I’m currently in a seven-year relationship with the father of my two kids. We have lived under the same roof for the last five years; we have a 4-year-old daughter and a 3-month old son. My issue is why hasn’t this man asked me to marry him yet? When I ask what the deal is, his only response is “what’s the rush?” I know you’re probably thinking I must be taking care of this man financially, but that is not the case. He has actually put me through nursing school and he has no problem paying his share of the bills. He’s a really good father and provider but I don’t understand what the hold up is. Do you think that women set themselves up for failure the second they have sex with a man before marriage? Do you think that no man is going to settle down with a woman that has done everything a wife would do without the commitment? Thanks for taking the time to read this; I would love to hear your thoughts and what your readers think as well.
Dear Patient Patty,
To answer your first question, I don’t think women set themselves up for failure by having sex with a man before marriage. If that were the case then a lot of women would never get married. It’s 2009, there are plenty of brides that have done the do with their boo before saying I do. Everyone has his or her own take on sex before marriage. Myself for instance, I’d probably try to do the born again virgin thing with my future fiancée and hold off on sex for a few months before the wedding so the actual honeymoon night will be more special. Not to knock any traditionalist or old school thinkers, but the whole no sex before marriage thing just isn’t for me. God forbid we’re not sexually compatible and now we’re stuck together for the rest of our lives. Although sex isn’t the foundation of a good marriage it is an important part, and I think we all fear being in a sexless relationship.
Now as for your second question about men not settling down with women that play the role of a wife with no commitment, I say that you can’t make a blanket statement for every man regarding marriage (or anything really) because we’re all different individuals. For some the answer may be yes, but for others it will be no. In regards to your situation, though, the only question you should be concerned with is this: Are you happy with this man? If yes, then focus on that and continue to be happy. If the answer is no, then you have to reevaluate some things. For instance, if he did propose to you would you really want to spend the rest of your life with someone that doesn’t make you happy? My point is this: a ring or wedding won’t magically make a bad relationship better. So would you prefer being unwed and happy or married and miserable?
As for why your man hasn’t popped the question, there could be a myriad of reasons. Fear of commitment—we’re all guilty of that at some point. He could just be happy the way things are and sees no real rush to change things up. Sure, you can argue that y’all are doing everything a husband and wife do already so what’s the big deal about making it official? You’re probably right about that, but men traditionally aren’t raised with weddings being the end all, be all of a relationship the same way women are. Girls grow up playing house, while boys play war. Maybe marriage isn’t important to him. Were his parents married or divorce? Has he seen marriages fail? How many of your friends are married? How old are y’all? Have you spoken to him about any of these possible relationship roadblocks and seen where his head is at regarding the whole institution of marriage? Everyone has there own baggage, fears and timeframe when it comes to marriage. You may have always aspired to be hitched by a certain age, while he’s probably like the average man and wedding bells happen when they happen. Go beyond just asking him about when he’s going to marry you, and delve into how he feels/views marriage.
Based on your description, it sounds like you have a good man and y’all appear to have a good thing going. The last thing you want to do is become a nag. Call me stubborn but I don’t respond well to nagging. I like to feel like I made the decision and someone didn’t box me into one—especially something as important and long-term as marriage. Think about it: do you want a man to submit or commit to you? There’s a very big difference. Now that doesn’t mean you should wait around forever for a wedding that’ll never come, but if y’all are truly happy in your space I say focus on that and hopefully he’ll reach the point where he’s ready to take you down the aisle. But ring or not, the moment you feel as if you’re no longer happy or the non-proposal is a serious issue for you then it may just be time for y’all to part. Good luck.
Patient Patty also wanted to hear from you guys/gals, so what do you think of her situation? Is her man just stringing her along? Do you think he’ll ever pop the question or he’s just too comfortable with the way things are? Should she give him an ultimatum? Should she flip the script and propose to him? What’s more important, your current happiness or the lifelong commitment of a ring? How long would you wait for someone to propose?
Speak your piece…