Q. I’m 39 and I have a 12-year-old daughter. I want more kids before it’s too late, so I’ve been waiting 9 years for my boyfriend to propose. We set a date at least 4 times and each time he changed his mind. We don’t argue as long as I don’t bring up marriage. He says he’s not sure if he ever wants to get married because people change after they get married and they end up getting a divorce. He wants to move in together and I don’t want to but I’m afraid that’s the best he’s going to give me. I’m afraid that if I don’t, we may never get married or he may eventually find someone else. I believe he loves me but he’s not ready to commit. Should I continue to wait? I feel like I’m running out of time.
A. I’ve been working on softening my approach so that I don’t sound like I’m on the other team. But sometimes, there’s no other way to say:
You’re wasting your time. This guy is never going to marry you.
You’ve already given him 9 years. And the longer you continue to give him what he wants, you risk not ever getting what you want!
You want love, family, commitment, a license— and why not? You deserve it. Not because you pressured him to marry you, BUT because he sees the value in you without you having to convince him of your worth. If he doesn’t already know it after 9 years, maybe it’s because he doesn’t value you.
If you’re going to run out of time, it shouldn’t be because you’re waiting on someone else to decide your worth. It should be because you’re waiting on God to position and prepare you for His blessing.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Consider these two scenarios:
- If you move in with him, not only would you be violating Biblical principles, but you’ll decrease your chances of getting married, according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Marriage and Family. Researchers studied over 17 thousand couples who were living together over a period of five years and discovered that cohabitations that began after year 2000 were less likely to transition to marriage. Women are more likely to view shacking as the next step towards marriage, while men are more likely view it as a way to buy them more time without having to fully commit.
- If you wear him down and he eventually decides to marry you, you would never truly feel that you were chosen by him. He’ll end up resenting you because it wasn’t his choice. You don’t need a scientific study to tell you that if your man resents you, there is no happily ever after. In fact, the chances are greater that you’ll get divorced.
In short, marriage is a serious union entered by two people who agree. It shouldn’t take place just because you want a baby or because he lost the fight and the penalty is marriage. If you have to fight someone to marry you, your marriage looses. Because the person you’re fighting obviously doesn’t want to get married. But I doubt that I’m telling you anything that you don’t already know (in your own words):
- I’ve been waiting 9 years for my boyfriend to propose
- We set a date at least 4 times and each time he changed his mind
- He’s not sure if he ever wants to get married
- I’m afraid that’s the best he’s going to give me
- He’s not ready to commit
Think about the big picture and make a decision to choose yourself instead of waiting on him to make the decision for you. Even if He doesn’t see your value, you should see your own value and know that you’re too good to spend any more time on someone who doesn’t want the same thing you want.
P.S. I wonder what would have happened if you had decided to break-up after the first time he changed his mind? Could you have been found by the man of your dreams by now?
P.S.S. I wonder what messages you’re sending to your daughter about self-worth?