time if marriage isn’t in the cards in the future (like 5 years out). Before we moved in together, he had set aside money for an engagement ring and was all about getting engaged, having a long engagement, then getting married. Since we have moved in together, his attitude toward marriage has done a complete 180. He spent the money set aside for a ring as a down payment on a new motorcycle and has decided that since we are happy they way we are now, we shouldn’t change anything…ever. I believe his exact words were that there was no reason to get married unless we needed to because of medical insurance or something of that nature.

I know that he looks at this relationship as long term because he always talks about our future together and we make plans for the future together. For instance, he purchased a road bike and triathlon gear and has started training with me so that we can do a triathlon together when he gets back from ranger school next summer. He was not very interested in cycling, but he got involved in it because he knew it was something I really liked and he wanted to be involved in the things I was doing.

Another wrinkle in the story is that I have been having some medical issues and it’s looking like I will need to have my gall bladder taken out here soon. My medical insurance in my new job is not nearly as good as my previous job’s insurance and the surgery will cost a lot out of pocket. I make a decent amount of money as I am a CPA, but I also have a large amount of student loan debt due to my speeding through undergraduate and graduate school in 5 years and I took a large pay cut for my new position, but I’m so much happier at work now so I feel that was worth it. If I indeed need the surgery, he wants to get married so that I can have the benefit of his insurance and not put “us” (his words) in more debt.

In the end, I just end up confused. I know he loves me and wants to be with me long term, but I do want to get married eventually and I don’t want to push him into getting married because of my medical issues if that isn’t what he wants. Any advice you could give me is welcome.

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


He's telling you he doesn't want to be with you. He's wording it in a fairly cowardly way blaming circumstance, but that is what he's saying. If he wanted to be with you, he wouldn't be saying these things in this way. He'd be showing you with deeds what a future plan he has. Let go of this. Find someone that wants to be with you.

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author

Flip- Flop,

Yours is a very unique situation.

He is showing you with actions that he wants to spend his future with you. He states very clearly he doesn't want you as a couple to get into more debt, and would marry for insurance reasons. Actually, that's very logical and shows his sense of responsibility.

The problem as I see it is on the romantic level. You want to get married for loving reasons, you want the deeply heartfelt "I can't imagine my life without you" bended-knee proposal.

And he simply doesn't.

There are people that get caught up in fleeting emotions, offer that proposal, and then never get into cycling or a hobby of yours just to spend more time with you. And they never think about taking a dramatic step to better insure your future together.

What I'm saying is, just because he isn't thinking as romantically as you are, doesn't mean he is any less of a partner.

My first piece of advice is to be more clear with him regarding why you want to get married. Try to do this as non-critically as possibly. He hasn't done anything wrong. Please make sure he knows that. He's a great partner. It's just that you feel differently about this aspect of things than he does, and you really feel the need to express it. Tell him you're a romantic, and you have sweet romantic ideas about a ceremony celebrating the fact that you found the love of your life. Let him know you aren't telling him this because you need him to change, you're just telling him this because you'd like him to understand what's going on with you.

My second piece of advice is this - is there an anti-marriage reason for him? Did his parents have a crappy marriage? Are your parents too hard on him and he doesn't want to deal with that? Does he equate marriage with children, and he doesn't want children? Does he feel that once people get married their relationship changes, and he loves your relationship so much he's afraid of changing it? If you don't know of any reason like this, ask him. In a safe and understanding conversation, let him know you can handle this, you want to know where he's coming from just like you want him to know about you.

My third piece of advice is for you to take a deep breath and a real inventory. Look at what you have with this man. Look at your life. It sounds like you are both smart, mature, responsible people having a very healthy relationship. Not many people have what you have. I know you aren't taking it for granted. I'm not saying you shouldn't have what you want. I'm just saying that good relationships involve some compromise. He's willing to marry for the insurance and logical reasons. Holding out because you want him to "feel" differently about that may not get you what you want. Maybe he expresses his sense of romance in other ways. Break this down for yourself and really look at it.

My last piece of advice is a little drastic. After you've moved through the former pieces of advice, taken all the steps, and gotten this far still wanting a romantic tilt to the marriage you will probably have due to to insurance, try this: YOU propose. But not in a corny romantic way. A proposal should be tailored toward the person being asked, to what they would like and want. Here's what you do. Apply for the marriage license, reserve an appointment at city hall, buy simple wedding bands, have everything all set to go in a responsible, inexpensive (he cares about that) way, and wake him up one Saturday morning with breakfast in bed. Get down on one knee and tell him how much you love him, how much you want to spend your life with him, how much he brings to your life, and ask him to marry you. "Today. In 2 hours." Give him his ring, and the paperwork.

In this way you can put a romantic twist on the logical step, and he may be caught up in the romance you offer. He may be envisioning the big nightmare of a wedding. Seeing that it isn't that way at all he may just be swept off his feet.

I caution you, the answer may be no. He may for whatever reason say no. Don't do this if you can't handle that answer, unless you're prepared to lose the relationship. You probably already know how he'd react. Trust your guts.

Gipsy 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I'm loving your advice - and agreeing with most of it - but am struggling a little with applying it to my situation.

I'm 28, my bf is 35 and we've only been going out for 6 months. I'm not an experienced 'relationship-haver' and this is the first time a relationship has gone beyond 3 months for me. I know that my brain tends to get overinvolved in things like this...

He was with his ex-wife for ten years (only married for one though), and now tells me that he doesn't believe in marriage because it didn't 'do' anything for him then - nothing changed from before they were married. When we first discussed this about 3 months in, I suspected that the reason for 'no change' was because they'd been living together for 6 years, and didn't want children - so of course nothing was going to change after marriage!

My perspective was (and still is) that I want children, and I can't do that without a partner willing to put his signature on the line and say that he'll be there for them and for me even when it's not fun. I came to this realisation a week after our initial conversation, and shared it with him straight away. We left it at mutual awareness, no promises or concessions on either side.

He mentions kids and buying houses and 'future' things and in the first month or two he was really big on babies and having them with me specifically, but now these things are rarely mentioned in concrete terms - they're more passing comments than conversations - and never in terms of 'we could do this or that'. After 3 months he asked me to move in, but last month when we hit the date that we'd agreed to make the arrangements to move, I chickened out.

Partly it was because I didn't want to move onto his turf - finding a place to rent that would allow his space-needy working dog would be really difficult, and his place needs so much work that it couldn't be rented out yet. So mine would have to be rented out, I'd have to get rid/store/rent my furniture and move into his place. There's a bit of identity-loss in that - for example my books won't fit in his bookcases and my two very modest bookcases won't fit in his house. I'm an editor: I can't put them in storage. Moving into a 'neutral' territory would enable us to both bring things without displacing the other's.

Partly, I was also afraid of losing my lifestyle - I have an apartment in the city within walking distance of work and my friends, whereas he lives over half an hour down the highway out of town.

Partly - and probably the biggest 'partly' - is that occasionally I feel that he just had a girlfriend-shaped vacancy in his life, and I now fit it sufficiently well that if I move in all will continue on the same way for forever, with me waiting for him to change his mind on marriage.

I want to live overseas, and would love to have a mobile family - I had a mobile childhood and want my kids to benefit from what you can learn from other countries - not just seeing them and then moving on, but actually living with and developing an understanding of other cultures. I feel that if I stay with my bf I will miss out on both of these opportunities. I've suggested us spending some time living overseas together, but he said he's got too much here right now that he doesn't want to leave - but he supports me if I want to go. Strangely, that kind of makes me feel a bit guilty. And given his own long-term plans, a mobile family will most likely not happen. I'm afraid I'll end up feeling bitter about opportunities lost.

Is it too soon for me to want to clarify this? I don't want commitment yet, I just want to know if marriage is on the table. I don't want us to be wasting each others' time if we're not after the same thing. And now seems like as good a time as any to end it, before we end up living together and fighting over DVDs... Then again, maybe it's just my inexperience making me scared and looking for any excuse to break up to get back to my comfort zone.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You're very articulate, very intelligent, very insightful. But I think you're a little too close to the subject to see the forest for the trees. You're asking me if you should give up your apartment in the city near your work and your life, to live with a guy on his terms, who tells you he doesn't want to get married, isn't making any sacrifice for the relationship as you are, and shows no signs of wanting to have children as you do.

Moving in because he might change the way he feels about marriage is a huge mistake and you know it. If you move in, you should move in because you like what you have with him now, not because you hope things will change. Moving in validates to him that you're fine playing house with no legal contract. He's asking you to move in, not to get engaged, because he wants one, not the other.

You're right, you would lose identity sacrificing your locale, your books, your comfort zone, while he loses nothing. Again, you'd be validating that that's fine with you - you will be the one changing and sacrificing and it's perfectly fine that he doesn't.

I don't think he sounds like a bad guy. He's told you he doesn't want to get married. He acts like he doesn't want kids. Fantasizing about babies for a brief amount of time is a far cry from wanting the full commitment of raising people. He's invited you to come share his life with him, not the other way around and not a compromise. He's very clear here. He's even saying, if you want to go live in other countries, then go. Have fun.

Nothing about what he's saying or doing is bad. And all of it is very clear. None of it says marriage, future, children, "You're the one" and none of it shows any willingness to make any real sacrifice on his part.

You asked if it's too early to clarify this. I'm not sure what there is to clarify. I realize you're not relationship experienced. From the outside, I would say you aren't in one. You're in a casual arrangement that has no signs of becoming serious or permanent.

You sound like you have a life plan, which involves travel, marriage, and children. You're thinking about moving in with someone that will not engage in those three things, and isn't giving you signs that you're his "one." What are you doing?

Gipsy 7 years ago

Thanks for your advice Veronica. I think it was exactly what I was expecting to hear. He's a truly wonderful person, and I get excited whenever we're together, but when we're not in the same place at the same time I realise I don't know where we're going or how we're getting there, and that it seems to be my life bending around his, rather than twisting together.

Most of the successful long-term relationships I've seen are like yours - the right people at the right time and it happens in a flash.

Thanks again.

Upset 7 years ago

I have been with my BF for 5 years. In this time marriage has come up a few times and he has said that he wants to marry me but has always put it off. He has promised me two times certain dates and both those dates have passed.

So the other day he comes and says to me, what are we doing this weekend? I said nothing and he said good because we have been invited to a wedding. When I asked who's wedding he said his son's wedding. I simply stated well at least he knows what he wants and walked away.

A few hours later he came to me and asked me if I wanted to go to the court house to get our license. I told him only if you really wants to. So we go to get our license.

In an earlier conversation he had mentioned and had me ask his sister if she would marry us. So I asked him, when do you want me to call your sister? He said "no no don't call her yet, in fact don't tell anyone we need rings"

So that night we went online and bought rings but he still hasn't told anyone. I even told him when the rings will be here and he just ignores it.

My guess is he is trying to quiet the baby with a pacifier and has no intentions on actually going through with the marriage.

What do you think? , and if he has no intentions of marrying me, why would he go to such great lengths to get a license and rings?

I always thought that once you got the license and you intended on using it, you would tell people at least family. He hasn't done either.

The license expires on Feb 9th 2010. Do I just wait it out?

The only reason I had made that commit to him was because his son just got divorced 2 years ago and has only been with this girl for 2 years (off and on I might add)and we have been together for 5 years and have not had problems. Just that he has put off marriage a few times.

Friend or Fiance 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

My question is not should I get married, or will he ever marry me, but rather do you honsetly believe there is potential in the relationship I currently have.

Me and my guy have known one another for almost 5 years, we are both 21 (yes really young I know). He is my best friend in every sense of the word. We have never officially dated for various resons mostly because I moved away and we go to colleges in diffrent states. We talk on the phone constantly and set up periods of time to visit one another durring the year, averaging about four 2 week sessions. Now we love eachother, we get along well, dont really fight besides small things that we quickly can compromise and sort out. We tell one another everything including the details of our relationship lives with other people, because since we are not dating we are allowed ot see other people, and because we do love one another we want to be open about everything. So to get to my question. We have talked about relationships, he wants one even if its long distance, I am warming up to the idea I just didnt want to limit ourselves in college since we are so young, but I have come to the realization that he is my best friend, I love him, I can't have anything better than that. Now we both graduate in a year, we have gone back and forth with the idea that when we graduate I will move to wherever he ends up (He already has a job in line and it requires him to relocate but it hasn't been determine exactly where at). My question is does this make and sense for someone to be doing at 21, or 22? I feel like we are so young, yet so perfect. I'm not saying we will get married or I expect him to propose after I move with him, but if I am going to move I would like there to be a possibility of it in the future. Do you think im mistaking reliability and companinship the "safe choice" for love, or rather that I am taking into account the many dimensions of relationships and am not being swept away by mere "butterflies"?

Marie 7 years ago

Veronica -

It still hurts. I was with a man for almost 4 years, lived together for 2, neither of us have ever been married but we each have children in their early twenties. He is 50 I am 42. Dated for 2 years, moved in together, had bumps along the way but worked everything out he asked me to move in and I agreed but said I did not want to play house and that I wanted a commitment and did he want to talk about it. He said yes I want to get married I want to spend my life with you blah blah blah so I said okay we are on the same page oh yes honey you are everything to me okay great. 2 years later I casually bring up "discussing" marriage/engagement (neither of us wants anymore kids)and he said well can we talk about it later because I'm having problems with work, kids mother, etc. I said okay when would you like to talk about this? He said XSXX (6mths from then) I said ok great and didn't say a word for 6mths. At the appointed time I asked if we could discuss so we talked it all out and decided to get married in 6mths. I can not even begin to tell you how that man turned in to a complete and total psycho in 1mth. Yelling at me, making things up in his mind that may or may not ever happen, it was insane. The final straw is i had an emergency medical procedure and needed him to come home early and he left me at home bleeding crying and in pain and then wouldn't apologize - because according to him I wouldn'nt believe him anyway so what was the point I threw his ass out the next day. After 4 years! Came back a couple weeks later and said well I'm scared of getting married. What kind of idiot would treat someone they love like that because they are scared of marriage? He is now in counseling to "figure out" what is wrong with him. That has been almost 6mths now. How do you get over the betrayal of something like that?

MeHere 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, i have read your wonderful page here and you are a gem, I really hope you answer me candidly and maybe even again as I may have a followup advice request. Thank you in advance. I am 25, 26 soon. He's 30 and our relationship is 2 and half years now. I have recently pushed for marriage in the past couple months but he says we are not ready, things are not as rosy as they used to be in the first year and half or first year. We are christians and i 'recovered' from being sexual with him and put my foot down after the first year though even during that time, it was just a few times...so we dont live together. His elder sister came to the States from africa to live with him and for her masters about a year ago and half ago and that complicated issues as he feels really indebted and obligated to his family and financially supportive, would not let her share rent for 2 BDR apt that he can barely afford & she in turn will not find a good job but recently works in school lib partime for peanuts partime that she uses on herself... and all that and am not sure where that comes in in your advice...but just a mention. Anyway, i keep telling myself that its because he's not financially capable yet is why we are not married because he's taking some steps now - back in school to get his degree after stopping half way with his associate before to help his family and put his siblings to school as he's the only grown man child in the family plus he recently lost his job this year too and has been struggling too with parttime here and there...i am also struggling financially of late after being laid off early this year with newer job of less pay...but in the first year or so he was really serious with me and was even looking for a home when he had it good financially though no ring yet then but i was young and just enjoying the relaionship though from the start he told me he wanted me as the mother of his kids and our goal was to get married finally...anyway, now it looks like from your advice on this page he doesnt want me since he is not showing interest in marriage anytime soon to me & tells me we are not ready allwise and me am just thinking that even if he does want to marry or give me the ring he doesnt have the money, even food these days we are managing to eat. He used to sleep over at my place frequently after a good night out or in watching movies or talking or he studying here or just having a gd time, even if we sleep in different beds as christians and have not had sex since that first year but recently he has stopped totally and always goes back home to his sister at night. i kinda have a feeling and have told him too that he wants out but is too coward to tell me and i have demanded he be sincere but he wouldnt admit a thing. i just feel am being dragged out but i love him very much and he does too but the problem is how much he does, i dont feel very much...do you think he will marry me or give me a ring ever or what?

MeHere 7 years ago

Hi Veronica, its MeHere again. I just posted the main bulk a few minutes ago but left a detail out: he walks out onme a lot this days and is always ready to leave whenever i bring up a topic he does not like or am complaining , i have become complainant of late cos i dont feel heard really anymore...he goes to his place that he stays with his sister he says he makes the tough decisions to leave me hanging and hurt each time for our own good to avoid escalation at the time and for peace or to clear his head...we tend to argue a lot these days but i try to avoid it though and cry and shutup and dont push any topic on if he reacts to it...since i miss him and dont like it when he leaves me all alone to go to his place/apt...sometimes i follow him now. before at the beginning of this mess, he would come back in a few minutes but these days he just goes and does not come back for that day.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


By leaving the way he does and explaining it the way he does, he is training you. He's showing you that if you argue or make him uncomfortable, he will leave. So you can be a doormat and just be pleasant all the time, or you can be a person - and since he doesn't want a person, that results in his leaving. This is a very manipulative and cowardice move.

Whenever anyone asks me about their partner's feelings towards marriage, I always say look at their actions. Actions speak louder than words. Your partner is showing you in all of his actions that marriage is the last thing on his mind. You said he is financially screwed right now, and feels indebted to his family, and prefers to spend time and energy and effort on his sister. This is clearly not someone who is entertaining any thoughts of marrying. He may have sincere feelings for you, but I don't think that matters. He is no where near marriage minded. He has demonstrated consistantly and clearly that you are not a priority for him right now. Maybe you were at one time, and maybe you will be again. But right now, you aren't. And you're reinforcing for him that you accept this. You're there, no matter what he does or how far off your marriage path he is. Everything is on his terms. Think about what that says about you.

My advice to you is let go and move on. This isn't healthy, and this isn't what you want.

If you can't do it clean and fast, then do it gradually. Show him things aren't on his terms, and his training of you is unacceptable.

Don't answer when he calls. Call him back. I know it's simple, but it's effective. It puts things on your terms for once. He doesn't get to speak with you when he wants, he gets to speak to you when you want. Let him worry that you haven't called back in a day. Let him feel what it's like to not be a priority in your life. When you do call back, keep it brief and happy. And don't apologize. "Hi, I was busy when you called. So what's up? Oh I have plans for tonight, maybe I will see you this weekend. Gotta go, bye for now."

If he says he wants to come over, tell him no you've made plans. If he is over, and you try to discuss something, and he says he's leaving, tell him good, if he can't have a conversation like a man, then he should go. And right behind him put on your best shoes and lipgloss and go out. Let him see that you're going out. He is convinced you are sitting home with your thumb up your ass just waiting for him. If he asks you where you're going, tell him you're not going to talk about it because he runs away from adult conversation. The thing with this is, that you have to follow through. You have to go - get in a cab, or your car, or on the train, and go. It would be smart to have some places in mind. Have the nightlife or activities columns from your local newspapers in your purse. Go to a poetry reading, an acoustic performance, a book store having a group discussion. Go shopping. Go to a diner with some of your office work. Go to a roller rink, or bowling, or to a bar and shoot some pool. Call an officemate or neighbor or friend for a cup of tea or to take a walk. Force yourself to have the life he knows you don't have.

Maybe by getting out there again you will meet someone more apt to treat you as a priority. Maybe in regaining your sense of self, he will find his way back to treating you more respectfully.

MeHere 7 years ago

Thank you so much, Veronica, for your great advice and assessment. I have tried not picking up his calls before and he was brought to tears and he really then gets serious for a while but it seems after time passes and he relaxes again, problems start again...is my only hope now to just break it off for good - let go and move on for good like you said? I really love him and wish for us to work, isn't there a slight chance this would work, is there some way he can really change?

JC 7 years ago

My girlfriend wants to get married NOW, but I'm not sire, and don't know how to let her know that. I do love her and think she's the one, but not so soon. I was initially the one who talked about a life together, and now i fell terrible being the one that needs more time to put everything together. She's been pushing so hard lately, that I feel pressured into making the decision, and am fearful of making the wrong one. Any advise?

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Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You can't have a life with someone that you can't talk to. Exactly as you've explained it here sounds coherent and reasonable to me. Let her know she's the one. Show her with your actions that she is by saving toward the future, talking about the future, being open to discussions about finances, kids, houses, honeymoons - all these things that say "I see my life with you by my side."

But be clear that you aren't ready right now. You need time. You feel terrible that you're the one that needs more time, but that's the way it is.

Tell her you need her to stop pushing so hard. Tell her she needs to be patient and relax. Maybe offer some kind of compromise, like a promise ring. Or set a date to discuss this again. Or maybe even give her some kind of time line, like that within the next 5 years you'll be ready. But be very very clear - just like you said if she pressures you into making a decision, it's not going to be fair to either of you.

Don't forget that this goes to a point I've made over and over in several different articles: there is a huge difference between wanting to have a wedding, and with being ready to be a life partner. She may very well be ready to have a wedding. But pressuring you into making a decision you aren't ready to make is PROOF that she is NOT ready to be a good life partner. She's not showing you with all this pushing and pressure that she's going to be a good wife and friend. Quite the opposite actually. She's only proving that she doesn't care about what's good for you or what you need to feel safe and secure. She's making your decision for you by exemplifying exactly why you should not want to get married right now.

Hon, if she's the one, she'll accept the promise ring and the joint "saving for the wedding" checking account, and she will respect your need to wait another year or 2 before revisiting the marriage topic.

confused 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 6 years. I am 29, he is 28. We've lived in the same city, in the same apartment, and also long distance, most recently while I was in graduate school. We had a complicated sort of open relationship while I was in school, in which neither of us actually saw anyone else, but we were trying to figure out on our own if we wanted to take the next step together. We lived on different coasts and had our own lives, and saw each other every few months. About a year into this arrangement he broke up with me, saying there were some things he thought he could only figure out alone - REALLY alone. I was devastated, but at the same time I thought he was doing the right thing for himself. He had been molested as a child and teenager and was struggling with these elements of his sexuality and felt like he just couldn't do what he needed to in a relationship. With anyone. And he hoped we'd be together in the future but knew he couldn't ask me to wait, because he didn't know where his journey would take him.

Anyway, six weeks later he contacted me and said he'd realized with certainty that he wanted to be with me forever, to have children with me, to be my family, and that he would figure out how to confront these deep issues from within a relationship, even if it was more difficult. It took a while for him to convince me that he was really where he said he was, but eventually he did. We got back together and saw each other more frequently for the next 6 months, and now we live in the same city.

About six months ago, someone very close to him in his family committed suicide, and the brother of this person (who my boyfriend is the main support person for) is now also suicidal in his grief. My bf has also had several other people very close to him die this year - many of them young. He has slipped into a pretty deep depression and has trouble even imagining that he will feel better again.

Where this gets relevant is that it seems to me that everything changed between my boyfriend and I when this person died. He says he still wants us, and to build a life and family together, but he doesn't act like it. He is distant, disinterested in sex, noncommunicative, and doesn't really want to give up our separate apartments or talk about the future. Specifically, he is very uncomfortable talking about marriage (even though he still says he has no doubts that he wants to be with me for the rest of his life).

I brought up marriage about 6 months ago, like someone in a previous post, because he had good insurance and I had none. And it seemed like we'd already reached this place of being committed life partners, so it didn't feel like a big deal to me - just a piece of paper that would tell others where we were, and allow access to certain legal benefits. I was very surprised and hurt that he was so uncomfortable talking about it. He also recently said he doesn't know if he wants kids, where before he said he wanted them within 2-3 years.

The thing is, I know for the first time in my life that I do want marriage and kids, and I want them with him. I've known this for the past 2 years, really. And I know that my boyfriend is grieving, and I have tried so hard to support him, but he has stopped talking our future, stopped talking about anything of substance with me really (and we used to have great communication), and doesn't seem able to look toward, or fight for, a different kind of reality than what we are in now.

I just don't know what to do. I mean, I don't understand how he can say all the words that go with a life commitment - that he considers me his family, that he wants to have children with me someday, that he wants to love me forever and get old with me - and be SO uncomfortable talking about actual marriage in the near future. Is it reasonable to assume grief is the source of his hesitation and that this will pass? Or does it seem more likely that he ultimately doesn't really want what I want (whether he realizes this consciously or not), and his grief makes him less capable of dealing with that in a healthy way?

Thank you so much for any advice.

Waiting 7 years ago

Hi Veronica. I came across your post and found it quite helpful and intriguing. I am hoping you can give me some advice. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 6 years and have lived together for 4. I am 27 and he is 30. For most of our relationship, he has brought up marriage; we have talked in detail about our future wedding and even looked at rings initiated by him. He used to introduce me as his wife, until I requested that he did not until I actually was.

Six months ago, I mentioned that I wanted us to get engaged and we had a serious chat (as opposed to our wedding fantasies and hinting remarks) and he said that he wasn't ready. It completely threw me. After all of his suggesting, he couldn't even define why exactly he wasn't ready. I don't understand what he expects to happen to magically 'make him ready.'

A part of me now thinks that he will never be ready.

I had never seen this hesitation until we seriously discussed the possibility of marriage. I don't want to push him into making a decision or give him an ultimatum. But I feel like I've been unintentionally lead on. I can't even ask him to marry me because I'll always wonder if he agreed because he was expected to. I also don't want to wait forever. Marriage is important to me and not a sacrifice that I feel I should have to be expected to potentially make waiting for him to somehow 'be ready'. Please help!!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 7 years ago from NY Author


You summed it up well when you wrote, "I feel like I've been unintentionally lead on."

It really does sound like that's what happened. He went as far as introducing you as his wife, and then says he isn't ready.

I'm wondering if there was a change in his thinking because of one of the two really big physiological changes that occur in men. The first is the development of frontal lobes, the part of the brain that comprehends consequence and long term commitment. This occurs for men around 22 - 23 years old give or take. The second is the "Rites of Passage" that occurs somewhere in 28 - 30.

It's possible that when he was talking rings and forever, he wasn't full of shit. It's possible that after those initial talks his body developed those parts of the brain that explained things to him in a much more comprehensive way. And with that new insight and understanding, he became more aware and even scared.

He may have experienced the Rites of Passage age. hormones change. Men really grow up and look at life differently at this point in their development.

I will give you this advice: look at his actions. Even though he's saying he isn't ready, is he acting like he is? Is he saving money, or does he blow alot of money on weekend outings and hobbies or clothes. When the subject of kids comes up, does he engage, or does he roll his eyes and change the subject. When friends get engaged, does he call the guy a sucker? Or does he offer a sincere congratulations. Just look at his actions. Are they the actions of a bachelor, thinking for today and about himself. Or are they the actions of a partner?

so  7 years ago

I was wanting to ask a question

Uncertain 7 years ago

Dear Veronica,

Thank you for this hub and so many of your others---I stumbled on them the other day and have found a lot of good information and advice. I doubt my situation is going to be terribly unique, but if you could offer any additional insight, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I've been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year. When we started dating, I was 29 and he was 23. I was hesitant to start dating him initially because I'd come to the point in my life where I wanted a life partner and to start a family, and I thought it was unlikely that we'd be on the same timeline (he on the other hand said "age is just a number"). After about 6 months, we had a serious discussion about timelines and it seemed like we were generally compatible. I made it very clear that I didn't see myself dating him (or anyone else) for more than 18 months without an engagement.

We've been rather serious. He spent Thanksgiving with my family and I spent Christmas with his. Both of our families like each other, which is really important to both of us. He also comes from an area (midwest) and family where getting married on the younger side isn't unusual (his parents were married at 21, many of his friends from college are married). So, it sounds like it's great, but when we spoke about marriage again after returning from Christmas festivities, he's thrown me for a loop. He says that although he loves me, he just doesn't know if he's ready yet for marriage or when he'll be ready. He doesn't know how to figure this out, so he can't really tell me anymore than that.

I appreciate the honesty, but I can't really relate to that state of unknowing. He says that there is nothing else he's waiting on--buying a house, certain job promotion, etc. Needless to say, this leaves me rather unsettled. Part of it is no doubt a fear/insecurity on my part, especially because I was with someone for 5 years who told me much the same thing and I thought I was doing the right thing by being patient and giving him the space/time he needed to figure things out. Since I got burned, I'm more hestitant to extend myself like that again. But the other part is that I'm just afraid that it just means that he doesn't want to marry me (and perhaps doesn't even realize it yet) and I'm not being realistic about it and seeing the writing on the wall. So, my question for you is--where do you draw that line? When should you wait and when is it a lost cause? As of right now, my plan is to continue things through the 18 months (6 months from now--he'll be 25 by then and me 31) I originally spoke about and if there is no proposal, to move on. I don't want to give an ultimatum or to constantly talk about it. I'm confident that he knows where I stand on this and at that point, the only thing left to do is to move on. Is there any other alternative that I'm missing? Would you suggest anything different? I really wish there was a more satisfying option, but I don't see one.

Confused 7 years ago

Hi Veronica

I need advice! 

I've been with my girlfriend for 5 years and she has a little boy who is great. I've been step dad since he was 1 so we've raised him together. 

We have problems because she wants to get married (was married before) but I just can't get past some issues we have.

I am 36 and she is 37. 

She is terrible with money and she has got into large amounts of debt without me knowing. She reached breaking point a few months ago and had to tell me about it all. I have been working really hard to become debt free and this has knocked me for 6 because I feel like I'm back where I started.

She has a good salary but most of it goes on debt and bills. If we were try for another child (my first) then she would have to quit her job because it involves being out of the home a lot each day. But then how do we pay for all the debts?

She has a 'must have it now' attitude and she's even started to get angry at me because I won't go into debt myself for things for the house. 

Because money has been tight and because she is unwilling to save the money that she could have left each month then I have not felt like I can move forward with marriage. I have the opinion that if she wants it so much then why isn't she prepared to plan and work for it?

This makes me wonder whether she is right for me, but I can't ever imagine us not being together because we connect so well in so many other ways.  It's like she has 2 sides to her.  

She says that if it was right then I'd want to marry her regardless and I would have found a way to afford an engagement ring.  I have said that we need to save now but she says she won't until I propose to her, but I doubt she ever will.

I feel reluctant to put myself under financial pressure when she has been secretly making a complete mess of her finances.  

Day to day when things are good then we're great together. But everytime a small issue crops up it turns into a massive argument because she feels worthless due to not being married. 

It's make or break time now. Any ideas?




Charlene 7 years ago

I am 24 years old and my boyfriend is 28, he has a 6 year old child by a girl that he was dating when he was at university. We've only been going out 10 months but he never talks about the future with me, initially when we were first dating he couldnt wait to talk about this with me. Now he talks about marriage and children as if he doesnt want them or at least not till years down the line. He says he doesnt want another child until his son is at least a teenager. I dont want marriage and children right now but I'd at least like to know that he plans them with me.. 7/8 years is a long time to wait for all of this to happen though, I dont want my life to be ruled by the fact that he and his previous girlfriend had a child so young. How to I bring this up in conversation with him? I know I cant push him to want what I

l4l4 7 years ago


I'm having the same problem with most of you all here. I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years now and in the last couple of months I've asking him about marriage but it obvious that he doesnt want to get married. It is hard to except the fact that we are not on the same page and I did a stupid mistake and threaten him that if we, as a couple and not going more than boyfriend and girlfriend that I will leave him thin Jan 26 ( our anniversary ). Right now I'm so devastated knowing that this relationship will come to an end. I'm 29 years old and he is 31 years old. I'm afraid that if I didnt threaten him I will be on the same situation 10 years from now. Help!!!!

J in so-cal 7 years ago

I have to be brutally honest here. I really think this all comes down to a very basic thing. Men become more attractive as they get older, and women become less. Sorry but we all know it's true, it's just that nobody likes to say so. It's mean, and it hurts people's feelings, so we never talk about it. But for this very simple reason, this is why women push so much for marriage. If the situation was reversed and men became less physically attractive as they aged, THEY would be pushing for marriage. I think deep down, women understand that a 45 year-old man can still attract a young beautiful woman in her 20's, and generally, the situation does not work the other way around. Women know that marriage brings 'red tape'. As much as they claim they want 'commitment', they also want to bring in 'red tape'. This makes it difficult to get out of a relationship if a more desirable, attractive, woman comes along, which will inevitably happen over the span of decades. You know, you CAN make a commitment without bringing the government into your relationship. But that's not enough, it seems. The 'red tape' ensures that the saying "It's cheaper to keep her" will live on. As men, we are in love with you're beauty. We always will be. We are wired to always be attracted to beauty first and foremost. NOT exclusively, but it is half the equation. Yes, HALF. And we know that inevitably, this half will fade. Now we have a woman who is slowly but surely becoming older, and greyer, and generally less physically attractive. Women call us pigs as if all the men of the world got together and said, "How can we make the lives of women unfair... I know! We'll all make an agreement to be attracted to young beautiful women for the rest of our lives, and have it influence the majority of the things we do!!" Yeah, it sucks. Trust me, we all wish we could change and be more like you. The world would be such a happier place. If you believe in God, then ask him why he made us this way. We as men are not wired to have sex with just one women for the rest of our lives. Can it be done? Yes. But there's that part of every man, that he must force deep down and try to extiguish. And it kills a part of him. It's like cutting off a limb. Women are just not made this way and I don't know why it is like this, but it just is. In a man's perfect world, he could have sex with any women he wants, get it out of his system, and then come home to the woman he enjoys spending the rest of his time with. Sounds crude and yes, "piggish", but that's how we're made. And it's not that we want to hurt anyone. Like I said, it's not a decision that we all decided to make, any more than any of us "decided" that we like pizza or beautiful sunsets, or anything else. This is why the decision is so hard for us. A small, but powerfull, and exhilarating part of us must be killed to make this happen.

7 years ago

Hello Veronica- I have been reading the responses you have given on here and I hope that you will respond to my issue. To start, I am 23 years old and my boyfriend is 30. I agree that I am young, but I was in the Army for four years and traveled around the world, so I feel a little different that most people my age. My boyfriend and I have been together a little over two years, and have lived together for about a year and a half. We share a joint checking account to pay bills, have both of our names on our lease, and each have our own car. We both make enough money to get by on our own if we needed to. I love him very much and I feel we have a real partnership. I don't know if we will ever get married though. I am not dying to get married, but I don't want to take it off the table some day in the future though. We don't discuss it that much, and when we do it's just joked off. When we visited his family over Christmas, his cousin said to him in front of his family "Hey when's the wedding?" and he said "I don't believe in marriage." I respect his feelings and opinions but I also feel a little disregarded at the same time. Other than this issue, he is a great boyfriend. Should I keep this relationship going only to feel like an idiot in five years when I am an "eternal girlfriend" ?

lilly 7 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I have been dating a guy for 7 months and I am 32 and he is 36. I was in a long relationship before this for 9 years and was engaged to be married but I broke it off with him because I moved back to my home country to finish study and really fell out of love. Now I have met an amazing guy and at the point of wanting to settle down sometime in the near future but he doesn't know what he wants. Granted it has been a short time. He has been married before but it did not work out. Think he is scared of the whole marriage thing. I have brought up what he wants out of the relationship and he says not to push him. He says he cares about me and enjoys spending time together and would miss me if he lost me but is not ready to settle down anytime to soon. He says if I don't push and let things go along as they are then maybe it would develop to that. He hasn't told me he loves me yet and says it takes him time to love someone. I just don't know how long to wait around?? He did say he wants to get married again and have kids but not to push. I have brought up moving in togther so we can see how it goes. He just moved to a new place and at the beginning he said yes after 6 months of dating but now he has moved in with another friend of his. He now says it's too soon but give it some more time. I just don't know what to do. Shouldn't he know at this point and given his age being in his late 30's whether he can see a future together?

Thankyou for your advice!

medhelp 6 years ago

I have been dating a wonderful man for close to a 1 1/2 years. He is 30 and I am mid 20s. We would both ideally like to start a family in the next 5 yrs but we often dance around the part where we explicitly state with each other. We are both medical students and will be going through the horrific process called the match in which a computerized system places us someplace nearly anywhere in the country for residency training programs that will last three years. We have some say in where we go but some of it is random chance as well. Marriage/engagement significantly increases our odds of ending up in the same area/ city. This is giving us somewhat of a artificial deadline (Especially because applications and interviews start for me in 6 months). What adds further complication is that I am a year ahead of him in school with this move staring me in the face. To him it is still far enough away that he can't worry about it until he passes his board examinations and such... Without this deadline I don't think I would feel quite so much urge to have him commit to a future right now but without it we will likely end up a minimum of several hours apart for the next several years.

We have discussed this at length and I really hear where he is coming from. I understand that he loves me and "wouldn't be with me any longer if he didn't see a future in the relationship". However, within the next 6-9 months I need to decide whether I choose to pursue jobs at places I would be happy if I were still with him or if I were single (and of course this doesn't coincide with the locations of the best programs). There is so much unknown and his advice constantly changes - "apply to my hometown b/c my family is there and I will get to see you part of the year if I can't get into a program in that part of the country" to advising me to make the best choice for my career and hopefully if we work out that will fall into place later. I love him and want to be with him married (or unmarried at least for the next 1-3 yrs) but I feel like I need him to give me some commitment so I can direct my efforts. I honestly don't know how to approach this and don't want to pressure him (but I am of course). I don't want to have regrets that I sacrificed too much for him in terms of my career (and end up unhappy w/ my choice if he doesn't join me in a new city) or didn't sacrifice enough for our relationship if we do get through this move (and have to have a 3 yr long distance relationship). Suggestions??

terry 6 years ago


I had a question. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 5 years. I brought up the subject of marriage had asked him if he would like to get married in the future, such as in three to 3 and a half years or so. We graduate from college next year. We are in our early twenties (22 and 24) and then he plans to starts his career and I am going to grad school right away or after a year. We plan to continue to live together during this time. We have talked about possible cities to move to so that we both will have be able to find work and attend school. We have agreed on several possibilities. I told him that I do not want to get married until we have had time to start our careers and finish school and are independently financially stable. We have lived together for 2 years and get along very well. I really love him and we get along well with out respective parents. My friends have been asking if we will get marries soon but neither of us have wanted to make such a commitment until we were more mature and ready. He, however, wants to wait at least ten years. I have asked him if he would be willing to compromise if in 4 or five years I was still interested in getting married and he was very opposed to the idea. I am not sure what to make of this. I tried to explain why I might want to get married sooner:

I love his companionship, I love him, I would like to start a family and plan my family with my spouse. He simply said he does not want to any sooner and would not explain why. I do understand I can enjoy his company and even have a family without getting married which is why I am willing to wait but I am not sure if I want to wait ten years. We have only talked seriously about it once a few days ago. Previously we have just said that not until we were done with school and more mature. Should I just drop it for now since I do not want to get married yet and go back to before and wait until a few more years go by or should I tell him that I need to know why he wants to wait?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I rarely ever say this, but in your case it applies.

Don't listen to him.

At his age, he can't comprehend ten years. He has huge major life changes going on: graduating college, moving to a new city, beginning a career. These are mind boggling. Add to that that he's exactly at that age where a guy's frontal lobes are developed. He is for the very first time in his life comprehending long term commitment, and consequence. He is scared, with right to be. He is apprehensive about the future, and he does not want to take on any more responsibility than he already has, and feels he has to.

I think his saying "ten years" is his way of saying - "OMG, please! Now?? Now you're making me talk about yet another life changing event?? Really?? You have to know this now, if during this huge transitional time for me, I can read the future and tell you if in 5 years or 10 years I'll be marrying you? Stop it!!"

Actions speak louder than words, and it sounds to me like he's doing everything he can to show you that he's committed to you. You're pushing isn't telling him you're a good partner, it's telling him that whatever he does isn't enough.

You, on the other hand, sound like that at your very very young age, you have to have your entire life mapped out in complete detail. I don't know if there's a reason for that, but my advice is to stop it. You sound strong and smart, focused and well balanced. You sound like you're having a great life, with a college education, and grad school and careers and moving and this kick-ass committed boyfriend. Relax and enjoy it. Take things on a year to year basis, and stop scaring him with 5 year talk. Enjoy.

real man 6 years ago

my ex harassed me every other day about marrying her and it drove me nuts.

The Secretary 6 years ago

Dear Veronica,

Your advice seems very constructive, and I was hoping you could help me see my issue a little more clearly as well.

My boyfriend and I have lived together for almost 4 years. Generally we are happy together. We are good friends along with being lovers.

I would like to get married a year from now. But he says I’m not emotionally ready for it; to marry me would “completely destroy our relationship.” He also says that I don’t put enough effort into our relationship and he “wouldn’t get a single benefit” from marrying me, and it’s just a huge stressful favor that he would be done entirely for my selfishness.

I have mixed feelings on exactly why I want to get married. Maybe I’m insecure about being alone because I had an abusive homelife as a child. Or maybe I’m giving into the wishes of my Grandmother. Then there’s the feeling that maybe I want a firm declaration of love and stability from the person I love the most. Whatever the reason is, it’s very strong and I’m so sad when I think about the possibility of never getting the wedding and marriage that I keep ‘thinking’ will make me happy.

I don’t think he’ll ever leave me, but sometimes I wonder if it’s just because I’m convenient. And then there’s his hypocrisy. He’s told me that if I bring home another woman for us to have a threesome with, that he would instantly marry me. Wtf?

I’m so confused. How can he say that I don’t put enough work into the relationship when I’m the only one that cooks, cleans, pays bills, grocery shops, and even helps him fill out transcripts for his medical school applications? He even got furious at me last week for not calling him enough when I was away( for only 4 days) at my Nana’s funeral. He wants so much, but then calls me selfish when I ask to go to the mall and spend a single dollar of money that I earned myself.

Am I giving into his wishes so much that I’m harboring deep aggression toward him? Maybe when he says that I don’t put enough effort in, it means he wants me to resolve my anger toward him. Marriage won’t fix that, and in fact I suppose it Can make it worse.

Is this right conclusion?

Thanks so much for your time. Any ideas you have would be wonderful.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

The Secretary,

Oh. My. God.

You really need to think long and hard about why in the world you would even entertain dating let alone marrying a guy who says and does such horrible things.

Marriage doesn't correct issues in a relationship, it magnifies them. Shit like his calling you selfish if you spend your money on yourself, is borderline psychotic.

He says marriage would completely destroy your relationship but he'll marry you if you bring home another woman for him to sleep with? Are you serious? "I'm willing to ruin our relationship if I can sleep with someone else."

Your giving in to his self serving immature wishes is a huge issue. He's never going to respect you, because you show him everyday that you don't respect yourself. If you did, you would never put up with anyone like him. My god, telling you that YOU aren't ready for marriage? Trying to make you doubt and blame yourself so he can continue to use and abuse you?

I guarantee you if you stay with this assclown, you will spend the rest of your life disrespected and hurting. He doesn't love you. No one that loves you would ever ever treat you like this.

You need to end this. There is no question in my mind. You need to enter into some therapy to work on your issues from childhood. And you need to close this door so that other healthy loving mature responsible doors can open for you. You deserve it.

6 years ago

I need some advice. My bf and I have been together for 4 years. He is 23, and I am 22. We both live at home, both still in school, and both love each other very much.

Recently, I feel like we've been digressing. He wants more of his independence - saying that sometimes he feels as if he were married and it frustrates him

He says he never wants to get married. That he is scared, and that marriage ruins things. I respect his view, and I've explained to him that I do want marriage, and unfortunately, that will lead to our end, whether we are still in love, or not.

I am not willing to risk my future. He thinks that if we can stay together forever, why do we have to marry. I look at it as a commitment issue. Where's the promise? What if you up and leave?

I just don't knw where to draw the line. Lately, it's been crushing me. It is a heavy burden to carry because i love him so much, and I was convinced he was my man...

When do you draw the line?:(

lilly 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I have been dating a guy for 7 months and I am 32 and he is 36. I was in a long relationship before this for 9 years and was engaged to be married but I broke it off with him because I moved back to my home country to finish study and really fell out of love. Now I have met an amazing guy and at the point of wanting to settle down sometime in the near future but he doesn't know what he wants. Granted it has been a short time. He has been married before but it did not work out. Think he is scared of the whole marriage thing. I have brought up what he wants out of the relationship and he says not to push him. He says he cares about me and enjoys spending time together and would miss me if he lost me but is not ready to settle down anytime to soon. He says if I don't push and let things go along as they are then maybe it would develop to that. He hasn't told me he loves me yet and says it takes him time to love someone. I just don't know how long to wait around?? He did say he wants to get married again and have kids but not to push. I have brought up moving in togther so we can see how it goes. He just moved to a new place and at the beginning he said yes after 6 months of dating but now he has moved in with another friend of his. He now says it's too soon but give it some more time. I just don't know what to do. Shouldn't he know at this point and given his age being in his late 30's whether he can see a future together?

Please Help!!

Blue-Dahlia 6 years ago


I'm in at the point in my life where I am nearing a cross-roads of sorts. I am about to graduate from college, and have all ready been getting interviews from the resumes I've distributed - and most of them seem to be going well, so much so that I have a job offer pending my graduation! It's quite overwhelming to know that less than a month after you graduate you could be starting a new career. Overwhelming, yet incredibly exciting for a 22 year-old woman. I am really looking forward to joining the work force.

However, despite how great all of this seems, I am facing an issue on the home-front with my boyfriend of three years. He graduated in '08 and is going on his first year of work. He is almost 24, so 23 at the moment, and has been working hard to save up money to buy a house. While we were still in college together we lived together and talked about the future we were going to have together. We both said that when we started making money we would both put some away to buy a house, and we talked as if it was only natural that we'd get married one day.

Recently in a conversation about our future he said that he was certain about me but that he didn't want to take the next step until we are living together and both working. I asked him if he thought we would get married and he said possibly, but that he didn't want to give it too much thought until I was out of college - and living with him, and working - so that's about 6-7 months away.

As selfish as this may sound, I am not satisfied with 'possibly', and I wish he was able to give me a clearer answer. I want to know that, if we live together and discover life is better together, marriage is without a doubt going to be the end result - and a result that discussable with a reasonable time frame. (I am not into the dating for 20 years thing). However, if we live together and realize we are miserable, I'm not going to insist on marriage - so I am in no way thinking that if we live together marriage has to be the outcome. I'd just like to hear him say that if we're both happy living together then marriage will be the next step.

I've never quiet approached the subject like that, because I know he doesn't want to say 'yes, we'll get married' before either of us know for certain that we will get married. For me, if we live together and are happy, I will have no doubt in my mind that I want to marry him - and really, I am happy with him now, we are very happy together. We have a healthy relationship - he takes care of me and I can't tell he honestly loves me and wants whats best for me - which is why he doesn't want to tell me something now and have it turn out to be false.

I understand that, but I also want him to understand that I need to be given the certainty that, if we’re happy still after we’ve completed his steps towards marriage (living together, working) then marriage is definitely the next step. If he can’t promise me that then I don’t feel comfortable living with him. I know he means well, and he hasn’t ever said one way or the other in response to after completing his necessary steps, but I have some necessary steps too. Before I would ever marry him I would want to be working for at least a year – and paying my OWN bills. If we live together in a house (which we’ve looked at a few houses, and would probably pick out a house we both agree on, but he knows that if we take this option, not a single penny of mine will go to mortgage payments until we are married) I would want one bedroom as mine - and I would want to pay ‘rent’. The reasons behind this are fairly simple. If we are living in a house that he is solely responsible for financially, then I shouldn’t pay mortgage, but if I were to rent out an apartment I would be throwing money away. Therefore I would chip in money for ‘rent’ and would split the household bills with him. If things do not work out, I wouldn’t have lost any money because if we hadn’t been living together I would have been paying rent elsewhere. Does that make sense to you? I wouldn’t technically live in my ‘room’ but it would be a place to escape to if I needed some private time. If everything works out like I would like it to I would have been helping pay off ‘our’ house instead of throwing money away to a rental unit elsewhere.

He knows that I want to be independent before I get married, but since he insists that we live together before we get married I think the above is a good compromise. However, while I tell him I want to be independent before we get married, I think he thinks my bringing up marriage means I want to get married now. And I think that thought is scaring him – heck it is a little scary for me – when I think about marriage from the non-romantic point of view. Right now I can’t even support myself, and I hate it! I want to know that when I get married I do not need my husband as a crutch, or be a crutch myself. I’ve tried to tell him this before, but when I speak I get tongue-tied and end up losing focus and completely saying the wrong thing.

Is it wrong of me to want him to tell me that we will get married if after we’re living together and working everything is going well? Is it selfish of me to want that security (though nothing is 100%) before taking a job in his city? I’ll say this again, if after I graduate we realize that we’re the perfect University couple, but not the perfect Adult couple, I am not going to be pissy because we aren’t getting married. However, this man is everything to me, and I wouldn’t be considering living with him let alone spending the rest of my life with him if I didn’t feel that after college we would still be happy together.

Thanks for the help.

crln 6 years ago


I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 3 years. I am 25 and he is 27. We don't live together. We see each other on Wednesday nights, and then spend the weekends together, so we have ample time apart as well.

When I first started dating him, I had no desire to have children, marry, etc., and I thought it was silly to even think about it when we'd only just started dating anyway. He told me that he wanted to have 2 or 3 children (not with me, necessarily, just a general conversation).

Since then, I guess he has changed his mind. I have brought up moving in together a few times, with a bad reaction. I understand where he is coming from as he has a few friends who have lived with their girlfriends and all they did was fight! He has some bad examples around him. I have also asked what his plans are as far as marriage, the future... And he says "I don't want to get married or have kids, and I just don't want to think about it right now." He is in a bad situation at work and may lose his job, he still rents and does not own a home, and in general he seems to be under a lot of stress. I know it's not something I should be bringing up if it upsets him that much. But I just wish I knew. Do they ever change their mind? I am happy being with him. He is happy with "the way things are." However, now that I am growing up more and getting more of these maternal instincts... I do want to get married and have a family, before it's "too late." I want a family to be the most important thing to me, not a job or money - I think it would relieve so much stress. It is heartbreaking for me to think of leaving him but I realize everyone has to do what's best for them. I just can't seem to figure out what I feel is best for me, I guess.

Ali 6 years ago

I really love your advice. I am in that situations. Many thanks

Joe 6 years ago


My fiancee used to hint to me that she REALLY wanted to get married by constantly singing Beyonce's "Put a ring on it".

As a 30 year old guy, this is why I hesitate about marriage:

1. I know many couples who get divorced or cheat;

2. I don't like sharing my money;

3. Wedding planning is a lot of work.

Call me selfish and lazy, but I think it applies to many guys. If she didn't push me, I would procrastinate.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Rachel - I answered you in your own Hub:


Jessica 6 years ago

I am in this situation right now! I see my friends, his sister and two cousins all around our age getting married and looking forward to a future together with kids and a house. For a while my boyfriend an I of 5 years always agreed that, thats exactly what we want. But since recent events and me pressuring him, and completly freaked out and now he's saying that he's not even sure if he wants to get married..ever. As you would think I am completly crushed, and I have no idea on what to do. I love him more than he'll ever know but I whole "future plans" seem to be crumbling. Should we break up? Should I just back off and give it time? I very much need advice.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

kitten222 - I answered your question in your very own hub -


I hope this helps. I'm anxious for you to read it.

Jessica, would you please read it too? It applies to you, I think, especially the advice at the end on how to repair.



Dazed and confused 6 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I am 26 and my ex-boyfriend is 28. We dated for 2.5 years. The first 2 years we were long distance and the last six months we lived together. I went to college, grad school, and worked for a few years and had my own apartment. Last summer, I quit my job and started law school. My boyfriend went to college, worked a few odd-jobs while living at home, and has been a freelance artist for the past three years, again while living at home. He also worked retail part-time but lost his job when the economy nosedived. He’s applied for tons of jobs but hasn’t had any success, so he just does gigs. It’s not steady work and I’m not sure how he pays his bills but, with hindsight, I've concluded that his parents have helped him out financially. When I decided to go to law school, he suggested we move in together and I agreed.

My ex-boyfriend has been the love of my life. He’s a nice guy who comes from a great family that welcomed me with open arms and I hugged them right back. My family and friends took a while to warm up to him. They thought he was a nice guy too but they were concerned that he lacked ambition and steady employment. I truly believe he is a talented artist and just needs that big break, but until then he should do something else to bring in a steady income while doing gigs on the side. It took a bit of effort, but I brought my family and friends ‘round to him. My parents still had reservations about his lack of steady employment, but they were very nice to him and his parents. They weren’t happy about our moving in together, but I stood my ground and once we did move in, they stopped protesting. They even visited us a few times.

I’m a motivated, hard-working person. I weigh my options carefully, I make a decision, and I’m very good at following through. When we were dating, my ex-boyfriend would talk big but never followed through. He talked about going to grad school but never applied. He enrolled in an art programme which has an open-ended completion time and he hasn’t finished it. He looks for part-time retail or short-term retail and other gigs but not for something full-time. I’ve made several suggestions for him to try this or that approach until his art career takes off, but my suggestions either fell on deaf ears or he said I was trying to get him to abandon his art career.

He says he’s focusing on his art career – and that’s great – but I feel that at 28 he should be focusing on stability too. When I mention this to him, he says we’re both working on our careers right now and that neither of us is stable. When I talk about how I’d like to move the relationship forward once I finish law school, he replies that there’s no way either of us will be able to afford anything at that point in time, especially as I’ll be in debt from school. He also says that he can’t understand why my parents are “obsessed” with his being financially secure and says it’s antiquated to expect him to be the “breadwinner.” I’ve told him that I don’t expect him to be the breadwinner, but that it isn’t unreasonable for my parents or me to want a guy who can support himself and eventually can support a family. When I would ask him what he wanted out of the relationship, he responded only " to be with someone who is nice."

I broke up with him almost three weeks ago, but we’re still living together as we work figure out the apartment lease. There are moments when I feel really good about my decision and moments when I’m worried that I’ve made a big mistake or I unfairly pushed him. I’ve given him several reasons for the break up, though mostly it has to do with his lack of stability, which he tells me is thoughtless and stupid. He has also accused me of not defending him against my family and friends, which was very unfair because I have done so. When we moved in together I thought this would motivate him to get the ball rolling so we could really move forward as a couple. Instead, his idea of moving forward as a couple seems to be delaying things on his end under the guise that I'm back in school. He excuses his lack of steady employment with “well, you’re in school, not working, and focusing on your career. I’m focusing on mine.” I feel that’s pretty weak because, even though the job market is poor right now, I will have a lot of opportunities to use my degree when I am done. Am I being unreasonable? Recently he's done a complete 180 and has told me that he's applied to grad school (as in, applied after I broke up with him) because the gigs aren't a reliable source of income. And I'm like, why now? Why didn't you do this when we were dating? I feel so confused and mixed up.

kay 6 years ago

I have been with my partner for just over 3 years and we have a 11month old baby and we have another one on the way, i really want to get married but he says maybe one day things are good the way they are, its only a piece of paper to say i love you and you love me, i just dont see the point, but i really do want to get married but he just doesnt understand.

kay 6 years ago

I have been with my partner for just over 3 years and we have a 11month old baby and we have another one on the way, i really want to get married but he says maybe one day things are good the way they are, its only a piece of paper to say i love you and you love me, i just dont see the point, but i really do want to get married but he just doesnt understand. Im 25 and my partner is 42 and has been married before with 2 previous kids and it didnt work out.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Teej -

I moved your comment over to here:


I answered you in your very own Hub. Thanks for writing, I hope you'll read what I had to say!


sky 6 years ago

Ok...so I came across this browsing for answers to the never ending question will it ever happen????

I have been with my fella for 3 years, we moved in together after only 3 months and we bought our own house with a joint mortgage 2 years ago. Over a year ago we had the conversation about us getting engaged....he said it was all planned...but every important date has been and gone! We are both settled career wise, with good and secure jobs, we own our house, we have a gret life together...but getting married is really important to me! I really want to bring our children up as a married couple...he talks about us getting married, and wants us to have children.....but how come I'm still waiting for a proposal? We have already made a commitment to one another with the house. He knows how important it is to me, but now i'm worried that he knows that i'm committed to him and he can sit easy knowing i'm going no where! If I try to bring up the subject now I simply get asked...do you really want to know.....or do you want to spoil the suprise?

I'm just worried that theres never going to be that suprise!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


The "surprise" is not good. The frame of mind you're in proves it.

And here's another hub I wrote about exactly this. Email it to your beau.


sky 6 years ago

thanks for replying!the link describes this situation to a T!! Thing is it's never going to be a suprise anymore.....just a relief!

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Excellent! Glad I could help, Sky. Your point is spot on. It's not going to be a happy surprise for you. If it happens it's only going to be a relief, after all this needless stress.

Phem_Rich profile image

Phem_Rich 6 years ago from LAs Vegas

I'll give the URL of this hub to my friend.. he is in this same dilemma.. thanks..

Roxy  6 years ago


Here is my problem. I’m 22 and my boy friend will be 27 in December. We have been together for 7 years and we have been living together for 4 years. I have been ready for about a year now to get married. He is well aware of that fact. I want to marry him so much, because I’m ready for that next step. I love him so much; I can’t wait to be his wife. My religion has to do with it also. I don’t want to be living in sin anymore and I have not for a long time. All he keeps telling me is that he is not ready right now. I said well what about next year? And he said I have no idea what is going to happen next year, I don’t plan the future what happens, happens. What I do, I mean I don’t get it we live the married life. No we are married without paper work and making that commitment in front of friends and family. He knows that I don’t need a ring, just wedding bands to exchange when we get married. The most I want to spend is $5,000 and my parents are covering that. I mean I don’t get what he is waiting for. What do I do? How come he gets to get all the benefits of a marriage, but not have to get married? That’s not really fare. I have talked about just not living together until we plan on getting married and he says that he does not think that will work. I don’t get it, I don’t get him! Please tell what do you think about all of this?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


You are not "married without the paperwork." That's delusional thinking. He gets to have "the benefits of marriage without getting married" because you allowed it. You moved in with a man who told you he wasn't ready to get married. When you talk about not living together all he has to say is he doesn't think it would work, an that's that. He continues to have everything he wants.

22 is very young to be talking marriage. And you've been together 7 years? I think alot of the real problem here is that you have no idea what's actually out there, or how a partner who wants to marry you would be acting. You hit the nail on the head when you said you don't get it, and you don't get him. I can see that you don't. And the two quotes I grabbed above are reflective of how much you're not getting this.

Marriage happens when two adults that are together decide they are ready to legally and completely commit themselves to each other for the rest of their lives. It is not something that happens when one person decides they are ready, doesn't care at all that the other person clearly is not ready, and just pushes and pushes and pushes until they get their way. That's not what a partner does. I realize at the very young age of 22 you don't get this, but the truth is, it's very sad that you want to marry someone that isn't proposing, or in any way ready.

My advice is to really think about what you've said here, and stop it. Stop pretending your married without the paperwork. Stop letting him have all the benefits of marriage while he doesn't want to marry you. Stop pressuring and pushing.

Start focusing on you, instead of focusing on changing someone into what you want them to be. Move out, definitely. Good luck.

Elionor 6 years ago

I being in a realtionship with my bf for 2 year, in the beggining was a long distance then one year pass by and i move with him. During the time we talk on the phone he use to said to me that "he know every wodman wants to get marrige and that went he is done with some stuff he will look in to get marriege with me" Today we being living together in his place and a year later it since he is not looking in to marrige as much i am. I understand he got a divorce and that he feel i guess different about marriege. Now, a baby later, living with him, he tells me "we can live together we do not need to get marriege"

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

cheese cake,

I moved your comment to your very own HUB. Wow, girl. That really is a situation! I will post the link here to your answer hub as soon as it's up. Thanks for writing it.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

OK cheese cake, there ya go:


Best to you.

Hurting 6 years ago

I'm writing with another similar situation. He's 37, I'm 30 and we each have 3 kids. We've been living together for a year so it feels like we're a family. He's not ready for marriage right now but says he's taking steps in that direction and thinking positive thoughts about our future. I've been battling depression over it that sometimes is a physical pain in my chest. I feel rejected and that he isn't as excited about us as I am. He knows I'm hurting this much. I don't want to throw out an ultimatum and push him into it. I love our life together, but I can't make this pain go away. What if I end up hating him? Do you think, if I wait a while longer, I'll hold this against him? My kids and I have been through some rough years - losing our home repeatedly, and I feel sick when I think of doing that to them again. Leaving terrifies me and I don't know if I even have the mental resources left for it. Staying in the current situation is tearing me apart. Do you think there is anything I can say to him so he'll understand?

Niki 6 years ago

It does not matter if you have been dating for 2 years or 7 years. If you express to your mate that you want to marry them and their response is that I want to be with you but I am not ready to get married. You need to ask yourself what is it that your mate is waiting for. The answer to the question is that your mate may not care for you in the same way. Just because you have spent years together as a couple, you both may share a home together and even have children that may not be enough for that person. You may have a hold on the person for them to continue in the relationship for now but your mate may feel deep down on the inside that they have settled with you and is still waiting for the next best thing.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I'm hurting for you.

I really can't guess from what you've shared where his head is at. Living together for a year isn't long, and his not being ready for marriage makes sense, and his saying he's taking steps in that direction sounds promising. Really, I can't tell if he's taking them or not. Only you can see that. Actions speak louder than words. Is he saving towards a wedding, putting your name on things... if you point out a band and say that would be a great wedding band for us someday, does he nod, or does he react visibly upset by the idea.

From what you've said here, it's not what he's doing I'm concerned about. I'm much more concerned about you. It's never ever going to end well when someone is so very dependent upon someone else for their happiness. The fact that you're depressed to the point of pains in your chest really scares me. You're already thinking, what if you wind up hating him? Even if he does marry, will you always hold this time against him. Feeling terrified to leave... not good. I'm not embarrassed to admit yours is a situation much bigger than I can offer adequate advice for. I do think you should speak to a therapist if you aren't already.

I can tell you this though. I can gage a great deal from the words you chose, and the order in which you put them. And I can see, clearly, that you are a good mother who is trying to do the right thing for her kids. Or course it's possible that the drive to provide stability for them has taken away from your ability to take care of yourself. For example, you didn't say that you're in love.

Maybe you think that goes without saying. But it kinda doesn't. And it's kind of a "tell." I'm not saying you don't love him, I'm saying your priorities are providing for your kids, in such a way that you're making yourself sick and crazy trying to make something happen. That's the priority, not the relationship you're in. And it's hard for me to give relationship advice when I don't think this is about the relationship.

You sound very articulate, insightful, open minded and intelligent. If you could take a deep breath, and take a step back, maybe you can try looking at this situation with new eyes. Talk to a therapist, and think about what you can do to make sure you are whole, and healthy, and happy with yourself. You deserve it.

mellll 6 years ago

hi veronica,

i have been with my boyfriend for almost a year. yesterday we had a huge fight and basically said i was "pushing him" to get married. we've talked marriage before and he was excited to talk about it. he even tried to get me a promise ring, which i refused. but now he's saying he's "too young" and that his siblings waited years to figure out who they were going to marry. i don't know if i should just leave it alone and wait to discuss later or if i should just leave. he says he loves me, but he can't stand to see me hurt or cry when this topic comes up. i don't want to waste my time or his time. maybe he's just confused? i don't know.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Not knowing your ages, I can't really offer advice. But you said he was all promise ring happy, and then suddenly said he was too young to marry. This makes me think he's between 20 and 23, and his frontal lobes have only just developed. This is the part of the brain of that governs the ability to understand consequence, commitment and long term thinking. He may have been all ready to marry, and then physiologically he changed, and realized the full extent of what that actually means. And if this is the case, then he's right. It's a huge step, and he's too young. The fact that he doesn't want to see you cry, and that he was seeing his future with you (even though now he's just vary aware of what that means) shows he has real love for you. You said you're not even together a year. That isn't long enough to know you want to marry, at your very very young ages.

I don't think he's confused at all. I think he's taking a serious step very seriously. He sounds fine.

You will ruin this relationship if you keep focusing on marriage too fast and too young, and pushing him to deal with that irrational thinking. Relax and enjoy what you have. It sounds like he really cares about you, and you have all the time in the world.

Iðunn 6 years ago

You're a wise and kind person, V. Wanted you to know I passed through and read and was especially impressed by your obvious concern for "Hurting". Anyone who lucks into finding you when seeking relationship advice is quite lucky indeed.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Iðunn, aren't you a dollbaby. Thank you so much. I really try to give very specific good sound advice. I tend not to sugar coat, but I do try to be as straightforward and realistic as I can be. Thanks so much for thinking it's working. That means alot to me.

RRon 6 years ago

Hi verconica,

I am 28 and I am doctorate candidate overseas, I had 4 years relationship with a boy who was in same age with me, when I was studying my master overseas I promised him to apply for him also for master, we loved each other,finally I got it for him and when I was in the my last semester of my master degree, he just came and joined me, we were enjoying together for 5 months, but before that In my country also we were together for 1 and half year, anyway I had to return back to my country and my family pushed me to ask him marry him nevertheless I have to break up with him, since he also loved me he returned back with me during his vacation and we engaged in my country and after 2 weeks he had to return back, you know my religion is different and we have to marry for 2 times, he told me after finishing his second semester of study he will come back and we do the first marriage, and after that we can live together and I can continue my education as phd student and he can finish his study, he returned and since the first wedding has to be arranged by girl's family , my parents were getting ready for that, but one day my father told he will not allow me to live with him after the first wedding and we have to do both of wedding at the same time and then I can live with my fiance overseas, and he spoke with my fiance parents, but they said they are not ready and they don't have money to arrange the second wedding for us, anyway he returned back to my country to marry but we didn't because our families relationship get worse and since I didn't want to hurt my parents specially my father because of his heart, I tried to forget him, but now I am in the same city which he is doing his study and it is very hard for me to see him and remember my good memories with him, i saw him times while my parents didn't know if they know they became very sad and disappointed of me, 3 months ago my ex-fiance wrote me he missed me, and asked me to come back to him, but it is about 1 week ago I saw him we had very romantic times together , but i feel he never want to try to marry me again, because his parents can not support his wedding , and they encouraged him to forget me specially forget marriage.. I love him, I can not forget him, I tried to be friend with some other guys but I couldn't .. I am really in a bad condition..

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I realize I don't understand your culture, but this is ridiculous. You have all this respect for your father who doesn't respect what makes you happy. You and your boyfriend were doing ok until your father decided that even though your bf's family wasn't financially ready to provide two weddings that that's what he needed. And that ruined everything. Your father sounds proud and stubborn and selfish. Clearly, he does not give a shit that he has made you sad. He doesn't care that you're hurting. Why would you show him so much respect when he shows you none? Screw that. You really love this guy and he sounds like he really loves you. Go be with him. Why should you be without your love just because your father proves he does not care about your happiness? That makes no sense.

RRon, if you've read anything I've written you know I have no toleration for that kind of bullshit. I want to respect other cultures, but I refuse to when they are so incredibly disrespectful and hurtful to the people they are supposed to love. You could have written to anyone for advice including someone that would go "ooh ahhh culture" and give you different advice. But you chose me. I think you want to break away from being treated like your feelings mean nothing, and you want to go to this boyfriend you love, and you were looking for someone to give you some kind of permission to do so. Well if that's what you are writing to me for, good! Go! Be with your love!

RRon 6 years ago

Thanks veronica for your response,

I really can not understand my culture also, here every thing is bad even you kiss your love, that's why I have to always hidden what I did and what I am... but one point that My father was angered that why my boyfriends parents didn't want to take responsibility of their son, I know it is very complicated and non-understanding situation.. I am always under control my parents and even from far they control me who I am talking , and even who I am emailing.. because every thing is over for them but not for me.. I am still thinking about him and i can not forget him, the only way I found is I have to move on from this city and country to another country... to pursue my doctorate and don't think about him and my memories... I really think If I call him even and tell him about my situation i am a guilty...there is no night with out thinking and crying..but I can not tell it to any one else.. even when I talk with my friends with the same culture they punish me and they believe his parents and he did wrong..

thanks again for your attention

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

RRon, that's so sad. Living unhappily and lonely, and knowing your family doesn't give a shit about your emotions and well being, just because your "culture" says this is ok, is just ludicrous. Dear, if you aren't happy, stop allowing your parents to control you. End it. Break it off and move away and live the life you deserve to live. I hope you and your boyfriend will both decide to choose your hearts and your love and what's really best for both of you, instead of your families and an antiquated cruel culture. Don't let your love go.

Hurting 6 years ago

Veronica, thanks for listening and offering advice on my situation. I love him very much (guess I didn't say that) but it might not be worth this hurt. He decided against getting me a ring for Valentine's day last month & I think I need some kind of further commitment to stay with him. So I'm going to explain that to him and then work on the next steps. When I stepped back like you said, I really had to think about why I'm putting myself through this.

It's funny, I always promised myself I'd never end up living with a guy and trying to get him to marry me. I recently told my daughter to never, ever get into this situation, so I'll think about that if I end up needing to move.

Thanks again - I stumbled across your site & it looks like you help a lot of people.

matneybrat21 6 years ago


what age do you think is a good age to get married , or even start to consider marriage?? i have been with my boyfriend for going on 7 years this June and I have always had my heart on the perfect wedding with my 'PRINCE CHARMING' and i believe that i have found my prince. My heart melted the first time i heard his voice on the telephone and from there things picked up. i am 21 now and we have a 3 year old daughter and i have brought up marriage and more children at a later point in life only to be laughed at and shut down. he claims 'ill never b married and i dont want anymore kids ever'.. what should i do?? at the moment i feel like saying 'SO BASICALLY IM JUST WAISTING MY TIME HERE..'... please help.... :(

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

matneybrat21 - Your timing is great. I am working on a HUB about exactly this: what is a good age to get married. It will be posted this weekend. I hope you will read it. Thanks for your comment.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

matneybrat21 - here's the HUB, I hope you'll weigh in.

But let me add for you, in your particular situation, why in the hell do you want to marry someone that laughs at you when you ask, and says he will never marry you? Listen to what he's saying. Move on.



Helen 6 years ago


I love my boyfriend of 6 years very very much. He's talking of moving in with each other in a few months time. The trouble is, I'm not really comfortable with the idea of moving in together.

He seems to have strung me along for some time. Leading up to my 21st birthday two years ago, he hinted that he was going to propose. When the time came, he gave me a ring box. I opened it, expecting what you'd imagine, and there was a ring. I asked him which finger I should put it on, because it wasn't diamond, and it wasn't totally clear. Turns out he wasn't proposing. This set-up made it a horrible experience. I tried to hide from him my feelings.

Months later, when I finally told him that I had thought he was going to propose back then, he said I had been ungrateful. I was planning to go for coffee with another man who liked me. However, I decided not to when my boyfriend said 'wait and see what kind of ring you get for your next birthday'.

That birthday came and went.

Unprompted, he would say romantic, promising things. If I asked him anything specific, he said it would happen when he finished studies, got a place... but these things too came and went.

In three years I have brought it up three times. That's me making a real effort to make things easy for him, and give him space and time. He, however, keeps making romantic promises, saying how perfect we are for each other, making hints... and it breaks my heart.

He wants to move in soon. I don't think it's a good idea, because I will be very sad when he still won't get engaged, and I'm giving him everything. Might I add we have an amazing time together. I am a brilliant girlfriend to him. He's a lovely man. I don't see why he keeps stringing me along instead of either making a strong commitment or telling me it's not possible.

What does this sound like to you?



Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


His whole thing with the wait to see what kind of ring you get, then it not being an engagement ring, then telling you that you're ungrateful - WOW. That's an especially cruel head game. And it sounds like he's perpetuating this shit. The stringing along can happen for many reasons but your case is exceptionally mean. I don't know what he's up to, but I can figure out this much: he knows he can treat you this way. You stay around and take it. So he has no reason to have to step up and act like a man. Moving in with him will only again tell him he can continue to screw with your emotions. Be careful, I don't like this at all.

Equality7-2521 6 years ago

This HUB has been so helpful, and I want to say thank you to Veronica and all its contributors. I am also feeling torn about my own situation and have found much to think about reading over all the entries here.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 4 years now. I am about to turn 33 and he is turning 25 this week. I knew going into the relationship that he may take some time to reach the ready point for marriage, while I have always known it is an ultimate relationship goal for myself.

We have always had exceptional communication of our thoughts and feelings, and I know we love one another very much. Marriage has always been something we've both discussed would be in our future. Just recently though he has confessed that he is not sure he really belives in marriage anymore. His mother and father were unmarried for the first 4 years of his life and then divorced when he was 15. He says that he now thinks marriage would ruin the relationship, because he has never known a marriage to create anything but pain.

I understand his family background has deeply affected him, but this sudden confession has made me question to continue our relationship. I have thought for the last 4 years we were on the same page, and was fine with being patient till the right time. I just don't know if any amount of patience will make a difference anymore.

We do not live together, as I have always felt that waiting till at least engagement would be the right thing for me and the relationship. He lovingly calls me his "not at home wife".

I don't want to date for years living in seperate places, I want us to share our lives together in one home as a family of 2.

He is a good man and I love him, but the thought of my life being with someone who may never want the same things for our relationship is breaking my heart.

Any advice you can offer me will be greatly appreciated. thank you again!

Gemma 6 years ago

Hi Wanted to know what if a guy gets engaged to a girl who he didnt really love because he says it was for the child. Then the girl he is with now and says he loves to bits and has been on off with for 5 years ( one yr off had baby with engaged girl, came back to 5yr girl because it didnt work with baby mother) etc wants to get engaged but he then says no im not ready. All in a short time scale. What does he mean ......

Was it really for the child?

Does he really love the 5 year on off girl.

Does he wanna make sure its the real thing and not rushing.

Or is he just not that into her (now gf 5yr)

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


My guess is, he really loved 5year girl, but felt obligated to his daughter and did what he "thought" was right, which never is - never ever right to get married just because of pregnancy. I think he's trying to figure things out, I'm sure first marriage and having a kid and trying to do the right thing, and it failing - has all been REALLY stressful and difficult. He's absolutely right to come to the conclusion that he's not ready. He needs time to breathe and think.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Equality - He's young, he can't really know how he feels just yet, but he hasn't even entered into his Saturn Return - Rites of Passage age. It's going to be a long wait before he may know for sure if he ever wants to get married, or if you're the one. And you could wait through those years to wind up with the answer you don't want to hear. His new-found feelings against marrying are probably shadows of things to come, but we just can't know for sure yet. If you're 33 and ready to get married, you might want to consider appreciating this relationship for what it was, and moving on to find your forever-relationship.

matneybrat21 6 years ago


thanx for such a fast reply.. i read your other hub.. so it is basically saying women mature and are ready for a married life way before men??.. after my 1st posting i again tried to talk to my boyfriend about marriage... i think there was some sort of break through.. he says hes afraid hell be like his father, who believes a marriage certificate is his pink slip to ownership of his wife... with that i can sort of understand his hesitation, but i do not know if i wait because of hope he will come around, or because he was my first everything.. first boyfriend, love, lover and the father of my daughter... i am very optimistic that he will come around , but feel like kicking myself in the ass everytime i think that, because what if he never does... and i dont want to base my life on 'WHAT IF'S ' anymore than i have to ... i am back in school for a year now to earn 2 degrees and a certificate.. 1 in administration of justice, one in pshycology and a certificate in crime scene investigation... i feel like i have a clear vision of my career paths and now i want to work on my social and personal paths.. can you or anyone else in this hub offer any tips on how to open his mind on looking to the future and being openminded towards a life ??? awaiting patiently and greatly appreicatively--- matneybrat21....

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


No. Nothing I've written says women mature and are ready for married life way before men.

You're boyfriend is not ready for marriage. He is only just coming into an age where he can conceive of ramifications and consequence. As are you. You're stating how he is your first everything, that you have no real frame of reference with which to make any life long decisions, yet you're in a terrible rush to make them, and to force other people to make them. I really don't get it.

Finish school. Meet people. Start your career. Enjoy being a "young girl." It will go by faster than you think.

matneybrat21 6 years ago

thanks for the fast reply.. and all the advice helps alot...

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


You're very polite and trying very hard, and I appreciate both of those qualities very much.

I think highly of you. I really do. You have a strong sense of commitment and you surely love this boy alot.

It's just not time to think about marriage. You aren't losing anything by giving the marriage-think a break. Finish school, and you can visit this again. You have nothing to lose, but you will have alot to lose if you push this now.


azn 6 years ago

Hi Veronica

I came across your post while i was goggling this same question, and i can't believe how we can relate to what these ppl are going through, A little background I'm 25 and my girl friend is 24 we have been dating for a little over 2 years now. I'm about 1 year into my career and bought a house she still lives on her own and finishing graduate school. About 6 month into the relationship she brought up the question of marriage and it scared the hell out of me and my response was to shut it out and ignore it and at the same time i thought it was way too soon since we were so young and i just graduated collage. I know now that was the wrong response, even if i was against it then i should have been more straightforward to her about my mind. This led to many fights over the course of the next year and half. Now fast forward about 6 month ago I started to think about the concept of marriage but its been such a battle for us. And we just had another fight because i was not 100% ready still, We entertain the idea of maybe date other ppl since this is the first real relationship for both of us. But I don't have any real want to date other ppl and neither does she but I don't want to go through any more fights on this subject,i don't want to loose her, she is very special to me and i love her very much.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


You're very insightful to see that you should have communicated your fears and feelings instead of not letting her know. Good ownership there. But it still sounds like your girlfriend is really pushing for a major life commitment. You're both young, neither of you has gone through your Saturn Return/Rites of Passage yet. Scoff if you want at the idea, but you can ask anyone you know who's over 34 or 35 if they feel they went through any kind of major philosophical or psychological change in their late twenties and they will admit they did. Even if the emergence solidifies the decisions you've already made, it's still a serious transition. You are so much clearer about who you are and what you want.

This change is as significant for you as the one you went through in your early twenties when your frontal lobes developed and you began to understand what consequence and long term commitment really means.

I hope you'll be able to get her to relax and enjoy the relationship she's having now, instead of forcing the issue of taking the next step too fast and ruining the relationship altogether.

And you my dear, please keep communicating as clearly as you can. Even if it's to say, "I don't know what I am feeling." Her ability to listen to you, and value your opinions and needs is the perfect measure of her ability to be a partner, and a guaranteed shadow of things to come in a life with her.

Melody_red 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I found your site by chance and I'm glad you did; amazing advice! I wonder if you could help me, as I'm at a real crossroads right now. I'm 36, my partner is 45 and we've been together 2 years. I have a chronic health condition which means for the past 10 years I've found it hard to socialise, meet people and generally stay out of hospital long enough to have a life! But the last 2 years have been good. I have always believed in marriage (my parents have been happily married for 42 years) and always wanted it to be an option in my life. My partner is separated (not divorced) from his wife he left a while before he met me. They hadn't had a sexual relationship for 5 years prior to that and he said they had become like sister and brother, so to him the 'marriage' had been over for years. They have a long-term foster daughter together. For the first year and a half, he didn't tell his daughter about me. When he did speak to his wife about this, saying that he wanted me to meet his daughter, his wife refused. He told his daughter, who was fine, happy about it and who wanted to meet me and asked for a picture of me, which he gave her. But because his wife said 'no', meeting her is not an option. He says he doesn't want to get divorced as he 'doesn't see what difference it would make' as he never wants to marry again. He apparently was a very lazy husband to his wife and vowed he'd never be married again as he was so ashamed in failing his vows the first time around. However, with me he's been attentive, loving, supportive and we have many shared interests. But there are issues; I'm still yet to be invited to his place (he lives in the flat of his brother who died just before I met him - he's been renovating it and due to bereavement it took a long time). He also spends every Christmas with his wife and daughter (who is 11) so this year will be the third year I have to spend it without my partner. I'm tired of this and although I understand he needs to be with his child at Christmas, because his wife refuses to let me meet her and he refuses to 'rock the boat' further with her and put his foot down, we can't start to integrate Christmases or any other holiday....so I feel quite 'separate' from areas of his life. We've been to relationship counselling for the past 2 months to try to resolve things. He has started finishing his flat in order to get me round there; however, it is painfully slow and he keeps 'forgetting' that I was meant to go round last week! He has said I need to make a decision as to whether I can stay in this relationship without being married as he will never want that again. He's also not that sure about living with anyone ever again as he likes his space. But he said maybe in the long-term. I'm really mixed up and also worried; I'm 36, not getting any younger and with my health problems I'm not exactly capable of 'getting out there' lots to meet guys and I'm also not exactly a great prospect as I tire easily. But I do feel I really want to at least live with a partner, and hopefully get married. On many levels our relationship is good; he tells me every day how much he loves me, he misses me if we're apart for 24 hours, we do a lot together and he's incredibly supportive and understanding about my condition. We just want different things I guess. He's adamant marriage is not an option and I feel I'm having to bend round to what he wants completely. But I'm scared to let go. Please help me. Please also know that he is a lovely guy; never nasty, belittling or cruel and I really trust him. I hope you can advise me. I'm planning to go away the week after next to get some head-space and to give him a chance to see what it will be like without me; he comes round to mine all the time and I won't be there for a week so he'll have to either go elsewhere in the evenings or stay in his own place. I think I make it too easy for him to come over although I do nag him about inviting me round to his as I think it's unfair that he never does, even if he does have issues with grief. Thamkyou in advance for any help you can give me.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Melody Red,

The idea that he blames his wife for your not meeting his foster daughter is absurd. She says no, and he just goes along with that? Insane. There is no way in hell that's the truth. And not having you over because the place is being renovated? For years? And "forgetting" you were supposed to come around? And telling you he doesn't want to get divorced, or married again, or even live together - straight out. And you're confused?

If he was in love with you, if he had any intention at all of building a future with you, he wouldn't care what his ex says, he wouldn't hesitate to get divorced, he would have you over, he wouldn't say decide if you can live with this or leave. OMG, this is so bad I don't even know what to say.

Sweetie, there is not even a glimmer of hope here. At all. I don't know what you're medical situation is, or if he chose you because of it because he knew he could get away with those lies and bullshits. But this reeks of horribleness. If you EVER want any of those things - living together, marriage, a guy who will be fully honest - you need to lose this guy.

Shasta 6 years ago

If I were the girlfriend I'd dump the guy. After two years you should know if you want to marry. The girl is wasting her time. She wants committement and the guy either doesn't want to commit to marriage and doesn't want the responsibility that goes along with it. He wants everything the girl can give in the relationship but doesn't want to pay the price.

bikergirl 6 years ago

I think that marriage is a big step, and many times we as women get caught up in the hype of being married, but trust what glitters is not always gold. True if he is not ready in two years then he is never going to be ready, and she needs to respect that and either deal with it or move on. On the other hand life is too short to equivalate happiness with marriage, if that man treats you like a queen, and is a beast in the bed then why rock the boat. Enjoy life.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Short, sweet, and right on target! Thanks for your comment!

babygirl 6 years ago

Hi Veronica

I would really love your opinion on my story. Me and my boyfriend have been together for 2 years, he is 27, i am 31. We are from different countries, living in a third country. I recently starting talking about 'where is this relationship going' topic and he said he is not ready to any commitment now and he can't tell me when he would want that. All he knows is that he loves me and he wants to be with me the way we are. We talked about this only 2 times and one day he said is better for us to break up, because after these conversations our relationship can not be the same as it was before, because he will feel forced to think about it (which he doesn't like) and I will always nag about it. He left 2 weeks ago and we had very little contact since then. He tried to reach me out several times, but i didn't answered his phone calls or replied his emails. I just called him up on his bday last week and he asked to meet up for a coffee and discuss on what happened. The end of hte conversation was still the same as before, he had thought over it and he just doesn't have that feeling. But he seemed devasted and he said he loved me and it is so hard for him to get over this. He was crying like a baby. I just don't understand, if you really love someone that much that loosing that person makes you feel like the whole world is crashing down, then why would you just break up for that person and not be willing to think over and find a solution. I was not asking him for a marriage right now, my aim was just to see his intentsions...and he just gave up..Any advise would be very helpful. Thanks

Tyred of waiting 6 years ago

Hi Veronica, my bf is 36. I am 27.We have been together 1 year and 10 months. We have been very happy. He lives 1.5 hours from where I leave. We see each other only during the weekends. He knows I want to get marry. He told me he does not want to get marry or have kids right now that he does not want to be pressured, however, he said one day he might change his mind, maybe in a month, in 5 months, in 1 year.. etc...I dont know what to do. Should I wait since I love him and we have a great relationship and I know he loves me too...when enough is enough?..I think if I wait more and more he will eventually propose since there is no pressure. But should I take the risk of wasting many years with someone, and then he never marries me? Please give me some advice

Patient 6 years ago

Hi Veronica.

My boyfriend and I have been together for close to 4 years. We live together, have pets together, and enjoy each other's company. He is in grad school and will be getting his PhD soon, too. I want to get married someday, though he has said he doesn't feel ready. He loves me and I love him, but I feel like I might be in a waiting game for the next 3 years before he starts considering marriage. We've talked about it together and he never shuts me down, but lets me know he just needs time to wait and perhaps finish school. How long should I wait? I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but I'm not sure how long I should be waiting. His school is very important to him, but he always makes time to show me his love, but I'm not sure how long I can keep waiting (im)patiently.

Thank you

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


He sounds like a good guy, and he sounds serious about you.

Not knowing your ages, i can't tell you how long you should wait. He shouldn't be entertaining marriage before he's done with school, or before his Saturn Return/Rites of Passage age which is usually around 28.

So, how long should you wait - definitely until he's completed school, definitely until he's passed 28 (preferably passed 30 years old and with the career on it's way.)

It's very significant that he doesn't shut you down, that he reassures you, and that his actions are speaking very loudly having pets and a home with you. He intends to marry you, but he's waiting for the right time. And, that's good.

You explained what he's doing with working towards his PhD. What are you doing?

BTW, if he's passed 30 years old, and has gone back to school, then you have a whole different thing going on. Write back if that's the case,.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


He's 36, he's passed the age where he should know whether or not he wants to get married.

Nothing you're saying indicates that his actions are showing you he's serious about you, or that he's working toward a future with you.

The "maybe I'll change my mind" really sounds like a string-along line.

He's living a distance away, and has his entire week to himself, and you're not saying anything that indicates he's working on changing how little he sees you or how far away he is from you. I'm confused as to why you think if you wait he will propose, nothing you've shared sounds that way to me.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


It's hard to explain to you what you're not understanding. Just because you love someone doesn't just automatically make you ready to for marriage or even capable of comprehending real commitment and consequence. I think the fact that you don't understand it lends to your not being ready for marriage, either. It sounds more like you are very romantic, very in love, and not too grounded or realistic about the steps that follow, later. He may have really loved you, enjoyed your relationship, but didn't believe you'd able to continue it because of your feelings about marriage. It may seem you only brought it up a couple times, but apparently you demonstrated your feelings on this to him that dramatically.

It's either that, or he was really not into you in a commitment-type of way, and is being dramatic and projecting as to why he ended things. I can't really tell which it is. But I can tell you this - let this one go. You sound very young, enjoy being young, enjoy new experiences and let life happen.


Cali 6 years ago

I'm 20 and my boyfriend is 25. We've been together for 2 years and recently moved in together. I feel like now is the right time for us to get married so we can get a house together and start our future. I want to be married for at least a year before I have any kids and I think 22 is a good age to have children. I've asked him how he feels about getting married and he says he's not ready yet. Am I too young to be thinking this way?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Thanks so much for your comment.

I spent a couple days thinking about my answer, and I've written you your own Hub. I've moved your comment to the new Hub:


The advice is extremely specific to you. I hope you'll visit the hub and let me know what you think.

Best to you,


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Yes. Yes you are way too young to be thinking this way.

You have so much time ahead of you. Please don't rush this beautiful time of your life. Enjoy being 20, and then 22. And then 25. Savor every moment. Don't rush it away.

confused 6 years ago

I'm so glad I've found this page.

I'm 22, my boyfriend of two years is 23

Things started to change when I questioned him about our future and of course I didn't heard the answer I wanted to hear. I started seeing all my friends getting married and engaged and wanted to know his opinion on this. But he told me he have never thought about it![is that possible?] how can you be with someone for two years and not even think for a split second about the future? He also mentioned that he does not know where he is going in his life,whether he will have to move back home at request of his family or stay here. We were so good together until all this came up. I know for a guy he is too young for commitment and I understand him acting this way. But I cannot 'waste' my time with him hoping that he will stay here, or we will someday get married. I want to get married and have children before I hit 30. I don't have time to wait another 4..5 years just to see if he is even going to stay in this country or move back home!

I want to break up.. but it's so hard for both of us :( We still talk, we still go out sometimes, but we are slowly breaking up because I don't want to be in a relationship which makes me lost and confused...

Do you think I'm making the right decision by cutting this?

I come from a family where getting married is very important.

Do you think if we were really meant to be together then shouldn't even be worried about the future?

I'm so lost. I know he loves me.. but do you think is it because it's the wrong time for him ?

What should I do...

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


" how can you be with someone for two years and not even think for a split second about the future?"

The part of your brain that thinks about the future, that conceives of commitment and understands consequence, is the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe DOES NOT EXIST prior to the age of your boyfriend. The frontal lobes develop in our early twenties. That is how your bf can be with you 2 years and never think of the future: because it is physiologically unnatural for him.

You are feeling that at the age of 22 you would be "wasting" time by giving someone you love the chance to develop, and grow, and find his way and be sure? It is very clear from this that you are no where near ready to marry. You have no idea how to be a partner. You aren't even close to trying.

Are you saying you're going to break up with him because you can't force him into doing something neither of you are ready for? He's doing everything right by waiting. You're the one pushing, trying to force him to do something he can't possibly be ready to do. You're the one not respecting his feelings at all.

In the center of this, it is very disturbing that you say you come from a family where getting married is important. It should be more important for you to be a complete person and not dependent on someone else for your happiness. Is there some issue you're having with getting your family's approval? It should be important to your family that you are happy, that you follow a career path and do something with your life that makes you happy, that you get an education, that you experience lots of different things, and then one day hopefully find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

My gut tells me you're doing all this illogical thinking and acting because you're scared he will move back to his country. You're allowed to be scared, but it would be much healthier for all involved if you just admitted that.


Patient 6 years ago

Neither of us are past 25 as of yet. I am not currently in school (almost finished, just need the time and money), but have a fairly successful job thus far.

I just don't know that I can wait until I'm 28 years old to marry. We have spoken about a long engagement (2 years), as I want to take commitments one step at a time and grow from our time together.

I just know that I can't be with someone, living with them, etc. without having some sort of serious commitment from his end past 5 years of "dating" time.

maria 6 years ago

I am with a guy for 10 years and he is still not ready for marriage. He said he likes the way things are with our relationship and he does not feel the need to marry. He said he is committed to our relationship just not having th need to marry. He is a divorsee and I am single, never married. THere have been many times when I feel this may not be the right guy as I view that if guy really loves a woman then there' s no right or wrong time, they will be ready to marry. I am looking for marriage as I am traditional and marriage is important to me, not just being in a relaitonship. Should I call it quit and look for someone right that will be ready to marry?

Mrxx 6 years ago

i am very sad at the moment. i have just broken up with the love of my life after 18 months. For 15 of those i had a daily barage of hints and such about getting married.

i would of liked the relationship to of developed first and then for the desision to of been partly my idea, but was never given any breathing space or time to just enjoy each other.

She was like a dog with a bone if you pardon the expression.

i was finally given one week to come up with the "RIGHT" desision or i was history.

Do you really do this to someone you say LOVE DEARLY and would be prepaired to spend the rest of your life with ??. All i know is is that i would never push someone away whome i love as much as i love her...... still.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


No, you don't do that to someone you "love dearly" and you don't do that if you are actually ready to be a partner. You were only together 3 months when she started pressuring you, and obviously your needs and feelings didn't matter. All that mattered was her bullying you into doing what she wanted. And clearly, she did not want a "marriage." Her treatment of this would have been foreshadow of the rest of your life, with your feelings not mattering, and your being pressured and pushed.

You made the right decision to end it - don't ever doubt that.

Best to you.

Lani 6 years ago

It’s been almost 7 yrs of dating. I’m anti-marriage so it worked for us cause there was never any pressure. What concerns me is that we’re older, he’s 37 and I’m 32 and I would like to have a child before I’m too old. We talked about it and agreed to start at the end of next year if he gets this other job (money would be better). My concern is that he was already talking about things he would do on his time off if hired, now granted I want him to have hobbies and explore to keep him happy… However, he mentioned to a friend that he would like to finish up college (which is fine), and possibly other endeavors like starting up a business and traveling. What worries me is that if we’re talking about having a baby then that means he is going to be a pretty absent father and partner. My bf is my absolute bestfriend, but am I just wasting my time-youth on something that isn’t going to amount to anything, or that is going unknown-future?

As much as I care for him and completely respect him… I honestly don’t want to be miserable in the future. He doesn’t know what he wants when it comes to career’s and he’s told me numerous times that he wants to grow old with me-til we part this world… but how can he know what he wants when he switches jobs and changes career interests all the time.

I’m confused right now. My head is telling me to leave him, and my heart is telling me not to… but the more time passes my heart is starting to fade for him.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Wow, your situation is very different and your comment taken to heart. It was about having a baby, not getting married. I answered you in your very own hub -


I moved your comment over to there. I hope you will check it out. Thanks for writing,


Mrxx 6 years ago


Thankyou for your understanding of my situation. times are hard to cope with at the moment but i guess what you have said is true. Thanks again. x

lilly33 6 years ago

I just got out of a two year relationship recently for this very same reason. I wanted marriage and he wanted more time.he's the one who brought up marriage in the first place. then after a year and a half he said he wasnt ready and didnt know if he would ever be ready! what a slap in the face. I was devastated but had to honor his choice. I broke it off then he came crying back to me asking for more time. and although we stayed together I remember feeling unloved and resentful I had put off my life plans to be with him because we were going to be married. I will never again sacrifice my future for another person as long as I live. it was foolish of me. I agree with you when you say that a man will get married when the time is right for him and a woman will make it the right time when the man is right. I am heartbroken over this but I would rather be single than married to someone who felt they were pressured into marrying me just to keep me. I hope one day he will realize what a mistake he's made by letting me go but either way I have to move forward with my life.thanks for your insight...good stuff

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I'm writing you your own hub. I will post the link here, it will be posted tonight. Hang in there, thanks for writing me,



Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Thanks so much for your comment!

Good for you. You sound so strong and healthy. I know it hurts, but you made the right decision and continue to make them in how you're shaping your future. You're so right - you want to be proposed to by a man who wants to marry you, not by a man that had to be pressured into it. And you should never sacrifice your future for anyone.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Here's your hub:


Please read it. Let me know what you think.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I answered you in your own hub, and I moved your comment over to there:


Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Good luck with your project.



23girl 6 years ago


i've read all your post and advice and I was so tempted to ask you for one.. thank you so much.

Me and my boyfriend are 23 and have dated over two years. We just graduated from college and currently trying to adapt to the real world. We also love with our parents which makes it sometimes impossible to spend more time together. We only get to see each other during the weekends.

All my friends that are in a relationship are either always hanging out with their love one, living together or engaged. It never really bothered me until now... I guess I feel that we are not normal because even thought we've talked about a future and marriage , we know it is later in the future.. which I was ok since I am not ready for marriage.. but being in love.. and seeing my friends have made me desire anf think about marriage more and more.. and even though i know my boyfriend is not ready for marriage . we can't really talk about it because there is an obtacle.. his job.

His career and job won't let him marry or move in with me until I become a citizen. This is in about 4-5 more years. I guess it plays well for him because he mentions that everytime we've talked about the future... he says that i need to become a citizen in order to marry or moved in together. I dont want to get married now, not in two years.. but i would like to get engage or have some assurance that he would want to marry me hopefully in two years. I respect his career and I support him a 100% but I also have mine, and even thought I tell myself that if a new job presents and i need to move I will because our careers come first, but I dont know if I can.. knowing that I could lose him.( hint: he doesnt believe in long distance relationship).

I dont want to lose him, I keep telling myself that we are young and we have so much to live, that eventually if we are meant to be with each other , we will but the whole i cant marry you until you are a citizen feel that is a huge obstacle or something impose on me.. in order to make this relationhip work.

i guess my questions is what should i do? I guess seeing my friends make me want that, live together, spend more time with him and of course that makes me see my relationship as abnormal, but am I crazy for being upset at the whole 4 year wait?

I tend to overanalyze my relationship from time to time, i guess a need a way to feel secure in it and i admit it but I just feel pushed away by what he wants in his career. Last night we had a fight because I was askign what if i dont want to become a citizen and he said that if i didnt he would marry me, that that is the only thing i need to do for him in order to have a life together. He says that he loves me, that he can't do better than him that it has been the longes relationship he've had and that he doesnt see himself with any other girl but me... but we are too young arent we?

Thanks for you thoughts

nix 6 years ago

Having read the advice you have given to others, maybe you could lend a little light on my situation.

My bf and I are both 33 and have been together for a year and a half, although we had known each other previously as friends for 3 years. In the beginning I was very laid back as to where the relationship could go. I didn’t have anything set in my mind as he told me he had 2 children and was going through a messy divorce. Having never been in that situation before I just accepted it and we took each day as it came.

As the relationship progressed he moved in with me and I realised things were getting serious. I was more involved in his children’s lives and with each others families. Then eventually a year later the divorce came through and wiped him clean of everything. It felt like a clean slate and once things started to settle in our relationship I started to get broody. I mentioned it to him but he told me he wanted to wait. I understood that a year in was a little too early for a baby but I feel like I am putting a lot of my ambitions and wants on the back burner for him without him realising. Yet kids come first in everything, then his work, then how he feels.

My dilemma is when I have asked him about how he sees the future; he says he only plans for now he doesn’t really think about the future. But, I really do want to plan for a baby and to get married but I do not know how to lay the foundations for him to want to commit to me in that way. I am not in the relationship just to keep him company. I have the same worries but I chose to deal with them as the come.

It feels like his ex has taken his want for commitment and kids away from him and I have lost out. I am the kind of person who gives all or nothing and I don’t want to get to another year gone and be in the same situation.

I support him 100% in everything he does, but what more can I do?

Any advice is much appreciated.

atlantic81 6 years ago

Warning: The seeds are deep, the plot is thick, and moral fiber is definitely twisted.

The back story - I'm from the USA living overseas in Korea. It's my first time this far away from anything or anyone and I'm 28 years old. I've had a string of relationships in '08 to mid '09 after my first real heartbreak that was probably more pride orientated than actual love. Either way it was my first time to feel that. I was coming off that 1.5 year haze, where the break was on my birthday in Jan of 08 and the pain lasted 2 years. After coming to Korea I felt a big shift and it went away. I was energized and able to move on finally.

Then 3 months later I met a Chinese girl who was graduating from college in a few months. After her school finished she ended up living with me until her visa expired. I cried when she left, and I never thought I would. She was a 23 year old virgin, and we have exchanged the "I love you" phrase. We had an abortion when she was here and we both regreted it (her obviously more so) although it was the best thing considering the law and culture in Asia. Just wish we would have done it sooner.

I have visited her family and drank with her father. There was a big scene because apparently that's a big deal and I'm a whitey and yadda yadda. Her father questioned her decision. Time has pasted and I've kept things going by not actually making any decisions for myself. So I have said yes to getting married without actually thinking I was going to because I thought this would naturally end when she went to China. I just wanted to keep the peace while she was living with me and enjoy our time as a couple. I really enjoyed her and I care about her.

She's in China now and wants marriage because it's the only way we can be together. Overseas relationships are hard with Chinese because their passport doesn't allow them to travel like an American can. She wants a baby really bad. I want a baby too but I don't want that responsibility (unless she takes care of it 95%). We talk online and on Skype and I know she senses that I might lying to her or she wouldn't be so worried and always asking me if I still miss her and love her. I don't know what love is as I don't think I've ever felt love. Not even with my family. But with her I can't tell if she's needy or it's just culture, but I do know some culture does exist.

So I'm this terrible horrible sexual man who wants many women with great bodies. I love women. I've cheated on her already with a crazy girl I don't even like (now that I learn her true personality) and I feel terrible about it. It's like I've lost all control, but I was going to break up with my China girl anyways.... But I can't.

Her dad had a fight with her over me and punched her in the face and stomach giving her a black eye. He then moved out and is letting her live in his house until "I come and marry her". She was devistated by this. Her mother is dead and she has talked about not wanting to be in this world and that I am the only good thing she has in this world (of course the abortion comes up and how she wants another one). She said she would not want to live if I left her and I believe her. She tried to kill herself once before when her mom died, as I have seen the scar.

I feel so terrible for her and I care about her well being. But I don't know if I can be married. I'm so reckless and irresponsible with women and sex and I always want more. However, I have a strong sense of loyalty and if I marry this girl maybe she can save me from myself because she takes really good care of me. I would be saving her from her dad and give her what she wants. My friend got married just because he got a girl pregnant and they are still together doing fine.

My doubts are if I don't find her sexy one day. Her body isn't bad but I've always wanted a woman with a smaller frame.

Am I delusional? Is my plight understandable or do I come across as just an asshole? I don't even know what to think on this one. I know marriage is about sacrific, but I want to settle down and start meeting emotionally healthy girls. I've been working on being a better man, but I feel like I want to keep meeting women perpetually.

Can 2 people level each other? I've made this all seem so dramatic, but I've been up all night and it's 7AM.

Oh and here is an afterthought. Should I get Herpes or something terrible I would not be allowed to work in this country and I would have to got back to the USA therefore eliminating my income and ability to travel and pay for the visas and all that jazz.

I hope this makes sense, but I'm posting it anyways. I would love your opinion.

trini 30 6 years ago


I am in a relationship with a man for 9 years , within 5 of those years he was married and 4 years ago he got divorced. We are still together but the divorce was hard and he does not want any children not does he want to move in or get married. We are 18 years apart and for 90% of the relationship we are good- should I bust my bubble and end this relationship?

After the divorce he has become very selfish and the caring side of him has gone, we normally see each other 4-5 times a week but this year he has decided he does not want to see me that often.

I will be 30 this year and even though I had decided no children, the prospect of no marriage haunts me , i don't want to end the relationship but if it means it is not going anywhere should I?

maria 6 years ago

hi veronica,

great to read the above messages, you read situations really well.

so here it goes.

I have just turned 29. I am european. i have been living for a year and a half in the middle east working. for the first 9 months i was working for this company and really enjoying my job, but my contract didn't get renewed. i was very disapointed as i was really enjoying my work, and i was good at it. in february 2009 I met this really amazing guy. he is 35 and is half european and half from the UAE. he was Truely amazing. he made me very happy. a real gentleman, and i was pinching myself couldn't believe it, it was soo great.I went back to europe during the summer, and he came to visit often. My family thought he was great and my friends also. and me to, he made me feel really special and loved, we cared lots for each other. Did I want to get married? well not yet ... but i was enjoying myself and felt we were definitely going somewhere. I returned to the middle east after the summer- but his tune was changing, he said on a few occasions that he had a really difficult summer and that i did not treat him right,(i thought it was great, and I included him in everything i did) and he basically showed strong signs of jealousy. i decided to trust our relationship and work on the whole jealousy thing. we went to travel in south america in november and got on well, but there were again a few jealousy scenes out there with one of his friends!- i think he thought i fancied him or something, and that i admire him? ... completely daft! and he said very hurtful things to me, that were unjustified. I was really upset, because we had something great, on so many levels. we have the same interests, and i feel he is a good man, and genuine, we came back to the middle east, things were ok again. For a while, until i found out(he told me) that previous to our relationship he used to go to call girls. And i think it was quite a frequent habit of this. My heart sunk and crashed when he told me. I was really heartbroken, and i know it was previous to our relationship but still i feel very disappointed and it really stresses me out when i think about it. I let him know that , and he says he is sorry and all,,,

then i went back to europe for x-mas vacations. then we went skiing together with friends and my sister, it was really great fun, but he got jealous again (of one of the guys that we invited) . he thought i found him more interesting, and that we didn’t ‘talk’ enough and stuff. Honestly it was a bit ridiculous, because we are always talking and discussing things....

Things got better again after the holiday, because i tried to explain to him that i loved him just the way he is, and i wanted to comfort him and help him. Things have been like this up and down. But obviously generally great apart for some crazy moments, where he just looses it and says really hurtful stuff that is just not true. We celebrated our 1 year anniversary a few weeks ago.

Things have been up and down. Mostly good though, otherwise we wouldn t be together. But yes i am worried about us. Sorry for the really long message, really look forward to your reply. Thanks. maria

kaarmen 6 years ago

IMO when in a several-years-relationship a guy says he is not ready to get married yet, HE MEANS, HE IS JUST NOT WANTING TO MARRY YOU. but if 3 months later he finds his RIGHT girl, he will be ready. so GIRLS do not waste your time and youth for someone who is not willing to get caught by YOU lol

NeedAdvice 6 years ago

Hi - I love your advice and need some. My boyfriend and I have been dating almost 4 years and are both 25. I feel like we have the perfect relationship except when i bring up moving together hes "just not ready" (99% wants to 1% doesnt - he says). We never fight more then bickering except once when when i first brought up the issue - i was completely shocked that he didnt love the idea and didnt want to live together so we (more-so he) ended up going on a "break for 5 days". We realized we missed eachother and couldnt be without eachother. That was 8 months ago - now its time for his lease to renew so i brought up the idea again and he still 'isnt sure he is ready'. (i was planning on waiting for him to bring it up but it was eatting me inside) I dont want to push him but i am scared that he may never be ready and am concerned about how much longer i will have to wait. I know he is worth waiting for but it is breaking my heart in the meantime. We spent 6 of 7 nights together as it is. I know i couldnt be without him but i feel I may resent him for not being ready. What do you think?

Gigi 6 years ago

Dear Veronica,

You give amazing advice!

Maria - I know this is Veronica's HUB, but I thought I'd offer my 2 cents on your situation - I once dated (and married) a guy like you describe (very sweet at first, from a different country and culture, and then later displaying many big red flags). Your man is showing MAJOR red flags early on - the jealously, lies, and also past disrespectful behavior toward women. Culturally, you 2 are worlds apart and this will become even more apparent in the future. I say RUN and run fast and far! If you don't run now, be prepared for more jealousy, more blame, more lies, and more hurt.

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!!!

NeedAdvice 6 years ago

To add to my post above, my question is if we spend (meaning he sleeps at my place or I sleep at his) nearly every night together (on average 6 of 7 nights a week) what is the difference? – then just moving in together?? And why wont he just move in? We both currently have roommates and I just hate commuting back and forth and having 2 sets of everything. How is he not ready when he is already so committed to me?

I really feel so lucky to have him and am so happy with our relationship – am I asking too much and should just continue to enjoy our relationship or is he taking advantage with no formal commitments? We are same religion/culture/values so I doubt that would be it.

Im confused…

Natural Beauty- what happened with your BR with the 3 month deadline?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

what to do -

I moved your comment to your very own hub! Here it is:


I hope you will read it. It's not what you want to hear but I really worked hard on it to give you my most honest feelings and advice.

Good luck to you.

NaturalBeauty 6 years ago

After I gave my boyfriend a 3 month deadline he decided to consider moving towards the idea of marriage. Now we are stuck in a strange area. He wants to marry me but not right now. I asked if we could marry this September and he said it was too soon. One reason is financial and another reason is that he isn't comfortable yet. He says he would like to enjoy the thought of marriage a little longer since its so new to him. He suggests a date about 1year to 1 1/2 years from now. I am disappointed because I thought that we were going to try to get married sooner. Especially since he now says he is ready.

I am looking forward to any responses that might help my situation and my peace of mind. I am finding it difficult to continue waiting and to trust in waiting since we have been down this route before. This is especially effecting our romance.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I moved your comment to here -


And answered you in your own hub.



Noemie 6 years ago

I am 32 he is 52, we've been together on-off for 4 years now and we have been living together for 9 months. Before moving together he said we were going to look at the marriage issue in 9 months time but at the same time he keeps talking about how marriage and divorce always benefits women and that why should someone get married and all that nonsense. I feel I have been misled. I do not want to be taken for granted. I have decided to move on and move out. But I love him so much and I can't stop hoping that when he will realise that he will lose me for good he will then propose to me.. I am very sad. But I don't feel I have any other option..

crimsontide1980 6 years ago

Quick question - have been dating my bf for 4 yrs. and a few months. I have never pressured him into an engagement but have spoken with him about it in the past. I finally got angry and basically told him I don't care anymore- which is only partially true. I am just sick of waiting... and I am starting to feel very resentful of him. I am in love with him, but I am nearly 30 - I told him when I was 28 - that my last 4 yrs. relationship was a WASTE of time... he promised me not to do that... but I think he already has in a way... what do I do?

Angela 6 years ago


Great page and great insights. Would love to hear your thought on my situation...

My boyfriend and I have been dating for just over 2 years now. We've been very good friends for a few years before we started dating.

We are in our late 20's, he's turning 30 this year. We both have good careers, make decent living and are free of the usual relationship baggages (emotionally stable, physically healthy, and both have great and supportive families, etc.)

Since we've known each other long before we became a couple, we have seen each other through our previous relationships. We were each in a long term stable relationship. I broke it off with my ex because I knew that he wasn't the one and I didn't want to settle. His relationship ended around the same time for similar reasons (nothing to do with me).

I brought up our previous relationships because in one of you posts, you told the story that the guy was not ready to get married, but got on with it as soon as he found the "one." Having seen my boyfriend in another relationship from a friend's perspective, I know what we have is special to him. He was with the other girl for 7 years and I knew, as well as our friends, he wasn't talking about marriage. We didn't want to ruin the wonderful friendship we had, so we really thought things through before we took it to the next level. He told me I'm the one soon after we started dating, and I felt the same way too. Our mutual friends all have told us that we act very different this time around compare to how we are with other people we've dated in the past and they think this is IT.

It hasn't been the perfect relationship because we both have very dominant personalities that lead to arguments (mostly about not very important issues), but we have managed to communicate and work things through every time. After 2 years, I would say that we've worked out all the kinks and are very much in love with each other.

Here's my issue, I'm at the stage in my life where I need the commitment. True, there is the pressure from friends and family and the bio clock etc., but I am also a mature independent woman in a healthy relationship. I want to be able to know I can plan the next chapter in my life with him. But here comes the cliche, he's not ready. My initial reaction was I wasn't going to wait around, but as it turns out I'm not as strong and carefree as I have held out to be. After long talks and explorations of his feelings, I'm more confused than ever. He tells me I'm the one, he tells me that he sees us being married in two years, he tells me he never wonders what it would be like to be with someone else, and he tells me if he has to choose between losing me and taking the plunge, he would choose the later (but what an awful person would I be if i made him choose). He can't name a reason why we shouldn't get married, but it just feels so "final" to him. He admits that he always gets the cold feet when making big decisions in life, and this is about as big as it gets.

This has been the sore spot in our relationship for a while, and it's really weighing me down. We are great together, but I also believe there's always someone else. I know I can no longer be happy in this relationship without being engaged. All the things he tells makes me feel like we are so close to getting there, but I don't know what I'm waiting for and how long for that matter.

Can you please help me understand what he meant by "scared of the finality of things", and what I can do short of an ultimatum in this situation?

havagohero 6 years ago

hey veronica,

really appreciate the amount of time you take to answer peoples questions. it has given me food for thought on my own situation.

i am 28 and my gf is 27, we had been together for 2.5 years until i broke up with her several days ago. now we are both hurting.

i am what is called a 'late bloomer' i believe as i did not first have sex until i was 23. This wasn't through lack of effort but simply because

i had deep depression issues focused around my looks. Even now i still have only been with 13 women. On top of this i have always stuggled financially

and have been unable to hold down even the shittest minimum wage jobs without falling into depression and feeling like i am wasting my life. At 23

things began to change for me on the 'ladies front' and i had the little success that i mentioned above (including a 6 month relationship), before

meeting my current gf at 26. shortly after being with her my mother died and my gf was there for me and it bonded us very close. with the small

inheritance i got i was able to quit the crappy jobs and focus on my dream career as a professional poker player. it has been my dream for 6 years

to be a poker pro, travel the world and party and have more success with women - sew my wild oats. that is what i see as truly living. the trouble is

i wish that i didn't have this urge to be with other women. i regret that i wasn't able to overcome my depression and insecurity about my looks at an

earlier age so that i would be ready to settle down with this great girl now. she is a deeply family orientated person and i know that she really wanted

to get married and have children. i broke up with her because i could see the years slipping away from her and i didn't want to stand in the way of her

happiness. i needed to get out now, while she is still only 27 to give her time to find someone to spend her life with.

my gf would never have tried to stop me following my dream career, nor stop me from the travelling that would be involved on the tournament circuit.

so i cannot use that as an excuse to break up with her. what this all basically comes down to is me wanting to be with other women. i am trapped my internal

code of not cheating.

from reading david deida's book 'way of the superior man' i know that as men, we will never stop having sexual desires for other women. My thoughts are,

the men that want to be married must either suppress these urges, have had their wild times and be totally satisfied or cheat.

for me, it feels like if i was to be with only this one girl for the rest of my life i would fall back into my depressive ways.

so my question to you is, will these feelings for more women ever go away if i don't quench my thirst for it? i know that this girl would make the

perfect wife and mother to my children. i don't want to throw that away for what i know will be ultimately meaningless soleless casual sex. i have

already had some one night stands and i didn't think they were that great immediately afterwards but then a day or two later i would want to do

it again if given the chance. this is retarded. do you think that if i went to a psychiatrist i could find away to get over these urges? I see all these

good looking celebrity men, whether hollywood stars or sports stars who could pretty much gauge themselves on meaningless casual sex everyday if they

wanted to and yet they nearly all choose to get married and start families so it can't be ultimately satisfying.

my reasons for breaking up with her were for both our benefits, to allow us both to live the lives that we want. now my thoughts have been clouded with

emotions and the heartbreaking thought of never seeing her again (living on opposite sides of a big city like London and with no mutual contacts, we will

never meet again unless arranged) has made me think that our lives are compatible if only for that one thing.

any help deeply appreciated.


Sakshi 6 years ago

Hi veronica,

i am glad to find this! I have been with a guy for almost 2 years. We are very young. We are both 21 years still finishing our undergrad degree.

I am ready. We live together but he goes for 4 months in the summer to live with his parents because he is scared of them.

He says he is not ready to get married he wants to accomplish a lot of things in life first, do wild and extreme things before he gets married. He said, he wants to do everything with me, he still wants to live with me but just not with the title of being married.

His family doesn't like me at all. They all hate me. He goes for 4 months to a different city and i am all left alone and i can't even talk to him.

My reason for pushing marriage if we will live together we might as well be married and live together once we graduate. We will graduate next year and i told him to get married an year after that so still 2 years to go.

He doesn't want it! He wants to get married when he is 30 yrs. I don't want that, i don't know what to do at this point.

It kills me that we have to hide from his family about us being in a relationship together. We even have a dog together. I don't know what to do at this point. I love this man a lot but i don't want to wait till 30 and realize he is not interested in me. I don't know!

He said he is very scared of the whole TITLE as being married!

Can you please advice me something! Do you think we can save this from breaking or am i better off breaking this?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


30 is a very reasonable age in which to marry. He is smart to want to sew his wild oats (american term, you may have to look it up) before marrying. It's smart and also wise: he is not at an age where he is capable of understanding and embracing marriage, and it sounds like he's trying to express that quite clearly.

Additionally his being scared of his parents is proof that he isn't ready to be his own man and marry as of yet.

You can obviously wait it out, or move on. The words that you choose indicate to me that you should probably move on. It seems you are looking for someone who is ready for something he isn't and won't be ready for.

You can't really want to be married to someone that you have to push to want to marry you. Can you? Don't you want to be married to someone that is actually ready to marry, and chooses you? My feeling is that you aren't grasping what marriage is and that you aren't ready either. If you can relax and enjoy what you have, that's great. But being that his parent's hate you, and that this is "killing you" according to you, I think you should let this go and move on. Open the door for new relationships that are more atuned to what you're ready for. Good luck.

Cinderella 6 years ago

Dear Veronica,

I love your advice. I think your insights are amazing. I hope you can give me a better perspective on my relationship.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years. I’m 25 and he’s 28. We’re both catholic and we both believe in marriage. He’s also very romantic by nature and is an amazing, dedicated partner. That said, he’s finding it difficult to take the next step though he’s said that he loves me, couldn’t imagine his life without me and that he wants to get married. He’s also very honest that he doesn’t know why he can’t actually do it – propose.

After I finished University 2 years ago, marriage was on the table. He said he wanted to get married and so we talked about getting married and moving to Japan (a dream of mine). I made the plans for Japan, got a job, and waited for his answer but he kept pushing it off until I finally boarded the plane without him (which was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done). I was there for three months, figuring I’d moved on with my life and the fact he couldn’t commit was an indicator of how he felt about us. He secretly showed up at my doorstep three months later saying he “could propose at any moment.” That, of course, never happened. Now we’ve been back for over a year and there’s still nada.

We had a heart-to-heart recently. I asked him that given he says he wants marriage, what it would take for that to happen. He asked me for two weeks to sort out his thoughts and to make this happen. Well, those two weeks ended and all he came back with was “I know you’re absolutely the one for me and I’m going to make this happen” – but no timeline, no nothing. I told him that what he just said was no different from what he’s been saying for years now.

So he asked for another two weeks. That ends this Friday. (By the way – I didn’t give him an ultimatum on time – he offered both of these two week periods.) I told him this two week stuff is ridiculous, because what happens if he can’t – the relationship’s over? I said that if the choices are between breaking up and marriage that makes a ridicule out of our relationship and the idea of marriage. So I asked him marriage was what he wanted and if he was willing to make that happen – he said yes. I said that obviously there is something going on that is stopping him and that I want him to see a counselor of psychologist or something. He agreed but still asked that he could try to figure this out by Friday on his own and that if he couldn’t he’d see a psychologist.

Here’s the problem: I came back from Japan for him – because his visa didn’t allow him to stay any longer. I really gave this relationship my absolute best, for years. Now I am in my hometown and can’t find any work because of my profession and have been unemployed for a year!!! I feel like he's holding my life back! and that my life only revolves around him now! I feel bad saying this to him and he's guessed how I feel. I know it also makes him feel upset and guilty that I feel this way. He has a wonderful career and makes fantastic money and I am scraping into my savings. It’s so disappointing and horrible the situation I am in now. I’ve been looking for work, even something small like working in a bookstore, and I’ve sent out a ridiculous number of resumes but everyone says I am overqualified (I have a masters degree and have worked in a publishing firm.) If he comes back and tells me that I will have to wait should I just pick up and go back to my fulfilling and wonderful job in Japan and sacrifice this relationship, or should I sacrifice my career and future and wait around for him for another year or two while I’m dipping into my savings? I know I have a fantastic man who wants to marry me but who for some reason can’t. I don’t think I can wait around forever. What can I do? I feel like my hands are tied and I hate having to choose between the two.

biv 6 years ago

you are champ! and speak like champ!! I wish clumsy oaf like I could speak wit half as much wisdom...

Kal 6 years ago

I married a guy who was not quite over his divorce..he was not so much in love with the wife, but he was attached to " family Feel" he had with her because thier son. In short he was after thier divorce he met me and tried to hide me from everyone who knew her. He would not mention my name to his closest friends because he was worrid that his ex might find out and give him a hard time. So after cuple of months I wanted to be introduced at least to his friends, which he did introduce to one. He lost his job and I had money.I supported him a little. I wanted marriage so he very quitly married me. His ex found out and stopped him from seeing the kid. Now it has been about a year...not only he was very unhappy the day we got married in the court,he did not even give me a card I spend for all the expenses for our travel after marrieg he refused saying it is was all my idea. His 12 yeasr old son got mad at him over the phone and ex stopped talking to him. Now every day I hear the same thing over and over again that this mrriage was a pressure and should not have happend unless the son gave his OK.He want to start a business with me, but saya is not quite sure of the marriage. He says I should keep him a partner but he might break the marriage. NEVER EVER MARRY A GUY WHO IS NOT DONE WITH HIS PAST LIFE AND IS SO ATTACHED TO THE PREVIOUS " FAMILY FEEL' THAT HE CAN CHUCK YOU OUT OF THE WINDOW...BY THE WAY i AM YOUNGER THEN HIM DECENT LOOKING

saschoolcraft 6 years ago

Hi, Veronica! This was a great article. I'm yet one more woman in search of advice. I'm 30 and the boyfriend is 28. He proposed in October, and then rescinded the offer, so to speak. I sort of knew from the beginning that he wasn't into it. I asked him what compelled him to propose, and instead of a romantic response he replied, "I knew it would make you happy." A few months later (and a few thousand dollars worth of security deposits), he took it all back, and said he's not sure he's willing to make that kind of commitment to anybody. He said he felt pressure to move the relationship forward, as we have been dating for three years and living together the entire time (it began as a roommate situation). I'm trying to accept the here and now, but at the end of the day, I'm alarmed that he's not willing to make a commitment to someone he's been living with for three years. All of a sudden, my mother's "why buy the cow" warning is running through my head, and I feel like I'm being used. Although he says his feelings for me haven't changed, I can't help but think that inertia is keeping us together, and he's keeping his options open. Not only that, but I lost a lot of respect for him for making such a big promise and taking it away. I feel he should have been self-aware enough to know that he didn't want to get married, and to start a conversation along the lines of, "I know you're probably expecting a proposal, but..." As hard as that would have been to take, I think it would have been easier than getting a ring, getting excited and then losing it all. He seemed like a perfect guy for most of the three years we've dated, but I'll admit now I can't help but think he's emotionally immature.

Am I being impatient? Should I let it go and appreciate what we have now, or do I need to recognize that I just might not be the girl for him, even though he's not willing to admit it?


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


His age is extremely significant. He's probably moved through his Saturn Return / Rites of Passage. This means, he has become a more focused and clear minded adult, he has moved into a place where he can see himself clearly and interpret his needs and wants more clearly as well. He knows what's he doing. And he was as close as anyone is going to be to marrying you, and found the courage and balls to break it off. That took it alot.

At this point, I don't believe that you want to be with him anymore. Reading between the lines it doesn't sound like the option of "appreciate what we have now" is an option at all for you even though you stated it. You're seeing him as "emotionally immature" and you said you're "alarmed" that 3 years wasn't enough time for him to be ready to commit his life. You said you lost respect for him.

I think you want to end it. I think you can see it's not the kind of life-long forever love that you want, he's not where you are in his emotional life or in this relationship. Actually, I think you feel he should have ended it, and you're resisting being the one that has to do it. You see the demise of the relationship as his fault, and blaming him is more your focus right now than just doing what you need to do in order to invite the future that you really want.

So, this is my advice: Let this go. It doesn't matter if it's his fault, it doesn't matter how hurt you've been and let down you feel. Leave this relationship behind. Focus forward instead of backward. He's not going to marry you. And what there is between the two of you now is not what you want. Stop beating the dead horse and release yourself from this. You can have everything you want - face forward, and go out and find it.

anony 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I'd love your insight on my situation. I am 27 and my bf is 30. We've been together for about 3 years. When we first met he very much pursued me and talked about the future (definitely hinting at things like marriage and kids although not explicitly talking about them). We have a great relationship, very solid, we don't really fight and it generally feels very easy when we are together. Last year we had the kids convo. I definitely want kids and he's not sure. His parents are divorced and his father wasn't the greatest and I think he worries he'll turn into him. Also, he's in debt and I think feels very far from being at a point where he could have kids (I feel far too, but that doens't mean I don't think about it). I got upset at the time because I felt like this meant we had no future together and had to break up. But we discussed it and I'm a long way from being ready to have kids, so I felt like its ok to be together for now and live in the present and see what happens.

Anyway, I recently brought up the future again (nothing specific like marriage or kids) but just generally the future, like would he consider moving in together at some point and where he sees this going. I don't feel ready to move in together at the moment, but I also want to be open to talking and thinking about steps like that, even though it scares me. I hear horror stories about couples that get engaged and then find out that she wants one thing and he wants another and so then they break up. I am trying to avoid that. Currently we are both in a period of transition, looking for jobs and figuring out life, so there's this a big unknown about our futures. He said he's not ready to move in together (he still lives at home and I think he's gotten too comfortable with that!) because he's always been told that once you move in together it goes downhill. He also says he's never really imagined himself having a family. I am not sure if this is cause of his parents divorce or cause most of his friends aren't married or what. This all seems so different from the way he talked when we first met (althoguh, I know things change from the honeymoon stage). I really love him and I think he's just scared and feels immature still so part of me thinks I just need to be patient. I also feel like he doesn't want to give himself a chance at being happy in a way. So I'm all upset now and not sure what to do. Things are really great in the present, but I feel like I can't jsut ignore the future. I am still young and not in any big rush to make a long term commitment, but I would like to be married and have kids by my mid-thirties. I'm not sure if this means I need to end it or if I need to just give it more time. I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

stbf73199 6 years ago

I have been with and living with my boyfriend for a lil over 5 years. I am now 7 1/2 months pregnant and although I knew from the beginning that he wasn't ready to get married even for the sake of the child, I still decided to keep the baby. Growing up in a city full of statistics of unwed pregnancy, I am embaressed to say that he is my boyfriend and not my husband or fiance when people see that I am pregnant, so I asked for a compromise. I offered getting engaged before the baby is born in exchange for waiting for marriage and he agreed. Lastnight, tho, when I brought it up the engagement, he said he can't believe I want to go through with this engagement knowing he doesn't want to. It hurt bad. I mean I just don;t get it. We live together, we are about to have a child, we have a married life without the certificate, why is he so against the thought? How can he have everything with me that a married couple has and says he loves me, but get so aggravated by the idea. He says he's not going anywhere and that he will marry me, but sometimes he's just so harsh in his honesty of not wanting to now. Is there any man who can explain this to me or anyone at all?

Cali 6 years ago

My boyfriend and I have been dating a little over 2 years now. I just moved in with him recently and things are going bad fast. We work opposite schedules so we don't get to see each other much. When we do see each other we fight or hardly talk. I don't think he is happy and I don't know why. He goes out with his friends all the time while I'm at work and does whatever he wants yet he's still seems unhappy. Should I move out? Should I leave him? I hate to through everything away, I do love him and I think he loves me. We are just in a rut and I don't know what to do. Please help me!!

Confused 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

My girlfriend and I have been dating for little over 5 months now. She's 25 and I'm 28. At about the 3 month mark she started questioning the direction of the relationship and wanting some form of reassurance that there was something worth staying with me for. She's convinced that i'm the one. I told her that I wanted to take things on the day by day to make my own assessment of how compatible we were. Well at the 5 month mark she's given me an ultimatum telling me that she needs a reason to stay in town (i.e marriage) otherwise she's gonna take a job offer out of state within the next year. I love her,and am settled into my career where i told her that moving with her was not an option. I feel pressured to make such a hasty decision at such an early stage in the relationship. I feel as though this threat of marriage on her part interferes with the natural development of the relationship at this point. Furthermore, she's told me that she wants kids within the first year of marriage I find it hard to agree with any of what she says because I still hold on to the notion that 5 months is hardly a long enough measure of time to get to know someone. I don't really know what to say to her because i think she's just acting out of fear that her biological clock is ticking away. On a side note she has been engaged 2 times in the past and not once walked down the isle. Granted in those cases she's told me that her past fiancees cheated on her before the wedding. I'm not sure if perhaps resentment of being pressured too hastily into marriage might have played a hand in this considering that these guys popped the question at around the 4 to 5 month mark. Help! what advice can you give to save this relationship from potentially repeating a doomed pattern. I love this girl but think she needs to give the relationship some more time.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I like your phrase "the threat of marriage." May I use that sometime?

You are right on all of your points. 5 months together is not long enough to know you want to commit the next 60 years. Her history of being engaged twice before, after only 4 - 5 months together, is what destroyed those relationships. Her having decided before even meeting her "husband" that she wants to have babies within the first year is proof that she really isn't looking for a soulmate/best friend: she's looking for a warm body to fit into her plan of "I want to get married NOW, I want to have babies NOW, I want I want I want and I could really give a shit less what it is that YOU want."

You really need to tell her to take that out of town job and go. Move. At 25 she has promised her life to 2 people and is trying to make it 3. She has an agenda. She doesn't love you, she doesn't care about what you want, or what's healthy, she just wants the life she thinks she wants. She thinks forever can be built on the "threat of marriage" instead of 2 normal healthy people falling in love and figuring out they can't spend their lives apart.

I guarantee you that you have only seen the beginning of the bullying. She will continue not to ask you what your dreams are, or what you want. She will continue to inflict her agenda on you and the relationship. It really doesn't matter at this point if you love her, or if she's the greatest girl in the world. She's focused on her agenda, and headed for a lot of regret and heartache. The best thing you can do is to get out of the way.

Virtuous One 6 years ago

Hello Veronica. Your insight is quite remarkable and you definitely give unbiased opinions. Its always better to hear an outside/unbiased opinion than your own because when your in the situation your blinded by the fireworks.

I have been with my current gf for exactly 2 years and i really do love her. She has been with very successful men before me but stated she is not looking to be with a man with money but who he is and how he makes her feel. I thought this was impressive and it won me over. She had guys talk to her about marriage before but her reason she gave them to "wait it out" is the same reason i give her now.

She explained to me that the reason she was giving them was not good and it was because she didnt find the right guy until i came along (pats myself on the back). Now she has been threatening that she wont stay forever and that she needs to see at least an engagement ring from me or else or else or else...me personally i dont like threats one bit and i dont wanna just engage or marry someone out of pressure, it takes the fun out of the creativity i want to have when i plan my typical "will you marry me scene". i currently live with my mom and dont have a stable job because i have invested most of my time to my business. I really want to get married at 30 and always said i need to be with a girl to know her for at least 3 years, im currently 29 and she...26...her family is in her ear saying that if i dont show commitment by a ring then i clearly dont love her and must have doubts - but im so tired of explaining thats not the case to her so now im at the point whre i dont care if she leaves me because i will NOT marry out of pressure ...i want to know your take on this situation....do you think im wrong for not wanting to marry her out of pressure? i also dont want to lose her cuz i do love her....

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Virtuous One,

I don't think you're wrong. I think you'd regret it for the rest of your life if you married someone, especially at her young age, because she pushed you. Your use of the word "threat" alarms me. I've written several hubs about this type of situation, a couple about ultimatums...

and one about nagging.


It's very disturbing that her "threats" have resulted in your not caring if she leaves.

Any normal healthy adult that is mature enough to be a partner for life, would certainly want a proposal that comes from the heart, not one that comes from bullying. This is a huge reflection on her inability to be a partner. Additionally, just as with any other bully, once they get away with that kind of behavior once, they will do it again and again. If she succeeds in getting what she wants by threats and bullying, you have set the pattern you will live for the rest of your lives. If she wants a certain house, a baby, another baby, to get rid of your friends, whatever it is - she KNOWS all she has to do is bully you and she will win.

Another horrible thing going on here, is she is not listening to you. You're telling her how you feel, and she doesn't care. She cares more about what her parents think. Again, this sets the stage for your future. You're supposed to be the person she listens to. She's showing you right now that you aren't. She's proving the power her parents will have in her life, and that means in yours if you spend your future with her.

If you really do love her and hope to fix this, my advice is a one-shot grand promise and explanation. Keep in mind if you're already at the point of not caring if she leaves, than you have nothing to lose here. You need to do a two-tiered final demonstration of how you feel, and what you will and won't put up with.

The promise needs to be represented with something physical: a joint checking account titled "X and Y's Wedding Account." Or a promise ring. Or something solid and tangible like that, that shows your intentions of one day proposing. This needs to be grand enough and marriage-specific enough to satisfy any fears she has. But give it conditionally.

And the explanation needs to be very clear. You have to communicate exactly what she has to promise, in order to keep this gift. If she can't agree to what you're putting forward here, then she can't keep the gift and this is pretty much over. You need to state that people that are actually mature and committed enough to be thinking marriage, listen to each other. They do not choose to ignore their partner, they do not choose to listen to their parents over their partner. Period. You need to acknowledge that you understand she doesn't want to wait forever, but that you aren't ready right now. Basically what that says is, you'll be getting married sometime between right now and before forever. It really shouldn't be that hard to try to narrow it down a little better than that. Your "married by 30" and "together 3 years" rules come to fruition in one year. Can you make that your mark? Don't promise something you can't keep. If you don't feel ready to say you'll propose in a year, then can you promise within 2? or 3? Or at least, give a timeline for talking about marriage again. Like: "We can discuss if we're ready to get married in a year. Until then, this subject has to be dropped."

If she's claiming she is ready to get married and spend her entire life - the next 60 years or so - with you, and she can't wait 1 year for you to feel ready to discuss this, she's proving she isn't ready to be a partner at all.

Tabatha 6 years ago


I have been with my boyfriend foralmost threeyears we live together and we are totally Happy IM ready to get married and every time I talk to him about it he get agitated and says I want to get married someday. I dont want to wait five years it just doesnt make sence we are stable we havefun we both want the same things what is he waiting for. He just gets so angry when I bring itup and it doesnt seem like he is evergoing to make up his mind. I dont really know what IM supposed to do because we live together and whendo I give up on waiting for him.



Jess 6 years ago

Hi Veronica~

My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly five years. I'm 25 and he's now 30. I work full time and am in school full time. Both of us have very similar goals in life. My problem is marriage. He bought a house in which we live together and he wanted me to purchase it with him. I turned him down saying we are not married and it would not be in my best interest if I did. He understands but I could tell he was hurt by my decision. We had the house built and everything about it is what we chose together. While marriage isn't everything to me, I do want to be married and I truly want to be married to him and "make a future". I'm lucky in the fact that we are able to talk and have a conversation about it. He says he thinks of our future but is not ready for marriage. I told him I did not want him to marry me because I want him to marry me and resent me for it. I want kids and want to enjoy being married before we start a family. Am I hoping for too much or is he really trying to hold on to me without giving me what I need in return?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Bravo for you for being smart enough not to buy the house with him. Clearly you know what you want, which is marriage. Without having that, to enter into a house purchase together would truly be foolish.

This isn't a hub about financial advice obviously, especially the most basic and rudimentary financial guidance. So I will drop that subject here. But GOOD FOR YOU, you'd be surprised how many people aren't nearly as smart as you are, and then blame or lash out at everybody else for their idiocy.

You said marriage isn't everything to you, but I don't believe you. There are "tells" in your wording that say quite the opposite. And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm surprised you're only 25: most of the 25 year olds that write me are not as insightful about things as you are being.

You're right about alot of things- you are lucky you two can talk, he was probably a bit hurt that you didn't want to take "his" progressive steps and chose to wait it out smartly for your own, and if you push him to marry you before he's ready he will resent you.

Your question is well put. I wish I could answer it for you. I don't know him enough to say. It is pretty clear that he is building his future with you. But what is not clear, is if his future includes marriage or not. Some people just don't want to get married.

The best thing about your situation is that you have time. 25 is so young.

Try to get a handle on how he feels about marriage in general. When you see one on tv or you hear of friends getting married, engage him in conversation. Not about the two of you but just general things. "What did you think of that wedding band?" "That was a cool idea, doing a breakfast bar at the reception at 1 am!" "X and Y are having a 10 year vow renewal, isn't that cool?" Just gage reactions. If he's dead set against marriage it will become obvious once you look at it in an objective tense instead of as everything applies directly to you.

If he seems to be ok with the idea of marriage in general, that's a good sign. From there, without making it personal, try to get him to talk about his goals and his plans. Ask about his dreams, his career path. See if that brings his vision into focus.

You're smart. I'll bet you can figure him out. Please keep in touch.

spaceandtime30 6 years ago


I need your unbiased (and amazing advice). I'm 33.

I recently split up with my long-term girlfriend after seven years. Why? Because although I loved her to bits, I simply couldn't see the wedding day. I panicked at the thought of marriage. Didn't feel ready to enter into a bit family. I couldn't speak to my partner about any of this because I was just shattering her dreams.

I basically don't have much of a clue what I want from life, and tend to just coast on a day-to-day basis. But now I've broken someone's heart and kept her waiting for more than 7 years. She's now 33 and wants a family and children.

Now that we've split up, I really miss her. And I look at all the cosiness and warmth and happiness we had together and I should want it. Yet the prospect of family and children I still don't feel ready for. What on earth shall I do? Keep away from her? Try to come round to it? Or just go back and smile through a wedding and hope it all works out down the line???

Thanks for your help.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


There are two completely separate things you're talking about here. I think the key for you to find your way, is to start separating them.

Wanting to have a monogamous committed relationship and possibly marriage, is a completely different thing than wanting to have children.

There is nothing wrong with not being ready for marriage. And there is nothing wrong with not being ready to have children. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with never wanting one or both of those things. It would absolutely be the biggest mistake of your life if you got married and had kids - two huge decisions that will govern the rest of your life - unless you want these two things. Please read this other Hub I wrote regarding how badly you'll regret it forever if you "smile through a wedding and hope it all works out." -


Just as you have the right to follow your path, so does your ex. She's better off finding someone who wants and is ready for the future she sounds very focused on having.

The only questionable thing here, is why did she spend 7 years with someone who is self described as coasting day to day, and not anywhere ready (or even sure that he'll ever want) marriage, or children. You said you've broken her heart and shattered her dreams but she is responsible for her own path in life. Were you lying to her? Were you making promises you didn't mean? Unless you lied, I wouldn't put all this horrible blame on yourself. If she were to write to me I'd say the same thing. If she wants marriage, and children, she should not spend 7 years with someone that doesn't, and then point the finger at them as if they were responsible for her happiness.

I wasn't ready for marriage until I was in my 30's. And I never wanted children. I am happily married to someone who shared what I wanted in life. You will find the right person too, if that's what you want. And so will she.

Honey I don't mean to be harsh, and believe me I understand how sad this is for both of you. But I can feel the guilt in your words, and I really want you to let it go. This wasn't your fault.

You should not be in any relationship that requires you to change, to succeed. You're allowed not to be ready. And you're allowed not to want what other people want. And I promise you, the only way you will truly find happiness and be able to bring happiness to others, is if you are true to yourself.

spaceandtime30 6 years ago


Thanks so much for your reply. For seven years I coasted in a relationship just happy to see where it would end up, rather than proactively thinking about marriage, the steps needed to get there, and what my life might look like when I do get to that point.

Now, I'm a lot more switched on about what I do want (was this my Rites of Passage, moment?).

With this in mind, I was REALLY interested in the plight of your husband. Before he met you. After all that existential soul-searching in his previous relationship, did meeting you just suddenly make sense? Were there certain character traits you had that he realised were deficient in his last relationship? Does this tend to happen quite a lot with men who are uncertain about what they want - and then find out what they DO by what DIDN'T work?

I suppose my question is, is finding "the one" usually a lot more simple than we tend to make it?

spaceandtime30 6 years ago


Thanks so much for your reply. For seven years I coasted in a relationship just happy to see where it would end up, rather than proactively thinking about marriage, the steps needed to get there, and what my life might look like when I do get to that point.

Now, I'm a lot more switched on about what I do want (was this my Rites of Passage, moment?).

With this in mind, I was REALLY interested in the plight of your husband. Before he met you. After all that existential soul-searching in his previous relationship, did meeting you just suddenly make sense? Were there certain character traits you had that he realised were deficient in his last relationship? Does this tend to happen quite a lot with men who are uncertain about what they want - and then find out what they DO by what DIDN'T work?

I suppose my question is, is finding "the one" usually a lot more simple than we tend to make it?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Yes. That was your Saturn Return - Rites of Passage. It's kind of amazing how differently we feel after that change, once we're about 28 - 31 years old. You may not change, but you certainly look at things completely differently, with new eyes and new awarities. It's very common for someone your age to be fine-tuning how they approach life, and how they conceive of themselves, and what they want in their futures.

The husband is sitting here with me as I write this. He says, he had no idea anyone like me was out there. Translation - anyone so right for him. He says, he wasn't "looking" but once he discovered this relationship, the answer is yes. Yes, he suddenly realized what had been wrong in relationships prior, and what he actually wanted his life to be. He said for the first time he could envision it.

He said before me, when he would be in a relationship, if he thought about the future, like buying a house or seeing Greece one day, he always pictured himself alone. It wasn't a purposeful slight to the then girlfriends, just that what was in his mind's eye for the future didn't include them. But after he met me he says it was impossible to imagine any of those things without me there.

He says alot of it, yes, was that I had character traits he hadn't before realized he wanted in a mate, or didn't even think they existed in a mate.

I do think that there are quite alot of men that learn what they want by experiencing what they don't want. And I don't think my husband is in a minority regarding his not realizing the right partner for him even existed. I think many men have a few gf's and then begin to project the characteristics of those women onto all women. It's not easy to break that, or to seek out someone different.

As to your last question, I don't think it's all that easy to find "the one." I think many many people, rather than patiently or intelligently look for the right one, try to force the person at hand into changing and becoming something they are not. I think what happened to you is very sadly all too common.

Lindsey 6 years ago


Why aren't you harsher with the guys in these situations(referencing your response to spaceandtime30)? I've read a lot of your hubs and really appreciate the no-nonsense/3 martini approach and thoughtful insight, but it just seems that you put more responsibility on the women for the marriage question than you do the guys. Am I just imagining or projecting this myself? I realize that I'm biased to the women's perspective as I was there myself, but I don't it's wholly off base.

For example, I completely agree with you that people have to be responsible for their own life path and happiness (a lesson I learned the hard way), but why don't men such as spaceandtime30 also have a responsibility to be upfront and honest with women in this situation? I understand if they literally never talked about it, then I suppose it's more understandable. But it sounds like he did know that she wanted kids and marriage at some point. Was this really news to him at year 7? It seems unlikely. I'm not saying I think he lied to her per se, but it's hard to walk when you know that he knows you want marriage and kids and also tell you things like he loves you to bits. And I don't like to admit such things, but a lot of women are raised by families and encouraged by society to be accommodating and nurturing, which often contributes to this sort of situation (you almost never hear of a man waiting around for 7 years and ending up heartbroken because his gf won't commit so there must be something inherently different about the sexes and/or gender roles).

Sure, a really savvy, emotionally mature woman can separate those out and understand that the actions aren't aligning with the words or that they may love each other but aren't going to be compatible because they want different things in life. But just as a woman has a responsibility to take control of her own happiness, be clear about expectations and act accordingly, do you think the men in these situations have some similar duty to act responsibly emotionally? Like perhaps after 5 years and he's 31 and he doesn't want to marry her, that maybe he has some responsibility for pulling the plug too? I think the woman (like I was) is the bigger fool for not seeing the writing on the wall and allowing herself to be strung along and semi-duped, but at what point does he incur some responsibility to for the "I love you, but I'm not ready yet" response?

I guess sometimes it just doesn't seem right that women have to be the emotionally responsible/aware ones in these situations and guys get more of a pass because they didn't know what they want. I realize that practically that may make the most sense, but I think he should feel some guilt for this after 7 years. Not all the guilt (I'm sure she feels a classic fool), but I also don't think at 33 this is the same as not knowing what you want and going through some of the necessary trials and tribulations that happen at 23. At some point, you're taking someone else along on that path of self-discovery and you should have some consideration for their heart as well.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


First, let me say I'm sorry you were hurt. It sounds like it was a bad hurt, and that sucks. And we've all been there.

Second, I want to say thanks for reading me, and for the comment, and thanks for explaining your thoughts in a clear conversational way. I so appreciate comments like this. I don't mind at all if people disagree with me. But I don't put up with attacks.

Ok, and now third, let me tackle your questions.

You aren't imagining it, I am harsher with the women.

Well, in this hub and on this subject, it's usually the women, anyway.

Really what it is, is that I am being harsh with whomever it is that expects their partner to change. I'm harsh with the person that isn't listening because they are hearing what they want to hear.

Lindsey I have been responding to your comment for hours over here, I've even talked to my husband about it. I'm trying to think of a metaphor but everything seems lame. I'm going to give you one of the lame ones anyway. Please try not to focus too much on the lameness, and get to the sentiment of it.

Say you're renting a house. And the landlord comes by and says he's so happy you're in the house. And you tell him you love the house. He says he wants you to buy the house. You tell him, you love the house, but you aren't house shopping right now. You're happy renting. You aren't ready to buy. You aren't thinking about buying.

There's nothing in what you said that should confuse him. You love the place, but you aren't ready to buy. But he is just set on the idea that you love the house, so he takes the house off the market, because his renter loves the house and he wants to sell it to her.

This makes no sense. If he wants to sell, he should be looking for buyers, not waiting for a renter to change into a buyer.

After a few years of this, he starts to really bother you, telling you he wants you to buy the house.

You tell him, you love the house, and you are happy renting it. But you don't know where your career is going, and you don't know what city you want to live in. You don't think you'd qualify for a mortgage, you can't afford the house, you don't know what's wrong with renting.

Now, according to what you said in your comment, you think you should move out because you're stringing the landlord along.

But the fact is, you aren't. You have told the landlord you're happy with how things are. It's not your fault that you are happy renting, and it's not your responsibility that the landlord has decided not to look for buyers, but only wants to sell the house to someone that isn't buying. If the landlord isn't satisfied renting to you, than it's his responsibility to have you move out and look for someone who wants to buy.

With spaceandtime30, he did nothing he should feel guilty about. Based on what he shared with us, he never strung her along, he didn't lie or make promises he wasn't going to keep. Telling her he loved her to bits in no way shape or form says marriage or kids. There are many, many people that never want to have kids. My husband and I are two of them. There are many many people that don't ever get married. Neither of those things has anything to do with the fact that those people may still fall in love.

Of course he knew long before 7 years that she wanted to get married and have kids. I don't understand why you think he's saying he didn't know. Of course he knew. But to think he should have broken up with her to protect her from herself is really not fair or right. He was being honest, and clear. He was loving her and having a relationship. If that wasn't enough for her, she should have left. It's not his responsibility to end things for her.

If you are in any situation that isn't going where you want it to, you should go. Whether it's an apartment or a job or a relationship. It's not your boss' job to fire you because you may not be happy at this job. It's not up to him to decide that for you. It's not up to your landlord to evict you if you aren't happy with the apartment. And it doesn't matter if you tell your boss or your landlord that you want something different. It's not up to them to push you out in the world and force you to go find your happiness. Giving that kind of power and responsibility to others, is exactly what I'm being harsh about.

The fact that she was telling him what she wanted but stayed someplace where she wasn't getting it for 7 years really makes it hard to take her seriously. By staying that long she reinforced that he didn't have to do anything different.

He didn't do anything wrong inviting her to come along with him on his journey of discovery. She was welcomed to be there and he apparently loved her to bits and enjoyed being with her. Her journey is not his responsibility. It is hers and hers alone.

And here's one more point - just as she was staying, hearing what she wanted to hear instead of what he was actually saying, hoping he'd change who he is or hurry up and mature, maybe he was doing the same thing. Maybe he was loving her to bits and hoping she would change from wanting to get married, to wanting what he wants. Maybe he was hoping she'd realize what they had was bigger and better than any piece of paper, and she would change her focus on that, and just want to be with him, in the now.

Neither of them won. Neither of them got what they wanted. He wanted to be with her. For her that wasn't enough, she wanted to get married and have children.

I do believe like you said that there is something inherent in the gender roles. But I don't believe it's because women are raised to be more nurturing. I think it's because women are dependent. Women more than men want their partner to bring them the life they want instead of going out and getting it on their own. You're right, you rarely hear of the man waiting 7 years and ending up broken hearted, because there is no way in hell a real man would be that dependent on someone else for his happiness. He'd go out and get what he wanted, make it happen. Not sit around complaining that his gf won't change for him and just waiting, and waiting.

I hope to hear back from you.

dc 6 years ago

I might have to call you on this on, Veronica. I was reading thru spaceandtime30 and your response, and thinking the same things that Lindsey came up with in the very next post. I generally agree with you on everything, and in this case, it's the 7 years that is the sticking point. While I agree with you and Lindsey that, ultimately, we are all responsible for our own happiness, I tend to agree with Lindsey that at some point, spaceandtime can no longer get off completely scot-free, as I really feel like he has in this case. Sure, maybe at the 4-5 year mark, if he loved her, if he really truly loved her to bits (and also keeping in mind he was 26 when they got together and 30-31 at that point, no longer a kid in his 20s), and knew that she was wanting something different, that he might ~never~ be willing to provide, at that point he might need to man up and say, Look babe, I love you to bits, I want to be with you, YOU, but I don't know about this rosy picture you're painting, kids, etc, and I gotta tell ya, if that's what you're looking for, I may never be that guy. And give her that option to look elsewhere, if he loved her and wanted her to be happy, he should let her know that she may never get what she wanted from him, and then she could make an informed decision about staying with him, minus her pre-made plans. I myself brought this up with my on again-off again partner of two years, knowing he eventually wanted kids, and I didn't.

Actually, I need to give spaceandtime some credit, it sounds like this conversation may have actually taken place, though it seems a bit later than my comfort zone timeline.

And yeah. I agree with your metaphors in general, certainly most of these letters involve women who aren't hearing what the guy is clearly telling them, however I'm specifically referring to this situation. Spaceandtime has done the right thing, absolutely, belatedly, he should put it behind him now, but I think he should realize that he has a bit of responsibility and be more aware of it next time.

Thanks for your efforts as always, I'm sure lots of people appreciate your insightful analyses.

Lindsey 6 years ago

Hey Veronica,

Thank you for the response and invitation to continue the dialogue; I really appreciate it. I'll try to keep my personal projections out of it, though I'm sure a good portion of them will bleed through, so please bear with me in this regard.

As for my own hurt, yeah, it sucked. But it was a good life lesson, and taught me, among other things, to learn to better voice my needs, desires and expectations rather than try to interpret or communicate them in ambiguous actions or general statements. The ironic part is that I've always been very good about such things in a professional atmosphere (I'm an attorney), but even in the that setting, I'm also aware of the balance of the double standards (an assertive man is a go-getter, maverick, etc. where a woman is more often a demanding bitch). Unfortunately, I failed to speak my own truth as much as I should have in my personal life. Good life lesson, on my levels.

However, this is the rub, and where I find many women get caught. Perhaps nurturing isn't the right word, but women are often taught by family, society and perhaps even developed to a certain extent from a biological/evolutionary perspective, to consider the whole/others first (community, group, family and the case of a couple—the "us" rather than the "me") rather than themselves, whereas men I think often are the other way around (the yin and yang). They more naturally lean towards looking after number one first and more often have to learn to consider others—that just seems the most logical order. Obviously, blanket statements and generalizations, but I think it's part of the situation why men are generally more direct and assertive than women. Sometimes this becomes dependence on the less assertive person's part, but I think that's not always necessarily the case. It's probably closer to a lack of self-worth or an inability to express or properly prioritize their needs as equally important as their partner's (and when you have family and society telling you that's the proper way to be woman/lady, it's especially difficult and one thing I think we need to address from a cultural/societal standpoint---after that, I'd tackle the virgin/whore issue in female sexuality, but that's a discussion for another day). Are you an only child? Or a first born in your family? I find women that lean towards the more assertive, direct side to more often be only children or first borns.

When this enters into the dating arena, it becomes more difficult. I would wholly agree with your landlord analogy, except for one little word: yet. If the renter said they were not looking to buy or never were looking to buy, I'd absolutely say you were spot on. But when the renter says that they're not ready to buy yet, then it takes on a whole other connotation. It implies that one day they may be ready to buy (and worse if they said one day they'd like to be homeowners) and leaves the seller in a sticky situation. This is where I think most women find themselves---the balance between wanting to be patient with someone that is trying to get there and nurturing and supportive of that self-discovery and knowing when to say when and put their needs before their partner's needs. Often men won't address the difficult commitment issues directly which results in sometimes a genuine misunderstanding for which they're both responsible in my eyes or sometimes a deceptive/lie by omission situation, often where the men don't want to discuss it because they don't want the conflict, don't want to deal with difficult emotions (either theirs or their partner's) or simply don't want to lose a good girlfriend/situation (these are the true cads in my book and I think they are taking advantage of their girlfriends and "stringing them along"). As an aside, I think you also can be very harsh on the women for being too direct and turning into a nag----it's a difficult line you seem to be expecting women to walk whereas men are given much greater latitude as either the boyfriend being bullied by the controlling, demanding nag of a girlfriend or the boyfriend who is just happily coasting along without any thought of tomorrow or his girlfriend's dreams and needs and it's she that is being too dependent and not taking enough control for her own life and happiness. You don't seem to be as harsh with the men that need to stand up to their nagging girlfriends or the men who are stepping on their doormat girlfriends.

The part where I think that something of this sort was going on in spaceandtime30's situation is when he explained in the first paragraph that he loved her to bits but the idea of marriage and starting a family panicked him--totally fine. But then he said but he couldn't speak to her about any of this because he was shattering her dreams. That's the part where I think he's being a selfish, possibly deceptive, cad. I read that as he knew her dreams, it sounds like she thought he was on board when he wasn't and he didn't tell her that, allowing her to believe they were working towards the same things when they either weren't or it was at least less certain from his side---he'd hit a roadblock and didn't tell her. I feel that in that situation he owes it to her to clarify his position and feelings. He owes it to her to have that frank discussion about hard truths and his doubts. And worst of all, he says he's avoiding it because it shatters her dreams, but that isn't true---he isn't having that discussion because it would be too hard on him, not her. At that point, he knows he's going to shatter her dreams at sometime and to just stay silent on it is only going to make it worse in the end----especially if the poor girl is doing things with him that she thinks is leading to a permanent future together (living together, decorating a place together, putting away for a wedding/family expenses, etc. and thinks that he is sharing in those goals).

Obviously, I'm not saying that she doesn't have responsibility in this. Frankly, I think she has the most responsibility (as I did)—to check in, to make sure you still want the same things and not just assume you do because he hasn't told you differently. And to set viable goals that lead towards marriage. The problem is that it's hard to know when the rubber hits the road until you finally get to that make-it-or-break-it moment of deciding marriage, and that's usually several years down the road, not a mere few months. Up to that point, if you've made your goals clear and he says he shares them generally (wants to get married and have kids someday), but just isn't sure about the timing---not quite yet---it's very hard to know when you should stop being the patient, kind, understanding girlfriend or strike out on your own and look for someone that knows what he wants now. And it's especially hard when he's telling you how much he loves you---it made me cave and give him more time.

I think it's that "yet" that gets women more often than not. Men that are clear that they don't want to marry, I think that's a much easier situation to gauge, but men that imply or worse explicitly state that they share similar general goals but just can't tell you yet if those specifically include you, that's harder. And for me, men like spaceandtime30, fall into the latter category rather than the former who are more clear and direct about not wanting marriage and/or kids.

Just to be clear, I totally understand that genuine misunderstandings happen or that things just change and that is to be expected in life. But 7 years? That seems cruel to me from the man's standpoint and, as you pointed out, extremely foolish from the woman's perspective. Although the majority of the responsibility and foolishness falls on her shoulders for not taking care of herself, I think a significant portion falls on his too. Had it been 3 years, totally different story, but 7---that's too much, in my humble opinion, and at some point prior he starts to assume some of that responsibility too.

I guess I somewhat liken it to a woman that accepts gifts or romantic gestures from a man that she has no intention of b

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


Your comment was cut off. I hope you'll comment again and add to it anything that was lost above.

Yep, I'm an only child, from a pretty fucked-up family. I'm sure you have a point and I'm going to think about it long and hard, regarding only children and oldest daughters being different.

I have to say I was very blown away by your explanation of the word "yet." Even in the lame-metaphor I gave, the renter's use of "yet" is clear to me - yet means not now. Not now, is this person thinking about buying. It doesn't say the renter ever will be. I would never think to project so much hope into a person saying that maybe at some point in the future they might want something. Wow, I don't even know what to say about it to be honest. Personally, I would never think that means it will happen up the road. If I got a letter from a publishing house rejecting my book that says they aren't interested in publishing me yet.... wow, it would never even cross my mind that means any kind of hope for the future. It says hey maybe the door is open to try again at a later date, but there are no guarantees. I would take that as a pretty clear statement that they aren't interested in me at this time, and I would submit my work to other publishing houses.

"This is where I think most women find themselves---the balance between wanting to be patient with someone that is trying to get there and nurturing and supportive of that self-discovery and knowing when to say when and put their needs before their partner's needs."

- I'm really lost on this one. His saying "yet" is in no way at all saying - be patient i will get there. That's a huge projection on her part, that has nothing to do with what he said. Honestly, if I had a partner that took my "yet" to mean "Be patient I will get there" I would break it off immediately thinking there was something obsessive or wrong with them. I have every right not to know yet. I don't have to figure out my future right now, I can say yet, and maybe, when I don't know what the future holds.

You're right, if he said something misleading like "someday I want to be married" that's totally different. But we have nothing whatsoever from this guy that says that. If he knew deep down he's never going to want to get married, then I do believe he should be honest and tell her that. But again, we have nothing from him that says that. But he saying he doesn't know yet, or he he isn't ready now, and he doesn't know what the future will hold, is perfectly clear as it can be and perfectly honest. I really think saying he should take some of the responsibility for her being with him waiting for him to change, is insulting to her. It's like saying to her, "You're obviously not smart enough or independent enough or self respecting enough to do what's right for yourself, so I will decide for you what's right for you, and I will break up with you even though I love you, to protect you from yourself."

We know a couple that is the exception to the rule, and you can't use the exception to explain the rule. But I want to tell you about them. They are in their 60's, neighbors of where we go snowmobiling. They've been together since they were in their late 20's. First, he wanted to get married but she wasn't ready. Then, after being together for a coupe years that changed. He realized he didn't want to have kids, and for him that connected to marriage. By the time they were pushing 40, together for more than 10 years, she went into this kick of wanting to get married. She was totally obsessed with it. He didn't want to get married. Apparently they argued alot about this for a couple decades. Now they are either just retired or about to retire (sorry I really don't know which it is) and they have figured out they will receive more social security and better benefits if they remain unmarried. We've known them about 15 years now, and can see how in love and perfect for each other they are.

I'm just saying people change, people grow, people may make idealistic decisions or they may wind up making logical decisions. Spaceandtime30 can't know what she will want 10 or 20 years from now. To say it's partly his responsibility to figure out what she will want and end the relationship if she's too weak to get out if she wants to get out, is so not fair. He may change, she may change. He's not the one that's unhappy with what they have. If she is so unhappy with what they have, it is completely and solely her responsibility to do something about it.

I don't understand what was cruel from the guy's standpoint. I really don't. It would be horrible to expect him to decide what's best for her, and to break up with her, even though he loves her and the relationship they have, because he's decided she isn't figuring out what's best to do for herself. That's alot of pressure for him, and it's not his responsibility.

Women that post comments on these hubs disagreeing or questioning what I'm saying, are always single, defending their actions in the past that failed them, etc. I don't get comments disagreeing with me from happily married women that got everything they wanted.

I'm not battling against women, I am battling for them. They are commenting and emailing me because they are unhappy, or because they want something they don't have, but feel defensive over their mistakes. If it's society or her family that has made a woman believe she has to think about everyone else before herself, I'm here to say that has to stop. She should be able to find a healthy balance of caring for people, and caring for herself. If she's expecting a bf to figure out what's best for her up the road and implement a solution for her, I'd be furious. It's not his responsibility, it's hers, and I want to help her see that and get whatever it is she wants in life. If it's to be with the guy she loves, that's what I want for her. And if it's to have a legal document, that's up to her too. And I want for her, to figure out what it is that's really important to her, and I want her to have it. I don't think coddling and blaming others is going to help.

In the same sense, I'm not battling for guys. I'm the first one to tell them "own your shit" like I did in the hub Unhappily Married Men - Kids Change Everything


It has almost 200 comments, and 25,000 pageviews. If like you're saying, that guys are lead by society to think about themselves, then that's a great example of my telling them, that's not acceptable. They have to find the balance between thinking about themselves and those around them. Exactly as I am with the women.

In spaceandtime30's comment he said his gf was "threatening" that she won't stay forever. Just think about that for a moment. This woman wants to marry a man she has to threaten into marrying her. She wants to marry a man that is telling her he doesn't want marriage yet (and YES maybe that means he doesn't want to marry HER.) She stayed 7 years trying to force what she wanted, and change the guy. Honestly, this woman is the one that's wrong here. She should want to marry a guy that wants to marry her, not a guy that she'd have to change and threaten.

And what if he married her? Can you imagine how that marriage would be? When someone asks your husband why did you get married, don't you want him to say because I loved her, wanted to marry her, was sure I wanted my future with her... Really, do you want him to say "I got married because she threatened me, and even though i wasn't ready to get married i felt responsible because she spent 7 years trying to change me into something I'm not."

Lindsey, your situation sounds different. You're saying you weren't clear with your ex about what you wanted. With spaceandtime30 you're rubbed wrong that she wasn't able to inflict her will on him. But in your situation it sounds like he was inflicting his will on you in your silence. If you think about it, there really is a difference there.

I hope you'll comment again, and I also hope you're hearing what I'm saying in the spirit it's meant: I want you to get what you want in life. I feel like I can see reaso

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

dc - I'm sorry, I didn't see your comment right away, but I posted it now.

Lindsey - I want to say one more thing to you. It's obvious that you are very well spoken, and very smart. It's clear you're insightful, and have some interesting ideas. Have you considered writing your own Hubs? It's easy to join and there's no obligation or commitment. If you try it and it's not for you, you can just stop. I do think you have something of value to say, whether I agree completely or not, I think you're an interesting read and could help alot of people. Maybe it's something to think about.

Lindsey 6 years ago

Here's where it got cutoff (guess I said too much:)

I guess I somewhat liken it to a woman that accepts gifts or romantic gestures from a man that she has no intention of being romantic with. When the wooing starts out, they're going on dates and she hasn't made up her mind whether she wants to be more romantic with him or date him exclusively, I think accepting the flowers, gifts, etc. is totally fine. She's trying to decide whether she wants to date him more seriously. He is making it very clear that he wants to date her in some fashion. But if it comes to a point, where although she may enjoy his company and him footing the bill for expensive entertainment, meals, gifts, etc., she knows she no longer wants be romantic with him, I think she owes it to him to tell him that. She may say (like a man that doesn't want marriage), "hey, I like you, I enjoy your company, I enjoy you taking me out to dinner and seeing shows, but this is never going to be more than it is right now (whether that's friends or friends with benefits)", then the man can decide whether he's okay with that. Whether he's willing to invest in this woman at that level knowing that he will never be more to her. But for her to say, "well, I like you, etc., and I know I eventually want to be with someone in the way you want to be with me, but I'm just not sure if I want that with you yet" or worse, says nothing, but keeps taking the gifts and smiling, that's a totally different story. Like the marriage question, it implies that if he keeps doing what he's doing, then one day she may give him what he wants---and it's up to him to force the question. In my mind, though it makes more sense for him to push the question as he's the one making the heavier investment (like a woman with time if she wants to have kids), I also think she has some responsibility to him to express where she is in the process internally after , especially if the thought of being what he wants her to be panics or scares her (meaning, it's unlikely she's going to be able to be that for him). I think most men would feel taken advantage of in such a situation (as well as a fool) and why many women feel similarly in the marriage situation. Luckily for guys, this situation only persists for men for usually a few weeks or months, not like it can with women for years with the marriage question.

This may be a little crass, but I'd consider a woman like this a tease and lacking in character and I'd consider a man that does that regarding a woman and the marriage question similarly lacking in character---a marriage tease, perhaps?

Lindsey 6 years ago

So interesting, Veronica, how two people can look at the same situation and interpret them so differently. I guess that's the beauty of different perspectives and no doubt a result of our different experiences.

On the only child comment, I was just reading a book a while back about birth order and how certain patterns have been noticed by psychologists regarding personality traits and birth order. I won't get into a dissertation about it here, but one of the things I remembered was that when someone is very direct, assertive, naturally tend to leadership roles, it is likely that they were either a firstborn of their sex or an only child (only children usually had even more intense versions of these traits). They also tend to be more driven, ambitious and perfectionistic than later siblings---which, obviously, can be a double-edged sword. I believe it has something to do with having only adults to look up to for example/mirroring purposes as a child as opposed to a sibling that is only a few years older (lower/more reasonable expectations). For example, a disproportionately high number of presidents and CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies are only children or firstborn sons/daughters. It had some interesting points that gave me greater insight into relationship dynamics both personally and professionally. What is your husband?

Oh, and sorry about the pretty fucked-up family.

I see your point on "yet", and perhaps I explained it badly. I was using in the way where I assumed they'd already had a discussion about similar life goals (in this case, marriage and children) and they were compatible, where the guy said, "yeah, I'd like to have that one day, but I'm not there yet." I think that has a different connotation. If he said he never knew if he'd even want those things, then that's a different story. But to say that generally you want the same things, but just aren't there personally yet, that brings me to the sticky situation and implies that it's possible that he may one day get there.

Spaceandtime30 knew her dreams and I think he owed her candor on his fears and concerns regarding being a part of those dreams. I also think that your comment also assumes many things not stated by spaceandtime30. You seem very sensitive to the wanting to change someone issue, as if all women are trying to change their boyfriends into the men they want rather than accept them as they are. I think some undeniably do that, but I wouldn't necessarily say that's what happened in spaceandtime30's case.

How do we not know that they didn't have the marriage/kids talk at the 6 month or 1 year mark. How do we know that it is the girlfriend trying to change him and not him changing the parameters of the relationship? They could have been in school and both not looking to do that in the next 2-3 years when they started dating in their mid-twenties, but seeing it on the horizon in the 4-6 time frame in their early 30s (finishing up grad school, getting established in a career, just wanting to enjoy more strings-free time in the 20s, etc.). It's quite possible that's what happened and from her perspective things are going along well, they're both taking care of business and preparing themselves for that later goal (as you can tell, this is closer to where I was). Then somewhere along the line, things change---perhaps because the general idea of marriage and kids is desirable and easy to agree to as a longterm goal but seeing it staring you in the face in the near future is a lot scarier (I think of kids this way---a lot of people like the idea of it, but being pregnant, no matter how much you want kids, is often scary for many because you know your life is about to radically change—and change is almost always somewhat scary, even when exciting and desired).

I'm not saying people aren't allowed to grow and change. Of course, they are. And I've found in my experience that some of the biggest events can't even really be truly anticipated---how someone reacts to losing a parent, a child, their job, aging—things that often don't happen in the relatively few years dating but will probably happen in the decades following dating and getting married.

But the difference I see here is that spaceandtime30 did know what she wanted now (and may have wanted very early on in the relationship)---marriage and kids, or at least a relationship that led to that---and he wasn't so sure he wanted that at all. He should have talked to her about those doubts when they arose, whether that was initially or later on. And perhaps he did. It just sounded to me that he didn't because he said that he couldn't talk to her about these things because it would shatter her dreams. That's the fault I find with him. If he did communicate these things and she decided to go ahead and take the risk that he would change, then I'd agree with you that he was honest and clear and the fault for hoping he'd change is 100% on her. I just disagree with you on him being honest and clear about these doubts given his statement about not being able to talk to her about them.

He seems honest and clear about them now, but it's 7 years later. If things really just changed for him at 7 years, okay. But that seems far-fetched to me. It seems more likely that this changed sometime earlier (perhaps year 4, 5, etc.) and that's when he should have been honest and clear with her about his doubts/fears and not hung around for a couple more years without that frank conversation. But, you're right, in that we don't really know what happened in this regard. It could be like you say, or it could be like I say. Perhaps, if we're lucky, spaceandtime30 will chime in and give us more details.

You also assume they have the same views on what they have in the present or that she changed the rules, and I don't necessarily agree with that either. You assume that they both started out with this fun, coasting along relationship without giving much thought to the future (or as he said, being proactive about marriage) and she changed somewhere along the way with wanting kids and marriage. She on the other hand may have been very honest and upfront about her longterm goals and thought this fun, coasting along time was fine for now but was a step towards marriage and it was he who changed the parameters/goals. The fact is that we don’t really know.

I guess we disagree on people's responsibilities regarding others' hearts. I think when you love someone, you have some responsibility to help them if they can't help themselves. I think that makes you a good person. I know it's an extreme and far-from-perfect example, but would you apply the same logic to a person who was an alcoholic or being self-destructive for other reasons (perhaps recent death, etc.). There are times when people don't know what's best for themselves or can't see reality---whether it's an addiction, grief, fucked-up family, etc. Do you let them continue to do things that will hurt them in the longterm? I understand that you can't control people or make them do what you want, but you can control your actions in regards to them. You can tell the alcoholic that you won't enable his drinking anymore, you can tell depressed, grief-stricken friend that they need help and you'll leave if they persist in their self-destructive ways, etc. Sure, you can't make them get help, but you can limit your facilitation of destructive habits.

If you're friend is with a guy who you both know doesn't want kids and marriage while you know she does, do you not tell her that she has to face reality and act accordingly? Why shouldn't a boyfriend have as much loyalty to his partner as a friend would have to her? And if he is that impediment (I don’t mean to say not wanting kids/marriage is inherently destructive, just incompatible with someone who wants those things), why shouldn't it be honorable for him to extricate himself from that situation and say, "honey, I love you and because I do, I'm going to let you go so you can go find someone that can give you what you truly want in this life because I know I can't." That takes chara

Lindsey 6 years ago

Rest of comment (you're simply too inspiring, Veronica!):

"honey, I love you and because I do, I'm going to let you go so you can go find someone that can give you what you truly want in this life because I know I can't." That takes character, and balls. I think loving someone oftentimes means that you're willing to put their needs above your own in certain circumstances (not all the times, but sometimes). I know I couldn't stand in the way of my partner's dreams if the shoe were on the other foot, just because I loved him and liked our relationship as it was knowing that he wanted more and I couldn't give it to him. I would think I was being cruel and selfish and not very loving.

Now, if you communicate all of this and they accept it or are willing to take the risk that you'll change, fine. But if you don't, I think you bear some responsibility because you know they are deluding themselves and you're facilitating that self-delusion to your own benefit.

Not sure if the women disagreeing with you comment really applies here. It's somewhat like saying, no neutered dog gets testicular cancer so that's why you should have your dog neutered (big jump, stay with me). It's not a fair comparison. You have to look at the rate of testicular cancer for non-neutered dogs to evaluate the risk whether it makes sense to get him neutered to avoid testicular cancer. Women who everything worked out for aren't generally coming to your sight for advice on commitment issues, let alone complaining about their non-committing husbands---their husbands committed!

I couldn't agree with you more on who you're battling for or your comments about women having to find a better balance between caring for others and caring for herself. I'm just saying that as much as I'd like that to be our society, that isn't the reality now and to pretend otherwise is counterproductive. Women still get paid less than men and it's still much harder to be a working mother than it is to be a working father---the playing field isn't equalized yet and the situation isn't as simple as some would make it out to be economically, biologically or psychologically. I think you do a great service to women as being an enlightened, compassionate voice on how to better empower themselves and proactively shape the type of life they want.

As for threatening that she won't stay forever, I think you're mixing spaceandtime30 with Virtuous One. I agree with you that threatening isn't appropriate and speaks directly to the points you made in another hub regarding the difference between being a nag/bully and being an empowered, goal-oriented woman. I love the point you made about power and whether it's coming from a self-directed standpoint or a coercive/bullying one.

As for my situation, I'm not sure it was that. Perhaps. I think mostly poor communication all around. We met at 22 and broke up at 28. At 25, we broke up for other reasons and he asked me to take him back. I was very clear about that if we were going to give it another try, we had to be clear about goals and for me, that meant marriage (and eventually kids). I said that after 6 months of living together, we had to make a firm decision. I wasn't thinking proposal specifically, but something close to it with an engagement not far behind. He agreed. Then life happened. Within that 6-8 months, I finished law school, we moved in together, I started my first real career job working crazy long hours and my Dad died. It was Dad's illness and death that turned 6 months into 2 years. I was so emotionally busted up over it, that worrying about whether this relationship was going to lead to marriage was the least thing on my mind (not breaking down and getting fired were top priorities). The funny part is that I thought my Dad's illness and death brought us closer together. I thought, shoot, if he can stand by me during these incredibly dark times, he must be in it for the long haul.

But I neglected to really talk with him about it. To see if he was still on the same page I was. He wasn’t and I'm not sure when that changed, and he never said anything until I forced the issue and went with the ultimatum, more because I couldn't frankly understand what the issue was and he seemed unable to articulate it (it ended up having a lot more to do with his family and fears deriving from his parents' divorce than our relationship, but neither of us were that enlightened to see it at the time). Looking back, I wish I had handled things differently. I wish I had been more self-aware and acted in an honest, clear way and not assumed and projected as much as I did. Life lessons, but they came at a big price to both of us.

There are a few strange ironies. A year after we ended, he came back and proposed. Unfortunately, too much bad stuff had happened for there to be any chance at reviving our old relationship (cheating on his part at the end of our relationship---his cowardly, selfish way of breaking up with me instead of just breaking it off cleanly---and that's something I couldn't forgive a second time [I forgave a questionable situation before---something he considered not cheating and I did, and I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt as we hadn't clearly defined the semi-murky area, but we had clearly defined stuff by the time something happened a second time]).

Three years later, I've been dating another man for a year and a half, and you better believe, I made my expectations really clear from the get-go. We have an age difference (I was 29 when we started dating and he was 23), and at the 6 month-mark, we had a real hard, clear conversation about relationship expectations and goals. I wasn't looking to just have fun. I was only interested in pursuing something further if it could lead to marriage and kids---and I was ideally looking for the marriage thing in 3 years or so. So I needed to know if he was interested in those things and in a similar time frame (5+ years later was too late for me). He said he was.

We're here 18 months later and we'll see how it turns out. If he says he isn't ready, fair enough. But I won't be willing to take the risk beyond the 2 year mark and he knows that and knew about it at the 6-month mark. So we'll see how it plays out (and your hub on the nag vs. clear communication and the story about not being an eternal girlfriend with your own husband helped immensely in this area). And, to boot, me and the old bad-break-up ex are friends again. He's ready to find "the one" now (he's 32) and has been looking for the past two years and can't seem to find someone that's on the same page with him. Ironic, no?

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I gotta say this again. You're a good read. I think you should consider writing some Hubs or a blog.

Your point about his saying he couldn't communicate to her is a good one. I really wasn't focusing on that. You're right.

If she is threatening him, and hanging all her dreams on him as if they are his responsibility, she has alot of problems, and he should have forced some communication instead of allowing her to continue on her spiral.

I don't think there was a change. I'm not sure where you're drawing that from. I don't think they started off both light and airy and then she changed and got serious. I actually assumed the opposite, that she started off knowing she wanted marriage and kids, which lends to why I believe it wasn't very smart of her to get involved with someone from the get-go that was not anywhere near where she was regarding those things. I don't know why you think I said she changed. I don't think she did.

Please don't say we disagree on people's responsibility of other's hearts. That's a very broad statement that isn't true. I think we do agree on that. We disagree on judging others, and stepping into their lives with our judgments. We disagree on people assuming they know what's best for someone else and inflicting that decision on them.

If I had a friend that was an alcoholic I wouldn't invite them to a bar with me. But if I had a friend that wanted to be an interior decorator but had a job at Walmart, I wouldn't feel compelled to tell them I think they should quit their job. With an alcoholic you're in a black and white metaphor. With people's choices and changes, you are in an extremely gray area. Maybe I am capable of looking at an alcoholic and knowing what's best for them in a certain situation: not to drink. But I am not capable of looking at someone and saying - "I know you will not be happy in this relationship 5 years from now, I know you will change, or won't change, I know what's best for you when even you don't know what's best for you. I know what the future holds and I will decide what's best for you." I would be furious if someone tried to control my life like that, and I would hope you would be too. When I was thinking up my lame renting metaphor, the alcoholic thing crossed my mind but I didn't use it because there is a clearer right and wrong to that. There isn't one in matters of the heart.

Of course it's good to watch out for people's hearts. It's clear you do, and I xoxo you for that. I do too, I'm doing it with these hubs and comments in my way. I'm watching out for her heart but trying to tell her how to take better care of herself. But there's a huge difference between being supportive, offering advice when it's sought, acting when you know what's going on... and deciding for someone else on very personal gray-areas that change for everyone all the time. We really don't have the right or the ability, to look at a partner and say, "I will judge your actions and dreams and decide what's best for you, predict the future, and break up with you and make this decision for you."

Oof, regarding what you said about telling a friend what you think if they're dating someone that doesn't want to get married and have kids like they do. If you go around telling your friends they are dating the wrong guys, you aren't going to have very many friends left to talk to. People tend not to like it when you get involved in their lives like that. Look how many strangers ask me for my opinion and then get upset when I tell them what they're doing wrong and what they don't want to hear. Now imagine if I was their friend and wasn't even asked, how that advice and insight would go over. Most people need to learn matters of the heart the hard way.

I would not tell a friend that I'd leave if they persist in destructive habits. I tend to be an unconditional friend. No judgements, no unsolicited advice, no conditions. I tend to accept people for who they are, faults and all.

With spaceandtime I am trying not to assume anything he didn't offer. Spaceandtime may be lying, he may be the women asking advice in the form of the other side to see what I'll say, he may be telling the truth but leaving out alot of huge and crucial details that tend to change everything like inlaws, money, abortions, ex's, and addictions. He may be lying about the time frame or their ages. And he may be exactly what he's stating and there are no tidbits of info that will change our minds if shared. When responding I read between the lines and look for tells. He gave a couple in his wording, which influenced the direction I went.

My husband is a middle son. This stuff is fascinating. I need to look into this more. I didn't know such a majority of CEO's are only children. He owns his own company and is very self-made.

Lindsey 6 years ago

Thanks for the compliment, Veronica. I'm not sure I'll ever blog or do hub pages myself, but I do really enjoy this exchange with you. It's very interesting, stimulating and enlightening---I don't get nearly enough opportunities to really challenge and be challenged on such thoughts, so thank you for that.

As for the birth order thing, I read the Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman. A little light and fluffy at times and full of generalities that certainly don't apply to everyone, but some very interesting patterns which I could definitely see played out in my family in certain ways and relationship dynamics both personally and professionally. For me, I'm a middle kid (3 of 4), but the oldest girl so I have some traditional first born tendencies and some traditional middle kid tendencies (tend to be more entrepreneurial/marches to the beat of their own drum, more likely to move away from the family when compared with oldest and youngest, likely to have stronger friendship ties, can be more interested in people getting along than being "right" or getting his/her way, etc.). Strangely, I seem to be more firstborn in the workplace and more middle child in relationships. I think you'll find the read easy and interesting---if you do seek it out, let me know what you think.

The more we write, the more I'm starting to believe that we're not as far apart in our views as I initially thought, but we just tend to express them a little differently---use different words to express somewhat similar concepts.

I guess I thought something must have changed because I think it would be supremely foolish to get involved with someone that you know right from the get-go doesn't want something that is a dealbreaker issue for you (and opposing views on marriage and kids are often dealbreakers---things that just can't be compromised on for many people). So if that really is the situation and he was so "oh I don't know" from the very beginning and she was hoping he would change, then she is a supremely stupid and got exactly what she deserved. In my experience, that period of not knowing often happens in the first 6 months or so of a relationship but once it starts to get "serious", conversations about deal breakers happen, especially for people looking for spouses or life partners in the longterm. For her not to have talked to him about his views on marriage generally somewhat early on to see if they were at all compatible with her goals seems extremely foolish and so I just thought that was extremely unlikely. I thought she must have some idea that he wants to be married/kids someday and the issue is more with whom and when, not whether he ever wanted those things with anyone ever. Therefore, I thought something must have changed along the way. But I could totally be wrong there.

For the controlling people's lives and judgments issues, I apologize if I offended you. I didn't mean for those statements to be interpreted in that way. I wasn't trying to say you should control people, I was thinking it more from the perspective of helping them to face reality and not enabling self-destructive delusions or behaviors. I somewhat think of it like I think a therapist would view it. A therapist telling her client not to x or to do y seems like a terrible strategy for a myriad reasons (from the fury is would invoke in people like you and me regarding control and value judgments to it not helping a person to make their own assessments for themselves). But I think a good therapist would ask questions and gently lead a client down a certain path of self-discovery and part of that would be learning to accept reality---not what you wish it were, but seeing it for what it is. Because you can't really begin a journey until first realize where you are.

So for the friend in the dead-end relationship, I first would never offer unsolicited advice in such situations---usually ends badly for the one offering the advice no matter how incredibly accurate that advice is. You can't make someone see truths until they're ready to see them (the whole leading a horse to water thing), and they determine when that is (for some, it may be never). But in the course of a close friendship where they want my feedback on situations, I would offer probing questions. Is she unhappy? Why is she unhappy? What does she think she needs to be happy? Is that being provided in this relationship? Is this something that she needs in a relationship or does she need to find it elsewhere (especially within)? Questions like that. The person's answers will reveal the truth and their reality to them when they're willing to really ponder them and answer them honestly to themselves.

I didn't mean for it to come off as controlling or "you should do X". You're right; I would be absolutely furious if someone tried to control me like that and resent their intrusiveness. But it's also probably a result of my strong personality that I can be inadvertently thick-headed. Since I know that I brook no control from others, I somewhat automatically assume statements (even really strongly worded opinions) are always optional or suggestions. I have no problem with someone saying, "you should do X". I think about it, assume it's a suggestion and then tell them why I think it's a good idea or not. And if they really are trying to be controlling, I have no issue with telling them to bugger off. As a result, I can lose sight of how my strong opinions can appear more forceful or controlling for others without skulls as thick as mine:) So my apologies in that regard. No one likes a know-it-all or the self-righteous type, me included.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


You're totally right on the dog neuter example. It's not fair for me to state a commenting or happy comparison because you're right - happily married people are generally not the ones commenting on these types of hubs.

I'm glad you mentioned my hub on the difference between nagging and being clear. There are so many hubs I've posted on this site that relate to this. Not scaring him off on the first date is another.

The whole "when do you bail" thing is hard. You do not go into a first date dumping your baggage all over the floor and saying you want to be married and have kids by age 30. It has nothing to do with being clear and upfront. There is something genuinely wrong and desperate about a person that dumps that amount of personal information at a first date.

If I was a realtor trying to sell you a house, I wouldn't meet you for the first time on the steps and say "I need $25K down, I have to have your signature here so I can run your credit. You need to know there is a problem with the septic. If you don't close on this house in 3 weeks I will NOT hesitate to show it to other buyers." If I did that, you would run away.

All those things can wait. First meeting(s) should be about how lovely the view is. Check out this newly remodeled kitchen. I'll leave you alone in here to get a feel for this fireplace. The schools in this neighborhood are terrific. Don't you like these hard wood floors? So where have you lived before? Ah, see? Here you won't have that problem, you're zoned for a home office."

If you were meeting a new neighbor or a new coworker for the first time, or your sister's new boyfriend, or a new volunteer at the shelter where you give time, you would know to begin with a gradual introduction. You talk about light things, happy things. You smile and ask about them. You get to know them slowly. The very first time a new neighbor walks up to you and says hi how are you? Your answer is not - "Well I never got along with my father and I'm 30 and single and haven't had sex in 5 months and I think my hair is thinning." Meeting a new guy is no different.

Of course if I was selling you a house I would tell you about the questionable septic, and that you need X downpayment. But there's a time and a place for that.

This is bringing me to your saying she should have ended it at a certain point. This is very tricky, and very different for alot of people. First off you have the major change in all men around age 21 from the frontal lobe development. He'll see marriage and the future completely differently from the age of 20, to the way he does at the age of 25. And then there is another major change we all go through around 28. The Rites of Passage or the Saturn Return, whatever you want to call it, it is the completion of the brain development and the clarity we feel. I wouldn't say 3 dates, 3 months, 3 years... There are a couple blanket statements I will make, but I wouldn't regarding how long you give the guy to figure out if he wants to marry, and if he wants to marry you.

I can see her sticking around to see how he grows in the case of timeandspace and I can't put an amount of time on it, although 7 years is ridiculously long. You can't bank on anything a guy says before he even has frontal lobes, and you can't be sure of what anyone wants including yourself until after your Saturn Return. I make the blanket statement that people should wait until they are 30 to marry, and I stand by that. All the stats are on the census pages. Go look. Marriages where one or both parties were under the age of 29 - I think it's 80% end in divorce. After 30, it drops off to 19%.

In addition to these facts, there are a ton of variables. The tells and the actions. I always say his actions speak louder than his words. He may be saying he doesn't know if he ever wants to get married. If that's paired with him having a joint account with you and making comments on where a great honeymoon place would be, or saying our kids will never be allowed to watch X tv show... you should probably consider giving him some more time. But if he's saying exactly the same thing - not sure if he ever wants to get married - and that's paired with his actions of hanging out alot with his friends, making fun of a friend getting married, not wanting to get financially tied to you... that should be pretty clear that you need to move on.

Lindsey 6 years ago

I couldn't agree with you more on the first date analysis. No one should be talking marriage in a specific sense on the first date, but waiting 7 years isn't reasonable either. I'd think that most people that are looking for marriage and kids talk about those things within the first 6 months to a year to see if they're even in the same ballpark, perhaps if they're really young, they won't talk about it for several years. If you're 20, I could see people not talking about that for several years because they may be focused on other things---having fun, finishing school, establishing a career, etc. But someone not talking about it for several years when they're in their mid to late twenties (especially if a woman that wants marriage and kids), that seems highly unlikely. I think so many women fall into the trap that love conquers all--if he loves you, he'll eventually want those things too. It's a hard lesson to learn to realize that you can love someone incredibly but still be fundamentally incompatible. You see it in the marriage/kids issue as well as many others---family values, career/work lifestyle, religion, etc. Which is why I think most people once they're out of their early twenties talk about these things to some extent in the first year of a relationship. Perhaps I'm giving too many people too much credit, but otherwise just seems nutsy to me.

As far as the before 30 marriage stats go, I'd love to see where you got those. I did a quick google search and didn't see anything even close to that. I'd just love to see what study showed that because I'd greatly question it as my experience has been no different. I don't doubt that marriage before 30 have a higher rate of divorce than those after 30, I just would think it was nearly that skewed--80% as opposed to 20%. I'd also like to know if they were comparing just first marriages because I think that would skew the over 30 side as well (in the sense if it was the 2nd time around, I could see people being more careful in selecting a spouse and learning from the mistakes of their first marriage, though I don't know if this is statistically pertinent either---I'd just like to make sure they're comparing apples to apples).

I know my experience isn't likely the norm, but I've just seen dramatically different percentages of that in my life. Comparing my parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, we've had 9 marriages where people were under 30 (21 to 27 I think) and 7 of those did not end in divorce (3 are now widows but after 30+ years of marriage). 2 did end in divorce. But that's a 22% divorce rate, not an 80% divorce rate. We've also had 3 over-30 marriages (1 of which was a second marriage) and they're 100%. So yes, the over-30 ones have a better percentage of staying together---100% vs. 78%. And I totally agree that my family appears to have been done much better than the statistical averages on divorce on all fronts. But I just have a really hard time believing that 80% of marriages where one of the people was under 30 statistically in divorce. I think there may be something off in such a study or a serious flaw in the statistical analyses used. If you have the study and/or website, I'd love to see the data.

I guess I'd err on the side where there are many factors, and age/experience definitely is one of them, but not that large of a determining factor as I've known some 25 year-olds that are incredibly mature and self-aware and some 40 year-olds that painfully are not.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


More later, just a quickie -

Centers for Disease control stats and links in this hub


Look at how the odds for divorce drop after 30.

Census stats are doubled these, will get that link for you.

There are not studies, just counts.

More later! xoxo

a rose by any other 6 years ago


Do you think it's possible there is a huge disparity in the desire to wed based on gender? I honestly feel like - be it genetics or society - most or all women have this image of having a ring on their finger, a huge house with a yard, and 2.5 kids come 30, and that most or all guys would rather not fork $3000 for a rock, $10,000+ for a wedding, a mortgage on a house they'll never pay off, and 2.5 very expensive mouths-to-feed. Howard Stern once quipped that marriage ruins everything, and that if you really care about eachother then you'll realize you don't need all that aggrivation to show it, and - being a guy (bias) - I really have to agree with him. OK, so they want progeny to prolong the species. Why does reproducing and committing to monogamy require a massively expensive ring and a ceremony no one can actually afford plus months of aggrivation preparing for the wedding...by 30? I'm 24, and if I had a kid now or any time in the next 10+ years, the poor thing would literally starve to death - at $180 a week I mean that in the most sincere of terms with no attempt at euphamism. Anyways, now I'm rambling; do you think the disparity exists? More important, I'm finding it tough to find any actual articles that discuss this from any sort of scientific standpoint; do you know of any? Thanks!

Lindsey 6 years ago

On the marriage statistics, you're not comparing the same things. You're doing the neutered dog/happily married women don't complain about non-committing boyfriends thing again. The statistic doesn't say that 80% of people who enter a marriage before age 30 get a divorce. It says that of all people that get divorced, 80% got married under 30. Two very different things.

It speaks not at all to the chance of getting divorced if you marry under 30 because it only considers those that got divorced (like happily married women not coming to your hub for commitment questions---yeah, because their husbands committed and so they don't have issues with non-committing boyfriends). These statistics don't consider the whole picture----those who got divorced and those who did not get divorced.

For example, let's say the divorce rate is 10% overall (I realize it's higher than that, but I'm using 10% because it's an easy number for math purposes). Now, let's say that there are 1000 total marriages (once again, way off---too low in the case---but go with me). That would mean that 100 result in divorces and 900 don't. Then we look at those 100 divorces and see the age of the individuals involved, and 80% of those folks were under 30--that means 80 marriages of the original 1000 (I'm ignoring the possible additional skewing of partners with varying ages for simplicity--i.e. one partner is under 30 and one is not; I'm making them both under 30 or both not). The flaw is that you have no idea what the ages are for the people that didn't get divorced---they could all be under 30. Perhaps the other 900 marriages that didn't end in divorce got married under 30--would you then say that everyone that gets married under 30 is guaranteed not to get divorced? No, of course not. But that's what the statistics would say in this example if you looked at just those who didn't get divorced. And if the other 900 marriages started under 30 and didn't end in divorce, that would me that if you married under 30, your chance of getting a divorce would be 8% (i.e. 980 total marriages under age 30, 80 of which ended in divorce and 900 that didn't) and if you married over the age of 30, you have a 100% chance of divorce (20 total marriages over the age of 30, all of which ended in divorce).

See how drastically things can change if you're not careful about looking at everything---this is the chief reason statistics can be misleading and easily manipulated (I originally thought the same thing when I read that chart and had to look at it closer to see the flaw in the analysis). Bobbie-7 should be flogged!

To be an accurate reflection of this issue, you'd have to look at ALL the couples that got married before 30 and then see how many are divorced and how many aren't. Then you'll have an accurate reflection of a person's chance of getting divorced before marrying under 30. All we know from this statistic is that people who marry before thirty are relatively more likely to get divorced than those that married after 30, but we don't know how many of them compared to the whole of all people that get married are likely to get divorced--it could be 8% or it could bo 80+%.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

a rose by any other,

I answered your comment in your own Hub. I hope you'll visit it.


Thanks for your comment.

Bruce 6 years ago

Hi Veronica,

I've been with my girlfriend for a year and 8 months. She's Chinese, 26 years old, and her parents/family have been pushing her for marriage for probably 4 months now.

She was about to do her MBA and I needed to move from my apartment because it wasn't a great neighbourhood. I asked her to live with me to help the burden of doing her MBA because I knew it would be difficult.

And it was. After awhile I felt neglected. Four months ago she essentially proposed to me because "her mother told her to." I said relationships need time to test themselves and that it was too soon.

Today, she's done her MBA, employed her life-long education concerns are done. I think she's been pressured constantly those four months about marriage because she re-engaged a discussion like an argument.

She's a planner and I am fairly directionless. That's either a nightmare or a perfect mix. She's very direct and bottom-line (in our argument she called me pathetic) and I would rather say nothing than say something cruel. She hinted at an ultimatum. Me suggesting it is too soon is suggesting I don't respect her Chinese heritage.

I did this to myself. I set a flag, a flag monitor, and then walked away. We recently agreed to save towards a a house. I like that. Marriage ... wasn't something I thought I would be bullied into. What's to the stop the Mother from attempting to interfere with how we raise our child? What schools they go to? What professions they choose?

I'm meek but have the balls to walk away from the relationship. I suppose the question is, given the circumstances, is it really cowardice to abandon a relationship simply because I'm 28 and only really starting to look at what I want from a career and life? I tried to reason with time before and that seems to be cornered. I suspect within 8 months if I don't propose, it's genuine ultimatum time.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


28 is young. A year and 8 months is a short amount of time. You aren't ready to get married, and you don't want to get married, so why would you even think about it. You're right - her mother would continue to exercise control over her and thus, you. That whole 'it's her culture' thing is asinine. If she's so hooked on an antiquated oppressive culture, then she should be dating a guy that shares that culture, not a guy on whom her and her family can inflict that culture-doom.

You didn't mention if you love her, or how hard it would be to live without her. Don't say it goes without saying. Your omission is a tell that speaks volumes. Whatever there was between the two of you has clearly been diminished by her being agenda driven instead of a good partner who listens to what you want and cares about what you're ready for.

Bruce 6 years ago

Thanks Veronica.

A good tell indeed. We spent a few weeks apart recently and when she came back I couldn't tell if I missed her or missed 'someone.' I love being with her and really thought when she came back that was a good sign. Maybe it's just the sign I wanted to believe

thanks for your quick response and having an ongoing forum like this.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author


I moved your comment to your very own HUB -


I hope you'll check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks!



Miserable  6 years ago

Hi Veronica

I have a situation which is kind of peculiar and thought you might have an opinion. I am 36 and my partner is 35. We have been together 2.5 years and living together almost all of that time. We bought a house together a year and a half ago.

He had a 7 yr long distance relationship which ended when he moved countries to move in with the girl. I had two previous marriages that ended in divorce (ouch!) one at 18 (due to pregnancy, which lasted 4 years) and one at 24 (because I couldn't stay in the country I was in without being married to my then-partner, but which lasted 12 years). We live in a third country to our countries of birth. I have two boys, who spend 4 days of the week with me and my partner, and the rest of the week with their dad. My first child from the first marriage ended up being adopted anyway so she is not with me but that is another story.

Anyhow, he told me when we met that marriage didn't interest him. But then, he started to talk about it like it did interest him - like about locations and where we would get married and who would come to the wedding etc, and even songs, and dresses etc. I brought it up recently and now he says that he told me when we met that he had no interest in marriage and that I should be content as we are.

He also refused to sign a co-habitation agreement when we moved in (common where I live in Europe) saying that it was expensive and unnecessary. When I called him up on it he said he would do it 'if I wanted to'.

What I can't come to terms with is my feelings about the situation. I never did really believe in marriage, despite doing it twice, but now I feel like he is the only one I've wanted to marry and he doesn't want to marry me. I knew the other two marriages were for reasons other than wanting to be together forever, but when I compare and think 'well, those guys married me anyway, and he won't even consider it at all' it makes me pissed off.

I think I am annoyed because I want him *to want* to marry me more than I actually want to get married. I want an extravagant gesture, because I have never had one, and I want to feel special. That all sounds completely stupid and irrational when I put it like that!

I am also annoyed because when he talks about me to others he calls me his 'wife' even though I am not and I asked him not to do it!

I feel like if he asked me now I'd be inclined to say no because I would question his motives.

His family and friends apply pressure too because some don't believe that it's a commitment if we are not married and they ask quite frequently when we are getting married. My own family is very far away and I have little contact except via telephone so they have no input.

We are not able to have children (I had my tubes tied), yet he tells me that if I had become pregnant he would have felt obliged to get married because it's 'not right' to have children without being married. He refers to co-habiting friends as 'still single'.

He says it is enough that we bought a house together, and that he has accepted that we cannot have children together and that he treats my children as his own.

We have a good life together, and are happy. He is good with my kids. I love him and he says he loves me, and I trust him. I am just unsure of whether or not he is waiting for someone better to come along and that person will be 'the one' for him and of course, whether my motives for marriage are because I want him to want me, or because I actually want to get married! My history should have put me off marriage, but it seems to have made wanting to get married for the right reasons even more important, which logically I can see as ridiculous.

Sorry, that was a bit rambling but please help!


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