I expected to get an engagement ring this Christmas, but didn’t. My heart almost stopped when my live-in boyfriend of four years handed me the tiny box as we were opening gifts in front of his family. I found it hard to act excited when instead of an engagement ring, I got diamond earrings. We have been talking a lot about getting married this past year but now that I think more about it, I have always been the one to bring it up and he never says “no” to the idea, but he never says “yes”. Since he never out-and-out said “no” I thought he was thinking of marriage. Maybe it was just wishful thinking. Now that I didn’t get the ring, I’m thinking he may never commit. How long do I wait for a marriage proposal?
Wow, just reading this my heart stopped too because I could envision you, and probably other family members, thinking there was an engagement ring in the small box. Ouch! That’s a big let down, and I sympathize, but let’s get to your question of how long do you wait for a marriage proposal?
First, no one can answer this question for you. However, I do believe there is an answer that will make sense to you, but it will have to come from some serious soul-searching. You will need to sit down with yourself and think through some hard decisions. To do it right, this process won’t be easy and it will take some time. To keep it simple, what I call black and white, ask yourself which is most important to you; to have this relationship (even if he won’t ever marry you), or to be married? Having done Life Coaching with women who’ve called my radio show with this very issue, I’m sure what you’re thinking is the ole…well, but, you know, I want this relationship, BUT I want to be married to him! Yes, I get that, but we’re talking about the guy that you’ve been living with for four years with no marriage in sight. In a black and white world, you have only two choices here: to stay in the relationship without being married to the man; or to get out and find someone who believes in marriage like you do. So why, you might ask, would Joan, who usually operates from the gray-zone, take such a black and white stance with this? Because, it is my opinion that if he hasn’t asked you to marry him in four years time, he probably won’t.
Now, let’s move to the gray-zone of thinking and decision making on waiting for a marriage proposal…Do you have to end your relationship just because he won’t marry you? No. Can you threaten him with a breakup if he doesn’t marry you? Yes. Will it work? Maybe. Maybe not. Can you live with him forever while “hoping” that he will take that next step? Yes. It’s up to you. Make your decision based on what is most important to you and know that being indecisive and living in the gray-zone, if that’s how you want to live, is OK too. In the meantime, let Mr. Commitment-Phobe know that even if he won’t marry you, if you happen to live in one of the nine US States that recognize common law marriage (Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Utah and Texas), you may be legally married already and have to file for divorce to break up! Take that, Mr. “I bought you diamond earrings because I can’t commit to marriage”!
Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~
• How did you answer the question of what is most important to you, to have this relationship (even if he won’t ever marry you), or to be married?
• What does that tell you about how you feel in this relationship?
• Are you prepared to make a black and white decision where you’re “in” or you’re “out”; or are you OK to live in the gray zone?