Ring of Truth

26 Jan

Woman Receiving Engagement RingDear LetterBalm: I dated a lot of men before I met the man who is now my boyfriend. We’ve been together two years, and I do feel he’s the one. Our values and personalities mesh, and we love each other very much. There’s just one thing: He often brings up the subject of a ring, but he never asks me to marry him. I’ve never pressured him to propose, but I’m beginning to think his half-way approach to discussing marriage is a way to keep me hopeful while he considers his options. This is O.K. with me to a point. I do want to know if he loves me enough to make a life together. How do I find out once and for all if we’re in agreement about the future?

–Fiancée or Not

Two years is more than enough time to broach the subject of marriage and your future with your boyfriend. You’ve been patient. If you have no fears that he’s interested in seeing other women, either by intimation or by deed, you have every right to ask him about his intentions and his sincerity. This shouldn’t be construed as pressuring him to propose. Ms. L.B. says it’s your future, and no one but you can take responsibility for it. Don’t involve family or friends – this is something you must do yourself. If your boyfriend’s answer is that the relationship has run its course, don’t plead or get angry; accept his decision calmly and maturely. Do plan what you’ll say ahead of time, and rehearse privately in front of a mirror if it helps. Talk with him when the two or you are sober and not distracted (not a good idea to have the conversation over a meal or when the TV or smartphone is engaged). Speak slowly and look him in the eye:

Kerrel, I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I need to ask you why you keep bringing up the subject of an engagement ring, but you’ve never asked me to marry you. We’ve been exclusive for two years, and we’ve said we love each other. Unless I’m reading our relationship wrong, we have the same values and want the same things out of life. I need to know if you feel you’re ready to get married, if you feel I’m the one and if you want to have a future with me. I want you to be absolutely honest – if our relationship is not to be, then it’s only fair that you tell me and don’t hold back because you think you’ll hurt my feelings. If you need more time, then we need to talk about that. You’re my best beloved, and I only want to share your life if you feel that way about me, too. Please, talk to me.

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