Still waiting on June 29, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have been with my fiance for over eight years. We have been living together for about five years in a jointly purchased house. The problem seems to be that we have been engaged for over five years now, and we still don’t have a wedding date. We have discussed this on numerous occasions throughout the years, but we still remain engaged without a “date” to wed. He says that he has been ready to marry me since he asked. He says that I am the one dragging my feet. I have told him recently that I am ready now, but this topic always seems to stay the same…dateless. I know that he loves me, and there is no doubt in my mind about spending the rest of my life with him. I am beginning to wonder if I should give him an ultimatum at this point, or should I just move on???
— Constant Confusion
Five years? FIVE YEARS? Yep, it does sound to me like he wants to have his cake an eat it too — as long as it’s not that Scary Forever Cake with a plastic bride and a groom on top. And under similar circumstances, I might say yeah, it’s time for the U-word.
But I am worried that your ultimatum might sound something like this: “I am ready to give you an ultimatum now.” <silence>
See, I understand that you feel like he’s the slowpoke (and he you), but I also noticed that in your letter you talk about a “date” as if it’s this separate third-party thing that just shows up, like getting your couch delivered. It takes two, Constant. To set a date, and to not set a date. You are both not doing it. What you have now is a power struggle, like two wrestlers shuffling in circles waiting for the other to make a move, like two people on either side of a TV split-screen with their arms folded, not budging except to scowl sideways at their unseen rival. Or, to put it another way, one of you’s saying, “I’m not gonna set it, you set it,” and the other says, “I’m not gonna set it, you set it,” and then you push back from the table and wait for Mikey to call the caterers.
Instead, have a REAL conversation about this. Like, with a calendar. And a pen. If you can’t even get him — OR YOURSELF — to that point after a couple of tries, start talking about who gets the house.