- Gender and Relationships
She wants to marry her BF. Instead she's chasing him away. Dating Advice
I read your article [When Your Girl Wants to Get Married and You Don't]
and thought it was wonderful. I hope you might have some advice for me. I am 39 years old and was married years ago and never thought I would want to remarry, but in the past year, I have changed my mind, and think about a life with my boyfriend in a marriage. I have been dating a guy whom I love for about 3 years now, and living with him for the past 2. About 6 months ago, we had a fight that led to us spending some time apart, and within a month, were back to dating, but not living together. My boyfriend is 32, and has never been married, and says things like “one day you will be more than just my girlfriend”. A few weeks ago, I overheard him on the phone talking with a friend he hasn’t spoken with in years and he told his friend that he had a girlfriend, and that we were having some trouble, and he moved out, but if things work themselves out, we may live together again. He then said that he thought about marriage, but realizes that it is not in his nature and that he may need to grow up and make a commitment to just one women, and that he knows that is wrong, but he is trying to change.
I have been completely freaked out since I heard him say this. He has gone back & forth on the topic of marriage since I met him. At some points he has said he would like to get married, and at other times, I think he is just afraid…..or he is not sure that I am the right girl for him. I have always been a believer in that if a guy is not sure, then it is a NO. Yet, I can’t seem to walk away, because I have hope that maybe I need patience with him, and he will want that type of commitment. Part of me thinks that marriage to him is the official end of his bachelor hood, which even though he is a mellow guy, would be devastating to him.
Basically, I have these feelings like I must not be good enough in his eyes, or he would want that commitment to. I am afraid to waste these prime years of my life and only have him say, no, I just don’t see it in our future. I know this is convoluted, but much of what you responded to is in reference to younger couples. I wondered what your thoughts were in regards to my age, and what he could be thinking. Should I stay longer? I love him, and believe he loves me, but think he would be just content to spend the unforeseeable future dating / living together and never getting married. Not sure why this isn’t enough for me. Almost like marriage validates our relationship.
Let’s break this down. You began dating 3 years ago, when he was 29. He had just completed his Saturn Return/Rites of Passage changes. This means, he understands himself. He knows what he wants, he knows who he is. He has the capacity to understand long term commitment. He got into this relationship with you in a good frame of mind, fairly sure of who he is and what he wants, and was probably giving it his all.
Then something changed.
Two things you wrote stand out here. One is that you said in the last year you’ve changed your mind about not wanting to get married again. It sounds to me like this was the big change: suddenly you became interested in and focused on getting married.
I’m trying to factor in what he said: that one day you’d be more than a GF. While it’s a purposeful avoidance of certain terms, it still shows he was rolling with your change and making the effort to adapt to it.
And then the “change” became worse.
After 6 months of his trying to roll with your change, you said you two had a fight. This is the second thing that stands out in your situation. You two spent time apart over this fight, and he’s even referenced the fight as trouble in the relationship. I have to think the fight was marriage/commitment related.
I wouldn’t focus on the conversation you overheard. Men tend to speak to impress, not to share, especially when speaking with buddies about babes. I’m not saying I think he was lying. I think he was being truthful, I just doubt that he was expressing his whole truth. There’s probably feelings he’s having that temper the ones he expressed. And you don’t really know the history with the person he was speaking with. He may have been posturing or playing things down for a reason you don’t even know. He may have purposefully reached out to a friend not in his current circle just so he could vent. It may mean nothing.
Focus instead on yourself. Think about the way you’ve changed over the past year. Compare what it must have been like for him to be around you during the first year together. Now compare that with the way it must be for him to have been around you for the past year. Try to be honest, this won’t be easy. A year ago were you fun, playful, living in the moment, happy with him and letting him know it? In this past year are you not so fun? Are you serious too much? Do you pick, and push sometimes? Is the experience of seeing you not as pleasant for him as it used to be? Do you think that when he’s around you he’s thinking – wow, not so great anymore.
You have two things to consider...
One is your own speculation:
“I love him, and believe he loves me, but think he would be just content to spend the unforeseeable future dating / living together and never getting married. Not sure why this isn’t enough for me.”
The other is, consider how you’ve changed, and how that has changed the relationship. You can’t expect him to just change when you change. And you can’t throw a lobber into the arrangement you have, like marriage, and expect it to just be absorbed.
My advice is to go back to square one. Fix the damage first. After you’ve realized how much you’ve changed since you changed your mind on marriage, go back to being the you he used to be in love with, the you he knew, the you that built the good relationship in the first place.
Make being around you a positive solid experience again. Show him in deeds and smile and comfort how you really do belong together, how he was right to be with you. Completely drop the marriage talk. If he brings it up, blow it off. “Oh we’re having such a beautiful day, don’t worry about stuff like that, let’s just have fun.” This is going to take some time. I’d give it a good 6 months to a year.
After the relationship is repaired and it feels like the two of you are your old selves again, then and only then can you re-visit the subject of marriage.
This time, approach it much differently. Never lose sight of the relationship you have, and the happiness you share. Don’t damage that. Build on it. Ask him to have a serious discussion with you about your future. Don’t nag, threaten, or give ultimatums. During this talk keep smiling and telling him how happy he makes you. Tell him you want to spend your life exactly as you are spending today: with him. But be clear that you would like to get married after all. Then ask him how he feels about that. Then shut up.
Listen. Listen to what he says. Coax him to share. Nothing has to be decided in this first conversation. You are the one introducing a change to the original agreement, so you need to be the patient one. Validate his feelings. Let him know you care about what he wants. Thank him for talking about this. Then let it go, leave the ball in his court for a while.
The odds are good that he will bring it up again. Keep your mind open to compromises he may suggest: a commitment ceremony instead of a wedding, a date on the calendar a year or two away where he says he’ll be ready to give you a ring, whatever baby step he is willing to take, accept it. I have the feeling he will come around, but not if you don’t handle this delicately.
Keep in touch, let us know what happens.
was written by Veronica for Hubpages. If you are reading it elsewhere, it has been stolen.
All test is original content by Veronica. All photos are used with permission. All videos are courtesy of youtube.com
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