Dear Wendy: He’s Not Ready For Marriage

I am 26 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year. Our relationship started off with many issues — I had just ended a very serious relationship and he was getting over an unrequited love. We had a blast together the first few months because there was very little expectation of our relationship becoming more than just a summer fling. But our feelings for each other didn’t end so we gave it another shot. The first few months of trying again were pretty rough because of our insecurities, but now things are at a very good place. We have been living together for a few months and share everything together. We’ve said the big L word, and tell each other that every day. But my boyfriend seems a bit phobic about getting engaged and married, and I’m not sure if he’s just afraid of that commitment or if it’s with me. We have talked about having children together, but more jokingly than seriously. When I asked him if he plans on marrying me someday, his answer has always been “I want to,” but I’m not convinced. He tells me that he loves me, but not enough for that level of commitment yet. I don’t want to be in a relationship if I’m not “the one.” Is this a bad sign that our relationship will not get there? Am I overreacting and being too impatient? — Hurt and Confused

Yes, you are overreacting and being too impatient. And what’s worse, you could be putting what sounds like a lovely relationship in jeopardy with your insecurities and nagging about marriage. You say you’ve been together for a year, but what’s unclear is whether you’ve even been together consistently during that whole time. Regardless, I think it’s completely reasonable and mature that your boyfriend, with whom you admit you had a few rocky months, would want to wait a little longer before making a lifetime commitment to you, especially since your relationship “started off with many issues,” and it’s only been in the last few months that “things are at a very good place.” I mean, what’s the rush? Why do you want to jump into marriage?

Enjoy the very good place you’re at for a while. He says he loves you and wants to marry you one day, and if your relationship is solid and happy, you should believe him. And if you don’t, it sounds like you definitely have some insecurity issues you need to work through before you start talking marriage with anyone. Besides that, it’s ridiculous to say you don’t want to be in a relationship if you’re not “the one.” Do you think everyone figures out whether they’ve met “the one” the moment they lay eyes on him or her? That only happens in movies! For lots of people, it takes months, or even years, of sharing experiences and deepening trust to realize they’re with the person they want to spend forever with. Revisit the marriage issue in six months to a year and in the meantime, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the ride.

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