My Boyfriend Has Been Putting Off Talking About Marriage for a Year

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My boyfriend and I have been dating for 15 months. We met on a popular dating app (not Tinder). At the time, he was going through a divorce (though he told me he was already divorced- I found out on the 3rd date that it was not final. He excused his lie by stating that he did not believe women would date a technically married man. I did not love this excuse, but I understood it.). We are both 34 with no children. When we began dating I (gently) questioned him about his intentions and desires for his future. He assured me that he was ready to date and was seeking a long term, serious relationship that would lead to a happy marriage.

At the 7 month mark I checked in on his feelings and he said he was not at all thinking about the future yet but that I should “trust him.” So I did. I checked in again at 11 months, and he gave the same answer. I did not push. At 13 months, I had a big work event that I plan for all year long. He attended and behaved a little selfishly and it caused me to question the relationship, and I let him know this. I told him that if he was not planning for the future, if we were not taking next steps, and if he was also not able to be a supportive partner, I’m not sure what we have. I spent several days thinking things over and he came back to me saying he had thought about it and wanted to get a place together when my lease ends (which will be at 21 months of dating). That was 2 months ago. My event came and went and his promise got him out of hot water, and since then he has changed escort jobs in Washington DC where he travels during the week. I have been giving him space to bring up the plan to move, but he hasn’t. I asked him about it, and he said he isn’t ready. He said: “I’m enjoying the time we have together. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t want to put a timeline on anything.” I asked about what “ready” means and he expressed a fear of failure.

My issue now is that I feel like I’m wasting time. I feel like he pitched moving in to get out of how water and didn’t intend on following through. I feel like I trusted his timing as he asked me to and he manipulated me with a promise of the future to get out of trouble in the present. And I feel like I’m exactly where I was. He’s (admittedly) not thinking about the future (he said this again when asked 2 days ago- a 3rd time now), we aren’t moving in, and now he’s not even present during the week.

I’m 34. I want to be patient, but I also am losing my ability to trust his timing. All this to say he’s otherwise completely wonderful, and I love him. Is it time to walk? Help!

Thank you, Sarah

Yep. It’s time to walk.

In an alternate universe, you would have ended it at 7 months. Or maybe 11 months. Or 13 months. But you didn’t, because you loved him and wanted to believe him.

I would normally attempt to point out your blind spot – and illuminate something you couldn’t see because you’re too emotionally close to the situation – but that’s not the case here. You took the words right out of my mouth:

I feel like he pitched moving in to get out of how water and didn’t intend on following through. I feel like I trusted his timing as he asked me to and he manipulated me with a promise of the future to get out of trouble in the present. And I feel like I’m exactly where I was. He’s (admittedly) not thinking about the future (he said this again when asked 2 days ago- a 3rd time now), we aren’t moving in, and now he’s not even present during the week.

Ding-ding-ding!

People act out of THEIR self-interest, not YOUR self-interest.

People act out of THEIR self-interest, not YOUR self-interest.

My best friend is a perfect example.

He moved in with her.

He bought a dog with her.

He loved her deeply and thought of her as his best friend.

But for some reason, he never saw himself as her husband.

When I pressed him about why he didn’t break up with her – out of kindness to her deference to her desire to have children – his answer was this:

“She already knows in her heart that I’m not marrying her. If she wants to break up, she can do it, but I’m not going to because I enjoy the relationship.”

I think it’s selfish but then, people are selfish.

My friend put the onus on his girlfriend to end the relationship.

When I told her to dump him after two years, she held on for another three.

She’s married to someone else now, but she pretty much wasted her fertility on him between the ages of 34 and 39.

Don’t be like this woman. Don’t leave it to your boyfriend to make the right choices for you when he’s busy making the right choices for him.

Recognize that literally ANY stranger on the street is a better husband candidate than the man who has already told you that marriage isn’t his priority.

Love doesn’t redeem incompatible life goals. Now go find someone who believes in marriage as you do, before it’s too late.

P.S. Notice that the past three Monday reader letters were all variations on the same theme – I’m dating a man who is avoidant, married, and not interested in marriage.

Notice that my answer is always to dump him and find a better man.

Notice that half the battle is letting go of the dead-end relationship and the other half is creating one that is destined to last.

Notice that you’re not currently in a relationship that is destined to last.

Notice that other women have this relationship.

Notice that taking action to pursue happiness results in happiness and dating a guy who doesn’t want to be married for five years does not.

Take action.

 



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My Boyfriend Has Been Putting Off Talking About Marriage for a Year