Ask a Guy: How Do I Get Him to Marry Me? post image

Ask a Guy: How Do I Get Him to Marry Me?


I’ve been with my boyfriend for a while now. We’ve had our problems but have worked through it all and I really want him to pop the question already. There was a moment when he talked about us being married, but he joked that I should be the one to get him the ring.  The topic hasn’t come up again since and at this point, I am just about ready to give him an ultimatum- either he proposes or I’m leaving.  I’m also thinking of just getting him a ring at this point just to move this thing along!

Can you please help me figure this out?

See our guy’s response after the jump!

I’ve met plenty of women who are in a hurry to get married.

And I understand the reasons: biological clock, all your friends are married, you feel like “it’s time”, you want to have final commitment, etc.

The problem is, there are many considerations that guys have to make that you need to consider too. When you can understand why a guy might have reservations to getting married (or at least, might not be motivated to get married), it will help you communicate better and ultimately get you to a place where you may both decide it’s time for marriage.

Or not… but at least you’ll know where you stand.

Personally, I don’t plan on getting married until I’m ready to start a family. That’s just my personal view and I’m not suggesting or projecting that anyone else should share it. But for me, that would be the determining factor for when I tie the knot.

Now, I’m going to give you a viewpoint that many guys think about and fear. In fact, this fear makes many guys avoid marriage like the plague…

The fear for guys is that it’s going to be a really crappy deal if things fall apart.

Every man has heard countless stories about men getting screwed in divorce settlements. Now I know that there are lots of counter-stories where women have gotten screwed too, but guys don’t typically hear those stories.

I tend to be a risk-averse guy, so I’m not in hurry to get married. All the nice parts of marriage sound nice to me, but the prospect of divorce sounds awful… I have seen men destroyed by it (not to say women aren’t too, I guess I’ve just met more divorced men in my work with guys…)

In many cases, when a guy gets married, he’s doing it for you. Most guys don’t care whether or not there’s a legal document that says you’re married. Most guys have heard enough horror stories to know that tying the knot isn’t going to make a woman any less likely to cheat or leave, so there’s a general attitude that it’s not to our advantage to risk half of our income on the chance that everything works out.

(Quick insert here: I’ve gotten LOTS of comments that there are many marriages where the woman makes more money than the man and she ends up getting financially screwed. Please understand that I get that and I’m not saying that last part to be sexist or “old fashioned”. I’m just sharing how many guys think about marriage.)

Plus, for the guy it’s not like he’s not getting love or sex beforehand.

I’ve always felt that if the relationship is working well and both people are happy, marriage is just a title. But that title has a risk attached to it (and thanks to “horror stories”, the news, movies, media, etc. most guys perceived that risk to be on the guy’s side only).

If the guy is having those kinds of fears, you might want to consider a prenuptial agreement. If you believe that your marriage will be everlasting, there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, that’s the point of the prenup: It gives both of you the ability to relax and never have to worry about anything ending horribly if things don’t work out.

Also, I think it would be in your best interest to relax and wait for him to propose marriage to you.

Forcing a ring on a guy won’t work out well. Aside from him probably feeling insulted by the gesture, can you imagine if he did go for it? Every time you have an argument he’d think back to how he felt coerced into marriage and pressured by you.

Marriage is a huge commitment for you and him. If you get impatient, it’s going to block your ability to be empathetic and understanding towards him.

It’s OK if you’re feeling impatient at the moment, but I would highly encourage you to try and put your feelings aside for a moment and try to just appreciate him and empathize with where he is. Then talk to him and let him know what’s been on your mind and how you feel.

Sharing your feelings with him is fine, but you want it to be from a place of love and understanding and not from a place of frustration and impatience.

Personally, my criteria for getting married is:

  • When I’m ready to start a family
  • When we’ve been together so long that I couldn’t imagine life without her there
  • When it really wouldn’t matter if we were married or not because it was clear neither one of us would leave

Other than those reasons (and I would need to have all 3 be true), I would not get married. But that’s me.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t date a girl long term to see where it goes, but unless I’m at a point where those conditions are all true for me, I wouldn’t marry yet.

It’s counter-intuitive, but focusing on marriage might actually be part of the problem here. I would recommend shifting your focus away from getting married and put it on appreciating him and loving him more deeply.

You can’t force a man to marry you, but you certainly can inspire a man to…

Hope it helps.

– eric charles

{ 216 comments… add one }

Leave Your Comment Now…

Katie

I think people should be reading “Why some men marry some women and not others.” It’s written by a man and he’s done a lot of research on the topic. It’s very true.

The reason why there’s a lot of women who waste many years with a guy but have nothing to show for it is simply because they have allowed the guy to treat them this way for fear of coming off as too demanding. The reality is, if you are willing to make your goals known and show that you stick by your convictions, 1 or both of 2 things will happen: 1. Those who are wishy washy will get nervous of being found out and will be avoidant/dodgy when responding to questions that should get definite answers 2. Ones who share the same goals with you will find you.

Those who don’t know what they want will only drag you down and waste your time because they can and they know it. People will treat you the way you allow them to treat you.

Reply December 19, 2014, 10:17 pm

Corina

I broke up with my boyfriend last year… Him an i still do talk an text each other almost everyday. I just found out that he meet this women last September moved in with her in January and married her in October! WOW had no idea!!! I was in a 4 1/2 year relationship with this guy an thought i knew him… He still try to contact me an wants to be friends? What do i say to him?

Reply November 30, 2014, 10:55 am

Katie

I don’t think you should say anything to him at all. He found someone else to marry and he did it all very quickly, whereas he didn’t see you as marriage material.

Reply December 19, 2014, 9:59 pm

Annonymous A

He proposed with a Diamond Ring exactly one week after I moved out. Except it was way too late for me. I didn’t “threaten” to move out or “manipulate” him into anything, I stated my wishes clearly several times during our 3 years of living together. It cost me a lot of money to move and I do not wish to return. It took a lot of mental energy as well. There we were two people with broken hearts and a god damn ring. I don’t even wear jewelry and I had told him that, too.

Reply November 10, 2014, 2:17 pm

Anna

It’s all very well for the man to say that that a woman has to wait until the man is ready to ask for marriage, however, (in my opinion), this is not a partnership in a relationship. A relationship has to enable a compromise between both parties – the man and the woman. It appears that the woman will be at a loss as she has a biological clock against her, whilst the man does not!
Eric – you mentioned when you wish to start a family – A lot of men take this view. This view does not consider the woman in an equal relationship. For example, here is a typical scenario: A boyfriend girlfriend relationship with a 39 year old Man and Woman. The woman takes-on the world-wide man view and stays with her man. 4 years into the relationship the man now decides he wants to start a family. The woman now finds out her biological clock has passed…. Man moves on and marries a younger woman who can give him a child.

Please explain the fairness or equal partnership here?

Reply November 6, 2014, 3:28 pm

Isa

The biological clock is true, and a lot of women wait until they have financial stability to begin a family and it is scary too to have a baby, society makes us believe that we have to wait to have children, the reality is that after certain age, around 40, there are most risks for the mother and the baby if there is a pregnancy and sometimes is difficult to get pregnant and of course there are treatments and they are expensive and there is a risk too. If I were in my twenties I could wait four years for a man but in my thirties I would have to decide if I want a family and give a man not more than a year in a half to give me a ring and a date for marriage and begin a family ASAP

Reply November 6, 2014, 6:27 pm

Katie

That’s all very true, however males have biological clocks, too. The genetic material in sperm of older males, esp above 35 is degraded just as the egg in women above 35. There’s a much higher risk for producing children with disabilities, psychological disorders, etc. Also, yes, he could get with a younger woman who can give him kids but the price will be much higher. He’d have to deal with her youthfulness and run the risk of her divorcing him and cleaning him out on alimony so she could get with a man her age.

Life is full of strange and sweet irony.

Reply December 19, 2014, 10:04 pm

Kaurina

What do you suggest if it’s been 7.5 years, is long distance now but never used to be for the first 4 years. I love him so much that I can’t imagine life without him. He tells me that he wants to marry me – but doesn’t want to rush! It’s been 7.5 years – it surely isn’t a rush! He said he wants to have a house and be financially stable before marrying me…but does it mean not even getting engaged? Why doesn’t he propose, why can’t we work together and build a house together. I also earn well and have savings to put down for a house…but he says he doesn’t want my money. we did go through a little rough patch but he said he realised that I am important to him and he needs me in his life. I am really confused, I don’t really want to wait anymore because I thought I would be married by now. We’ve been together a long time and he still doesn’t want to pop the question. Please give me your thoughts on all of this

Reply August 12, 2014, 8:41 am

shane

i am facing the same problem. anyone can answer us?

Reply September 30, 2014, 11:28 pm

JewelD

Forget about him. Four years was already too long – then he left! Guys who dig you want to be *with* you – full stop!

Then he strung you along for almost 4 years more? Sure he wants you “in his life”, just so he doesn’t feel too lonely – but not “enough” to make you happy by giving you what you asked for.

Sorry, but he thinks he can do better. All that other stuff he says are just “excuses” to avoid the real truth of it. Actions speak louder than words – talk is cheap – as this guy obviously knows.

He’s out of town – get some counseling, take some brain vitamins to get your mind focused on other things (and stop thinking about him) – stay busy with productive things YOU like to do … and meet other guys!

Reply October 7, 2014, 12:43 pm

Unique

Thanks but none of your hack works for us. What do you suggest when its been 10 years and he’s 60 (I’m 40 never married).

Reply July 22, 2014, 6:06 am

Susan

Decide whether marriage or your relationship means more to you, then pick one. Accept that you can’t have both. I’m 42 and left my last boyfriend six months into the relationship because he said he never wants to get remarried. There is no guarantee if you leave you will get a husband, but there is pretty much a 100% guarantee if you stay, you will not. If you are getting everything except a ceremony and piece of paper, maybe it’s a situation you can live with. In my case the man didn’t even want to live together, and I wish he had told me that sooner. That’s why I left though; so I don’t spend ten years in your situation. Good luck.

Reply July 22, 2014, 9:34 am

Unique

We’ve been living together for 9 years and he calls me his wife. I want paper though. That’s it. I don’t want a wedding or anything like that. Without paper and something happens I’m shit out of luck.

Reply August 8, 2014, 7:19 am

JewelD

If you both live in your space – tell him he as 30 days to move out, because he’s NOT your husband, and you had no intention of living in limbo with a “boyfriend.” Seriously, you’re 40 now – doesn’t calling him your “boyfriend” seem weird? Cuz that’s what he is.

If it’s his place, YOU have to do the moving out.

In either case, you have to really mean it. Like the country songs says, “how can he miss you if you don’t go away?”

The good news is, 40 isn’t too old to go out and meet new people. Get some good counseling, take your brain boost vitamins, join an exercise (or dancercise, whatever) club and move on.

If he’s EVER going to pull the trigger, he’ll decide then. Might take months though, so be prepared and be SERIOUS about moving on WITHOUT him – otherwise you’ll end up at *50* in the same boat as you are now, guaranteed!

Reply October 7, 2014, 12:49 pm

1234

I liked your book ” He is not that complicated”, great job. Eric, I love your perspective. My mom says that getting marriage is destiny. I know, we can help destiny too .How to get a man to marry? As far as I know when a man wants to marry you he will just ask. Appreciate him, praise him for everything, flirt and smile to him and other men, bat you eyelashes, be relax and tell him how you feel, do something that fulfills you. Look into the mirror and tell yourself ten times ” I love you” and talk to yourself like you were your first fan, because sometimes your man will be worry about life that he will forget to tell you. If you want to get marry you do not even need to have sex with him if you do not want to. , bat your eyelashes again.
I have been marry for a lots of years, now that I look back, it was not hard to get marry, the hard part is to stay happily married with children, we have our ups and downs.
About sex, everybody’s drive is different and it changes with time and the hormones or the lack of it have an effect too. While you are young, enjoy and be safe. Children are the most marvelous, they teach you to be present and what life is about for some of us, it feels so good to be with them and watch and help them to fulfill their destiny. Now I m in stage close to empty nest and wanting to rekindle with my great husband, we changed too. Still wonder if there is a man that can respect, love and appreciates her woman all the time, if there is a woman that can respect, encourage, praise and love her man and keeps her cool all the time and how she does it ?.

Reply July 6, 2014, 2:14 am

Susan

I think the deeper question here might be is why are so many men with women they don’t love deeply enough to marry, sometimes staying with these women for years, or even decades? If they don’t love her with 100% of their soul, then why are they leading her on? Why aren’t these men noble enough to let her go so she can find someone who would feel that way about her?

Reply April 13, 2014, 9:28 pm

Sue

Exactly. I know marriage shouldn’t be forced,, BUT if you want the experience and the commitment,, you want to make sure that the person you’re having sex with and giving away your time, energy and emotions into, is someone with promise, and nit just pretending to like the person or “dangling the carrot” and then changing their minds after so many years, months, weeks..

Reply April 21, 2014, 1:56 pm

Susan

Well said. This seems to be the deeper issue. These same men don’t want to share a woman with other men and want her to be faithful, yet will not commit. It seems the only way a woman can get a commitment if she truly wants one is to date numerous men at the same time without them knowing about each other, to see which one will settle down. I know this is dishonest and would be looked upon as cheating, but unless a man steps up to the plate then giving it all to just one man is useless.

Reply April 21, 2014, 2:16 pm

mint

Agreed!

Reply June 23, 2014, 12:27 pm

Lakeisha

Took the words right out of my mouth…

August 1, 2014, 7:59 pm

Bella Bear

If a man didn’t want to propose to you but did because he was so freaked out he’d lose you and he felt like he was forced into it…but genuinely did NOT want to do it…but you got to have the “husband” title and be his “wife.” Would this be a good situation for you?

The issue boils down to having the true instinct to want to do something versus getting married as some strange transaction or business deal…it’s as if you are forced to buy into this idea of marriage meaning something about you as a person…like a Chanel bag or big house with a white picket fence.

Personally, I’ve been proposed to. Kind of ironic but telling. I had zero desire to marry. The guy was the type who a lot of girls tried to “lock down” as their “husband.” He ran from the pressure. He didn’t want the title. He wanted to be wanted for himself.

He wanted someone who had no issue saying exactly what she thought about him and not in a rude way, but an honest and refreshing way. It’s not that i’m super interesting or anything like that. I’m nothing but a random girl in this giant world of girls and guys and yet my experiences have taught me it’s not about being “interesting” or “good enough” for a man to propose…

It’s about being able to see into his soul, to see who he wants to be and what he loves in his life…to light his fire and inspire him to be w inner in the world (i see this phrase thrown around a lot and misinterpreted)…

The desire to win in the world isn’t something that guys want because they are greedy.

Just because a man doesn’t want to get married to you doesn’t make him bad.

You are not entitled to tell him how he SHOULD feel.

Tell a man how he SHOULD be and watch him leave or stay but stray / never invest fully.

A man has to deal with a different set of pressures than a woman does. You do realize something…the idea of marriage…is about being a partner-in-crime, so to speak…to be by someone’s side because you are genuinely happy when they’re happy…you light up inside when you see him be who he is and execute his talents, whatever they may be.

If you’re a woman who wants to be focused on acquiring a title, you will never get men falling all over themselves with diamond rings in little Tiffany boxes.

If, on the other hand, you learn to experience a person for who they are and understand + RESPECT what they think and how they feel, you will notice all those worries and fears about marriage will disappear.

A man doesn’t want to marry a woman who plays a game. Who likes games? No one. You might think there is some magic trick or secret “way” to make the marriage “happen…” even though the “happening” could be the end of your relationship.

Notice how the divorce rate is so high…because people don’t have the real idea of marriage in their mind when they do it. It’s out of fear, pressure and trying to make the other person happy…

I would never want a man to get down on one knee unless he truly felt it in his gut, in his heart and in his soul, that he wanted to do it.

This comment has nothing to do with me not liking the idea of marriage, just to be clear. The reason I’m so saddened by the trend I notice among women to project a bunch of bad traits onto a man as if he deserves to be shamed for not being ready to commit to marriage.

Try to force you to not be married, and watch how much you want it. If someone tole you: Listen, you are never going to get married. I am going to make sure of that.”

Think about the way you’d feel if someone told you what to think and what you were allowed to do. Imagine the opposite situation. A man who is pressured to marry is going to feel just like a woman who is being pressured to never marry.

Men just want to be understood and appreciated for who they are. Not shamed and constantly attacked. The world is hard enough. We’re all doing the best we can. Join him don’t fight him. You’re on the same team. Never forget that.

Reply April 13, 2014, 6:07 pm

Eric Charles

Damn… that was so good. 100% agree.

Reply April 13, 2014, 6:16 pm

Unique

What if he gave you an engagement ring but never asked?

Reply August 8, 2014, 7:23 am

JewelD

I’ve read a ton on this topic, and been in this situation. Also turned down my share of guys who asked (and then broke up with them, honestly.)

If a guy says he doesn’t want to get married, just believe him and break it off. If you live together, one of you needs to leave. After he’s on his own, he can decide whether being with you on YOUR terms was better than his 100% freedom.

Meanwhile, get some counseling, take your brain/focus vitamins (to get past the worst of it), stay productively busy, and go meet new guys. Stop wasting your OWN time!

Reply October 7, 2014, 1:00 pm

lisa

I have really enjoyed and taken to heart your advice. I am new to your site but find it insiteful. I am currently single but plan to use your advice as future reference when I am ready to step back into the dating pool.

Reply April 13, 2014, 11:04 am

Eric Charles

I’m happy to have you here. I appreciate that you’ve enjoyed my work so far, that means a lot to me.

And there’s nothing wrong with being single — to be honest, I think there’s a lot of people who would benefit from giving themselves some time to be step back and reflect on relationships as a single person, so that when they’re ready for love… they’re *really* ready for love.

Good luck on your journey and I hope my writing helps you along the way. :)

Reply April 13, 2014, 6:18 pm

Dama

Well .. you are right..if a man gets all what he wants from his gf why would he wants to marry her .. this is ur answer in simpler words ..lol

Reply April 12, 2014, 1:40 am

Eric Charles

Well… no… I don’t believe that’s true.

I would marry a woman because I love my life more with her in it than I ever could without having her in it.

It wouldn’t be because she’s holding back stuff until I marry her — that would never work and I would never marry a woman who was intentionally holding out something I wanted just to get me to do something she wanted… heck, I wouldn’t even date a woman who did that…

I would marry her because I love her, trust her and want to build the rest of my life with her. Moreover, in order for me to marry her, I would have to trust the relationship and trust that we will both always want to fight for it and for each other. I would marry her because I believe she is a partner in a way nobody else could be.

Reply April 13, 2014, 5:45 pm

Susan

I don’t see why it’s such a big deal if a woman chooses to break up with a man or cut him off of sex if he doesn’t want to marry her or the relationship is otherwise not meeting her needs or fulfilling her dreams. If she isn’t the one a man wants to marry then why should he hold her up? If he loved her he’d change his mind because she’d be worth changing for to keep. If sex is so readily available to men, then this shouldn’t be a problem because he can just find someone else to sleep with. A man who isn’t in love is disrespecting a woman if he leads her on just to have a steady supply of sex at his convenience. This has nothing to do with the woman not loving the man. It has everything to do with her loving herself enough to pursue a relationship which fulfills her. Do men really want women to stay with them at the expense of the woman’s happiness just to be a convenience to him? It’s not wrong for women to want to get married and it’s not wrong to leave if that isn’t happening. It’s better to leave than to stay and waste years of your life if a relationship is not fulfilling. A man would marry a woman if he felt she was worth it. If your job is paying you less than you know you can get elsewhere you leave. So why do so many people feel it’s wrong to change partners if your partner isn’t giving you what you need? If the man leaves no one faults him, they always point fingers at the woman, as if she failed. Then if she leaves it’s her fault also. A lot of men want their cake and want to eat it too.

Reply April 7, 2014, 6:20 am

Ariel Swen

I totally agree with everything you said! In fact, I cried while reading. You put in words a mess that I’ve had in my mind for a while. I love my partner very much, and we’ve been living together for 2 years. He does know that I would love to marry him, and spend the rest of my life with him, it is a dream. We are amazingly happy together, but he totally avoids the idea of marrying me. It makes me so confused! And no, it is not like he does not feel ready for settling down or anything, because he constantly talks about children, and how much he would love to have me pregnant over and over again. I like it too, but I also have become bitter about having kids with him. He does not want to think about marrying me, it just feels unfair and even stupid that I would give him everything he dreams about, give up on my body to have kids, and he won’t consider committing, ever. I’ve also become bitter about weddings and wedding related stuff, it really hurts when I see a happy couple just married leaving the church, ’cause I think “Well, that just won’t happen to us, ever.” It is a dream to have someone who wants to be with you so much, that he would do anything, to make your dream come true. I have done and i still do everything I can to make him happy, why won’t he do the same for me?? I feel hurt when I think about it, but I avoid thinking about it around him, ’cause I don’t want to feel bitter and fight. I’m just scared, and afraid of wasting years on him, and end up unhappy, with or without him.

Reply June 5, 2014, 1:06 am

Diana

Ariel, your instincts are spot on, but you aren’t living from your authenticity, that is why you’re becoming bitter and resentful. It’s very clear you know what kind of relationship you want and you are not getting a very big and important part of it for you. Whatever reason he has for not cherishing you by taking your relationship to the next level is about him. I could give you many reasons, I even see some things in your comments, however you have to stand in your own body, your own authenticity and say clearly and lovingly what you want and then let him make his choice. You have already made a clear choice as to what feels right for you, you just haven’t been acting on it for yourself. What you have done is assume and expect that he is in the same place as you are. You’re avoiding, you’re stuffing feelings down, you’re giving and giving to make him happy expecting him to give you something you deeply want, that darling, is a bottomless hole by the way. Time is a precious commondity; you can never get it back. What you do is you get your confidence up and you say, “Bill, (name made up) I love you dearly. I’d love to spend the rest of my life with you, you make me laugh.., but I want children and I can’t see having children outside of a monogamous, committed relationship inside of marrige, so if that is not what you also want, you are not the man for me.” Tell him that it is his choice and give a date that you will need his answer by. Tell him that if he doesn’t want the same thing you will be moving on with you life and he will have to move on with his life without you. You have to stand firm, no wishy-washyness or he will respect you even less and start treating you even worse, it would not be a pretty picture. Ariel, darling, there are plenty of fabulous men who want the same thing you want and who will cherish and adore you, who you won’t have to tip toe around and bend over backwards just to feel loved. You have to first start loving yourself, stand strong, be in your authenticity, move forward and don’t look back. People aren’t going to give you what you aren’t willing to give yourself. You deserve everything you are wanting in a relationship. Go for it! It may not be with this man, however.

Reply June 5, 2014, 9:34 am

Yours Truly

Any opinions on if you think he will marry me any time soon?

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 5 years and 4 months. We have been living together for 3 years and 5 months, and we have a beautiful 9 month old baby girl. My boyfriend is always using the typical man excuses when I bring up the topic of marriage, such as that he does not have enough money, or saying there is no point in signing a piece of paper. I have made it very clear to him many, many times that I do not want an expensive ring (I have seen beautiful $100 rings that I would be more than happy to wear), I do not want a wedding ceremony, and there is no need for a honeymoon right away. All I really want is to make our relationship official (especially for the sake of our baby girl) and to be his wife and not girlfriend or “baby mama”.

P.S. I truly believe I am a good girlfriend and I deserve the right place in life. He does not have to support me financially because I do work full time, make an average income, and pay the mortgage and bills of MY home.

Any advice would be truly appreciated.

Thanks!

Reply April 1, 2014, 12:44 pm

JewelD

Why should he? You’re already giving him everything without his having to lift a finger. That’s your paice, and he’s already paying it. Your price is too low!

He likes things the way they are – and you’re too intimidated to get what you want and NEED – by not enforcing your boundaries, you’re the one putting him before your daughter, as it is now.

Take the toy away from that big baby. Move out, or give him 30 days to leave – and enforce it, civilly. Let him live on his own, and send support for *HIS* daughter! That’s reality! He needs to own up to his actions and responsibilities.

Good luck.

Reply October 7, 2014, 1:11 pm

Darren

You need to stop preaching in all the comments. You’re coming across as a resentful, vindictive and controlling bitch who wants to pressure everyone in to giving ultimatums which will lead to break ups or unwanted marriages.

Reply December 15, 2014, 1:22 am

Elke

I cannot imagine an ultimatum ever being a good thing. If one is willing to walk away from a great relationship that easily, how quick will one leave a marriage when there’s trouble. I, personally, think it’s “the Ring” and not the paper that a woman wants, a sort of validation of the relationship, which seems rather insecure to me. Neither will guarantee a “forever” marriage, but an ultimatum would seem, to me, would cause a doomed relationship

Reply March 18, 2014, 9:00 pm

Katie

If anyone would help it would be greatly appreciated.
Me and my boyfriend have been together for two years
And we have been living together for a year.
We are great together, we’re each others best friends
and could not live without each other. The other night
I had asked him when is he planning on saving for a ring or
Making the next step in our relationship,
he told me that he does not know. That he wants
A house before he thinks about that. Keep in mind my boyfriend is 30
And I’m 22. I’m very young and I understand that but I live in New York
For him, and I’m away from all of my family and friends. All I want from him is a ring and a commitment so I can feel secure about me staying in NY and not wasting time
here. He thinks I’m way to young to be engaged and I never thought I would
Want to be engaged so young but I love him and he is at an age where it’s time to think about what you really want. My question is do I stay with him for 4 or 5 more years until he thinks I’m old enough or do I leave and go back to CA and start over.

Reply February 26, 2014, 8:40 pm

Bill

Leave now… I wasted four years of a woman’s life from ages 23-27 because it was convenient for me to keep her around with no long-term outlook whatsoever. Being in my early forties, I came to a point where I had to be responsible and look out for her future. The sooner you transition the better. Go with your gut. You need to pursue your dreams.

Reply March 23, 2014, 5:54 pm

Kaylee

Me and my boyfriend have been together for almost a year, but everyone has always thought we’ve been together longer because we’re so in tune with each other it’s crazy.. We have the perfect relationship and a baby due next month and have lived together for 10 months with no major issues.. But he still won’t ask. ): The only problem we have is money, but it’s not like I want some fancy wedding or ring, and I’d be fine with being engaged for a year or two before we tie the knot officially. I just want to be able to reply at the doctor’s office with “This is my fiance” not “this is my baby daddy/boyfriend whom I live with” :/ How do I get him to propose and stop worrying about it? We both have said and know that we’re going to be together and grow old together. So why are we not married or even engaged yet? Our little boy deserves a mom and dad that are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT officially whole. I just want a whole family.

Reply February 22, 2014, 5:21 pm

Audrey

I agree with and enjoyed this article. Keep up the good work.

Reply December 16, 2013, 11:56 pm

Linda

I read most of the comments and still do not have my answer. I am with my boyfriend already 6 years together and he hasnt proposed yet.. we have spoken about it, he has always said, that i am the right one, he loves me, he cant imagine his life without me, but he is not ready to marry me or to have children yet (he is 30, and i am 29), and he is just not sure what he wants from life. I dont want to marry him because of the paper or the status, i just have the feeling, that its the only way to make him think, what he wants or doesnt, i just want to understand how he feels about me and not to hear some lines what he think i want to hear (so i dont leave him, because i know he is very comfortable with our situation right now). I dont want to spend more years together and then find out that actually he didnt propose because he wasnt sure i am the right one.

Once during our talk (we had many of them, actually every time we drink wine, and we drink a lot:)) he told me that he is so comfortable in our relationship that he is afraid that he isnt improving and evolving as a person but becoming worse, because he doesnt need to make an effort (because i am just so great and energetic and caring and he is becoming lazier and lazier and more unable to make decissions). Do you think it could be our problem? Does anybody ever had such a problem?

And the last thing. I am very easy going and caring and understanding. We almost never fight, and we have a lot of fun and we talk openly almost about everything (except marriage). Maybe thats my problem, that i am just too easy going, and maybe thats not exciting enough and men dont marry that kind of girls, because they need more excitement and feeling of constant dread that they might loose me etc.. but i cant be like that, i am the way i am.

Reply September 25, 2013, 10:47 am

jojo

This man will never propose. If he hasnt in the last 6 years then he never will.. do not waste the pretty ;) you are fine as you are, you do not need to change. be yourself, be happy and confident and you will meet the right man :) xx

Reply November 28, 2013, 11:35 am

Tom

Jojo is right that he will never propose, but you realistically only have about another 5 or so years to find a man before you become old news. Men want new, and you are still partially new, but soon you will be old. Your biological clock is ticking…

Reply February 10, 2014, 6:37 pm

mint

That’s pretty sexist Tom!

Reply June 23, 2014, 12:44 pm

Ms Devine

Hi Eric,
I think the burning question of marriage as you describe has to do with the whole biological clock ticking, friends all the tying the knot etc, and is very much age related in a woman. It is often instilled in us women from a young age, “You need to be married by a certain age, Dearie, otherwise you will be childless and a spinster.”
It puts the fear of spinsterhood in us… especially when you seem to not be able to hold onto your man.
However, saying all this, I agree with you in parts, that marriage is a piece of paper. I truly believe commitment is felt in the heart. Society and laws have dictated how we should announce our intentions to each other. Children born out of wedlock can still bear their father’s name. Marriage as recently as a generation ago, was there so a man could father children, provide and act as head. Yet, in today’s living arena, we women are making just as much money, if not more, are financially capable of providing without a second income.
I believe marriage is a nice to have, but not necessary in making me complete. I am in my forties, do have a son, have never been married, nor lived with anyone. Many relationships, but only 1 man was ever close to being worthy… (not the most loved, mind you).
Interestingly I am now in a situation whereby I would like commitment, but not marry.

No one can be 100% sure that we will live happily ever after with the individual we choose, but what we can do is live in the moment, take what is offered, give what is due.

Reply September 1, 2013, 1:17 pm

Diana

Eric, I appreciate your honesty in the article. And that you are speaking about your own reasons around this topic. And from what I can tell out in life and on here there are a lot of others who are coming from the same place.

Based on your book “He’s Not That Complicated”, which I am loving, I expected something quite different for your response, i.e. more maturity. It seems in your comments here you keep putting your foot in your mouth and digging a deeper hole. It also stood out how you praised someone if they agreed with you, but if they didn’t your put downs are quite unprofessional and show immaturity.

I understand that you are all about telling it like you see it “not sugar coating”. However, just because something is that way doesn’t make it right. The big message I get from you here is to suck it up, that this is the way things are “NOW” and just get on with the status quo. This is feeling a bit like peer pressure to conform with the “in crowd”, which is what I see to be the problem and why the state of relationships are in the mess they are in today, which then goes full circle back to why you don’t want to get married… Women, these days, have gotten sucked into saying “Yes” too many times to too many men, not because they necessarily wanted to, but because they thought they didn’t have a choice, because well frankly, as you say. “If I don’t give in and give him what he wants, regardless of what I want, he’ll just get it somewhere else.” WOW! Don’t you see how you are creating women to be manipulators? They are feeling like they are” having” vs “wanting” to give something, in order to get something. That’s not what women want at all! That is blatant coercive control and manipulation, not to mention misogyny! I can’t tell you the women I’ve talked to at all ages that have expressed this very situation to me. They have felt pushed into having sex with men they were only just getting to know, but felt if they wanted the relationship to continue then they had too, because “That is just the way it is today”. Your response and comments here are sexist and perpetuating a very difficult situation in our society. Smart women who value, yes “value” themselves, who they are and what they bring to the table are tired of being used and manipulated. This is the misogyny of the new era.

Reply August 14, 2013, 7:08 pm

Shai

I agree wholeheartedly with this post many women feel like they have to give up something i.e. sex or their values so that a man will give them a chance. In today’s dating world the scales are tipped towards men and a lot of women are receiving the short end of the stick. Personally I feel that marriage is a higher form of commitment. When you say you’re wedding vows you are saying that I will be your partner from this day until my last day and I will support on the best and worse days of your life. To marry a person is not simply for status, when people marry for that reason their relationship typically falls apart. I am 28 and I want to be married because that will show me that my partner and I will build a life together. Many people say “forever” but when you marry a person you’re actions prove how much you really love them.

Reply January 8, 2014, 7:44 pm

Diana

Hi Shai, let me be frank; if the scale is tipped it is us women who have done it based on wrong and out of date information that we had been given. If the scales are tipped and unbalanced we can tip them to a harmonious equilibrium. You sound like you have some standards for what you want for yourself. This is a great place to start. Now, you have to stand up for these standards. Only you get to say what is important to you in your life. Be brave, don’t waiver when you get challenged by someone, a man, other women, a situation. It’s best to be authentic. Let a man know what you want for yourself in your life. That you are looking for a monogamous, committed relationship inside of marriage with the RIGHT man, a SPECIAL man. A man that is also looking for that will appreciate your strength and your clarity. The man who doesn’t want that, he will also value your clarity and strength, and just weed himself out. Trust me, I’ve been there, and you deserve more than to fool around with time wasters.

Reply January 29, 2014, 12:55 pm

Jane

Won Diana, you are right to the point

But I’m hopeless that the trend will change
It is what it is ,so I suppose we have to tolerate

I was in a romantic relationship with a boy for two years , I was in love and he showed love and looked was in love too .

I used all the guidlines by Eric and Sabrina which were great and also Barbara de anglis, no lack of self confidence or self love or…

We could felt love but the problem arised when the marrigae issue was getting serious

One time he was decisive to marry me but finally he left me in despair telling me he has got an imaginary girl in mind and he does not know what will happen if we get married and he find that girl in reality

We are not teenagers nor I was clingy or desperate like what esaliy peopel suggest when a women wants marriage(I’m 29,he is 31)

Actually it was him who was afraid to lose me ,he was in pain when we were breaking up because he wanted to stay in that love realtionship

I was thinking the same as Linda ,thiking boys do not want to marry a girl like me

Here I am reading your post …so true

I’m broken hearted but reading your post was a delight

Thanks

Reply January 29, 2014, 1:10 am

Diana

Oh Jane, I feel your broken heart. Getting that close and then having the rug pulled out from under you like that; being told that he has an imaginary girl in his mind and he is afraid if he marries you he will lose his chance of finding her! Actually many men feel this way, not all are able to express it honestly as your boyfriend did.

It sounds like he was afraid of loosing his freedom. You see he had your love and commitment, but he still had his freedom to be in his fantasy of thinking one day Sophia Vergara, or Heidi Klum is going to magically walk into his life and want him. Now we know that that is not going to happen, but the boy in him can’t see this. Yes, he was broken because in he probably really does love you, but right now his freedom is pulling him more. He is not ready no matter how much he loves you. Jane, you have to be brave. We women need to be more brave than we are being. I used to believe that ‘love’ was about sacrifice, compromise, and working hard to ‘make it work’. And I became a servant slave in the relationship and then one day, I woke up and realized that I deserved more than what I was getting. I deserved to be cherished and not be taken for granted, I deserved a man who understands me…cares about me…respects me…puts me first…fulfills my needs…I deserve to be adored, treasured, loved!
The relationship ended. It was not all his fault, I had to grow up and learn what I truly bring to the table and it is not being a slave – this is not what unconditional love is. I had to learn to love and to value myself. IT IS YOUR RIGHT to experience these things as a woman.

We need to have the courage to say to a man that can’t give up his unrealistic, boy fantasies “You know what, you are right. If I am not your fantasy woman then you should go and find her. (say it with conviction, without any sarcasim!) I do not want to be with a man who doesn’t see me that way. I deserve a man that loves me, adores me and treasures me. So now I know you are not that man and so you are not the right man for me.”

Jane, you are wonderful, you deserve so much more. But it is only you who can give it to yourself. Walk away with honesty and conviction, live your life from your passions, be happy, don’t look back and I wouldn’t be surprised if one day he tries to reconnect with you.

Reply January 29, 2014, 12:25 pm

Elpiniki-Anna

Lovely responses, Diana. After reading a lot of comments, I think that both men and women strive to fulfill their dreams. Marriage is a dream for many women, which they anticipate to come true. They strive to fulfill it, just as people strive to fulfill any other of their dreams. So, unlike what Eric says in his article that women should wait and just love their man more deeply (which they might have already done), I say that in the specific circumstances where a couple is financially independent with stable jobs, has had a relationship that has lasted for a while, has included the couple living together for quite some time, has gone through obstacles successfully, and most of all, is surrounded by love, caring, understanding and loyalty, has no excuse to not get married. The legal bindings of marriage should pose no threat for the man when he trusts his woman, and all the above circumstances have been satisfied. Therefore, when all the above circumstances are met, but the man has yet to propose, I think the woman may rightfully and justifiably quit from waiting for the man she’s with to propose, and if she so desires, to continue seeking to fulfill her dream of marriage, with someone who is truly willing to marry her.

Reply February 18, 2014, 12:48 am

una

I agree with this article in general, bit there is one thing missing for me, or perhaps it is present in the text but not emphasized quite enough: fear. The main reason for a man to marry or not to marry a woman is fear. The fear of getting deep into this family stuff is well described and explained here. Though I must add, that the unfair resource allocation after divorce is caused by the patriarchy of our society, men have control of most of the money, more rights and usually bigger salaries. The fear of not getting married is actually the fear of losing their true companion, a woman they love and need on daily basis. So my advice to those women who wish their men would finally pop the question is to focus on what they really want. Marriage is symbolic, but it’s consequences are practical: children, home, stability. Ask your man for that! Say you want to have a child of your own, preferably with him, say you would like his support, at home and in the bank, during thees tough times. That he can relate to, if his mature enough. Don’t drag him into fear of making a mistake and surrendering to women, who, by the way, are making a lot of progress beating the patriarchy lately. Laws today can protect women and their kids from poverty even if they are not officially married to their spouses.

Reply August 13, 2013, 3:15 pm

Adi

Love him more deeply? Are you out of your mind? Just leave! If he’s worth your time he’ll beg for you back or claim you. If not, trust me, you’re better off bc it means he didn’t love you enough to ever marry you in the first place.

Reply August 12, 2013, 10:20 pm

Angeleyes

OK- I need some help! My situation is a bit different than most, and I would love to hear some input from guys. I have been with my man for almost 4 years and we have known each other for 15. We have a great relationship, we are best friends and can talk about just about anything for hours on end. We are older (46/52) both been married before and hurt. He is an old fashion guy – must be the provider, care taker, supporter, etc. I get that, love and respect him for it. The problem is, his pride is killing me. I know he loves me deeply, but he has a disabling disease and #1 doesnt want to become a “burden” and #2, isnt going to have the money he wants to have or thinks he needs to support a wife. This is one area he shuts me down if I even suggest anything close to a future together, and I know for a fact it is only his pride stopping him cold. I have enough money to support us both, make a comfortable life and even provide for both of our kids after we are gone. I want to marry him but i dont want to insult his manly pride or make it sound wrong if i broach the subject carefully. Does that make sense? and yes, I know him well enough to know that it is pride, not love stopping him and it isnt just wishful thinking. Help me out here guys~I want to make this man happy and feel loved~

Reply March 5, 2013, 10:12 pm

Cez

All,

I’ve been on this link for about a year now and originally posted because I was desperate to get my boyfriend to propose. He finally proposed in November last year and we are getting married in New Years Eve.

My advise would be…be patient, but also independant. I was offered the opportunity to progress my career in Madrid for three months and less than a month after my return he proposed. Do what’s right for you and if he you are right for him it will happen.

Over and out

Cez x

Reply February 5, 2013, 4:54 am

nehar

Hey
Few things are true, but you should also write why men can’t handle relations like female. Females on a percentage will risk everything to make a relationship work, where few men come forward, and rest just think about being solo and getting off the relationship bliss. To the fact yes, there are many things as mentioned are true and which i have also experienced why men are not sure of commitment to the marriage. Do add few more tips as to how to get their trust so that they are willing to believe that life after marriage do come with responsibilities but there’s many new experiences adding different taste to life and to accept it boldly.

Reply February 1, 2013, 2:02 am

sheniii

actualy he was very careless wen we’re in a relationship, he was telling tht was his style, he dont like to call much, n its not important to meet evryday, it will take 2 or 3 days while he was not calling me n once a month we met.. withn 5 months we met only 3 days :( .. but i tolerated tht. becox i want him alot n i want to spend my whole life with him..
most of the time he is spending wth his friends, he never introducs me any of his frnd n his family member,
one night call him twise n twise bt he didt respond my phone calls.. n aftr tht i sent him a text ” if u dont want to talk to me just tell me, if u want to breakup also tell me, am ready for it ” but i was not.. i jst want to him to reply my sms or call me.. but he replied me ” now its over, dont call me to find the reason ” :'( at tht nyt i sent lots of sms. i begged him.. bt no response from him.. i was crying tht whole nyt.. n for two days i didnt call him or text him.. after two days i call him.. n he answrd my phone call.. he said he hav somthn of mine n he want to giv it to me.. i said i dont want to tht i want him.. but he ignored me.. he said the decision was good for both of us.. he dont love me.. its bettr me to move on my life.. i told him i will wait my whole life for him.. i will never get maarryd.. i will marry only him..
aftr tht every nyt i did call him n hee answer my phone calls, but he said he will never change his mind.. i begd him..
n now its being two days no response from him..
do you think he will come back to me.???
inside its killin me.. :( plz plz help me.. how do get him back plz tell me

Reply January 24, 2013, 11:18 pm

Christine

I’m so sorry but he has told you how he feels and it seems he is being clear about it, i think you should move on, trying to contact him this much will probably make him feel uncomfortable and confirm he was correct in ending things, i know you care for him deeply but if you truly did you will let him move on and be happy.. and maybe if you give him the space he needs you might be able to have a friendship which is better than nothing :)

Reply June 17, 2013, 1:13 am

Jessica

Hi Eric, and other readers:

I am 32 years old and have never been married. I was in a 3 1/2 year relationship before getting engaged, and I broke it off 2 months after the engagement. Before the engagement, I knew the relationship was nowhere near where it needed to be in order to be healthy and happy- not that I didn’t love him dearly, but when we mature we realize that love does not conquer all. I said yes initially because the good parts of the relationship were wonderful, and I felt like my past relationships were terrible in comparison, and my “clock is ticking” so I shouldn’t keep looking forever. Long story short, getting engaged because of feeling pressure (basically from myself) did not work out for me or him. People need to get married for the ALL the right reasons, or not at all. I am a paralegal for a family law firm, which means we deal stricly in divorce, paternity and post-decree matters. Eric is correct in saying that men usually get the %hit end of the stick on divorce, and these matters turn very ugly most of the time between the parties and unfortunately the children suffer as well. No man or woman wants to be pressured into a situation they are simply not ready to be in. Ladies, if you want your man to run, keep pressuring him to get married- he’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. You want your man to WANT to marry you, completely free of pressure from you or anyone else- this ensures a happy, lasting marriage. If he does it due to pressure, you can count on his resentment and dissatisfaction later. Good luck!

Reply January 21, 2013, 10:37 am

jay

Hi Eric….hope your alright and life’s treating you well, this is an observation i made about something that you said and i wanted to expand on it: i understood that in order for you to consider marriage all these three facts should be in place:

*When I’m ready to start a family
*When we’ve been together so long that I couldn’t imagine life without her there
*When it really wouldn’t matter if we were married or not because it was clear neither one of us would leave.

I understand and can relate to your 1st 2 points..its the last that threw me ” it was clear neither one of us would leave” Now in life that is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to know. whether someone will leave or not. even if your with each other for a life time and nothing but perfection would describe the relationship, its impossible to know whether someone will leave or not. its a fact of life.

You dont have to agree with me, its just my take on it.
All your contributions to both women and men by revealing lots of info about men in general are marvelous and well appreciated!
Thank you.

:)

Reply November 2, 2012, 10:59 am

Eric Charles

Yes – let me give you where I’m coming from on that.
.
I agree that it is impossible to know if the person will never leave. However, there’s a very specific reason I wrote it that way…
.
There are relationships where couples fight constantly and even “break up” once in a while when to signify that it’s a really big fight.
.
Sometimes people have the erroneous perception that getting marriage will somehow solve the relationship problems they’ve had the whole time.
.
So in order for the sake of brevity, I made a very bold statement more in an effort to exclude people in those situations from even considering marriage as a possibility than to speak to people who aren’t having issues. To put it more frankly: People aren’t reading this article because their relationship is perfect… just saying.

Reply November 2, 2012, 11:41 am

claudia

i am 19 years old and my boyfriend and i are dating for two years
we are high school lovers we are both working and we just had a son
this year in september and we live together i feel like we should get married
but i doint know how to tell him or show him that i am ready for marraige
what do i do can somebody help me we are madely in love

Reply November 2, 2012, 5:10 am

miley

hi, my man says i do luv n nd i wanna marry u but aftr 1-2hrs he says i wont marry u, or m not ready for such decisions .. we r just 20s. we r datting since 3months. i jus dont understand if he luvs me den y he cant commit to get married?? does he think he wil get beter in future or sum thing else?? .. plz reply me :(

Reply October 30, 2012, 6:48 am

Eleana Chaida

20 years old is really young, too young to get married, because you are both still immature, probably don’t have stable jobs to raise your kids later, haven’t finished higher education, and most importantly, have been together for just 3 months! 3 months is too little! I suggest you forget about marriage for now, and just aim to study at a university, get a stable job, and later, if you’re still with this young man, suggest that you and him move-in together to see how you will like living with each other. Then, after you do all these, consider marriage, and if you see that too long time passes and he still has not proposed to you, and has no particular excuse, please leave him because he’s probably against marriage, and is trying to avoid it.

Reply February 17, 2014, 11:33 pm

Megan

Hi,
I’ve got a real puzzler here, I’m in a kind of similar situation to this. My boyfriend and I had been dating for 6 months, everything was going great, we hadn’t had any real fights or issues, other than that for the last two weeks or so of our relationship I felt like he was being distant, spending more time with his friends, not being as cute or passionate towards me as he was in the beginning, and even when we were together I didn’t feel like it was quality time together. Something just didn’t feel right. I mentioned it to him and he apologized and said he wasn’t doing it on purpose, but nothing was really resolved. In the beginning of our relationship he used to say all kinds of things like he was so happy he found me, how did he get so lucky to deserve me in his life, that I’m more incredible than he ever thought any woman could be, and he would make references to “our” wedding day! Just a few days ago he broke up with me out of the blue, he said I’m such a “nice girl” and he loved all the time we spent together and he’s really going to miss me, but he doesn’t see himself marrying me so he broke up with me instead. I asked him why he felt that way and he said he couldn’t explain further. I asked him how long he’d known and he said it’s not something you just know. He cried when he told me, and he held me and consoled and we both cried together for a long time. He said I had him wrapped around my little finger in the beginning but his feelings just changed and he didn’t know why. I said I was really going to miss him and he said he was going to miss me a lot too. He said three different times that we should keep in contact. And when we finally said goodbye he said we both should give it some time, but I shouldn’t be afraid to get a hold of him in the future. It’s been 4 days now and I haven’t contacted him. I feel like I’m going crazy, but I’m really hoping he reaches out to me. (Even though he said it’s up to me if we see each other again in the future). What the heck is going on here!? I never pressured him to get married, I was just enjoying getting to know each other. I was still on the fence about how I felt about him. I knew I loved him, never told him though until he was breaking up with me, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to marry him. Now that I’ve been without him for 4 days I miss him so much. I miss everything about him and I don’t want to live my life without him. I just don’t understand where that even came from, did he just get scared and need some time and space? Will he come around eventually? It’s so hard not to contact him, I just sit and wonder all day if he’s thinking about me or missing me too.

Reply October 28, 2012, 9:50 pm

Barb

After reading your post, it sounds like your boyfriend found someone else. Some men can only get “so close” to a woman, then they look around and move on. Your former guy had all the right buzz words, “didn’t deserve you” “how lucky he was”, to keep you around. His friends have been talking to him and I’m sure had a hand in breaking the two of you up. I know you are hurting but it will get better. The right guy is out there, someone who will treat you with respect. Someone that has the maturity to make up his own mind and who wants a relationship and not just sex. Keep busy and don’t brood over this loser. He was right. He didn’t deserve you.

Reply October 29, 2012, 6:47 am

SUCHI

Me and my bf are together for 4yrs with lot of fights for having sex.
And because of this he is now having affair who gives sexual comfort.
He is changed, but still says that he loves me and don’t want to loose me!
Please suggest me what should i do?

Reply September 7, 2012, 2:46 am

Leila

I received an email from Eric (and I assume this is a mass e-mail and not personally directed at me) asking to comment on one of his controversial advices. So, here I am.

For fun, I would like to decode Eric’s advice. Here it is:

Advice:
(1) Get both parties to a genuinely mutual point of wanting the same thing: Marriage.

Reasons behind men’s trepidation re: marriage:
(1) Serves no beneficial purpose until family comes into play
(2) Divorce laws are designed to favor women
(3) No motivational force:
a. Sexual security (no cheating) does not apply to women. Marriage doesn’t decrease the probability of cheating. However, marriage tends to decrease sexual frequency.
b. Love security is not an issue. Love exists regardless of marriage.
(4) Marriage, as a title, is meaningless.

Methods:
(1) Communicate better (place of love and understanding, not impatience and frustration).
(2) Prenuptial agreement.
(3) Wait for a proposal (empathy and understanding)
(4) Remove the focus on marriage (appreciate and love him more)

My critique:
I think his overarching advice, negotiating until there is meeting of the minds, is not only sound but brilliant. Marriage is, after all, a contract. There needs to be a meeting of the minds or there is a risk of the parties not holding up to the end of the bargain leading to invalidating or voiding the agreement (lifetime partnership, a.k.a “marriage”).

It is difficult to argue with Eric, as a representative of the male species, on the reasons behind men’s trepidation re: marriage. I am not a man, after all. Also, I am on this site so I am conceding that I am somewhat at a loss on the male’s perspective. So, I defer to Eric and accept these reasons to be true. Assuming they are true, however, means that we can use them to inform our action plan, right?

This part is me having fun. I want to further decode Eric. The reasons Eric listed envision a “reasonable man.” So, be aware that his advice may not apply to all men. Some men do not think, let alone rationally. The subtext in Eric’s list is that of the men who engage in a cost/benefit analysis of marriage, the conclusion is that marriage does not benefit men. First, partnership, in the form of marriage, is not necessary until a man is ready to spawn. That rings somewhat true for me. It is difficult to raise a child (let alone children) alone. But women do it all the time even in the context of marriage. So, it is necessary only for men – and I’ll explore that point further below. Second, divorce laws favor women disproportionately. This is true and it reflexes back to point one: Women tend to take the lion share of responsibilities in marriage. It is no wonder marriages don’t work – we go in it expecting a partner and we often find ourselves alone with more things to do. Even in situations where the woman is making more, men still get screwed. Where else can he find this deal? A woman who puts all the nurturing bit on the table PLUS the bacon? Yeah, he’s screwed after THAT divorce. Third, women offer love, sex, and fidelity without a marriage contract. I cannot agree more. So, what Eric is saying, I think, is that men would like an outcome for the minimum effort. To that end, I think men are brilliant. Why shoulder the world when you can enjoy it sitting back and looking at your other planetary options to conquer? Finally, marriage is a meaningless title. Historically, societies have been built under the “nuclear family” model. So both men and women see the value of marriage based on that model that has been burned in our minds from generation to generation. Back to point one: Why get married if you are not ready for a family?

Eric’s advice and the reasoning behind them are cogent. But laid out another why, doesn’t the question become, “Hey woman, why the hell are you itching to marry?” It sounds to me like the one we covet, the male creature, is rather self-centered and lazy? But you are not, right woman? You are engaged with life with ambitions and the commitment to work for your goals? And your goal is, what exactly? Snag a partner who places his concerns above yours and does not have innate motivation to help you in your goals in life? So your goal is chase something that will drag you down? This doesn’t make sense, at all.

I think the disconnect is this myth that somehow this man we are trying to coerce into marrying us will somehow change after the matrimonial ceremony. They wont. I think Eric will agree.

So, ultimately, I agree with Eric. Our time should be spent cultivating ourselves independent of a man (who have the tendency to slow us down). Along our adventure, our journey, we will meet someone who have shared goals an interest? How do you I know? Because you met him doing what you love – so the probability is, you have share a similar vision and will be equally invested in that same future.

What are we missing? Oh, the sweet comfort of companionship that quiets the noise created by our biological clock. What can I say, life isn’t fair. However, there are tools at our hands. Just as divorce allows women to tap out in a one-sided relationship that disappoints, there are sperm banks. There are men who are reckless with their biological property who are happy to make a deposit without collecting the interest. As a woman, it is SO EASY to have a biological child. It is difficult to find a male partner who will be committed in that child of equal proportions as they are to you. It sounds bleak, but probably closer to the truth.

So, here is my advice that parallels Eric’s. Forget marriage. Build yourself a strong fort that can storm any weather. If it seems a little late for you, expend your energy guiding your daughter or niece so they could live the life than an ideal woman should – where the sky is the limit. And when I say sky is the limit I mean: a world where she can have rewarding sex, money to up and leave at any time, and a sense of fulfillment that comes not from an individual who has the righteous discretion to abandon her unceremoniously if not painfully. This woman is out there, exploring the world, not searching for one creature that might be good enough – but living in it, grounded and fulfilled.

Reply August 25, 2012, 10:52 am

brenda

I am so confused and don’t know what to do. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years and a half, about 6 months ago we moved together, I never wanted to live with a guy before been married, but, his job relocated him to a different city and he asked me to move with him, I told him my point of view about and after long and very stressful conversations we agreed we will move together as “engaged” and that he will propose after 4 months if not I will be out, obviously he did not, we talked lately about this and he is just not ready now, his new job, new problems, he is working a lot and on top of this he has a heart condition and obviously with all the stress on his new job he’s been having a lot of problems. I love him, he swears he loves me, and he acts like he does but he claims this is just not the right time and that am putting to much pressure and with this am just making things more complicated. I left my family, my city, my friends, my jobs, everything just because of his promise and now I feel completetly lost, I don’t know what to do, I think I should just move out and go back to my city and start a new life, I feel cheated because I changed my whole life for us and for what he promised and is just not happening now, on top of this he talked to my family about our “engagement” and obviously I have friends and family always asking me about it. I love him with all my heart and even though I think the right thing to do is to move away it is so hard for me to pack and go now.

Reply August 21, 2012, 4:14 pm

Debashree Mishra

First of all we all are precious and marriage is a very serious decision to make. If you are aiming for marriage mission then its better to move on to the next guy and plzz don’t judge a man’s feelings just because he isn’t ready for commitment maybe he needs time but lady if u are not in a position to give him time to make up his mind then its better to move on.. cuz your life is precious too and you are responsible for how it turns out to be..PS men are not evil they just need their own space and they take their own time and i dont think it is a crime :) Hope i helped :) Good luck..

Reply August 20, 2012, 5:10 am

candy

hi eric, thnx for keepn it real, we ol nid tht. personally i wd rather hear the hard truth n deal wit it thn b hapi wit a lie.
i cm frm Uganda in Africa n ofcourse here society stil believes the ultimate end ov the woman is marriage n before 28-30.
am 27 ,single and i stop believing tht i jst av to get married to b hapi. ofcourse i believe in love n am waiting for the One bt in the mean tym, am doing Me n loving it. i love myself n thts hw i knw tht a man has to deserve me too for me to agree to marry hm. past relationships havnt worked cz so many tyms we are at different places n Marriage in our society (n in my religious values) z meant to last forever. needless to say i wd rather wait for the “2gether forever” thn the “have me nw n leave”.
i pride myself in my ability to communicate n am frustrated by pipo who dnt n lets face it many men dnt do well at it. tht leaves many women confused n frustrated n complaining.
bt to ol women, God has a better plan for u.. dnt rush to do thngs tht wil leave u uncontented.. biological clock aint goin no wea. be patient
n science z modified thz days so less worries abt tht.
am praying tht God brings light to thz issues tht u consider too dark..

Reply August 6, 2012, 3:35 am

Joanne

Why can’t two people have committed relationship without the marriage? What significances does marriage have. If you care about someone with all of your heart, do you really need marriage. I believe you can be with someone w/o needing marriage. I don’t ever want to get married. It is not for me. I hope that I am able to find a guy that feels the same way.

Reply August 3, 2012, 12:52 am

Brittany

Hey Eric,
I have an amazing boyfriend who I have been with for a while and was wondering if the questioned will be popped soon. We’ve talked about about our future and we’re planning on moving in together at the end of the year and he’s told me that he wants to have kids with me in the next couple of years. He always tells me that he loves me a lot, either to my face or by text, and also texts me that he misses me when we’re not together. His family who live in another country have heard about me and seen pictures and they seem to like me a bit so far. He’s also going to take me to his cousin’s wedding next year, as well as going to meet his parents.
I just really want to know if he will propose soon. If we are going to have kids in the near future, I want to be settled down and married before they come.

Reply August 1, 2012, 4:01 am

Misty

Forgive me but I am a bit upset as I am asking this. close to 7 years of being with each other and he has not popped the question. I am so ready to leave. I have made it clear that I don’t want a large ring but the COMMITMENT. He knows how traditional I am and if he does not want this then he needs to tell me so I move on. He says all the right things with out the follow though. and I am just sick of it. What should I do I am about to be 30 and he is 31.

Reply June 10, 2012, 9:07 pm

Andy

Often if you are feeling like your man doesn’t want to take your relationship to the next level, you wind up taking that to mean he’s (gasp!) a commitment-phobe that doesn’t know how to be in a real relationship.However that’s not always the case and it could be much simpler than you think.Commonly men tend to struggle with a bit of fear over taking the next step in a relationship.

Men need certain things from you the woman in order to feel secure enough to “let their hair down” so to speak, open up and reveal their true selves, much less commit to you for life.

So, if you’re feeling he may be balking at commitment maybe it’s a perfect time to do a quick relationship assessment and decide once and for all if he’s the guy for you.

Hope this helps.

Reply July 30, 2012, 3:40 am

Joanne

Maybe he is committed to you. Maybe he feels that he doesn’t need marriage to feel committed to you.

Reply August 3, 2012, 12:54 am

Jean Valjean

Why are you telling us this? Seems to me if your relationship was so perfect you would be able to talk to him about these things.

BTW, have you thought about what’s in it for him? Do you know what kind of risk a man takes when he marries. Why should he give you that much power over him?

From what I’ve read in your post you are very self centered. Getting married is all about what YOU want. YOU YOU YOU YOU! Maybe he doesn’t want to be married to a black hole of neediness?

Maybe if you talk to him about marriage and what you expect from marriage and what you offer in marriage he might feel more comfortable with asking you to marry him.

The days of fairy tales are over. Feminists changed everything about society and relationships. You no longer have a right to expect a certain outcome because all the rules have changed. Now you have to actually communicate your desires rather than huff and puff and pout until you get what you want. And I know this might be a surprise to you but you have to give something back. Have you thought about what that might be?

Reply September 7, 2012, 12:18 pm

z

I feel that and I hace recently come to realize this is very much true. thanks

Reply June 3, 2012, 9:20 am

Landa

Don’t get me wrong–I AM here because I value your advise but I’m confused. You said something along the lines of: most men just propose because their girl wants to get married–not becuase they’d rather be married. Isn’t there a difference in interest then?

You give wonderful advise on dating and relationships but at the end of the day most women are looking for a guy they could settle down with. That doesnt mean that we are all just fantasizing about marriage all day and we are simply in love with the idea of being in love and being married.

I guess what Im trying to say is–what if everything works out. The chemistry is there. No one is needy. We trust each other. The girl cares about her man’s needs, encourages him to be who he wants to be. She breaks down all barriers and allows herself to fall for him for who he truely is because she values his opinion, enjoys his company and thinks he is different from the other people out there.

but he just does not want to get married and she does. What then? He likes things the way they are. She doesnt want to give an ultimatium but she wants kids and not alone. How can this work out? I get a man’s point of view: he has the love, he’s getting the sex. He’s happy. Why would he want anything to change? But I also understand women: it’s not just about having kids, marriage just brings two people who are already together, closer.

Is it possible that men and women simply want completely different things? –just a general question.

Reply May 24, 2012, 12:04 am

Cez

Eric, I need your help!
I was first drawn to this message because this was how I felt but now I have a different dilemma. Although I want(ed) to get married I have found that now I am becoming more and more independent. I have been asked to go to Madrid to work for 3 months and have happily accepted (leaving my fantastic boyfriend behind)

I recently met a guy that I can’t stop thinking about and I’m questioning my relationship. My boyfriend is amazing and is everything I ever wanted in a relationship so i just don’t what has changed. He couldn’t be more devoted to me.

What is wrong with me? Starting to think I’ll never be happy!

Reply May 8, 2012, 6:20 pm

Luisa

Wish I could marry someday…
I just started dating a guy…just hope he’s not playing since I’m ready for a
healthy relationship, then comes marriage…but yes…I have to wait! yes,
don’t even know him but tired of kissing frogs.

Reply April 25, 2012, 3:16 am

ladyfirefly

So you’re just started dating a guy and you’re already tired of waiting – what’s exacly healthy about it?

Reply May 3, 2012, 5:45 am

Luisa

Lol…yes, you’re right…I was obsessed, I just started thinking of me!, I’m moving on with my life, I’m trying to focus in my own life now!

Reply May 3, 2012, 9:17 pm

Pc

Leykis 101

Reply April 9, 2012, 9:22 am

Bao

I totally agree! I think having someone is nice but marriage? it’s over rated. I personally don’t want to get marry until I am almost 30. Getting marry isn’t something you just do for fun, it is a big step in life and a big change. If he’s not ready then he’s not. If you force him to do something he doesn’t want, he’s going to be unhappy. One of my friend was wanted to get marry so bad too and the guy didn’t want to and he wasn’t ready. But he did need to grow up a little too…27 and all he does is play video games all night and then go to work.

Reply April 6, 2012, 9:51 am

Thinzar

Hi Bao,

I totally agree with you. Before I met my present boyfriend, I was just looking for a guy whom could be married as my life partner . So that, I couldn’t find the loved one and ended up with the unhappy situations. Then, I met my present boyfriend thru Facebook and had chat almost everynight. As he is very younger than me, I didn’t consider him to be neither my boyfriend nor husband. He’s did always say that he didn’t want any relationship or marriage which could make him pressure and lose his free time. So that, our friendship went well and I don’t feel any pressure with him and felt very ease. But, time goes by and we felt that we have connection and so much in common, he fell in love with me and, so was I. Now, we are in the good relationship for almost 2 months, we met at outside last month and we really have the same connection as we felt before. We didn’t discuss about marriage and he keep saying that he will never get married like he said before that he doesn’t want relationship.
I’ve decided since I fell in love with this guy, as long as I’m happy being his loved one, I will not force him to marry me unless he start propose me to marriage me.

Reply May 6, 2012, 9:52 am

Cam

Just as there should be no shame in not wanting to get married, the should also be no shame in wanting to get married.  Let me start off by saying that I’d be perfectly willing to sign a pre-nup.  (and if it matters at all, I’m a female attorney in my mid-20s).  Why?  Because when I am confident in my relationship, then it’s just a piece of paper to me.  And if it really is “just a piece of paper” to me, but I know for a fact that it’s very important to my partner, why wouldn’t I do it?  I don’t understand why I would not jump at the chance to make someone I love happy by just giving them what’s “just a piece of paper” to me.  A marriage license is just another such piece of paper.

So, it’s clearly not just a piece of paper, if there are all these deep-seated anxieties, ideological objections, and fears tied to it. Which is fine, really it is..but if that’s the case, then stop using the “it’s just a piece of paper why do you care so much?” argument.  Some people can’t date people who aren’t [insert religious affiliation here].  Some people can’t date people who eat meat and wear fur.  Wanting or not wanting marriage is no different than any other criterion that’s important to people, whatever the reason may be.

Yes, marriages end badly a lot of the times.  Yes, the institution has deep, perhaps fundamental flaws.  But ultimately, I don’t think there is anything morally reprehensible about the act of getting married, so there should be no condemnation and no shame about wanting it.  If it’s important to you, it’s important to you.

That being said, I am a firm believer in not wanting or ever trying to change a guy.  The best compliment a boyfriend has ever paid me is “I feel like I can be myself around you, and what’s more, when I’m around you I feel good about being myself.”  That’s not to say someone shouldn’t make compromises for her significant other and should always insist on doing whatever they want.  But there are compromises, and then there are deal-breakers.  If I find out for sure that I’m looking for a tennis partner and absolutely nothing else will do, and my work-out partner is only interested in playing badminton, then it’s time for me to leave and find someone else.  I’m not going to say “badminton is stupid tennis is soooooo much better sport OMG”. I’m just going to accept that this particular person is not going to suit my needs and stop wasting both our times.  But if the only difficulty is we have different tennis-playing styles, then I’ll work with him, adapt my style to complement his, etc.

Because face it, women are limited by biology.  Setting aside all the arguments of women’s lib and all of that, I don’t think I’m being sexist when I say that there IS a limited amount of time during which a woman can have a biological child.  Also, it’s just science that health risks for both mother and child are lower when a woman is younger.  There is no shame in having a biological clock.  It is what it is.

There is also no shame in a man not wanting to get married–for whatever reason.  Different things are important to different people, for different reasons.  We should stop trying to judge each other for holding a different set of things in high esteem.  Ultimately, we have to decide what is most important to us:  If you’ve talked about it and found out for sure that he can’t give you what you want–whatever it is and WHATEVER THE REASONS MAY BE–then abandon the sunk-cost fallacy and go find someone who DOES have goals that are compatible with your own.  

Leaving a man is NOT judging him.  It is only you trying to secure what is obviously important to you in life.  If you stay with someone because “not being alone” is more important to you than “a better chance of getting married someday,” again I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  Just know what you want.

Reply March 27, 2012, 9:54 am

Becca

Cam, that is the smartest, most well spoken and rational response this thread has had to date, and I’ve been following it for years.

Reply March 27, 2012, 1:25 pm

jay

I agree with Becca, absolutely enjoyed reading your response, its so true no BS or ‘beating around the bush’ just a straight up honest well said answer from someone who seems to know what she’s talking about. Good for you!

Reply November 2, 2012, 10:31 am

Patricia

Thanks a lot Cam. You have shared my very own opinion. There should be no shame in wanting to get married. We shouldn’t focus on just getting married but getting married to the best guy for us instead of settling for “the badminton player”.

Reply May 30, 2013, 8:24 am

sharon

Hi it’s Sharon

I posted a question to you earlier but seem to have gone from the page. I have been with my fella for 7 years. We are both in our late 40’s I will be 50 this year. We have both been married before, both for 20 years duration, my ex could not keep it in his pants and after 20 years decided I could do better and threw in the towel. My fella and I get on really well, in all honesty we have never had a bad word with each other, we are very happy, he even tells peope that he is the happiest he has ever been. We appreciate each other, put each others feelings first and generally get along really well. I have not broached the subject of marriage, as I do not want him to feel pressured in anyway. We have been living together for 4 years now and I still get butterflies when he comes home from work. He has asked me what I would like to my 50th Birthday in November, I want to say “marry me”. I would like some opinions guys, do you think he will ever ask.

Reply March 22, 2012, 9:10 am

sharon

I have been with my fella for 7 years this year. We have both been married before (my ex could not keep it in his pants and after 20 years I threw in the towel, thought I deserved better) My partner and I both went through the hell regarding our Divorce’s and all that intails. We are both in our late 40’s and in all honesty we have never had one bad word between us. We love each other, don’t take each other for granted and consider each others feelings. I am at the stage where I would like to get married again, but I’m not sure about him? I have never broched the subject face to face as I don’t want to pressure him in anyway. He tells everyone that he’s the happiest he has ever been and is truely happy with his lot sotospeak. Do I just wait and hope that one day he will ask. I will be 50 this year and he keeps asking me what I would like for my 50th I want to say “marry me” but I suppose I am unsure if he wants to take that road again. Can you guys give me some pointers please. Especailly from men as I would like the opinions on this. Thanks

Reply March 22, 2012, 5:49 am

Georgia W.

I proposed to my boyfriend six months after we started dating. Got him a man’s diamond ring, got on one knee and the whole set. Even did something very romantic. He was floored, shocked to say the least. Took him 30 minutes to answer LOL but he finally did. That was a year ago. We’re still together, still not married, but extremely happy. We have no plans to get married yet. I am 40 and he is 37. We are committed to spend a lifetime together but just don’t desire the ‘business contract’. He is my husband and I his wife in our hearts and that is all that matters. There are legal papers that can be drawn up to give each of you rights in times that the other person can’t make decisions. Look into it.

Reply March 14, 2012, 12:23 am

Amy

why do men get to decide when its time to get married. it’s 2012 – women CAN propose!

Reply March 9, 2012, 9:13 pm

Forever21

I know this thread is old but it still seems to be getting responses, so here goes nothing! My boyfriend of 2 ½ years tells me I’m the one and says he wants to marry me but always blames us not getting engaged on his finances. I know this is a legitimate reason but at the same time I feel like if you want something bad enough you will do anything to make it happen. At least that’s the type of person I am. I know there are things he could do to save himself money or make more money and it concerns me because I feel he is not motivated enough. When I ask him if its because he’s not ready he always says no and that he wishes we were already engaged, yet I feel like he’s not taking the necessary steps to make that happen if its what he really wants. I guess my question is, is there something I can do to get him motivated? I have even thought about mentioning pitching in on the cost of a ring because I do make more money than he does. Is this a terrible idea? What are your thoughts/advice?

Reply March 6, 2012, 11:00 pm

k82

When I started reading this it shocked me! Sounds EXACTLY like my bf an I. We had a bad argument lastweek about his procrastination even though he’s been telling me for almost 2 years now that I’m “the one”, yet still no ring. He finally admitted that he hasn’t proposed yet because he’s been silently having doubts that I truly am the one. During some of our arguments I’ve made comments about how maybe we would be better off apart or something else along those lines. He said he’s terrfified to marry me with how I’ve talked because he doesn’t want divorce to ever be an option and if I have already hinted at breaking up during some of our fights, then does that mean that I will just up and leave him during tough times throughtout our marriage? He said he doesn’t want to marry someone that would ever even consider just throwing in the towel and walking during tough times. He wants to feel certain that I’m in it through thick and thin, and apparently I haven’t shown him that yet. I explained that it was just me being pissed off during our fights and being childish and throwing out breaking up as an option in the midst of frustration, but that I certainly didn’t mean it and never want to lose him. He had to take a few days to “process” everything we discussed and came back and said he’s now certain that I’m the one. And I said well if that’s truly the case then I expect you to move forward with us in a timely fashion here and not drag your feet. He said he agreed and understood. So, we shall see. Anyway, my whole point is that there may be something about you that he’s not certain about and that’s holding him back. Mine told me that he never said anything about how he was feeling because he just hoped it would clear itself up. I wish he would have come to me months ago with his issue. So. Maybe try talking to him about what’s REALLY holding him back. I’m so glad I finally got my answer and I don’t feel confused anymore. Goodluck:)

Reply April 3, 2012, 2:46 am

Jeff Blumb

Marriage is an out of date idea of how 2 people should respect, love and live with one another. It doesn’t take into consideration that most women post feminist movement have realized they don’t require a stable (possibly even biological) father figure in their childrens lives, due to the fact that they can do it on their own. With options such as living together, why do you need some fancy dancy piece of paper that proves as a covenant to your devotion to one another?

Rather than marriage, you should look into cohabitation. I highly suggest simply moving in with eachother, because you aren’t locked down into a commitment that isn’t even recognized by 70% of society today. If things take a turn for the worse, you hadn’t worry about a messy divorce, just a damage deposit for your new place.

It’s my firm belief that marriage is a sham, especially if you haven’t lived with the person first. How can you make a life long commitment to someone if you don’t know what they will be like when they hit a low point & you have to deal with it? Easier to break up, move on, and not have the burden of having to help them through it.

Reply March 5, 2012, 8:36 pm

Joanne

The woman in the article never stated if she cared for her boyfriend. Does she want to get married because society is telling her to do so after you been together for more than a year or because she care about him and can see a life with him? If you care about someone, why do need a piece of paper to show that you care. It just a piece of paper and doesn’t mean thing. If you really cared about him, then you don’t need marriage. I do belive that you can be happy with someone for many years and not be married.

Reply February 29, 2012, 12:14 pm

Eric Charles

Yeah – the woman who asked this question was a real piece of work. In all my years of answering questions, she was the only one to actually write back an angry attack about my response! Can you believe it?
.
Someone once said to me (when I asked them for advice): “Do you want medicine or do you want candy?” I said how do you mean? They said, “Candy makes you feel good and happy. But it won’t help you. Medicine will help you, but it’s not always pleasant going down… in fact, usually not.”
.
I try my best to give the medicine, but deliver it without having the person gag. This particular girl just felt that she should be married and this guy should marry her. I honestly don’t believe she cared about the guy whatsoever… My bet is that if the dude keeled over and died during the wedding procession, she would just have all the men step one step to the side and continue the ceremony! (Kidding, but… you know what I mean.)
.
I have no interest in that kind of ignorance. Feeling pressured to marry because it’s what society expects or because someone feels it’s an item on a checklist… that’s just so weak and so ignorant that I can’t advocate or applaud it at all. Come on – marriage is a LIFETIME CONTRACT – till DEATH do you part!
.
And this lady felt that her guy should just marry her because she felt like it should happen with no reason why… not love, not that they’re soulmates or have an amazing connection… just that they dated for X number of days and so she felt entitled to marriage, like it was a carnival prize or something…
.
Just mindless… I didn’t post up the whole back and forth that took place thereafter, but it made my brain hurt to be perfectly honest.
.
Anyway… I’m just reminiscing – I know you agree with me, but I thought it was a funny situation to bring up based on your comment.

Reply February 29, 2012, 4:50 pm

Becca

Oh Eric, I always smile seeing these updates in my inbox and seeing how much this feed completely frustrates you. I’m sorry, the ridiculousness of some of these women (and their men) makes me laugh.

Honestly I am glad you speak your mind and you don’t hold back when giving advice. People need to stop expecting to be pandered to and start wanting the honest truth.

Don’t worry, most of us appreciate you and the work you do for us.

Reply February 29, 2012, 5:21 pm

Eric Charles

Hehe, true – yeah I forgot that everyone subscribed to the thread sees all the comments.
.
Thanks for the comment – you’re a sweetheart. :)

Reply February 29, 2012, 5:37 pm

Marg

When it comes to marriage I have a fear of my own. See up until I was about 19/20 I hadn’t dated men and had never fantasized about finding that perfect man to spend my life with and even now I would have more fun planing my bachelor (vs bachelorette) party over a wedding. My fear is not a long term commitment, or that things will fall apart and I’ll be bankrupt, instead I’m afraid I wont be able to pull my weight adequately. I rather live my own life by myself so that when I do run into problems they wont effect my partner.

THAT BEING SAID… I realize that is a RIDICULOUS fear because even without a marriage my boyfriend is hurt when I’m hurt, stressed when I’m stressed and broke when I’m broke because he loves me and shares the load with me for that very reason (and vice versa). However, my point is that if I as a woman have this fear I’m sure there are many, many men out there that have that very same fear of not being able to be the adequate partner they believe their woman deserves. Perhaps this should be added to the considerations of women who wish to move things along towards marriage.

Peace,
–Marg

Reply March 6, 2012, 2:56 pm

JFinn

So many liars here.

Nearly all divorces FLEECE men. Including the rarer ones where the woman makes more than the man. 72% of newlywed women expect a divorce down the road – it’s part of the package.

Reply February 28, 2012, 8:10 pm

sharon

JFinn Feb 28 Let me clear some things up for you. I NEVER fleeced my ex husband, although if I wanted to I could have (“took him to the cleaners) but I never did. I know there are women out there who most probably do, but I left my home with my 2 children and 3 black bags told him he could keep the house and I moved away and started my life again. It was a hard ( I was homeless and stayed with family ) but this seemed a better than where I was at the time. I came through the other side and pleased to say I made it. I left because he was a serial cheat, and after 20 years I had enough (breakdown included). We sold the house and went half on everything, and he obviously had to pay maintenance. My children are 21 (at university) and my son is 18 and doing well at college. This all happened 12 years ago. I made the right choice for my own sanity at the end of the day. But please do not tar every women with the same brush, we are not all heartless bitches.

Reply March 22, 2012, 6:53 am

Ashley

I was actually wondering how long was too long to wait for a proposal? My boyfriend and I have been together for just about three years and he has yet to propose. We talk about it all the time (mostly when we’re watching something and someone gets engaged) and usually the conversation gets shut down. Although, I am only 20 and he is 23 I definitely feel as if we are ready. We have been living together for 2 years in home home that he bought for us. He has a great job and makes decent money (so financial reasons is not an issue). I currently do not work so I can stay home with my child and not have to put out tons of money for daycare and am will be finished with my business degree this year.

Our talks about marriage consists of me asking if and when he would like to get married and him saying that we are already practically married and why do we need a piece of paper. Which he says while laughing because he knows it bothers me and that marriage is something that is important to me. He told me a few weeks ago that I could go ahead and plan a wedding if I would like to, but I don’t feel right doing it because he has yet to even tell me he wants to get married sometime. Which I would like an engagement of one to two years. Even though I didn’t feel right looking through wedding stuff I went ahead and looked at different wedding items and when I tried to talk to him about it he asked me why I would be looking into stuff like that.

I feel like I am starting to lose my mind. Should I be worried or is he just trying to make me nervous?

Reply February 28, 2012, 1:32 pm

MsKitty

So many comments, but still no answer to my original question — how long is too long? How many years are we supposed to wait patiently and quietly and behave ourselves and play house while the guy makes up his mind? Three? Five? Ten? How long does it take before HE is the unreasonable one? For women like me who have willingly given their partners half a decade or more to come to grips with the marriage issue, this is a serious concern. It only takes dating 2 or 3 losers with the same stupid line about wanting marriage too before she’s in her forties and the opportunity to have a family has passed her by.

BTW, since posting last, I have my degree, and a professional job now. Oh, and we lost the baby, so unfortunately that doesn’t matter anymore. I still love my man very much, but… we are close on seven years already. There has been no discussion of marriage in months, or of kids since the miscarriage.
Within months I will be financially independent. What do I do now, ladies?

Reply February 27, 2012, 5:18 pm

Eric Charles

Seven years? It doesn’t sound like you’re going anywhere… and it seems clear that he knows that.
.
If he doesn’t seem to want to marry you after 7 years, why would he all of a sudden just say, “Hey, let’s get married for no reason!”
.
I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I mean it sounds like he has things exactly as he wants them and has no motivation to change your arrangement.
.
And therein… lies your answer.
.
Sorry about your baby – that must have been terrible for both of you and you have my sympathies.

Reply February 27, 2012, 5:54 pm

maria ceryll

how about you and your bf have a your child already out of wedlock…is it necessary that the two of you have to get married? Does a propose from your bf means he loves you that much?

Reply February 24, 2012, 7:44 pm

Barb

Yes, a proposal from your bf means he loves you that much. If you have a child with him, you already have a lifetime committment there. He needs to step up and propose. Have you thought of your child and how it will look to him/her to announce to friends that mommy and daddy aren’t married? I wouldn’t do that to my child for world peace. Either he wants to be with you for the long term or he doesn’t. If he does then he can man up. If wants to fool around and play the little boy then you will end up raising that child on your own.

Reply February 25, 2012, 10:45 am

Becca

Barb, a man proposing to marry you has nothing to do with how much he loves you, ESPECIALLY if he feels pressured into it. I’ve been engaged 4 times. THANK GOD I never actually married any of them. My parents were happily unwed and together for 30 years until the day my father died. First of all, a child announcing to friends that mommy and daddy aren’t married, while he wouldn’t actually ANNOUNCE it and it’s none of the world’s business, is fairly commonplace these days with the amount of children being born out of wedlock and the rate of divorce increasing. Like you said, he already has a lifelong commitment to her whether he wants to or not because of the child involved. Marrying for the sake of a child is a good way to not only end up miserable, but to also significantly affect the way your child views marriage.

Reply February 25, 2012, 11:29 am

Barb

I respect your answer. I guess I feel differently. It’s too easy for a man to walk away if he is not legally bound. Men are “me first” creatures and will not be as committed if they are free to walk at any time. I teach school and can tell you first hand that non-married parents are not equal in the lives of their children. Men are less involved and when they do come to PT comferernces, show up with their hottie du jour . I still feel it’s too easy for a man to walk away from his responsibilities whenever the little head thinks for the big head. Im glad your parents were able to live with non-marriage. Statistics show this is not the majority.

Reply February 25, 2012, 1:52 pm

Eric Charles

Right – I was referring to the original comment to that effect.
.
I agree that if a woman gets pregnant and the relationship isn’t a good fit, marriage doesn’t make sense just to fulfill some kind of social norm or expectation.
.
In regards to the original comment, making a decision (as in, not an accident) to have a child with someone who doesn’t even want to commit long term makes no sense (and I’m sure you’d agree with that).
.
But yes, my comment wasn’t towards yours.

February 27, 2012, 5:05 pm

Eric Charles

You’re recommending having a child out of wedlock?
.
Ummm… no, that is not a good idea.

Reply February 27, 2012, 2:12 pm

Becca

I wasn’t recommending having a child out of wedlock at all. I was recommending people don’t get married “for the sake of a child”. Irresponsible people get pregnant constantly. That doesn’t mean they should marry the parent of their child. I’ve seen too many joyless and loveless marriages destroy the children emotionally, and give them warped ideas of what marriage and love should be like. If someone isn’t right for you, they aren’t right for you, no matter how many children you have with them.

Reply February 27, 2012, 3:02 pm

fatima

i would love to make a family and all,but so hard to find the perfect one ,,actually there is no one is perfect,am not perfect atall aswell, and both parities should compromise to make it work,i stared to hate being by my self,although am 23 but my lonliness makes me feel like am 60 years old

Reply March 31, 2012, 5:15 pm

ilyboricua1

This is such boloney no offense it changes if you have a kid with that person. My situation is i asked him why he didn’t want to get married and he said that he wasn’t ready yet after 2 yrs i will wait i just want to know where do i stand i don’t want to get old and wait forever you know? .

Reply January 24, 2012, 10:32 am

maria ceryll

we kinda have same experience…Things happening between us now make me question myself why he is not that confident to offer me marriage?Though he has a plan for that but when?He wants us to live with each other for the mean time together with our son. I get confused!

Reply February 24, 2012, 7:48 pm

Barb

How about a second marriage? I’ve been dating my bf for 7 years. He lost his wife 10 years ago and his children are grown. I have 2 children, one on her own and one almost in college. I have a good career, and so does he. We have a terrific relationship and go everywhere together. This is not a matter of “playing the field” as we are totally committed and monogamous. I’ve always had a policy to talk about things when I have a problem or question. His answer is “I just don’t know if I can do it.” He claims he has moved past his former wife yet her picture is in several places in his home. I have a good relationship with his family and I know this would be a good marriage. Should I move on?

Reply January 14, 2012, 4:41 pm

Aly

Alright I been with my boyfriend for two years and tree months now. (September 13,2009 )First time I ever saw him was Aug6,2010 in Cali for my Birthday, my friend , her mom and my brother took me since they wanted to go to sixflags. (I live in Arizona and he lives in California, about 8 hours or so from me) Then he came to my house for 10day (work only gave him that much)and then I saw him again in June 3, 2011, he came for my graduation, he stayed only three days and had to leave b-cuz work only gave him tree days. He worked from 5a.m to 6p.m. went to his house which is two hours and then 8hours to my house and got here at 5a.m. so come on for a guy that works like that everyday on a tractor and then drive all night for a girl. Then I saw him on Aug6, 2011 for my birthday he picked me up and took me to his house but he was working still so I only saw him on the weekends and got to be with his family. On the 28th of that month his whole family brought me home and he could only stay a night b-cuz his mom had to work the next day and also my mother kept telling me she wanted me home already. He is now 20 and I am 19, we talk every single day, he works all the time and now just opened his own tires shop. Everyday I tell him about when will he will be able to come and well his always working sometimes his even working two jobs. But right now since the money he makes, goes to buying more tires and to bills and the rent of the shop so he doesn’t have any money for himself. He loves his mother and little brothers as if he was their father, so ya if we’re to get married he can’t ever leave them it would have to be me that goes with him and i’m alright with that. My mom doesn’t want me to work, drive or go with him to live she only wants him to come, I don’t start school till next month, so for six whole months I could of been in Cali with him till school started but my mom doesn’t want me to go b-cuz she thinks I’m going to be doing naughty things and might never come back. Yes I am 19 but she makes it so hard to leave, she say harbble things about what will happen if i leave . I love her but she doesn’t get that she has to let me grow up, that i’m gonna fall and no ones gonna be there to pick me or for me but God. I have told her so but gets mad and runs to her room or tells me if I want to go then to go but to never come back, and well I love my mother, how can I just tell leave? I feel bad to not see my father even though he doesn’t live with me and wasn’t with my my whole childhood life. The last time I was at his house he told me he wanted me to stay and I said the only way that would be possible was for us to be married and he asked me and I said yes. He said he would buy the ring and come in November and give it to me in front of my family. I kept asking him if he was sure the whole last week I was with him and he was sure but once i was home on the phone he said only if we live together and with a ring but no PAPERS. I want papers though b-cuz its the right thing, its sinful, even though me and him ya already. And so it was off and then a moth after told me he really wanted me to take the ring (buy one first) but no papers and I got mad and said no. He wants a family, and well so do I and I want to be with him and I know for a fact he doesn’t cheat and I know for sure he loves me. My mom doesn’t care and will keep saying no no matter what and his mom loves me and his mom already wants us together too but she told me with papers people seem to divorce more, its better with no papers and well he thinks the same but I told him I would never leave him and that he says the same thing too, we are not other people! What to do?

Reply December 25, 2011, 5:42 pm

ladyfirefly

What to do? Girl. You’re 19. If you don’t know what to do, you wait till you do. You have plenty of time to decide if you two have similar expectations or not. And you’re 19 and 20, you’re in school as far as I understand, and he’s collecting tires and he will be for the next few years. Your relationship may be emotionally mature but you are not financially independent (and even he is not financially stable enough) and marriage is for two independent people. Marriage means that you become an independent family of two people that can support each other (and possibly their children) without need to be fed by parents for a couple of years. I don’t know if you will or won’t get to the point where people should marry, but you are not there. You have plenty of choices though. You can live with your boyfriend, sin or not sin, but it is technically the best solution for people who are mature enough to live together but not mature enough to know already what they want in future. You can get engaged now “for real” and find out if his views regarding marriage change when you are grownup people. You can date a few years more, sometimes people survive like 5 or 8 years without living together, not everybody can, but sometimes it’s the right solution. You can get advice from some people, your religious/spiritual consultants, your shrink, your grownup friends with family. But give yourself time to figure this out. Sometimes people need time to get to the point where they go in the same direction, and 20 is not always that age. Take time and decide what really matters in your life. Paper of marriage, being sure that you’ll always be loved, religious allowance to have sex, religious allowance to live together, this and only this boyfriend, being close to someone, marrying someone at all, having family, being with the person you love, etc. I mean honestly, we all consider these things important, but some get 10 points, some get 9 and some get 8. Assign your points, take your time, hope for the best, respect your boyfriends’ wishes and respect your needs.

Reply December 26, 2011, 10:41 am

MsKitty

If he doesn’t want to sign papers, it’s not a marriage. The ring itself doesn’t mean anything. At best it’s an engagement; at worst, he’s trying to use the ring to shut you up and trick your family into thinking you’re married so they feel comfortable letting you go.
I’m sorry, but he sounds like he really doesn’t want to marry you. That might change, might not. It’s up to you to decide whether you can live with this situation. You’re 19. I moved 2500 miles away from home and got engaged at your age. It was a disaster, and I dumped the guy, moved again and never looked back. I also know people who ran away from home together in their late teens and have been happily married for decades. If this is going to work, it will take both of you being totally committed. If one of you, deep down, doesn’t want this, it won’t end well.

Reply February 27, 2012, 5:38 pm

Joanne Torku

I don’t ever want to get married. I think it’s a waste of time. Marriage maybe for some people, but I know for a fact that it is not for me.

Reply December 16, 2011, 8:43 pm

ladyfirefly

I feel so different from many of you. I’m a girl, 23, in a happy relationship for 4 years, and the concept of “marriage” is so strange to me, even more so the concept of marrying right now. I don’t believe in marriage for the sake of marriage and dating for the sake of dating, I don’t mind being alone and if I’m getting close to someone it’s all about that person and not about some idealistic expectations like “I need to marry when I’m 28, have 2 kids and a huge house”. When I go shopping, let’s say I need new shoes, and I find no shoes that really impress me, I end up with no shoes but with this perfect dress that was on sale. And it’s all about individuality. But most people would buy shoes either way because it’s time to have shoes and it doesn’t matter at all if the shoes are perfect, acceptable or just tolerable. So I really wonder. I understand when someone is 35 and their partner still says they won’t ever marry or have kids. If someone really needs kids and it’s the last moment for that it’s hard to blame him for ending the relationship. But I talked to my friend a few days ago and he said he couldn’t imagine future with his ex-girlfriend (they just broke up) because she said she doesn’t believe in marriage. They’re both 25 and studying. And it’s sounds ridiculous to me, how can you not give time someone you supposedly love to grow when you’re both so young and your opinions about “future” can change four times in 10 years, and you have so much time to work things out? I feel like for so many people there’s just this empty slot “marriage” and it’s all about finding whoever fits in, more or less. I can’t imagine how anyone sane could say something like “either he proposes or I’m leaving” if they truly loved a person and respected them for who they’re are and not for being an acceptable candidate for a husband or a wife. And again, it’s different if you’re living together for as long as you can remember and he is not able to say he will always be there for you or that you’re the one (still not the same as formal marriage). It must be disappointing. But if someone is just dating but they are still so young (I know a lot of people who got engaged when they were 18) or they moved in together not long ago, it’s just ridiculous to break up because a partner is not ready for marriage. It’s not ‘painful but oh-so-mature’. It’s a decision made by a really narrow-minded person who doesn’t respect their partner as an individual being with its own way of growth. I can’t help it but I think low of people who won’t even sit for a moment and talk, “See, Jack, it’s really important to me so why won’t you spend some time considering the idea” but they get frustrated waiting for the big surprise and the first thing they openly say is “We’re together for 3 years now and still you haven’t engaged we need to break up”. Or like Aidan in SATC: “Marry me tonight. Not ready? If you’re not ready now you won’t ever be ready, goodbye”. Is it partnership? Is it mature? And last but not least, I hate that people who are less ready for anything, be it moving together, marriage or children, are perceived as morally “worse” than those who are ready (and therefore considered “better” persons). It’s just two persons who have different expectations at the moment, morally equal. The word “compromise” means that two people need to meet along the way. But people always think that there are two fair solutions, either the “good” ones’ demands are completely met and they get their fairytale or they sadly need to break up. Why there’s no fairytale for the bad ones? “You say being a parent would make you unhappy. That’s all right. I love you and I could never make you unhappy. Let’s try to be happy your way.” I really wish people would respect themselves like this.

Reply December 9, 2011, 8:53 pm

Sub

Interesting to see how every individual perceive relationships. I was married and divorced, dating plenty both good and bad experience. I am trying distant relationship as I realise for me mental connection is the most important aspect of a healthy relationship then physical consummation is the heaven. I don’t believe in casual sex but its just me, but recently I was hurt and upset when my values were put to test by a man I had grown so fond of. I played along with this gruesome test that it backfired as he already knew that I don’t sleep around leave alone ever doing anything that would hurt the man I will commit to but I guess it hurt him because I was so upset that I said yeah if he and his friends wanted to have fun with me together I’d do it to please him because thats my way of showing anger. He asked me not to call or txt him anymore, I think its he who has to apologise for offending me but I forgive him and have clearly told him that I was upset with his question. Well I leave it to him to decide what he really wants to do, we’d been planning to meet, however he has a weakness for women and sex but I don’t care because I know when we meet things will change for him as we’re connected emotionally and mentally we can discuss about anything.
I have had strange experiences online too so I am struggling to get into a real relationship. I notice when I am playing around and am so fake guys seem to like it but when I’m honest they find it difficult to cope as men seem to shy away from strong headed women who actually think like men!

Reply December 6, 2011, 10:12 pm

Taylor

You women are fucking cruel, forcing men to marry you or no sex, and leave him. Wow, and you call yourselves “Women”?.. You are acting like preschool kids because you are not getting what “YOU” want, have you thought about his feelings and what he wants? It happened to my big cousin, and that’s crazy. Sit down and think about one another not just yourself.

Reply December 6, 2011, 3:29 pm

Sub

Taylor you may have had bad experience and yes I agree why push for marriage… am a woman who believes in building a strong relationship before rushing into the long term deal… so please do not generalise and a lot of us women don’t whine, we are not the jealous types, we don’t control, we are independent, we are attractive, smart, intelligent and well travelled but strangely men seem to stick to those types of women who can mess with their heads… just like a lot of women who get attracted to men who are players and suckers…

I think there is one person cut out just for you but finding that person is a challenge thats why we are still searching because that person will never judge you, will always be there for you no matter the distance, colour or class. May be am a dreamer but I believe in destiny.

Cheers

Reply December 6, 2011, 10:56 pm

Lola

“…about his feelings and what he wants…” – He wants sex and fun, not marriage and obligation / commitment – this is not cruel? this is just fine? right?
Why would man have sex without no proposal / or being married at all? There are other places / houses where you can get sex with no marriage, no?
As a woman, I find cruelty in having sex or long lasting relationship with a man I love, with no marriage. That is cruel and irresponsible.

Reply August 8, 2014, 1:00 pm

Cj

My girlfriend of 2 years gave me an ultimadum last thanksgiving. She was married twice and has a 7yr old girl. (she 35, me 43(no kids)) She met me and it felt like she liked me but really wanted a step dad and husband. I tried to be good to her and bond with her daughter who is very shy and not easiest child to get close to. I also wanted to enjoy dating and fun time with her and create a long lasting relationship for us. After her ultimadum, she cut off all the girlfriend/boyfriend time, no sex, but still allowed me to visit/ call her up til august. Once a month though, she would say go get the ring and we would get back. I kept begging her to allow us to be a couple and she would get her ring. Finally in August, i made an emotional plea that i loved her and her child and wanted to be together . She relented for a week and was nice but then went right back to demanding a ring. She said the spark is now not there and we needed to just be friends. One month later, she told me she reconnected with a former coworker who she went out with before me but stated she didn’t like more than a friend and now stated she is serious with him. He has questionable character but would do whatever she wants and he has a child too. I now wonder, who was i dating?? Should i have given in last year..

Reply November 29, 2011, 7:24 pm

ginelle

are u such that she knows what is meaning of marriage is by the way give me a call if u are from the USA. or the Caribbean 18682936482 ask for Ginelle.

Reply December 10, 2011, 1:04 pm

Sabrina Alexis

Roberta-

I totally get where you’re coming from but I think you might not totally get where Eric was coming from. First, yes, women do form an attachment to men after sex (but actually, the release of oxytocin only occurs when a woman orgasms), so women should proceed with caution. Also, some men are just looking to get laid, but it’s a surprising minority of men. The vast majority of men actually want to meet that one special girl and settle down with her.

I don’t think Eric was saying women should whore themselves out, rather, wait until you have established a meaningful connection with a guy. This connection can’t be measured by some arbitrary amount of time. Some people can have a profound connection after one date (granted these people are rare) and others may not have taken things to a deep, profound level when they’re on their 10th date.

What Eric was saying is a woman shouldn’t hold out just so she’ll get the guy. Like “if I make him wait 3 month, then he’ll be my boyfriend and we’ll live happily ever after!” That is manipulative because she probably does really want to sleep with him, but she won’t as some sort of ploy to win his heart.

Instead of setting some random time limit, it’s much better to wait until you have established a real, substantial connection with the other person.

I hope that clarifies this.

Reply November 16, 2011, 8:59 pm

Eric Charles

Yeah – I’ve read all sorts of reports on oxytocin.
.
Long story short – a person’s perspective and groundedness in reality has a tremendous effect on how one person processes things versus someone else.
.
For example, a woman who believes men are evil, cruel and manipulative might interpret a neutral action from a guy as a hostile insult. She’ll feel angry. She’ll flip out on him. And she’ll feel she was justified to do so.
.
Moreover, holding that angry, hostile mindset probably would have that women overflowing with stress hormones… cortisol, adrenal, etc.
.
And with the oxytocin argument, that woman could point to science and say: “It wasn’t my fault!! I had all these hormones and chemicals in my body MAKING me lose control and go crazy. It’s all the hormones fault, I am a complete victim of nature – it’s all nature’s fault.”
.
And then that women would probably write a message that goes something like, “Ladies: We need to stay away from men because they MAKE us go crazy. They MAKE us release these stress hormones that make us flip out.”
.
And I’ll be here shaking my head reading it, wondering where is the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY in all that argument?
.
We’re all human. We all have crosses to bear.
.
Men have to deal with crap too… as far as being human goes, we’re all in this together.
.
But in terms of being not just a master at relationships, but a master at LIFE, you can’t blame other people (or an entire gender) for MAKING you a victim.
.
When you take on a mentality that you’re a victim, you give up your power to have any power. You are at the mercy of the universe, powerless.
.
That is the opposite of what I try to show women here. We all have tremendous power to shape our dating & relationship life and have what we’ve always wanted.
.
But if you want to believe that oxytocin has a God-like power over women that FORCES them to become hopelessly and helplessly attached to men, I suggest you do more reading.
.
I could go on and on… but here, I’ll just link you and you can read if interested: An Oxytocin Article
.
Namely the bottom part that states:
.
But when it comes to casual sex, Feldman said, no one has done studies on humans to measure oxytocin and emotional entanglement.
.
“The findings are not there,” Feldman told LiveScience.
.
Women whose brains release more oxytocin tend to have more sex, Claremont’s Zak said, though it’s not known whether one causes the other. Sex may deepen feelings, he said, but if hormones alone were to blame, other oxytocin-boosting activities would be causing a lot more trouble.
.
“If the casual sex story is true, then there should be no back massages, no chick flicks,” Zak said. “All those should be out the window.”

Reply November 17, 2011, 11:33 pm

Eric Charles

Whoops – forgot to add that yes, Sabrina you nailed it.

Reply November 17, 2011, 11:38 pm

Roberta Barra

Too bad you are so closed minded Eric. You might learn a thing or two if you educated yourself. For example, sex is different for a woman then it is for a man; hormones are released that bond her to him. This doesn’t happen to a man. Sex IS the way a man shows intimacy but there are lots of ways this can happen short of intercourse that can protect a woman from bonding. And why would a woman want to be bonded to a man who didn’t want to be married to her? Therein lies all kinds of legal problems. No, it is far wiser for a woman to protect herself. This is NOT being manipulative and shame on you for suggesting that a woman wanting to protect herself was such! Having casual, easy sex comes with a higher price for a woman then it does for a man. Unfortunately, thanks to religious and other reasons, not everyone receives a proper sexual upbringing. Waiting for the right man, waiting for the commitment can be difficult but it is easier then the heartache of becoming bonded to the wrong guy and getting stuck in the wrong relationship for years. This has nothing to do with what was, what is, or what should be. This is basic biology and basic differences between men and women. When you get to be my age you’ll look back on what you have written and realize what harm you have done by assuming that everyone, men and women, young and old, think and feel alike. When I was young I thought like some of the people here; I might have been swayed by your “manipulative” argument back then. But I’ve learned from my mistakes. We women are not “guys”. There is nothing wrong with being a lady; or expecting a man to be a gentleman. Nor is there anything wrong with waiting until one is certain that this person IS the one before having sex. The woman should take full responsibility for her own emotional, personal, and sexual protection; at least until she marries her man. Then he can help protect her! If women did that there would be a LOT less whining about marriage…I’m just saying.

Reply November 16, 2011, 7:18 pm

Becca

Roberta, as a woman who is sexually active, all I can say is that sex DOES NOT bond you to a man. INSECURITY bonds you to a man. Having sex with someone does not make me feel some intrinsic commitment to that one person. It doesn’t make me feel emotionally compelled to be with that one person forever. And it doesn’t make me feel like I have abandoned my self-worth. Sex means something completely different to each and every one of us depending on our culture, religion, emotional well-being, and personal life experiences. You can still “be a lady” and be sexually active. You can have full emotional, personal and sexual control without being celibate. Sex is NOT disrespectful.

Reply November 17, 2011, 2:55 am

Eric Charles

Amen. Thank you, I appreciate you saying this here so eloquently and concisely.
.
I can do my best to share the male mind with the readers here, but I can’t comment on the female experience. Having fans of the site like you is something I am grateful for.

Reply November 17, 2011, 11:37 pm

Becca

To be honest Eric, I’m not actually a fan of the site. Two years ago I was engaged and I could feel my fiance pulling away when we finally started working out the logistics of the wedding and I googled for some advice and came across your article. Now I’m single and more stable than ever. Everything worked itself out for me when I stopped waiting for him to make decisions about my life, and I made one myself. I haven’t even looked at the rest of the site. I just stuck around because updates have been coming to my inbox and you make more sense than anyone else I’ve heard. I guess that makes me YOUR fan. Kinda weird. Haha.

Reply November 18, 2011, 12:31 am

Eric Charles

Hehe, I’ll take it. :)

November 18, 2011, 7:47 am

Maria

Roberta Barra, you are 100% correct. Unfortunately, the only way the younger generation will learn is through the school of hard knocks. Until young ladies face a lone pregnancy after the shock and devastation of being abandoned by their “significant other” and face a hard life thereafter — and be condemned for expecting the father to be financially responsible — then today’s young ladies will never understand old values. All we can do is try to warn them based on our own experiences – tsk tsk ;) Thanks for sharing.

Reply November 20, 2011, 1:09 pm

Eric Charles

I agree that the only way any younger generation will learn is the school of hard knocks. No argument there.
.
In this day and age, a girl facing a lone pregnancy isn’t the end of the world. There was a girl from my high school (so we’re talking… late 90s here) who got pregnant out of wedlock.
.
Now she’s the CEO of her own company. Loves her son, loves her life and makes bank.
.
I can guarantee that nobody pities her for the life she currently leads.
.
Not the typical case, but pregnancy out of wedlock or a relationship is not a life prison term – she says it was the best thing that ever happened to her.
.
NOT that I’m advocating it.
.
As for old values – those that apply to current life will remain. Those that are no longer sensible, useful or relevant will fall away.
.
I like to think of this site as an accelerator for this process.
.
Generally, I’m not one to strongly advocate one position or another. But if I think a position is fatally flawed, I’m going to poke holes in it.
.
Alarm bells go off in my head when I see women talking in the tone of *convictions*.
.
An opinion is fine. A life philosophy sure.
.
But when I notice someone speaking in a tone like they’re trying to rally troops toward a crusade, a huge red flag goes up for me.
.
Why is this such an emotional issue that a comment-poster feels compelled to MAKE other women believe and shame them if they are “so stupid” not to believe it?
.
Like, I understand someone being personally emotional about the subject because it’s personal. But why the emotional rallying-the-troops addendums? Why does everyone woman NEED to believe that point of view or they’re evil / stupid / naive?
.
The reason is that somewhere along the line, the person was emotionally-traumatized by an event and in that time of rawness and pain, some other embittered person or source filled their head with this non-sense.
.
And in their time of pain and vulnerability, it gave them strength. But it also installed huge walls around the issue and a built-in defense mechanism – it’s an unhealed wound, protected by emotional walls.
.
I want to be clear that I’m not directing this towards you, Maria, or towards Roberta. Sincerely, I promise you that that’s not my intent here in this comment.
.
I was just thinking about this yesterday in general and your comment reminded me that I wanted to post about it.
.
Wisdom does come with age. But wisdom is NEVER coupled with emotional defensiveness… ever.

Reply November 20, 2011, 1:32 pm

Terri

“Like, I understand someone being personally emotional about the subject because it’s personal. But why the emotional rallying-the-troops addendums? Why does everyone woman NEED to believe that point of view or they’re evil / stupid / naive?”

As an abstinent young woman (in a relationship of 5 years btw), I would ask you this exact same question, only on behalf of those of us on the “other side.”

Could you please elaborate to those of us who choose for any reason (save manipulation since that’s never good) to withhold sex until marriage why it is ok to try and force your beliefs on us? Why is this your crusade, and why are we evil/manipulative/stupid and naive? I mean, you clearly suggested in this post that such beliefs are “not sensible, useful, or relevant and will fade away.” I am quite fascinated by your hypocrisy.

At mildest, abstinent women/girls are laughed at should we dare state what we are. I’m generalizing here, but it seems that the non-abstinent crowd can’t take what they dish – yourself included based upon this last response. You feign outrage that someone could be so closed-minded and driven to sway others to be like her, but then turn around and do the same yourself.

Now finding hypocrites is not what surprised me; they’re a dime a dozen. What surprised me is that women and young girls are turning to YOU, a self proclaimed expert in relationships and men (and I am not questioning that), and even though there may be only a handful of us out there, when someone says they believe in abstinence *defensively*, you as the expert chose to marginalized them further? Essentially, your words of wisdom here: sex should only mean sex, it’s not something special, and if you disagree, go ahead but you’re “not sensible […] or relevant.” It’s really disappointing actually – that you don’t seem to acknowledge there are still those out there that practice restraint. And you know what is interesting? Those that do practice it are consenting adults -a favorite phrase of those who are not abstinent. To non-abstainers, when used to defend the actions of unwed sexually actives, it purifies all actions involved therein. But if it’s the opposite that the adults consent to… Again, fascinating, the mental gymnastics. But enough on this.

I guess I was really just a bit floored that you chose not to really reply to the heart of Roberta’s post earlier… I would have expected something along the lines of a warning… If you choose to be abstinent, sex should play a very small role, if any, in deciding to marry. Having sex with a man will not bind you forever because of hormones or biology; sex (even in marriage) is worthless if you’re not working on having a successful, loving relationship. I would have thought that or any bit of actual advice a far more productive response.

Reply December 19, 2011, 3:37 am

Eric Charles

If you want to be abstinent, go for it.
.
I don’t think it’s a good strategy in this day and age, but if being abstinent is what is in integrity for you, then it makes sense that you remain abstinent.
.
In this day and age, sex is readily available to anyone who wants to have it. Take out religion, societal judgment, health concerns, etc. out of the equation.
.
The fact is, with a multitude of birth control options out there and an unlimited amount of women who are more than happy to have sex, men will always have the option of having sex readily available to them. And if a guy doesn’t believe in waiting until marriage for sex, there’s no reason he has to.
.
A girl can do whatever she wants. I’m not here to pass judgment and I’m not passing judgment.
.
In this day and age, waiting until marriage is almost synonymous with living in an Amish village: Some may be devoted to the idea, but don’t be surprised if the vast majority of society wants no part of it.
.
Again – that’s not a judgment. That’s just reality and it’s not going to change. There’s tons of profit in create newer and better forms of birth control. Sexual messages are advertised across every media source imaginable millions of times a day. And it’s quite likely that America will continue to become more sexually liberal (compared to many other parts of the world, we are quite conservative).
.
Nothing personal in any of that against you or your beliefs. You obviously have your reasons to do as you do and believe as you believe and I would never want you to change any of that if that’s how you want to be.

December 19, 2011, 12:49 pm

Ceris

Ladies… I have figured it out!

If you want a man to marry you pretend you just actually don’t care!

So about two months ago I suggested me and my boyfriend live together next year when our contracts both finish. It was just a suggestion and I didn’t place any pressure on him to do this. He said he didn’t feel ready so I respected that and moved on.

I have since seen found a property to purchase and have organised a mortgage etc with the intent of buying my own property. Alas… My non-interest in caring about his response meant that on Saturday he spent an hour trying to convince me to live with him while I stood strong and suggested he was right and that perhaps we were not ready. Basically I wanted to make him grovel before agreeing!

Another example of this is my friend who’s boyfriend is in the army. They have been together five years and throughout his training he was regular going abroad and leaving her for months at a time. He was told this year he was to be posted to cypress for 3 years and rather than get upset she decided to take this opportunity to go travelling for 6 months. 3 months in her boyfriend has just contacted a number of us and told as he misses her so much that at Christmas he is going to ask her to marry him.

Moral of the story ladies… Let’s get on with our lives. Who wants to sit around waiting for someone when we can just enjoy it! Who knows… It may even have a better result!

Reply November 16, 2011, 5:32 pm

Roberta Barra

Ah, the younger generation. I suppose seeing us, your parents and grandparents divorce has led you to thinking the way I see in Eric’s writing and some of these posts. So be it. But you really should do your homework before making such important decisions. Observation is insufficient evidence. It can lead you to faulty conclusions such as “marriage is just a title.”
Marriage, for those of you who have chosen to remain uninformed, is a legal contract originally designed to protect a woman and her children–those men whom Eric perceive as getting screwed in divorce were, in reality merely giving up what they were legally supposed to. Those same protections have now been extended to men so now women can feel “screwed” in divorce. The reality is that divorce is painful, but marriage protects your legal rights. Living together does not protect your legal rights. The real screwing takes place when couples split up after “just” living together. This is why we have palimony in some states. Bottom line is this ladies: don’t give it away if you want to get married. Respect yourself if you want him to respect you. And DON’T live with him or have sleep overs if you want marriage. Until the law protects you, through marriage, you must protect yourself. Eric is not the self-righteous, self-centered jerk he sounds like he is. He is merely spoiled. There are generations of these young men who have been spoiled by you young ladies. My generation started it with our “free love”. Our bad. I make my apologies on behalf of my generation. Ladies if you will control yourselves and stop putting out so quickly and easily then marriage WILL follow…provided the guy knows you want him, you’re not against sex, you’re just against pre-marital sex. Read Eric’s post again and you see the clues there. Good luck to you!

Reply November 16, 2011, 11:55 am

Eric Charles

When I first read your comment I was about to get defensive, but I don’t think you meant it as a veiled insult.
.
Fact is – this is the world we live in right now. Doesn’t matter how it was… doesn’t matter how we wish it was… it is as it is today.
.
So I speak to that and I speak in a voice that doesn’t sugar-coat because that’s what I believe is most helpful (and being helpful is my goal in everything I write).
.
There are some women who are obsessed with this idea of “self-respect” and “not giving it up” and they talk about it endlessly. In fact, of all the women who comment on here, it’s those types of women who are the only ones who feel the need to “recruit” women into that mindset – there’s a tone of shaming them if they dare not think that way.
.
It might not start that way right off the bat, but sooner or later, it inevitably uses the words “Ladies” (to address other readers), something about all chances of a relationship being nullified if they don’t heed the following advice, then a bunch of vague statements about worth and self-respect.
.
Basically equating sex with a lack of self-respect.
.
That’s not the world we live in today. Men and women have enough troubles and frustrations to deal with in their lives. Men are not looking for an additional frustration to deal with…
.
I’m going to say it really simply: Men don’t want to date a woman who looks at sex as a bargaining chip. Period.
.
I don’t care how things used to be… because that’s not now. It’s not relevant. It’s not real life.
.
I do care about being realistic and sharing a useful male viewpoint. People are going to do what they want. I’m not hear to rally women into a pro-sex or anti-sex mentality.
.
But sex is sex. It’s readily available to men and if a woman really believes that withholding sex is her “big move” in getting the relationship she wants… she is… well… delusional.
.
Withholding sex in this day and age shouts the message, “I am a manipulative woman who fears that I will have no worth in a relationship unless I make him work for sex.”
.
What about… I don’t know… the quality of every other aspect of their relationship? The quality of the time they spend together? How they FEEL in each other’s presence? Do they actually like each other as people? Would they rather spend time with each other than not?
.
Sex is not the deal-breaker. Having nothing else to offer other than sex is…

Reply November 16, 2011, 2:20 pm

Becca

Eric, seriously… marry me. Haha.

I cannot believe how much real sense you make, and how much I’ve changed since I first responded to this article almost two years ago.

If a woman thinks the only way she can “get a man to respect her” is to withhold sex from him then, to me, she has a problem with insecurity. I say that in quotes because you can’t teach a man how to respect you, they either do or don’t. And if they don’t, that is when you can choose to move on.

I look at sex as a bonding activity. You’re sharing something deeply personal, and allowing yourself to feel physically vulnerable. It’s an act of trust. And also an act of giving, you make each other feel good. It relieves stress, it is a healthy outlet (as long as you’re acting in a responsible way).

I think some people have lost sight of the importance of their own self-image and self-worth. You cannot look to others to make you feel good about yourself, or make you happy. You have to create your own happiness, your own stability, and your own full life. Then you find someone to compliment that life, and you share things with each other. Be okay on your own, then you will always be okay with or without someone else. Everyone seems to be attracted to confidence, independence, and stability (emotionally, physically, financially even). When we focus on our own lives and better ourselves and our situation, the love will come automatically, and the commitment will come with it.

Reply November 16, 2011, 2:57 pm

Eric Charles

THANK YOU!! God, I am so glad that someone is getting what I’m driving at. :)
.
Set up the wedding. ;)

Reply November 16, 2011, 4:45 pm

Becca

LOL Don’t tempt me. Alas, I don’t have time for a man. I need to finish this degree. Call me in April ;)

November 16, 2011, 5:13 pm

Queenbee

I have to agree with you alot of people use sex as a weapon and that is why a lot of people choose to abstain and live their lives alone but fulfilled!

Reply January 26, 2012, 3:58 pm

Julie

Geez. Why do women ask and then bash when they don’t get the answer they want? As a woman, that is frustrating and insulting to us as a whole. If you don’t think you’ll like the answer you get or aren’t mature enough to accept it, don’t ask. Plain and simple.

Eric, I think you are doing a great job and I love reading your posts. I think having a man to ask these questions too is invaluable. I love reading about men, what makes them tick and how to be that most desirable woman. So keep the great information coming, Eric! Most of us appreciate the truth and use it to better understand the men in our life, friend or significant other.

Reply November 9, 2011, 8:48 am

Eric Charles

Hehe… it’s all good. Honestly, I am grateful to have a site where so many women come on and comment.
.
I appreciate the compliments.

Reply November 11, 2011, 8:40 pm

Pyxi

After 3 years of living together, I gave my man The Ultimatum: ‘Marry me or I’m out of the relationship.”
In hindsight it was a pretty stupid thing to do. For the 11 years our marriage lasted, I never truly felt valued because I felt I had forced his hand. It was not something he felt. It was something deep in me that I never spoke about until the marriage was over. It subtly corroded my self-esteem and I always felt that I had engineered something that should have been left to run its natural course.
I have now learned to lean back, let my inner goddess run things and trust in the universe. Since then, my life has done a huge turnaround.

Reply November 1, 2011, 1:48 pm

Marie

I think the first thing you might want to ask yourself is whether you want to marry this person because you truly feel he is “the one” you want to spend the rest of your life or if it’s because you feel it is the time in your life when you should be getting married. To me, 20 is sort of young to begin dating the one person you spend the rest of your life with. I know people who have done it (and appear to be happy) but personally, I know I’m not the same person I was when I was 20 and the person who I was with then would not be who I would choose now. BUT, it could be totally different for you and your boyfriend could truly be the one for you. Only you know that. But in the end I think you need to consider what it is you really want and IF you really want to marry him then maybe you should tell him how you feel and if he’s not ready you have to be prepared to be willing to go your separate ways. Guys do NOT respond well to pressure but they do respond to a girl who knows her self worth and isn’t willing to settle for less than what she thinks she deserves (I struggle with this but I know it’s true…). Whatever is meant to be will be. I know it’s very scary but sometimes it’s better to let go and let things work themselves out. That’s just how I feel but when it comes down to it you have to trust your gut and go from there.

Reply October 30, 2011, 1:08 pm

MsKitty

Oh, and before anybody gives me that “he’s too young BS” — and it IS BS, I know plenty of men who chose to marry in their 20s — he’s 31. Almost 32.

Reply October 29, 2011, 12:50 pm

MsKitty

I would simply like to know what you consider a reasonable time to expect a woman to wait for a marriage proposal that he keeps dangling but she has reason to believe will never come. I have always been open with my boyfriend of six years about intending to work towards marriage, and that for health reasons, I wanted to be married and start having children before 30 (I was 20 when we started dating.) Neither of us come from a broken home. He was agreeable to all of this.

The first couple years, ok, I get that it takes time to get to know someone. But come on, I got engaged to another guy at 19 who couldn’t wait a full year! So that is still hard. But then came the excuses. He was in school. Then I was in school. Now we’re both graduated and trying to get businesses off the ground. He’s invested thousands and thousands of dollars in equipment and is busy 24/7. I understand this is important, really I do, but when does our relationship get to be the priority for a change? We’ve attended several weddings together over the years and even discussed ceremony and honeymoon preferences amicably. Each time we’ve discussed marriage, I get comments like “some day.” The last time I brought it up, and the only time we’ve really had a blunt conversation about the present state of affairs, was five months ago just after I’d graduated and was considering moving out to take a new job. He said, “I’ve been thinking about it,” and I agreed to stay, with the understanding that he had the summer to get his butt in gear. I haven’t had good luck finding work locally, and it’s now October. Nada. He’s had all summer, a weekend on the beach, my birthday… all sorts of opportunities here.

Long story short — I’m stuck. I don’t have a good job, because my industry requires me to be in an urban area. He’s rural. I’m not financially secure and am sacrificing my financial wellbeing with no commitment in sight.

Oh, and I just found out I’m pregnant. He KNOWS that being a single parent is a complete deal-breaker to me. I don’t want to guilt him into proposing because of the baby, or anything else. I’m actually starting to wonder if an abortion wouldn’t be best, even though my family doesn’t believe in it and his would be very upset (first grandchild).

You may not understand this, but for many of us women, every day that goes by without a solid commitment from our men is further proof that we are not loved or desired. If he really cared about me, he’d marry me. Baby or no baby.

What can I do here? This is so frustrating. I’m not happy, I feel trapped, and “being patient” has not worked for six years.

Reply October 29, 2011, 5:15 am

Maria

So sorry, MsKitty. I’ve been in your shoes before and never will be again. Just hope it helps to know someone understands.

Reply November 20, 2011, 12:39 pm

Rach

I hope everything worked out for you sweetheart…you know, I was in your situation several years ago. I spent 10 years with a man, and wow I loved him…but when I fell pregnant…I relalised i was going to be a single mum “IN” a relationship. and let me tell you..I’m a tough cookie, but not tough enough for that!

Reply December 18, 2011, 7:52 am

Ms. Massini

Hi MsKitty,
Thanks for posting. I was actually browsing this topic to see if other women at one point in their relationship grew tired of waiting and wondered if marriage was ever going to happen. I wish the author had written something about this from the guy’s perspective. I’m not into coercing a man into marriage but after a while (I’m in a 9-year relationship), I felt my clock ticking, saw many friends getting married, moving into their homes or planning it, talking about having children and I felt left out, like I was doing something wrong.
I have a similar timeline to yours but currently have a stable job and am waiting for him to finish school. From the beginning I told him I didn’t care about being married, that we could have a family and he would amuse the idea about how our kids would look like, etc. I didn’t care because I’ve seen this before… my uncle in Brazil, for some reason or another, has still not “officially” married his wife but they have two children and wear wedding rings… but later on, I just felt the need to introduce him as my husband and “needing” it to be official. I told him I’d like to get married first before I ever brought a child in this world, that I’d like the baby to be born into a established family. We have put the marriage and children talk to bed a long time ago… and I’m ready to start therapy and seek more “me” time…
But going back to you, you seem like a smart woman with a good head on your shoulders. I’m sure you’re going to think about the baby and I hope that your man proposes or at least expresses to you now the desire to get married one day. Now is the time for him to, excuse me the expression, “shit or get off the pot.”

Reply January 6, 2012, 5:49 pm

setmefree2012

Thanks so much for posting MsKitty, I’m basically in the same situation(so you are not alone in this) I have been with this guy for almost 11 years now since we were 18. Im now 28 turning 29 this year he is turning 30. I was actually warned by my family and friends because we were living together before marriage you know the same cow and milk argument. But I didnt listen because for some stupid reason I thought that he wouldnt do that to me. And we were living in another country so it was only natural, he was my only support system. In 2009 we had a son together( I told him my concerns about having a child without marriage) he proposed when I was 6 months pregnant.(somehow my gut feeling is that he only did this to stop me from asking about it..)
I didnt think much of it coz his mom and dad got married when he was 2 years old so I thought oh well we will get married by the time our son is two. but now that I think about it I think he has issues with marriage since his mom asked for divorce from his dad a couple of years ago and then his dad committed suicide soon after. He never got a long with his dad and is close to his mom.
Also his mom keeps telling him that she doesn’t believe in marriage since her and most of her friends are divorced and she thinks the wedding day is just a big waste of money. I actually think she is partly the reason we are not married because she doesn’t seem to be interested in our plans and she once told him when we began dating that she doesn’t believe in love.
Shortly after our son was born we went to grad school, and every time I brought it up he gave an excuse. I dont even think its about the money coz we have investments and have saved a good amount of money over the years. So now we have been engaged for 3 years with no marriage and no wedding plans.(im actually trying to avoid speaking to our friends coz they keep asking about our wedding plans while we have none) At first I thought he didnt want a big wedding. So I compromised and suggested we have a small thing with only family, I even suggested eloping but he doesn’t seem interested in the idea. The thing is now I am starting to resent him because of this. And I regret it, because in the past I had so many chances to leave but now its complicated because we have a son and I don’t want to deny my son a loving family because of the mistakes I made in my life I think this would be selfish of me..(although I am now so unhappy in this relationship because I just feel like i am undervalued and if he really loved me why cant he just commit to me? I have been here for him all these years I have never cheated I have been good so why cant he marry me?). In other departments he is a very good father, he is a good partner but he just wont commit to marriage. When I ask he doesn’t give me any straight answers just strings me along which gets us into fights.
All our friends who have known us since high school are all married and have practically been bugging and asking when are we going to do it . And some have even been up right mean to me by telling me I should do the right thing as if, what we have is not right just coz we dont have a piece of paper, this really hurts my feelings. Plus now I am at this point where I want to have another child but Im waiting until we get married because I know if I do have another child we may never get married we may just keep having children with no commitment at all and of course it will make it even harder than it already is. I have brought all sorts of arguments to him like what if something happens to me or him then what will happen to our son in terms of security.
I am so angry at myself coz I feel like I got myself trapped into this situation and now I just cant leave because we have a son and assets, so a lot more to think about and we are in another country so its really messy..(and Im not working right now ).
Im also wondering if its worth throwing it all away just coz he wont marry me? While we do have a good thing going on. Could I live with this?( but then I think what about my needs and my feelings I mean i have compromised for him and I am still here isnt that worth anything cant he at least honor and respect my feelings towards this? At the same time I want him to marry me coz he wants to and not because i begged him to coz I dont want to regret it everytime we have an argument and feel like the only reason he is with me is coz I begged him to marry me!
But im so fed up that my resolution this year is to not talk about it to him or bring it up anymore and just to try to get my individual life in order and if we are still not married in a couple of years when my son is older and I am sure I can handle it alone I will just have to leave if I am still unhappy with the way things are. I am also planning to take a vacation with only me and my son this year maybe that will help him rethink things a bit. I wish I had an answer for you but as you can see I’m in the same boat, I actually got here by trying to find solutions to my own situation.

Reply January 9, 2012, 1:45 pm

Sam

I see and hear about couples (married and just dating), kissing and being affectionate and just having fun together… I wish I could join in, but I feel guilty because I know I’m not ready to get married, and I just want to light-hearted romantic things with someone for a while. I feel so out of place because people my age had their fun 10 years ago and now they want to settle down. I haven’t even started dating yet. Is anyone else in the same situation? How are you dealing with it?

Reply October 18, 2011, 1:12 am

Sam

When I was in middle school and high school, my family made me terrified of the opposite sex and told me I wasn’t supposed to date. It stuck with me when I was going through college and started my career in my early 20s. Now, the same family members are asking why I’m not in a relationship. Most of my friends are married now and I feel like I can’t spend time with them anymore because I’m taking away part of their time with their spouses. I don’t know what I want. I have a hard time approaching people… I feel like I screwed up and didn’t date when I was younger so I’m clueless now, and I don’t want to make a fool of myself. I used to dream about getting married, but now I feel like I’ll never get to that point. I’m afraid that I’m going to get so old that no one’s going to be interested in dating me anymore, and I’m going to be lonely forever. What should I do?

Reply October 18, 2011, 1:05 am

Maria

Perhaps you might look into talking to a sex therapist to undo the damage your parents have done.

Reply November 20, 2011, 12:42 pm

Arie

What interesting reading. Speaking as a woman that was this poster many years ago and have evolved into someone who puts me first. What I mean by that is I don’t rely any longer on that” whatever it is I think I need to make me happy” from someone else. I do it myself. I always thought if only X would happen I would be happy, and I would focus on getting X..analyze, manipulate and worry to get X. I did this thru 2 marriages, both within a year of dating..so quick! Both proposed and both did exactly what I thought I needed. Guess what..they were not what I needed because I never took the time to really see them, only my eye on the next prize. I never enjoyed just being with them completely. You woman know what I mean. Both breakups were drama free, im financially strong without them, and we have kids. But, we were just not meant to be together forever as I thought. Only when I took time to get to know me and invest in me did I meet someone who I am finally me with. No games, manipulation or even expectations. I have never been happier! I don’t worry anymore and I can completely be authentic and present and enjoy my time with him. We have been together for a year now and are very happy. Marriage is not something I worry about as I know it is not the answer. I was selfish and irresponsible and always thinking about the relationship..today I just enjoy my boyfriend, respect and cherish our time together, love him unconditionally and know he is with me because he wants to be not because he is legally obligated to :) I don’t know the future, but that’s ok and is so freeing to actual enjoy the present fully. Took me a long time to get here, but never been more happy with myself, life and relationship with friends, kids and BF

Reply October 17, 2011, 6:24 am

Ceris

So true Marie.

What I didn’t mention is that after 6 months of me finally giving up my ex came crawling back and wanted to marry me. He had completely changed and whisked me away for a romantic weekend to convince me he was serious. By then it was too late and it was me who realised I was so much better off without him.

Just goes to show that in the circumstances it is always better to walk away rather than pressure them. If they are serious about you they won’t let you go!

You’re probably look back and realise how much better off you are without them anyway!

Reply October 15, 2011, 6:54 pm

Marie

Good for you, Ceris! It’s never easy to walk away but following your intuition is always the way to go.

Reply October 16, 2011, 11:15 am

Marie

I posted on this thread a while ago and I must say I seriously feel SO much differently now than I did then (you can read what I wrote above). Basically, I was in a really long relationship with someone I never pressured into marriage and in effect he sort of started taking me for granted. When he finally told me he didn’t know if he ever wanted to get married (b/c of the terrible marriage his parents had), I finally walked away because something clicked in me – I want to get married and I am worth marrying. I don’t need to stick around and have someone string me around. I can’t tell you how much better I felt. At this point, I am back with this person but since then, things have changed. He doesn’t take me for granted anymore and he knows exactly what my expectations are. If he doesn’t follow through then I’m proudly walking away because marriage is what I want and know i deserve. So girls – don’t pressure your guy. In fact, do just the opposite. When your guy realizes you’re not sticking around to be strung along, he’ll respect you much more and your worth will suddenly increase substantially. Whatever will be, will be and you’ll be happier for putting yourself first in the end…

Reply October 15, 2011, 5:54 pm

Rach

Valuable stuff Marie! Knowing you are WORTH marrying, wow – what a beautiful discovery…and it’s true of all of us.

Reply December 18, 2011, 7:58 am

Ceris

Hey Eric,

I have now read your rewritten article and I think that it definitely gets your point across better.

I agree with your opinion that a man cannot be forced to get married and that a marriage built on this would end in disaster.

Can I also add this based on my experience:

Having bern in a 5 year relationship with someone who was constantly not sure about getting married I have found that sometimes time can be wasted hoping that things will change. A lot of women put more emphasis on marriage than men and I would say this is due to a need for security.

I personally have a strong need to get married due to my own insecurities and at times I find it can cloud all reason and judgement. Getting married shouldn’t be about a need for security. It should be because you both feel you are ready to spend the rest of your lives together. This can sometimes be hard to remember when you are caught up on the excitement of love, but it is sooo important that you try and take yourself away from the excitement for a moment to remember that there is no need to rush things.

I spent five years with a man who was unsure about us and even pushed him far enough to allow me to move in. I moved half way across the country and then tried forcing him to marry me. The reality of the situation was that he had never given me any reason to believe that’s what he wanted, but I was so caught up in my love for him that I convinced myself he just wasn’t ready. It ended with me finally realizing I had been wasting my time and had changed my entire life for someone who was ‘not quite sure’.

Although it is important to wait until he is ready it is also so important to know the difference between someone who is not ready and someone who is just ‘not that in to you’. In my experience men just really hate hurting your feelings and some (not all) would rather sit tight and wait for you to get fed up than go through a messy break up.

My advice…. Don’t pressure him but do know when you have waited too long. You don’t want to be 40 and in a relationship for 10 years that simply isn’t going where you wanted to. If you really really wanted to get married that will never change. You can pretend you don’t want it if your partnered doesn’t but you will always feel as though there is something missing.

This is only based on my experiences and I am sure there are plenty of women who have been in this situation and who aren’t married but are happy. I have just learnt that I can’t change what I want and sometimes it’s important to understand whe. You have been waiting to long in a relationship where you burg want different things.

P.s writing this on my iPhone so apologies if there are spelling mistakes!

Reply October 15, 2011, 4:54 am

Kayla

LOL @ Robynringo. You DO sound really angry and bitter. That’s hilarious, actually. Good luck in life, asshole…

Sorry.
Anyways, I think we all know that Eric is amazing. I have learned SO much about how men process information and it makes me feel like a better woman for it.

Reply October 14, 2011, 4:02 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks Kayla, I really appreciate having you here and I’m glad stuff that I’ve written has been helpful to you.
.
Some people are just angry and want to find a “play partner” that they can fight with… instead of resolving their issues.
.
I’ve never been the type to get off on fighting with people – it’s silly, especially when you consider that they’re not really fighting me to begin with… they’re fighting their own unresolved issues. I just happened to remind them of whatever it is they can’t accept about their life.

Reply October 14, 2011, 5:32 pm

Becca

Oh Eric, you’re so adorable. Who could ever really want to fight with you?

Reply October 15, 2011, 12:39 am

Eric Charles

LOL… I could introduce you to one of my ex-girlfriends for starters. ;)

Reply October 15, 2011, 2:36 pm

Rachel

Eric:

I really don’t understand why you are apologizing to anyone. I mean you want to keep it real with (Women and Men) so speak your mind and never go back on your words. I learned a lot from your article.

The main part of your article that I really enjoyed, was when you said the following:
(You can’t force a man to marry you, but you certainly can inspire a man to…)

Reply September 27, 2011, 12:48 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks Rachel.
.
My message is still the same, but my original write-up of the article had some extra junk and ways of phrasing things that got in the way of that message.
.
Everyone has those moments where they say something that comes across wrong (even though they didn’t mean it that way). I could see where the people were coming from when they were voicing their opinion and after re-reading it I agreed that I could see where they were coming from.
.
I don’t think it’s really a matter of going back on my word – this is just a case where I needed to improve how I said it got the message across. That’s my goal and I strive to hit that every time…

Reply September 27, 2011, 8:11 pm

Ceris

Personally u do feel your comments were rather negative and harsh.

Being a woman who makes far more than my partner I feel that not wanting to get married because it is ‘costly’ to men is an extremely sexist and old fashioned view. I agree that divorces don’t always end well, but I think it is unfair to suggest ALL women are out for whatever they can get.

I believe that when you finally meet the person you want to marry all rationale on this subject will change and sense will go out of the window.

I suggest the original writer seeks advice from someone with less negative views on the subject!

Reply September 7, 2011, 3:04 am

Eric Charles

[edited comment]
.
You know what? You’re right, I don’t like the way I wrote this article either.
.
I just re-wrote it to reflect my feelings and get my message across. Believe me, I’m not sexist or old-fashioned – this particular article was originally poorly written and based on the feedback I’ve improved it.
.
I make mistakes, it happens. Not afraid to admit that or correct them when necessary.

Reply September 7, 2011, 11:45 am

Bren

Thanks Eric! It’s a lesson hard learned, but it’s the truth… : D

Reply August 25, 2011, 6:53 pm

Bren

These feeds crack me up. All in all, there is NO WAY you can make a guy marry you. You can’t make anybody do anything unless they want to. These people who think that a ring means never being ‘abandoned’ or ‘left’…that makes me sad. Affairs happen all the freakin time. I’m not bitter (and I realize that by saying I’m not bitter makes me sound bitter – LOL)…and I really do wish the best for ya’ll…but really?!?!? It is a nice thought, and it’s great to know you have a trustworthy person, but even the best marriages have trouble sometimes. The only way you can ‘make a guy marry you’ is to be real, honest, truthful, just be yourself….it will eventually happen if it’s meant to happen. You can’t push people, you can’t get married for the wrong reasons, you just have to let it happen. If it takes to long for your satisfaction, leave the dude… Don’t wait around. The signs are there. The red flags are there. Look for them, accept them, and move on. It’s difficult being patient, it’s difficult seeing the ‘bad’ signs and accepting them…It’s difficult to be strong and move on when you don’t want to. But you just can’t push it. There’s a ton of legal issues that you have to deal with when you’re married. There’s a ton of emotional issues you have to deal with whether you’re married, engaged, or dating… my whole point is that you can’t make anybody do what they don’t want to do and if you force something, then it probably wasn’t meant to be or won’t last forever.

Reply August 25, 2011, 6:03 pm

Eric Charles

Damn Bren… I should have just had you write this one. :) Good comment.

Reply August 25, 2011, 6:44 pm

Becca

And by the way Eric, just another comment about your original post. Speaking from experience, not all women are capable of having children, that doesn’t mean a man should never marry her. Just something to think about.

Reply August 25, 2011, 7:05 am

Becca

Okay,

Eric, trust me when I say I understand your frustration. I am subscribed to this feed, and every time I see another message in my inbox with this heading I take a deep breath and try not to roll my eyes. Rereading my original post above and taking into consideration all that has been said, I figured I’d chime in one last time.

I just read Lin’s post, and some of it I absolutely agree with. I have been lured into a committed relationship with a false sense of security a few times by men who assured me that they wanted to get married. Each time it was the man who brought up the idea of marriage first, and each time it was the man who broke it off after I responded positively to that idea.

Now I do not agree that being with someone for one year is a long enough amount of time to determine if you should get married, but when someone wastes three years of your life under false pretenses, that is a little difficult to recover from, especially if you’re over 30 as Lin says.

I still do not believe that woman should be interested at all in coercing a man to marry them, if he doesn’t want to get married, and you do, you obviously aren’t at the same stage in your life and you should either reevaluate what’s important to you (getting married and starting a family, or being with your current partner). HOWEVER, like Lin says, if you know that you do not want to get married, or that you have a serious fear of commitment, DO NOT lie to a woman to get her to stay with you. For many women, the objective of “dating” is to determine who is going to be a suitable marriage partner. For some people (mainly indicating men who don’t want to be married) “dating” is fun, comfortable and a nice addendum to their life, but they are not necessarily looking to make it more than that. You shouldn’t date someone long term if you know your objectives are different. Lin’s boyfriend DID use her if he knew he was too afraid to get married. However, I think she should give it a bit more time before she starts rushing to the alter. Yes you’re over 30 Lin, but trust me when I say that you want to know who it is you’re getting involved with before you end up marrying the wrong person. An extra year or two figuring that out is a lot cheaper than a divorce proceeding.

Reply August 25, 2011, 6:59 am

Eric Charles

I read your comments and I think I know what I need to do.
.
When I originally wrote this, I was speaking to someone who basically wanted to coerce a guy into marriage. Most women aren’t in that head space and it unfortunately alienated other women who don’t have that intent.
.
I think it would be most helpful for me to write a post at some point about communicating with guys so that the relationship either heads towards marriage or just ends amicably without a lot of time wasted. And most importantly, in a way that everyone is happy with.
.
I’ll just have to write up something better and more useful and I might just scrap this post. At the end of the day, I want every single one of my posts to leave women feeling better and more empowered to have a good relationship. I don’t necessarily think I hit the mark all that well with this one. Live and learn.

Reply August 25, 2011, 11:27 am

Becca

You tried, and you were honest. That’s the most important part. You were absolutely right about many women being marriage-driven without any idea of what it is about marriage that they truly want. Just be careful about polarizing women against men, not everything is black and white, especially during a divorce proceeding. And I do believe that there should be compensation for the individual who was wronged if the marriage is dissolving because of infidelity or abuse; but the ridiculous amount of alimony that some people receive is definitely judicial overkill. I think the original point, obviously, was to provide a MAN’S view on how he would feel if he was pressured into marriage by his partner. And you did that. People need to realize that you’re just like us, you don’t claim to know everything. And your article is an opinion. Not everyone has to agree.

Reply August 25, 2011, 11:47 am

lin

I agree with Eric’s statement but I have other concerns.
I am a 33yls old woman and have been dating my 31yls old guy for a year.
I really want to get married because I want kids and I believe a family is the foundation for healthy kid. My clock is tickling, as most woman who wants kids do.
I started to mention and discuss marriage with my bf, who wants to get married, wants to have kids, wants to settle down. All that, all perfect, but ironically, he is scared of marriage (due to parents’ divorce, blah blah blah). Ok, I totally understand that. But On my side, this is very unfair. very.

Why he want something and scared of it at the same time? Should man starts to date someone after he get rid of the fear and ready for commitment? From the very beginning of we knew each other, I stated clearly I am ready to settle down and having kids.
Honestly, I feel I am used in the last year.
One year is a long time for 30+ years old woman
Guys, if you are not ready, do not date us!

Reply August 25, 2011, 3:00 am

Eric Charles

I understand what you are saying, but be careful of how you look at this.
.
It is true that your biological clock is ticking and that this is the time in your life to start having kids (or at least, pretty soon from now).
.
At the same time, it is a trap to look at the situation as “the guy being unfair”. If you take that perspective, you’ll end up resenting him and looking at him as an adversary and not a man that you love.
.
What it really comes down to is his own fear about marriage. He didn’t choose to be afraid, but it’s gripping him and it won’t let him consider marriage until he no longer feels that fear.
.
Problem with fear is that most people don’t face fear head on. They’ll do anything they can to avoid what they’re afraid of if they can.
.
Again, I agree that you need to get moving if your biological clock is ticking, but I would highly encourage you to take a compassionate and loving approach towards this man if you want him to be a man that you marry and have children with.
.
You want that compassion and understanding from him, right? Try your best to give him that compassion and understanding, while still letting him know your own situations and concerns. If you can communicate while still being loving and without blaming or condemning him, that will allow him to calm down enough to really consider what you’re saying.
.
I’m not guaranteeing he’ll marry you, but if his defenses (aka fears) are up, he won’t even be able to hear what you’re saying.
.
I wish you good luck and I hope you get to start the family you’ve always dreamed of.

Reply August 25, 2011, 11:19 am

Emily

Hey Eric! ???

I gotta say,
Your Articles are real and down to the point
Don’t change for just anyone, everyone else loves your posts
Haters are Your Motivators. I like how you analyze different aspects of the situation
and give the most honest response a guy can give. I think if she isnt ready to face critique, fear and honesty then she obviously isn’t ready to get married herself.

Reply April 7, 2012, 7:26 pm

Eric Charles

True…
.
Something I’ve said to people about being a person in this world.
.
You can be oatmeal or you can be sushi.
.
If you’re oatmeal… you’re fine. You’re OK. You’re “nice”. You’re unoffensive, uninteresting and forgettable.
.
But if you’re sushi, then 33% of people will HATE you (think you’re repulsive, disgusting and nasty), 33% won’t care you exist either way… but that last 33% will LOVE you, lust for you, crave you and climb mountains to have you.
.
I’d rather be sushi than oatmeal.

Reply April 7, 2012, 7:32 pm

Emily

Well Then, Team Sushi All The Way! :D

Reply April 7, 2012, 9:03 pm

Joanne

Can’t you have children w/o the marriage? Is it really going to make a difference?

Reply August 3, 2012, 1:03 am

Lola

Exactly, Lin!
My BC told me, (at the beginning of our relationship, when I clearly said that I don’t wanna mess up but have a stable relationship, marriage, family and kids), that he is into it fully and wants the same. Now, after 2 years, he is not ready; he says he loves me, wants to have children with me, live together, etc…, but not marry? WTF? I am totally confused and don’t trust him anymore. Excuses, excuses…. :(( so sad. So, I am asking the same question: boys, why do you date us, make promises, and then – NOTHING??

Reply August 8, 2014, 1:37 pm

Erin

The thing I didn’t see mentioned when I glanced through the article and the response was reference to the legal rights and responsibilities that come with being married. This is one of the main things that same-sex couples have been fighting for: things like tax benefits, ability to make medical decisions and the like. I won’t mention kids because you indicate that men do understand the value of marrying when children are involved.

While I, personally, trust my parents to make medical decisions for me, other people may not. Scenario: person A is in a long-term relationship with person B, whom she trusts but whom she chooses not to marry. B has a terrible relationship with his parents. B is in a horrible car accident and is in a coma & on life support. B’s parents are Evangelical Christians while A&B are Atheists. Who does B want making life and death decisions for him? As it stands, if they haven’t filed legal paperwork, B’s parents get to call the shots and they could, if they wanted to, ban A from the hospital bedside of her beloved.

When my uncle died, his partner of 40 years could NOT collect his Veteran’s Benefits because they never married. His ex-wife could have collected the Veteran’s benefits, technically. His negative reaction to a bad marriage put the woman he loved for 40 years in a more precarious financial position. Thankfully, the house was in both their names or she would have been made homeless.

Marriage is an enormous undertaking and should not be entered into lightly. But it should, in my opinion, always be considered by people who care deeply about one another – even if they choose not to take that step for reasons of their own choosing, but then, I hope they will think of that hospital bed, or that 401( k), or pension, or Veteran’s benefits, etc and WHO should benefit from those items and file the appropriate legal documents.

I completely understand your sentiments and they have merit, but there are still benefits to being married that have nothing to do with reproduction.

Reply August 25, 2011, 12:13 am

Eric Charles

Hey Erin – I am really sorry to hear about your uncle’s story and for the woman he was with. That’s a really sad story and definitely highlights a few huge supporting reasons *for* marriage.
.
This article pops up in my comment stream and I always groan a bit… because often times it’s someone chewing me out for saying something in the article that offended them.
.
I haven’t felt it necessary to augment the article, but I plan to… I think a few more angry comments and I’ll finally expand it. (Hehe…)
.
You brought up some good issues and I support what you’re talking about. Those are definitely scenarios where marriage would have been a preferred option.
.
When I wrote this article, I really wanted to nail down the fact that getting someone to marry you is really serious. It’s so much more than a title and should be considered as one of the most important (if not THE most important) decisions a person makes.
.
When I hear a girl complaining about her boyfriend not asking her to marry her after a couple years, I ask why she’s upset. I’m always amazed when the girl looks at me like *I’m* crazy and says, “Because it’s the right thing to do.” And then can’t articulate a single point as to why thereafter.
.
Really? Someone should marry you because you believe you know what’s right for them to do with the rest of their entire life?
.
I’ve heard girls who want men to marry them and they can’t even commit to liking the same band for more than a couple of years… and they want someone to make a lifelong commitment to them because getting married looks fun.
.
I’m half-kidding as I write all this. For every impulsive, image-driven woman-child whining about her boyfriend not proposing there is another great woman who is amazingly level-headed and a great relationship partner. The women who look at marriage as something lifelong, committed and serious are not who I’m talking to in this article.
.
Anyway, I’m getting off-point. I thought your comment was good and I appreciate you making those points – I agree.

Reply August 25, 2011, 12:34 am

Nancy

Great article.

I’m dying for my guy to ask me (otherwise I wouldn’t have found this article), but Eric, you have stated exactly why I haven’t brought it up blatently. Even though we always talk about our future together, I would really like that one seal of the deal that he would never abandon me, and I would like for him to have that assurance from me as well. However, in no way shape or form do I want to pressure him or make him feel as though I am pressuring him to do so. He will ask me when he is ready, and it will be from his heart, giving it all the meaning it so truly deserves.

As for the woman who’s question this article is in response to, I definitely don’t think that an ultimatum of marriage or leaving him is a good idea, I mean, think about it. When you say that, it sounds like you are more in love with the idea of marriage than your guy himself (and I’m sure that this is not the truth). Would you really leave him if you love him so much? Why even bring it up if things are going well as it is? Sometimes you have to pick your battles. I know it can be hard when your curiosity is piqued and your overwhelmed with the anxiety of wanting to know and move forward- but don’t ever ask a question or approach a topic with your lover if you are not ready for a negative answer. It could be devastating and you will end up wishing you had never bought it up.

I have to constantly remind myself that in order for my relationship to succeed I need to be patient and selfless. I admit when I lose grip on those two attributes -nobody’s perfect and I am well aware of my own bitchiness, but I am also not too proud to admit when I am wrong – and my guy does the same (most of the time anyway). I feel as long as we continue along that path, we will have a strong bond and a very happy life together. Marriage will eventually come.

Reply August 14, 2011, 6:48 am

Eric Charles

Hey Nancy,
.
You know… I am always happy to read positive comments like yours… especially on THIS article! (This article and the ideal body weight article are like lightning rods for women crucifying me for my opinion.)
.
I completely agree with what you say in your comment. Hell… I should have you write this article and spare me the grief. :)

Reply August 14, 2011, 11:11 am

christina

Marie,
thanks for your input.
When I said we agree on almost everything, I didn’t mean I change my view to please him. He never questions my opinions and even when we were not in love, we always has same opinion on most things and that was one of the reason that made us fall in love. Also I observed the way he handles things is exactly the same as I do in my personal life. our views about life,our faith is all same. I do not know how to explain but that is so true.
When we are together, I cannot find anything to argue with him and he agrees with me most of the time . Also that is the reason I do not want to lose him. I love him with my life. if anything controversial comesup, he keeps quiet.
Yes I know that is making me weak, and you are so right on your observation. But I want him in my life is the truth and cannot imagine otherwise now. Hence all I wanted him to open up.
any suggestions?

Reply June 14, 2011, 2:37 pm

Marie

To the comment above from Christina, I know you wanted Eric’s input but it
sort of sounds like you may have lost your sense of self in your relationship, which is unhealthy for You and him. I say this because you mentioned how you agree on everything, which by the way can be a huge turn off for men bc you come across as trying to please, but also because you mention that you do not know how to live without him. Men pick up on these things based on action alone, and when they do they tend to pull back. No one wants to feel responsible for another person’s happiness. that should come from within. ANd if you’re not getting what you want, you should move on. He’ll respect you more than if you wait around for him.

Reply June 14, 2011, 2:10 pm

christina

Hi eric
I thought I am in a very committed relationship, but now he doesn’t text me as he used to do. Both of us made it clear in the beginning that we need marriage.
I have my life but I love him and pray for him almost everyday. Both of us are financially sound and we don’t disagree on anything. I say, we have same opinion on almost anything.
But rightnow we don’t see each other for months and the reason he says is he works even on weekends. I met him at work, so knew he is a workaholic.
How can I make him tell me the truth? I do not know how to live without him and trust me I do not want his money even if we divorces.
My life is falling apart, eventhough I keep it to myself. My days are horrible. He says he misses me sometimes and then doesn’t respond to all my emails/texts.
I now wants an answer. I want to know whether he is interested in me or not so I would be able to move on(if at all possible). what is the right way of doing that from a man’s perspective?

Reply June 14, 2011, 1:53 pm

Eric Charles

Hehe… every time I see a comment response on this article, I think, “Here we go again…”
.
Maybe I’ll just revise this article someday in the future…
.
A lot of the response that come in have to do with someone who knows some woman who got screwed financially during the divorce. Or maybe she is someone who got screwed financially during the divorce.
.
And that’s a bummer to hear – I think it’s equally unfair for a man or woman to lose tons of money over a divorce. Just seems very unnatural that the end of a relationship should somehow translate to a man or a woman being financially punished (uh oh, hope I didn’t somehow offend anyone by saying that.)
.
The point that I was trying to get across in this article is that there are some women (SOME, not all) that are so fixated on marriage that they’ll berate, put-down and attack the man they’re with if he happens to be reluctant to the idea of marriage. I was only trying to give some perspective on reasons a man might realistically be resistant to the idea.
.
Wasn’t my intention to make socio-political statements about men, women or marriage – this seems to be the only article that hits such a hot button with readers and to be honest, part of me would be happy to just pull it all together. Not worth the hassle, but on the other hand… that reader did ask my opinion. :)

Reply June 8, 2011, 3:01 pm

shia

I also had to pay a ton of money for my divorce and I’m a woman as well. I agree with Bren, “that title has a huge risk attached to it for ALL involved” men and women. I know this is “ask a guy” so it’s only normal that the guy answering is only thinking of this from a guy’s perspective…and unfortunately, his perspective is biast. If you ask me for advice it’s don’t ask for advice from a guy or even a girl about what you want to know in your own personal relationship. I’m not the only female who has gone through divorce and had to pay dearly (although, I paid financially) my own mother had to pay dearly for her divorce. She didn’t pay financially tho….
My father was cheating on her, having a secret affair for over a year. Finally he asked for a divorce but never told my mother that it was because he was in love with another woman. He ended up getting his own apt. while they did a “trial seperation”. My mother found out that his other woman was staying over at his apt. behind her back and that basically ended everything for my mother. Her entire world was turned upside down. Although my father ended up having to pay her alimoni….it was only for a year and a half. Afther that he has a new life with his new wife. My mother on the other hand is living with my grandfather in a very rural city outside of her old city. She has been lonely now for 10 years and she makes almost no money at a very low paying job (because my father always took care of her)
So basically, a lot of the time, the woman doesn’t end up rich after a divorce. haha! Because lets say you find 50,000 dollars on the ground right now. How long do you really think that will last you? you can’t even buy a house with that! My father didn’t even pay close to that in alimoni.

Reply June 8, 2011, 2:03 pm

Bren

“And I’ve always felt that if the relationship is working well and both people are happy, marriage is just a title. But that title has a huge risk attached to it (for the guy only).”

Seriosuly? The title has a huge rish attached to it for the guy only? That made me literally laugh out loud. That comment is pure B.S.! I’m a girl, I have a great job, and when I got divorced, I had to pay spousal support because he had ‘grown accustomed to this lifestyle’ (he was a financial planner) and lost half my 401K amongst other stuff without getting anything from him (ok…so he was a crappy financial planner). All in all, I was glad to have gotten out of my marriage and start rebuilding my life. Anyway, that title has a huge risk attached to it for ALL involved.

Reply May 23, 2011, 1:38 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks Victoria – I appreciate your comment here too. Good points.

Reply April 13, 2011, 6:41 pm

Victoria

I found this post to be insightful. I appreciate the male perspective on an issue all women are curious about. I agree that marriage is a sacred thing, but I also have to say that I think, unfortunately, many women want the wedding more than the marriage. (Not all, but many). We live in a world where the most stressed thing about a proposal is the ring (the 4 C’s). I read every single comment and I saw the word “ring” used interchangeably with the word “marriage”. It’s true a ring doesn’t change anything and neither does a piece of paper. Marriage is a way of life. I someday hope to be happily married, but if I am with a man that is commited to me, honest, faithful, and treats me with respect, why can’t that be enough. Two people can be dating and be just as commited as two people who are married.

I guess, ultimately, what I am trying to say, is if it’s meant to happen it will happen. There is no need to force that kind of thing on anyone.

Lastly, I think many people have different views and opinions on marriage and when it is appropriate to get married. With that, I think it is very important that a couple discusses their ideas, opinions, and expectations of marriage to their partner at an early stage in a relationship. I am not saying that you should discuss it as a possibility, but it should be discussed in a matter of “Do you ever want to be married?” “What does marriage mean to you?”, etc. Keep it very generic and realistic. After all who wants to be in a relationship for a long period of time to find out that their partner doesn’t ever want to be married??

These are just my opinions, I am in no way trying to offend anyone.

Reply April 13, 2011, 5:03 pm

jenny

Eric,
Great posts… and thank you.
I like your style.
Jenny

Reply February 9, 2011, 11:53 pm

Eric Charles

My goodness. You sound like a very bitter and angry person.
.
How’s that working out for you?

Reply January 10, 2011, 10:20 am

Robynringo

Most of my women friends who are married earn three times as much as their male friends. I also have a few female friends who pay their husbands alimony. In addition, I have dated men who are broke, who have zero dollars that are paranoid of a women taking all of their money. Where are all of these broke losers coming from? Probably hanging out in the saw hole as Eric, the fool that he is with this insulting post. My ex-husband, a Wall Street guy earned far more than I did. His income was about 6 fold my salary. At the time of my divorce. I left him. I didn’t want kids with him. I didn’t have kids with him. The best part is, I didn’t want his money. We live in California, a community property state, and there is a piece of paper, where you can lie and say you are worth less than $30,000 and be divorced in 6 months. I told my husband, I don’t want your money, I really don’t. I told him, sign this and we are done. Then, when I dated another guy who earned $5 million dollars a year, I told him the story, he was horrified. I also realize that me not wanting my husbands money seemed to totally destroy him. What I learned from this, moron, is, men like to bitch about alimony, it makes them men. A woman leaving a man and then saying ” I don’t want your money”, can be totally castrating to a man. I learned a lot from this. So, Jack ass. Most woman want marriage because they want guilt free sex, and to be cherished by you. If you give her that, even a gold digger wouldn’t leave. My brothers both married gold diggers and I realize gold diggers stick by their men and they spend their mans money and protect their mans money. Rarely there is some black widow out there, but there are also a lot of vile men out there, it’s probably equal awful men and women out there. Your response here Eric makesvme you are justvas savvy as Dr. Laura. My advice to you is, keep your day job knucklehead.

Reply January 10, 2011, 3:42 am

murph

Get help, you bitter wench

Reply May 16, 2012, 2:09 pm

poppy

I am so speechless by your response to all this crap from Eric and his ensemble. I agree with you 100% that women want marraige because they want guilt free sex, Meaning, they don’t want to violate their morals and ethics. It’s evident by the way so many women here came together to bash that lady who encouraged women to save themselves for marraige. Not that I have an issue against those who don’t save themselves, but I admire the woman that does. I think that particular woman is strong, self-controlled, and strong-willed to the point that she is not a follower: she will hold firm to her stance, regardless of what society portrays as “acceptable”. If a woman shouldn’t marry because of influence of society, then she don’t need to have sex because of it either. So why should you regard “this day and age” as Eric said? It’s not okay to marry under pressure of society, but it’s a good reason to support sexual activity? I disagree with Eric insinuating that a woman that with-holds sex is manipulative. It’s may just be her convictions. If it has moral significance to her, then more power to her. Even though some women do manipulate men by with-holding sex, not all women are that way. People do attack others who are different. Eric insinuated that a certain lady who commented, was trying to rally up a gang and “Shame” others who don’t agree with her. But it’s so hypocritical that Eric who is not biased at all. did not reprimand the other lady who was obviously bashing that certain lady. Saying things like: “Some people have lost sight of the importance of their own self-image and self-worth,” and saying something to the effect of, the woman who with-holds sex to get a man to respect her is insecure. So let’s see… that woman is absolutely oblivious to her self-worth and image, and is insecure on top of that. HUH? But I guess Eric has no reproach for these comments because this woman AGREED with him. Gee, biased much? Clearly this post is one-sided. By the way, I don’t agree with everything that certain lady said. I’m not as straight-laced as she is in some of her views. But it’s amazing to see how there is a prevalence of support and tolerance for the opinions of people who are sexually active over the opinions of those who are abstinetnt.
To the girl who is abstinent who wrote on this post: Continue to follow your morals. You probably won’t get alot of support. That is obvious here, and even elsewhere. But do what is right by your ethics, regardless of how the world feels, and regardless if people think it’s pointless and unnecessary. You will be misunderstood and judged wrongly. But people who do this, are really feeling threatened, and feeling a sense of guilt, and are actually trying to defend themselves. People like to be told: “You’re not doing anything wrong. Every one else is doing it. It’s no big deal.” It’s those people who could care less about your sexuality who are satisfied with themselves. After all, having sex is no indication that a person is confident, self-assured, and has a positive self-image. Insecure people have sex, of course. Some people have sex BECAUSE they are insecure, and feel like they have nothing else to offer, or feel like the partner will leave if they are not having sex. Girl you are really strong. Eric is assuming that the message abstinent women send accross is: “I am a manipulative woman who fears that I will have no worth in a relationship unless I make him work for sex.” But nevermind his insults. You know your reasons.
oh and let your boyfriend know how amazing he is for waiting for you. He’s sexy for doing that. Treat him well. I wish you all the best with your relationship :)

Reply February 5, 2013, 3:50 am

Dot

Great article and great advice. Clear and straight to the point.

Thank you.

Reply September 15, 2010, 1:11 pm

Marie

Thank you for your response! It is so nice to get a guy’s perspective on it. And for the time being I think I’ll continue being grateful for what we have and maybe eventually I’ll bring it up. I just don’t think I’m ready to yet and it’s good to know that I shouldn’t feel like I have to either.

Reply May 10, 2010, 10:46 am

Eric Charles

Hi Marie,
.
It sounds to me like you are in a very good, healthy relationship. It also sounds like your approach and mindset has been good – which (in my opinion) is a huge part of why things are working out well for you.
.
On the other hand, bringing it up can be pressuring if it’s done wrong. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with talking about it in it of itself. But if you’re going to do it, be straight up about it (as opposed to hinting about it or implying it.)
.
If you’re going to discuss marriage, you have to be really willing to listen to where he is at and what he feels about it. He might totally be on board, but there’s also the possibility that he isn’t yet.
.
When I go into discussions where the other person might say or feel something different than what I want at the moment, I have to actively remember to approach the discussion with total love and appreciation for the other person. And to do my best to receive everything with love, trust and appreciation.
.
If you talk about it and he’s not there yet, it doesn’t mean that he never will be. It might not even mean that he’s far away from being ready.
.
If you can handle hearing it and still love him as much as you do now, that will definitely work in your favor. On the other hand, if he throws an objection up and you flip out on him, that will likely create a kink in the whole marriage subject… so tread lightly.
.
I have to say though, it really doesn’t seem like you have anything to worry about. I know that you might feel bringing it up will help things along, but it sounds to me like it will unfold naturally anyway.
.
It might be a better use of your time and energy to just expect that he will come around when he’s ready. At that point he’ll be 100% in and you’ll never have to wonder if it was your “convincing” that got him to the table – I think that’s a better scenario.
.
Be grateful – having a happy, loving relationship is sacred. It is an amazing thing to have in your life and the majority of people out there would do almost anything to have it. Don’t let your fears get the better of you – it certainly sounds like you’re on the road to get married, he just needs a little more time.
.
Good luck and hope it helps.

Reply May 9, 2010, 8:51 pm

Marie

I really like the writers response to this question. I have always been against putting any sort of pressure on someone to commit. That being said, I’ve always been in a committed relationship. I am almost 28 years old (kind of scary to think) and my boyfriend is 36. We started dating when I was 25, so it’s been almost 2.5 years. When we first got together all my friends were getting married but I wasn’t jealous in the least because I was just having fun and loving what we had together. Anyway, I am my boyfriend’s most serious girlfriend and even though I think he has always feared commitment in the past (before me), he was talking marriage in our first year. Then he really wanted me to move in. At first I was against living together before marriage but I did it anyway. So we’ve been living together for the past year and a half and things are great. I’ve never been in such a healthy and loving relationship and either has he. I know marriage is in our future and so is a family; however I really do feel ready to get married now!! And even though I’ve never been the type to put pressure, I really feel like maybe I should start bringing up marriage (even though kids won’t be for at least three more years). At the same time I am terrified about pressuring him into it. I am 100% happy in our relationship and I’m not expecting anything to change with marriage. My question is whether I should just be confident in knowing that it will happen or should I bring it up?? ALSO, friends of mine who are married (not even happily) always bug me about it and then I start thinking about how other people think…THOUGHTS???

Reply May 9, 2010, 1:42 pm

Becca

I have to say that I agree with you for the most part, Eric, but like 17yrold I had the same concern about that particular section that she mentioned. I am 26 years old and celibate, so it’s not always the case that the guy is getting sex before marriage. The entire purpose for my celibacy rests on the fact that it seems that marriage has become nothing but a title as you said. Marriage should be so much more than a title. It is permanent. I am also anti-divorce, almost to the point where it just doesn’t exist for me. For a while I felt the same way as the girl who wrote this email. I was in a long-term relationship. We had talked about marriage, even planned a wedding to some extent, but he had never proposed. We started losing money hand over fist during the 2008 recession. A year later, he broke up with me because we realized that we just couldn’t make it work. We wanted two different things. I am so glad that I didn’t pressure him into proposing, otherwise we would have to live with a mistake forever. Simply making it through the bad times is not a reason to get married. I don’t just want commitment, I want happiness. A ring won’t make your problems disappear.

Reply January 29, 2010, 1:59 pm

Eric Charles

Great comment Sherly. Well put – I completely agree.

Reply December 19, 2009, 11:47 am

Sherly

Rushing things or forcing things on a person in a relationship will probably end up as fuel for a future argument. As a female, I am contemplating those questions and more before I even think about getting married. If you have your whole entire life with this person, then what’s it matter anyway if you wait a little longer? I have several friends that have been in relationships for 5-10 years and are just now getting married because now they’re finished with college and working full time and can take care of each other. None of them are anti-marriage for waiting. They’re just being responsible.

Reply December 19, 2009, 12:25 am

Eric Charles

Hey 17 – I don’t disagree with any of the points you’re bringing up. In fact, one of the reasons I worded my answer in the way that I did was to make sure I didn’t disqualify what you’re talking about.
.
I like the way you said it – it’s a matter of responsibility. If both the man and the woman aren’t 100% certain that they’re ready to honor that kind of commitment, they should slow down and wait. Again – I’m not anti-marriage, I just don’t think it should be rushed or forced because it’s a serious life decision and, if it’s a mistake, it can have huge consequences (especially if you’re a guy).

Reply November 27, 2009, 7:34 pm

17yrold

“It’s not like he’s not getting love or sex beforehand. And I’ve always felt that if the relationship is working well and both people are happy, marriage is just a title. But that title has a huge risk attached to it (for the guy only).”

What about the people who keep marriage sacred? Those people who don’t have sex before marriage? (Yes, there ARE some out there; or at least I really hope, so)

As a woman, it’s not exactly been my biggest dream to have kids when I get married. Not all marriages are generally the way you descibe it. I believe the only reason why most marriages end in divorce is because people aren’t ready for the responsibility or even know what marriage is really about. It’s NOT just a title. When you get married, you’ve made a pledge to stay with that person until they die, through all the good and rough times. That’s why you love that person enough to even WANT to get married, so you can work it out together. A ring says more than simply “being” with that person.
But I do agree with some of what you said Mr. Charles, especially this part: “When we’ve been together so long that I couldn’t imagine life without her there.”

Reply November 27, 2009, 6:32 pm

Eric Charles

I received an e-mail back from the person who originally posted this question. Long story short she felt I was against marriage and embittered about the subject in general.

TOTALLY not the case. I’m sharing my response here just to make sure this is completely clear:

I’m not anti-marriage. I’m not against marriage as a concept. I AM against divorce and the way men are affected by today’s laws – but that is outside of marriage.

Personally, I believe that families are strongest when the parents are (and remain) married. I am lucky and grateful to say that my parents stayed together.

And I like the notion of a couple that is so strong and so perfect together that they would like to be together forever and it is certainly possible. I am 100% for all that, so please do not assume that I am bitter about marriage as a concept – my answer didn’t say I was against any of these things.

Still, there are risks that men have to consider that women don’t. Yes, you can say that there are cases where the women make more money than the men and there are cases where the women support the men financially. I never argued this point and it is irrelevant to what I am talking about.

I hope that clarifies where I am coming from.

Reply November 27, 2009, 3:23 pm

Anonymous NAN

Wow you’re going to be single for a LONG time. People aren’t perfect in case you didn’t know. People make mistakes and that bio clock that women have…guys should be MORE sensitive of that. otherwise that’s pretty darn selfish of them not to. But I guess you’re just referring to marriage and yes that’s a pressure I am VERY willing to give up. I don’t know but don’t guys ever think about oh wow that girl is pretty enough and I better ‘get’ her before anyone else does. I want to father her kid(s)? i would be so lucky to be her husband and make her proud when we go out that people see we are in love both in and outside the bedroom.

Reply December 27, 2011, 1:31 am

Leave a Comment