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Thread: Long term boyfriend won't commit

  1. #1

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    Long term boyfriend won't commit

    Hi! I would love some advice/opinions on what you would do in my situation.
    My boyfriend of 4 years tends to avoid conversations about marriage or if he does partake in them he says things like "if I get married" or "whoever I marry". About 6 months ago we had a conversation after we got into a fight (which we rarely ever fight so this was a unique situation) which led to us discussing our long term views of our relationship. I told him, if he asked me to marry me right in that moment I would say yes but he told me that he didn't see himself marrying me. When I tried to ask him why he felt that way he worked his way around it and I never found out why.
    He told me that I should break up with him if I couldn't accept that about him. So I thought about it for a month or so but then things went back to normal and nothing ever happened. I told myself that maybe his opinion would change over time and maybe hes just afraid of commitment but I know that in the long run that's not likely to happen. I love him very much, I think that we are great together and everyone who knows us agrees. I've struggled with the idea of maybe marriage isn't that big of a deal, that its just a social construct but at the end of the day I want to get married. I think the promise to love and care for each other is a beautiful and important commit to make.
    We are still happily together, we lived together for 1 year but now we are long distance due to me going to a college 2 hours away from him.. however I still think back to what he said about marriage often, I wonder if I'm just wasting my time. I want to talk to him about it again when emotions aren't as high but I'm afraid it will just force me to make a decision I don't want to make.
    I know I should talk to him, but should marriage be this big of a deal breaker? Am I just overreacting or is this normal?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Before I offer more, can I ask how old you two are?

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    of course, I meant to put our ages in and forgot. I'm 24 and he's 32

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    He is telling you he doesn’t want to get married.

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    yes I'm 24 and he's 32

  7. #6
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    he told me that he didn't see himself marrying me. When I tried to ask him why he felt that way he worked his way around it and I never found out why. He told me that I should break up with him if I couldn't accept that about him.
    Couldn't be more clear... accept that doesn't and never will want to marry you or end the relationship.

    should marriage be this big of a deal breaker? Am I just overreacting or is this normal?
    If you want to be married, then you should see this as a deal breaker. Marriage is a personal choice... there are many that choose not to get married for various reasons... however I don't think you should overlook the fact that he said he didn't see himself getting married to you. Which to me would indicate he is happy with how things are for now... but he may choose to move on at some point if he meets someone he does want to be married to. And even if he wants to be with you forever, if you want to be married then why should you sacrifice that? That's an important relationship goal... like having kids or owning a home... don't give up on your dreams for the sake of staying in a relationship!

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    It kind of sounds like your boyfriend thinks of you more as a girlfriend than a partner. That's not a verdict on you or the depth of his feelings for you. It just means that partnership, and all the questions around that, are still abstract for him, not really where he is yet in life. So while when you hear a word like "marriage" you think of a future including the two of you, he hears something more conceptual, more along the lines of a country he's never been to, might someday visit, but isn't remotely pressed on when that someday will be. And if he never visits? All good.

    That doesn't mean bite your upper lip, choke down your feelings, and see if he'll come around. No, that's where resentment begins to simmer and expand—where you get upset with him for not wanting what you want, and upset with yourself for playing a spirit-crushing waiting game. You have to listen to him, because he is being crystal clear with you: he does not see himself marrying you. The "why" is not relevant, the fact of that is. And it's a very hard fact to hear, I know, but it's an even harder fact to ignore or twist into something easier to sit with.

    What may be happening is that you're outgrowing this relationship—that, although you're younger, you're not only ready but excited to be thinking about those big things: future, marriage, partnership. You can't force him to be on that page. You can only accept that he's not, and then ask some hard questions and make the hard decision and ending things with him so you can find someone on your page.

    I didn't start thinking seriously about partnership until I was 35. Yeah, I knew the word, just like I knew marriage was a thing people do, but those weren't things I was really ready to consider. Didn't matter who I was with, how much I loved her, because I was with some extraordinary women during those years, two of whom I loved so very deeply. But partnership and marriage just weren't part of my values—and, yeah, those value clashes were partly what led to those relationships ending. Sad, yes, but what needed to happen for everyone involved.

    Today, at 39, my values are oriented toward partnership. But that's not because I met someone great, or because a great woman has been waiting for me to "evolve" over the past decade. It's just a place I've arrived on my own personal journey, as you've arrived there on yours. You should be with someone who compliments that, and shares those values.

  9. #8
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    Here's the best advice I give to people who find themselves in a similar situation: Take a step back and ask yourself the following: how important is marriage to you? Is it more important to you than your relationship as it stands now? Or is your relationship more important to you than marriage?

    If, ultimately, marriage is more important to you, then you absolutely should have this discussion with your boyfriend. You need to find out if he truly does not desire marriage with you or if this was said due to the heat of the moment. If he tells you that he meant every word that was said, then the best option for yourself is to end the relationship and find someone who has the same life goals as yourself (i.e. marriage). You are correct that you will ultimately be unhappy and full of resentment against your boyfriend if you remain in a relationship in which a true deal breaker exists.

    If, ultimately, the relationship is more important to you than marriage and you will not leave it even if it means never getting married, then continue as you are. Marriage might happen for you, it might not. So long as you are content with the way things are and marriage is not a deal breaker for you, go ahead and ride things out and see what happens. If you eventually get married, great. If not, at least you will not have gone through life with any regrets since the relationship was always more important to you than marriage.

  10. #9
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    He told me that I should break up with him if I couldn't accept that about him.

    You need to break up with him.
    He should not be saying "IF i marry someone someday" after 4 years when he is 32 years old.

    Its okay if he was not ready to marry, but wanted to marry you - but this guy definitely doesn't want to marry you.
    Cut bait and develop a relationship with a man who is dating to find his future wife.

  11. #10
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    If he had said "I don't believe in marriage, I'd rather commit to you in a different way" as his reason that would be one thing. But he didn't even give you a straight answer. Take marriage off the table - he doesn't take the relationship as seriously as you do. After 4 years you should at the very least be on the same page about the level and nature of the commitment.

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