Reluctant to Propose
Q: I've been dating this guy for the past seven years. While I'm seeing all of my friends getting married and starting to have kids, I just sit here with my boyfriend and don't seem to be moving forward. He's such a sweet and caring guy, which makes this all so much harder. But I want to get married already. My boyfriend is really dragging his feet. He keeps saying he doesn't make enough money to get married and give me the wedding I'm looking for. The thing is, I'm not looking for a huge wedding. I'm just looking to start my life already. I hate ultimatums and find them to be really obnoxious, but is it time I present one to my sluggish boyfriend? -Cate, 29
Dr. Anna: Do you really want to get married to someone who isn't feeling ready to be married? Forcing the issue is pretty risky. Instead, try this. Sit down by yourself and decide what you want for your own life. Figure out what you want and why you want it. Then sit down and have an open and honest conversation with your boyfriend. Tell him your thoughts and feelings. Ask him what his own needs, feelings, and life plans are and listen with an open mind. If he is not on the same page—for whatever reason—you're better off finding someone who wants the same things as you. Don't try to force your boyfriend into a life he doesn't want, it will probably be more painful for both of you in the long run.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.