Discussing marriage with reluctant boyfriend
April 14, 2008 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Classic relationship cliche: I’d really like to marry my long term boyfriend. He says he wants to marry me … but he won’t actually propose.

I have been with my boyfriend for about five years, we've been living together for over four years. I'm in my mid-late twenties, he's in his early forties. His first marriage ended in divorce, for what that’s worth. We have always planned to get married and have children.

We have a wonderful relationship, the best. I love him, I love living with him, I love our life together. We are both fully committed to each other and our relationship, and we have significant joint financial, social, and professional projects. We have great sex! I would say that we are effectively married from a lifestyle standpoint. I’m having a hard time articulating why getting married is so important to me, especially in light of all these commitments, but it is. I think part of it is the public commitment, part is the security (and not just financial), and part is that it’s important to me to be married before we have children, which we have discussed doing in a year or two.

I guess I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to double his ability/intention to actually get married. If he has some reason why it’s important for him to wait (and I guess he obviously does…) then I want to hear about it. He’s a little dismissive when I try to bring up my concerns, I think it makes him uncomfortable to discuss it. Or he’ll try to satisfy me with something like “Duh. Of course we’re going to get married.” and expect that to be all the explanation I’ll ever need. I feel like I don’t even know exactly where he stands. His official position is that he wants to marry me, but if he felt that way, wouldn’t he propose?

I brought it up a few months ago and I guess I really did pick a fight about it. It was bad timing for a variety of reasons, and I know that. I told him I’d leave it alone for a month, and I have. It’s actually been about four months since I’ve said a word about the whole thing. I kept thinking that he would initiate a discussion--or propose!--but he hasn’t.

I would prefer to get engaged more or less now. I’m open to waiting if he needs to, but I need some reassurance, a plan, something. What do I do? And yeah, talk to him, OK. But he doesn’t really want to discuss it. And I don’t know how to approach the issue constructively (and without tears, blah).

To address a couple of financial concerns that weddings can bring: I’m not hung up on a big engagement ring, or any ring at all. He knows that. We’re also both on the same page about wanting a small party/wedding. We’re financially comfortable, independently and even more so together, so I don’t think there are any issues there.

One other thing: I think we’re both expecting that he will propose to me. I don’t want to propose to him, and I don’t think he’d like that either.

Thanks everyone.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Well, I told my (now fiance) to propose by the end of the (last) year, or I was gone. It worked on him, but only because he's the type who needs a fire lit under him to get things done. (For instance, he did his taxes last night.) This method would definitely not work on everybody. And if I really thought he wasn't going to propose by the end of the year, I wouldn't have given him until the end of the year-- I would have just left. Either way, you need to have a discussion. About what he expects, what you expect, and WHEN. ("soon" can mean many different things to people). You also have the added 'wanting to start a family' thing, which unfortunately, can put a biological-clock imperative on the situation as well.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 12:56 PM on April 14, 2008

This question really articulately lays out why you want to get married (even though you think you can't pinpoint it) and why it's important to you that he be willing to discuss it. I would probably aim to just have a calm discussion that you set up in such a way that he feels okay being honest with you about why he might be reluctant. In other words, rather than doing at a "bad" time or surprising it with him in such a way that he feels caught off guard, maybe suggest a good time to talk and say something like "I know our past discussions about this haven't always gone very well but I want you to know that I want to know where you're at with this whole marriage deal. I promise to be forthcoming, calm and honest about my needs and feelings if you are, too." Feel free to substitute language much better suited to you and your relationship. I was just trying to illustrate setting up the conversation to make you both feel comfortable and prepared for the conversation.
posted by sneakin at 1:02 PM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

You could sort of take his proposal as read, and say to him "I want to set a date."
posted by adamrice at 1:03 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

I think you're probably going to have to do what Green Eyed Monster, set a deadline- and like her, you're going to have to mean it. Some say ultimatums are unfair, but I don't agree. An ultimatum is ultimately a boundary you set for yourself: if this doesn't happen, I will leave.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:03 PM on April 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

If I were in your boyfriends shoes and you kept mentioning it, starting arguments about it and otherwise pressuring me into a specific time, then that would entirely ruin the whole idea about a proposal for me, and I wouldn't do it, or rather, I would only do it when that feeling had dissipated.
And if, as others have mentioned you set a deadline with an ultimatum of marriage or death of the relationship, then I would seriously think that something was amiss that you would consider a short ceremony and a signature more important then a life together.

Proposing to someone is meant to be a big romantic gesture, plucked out of the blue, a great surprise full of emotion. Doing at your request, to save arguments, tears or hassle seems like the wrong mindset to approach it from. Also, obviously having been burnt from his first marriage (sub-consciously or otherwise) will make him more cautious this time, perhaps his relationship started turning for the worst after marriage?

*climbs into flame retardant suit*
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:14 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

What about if you proposed to him? Not just saying you want to get married, but an actual "occasion" proposal? You don't need to wait for him to do it, you know.
posted by gaspode at 1:14 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

He already knows you want to get married. You need to stop feeling guilty about needing to get married. There are couples who go through their lives unmarried, but if that's not what you want, don't feel bad about it. I agree with others that you should set a deadline, or move on.
posted by thomas144 at 1:18 PM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was in a relationship for four and a half years (we lived together, shared stuff, finances, bank accounts), and we had talked about marriage multiple times, but just didn't seal the deal. Then I met someone else. Me and the four and a half year guy broke up (and let me not diminish in anyway how hard that was).

Six months later, the new guy popped the question (spontaneously! no ring or nothing) and I had zero hesitation. He is the best for me. I can't believe we met. For what it's worth, guy number two had been divorced in the past.

I later talked to four and a half year guy and he said the truth was, if he had been ready to get married, he would have proposed. I'm so glad he didn't. Everything worked out better for me in the end.

Situations like this are a person by person thing. But that said, if someone wants to get married, nothing will stand in their way. I know that when I was living with four and half year guy, we definitely felt for all ostensible purposes that we were living like marrieds. And for all ostensible purposes we were.

While I understand the whole "hurry up and get married mentality" seems a little absurd when one is in a relationship (as in, you'll be spending a lifetime with this person anyway, why hurry up the date when you actually wed), I also think that getting married is very underrated these days. A wedding is this fantastic celebration of how much you love someone. You get to proclaim, this is the one!! I pick you!! to your favorite person. Plus, there is this sense that you are now building a life together, that is really both of yours, rather than a combining of assets and watching time pass (which is how it felt when I was living with four and a half year guy).

He's had a go around at marriage, and it is very likely it left him a little battle-scarred with many hesitations about being married. But as I think about it, that seems absurd. Having a bad outcome in a marriage is more a reflection on the lack of quality in that relationship / person, and not marriage itself. Being married to you will obviously be different than being married to his ex-wife. How marriage works gets re-invented every time a couple says "I do".

Therefore, let me try to to impart to you: you have a life to live and there's no reason that your life should be filled up waiting for something to happen. In many ways, it just isn't fair. You have time on your side. A career to build. A family to build. Find a partner in crime who is as excited about you as you are about him. There is a world of happiness out there. It will be hard to change your life (if you decide to do that) but I dare you to anyway.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:19 PM on April 14, 2008 [15 favorites]

Proposing to someone is meant to be a big romantic gesture, plucked out of the blue, a great surprise full of emotion.

Says who, chick flicks? Bologna. Deciding to get married is one of the most important decisions a person can make. All parties should be on the same page about what's going on in the relationship before they get engaged, which is why Anonymous is perfectly within her rights to discuss marriage with her boyfriend. Seriously discussing the issue doesn't preclude a "surprise" romantic proposal, it's not either/or.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:22 PM on April 14, 2008 [18 favorites]

Oh, and my proposal was 'planned' kinda, but it was still romantic, and "full of emotion" as mentioned above (good emotions, too!) Not being a totally out-of-the blue surprise lessened the experience zero for me.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 1:25 PM on April 14, 2008

and ditto what TPS said.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 1:27 PM on April 14, 2008

He’s a little dismissive when I try to bring up my concerns, I think it makes him uncomfortable to discuss it.

I hope this isn't indicative of how he handles any unpleasant situation. Since you're anon, you can't answer this here, but for your own good, I suggest you think about this - how does he handles uncomfortable matters? If this is par for the course, you two have a serious communication issue (mostly his, but if you want to marry him, it's yours too). And if you haven't handled something this big yet, I question whether your relationship really is marriage-ready.

I think you need to have a sit-down to make him realize how serious you are about this. Not in an "I demand you propose" way, but in a "If you're having reservations, you need to talk to me about them. Good or bad, I need to know your thoughts about this" way. And don't let him weasel out of it. I'm concerned -- not that he won't propose, but that he's so dismissive about something that's upsetting to you. IMO, you need to work that out before you address the marriage situation.
posted by boomchicka at 1:29 PM on April 14, 2008 [4 favorites]

One other thing: I think we’re both expecting that he will propose to me. I don’t want to propose to him, and I don’t think he’d like that either.
Wanting to marry somebody while having a taboo on any utterances that are similar in intent to "will you marry me" will lead to a lot of strategising, indirect communication, misunderstandings and manipulation that might well be counterproductive.

Just a male perspective.
posted by jouke at 1:35 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

ThePinkSuperhero: Says who, chick flicks?

I say, from my own point of view. Talking about marriage and a future together is absolutely fine, but if someone started putting time-limits on when I should ask them, then that would detract from the meaning of the proposal for me. If you're going to force someone to ask you, why not just ask them? Surely that makes more sense.

"Dad.. how did you and mummy get married?"
"Well son, it's awfully romantic... she threatened to leave me unless I did."

Brings a tear to your eye.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:36 PM on April 14, 2008

A deadline is silly and trivializes things, and you can accomplish just as much without putting a hard date on the proposal. You do have to talk to him, though. Trust that you'll be calm and rational during the discussion, and then work really hard to stay that way. But the crux of your message should be this:

I would prefer to get engaged more or less now. I’m open to waiting if he needs to, but I need some reassurance, a plan, something.You should not be expected to keep going without him at least articulating his reasons for waiting.

Don't make him give you the reassurance/plan/something that evening. After you make it very clear how important it is to you and should be to him, though, it should be on his mind every free second until he does something about it. If it's not...if he ends up playing softball with his friends or video games or something else the next three weekends in a row...you have your answer.
posted by aswego at 1:37 PM on April 14, 2008

Is this guy gonna waste your time (and prime childbearing years) in status quo limbo? Probably.

If he wanted to marry you he'd have done it by now. The fact he won't really have an adult conversation with you about it is rather a red flag.

YOU are the only one who has anything to lose if nothing changes. Can you live with that?

Should you?
posted by konolia at 1:38 PM on April 14, 2008 [4 favorites]

Similar situation. Like Green Eyed Monster, I said I wanted to be married or have a date set by the end of the year (we were talking about New Year's resolutions at the time and I'd been thinking about the whole thing but not really until that point as a resolution per se but it just came out). Anyway, we had a a few big discussions about why and I think it was important to Mr. Cocoa to hear something like, "I want this relationship to continue to grow and the next experience(s) for me are marriage and children together. I want to do those things with you. If those things aren't going to happen with you, I don't think this relationship is thriving for me." I'd been divorced previously and I think that was a fear for him -- he didn't want to be the next ex -- but it was also something he kept hanging his hat on, so to speak, when it came to talking about marriage. I was (am) a lot older than you, so for me having kids was a really clear driver. I think that scared both of us (him more) but it was true and he knew it when he started seeing me, so it wasn't like I surprised him. But it's your responsibility to speak up for your needs and let him know in a loving way that this is important enough that you need some clear answers and commitments, and what the implications are of either ignoring those discussions or not making those commitment together.

I don’t know how to approach the issue constructively (and without tears, blah).
P.S. Tears are reality, emotion, keys to important stuff, not things to be avoided so that someone takes you seriously. Guh, this is a pet peeve of mine in my relationships so I just thought I'd spread the love.
posted by cocoagirl at 1:42 PM on April 14, 2008 [4 favorites]

does he know why you want to get married? your reasons seem valid enough, but if he thinks you just want a ring and a dress and a party, he might not be that into it.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:43 PM on April 14, 2008

To all these people who are wringing their hands over the idea of a woman giving a guy a nudge...

My mom basically sat down with my dad after they'd been dating for to years and said she wanted to start a family soon, and she'd like to do it with him. Furthermore, she told me she had moved in with previous boyfriends, and she didn't want to go through that again unless they were making a commitment. I don't think it's any less of a romantic or wonderful story, and futhermore, it instilled in me that I don't need to sit around waiting for someone else to make a move. I call BS on anyone that says it's a bad idea to light a fire under someone's ass. I wouldn't be here or as strong as I am without my mother having done that in the first place.
posted by piratebowling at 1:58 PM on April 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

His official position is that he wants to marry me, but if he felt that way, wouldn’t he propose?
No. Conceivably he might just be in a vague procrastination mode. Maybe marriage in itself is not as important to him as it is to you and he's putting the hullabooloo off. Nothing in that would have any relation to the strength of his feelings for you. Combine with that the possibility of his unwittingly feeling manipulated and you run the risk of missing out on a lot of happiness because of not communicating directly.

From what I can tell from your post you have all the important stuff covered: love each other a lot, wanting kids. You're just more eager on the formality of marrying. Snap out of the dramatics and say "hey let's get married".
posted by jouke at 2:01 PM on April 14, 2008

Giving him the benefit of the doubt: if you two have been financially solvent for awhile and solidly committed for awhile, it might feel to him like, "Why now and not any other time?" Some couples cross some kind of invisible threshold (bank balance, parental illness, graduation, magic age) and that's how they make that foregone conclusion (marriage) into a reality. If so, I can relate, because that's how I think of having children. I am as ready as I'll ever be, but there's no catalyst, so I put it off.

I wonder if you can create a catalyst by moving past discussion of the proposal -- just talk matter-of-factly about the wedding. Discuss appropriate seasons in terms of prices and vacation time and traveling guests. Then talk about planning lead-time (6 months, a year). In a best case scenario, you end up with something like, "So, we'll try for summer 09?" "Yeah, sounds good!" and he can figure out on his own how and when to propose. Worst case, he dodges discussing specifics, and then you have to ask him why he doesn't want to go there. Or maybe he suggests a date that's far away (2010?), and you move on to discussing why he wants more time.
posted by xo at 2:02 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

I would prefer to get engaged more or less now. I’m open to waiting if he needs to, but I need some reassurance, a plan, something.

A reassurance because...?

I think you need to be able to articulate why you want to get married besides the expectations of others and your own insecurities. He doesn't need the reassurance and probably doesn't understand why you do. There's no clearly logical reason to get married besides financial/legal benefits, but "because I need reassurance" is a horrid reason. Maybe he thinks you're enamored with the idea of marriage/weddings, and he's not sure you want to marry him, for who he is. That may be complete horseshit, but he's got to believe that before he'll propose.
posted by desjardins at 2:24 PM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's this socially sanctioned sort of passive-aggressive stuff that really makes me think heterosexuality is overrated. The spousal unit and I knew that was in our future long before we did the silly proposal thing, even knew who was going to be the officiant. If he's not willing to discuss a timeline, he's either not that into you or gun-shy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:25 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

I can't help but feel that (despite the poster's original claim that her partner will not discuss it) the best option is to talk with the guy. There's a number of possibilities that we (and she) can not know. He might not want to get married. He might want to get married but not see the point of a proposal because he already knows they're getting married. He might be planning the big romantic gesture, but everytime she brings it up, he postpones it so it will be a big surprise.

It's pretty difficult to change someone's behaviour if you don't even discuss it with them. And then to lay an ultimatum down, well, that might really put him off.

Honesty. Just ask him, without all the trimmings and traps, where he stands. Or start planning the wedding, and let him know, not subtly, that you'd like him to propose formally, some time before the big day. Yes, for sure, it'd be nice if the men in our life understood all our romantic desires, but they're not mind-readers (nor are we) and the only way through this is to talk about it. (It's good practice for being married too, btw).
posted by b33j at 2:26 PM on April 14, 2008

TPS, my only quibble with your point of view is: using it the way you did, I feel quite sure in this case it would be baloney, not bologna.

This same thing situation has occupied ... no taken over ... my world just recently, with almost the same timeframe, with some of our own signature twists (I'm the divorced one, he's a procrastinator who hates change, etc etc). We live together for 3 years, had discussed the future, he was all like Baby Baby, Of course Of course, and then ... nothing. Every holiday, every vacation, I was (intermittently, not obsessively) distracted from the actual experience wondering, Will this be the moment? Christmas, Italy, Presidents' Day (yes, I actually thought that might be what he was waiting for -- he's a politics nut) I was always the one who had to bring it up, or had to keep it tamped down in order not to "pressure". But I wanted that commitment and from Day One he claimed he wanted it too. So????

His ancient (88) Aunt Alba interrogated me at Thanksgiving and tut-tut'ed and gave me the stink eye when I shrugged and said politely, Oh, we're good, we're fine, we're great, whatever, we're happy. At the end of the evening, as the men were carrying her in her wheelchair out to the minivan, she shouted out, in full hearing of the entire family including my guy "Sometimes you gotta push!" And I did, in the form of a gentle, loving, no-nonsense New Year's Day-with-a-champagne-toast ultimatum. I said, If we don't have a plan by ____, then I'm not going to get all dramatic and break up with you, but I don't want us to live together anymore. We'll go back to separate places and see what happens. In my heart I had to promise myself I would stick to that resolution.

We went on vacation three weeks ago and he popped the question, finally. And we're getting hitched in August. Aunt Alba was right.
posted by thinkpiece at 2:29 PM on April 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

Counseling Maybe? It doesn’t seem like he’d be into but it might be worth a shot – or at least the idea of discussing in therapy might open the channels of communication.

As a guy it sounds like to me he is comfortable with the way things are and while he really does love you he really doesn’t have a reason to tie the not again.

Also does he really want kids? I’m not saying he is too old but that may be a concern of his that he would be 65 (approx?) when his child graduated high school.

I think it is a tough line - you can’t force him to propose (even then how long will the engagement be) he needs to understand how important this is for you and that whatever “marriage” means that is what you want for the 2 of you.

He is just a dumb guy (like me) who’s comfortable – if he won’t talk then write it down. If you mention it and he blows up have your dialog written and hand it too him. Ask he to read it b/c it would mean the world to you. Maybe that will soften the outer shell and get those lines open.

Best Wishes!
posted by doorsfan at 2:36 PM on April 14, 2008

There is something that is critical to you that your partner is failing to make a priority, and more importantly, failing to communicate with you about. That is tremendously disrespectful of both you and your relationship.

That's pretty significant. I'd certainly want to address that fact, in isolation.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:44 PM on April 14, 2008

"Dad.. how did you and mummy get married?"
"Well son, it's awfully romantic... she threatened to leave me unless I did."

Brings a tear to your eye.

...nothing unromantic about it. I have a little habit of asking couples how they met and married, and you'd be surprised how many of them tell a story something like this. I concur with those who say that setting out your expectations clearly is perfectly appropriate. It's still up to him to decide whether to accept the deal or not. And if he accepts, that's pretty romantic in itself, and he can plan as romantic a proposal as he wants, and they'll have a great, sweet, funny story to tell nosy people like me forever.

That's one way it can work out.

Also, I think your reasons for wanting to be married are totally solid, you yourself are very clear about them, and there's no reason to feel like you're being overly needy or pushy. You have described the life you want. You deserve it. It sounds like a hard thing to do what you need to do to make it happen, but I think you have the guts to do it. You've decided you want something and you don't sound immature or insecure to me. The reasons you list are exactly the kind you find among good reasons to get married.
posted by Miko at 3:13 PM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

We have always planned to get married and have children.

Then what's to propose? You already agree. Are you really asking for the bended knee thing? Just ask him for the specifics, or make reservations in Vegas or go ahead and schedule whatever would make you happy.
posted by sageleaf at 3:27 PM on April 14, 2008

If you want to get married to him, and end the relationship otherwise so you can find someone else to marry:
Explain why you want to get married to him. Tell him he has until a particular date to decide/propose/set a date/run off to vegas/whatever it is that you specifically want from him, say July 1. Tell him that you won't bring this up again, but you expect him to have an answer for you on this date. Towards mid-June, if you haven't heard anything from him yet, you need to start your plans to move out. Don't hide this from him, but don't shove it in his face either, just go through things in a matter of fact way, look through apartment ads, have a yard sale, etc. He will either make his move or not, and you have your answer.

If you want to keep the relationship weather or not he marries you, and your idea is simply that you want to get married before you have children, you will have to let him take his time. At any rate you will have about 9 months warning.
posted by yohko at 9:04 PM on April 14, 2008

There was a really long discussion about this at Pandagon (feminist blog), in this thread discussing the book I Do But I Don't. A lot of people there concluded that they had to have the big blow-out fight and lay down an ultimatum before he would actually propose. An excerpt from the review:
Wicoff’s husband sounds like a good guy generallly but even he was unwillling to propose for six whole months after an episode she bravely describes that ended with her sobbing and sobbing with frustration because while she and he were both sure they would get married, he just wouldn’t ask. The power of being able to determine when this would happen was so intoxicating that even a good man was unable to let go of it, even though he was humiliating the woman he loved. Don’t underestimate the allure of power, in other words.

Apparently, this scene with the woman sobbing and begging for a relief to the end of her anxious wait was played out with the vast majority of women Wicoff interviewed. The humiliation of this scene is such that one eagerly seeks easy solutions to relieve women of it, but as Wicoff explains eloquently how it ends up being so unavoidable for most women who get married or want to. Perhaps women could do the asking? That isn’t an answer, because in our society as it is, if a woman asks she’s seen as desperate. And, as Wicoff notes, feminism has even been co-opted to keep women from pressing for marriage. Her husband, for instance, responded to her pressure for a proposal by accusing her of not being feminist enough and being clingy. Every avenue a woman seeks for relief presents another humiliation. According to Wicoff’s interviews, many if not most of the women ended up issuing a veiled ultimatium in order to get relief from the anxious wait, were forced to make it clear to their husbands that if these men didn’t give up the power they enjoyed to keep women anxiously waiting, the women would play their final card and leave the relationship.

Does all this struggling mean women want marriage more than men? Actually, no. If anything, men want marriage more than women, for the obvious reason that they benefit more from it on average. The reason men and women struggle over The Proposal is the nature of it. Men don’t have to worry if The Proposal will ever come, because it comes on their schedule. All the stereotypes aimed at women about how we’re clingy and desperate and love weddings and all that is aimed at keeping us afraid to be That Woman and humiliating ourselves by pressing for marriage and being a Typical Woman (who is actually atypical). All this fear and anxiety piled on women, for one reason, to keep men from having to suffer from the fear of rejection.
Not sure that I agree with all of that, but it is clear that in your situation, he's in control and you're not. You can't move forward until he proposes. He can move forward whenever he wants. So there's a power imbalance that isn't negatively affecting him like it is negatively affecting you. People may say up-thread that it seems unfair to give him an ultimatum, but society has already given you an ultimatum: you can't be engaged to him until he asks. If so, why is it unfair for you to give him one back, that he can't be engaged to you unless he proposes within a certain time? You're not asking for something unreasonable. You're asking for something that you've both already agreed upon! Listen to Aunt Alba. Level the playing field.
posted by heatherann at 7:05 AM on April 15, 2008 [12 favorites]

Also, check out tkchrist's story about how his wife proposed. He still seems pretty jazzed to be married to her.
posted by piratebowling at 7:51 AM on April 15, 2008

"His official position is that he wants to marry me, but if he felt that way, wouldn’t he propose?"

It took me a little while to propose to my fiancee, but unlike your situation, I was in school, and then working to pay off student loans, so I never felt like the time was quite right till I ended up doing so. After we got engaged, we ended up moving in together, and then sort of did nothing about actually getting married till recently, almost a full year after I proposed. I suspect one reason we dragged our feet so much was because once we were living together we were basically at a point where marriage wouldn't change the logistics of our relationship: we'd get to file our taxes together, but we were already living a married lifestyle. Actually getting married was a lot of extra work neither of us felt like dealing with. You and your boyfriend are already living a married lifestyle, so he may feel no push whatsoever to do anything about changing that.

And I really like tkchrist's story.
posted by chunking express at 8:33 AM on April 15, 2008

Okay, so say you do any of the things listed here-- give him an ultimatum and he proposes, or you propose to him, or he ends up proposing to you, what have you. Say you do get engaged. Then what? Ya know those people who seem perpetually engaged? Then there's the next step of getting him to actually commit to a goddamn date.
Your predicament hurts a little, because it sounds like you really want to marry him and I can imagine that his relunctance to even broach the subject doesn't make you feel awesome. I hope everything works out the best it can for the both of you, anonymous.
posted by thebellafonte at 11:59 AM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

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