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When All You Want Is to Marry Him - Relationship Advice

Updated on August 11, 2010

Dear Veronica,

I can't express how grateful that when I googled "he's not ready for marriage yet," your blog came up. My bf and I just had this talk tonight, and it broke my heart. We've been dating for three years since July, we both have two or so years left in college and all he's given me is a promise ring the first year and a half.

No not some big enough promise ring, but one to just sit on my finger so guys can notice it.

I know you get tons of questions, but I would love some advice.

He used to say, "I'm getting you a ring, I can't tell you when or it'll spoil the surprise" to today telling me he's not getting a ring this month and HE wants to wait two more years so he can do this and this and this.

I asked him why we couldn't just get married so I could be there for him and help him even more but he was like noooooo. It came across like marrying me would ruin his entire drea

of being an airforce pilot. Mine is just to marry him.

I'm going to talk to him because I cried tonight since he had told me that he'd give me a ring last month or there about and we'd be married in December. Now it's change to two years. He won't give me a year and a half even, only two years.

I admit, I want to say that I've done things the old fashioned way but I haven't. I would love to get a place with him, but I think my parents would disown me with that.

My mothers afraid for me that in two years, I won't be the one for him in his mind and he will have someone else and leave me. With her saying that, I've rethought everything and she is right. He hasn't given me an engagement ring to promise that in two years he'll be ready, because that was his reason: I'm not ready. "were not ready." which is bull because I'm entirely ready.

Is it right for me to want something that will signify that it will happen in two years? What should I do, I would love to hear your advice on this after reading all your other comments and blog posts.

chasingsparrows 

Dear chasingsparrows,

There really is a sweetness about you that comes through in your comment. Certain phrasing and certain words you've chosen reveal that you are most likely quite sincere.

But I'm going to level with you, and some of this may be hard to hear. So pour yourself a drink and sit down, we have much to talk about.

And we're starting with the worst of it. "It came across like marrying me would ruin his entire drea(m) of being an airforce pilot. Mine is just to marry him." Oh dear. This will never do.

The tone of your entire comment comes down to this. It sounds as if you are waiting for this man to give you a life and make you happy. That's a very unhealthy loss of self. You should be responsible for your own happiness. You should have your own goals and dreams. You should have passions and paths that you want to explore and follow. Your existence should not be so dependent on someone else's. Marriage is ideally a partnership; two people coming together as partners in life. If you aren't a strong individual, it is literally impossible for you to be a good partner.

I think you've become so focused on and obsessed with getting married that you've lost sight of the things you should be focusing on, like yourself.

There is a great deal of tell in your words that indicates you're young, possibly too young to be talking about marriage. You didn't share your ages but sharing that you both have a couple years of college left leads me to believe you are both in your early 20's, which, proves my point.

And this brings me to something else you've shared. You indicate that he once spoke about getting you a ring as if it was in the works. And then that seemed to change, and he said it won't be for 2 more years. 

His frontal lobes may have developed during the course of your relationship. I've written about this often in many Hubs. Your frontal lobes are a physical part of your brain that doesn't exist until you are in your early 20's. The real development normally occurs anytime around the age of 20 through 22, give or take a year. For males, this development tends to have a much more profound impact that it does for women. This is a very real physiological change. It has nothing to do with maturity, or being psychologically ready for a committed relationship. This is a very real physical development in the brain, a part that did not exist before now suddenly exists.

This part of the brain governs the ability to make long term plans. It gives us the ability to understand consequence. It is the very beginning of our ability to comprehend long range thinking, and the future we are making.

For example, at age 19 or 20, your boyfriend may have been thinking marriage would be so fun, waking up together every day will be awesome. At 21, he is suddenly able to think through that thought with logic, and impact, and consequence. His thinking may still include how nice it would be to wake up together every day, but not it also includes the fact that a commitment he makes now, he will have to keep for the next 60 years, and how long that actually is. And how expensive marriage is. And how much money he makes now. And the idea that he will have to take on some serious responsibility like taxes and insurance and a mortgage.

It does not mean his heart changed, and it does not mean he has changed his feelings. It means he is thinking with more brain power, and assessing the situation, his very young age, all the things he wants to do with his life, and how truly big the commitment of marriage is.  

You said something else that was pretty disturbing. You said that your mother is afraid that in 2 years you may not still be the one for him. Well, let's think about that. If your mother thinks he's that unsure about his feelings for you, why in the world would she want you to marry him? If she can recognize that he's perhaps too young to be solid in his commitments, then shouldn't she be able to recognize that means he should not be getting married?

More disturbing than your mother possibly suggesting that you should try to marry someone that may not be ready to make a real commitment, is the idea that what your mother has to say about this is a driving force for you. This is another major indicator that you are not ready to get married. There will come a time in your future where you will be able to feel it when the right man, at the right time, is telling you he'll love you forever. It won't come with a panicked feeling of having to act fast before he wanders off. It will come with maturity, for you and for him. The comment that you can't live with him if that's what you want as a person, because your parents would disown you, is very reflecting of a young girl, not an adult woman prepared to be making life decisions on her own. 

Now lets think about another concept that you've run over in your comment. Your boyfriend is telling you his dreams. His career, and his goals. He's more than likely sharing his fears and his thoughts with you. And you aren't being a partner. You don't want to hear him, you just want to a figure out how to make him want what you want. He sounds terrific to me. And he sounds extremely smart to be telling you he's not ready, and you are not ready. Your refusal to hear that... not so smart. And the more you don't hear him, the farther apart you two are going to grow.

Listen, it is obvious in your note that you have a big heart and a real sense of true love for this man. It is possible that you will continue to grow together, and after a few years (2 is not even close to long enough) maybe you will actually be ready to talk about marriage again. But I can guarantee you that if you keep pushing the way you are, you're going to ruin this relationship. You are not ready to get married. He's right. 

My advice to you is to relax. Start focusing on yourself and making your own happiness instead of being dependent on your mother to tell you what to do, or your boyfriend to bring happiness into your life. Make your own. Focus on your career. Or your volunteer work. Or your art. Or your hobbies. Become interested in yourself.

Love yourself enough to know when it's right, when it's really right, and when you're both actually ready, the man will propose because he wants to, not because you stamped your feet and cried and bullied him into doing it. Believe me, the proposal you want is the one that comes from his heart, not the one that comes from your pressuring. Good luck to you, and honestly mean that.

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  • Veronica profile image
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    Veronica 7 years ago from NY

    Thanks for your comments! I do really have a liking for this girl, she's obviously very sweet. I hope things work out for her :)

  • Lala_Lisa profile image

    Lala_Lisa 7 years ago

    There really is a sweetness about you, chasingsparrows. Veronica is right. I can see it too. I hope you will listen to this sound advice. If he's Mr. Right but you do things too fast you will eventually lose him. You have to have a solid foundation to make it through together. You have to do things right. It's not enough to just want to be his wife. You need more, much more, than that to be a person and also to be someone he will want for the rest of his life. Pushing him to do something he isn't ready to do is going to harm the relationship. Veronica good job with this one. You get to the heart of things. I hope she listens!!

    Take Care!

  • profile image

    Psyched in Washington 7 years ago

    Brilliant article, V. It really is amazing to look back at your life at that time in your early 20's when it's EXACTLY like you described - suddenly, it's all there, and you get it. I'm 32 now and have been in the field of Clinical Psychology for 9 years. I was so sure of how I felt about the world when I was 20. It's amazing how differently you feel about things as you develop.

    If you make your life based on someone else, you will never be happy and you will never be able to make anyone else happy. No truer sentiment has every been shared. Thanks V!

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