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Parallax - Advice

April 2, 2001

She wants marriage

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!Last night, I had serious talk with my boyfriend who I've been dating for six months. A year and a half ago, he got a divorce (after his ex-wife cheated on him and asked for one). He didn't want the divorce and says he wants to eventually remarry. However he has no plans to get married within a year and can't say if it will be with me (he said he loves me, but doesn't know if it's enough to marry me). I told him that if he has no intention of marrying me, I don't want to see him anymore. He asked me to give him six months to figure things out. I'm thirty years old, heartbroken, hurt and emotionally down. My mind is blank. I don't know if he doesn't love me enough (and the marriage will never happen) or if he just needs more time. Please help me - I'm totally lost and confused. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Lost & Confused,

First of all, six months is a really short time. How do you even know you want to get married? And thirty is not that old. If you're determined to marry, you should leave this guy. Someone else will marry you sooner than he will - I doubt he'll make a decision in six months…or even a year. Decisions of this caliber take time, and he'll be loath to rush into anything. So, if you're really determined to marry soon - bail and move on to next suitor.

However, if you really love him and want to spend time with him because you love him, then you might as well give him time. Forget about marriage as a goal - it's just not a near-term option. Focus more on having fun and getting to know each other. If this does not sound appealing to you, it's best to move along.

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His view:

Dear Lost & Confused,

Woman, you are off your rocker. Being thirty and desperate does not entitle you to a happy marriage. Sometimes you work so hard at desiring something (and at making believe it will happen) that you lose sight of the fundamental facts. Marriage can be like that - an illusion you work towards mindlessly, shedding common sense for a shortsighted reward.

Face it. Six months of dating someone is not nearly enough time to demand a wedding - especially from a recently divorced man. Sure, some people meet and get engaged within three months, but not everyone is so lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it). It's terribly naive of you to expect this guy to get over his cheating ex-wife and get down on his knees.

Don't force him to make a decision when he's not ready. He obviously cares for you enough to abandon his common sense and beg for a six-month respite to 'figure things out.' Who knows? If you pressure him enough he might even cave in and propose, though he wouldn't necessarily be doing it for all the right reasons. Give this guy a break, stop nagging him, lay off the marriage tack and let the relationship evolve naturally.

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