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Ok..well...my boyfriend and I have been together for over a year now. Recently he has been talking a lot about getting engaged and married. He had a 'plan' about us moving in together and then getting engaged about 6 months after (although we wouldnt be moving in together until the spring of 2005) but we got talking and decided to scrap the plan because both of us want to speed things up and dont want to wait that long to make things official (HE was the one that said we should 'step up the plan'). Then he told me recently that he has a plan to ask me to marry him really soon and less then the number of months I could count on one hand.


Anyway, then the other night I mentioned that I would rather be engaged to someone BEFORE I live with them...I want that commitment. I wouldnt want to move in and then have him not bothering to ask because we're already living together like a married couple. I was also raised to think that way as well. I was always told not to live with someone until the commitment is there. He said that he thought that was a weird idea and that he just thought we would live together before we got engaged. What confused me is that one minute he is saying lets 'step up the plan'...as in not waiting until we live together and so on and then the next minute he is saying that he finds the idea of us being engaged before living together to be odd. So what does he want? Why would he start talking about making these commitments (keep in mind that HE initiated these conversations) and get me all emotionally invested in all this stuff...just to seem as if he really didnt mean it about moving at a faster pace. How am I supposed to be anything but confused?


Basically, I'm just starting to withdraw from the whole situation. I dont want to believe something is going to happen if it isnt at all. So now when he talks about stuff like that...I dont feel as enthusiatic or really believe he is 100% genuine. I've said time and time again that there is NO pressure and that he doesnt have to talk about all this stuff if he isnt ready. I would never want to force him to do something and I have never given him ultimatums like 'if you dont ask me to marry you in 2 months its over...'. I feel as if I have been nothing but supportive but inside I feel horrible...I dont know if I should trust his word on this particular topic. I love him and want to marry him but I just wonder if that is honestly going to happen or what.


Advice PLEASE!!

**Also, just as a side note...He is 28 and I'm 22. He is established in a career and I'll be graduating college in May of 2005...so we aren't 'kids'.

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IMO living together DOES affect the natural flow of things (..engagement, then marriage). The ole "why buy the cow" saying has a bit of weight to it. I'm actually living with my bf, which I now see as a huge mistake. I love him dearly, but know now that it's too late how wrong it was. I have no issue with it morally though.


But I'm not sure what your question really is. It sounds like you don't want to live together before marriage. If you don't, please don't compromise what you want. It IS a big deal. Again, that's my opinion.


If you think he's never gonna pop the question, well, then I don't really have any advice for that, but I wish you all the best in finding a solution. Take care.

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Dear Duchess,


You say you "love him and want to marry him" and "that he doesnt have to talk about all this stuff if he isn't ready".


This appears to assume that 'being ready' is 'not having to talk about some stuff'.


Marriage is (about) being ready, ready or not. Being ready for whatever comes up. Being ready to talk about whatever comes up; being committed to whatever comes up; resolving whatever comes up.


Marriage is not (about) assuming that someone sees marriage the way you see it. Or indeed (about) assuming that anyone sees any 'issue' the way you see it. Marriage may be seen as negotiation. It is as if you have been air-dropped into rugged foreign uncharted terrain and are to 'get home' together. This process of getting home together is the process of negotiating obstacles. And it is in being fully in this negotiation that home is found. Home is not anywhere else, it is this ongoing negotiation.


Marriage: commitment to/in negotiation.

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