Post # 32
This happened to me a few years ago, and one thing that REALLY helped me was reading “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others.” There’s a lot of good stuff in there that will help you suss out whether he’s indecisive and just needs encouragement, or whether he’s just stringing you along until he finds someone he thinks is “better.”
For the record, that guy wasn’t for me. I was pretty sure when I finished the book, and more sure when I broke up with him and he didn’t make much of an effort to try and get me back. Where I am now is so much better than where I would have been if I’d stuck around–undoubtedly still waiting, with a pretty “shut-up ring” if I was lucky.
Post # 33
@Lillianna: Here is what I did when I was in your situation:
When he knew I was ready for marriage and wasnt going to give it to me, I became apathetic. Seriously.
I started things with the qualifier “if we stick”- for instance: he would say “where would you like to go on vacation next year” I would reply, “if we stick, I’d like to go abroad”. He would start talking about medium length plans (a year or two away), and I started using the phrase “if we decide to start a life together, I’d like to…”. I used it with friends around, too: “if F and I stick, we are (fill in rest here)”.
One day, after he had gotten used to my phrasing, he started a conversation about the shift in my attitude, and I said “honey, you’re making your choice to not marry me and begin a life together. At first, I was angry, but now, I’ve decided that what we have is good enough for now. When I decide that this situation of just dating is no longer a good decision for me, I will leave.” Then, I went to the gym, back to grad school, and made more plans with girlfriends- I became less available to him, and he saw that I was having fun without him around. He proposed about 2 months after that conversation.
Did I play a game? Absolutely not; I just decided that he deserved to know where I stood; if I was seriously going to leave without a commitment, I needed to behave like I was. Once I realized that we were only dating, I treated him like a boyfriend and began to take care of myself.
Post # 34
I understand you’re hurting, but if you went out and dated, then fell in love with someone who proposed to you, it wouldn’t be just some random person on the street. It would be your new boyfriend, who treated you better and thought you were the one for him.
Personally, I wouldn’t stay with someone who ignored me for two days. I think everything else is irrelevant, he’s obviously too immature to maintain healthy communication about his feelings, so why would I want to marry him?
Post # 35
@Lillianna: Why do you think he doesn’t choose you? Is it because he hasn’t proposed, or is it because of something he has said?
Post # 36
@nerdysarah: I did the same with my now Fiance when we were “friends with benefits/kind of dating”…I started going out with people, dating other people….suddenly he couldn’t live without me….
I wasn’t playing a game, I was LIVING MY LIFE…..once he saw that I could be indepedent and carry on without him he was 1) more interested in being able to spend time with me and 2) scared to lose me…
Post # 37
I ask him what he wants and he says he doesn’t know. On a few occasions we’ve argued and he’s said he’ll think seriously about things, but he never raises the subject again. A couple of times he’s said he realized he needs to make a decision because he doesn’t want to be left with nothing, but he never actually decides. He’s mentioned a few times that we should sit down on our next date night and seriously talk about things, but he never initiates the conversation, and when I initiate it he doesn’t really want to talk or have anything to say.
So the bottom line is that he has no idea what he wants, and as years pass he just continues not knowing what he wants, and he never puts any actual effort into deciding. He didn’t know what he wanted last summer and he still doesn’t know now. There’s no timeline, nothing. When he’s been drunk he’s said he wants to stay with me, but that’s hardly a reliable commitment.
I’ve told him for a long time that I’ll leave if we’re not committed by my 35th birthday (next year). I say stuff like “If we’re still together” when he mentions something like next year’s vacation. None of this has made any difference. I’ve threatened to leave, have even said it’s over, to no avail. He seems incapable of making any sort of choice about his life.
Post # 38
@Lillianna: I’m sorry, that really doesn’t sound good. If he actually says he doesn’t know what he wants, I would put this relationship on the back burner and start working full-time on my own mental health and confidence. Once you’re feeling stronger, if he still hasn’t made prgress, inform him that you’re leaving.
And honestly, you don’t deserve to feel the way he lets you feel. Get mad at him for stretching your self-confidence so thin that it’s full of holes. Seriously, get mad about it – not at him directly, but at this whole situation. It might be the best antidote to feeling weak and hurt. He doesn’t have to have all the power, and he doesn’t deserve it. Take some of that power back and find a way to show him that he can’t string you along forever. As far as dating again, if you get to that point and you’re feeling intimidated or too weak, consider looking online. You can put you priorities out there, pick and choose from the men who contact you (hello self-esteem booster) and take things slower. Minimal risk of rejection, maximum probability of finding someone who shares your goals and priorities.
Post # 39
@smcs28: Exactly! OP shouldn’t put her plans on hold waiting for a boyfriend. I actually told Fiance that before our engagement- I said, “honey, in five years, I’ll just be that girl you used to date, and you’ll just be that guy who I once loved; I can’t make plans around those roles.”
if OP wants a baby, then she should look into invetro or adoption. We no longer live in a world that limits us because we aren’t married to a man. Men realize what they’re losing when it starts slipping away.
Post # 40
@Lillianna: Would it help if you wrote down how you feel, and wrote down the questions you want to ask, and then start the conversation? You don’t have to obviously have a pad of paper at the table, or couch, or whatever, but writing stuff down might help you focus the conversation. It seems like he is hesitatant to give you an answer. That may be because he honestly doesn’t know, but it also may be becasue he doesn’t want to marry you. THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!!!!!! (can you hear me!!?????) All it means is that he doesn’t want to marry you. If that is a deal breaker for you, then you need to get out of there.
What are your hobbies? If you do leave him, focus on your hobbies/work/taking classes.
Post # 41
This may come out weird but it’s what I thought of first. My fiance said soon after he proposed and we were in a fight ‘I know that if we broke up, you would be perfectly fine. That kills me.’ I sometimes wonder if that was what pushed him to propose. That I was perfectly happy either with him or without him. Not to say that I wouldn’t miss his place in my life, but I am independant and have a ton of great qualities and friends. I would very easily bounce back and he knew this as truth. Does your fiance think that about you? Maybe you give too much…
Probably not a very popular piece of advice, but my independance totally worked to my advantage. I didn’t play games, at all, I just continued to enjoy my life – as me and not ‘his girlfriend’ – until one day he realized he simply couldn’t live without me. Try it out…seems like it couldn’t hurt at this point.
Post # 42
@peachacid: That’s a great point, another way to help your confidence might be to do something you’re good at or learn a new skill. You’re so much more than what this guy thinks of you!
Post # 43
Maybe I missed it, but have you two actually talked about your future plans, goals, hopes, wishes, desires, intentions? You said he doesn’t just “KNOW” you are the one…is that because he says flat out, “I don’t know if you’re the one.” Or are you just waiting for the suprise proposal??
So anyway, with my Fiance we had a very long long long waiting period…10 years. Sometimes we were on and sometimes off…when marriage was finally on the table it was another 3 years before a proposal. But we always talked about our intentions. There was a time when he wasn’t ready because he was afraid of our fighting. I didn’t fully understand it…eventually we decided to go to couples counseling and it helped us a ton…not even wedding related. We just learned how to love and nurture the other. A year later and we were engaged. So we had hard times, growing pains, and are now after all that ready to do this thang.
The point I’m trying to make is that you both have to be open about your stuff. If you can’t do this without a mediator then couples counseling is a great options. If nothing else you may find that you want different things and the counseling can help you find the strength to pursue it.
Post # 44
I’ve tried writing down my feelings in a letter. I’ve written and re-written the letter so it explains everything really clearly. I’ve given him quite a few of these letters, and have never once had a decent response. It usually doesn’t even lead to a decent conversation. Typically he’ll say that he’s aware of my feelings, and he realizes he needs to do something, and he’ll make a big effort to think about things and make some decisions. So I feel satisfied that he’s listened to me and is going to address my issues, and he says he needs time to think so we continue our relationship. The subject of my letter is never raised again.
Post # 45
OK I’m going to sort of echo @WillyNilly: and say that perhaps you’re too “giving.”
I don’t mean this to be offensive, so please don’t take it that way, but I do mean this to be honest.
From reading your first post and now this one, it does seem there’s a bit of desperation going on. You stated before that you’re depressed, cry a lot, etc, and it is clear from this post that you also feel very unworthy of love.
I’m not saying this is definitely what’s happening or that your guy isn’t at least partially at fault, BUT, if you’re constantly trying to be someone he will “choose” and you get passionately upset with him a lot and you grovel and “get down on your knees” and give, give, give…that might scare him. A lot of guys feel smothered when there’s desperation involved. They don’t like or respect someone who is acting needy.
This does tie in to what most of the PPs have said. You have to learn to be happy with yourself, and stop thinking of yourself as “the woman no one wants to marry.” For your own sake, you need to be independent and confident. That’s the type of attitude that attracts people.
Have you ever considered counseling to work on depression and self-esteem?
Post # 46
@Lillianna: You need to make a decision. Do you want to be happy? If you do, then you need to take some steps to make that happen.
1. Do you think you might be depressed, or are you just feeling blue?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. What do your friends say about your bf?
4. Would you consider leaving your BF to make yourself happy?
I think…nerdysarah’s advice was great, too.