Poppin' the question...
QUESTION: My boyfriend and I have been dating for over four years. We talk about getting married every now and then and I think he wants to do it. I'm sure we're headed that way because he always has something to contribute when we talk of weddings and children and growing old. He doesn't try to avoid the subject and he doesn't run away when it comes up. My only thing with the subject is this, when is he going to ask me to marry him? I've gotten a little tired of waiting, so I went to the jewelry store and bought him a wedding band. I'm thinking about asking him to marry me. One of my sorority sisters proposed to her husband and they were divorced two years after they were married and I'm worried about what this could all mean. What do I need to know before I pop the question on him?
GARLAND: I guess that all you really need to know is - Is he ready to commit to being married? I know that sounds stupid, but that is really the big question here.
Men are different creatures from women [obviously] when it comes to commitment and relationships. Women are far more emotion driven and when something feels right they tend to stick with it. With a lot of men, even if something feels right they still want to look around and make sure their not missing something better. Once they are convinced that their best chance for long term happiness rests in a certain woman, then they are ready to ask her to marry him and formalize their commitment.
I think that is why traditionally, men are the poppers of the question. Your boyfriend may not be 100% ready to make that big leap. And, if YOU pop the question on him he may feel a lot of pressure to say, yes. He may be afraid of hurting your feelings and he may be scared of driving you away by saying, "No. I'm not ready to get married." Then nothing is worse than getting married to a man that was not 100% ready to be a faithful husband.
I think you might want to hold off on popping the question. At least maybe the "Will you marry me?" part. I'd try to feel him out and see if he feels ready to get married, before you slide a gold band on his finger. You need to know where his head is at, before you accidentally ruin your life.
Thanks for the question. Good luck and drop us a line to tell us how things work out.
CHUCK: My advice to you, and I'll say this to all women: STOP GIVING MEN ALL THE POWER IN RELATIONSHIPS. If you want to get married, and he won't get off the dime, you might want to consider asking him yourself. I don't know too many men who, if they didn't want to get married, would just say yes for the heck of it. Peer pressure does not extend that far.
But before we go further, I'd like you to really closely examine your relationship. You say that he always "has something to contribute" whe you two talk about marriage. That says so much and so little at the same time. I can contibute to a conversation about, say skydiving. But do I want to jump out of an airplane? Not so much. Just because he doesn't run from the room screaming when you talk about marriage, doesn't necessarily mean he wants to do it. If you've been together for four years, some more substantive discussions should maybe have taken place.
But back to my initial point. This is the 21st Century. Both men and women need to act like it, and throw off the traditions of centuries past. Without knowing your sorority sister and her husband, I can say with all certainty that the fact that she proposed to him probably had nothing to do with why her marriage didn't work out.
If marriage to your boyfriend is what you really want, all I'm saying is, consider asking him yourself. Why wait? Maybe your proposing could be the sign or the push he's been waiting for. And if he doesn't to be married, at least you'll know. Then you can decide if you still want to be with him. Either way, good luck.