Boyfriend of 5 years won't seriously commit.

posted 2 years ago in Waiting
Post # 2
5889 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

melmpeters :  I think you are seeing a false dichotomy here.  You see your options as:

1) Suck it up and wait

2) Force something to happen

But there is a third, very important option

3) Decide it’s time to leave.

I think that you need to do some soul searching and decide how important these steps (house, marriage, kids) are to you.  If they are very important, then you should definetly try again to initiate an honest conversation about them.  If he continues to be resistent to even TALKING about it, then I, personally, think you should leave him.  After 5 years, he’s telling you all you need to know if you cannot dicuss this openly.  Life is too short to settle for a partner who can’t get on the same page about the big things in life.

Of course if you decide that he’s more important than the other goals (house/kids/marriage) then by all means stay.  But be honest with yourself.  There is nothing wrong with yoiu for wanting those things and for walking away to find someone who wants them with you.

Post # 3
1798 posts
Buzzing bee

If he can’t handle a serious conversation about marriage after 5 yrs then he doesn’t want to marry you. 

Post # 4
1144 posts
Bumble bee

It’s been 5 years. You need to start looking at moving out, acquiring boxes, etc. show him if he refuses to have an adult conversation then you’re done. Because 5 years is long enough to know if you want to settle down with someone. Now he’s just torturing you by telling you “I want my happily ever after with you but don’t know if I’ll ever be ready. Can you just stay and be my “wife” without the ring and commitment?” 

Hes essentially saying life goals (marriage and kids) are important to him but your goal of managing your life and timeline are not important at all. You can and should control the timeline of your life. Otherwise you’re just a passenger in a car and you don’t know where the driver is heading. 

Post # 5
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - City, State

melmpeters :  agree with previous posts. 5 years is a long time already. If I were you, I’ll try to talk to him again about how important those things are for me & if he’s still not wanting to be on the same page, leave.

Post # 6
1105 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Its been 5 years. He’s a grown ass man. He refused to have a grown discussion. He is “overwhelmed” by discussions.

You need boxes.

Post # 7
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

says he gets over whelmed when I try to lock in a time line 

I want you to think about what he’s saying here.  Does he get overwhelmed when his boss tells him what time he has to be at work, when stuff is due, when he can leave?  Does he get overwhelmed when a family member\friend asks what time they should come over for dinner or tells him what time the party is starting?  Does he get overwhelmed at the thought of being told when the airplane he’s taking to vacation is leaving? Does he get overwhelmed when you tell him you want to have sex?

No he doesn’t. He doesn’t get overwhelmed because he wants to do these things because the outcome is somehow beneficial to him.  Getting engaged to you anytime soon, for whatever reason, is not something he sees as beneficial to him.  He can’t think up good excuses/doesn’t want to lie so he’s telling you as much truth as he can without you leaving him. He’s telling you “You want me to do something I don’t want to do.  I care about you and like what we have and I know you’re not happy about the situation. I want you to be happy but I’m not marrying you just to make you happy.  I don’t know how to express this without pissing you off and causing a fight so I just want you to stop bringing it up.”

Post # 8
484 posts
Helper bee

He’s content with how things are. He won’t change anything because he’s content – he has the life he wants right now.  You will only grow more resentful, not less, over time.

Maybe if he is less content, he mgiht start wanting to change somethiing.  Stop letting him shut down conversations about marriage by claimng he is overwhelmed.  You are overwhelmed with resentment, if not yet, soon.  His being overwhelmed isn’t any more important than you feeling overwhelmed with resentment.  You have every right to talk about marriage and what you want for your life.

My suggestion would be to outline for him what you have in mind as it relates to timeline for engagement and marriage.  Leave it up to him to agree, disagree, offer other suggestkons.  If he won’t do that, he’s never going to marry you so you might as well move on now.

Post # 9
1644 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Whose idea is the  “Book of Lame-Ass Excuses”?  Either way, “I’m overwhelmed at discussing our future” should be somewhere in the top 5.  

Please don’t allow yourself to be put off or made to feel guilty just because you want to discuss your future.  That’s what the “I’m overwhelmed/Anxious” comments are for….to put you off of the discussion he knows you have a right to have.  Basically he’s not ready for marriage and he doesn’t want to talk about the implications.  He wants the comfortable life he currently has where you shut up and accept what is until he’s ready to change it.

Up to you if you want someone else to decide your future like that but I suggest INSISTING on an adult conversation about your potential future or you need to reevaluate your relationship.

Post # 10
7813 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

It’s time for a come to Jesus talk. I would say something like this:

“Hey bf, I love you, but I have to be honest – I feel like we’re in limbo, and have been for years. I don’t want to pressure you to move forward with our relationship if you’re not ready, but I also don’t want to sit back silently and pretend I’m happy with the status quo, because I’m not. So I need you to be completely honest with me – even if the truth is going to hurt me. Do you see  us getting engaged and married in the near future?”

And go from there. Don’t accept wishy washy “some day” bullshit as an answer either. If he’s not willing (and excited!) to give you a concrete timeline for getting engaged after 5 years of living together, I would honestly leave. And if the timeline is any longer than six months, I would also consider leaving. That might sound arbitrary, but again, you have been together five years. If he’s not ready in six months, I don’t really think he ever will be. And giving him more time than that pushes it out far enough into the future that he might just say okay as a way of avoiding the issue for now and buying himself some more time, even though he has no intention of actually proposing in a year. Cowardly? Yes. But we see that ALL THE TIME on here.

Post # 11
247 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Queens, NY

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about five years, as well, and I definitely agree with the others. If he had previously refused to have these conversations after a reasonable amount of time together, I would have looked seriously at our relationship and my own priorities in life and we probably wouldn’t have made it to five years. 

Granted, we’ve had many issues and arguments around these topics. He actually straight up told me he refused to be held to a timeline because he didn’t like the kind of pressure he thought it would bring on. Heck, he even told me he doesn’t like feeling like I’m nagging and/or pressuring him! BUT we did talk. We’ve had conversations about these things since around a year or year and a half into our relationship. Most of them have been productive and established that we have similar priorities and ideas on how we want to approach marriage, buying a house, and starting a family. 

Now granted, we’re both older than you, but also 5 years apart. He’ll be 35 this year and I’ll be 30. He’s got (and had for a while) an established career and we mutually agreed my Master’s and getting comfortable in a job was my priority over everything else.  Both of those have happened at this point and I’m confident in our future.

Be generous and give him another chance to talk if you want, but if after five years he can’t even TALK about things? Nuh uh. If you want marriage, family, a house, you seem to be with the wrong man.

Post # 12
74 posts
Worker bee

Im so sorry to hear that but I do have to agree with the other ladies. I understand you were young when you got with him but you are 26 and youve been dating for 5 years. Im 26 and Ive been with my guy for just under 2.5 years and he knows if we arent engaged by our 3rd anniversary Im out. My time is precious and Ill be damned if some undecided man is going to waste it.

Post # 13
58 posts
Worker bee

You can’t change someone. I think you need to decide how much longer you can put up with it and leave when you can’t anymore. Not as a way to manipulate him, but because you simply want something different. When I man us ready for marriage he will not wait 5 years. 

Post # 14
10698 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

melmpeters :  

Oh, the poor darling!  He gets ‘overwhelmed’ at the mere prospect of having to discuss your shared future.  Please, be gentle with this little hothouse orchid, don’t ‘overwhelm’ him.

Does he get ‘overwhelmed’ by anything else?  His job? Traffic? Grocery shopping?

Tragically, the waiting board is littered with these Dainty Divas who just cannot muster the intestinal fortitude to talk to their loving gfs about their relationship.  One wonders how they find the strength to go out and conquer in the business world, master a trade, or fight in a war.  Yet, the idea of having an open adult conversation with the partner he claims to love—dear gawd, what are you trying to do to this tortured soul?

Let him retire to his fainting couch with a fit of the vapors while you exit to find a man who has enough character to tell you honestly what he’s thinking.

Post # 15
197 posts
Blushing bee

Was in a similialr situation to yours, and similiar ages, too. (27 and 30). Dated my bf for over 4 years, lived with him over two years. Moved over 1000 miles to be with him. Before I moved we had conversations and he seemed to be on the same page as me or I wouldn’t have moved to be with him. But when sh*t got real and I’d moved, and these conversations became more real, he pulled what your bf is pulling. A little at first, and the progressively got worse.


He’d give me the same excuses – that he didnt want to be “pressured” etc. It’ll start out as excuses about pressure, “i don’t do timelines”, that he DOES want to marry you, etc, and next thing you know, he’s gonna throw in your face that he realized he doesn’t EVER want to get married and that it’s just a piece of paper and he’s committed without it. Whether he does that or just keeps postponing talking or getting engaged, both are horrible and equally hurtful. I won’t go into detail but in the end I broke up with him over the marriage thing. Even though you may be pretty happy with your relationship overall, the resentment and hurt over not talking about your future happily together really takes away from the ultimate happiness you could and deserve to be experiencing, and I finally came to terms with that if at 30/31, he can’t talk about this stuff, then you have to recognize that some guys really are just meant to be life-long bachelors, lest they realize their mistake and come after you.

At your ages, and after 5 years, he’s probably not going to come around. I understand giving it every last chance to work out, though. Give it one final attempt or chance, then end it if he’s not coming around.

there’s nothing wrong with talking about your future but you’ll be made to feel like there is. It hurt when i realized that other girls i knew were talking to their boyfriends, even pressuring them a little and that didn’t keep their men from proposing, because they ultimately wanted to. It was a painful slap in the face that as good as our relationship had been in the past, there was now something wrong with it if he wasn’t willing to talk about the future or ultimatley marry me. I don’t usually believe in comparison, but occassionally I think it’s healthy to recognize when something is off in your own relationship.

Point is, it’s probably become “the norm” for you to have to push the marriage subject one-sidedly, and when you take a step back and look at that, it’s not fair to you at all and you deserve better than that.


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