Frisco, TX

"We lived together for seven years; he's not ready to get engaged," woman on boyfriend

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Moving in with your partner usually means your relationship is about to become more permanent, and you want to see if you can adjust to each other's habits while thinking of a home and a marriage later on.

But what if living together doesn't lead to a proposal and a ring, and that step keeps getting postponed? How many years is it ok to wait for your partner to ask you to marry them, and when should you realize it's not going to happen?

Would you still stay no matter what, or is commitment at an end if they're still undecided about your relationship's future?

My friend Sonja has been dating her boyfriend Paul for eight years. They were also friends while growing up in the same neighborhood in Frisco, Texas, but they drifted apart for a while while he was traveling with his dad after his parents divorced.

"We used to get along great when we were little; we kept doing our homework and playing together, but once we grew a bit and got to high school, his parents couldn't stay married anymore, and he went to live with his dad. He changed schools and traveled a lot because his dad had a job that needed him to change homes often, so I rarely got to see him. We met again after graduating from college when he came back to live in Frisco," Sonja said.

They met while shopping at the mall, and they immediately knew they wanted to stay in touch. They exchanged phone numbers and texted and called over the next six weeks. After that time, Paul asked her to have coffee a few times a week, and they met for their daily exercise at the Frisco Commons.

"Everything was a lot more fun when we could share it. And it didn't take long to start having lunch together too. He checked on me during the weekends, and I realized I missed him when he wasn't around," Sonja said.

Paul felt the same way, and he asked her if they could plan day trips at the end of the week. Sonja agreed, and they also went on nature walks.

"We went to see some movies together, close to the Frisco City Hall and had tasty dinners at the restaurant close by. And from there, it was just a short step into dating. Once we started on that, it was clear how well we matched each other, and our goals were similar, too," Sonja said.

They both wanted to get married one day, and they cared about having one committed partner who could make them feel they mattered. Having kids was another goal, but it was a bit more important to her than to Paul.

Even so, Sonja was in no hurry to be a mom, so she didn't let that take her excitement about their relationship away.

One year after their first date, Paul asked her to move in together. She said yes, packed her things in two days, and went to live in his apartment.

"He added me to the lease, and I was working and could pay my share of everything, so I felt it was all well. The time had come to be closer, and I was hoping we would be engaged very soon and plan our wedding," Sonja said.

Seven years have passed since then, but things are the same. Sonja and Paul are working, and they both got promoted. They live comfortably together, share all chores, and cook together, but there's been no word on marriage from Paul.

"I've asked him several times as the years went by, and he told me he did want to be my husband, but not yet. We're both in our thirties, and I'm not sure if it's going to happen. What if he thinks everything is fine the way it is and there's no need to do more?" Sonja said.

Her parents are also asking her about Paul's intentions, and she isn't sure what to tell them. Three years ago, she was convinced their wedding was close, but now she doesn't know if Paul wants her to be his wife and have a family together.

His dad isn't helping things much either since he keeps telling them it's ok to wait until they're sure they want to be together permanently.

"We lived together for seven years; he's not ready to get engaged. He always reminds me we're still young; we are, but why can't we have our wedding and kids too? I keep thinking it's partly his dad's fault for advising him to think very carefully before taking this step. And he saw his parents divorce, so he doesn't want to go through that himself. But I'm sure I love him. Why can't he see that and end the waiting time? It gets stressful to constantly think about a ring and a dress or the honeymoon we still haven't had. And I would like to be so much more than just a girlfriend," Sonja said.

What do you think about this situation? Are eight years long enough to make a decision about getting married, or should Sonja give Paul more time? Is Paul's reticence an indication he doesn't want to marry her and have a family together?

Comments / 6

Published by

Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

More from Amy Christie

Comments / 0