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Should you know if he/she is the "one" after 3 years?

 
 
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 10:22 am
Long story short, I am ready to marry my boyfriend of 3 years. We have a good relationship, haven't ever broken up, rarely argue, etc. We have similar goals, values (religious and moral), are fiscally responsible, agree on wanting a family, etc. I think we are comfortable and stable. And we have a fun time being silly together and making each other laugh.

He is still "unsure" if I am the "one." He admits to being slow about making decisions (and I've known this about him when it comes to purchasing things - 5 months to buy a TV and it wasn't a financial issue). He says he doesn't have that "make me the happiest man and marry me" storybook feeling yet. I question if a good, stable, comfortable relationship evokes that feeling after 3 years. I don't really have that feeling per say, I just know this is the person I want to wake up next to, who I want to be the father of my children. I think that storybook, made-for-TV, gut-wrenching romantic feeling dulls into a comfortable relationship after a year or two. Or maybe I'm unromantic.

So do you think it's bad that he isn't sure yet? Maybe he's just a little slower then the average guy? We both come from families with very successful relationships. His father is admitted slow in the say way (his Mom once said to me, "they're worth waiting for once they make up their minds.")

Anyway, I don't want to push him, but I worry what's keeping him from pulling the trigger is unrealistic. We've got a really great thing going but the longer he is "unsure" the more it hurts me, and the more it starts to affect my happiness in the relationship.
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 10:28 am
@boston85,
Honey, my husband and I knew within a few days after we met. That was almost 21 years ago (we've been married for 18 of 'em).

If he doesn't know now, when will he? When you're older and it's tougher to have and raise children? When the relationship gets stale? When it gets somehow, magically, fresher?

I think either this guy does not want to get married at all (not everyone wants to) or he is dickering around or he really is this indecisive. And, well, sometimes you need to stop being Hamlet and just make up your mind once in a while. I mean, is he gonna name your kids when they're in Middle School?

I know you love him, but right now, from my perspective, this is looking like just one big, fat time sink. I would tell him to hit the bricks but that's me. You should ask him, what will it take? And be prepared if it's not an answer you want to hear. And, by the way, "more time" is not an answer. He's had plenty. Time to poop or get off the pot.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  3  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 10:31 am
@boston85,
A relationship is more than having a fun time being silly together and making each other laugh.

It sounds as if he wants to experience other women before he makes up his mind. If you live together, maybe he already considers himself married and doesn't want to have the legal trappings.

You say he wants to have a family. Does he really? Does he want you to be the mother of his children?

If he doesn't have a good idea of whether you are the right one after three years I wonder how many more years it will take for him to make up his mind. You don't indicate your ages. Perhaps he just feels that he is too young for a final commitment.

0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 10:48 am
Boy, that's a toughie. Is is deliberating over it or does he just think you're not the one. I think you have to ask him straight out and see what he says. Tell him you don't want to invest anymore time in a relationship that's going nowhere. You want to get married, have kids, be a family. And you want it soon. Does he or doesn't he? Give him a little time to let you know - it's a big decision - but give him a deadline and stick to it.

Hope all goes the way you want it to.
panzade
 
  3  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 11:01 am
@Mame,
yeah...I was the guy in your story and I never did get my nerve up to commit.
Give him one year and then get on with your life.
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 11:16 am
@panzade,
I agree with Panzade but I would say he has until Labor Day Weekend to decide.

Then take the month of August off from each other.

Joe(You have my very best wishes.)Nation
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:24 pm
It's possible your guy suffers from an inability to make choices. You can read lots of articles about how people respond to having too many choices. Your comment about taking five months to buy a TV makes me think that he is overly consumed with the thought that making a decision means that he won't be available when the "better model" comes along. That said, I'm with the advice above. Just ask him straight out: "Are you waiting for a better model to come along and what's the definition of better?" That might spark an interesting discussion.
boston85
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:28 pm
Well, I don't want to give him an ultimatum, no one should be pushed into making a big decision (all though maybe he needs it). I love him enough to give him more time, even if it doesn't work out for me in the end. I'm just scared because I know I'll just be hurting myself more in the long run, but I've decided he's worth that risk.

My plan is to give him a little space, stop acting married already, and let him "miss me" a little. I'll give him a few months and then ask if he's made any progress. He knows he needs to be "working on it" because how much it hurts me.

Whatever happened to meeting the person of your dreams, fall in love, and magically you both want to get married at the same time? Stupid movies ...

P.S. He is 29 and I'm 25 (almost). Probably makes the situation sound worse ...



Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:31 pm
@boston85,
It seems that you had made your decision on what to do before asking for input. Good luck.
0 Replies
 
boston85
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:35 pm
@engineer,
I think he is well-researched in his decision making to a FAULT (reading up on different models of TVs etc). He is an Analyst in his job too...

I wish he could just get out of his head a little and realize ALL commitments require some risk and there's always going to be some "what ifs" or back-burner concerns. I think he's over-thinking and not following his heart, and I think he truly does love me and want to be with me. Actually, I think his over-thinking takes the romance out of wanting to propose (which is why he's hesitant because he doesn't feel that "make me the happiest man" feeling yet). Argh!

As for the "better model" syndrome, he's got enough of a brain to know he's got a damn good "girlfriend model" going. Smile He's never once hinted at "seeing what's out there."
0 Replies
 
CoastalRat
 
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Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:38 pm
@boston85,
Just tell him he needs to make up his mind because you have this hot-looking, fun loving clown on FB who wants to take you out and get hitched. Then, when he sees how much of a hunk I am, he will quickly pop the question to keep from losing you.

PS: Don't tell him I'm married cause that might lead him to believe it is only a trick to get him to pop the question.

PSS: Also, don't tell my wife. She could get a bit pissed off at me and God knows I don't need that. And oh, yeah, good luck to you.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:57 pm
I like everything that has been said.

But, I just want to tell the stories of two women I knew.

I never found how the first story ended. The woman in question was a teacher who worked during the summer as a guide supervisor at the museum where I was a guide. While she was a tiche heavy, she was stunningly beautiful with strawberry blonde hair, black brows and lashes and a turned up nose. Her boyfriend was in law school, the son of a widowed?/divorced? mother (either I never knew or don't remember).

He promised her they would marry when he finished law school. He was a night student who worked during the day because he had to support his mother. When he graduated and passed the Bar, he announced that he was thinking of going to medical school, postponing the marriage again. And while looks aren't everything, he was a sort of Rush Limbaugh physical type. All the guides she supervised thought he was nothing.

The other woman is also a teacher. She's a fantastic person who mothers the entire faculty where she works. She is now 61. She met her boyfriend when they were college students and stayed with him for 12 years, waiting until he finished this project or that. She made excuses for him. She thought he was brilliant.

One day, while teaching Death of a Salesman, it occurred to her that her boyfriend was Biff, the son who never succeeded. She broke up with him. She finally married in her middle-fifties.
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aidan
 
  4  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 01:22 pm
@boston85,
If he's not sure he wants to get married - and you love him and love being with him - I'd be okay with it for the time being.

If he's sure he wants to get married, but doesn't know if he wants to get married to you - I'd let him go - especially if you want to get married.

I found the idea of committing to marriage very difficult, so I can understand that.
It's not okay though to use someone (you, in this case) to fill a space until the 'right' person comes along.

I'd ask him to explain his hesitation if I were you.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 01:36 pm
@aidan,
I would add just one thing to your excellent advice: How is he going to find Ms. Right while in what appears to be an exclusive and somewhat committed relationship? Is our correspondent prepared to be shunted aside for another woman?
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Eva
 
  7  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 02:38 pm
Some people have to be pushed. I wish it wasn't so, but it is. I gave a guy an ultimatum like this once. He decided to marry me after all. We just celebrated our 27th anniversary.

I don't believe in "The One." I believe it's possible to be happy with many different people out there, in many different ways. The question is: Do I want to spend my life this way?

That magical, pulse-racing "one in a million" chemical madness typically occurs at the beginning of a relationship and never lasts more than 2 years, max. Our bodies could not take it if it lasted any longer. More importantly, it's NOT a sign that a relationship will last. It's a rarely discussed fact that married people can and do still experience those feelings for others even while they're in happy relationships. You can't control your feelings. What you CAN control is what you do.

This guy doesn't need more time, he needs to make a decision. After three years, he has probably had plenty of opportunities to see how you handle responsibilities, crises, etc. He should have a pretty good idea by now whether or not he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. If he doesn't want to, the good news is you're young. You still have plenty of time to find another good man who will want a life with you.

<crossing fingers that he makes the right decision>

ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 03:18 pm
@Eva,
Your post should be engraved in stone, Eva.

Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 04:27 pm
@ossobuco,
Thanks, Osso. I wish someone had dispelled some of these myths for me when I was younger. Sure would have saved me a lot of needless introspection.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 08:18 pm
@Eva,
But the problem with personal relationships is they are totally unlike a style of music or a language or a chemistry experiment that can be taught, read about or recreated. Living with others has to be learned anew over and over again.
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Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 08:27 pm
@boston85,
Boston85 I suggest you read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It states clearly that women commit to a relationship with their bodies, men commit with a piece of paper. Marraige is adjustment, adjustment, adjustment.

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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 08:48 pm
On the basis of experience ( Smile ) I seriously doubt there is such a person as (just) one "the one" for any person. There can be quite a few over the course of a lifetime!

But feeling that your potential husband is not fully committed to the relationship is quite another matter.
 

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