By Marwa Rakha.
It’s summer time or wedding season which makes me feel quite desperate because my boyfriend still hasn’t proposed. We’ve been together for 5 years. All our friends are married and have kids, and the idea of marriage still hasn’t come up between us. I know that he has some commitment issues that he is working through, but I’m beginning to lose hope that he will ever propose. Honestly, I’m the type of girl who wishes to get married, have a dozen kids and settle with her love forever. So, should I leave him since we obviously don’t share the same goals?
Dear Wanting to Get Married,
I would not advise you to leave him; I urge you to talk to him openly and frankly. Most men process information only if it’s presented to them clearly and directly. Your boyfriend might think that you are happy and satisfied with your relationship the way it is. He might think that you’re the one who does not want to get married. He might assume that you’re the one working on your commitment issues. He might believe that you do not want to have kids now and that you are focused on your career. If you do not speak up, clearly yet calmly, he will not rock the boat.
Put yourself in his shoes, here is this lucky guy who has been in a steady relationship with this awesome girlfriend for five years. They understand one another, they have a great social life together, they enjoy their outings and they’re happy. Why would he say anything that might disturb the smooth flow of this relationship? Why would he risk ruining what you have together?
On the other hand, there is no such thing as a guy with commitment issues who manages to stay in a relationship for five years. There is also no such thing as a guy working on his own, without professional therapy, on his fear of commitment. Commitment issues are serious and they apply to all areas of a person’s life; love, family, work, friendships, short-term plans, long-term plans, etc.
If you decided to take my advice and tell him what you want, do not be emotional or hysterical. Do not accuse him of anything. Do not cry. Do not shout. Do not frown. Do not start any sentence with “you”. Start your sentences with “I”;
“I think … “
“I want …”
“I feel that I need …”
Use a “matter-of-fact” tone and choose a time when he is attentive and ready to listen.
Do not approach him with the infamous “we need to talk” line. Just choose a good time and talk. If he encourages you to talk further, be positive, and tell him that you love him and that you want him to be the father of your children. Tell him that you want him as a lifetime partner and friend. Tell him exactly how you feel about him and about your relationship. Do not be negative and tell him that you feel that your relationship is going nowhere; help him see the happy places where your relationship could go.
If he’s silent, ask him to think about it and do not give him ultimatums. If he comes back with solid fears and concerns, this is an opportunity to address them. If he tells you straight forward that he is not interested in getting married, then you can end the relationship knowing that you have given him, and the relationship, your very best.
My final advice to you is to ignore the “seasons”. This is just another means of societal pressure. Personally, I don’t think that summer is a good time for weddings or marriage. Autumn is cooler and more romantic. Getting married and choosing to have kids are two major decisions in a person’s life, do not take them lightly and do not rush yourself through them.