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You can’t undo the past, but that’s what happens when you date someone so young and choose to have a kid with him – your timetable is just different than his, and those differences may make you incompatible.

For all of these reasons, I feel like you’re asking the wrong question here, Charmaine.

To me, it seems like we are already living the life of a married couple, so why hesitate to make it official? It’s that you shouldn’t HAVE to ask him to marry you. If we don’t want to get married (or are not yet sure or not yet ready) we don’t propose. I’ve got no defense for the guy who has been with you for 3 years and still hasn’t figured out if he wants to marry you.

Because if he wanted to marry you, he would have proposed to you. I mean, I have a defense – he doesn’t KNOW – and some people, if they’re not POSITIVE, don’t want to take action, or think it means that something is wrong. When I was 25, I was a big believer that chemistry was everything and that I would “just know”.

By 35, I didn’t “know” my wife was the one, but I had a pretty good hunch and made a smart, nuanced decision that has rewarded me many times over.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for close to 3 years. Be that as it may, I want to make things official and get married, and I have communicated my desire to marry.

He is significantly younger than me (I’m 36 and he is 25). We are nearing 3 years together, and I would have imagined given that we are living the life of a married couple, that it should have come up already, or sometime soon.

Obviously the honeymoon phase is over and we’re in the phase of hashing out our differences and working together, neither of us is perfect – but he has all the qualities I feel I could spend my life working with (the good and the bad). All I’ll point out is this – based on my entirely unscientific anecdotal assessment of the world – men propose to women 99% of the time.

We both love each other, and I don’t know why he is stalling. I have been patient given his young age, but I also have to think of myself – I don’t have 10 years to throw away hanging around for a proposal that might not come. And if your boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet, it’s for the reasons I mentioned above: So let’s ignore those statistics and backtrack through the possible options: I’ve got no defense for the men who stay in dead-end relationships way past their expiration date.

But sometimes, “not knowing” can be pretty paralyzing.

(By the way, do you want to marry him because you’re highly confident you’re going to be happy over the next 40 years with him?

874 Comments

  1. You can’t undo the past, but that’s what happens when you date someone so young and choose to have a kid with him – your timetable is just different than his, and those differences may make you incompatible.

  2. For all of these reasons, I feel like you’re asking the wrong question here, Charmaine.

  3. Instead of getting down on one knee to ask him to marry you, try having a conversation to assess what he’s actually thinking.

  4. So, I have been considering actually popping the question myself and seeing what he says. Obviously there is a lot at stake here because of our child, who I would like to raise with two loving parents in a conventional family. This is the second in a series of cart before the horse emails. In the meantime, Charmaine, my take on this is going to be consistent with advice I’ve given previously. It’s not that you “shouldn’t” ask him to marry you. A few close friends have done this – for 5 years and 9 years – and it didn’t make any sense to me.

  5. To me, it seems like we are already living the life of a married couple, so why hesitate to make it official? It’s that you shouldn’t HAVE to ask him to marry you. If we don’t want to get married (or are not yet sure or not yet ready) we don’t propose. I’ve got no defense for the guy who has been with you for 3 years and still hasn’t figured out if he wants to marry you.

  6. Because if he wanted to marry you, he would have proposed to you. I mean, I have a defense – he doesn’t KNOW – and some people, if they’re not POSITIVE, don’t want to take action, or think it means that something is wrong. When I was 25, I was a big believer that chemistry was everything and that I would “just know”.

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