In a new feature I’m calling “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me (it’s a question I’ve tried many times to answer, so now it’s your turn!):
I’ve been in a relationship for over seven years and I’m afraid it isn’t “going anywhere.” Don’t get me wrong, I love my boyfriend. He makes me laugh, we enjoy many of the same things, he is attractive and really smart. We have similar values and we have fun together. All in all, it is the best relationship I have ever had or could hope for except: I want to spend the rest of my life with this man and grow old together, but I’m afraid he doesn’t want the same thing. He knows how I feel, but he keeps coming up with excuses for why we shouldn’t get married. He wanted to finish college first, or it is a “stupid” tradition, or he doesn’t have money to buy me the ring “I deserve,” or I have too much student loan debt, or “if it isn’t broke, why fix it?” Each time we talk about it, I come away feeling like I’ve got unrealistic expectations or that I’m just being silly.
Over the span of our relationship we did the “long distance” thing for nearly three years while he was going to grad school, and we have been living together for the last year and a half. Two months ago he landed a great-paying job and I moved with him to a new town, leaving behind family and friends. I feel like I have shown a great deal of commitment to the relationship, and I’d like for him to do the same. I just turned 30 and I’m worried that he is NEVER going to propose. I know that being married doesn’t necessarily guarantee that we will be together forever, but it feels like a natural next step and one that I always assumed we would take eventually. He says that he is committed, and that this is “obvious” because otherwise we wouldn’t be together. Neither of us is religious, and neither of us wants to have children. Does that make marriage pointless, as he seems to think? Am I wrong to want a ring or a wedding? Does it mean he doesn’t “really” love me as much as I love him if he still won’t take the plunge after all these years, or am I just insecure? — Not Getting Any Younger