I love your column and think you do a great job of answering questions and concerns with sympathy, empathy and insight. Flattery aside, I have a dilemma.
He feels really strongly about living with me and equates it to marriage. We knew a couple who broke up after living together. Right now we see each other times a week, and I mostly I stay at his place. I know this all sounds like justification, but he really has made improvements in the past year. Am I being completely foolish and just a pathetic girl? By being patient and not putting pressure on her boyfriend, she allowed it to develop into a healthy, loving relationship that has a chance of going the distance.
Had she not taken this stance, her boyfriend would have bailed, and she would not have the chance of going the distance. By being patient, you allow a healthy, loving relationship to develop. But what course of action gives Sophie better options?
I think the answer is obvious. I proposed to my wife after 14 months because my girlfriend was 38, we both wanted kids, and I was a dating coach who finally figured out what was important in life.
But my story is the exception. I have three very close friends who were with their girlfriends for 3 years before proposing. Their girlfriends were all years older, and they were feeling far more biological pressure than I suspect that you do. And yet, despite their ticking clocks, they hung in there patiently, just like you… right up until the 3-year mark. As well they should. He enjoys hanging out with you. He has everything he wants with you. Thus, the only leverage you have is to walk away from him and see if he follows.
Sure, you can move in together. Sure, you can discuss a future together. This is just moving deck chairs around the Titanic, spinning wheels, making noise.
After 3 years, there are no valid excuses. You had three years to figure it out. I assure you, if your guy wanted to marry you, it would happen. Waiting is just moving deck chairs around the Titanic. I know someone who has spent 7 years — her childbearing years — waiting for her boyfriend to propose.
Not so much for her. And you knew it. You did the right thing to get here, Sophie. Now cut the patience, get your answers, or move on.