The Waiting Game

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hi Ellen,
I have been dating a nice guy on and off for 2 years.  He seems to be afraid to commit.  When we are together he treats me really well but there seems to be no forward motion to our relationship.  I bring up marriage and he says he is not ready.  I am 24 and he is 26.     Our only arguments are about this issue.  He says that he thinks marriage is important and serious and he doesn’t plan to ever get divorced.  He has never been married or engaged.  Should I keep waiting or move on?

Thanks for listening,

Hi Luanne,
Thank you for your question.  There are several different things I could say regarding your situation.  In the end, it will all depend on you and what you would like to do.  You know yourself best.  

If you have the patience to keep waiting, you should.  Everyone is different.  Some people take a long time to decide if someone is the right one for them.  Sometimes it's based on how their parents were, or just a personality trait in themselves that allows them to refrain from jumping into things quickly.  It seems like he just wants to make sure that he can marry someone and not have to worry about any issues that can't be resolved that might lead to divorce.  26 is still young.  Guys don't put as much pressure on themselves as we do.  

If you truly feel he is just making an excuse (you would know best since you see how he reacts when you bring marriage up) and that he may never change his mind, maybe you should move on.  But if you are truly happy with him, and this is the only issue, it may be worth it to wait a while longer.  It's not about the timing, it's about how happy you are.  If you are truly happy and wish to spend the rest of your life with him, it may be worthwhile to you to enjoy the time you have with him, and try not to pressure him anymore by bringing it up.  Maybe by doing that he will feel like he has more room to breathe and tackle the decision in his own time.  

I know some people, that no matter how happy they are with someone, will move on if they aren't getting what they want in a certain amount of time.  I know others that could care less and are just happy that they have their partner in their life at all.  If he is very committed to you and you have no HUGE issues, give him some time.  He will come around! If he's smart.  Maybe if in another year (again, depending on how long YOU want to wait), if he still isn't budging on the situation, tell him you feel it isn't fair to you to keep waiting and that it makes you feel like you aren't worthy.  Then hopefully he will explain to you what's really going on in his head.  I really hope my advice helps you in some way.  Please let me know how it goes!
Best wishes!


  1. Wow- I could have written that exact question a few years ago!! GREAT ANSWER ELLEN. I love that you didn't give the pat answer "Move on, forget him" as many people would. People are complicated beings and there is almost never a black and white answer.

    I had to wait for about 7 years to get a proposal. There were lots of reasons and we broke up several times. We have now been married 6 years and I feel it was worth the wait.

  2. In my experience with men, (sons and nephews) they do not like pressure about anything. I think pressure about marriage makes them "bow their necks" even more about not committing.

    My guess would be that if you don't mention it again, things may do a complete turn around!! (be patient--if he is the one for you, it will work out)

  3. Yea exactly. I always tell people, once you draw back, they always come around. and you are so right Portland Granny - if its meant to be, it WILL work out

  4. I agree with the advice so far. I'd just like to add that maybe you should ask what his goals are for marriage. Does he feel 30 is too young? 35? What about children? Dies he want to have them right away? Do you? Do either of you want to be married three or four or ten years and then have children? You really need to know what his feelings are about all this. His idea of waiting and marriage may be different than yours. All this must be discussed before marriage. You need to know you can agree or compromise on such important matters.

    Make sure he knows you're not pressuring him to marry. Just that you want to make sure that if you do wait for him to be ready that you both have similar thoughts on a time frame.

    Don't give him ultimatums or a deadline but try to at least find out what his idea of waiting is. It could be a lot longer than what you have in mind. I do think though that it's a good sign he takes marriage seriously.

    Sorry for my typing... I'm on my BlackBerry.

  5. Hi SG,
    Glad to see you are still around. Too bad we can't converse much anymore! RLE have taken me away from the blogs and such. Hope this finds you happy and well.
    #1 Caregiver

  6. #1caregiver!

    Hi! So good to see you! Thanks for the message. I hope you are well.

    Yeah I can't post there anymore but I'm still alive. I post at In My Opinion blog at Come visit! I always enjoyed your comments. Take care and keep making your good points...

    Sorry Ellen for posting a person message on your blog. Thanks for posting them!


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