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Dear Breakup Girl,
I have been dating a terrific man for a little over a year now. He is really
a good guy and does everything for me and I love him very much. But I was a
little disappointed that I didn't get an engagement ring for Christmas. We made
our feelings known in the beginning of this relationship that we both were looking
to get married.
In the middle of the year he told me that he wanted to get serious with me
and asked me to move in with him. I did so in June. I had always lived on my
own prior to this. I thought it might be a good idea to live together for a
while before we get engaged although we never really talked about engagement.
I am kind of nervous about even bringing up the subject. I did this with my
last boyfriend (whom I was with for 11 years) and he would always get mad at
me for bringing it up. I am in no way desperate to get married. It is just that
I am almost 33 years old and this is the one thing that I have been wanting
for a long time.
Last night I blurted out to him that I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't
get a engagement ring. He didn't say anything. My boyfriend is divorced and
was married for 13 years. He also has two kids.
I am a very kind person and I do a lot for my boyfriend. He does a lot for
me too. I am attractive, have a good job and have a lot going for me. I am not
pushy. The last thing that I would want to do is push someone into marrying
me. So, what am I doing wrong? I made sure that this time that I would hook
up with someone who wanted the same things that I do. I will not waste my time
with someone who doesn't. My sister, who got engaged last Christmas, yells at
her boyfriend all the time and here she gets an engagement ring. She is eight
years younger than me and has been married before. I am nothing like this. I
would think that any man would love for me to be his wife. I am sad and I need
advice. I don't want to be in a relationship where I am living with someone
for years and years without formal commitment. Thank you.
With all due respect to your sister, it is possible that
she got an engagement ring at Christmas because she yells at her fiance.
And because she has a track record of dating people who give her rings. Irresistible,
but futile, to compare yourself to her.
Because Sue, I'm not so convinced that anyone else here
is doing anything "wrong." You two agreed that you were "looking
to get married," but if I'm not mistaken, no one stated for the record
to whom or by when. And he might not be quite ready. Not to mention:
for you, Christmas might seem snowy-picture-perfect for a ring; for him, the
season might conjure nothing but memories of sad kids asking for dad. Given
his divorce, I'm sure you could see why -- despite the best and most clearly-stated
of intentions -- he might be ring-shy year-round (not to mention that the ring
thing's easy to dodge when you're already living
together). And hey, you've got your own reasons about being The-Talk-shy.
For both of you: whatever went before, it tanked. So.
Consider, though, that there's a difference between "pushing"
-- not to mention yelling -- and discussing. Consider that if this is a guy
you'd marry, this is a guy with whom you should be able to bring up tricky prickly
stuff, scary though it is. Consider that saying you're "disappointed"
that you didn't get a ring, while accurate/fair enough, doesn't necessarily
open an active two-way conversation. Consider asking him gently "where
he's at" with this M thing, and where he might be at in the year MM. Consider
telling him gently that at some point you're gonna need to know for sure if
he really is not just "looking to," but rather "going to"
-- and if so, if he's going to with you. Important: it's not "pushing"
if you mean it when you say that if not,
sadly, you're going to have to go. Also, consider just asking him to marry you.
I mean, when men do that, it's not "pushing."
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