Boyfriend failure to commit, girlfriend very confused

Not so much that he won’t commit to me…
We’ve been together a long time and he’s done everything for me that he could, and I see this as a commitment, but he won’t take the next step forward in our relationship.

My boyfriend and I have been dating since August 2005 (nearly 8 years now) and we’ve lived together since 2007.

We live in a good house, he has a good paying job, my business is starting to take off, our lives are evening out and we’re finally making headway with our debt.
We’ve been together a long time, we’re old enough to make this step (I’m mid 20’s he’s 28) we’re not 100% financially stable but we’re almost there.

We’ve been through rough times and very low times, and we’ve had great times as well as lived through the status quo. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s the one. I am not interested in being with anyone else but him. I can’t see myself with anyone else nor do I have any desire to be with anyone else.

He tells me he feels the same way, tells me he loves me, wants to be with me forever, and can’t see himself with another woman.

My grandmother left us with a beautiful diamond for my future engagement ring which is locked away for when he proposes so even though we don’t have a TON of money saved currently, he’d still be able to propose and we could get rings, etc.

I’ve told him that although it’s my dream to have a huge wedding (I have a ton of close family), I’m fine with a small wedding with just a few immediate family members.

I told him that marriage is very important to me and that it was also important to me that my parents are around to see the wedding and my father is around to walk me down the isle.

I’ve been talking about getting married for a few years now. At first it was that we did not have enough money to make the step forward.

Now he’s been saying for the past year or so that it’s because he isn’t ready and it’s too “adult”. He tells me that he really wants to marry me to make me happy, but he doesn’t know how he feels about the whole thing and feels that he’s not ready and doesn’t know if/when he will ever be ready. I DON’T want him to propose if he doesn’t want me to be his wife and doesn’t want to make that commitment to me/marry me. I want it to be REAL I want him to feel the same way for me as I do for him.

I love him with all my heart. I’ve been with him through everything. I never want to leave him, but again, the step of marriage is VERY important to me and I don’t know how I feel about being the “live in girlfriend” my whole life.
The house and everything is under his name though I contribute everything from time, work, and money to our “family” from closing costs on the house to remodeling, etc.

The MAJORITY of my reasons for wanting marriage is that I love him, want to take our love to the next level, want to be married, want a HUSBAND, and want to GROW UP.

But in the back of my mind I have other concerns that nag at me. With his name on everything, I have no legal claim to anything if anything was to happen in our relationship no matter how much money or time I contribute. If anything happens to him, unless he writes a will, the same thing happens.
Less important is the fact that I pay all his bills (with both of our money) and if there is an issue, because I’m not his wife, I can’t handle it.

And lastly and the least important thing is that once married, insurance for the both of us winds up being cheaper and he gets more money back in his taxes.

I don’t know if I’m being selfish or if I’m being “real”.

I KNOW that if he keeps refusing to make the step forward I will have to make a decision on whether I can live as the “live in girlfriend” forever or if marriage is so important to me that I would leave him. I’m afraid of spending more time with him if he’s never going to make that commitment but at the same time I’m not ready to make the decision to leave him if he won’t marry me.

I guess I’m holding on to hope that he will want me like I want him and want to make the commitment of marriage.

I am just trying to figure out WHY he feels this way and WHY he doesn’t know how he feels about marriage and WHY he thinks that it’s “too adult”. I would think that purchasing a home and living together, having a career, etc would be very “adult”.

He’s told me he would like to get therapy for this and unrelated issues but is also too afraid of social and medical implications of doing such a thing, especially when his job may require security clearance.

Can anyone offer insight?

Reported for forum change.

You pay for things and your name isn’t on anything?

Time to fish or cut bait.

Propose to him. He is unbelievably lucky to have you in his life.

Time to move on. No need to waste your time with overgrown juveniles. His excuses are BS and there’s no need to play along with his childishness.

Moved to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I’m sorry to be cynical, but he is never going to marry you. And you have been foolish to not put your name on anything. It also sounds like you aren’t so much interested in getting married but in getting “weddinged.” You deserve better–based on what you’ve described, your BF is a user.

That’s my downfall too, trying to figure out WHY men do the stupidass things they do. Waste of time. There’s no good reason for him refusing to commit so it doesn’t matter if you figure out what his bad reason is.

If you’re not getting what you want out of the relationship what’s the point?

Why should he marry you? He doesn’t need to take the next step. He has everything he needs.

You need to decide if you want to be married more than you want him. If he’s the one you want, then you need to change your thinking about “the next step” and being more committed. You’ve got him, good living situation, etc.

If you decide being married is more important, then you need to move out, or kick him out, end the relationship, and look for someone who also wants marriage.

it’s kind of alarming that you’ve bought a house (it sounds like) without getting your name on it. Oh, and being married is no guarantee that you’ll be able to deal with his stuff. It’s not magic. If the credit card is in his name and not yours, they still won’t tell you anything even if you’re married (or anyway they’re not supposed to).

I’m not trying to make him out to be an ungrateful horrible person. He’s been extremely supportive of me and my business ideas and has always been there for me. He’s financially responsible for a lot of our bills but I do contribute as well. I don’t want to make it sound like he does nothing for “us”, he does.
He JUMPS for anything I need or ask generally, and has funded my business venture fully and again, has been extremely supportive.

Hilarity, like I said, I realize I need to make that type of decision.

I’m just asking WHY he feels the way he does (obviously you guys can only speculate), or if there is a scientific reason men feel this way, or what? Maybe other people have had similar experiences?

Yes, it was dumb of me to not have my name on the house, but when we purchased the house, my credit score was good enough to be on the loan, but I was focusing on my business so I had no job “per say” so he told me they probably wouldn’t give us the loan.
I know he loves me but I guess in the back of my mind (and due to emotions) I wonder, DOES he really love me? Does he really see us as committed or if something better comes along will he leave?
I mean, he’s proven he’s not like that, but sigh, I guess that’s the emotional doubting “woman” in me.
Marriage is absolutely no assurance that he’ll stay with me, that’s a give-in (my parents divorced, my dad re-married and is getting divorced AGAIN, etc), but for me I guess I feel that it’s a step forward and proof he loves ME and has every intention of spending the rest of his life with ME faithfully.

Again, in one hand, marriage doesn’t really even mean that anymore, but, I guess the fact that he doesn’t want to marry me concerns me.

Yup. This is… amazingly bad. Crazy-bad.

He owns your house, and you’re financially successful. He isn’t going to ask you to marry him because he’s happy the way things are, even though he’s making hand-waving comments to placate you. There isn’t a “scientific” way to analyze it. He’s happy, and you’re willing to put up with the status quo. Either ask him to marry you, live with him as it is, or leave.

I’m sure he does love you, but love isn’t enough on its own.

You simply need to decide if a) you’re ok with the status quo indefinitely, or b) you’re ok with waiting in the hopes that he’ll come around. I would operate under the assumption that he’s not going to come around, which makes b) problematic. In any case, I think you are confusing two things: the man you want him to be in the man he really is at this point in time. Separating those two may help you make a decision.

I’m becoming more financially successful, I wouldn’t exactly call myself financially successful YET, but it’s looking to be moving in the right direction.

Blackberry, can you elaborate a little as to how you feel about this and why “love” isn’t enough. It sounds like you share the same feelings towards this as I do.,%20Are%20You%20Protected%20Financially.pdf

You’re screwed, in every sense.
Get him to sign something saying you own half of the important things - house, car(s); sort out whose money is whose.
Try to do this in a friendly way, before he figures out what’s going on and realizes he does not have to cede anything.

If things get nasty, separate out the money and stop paying for “his” things until he relents.

Either he wants to work things out and he just doesn’t feel like tying a legal knot, or he’s having second thoughts and is looking for a painless way to back out. Oh, well, there’s always forgetting the birth control… :slight_smile:

Or, as your mother would tell you, “why would he buy the milk when he’s getting free cow?”

Boys don’t grow up easy

The fact that your name isn’t on anything aside, I’ve noticed that people are taking much longer to actually tie the knot then in the past and I think that’s a good thing. My now husband and I were together for seven years before he proposed, and got married almost nine years after we first started dating. We were considered common law here, but there were a few legal issues that would come up if something happened (like his pension in the event of his death - I wouldn’t legally be able to collect it when we were unmarried). So perhaps you can apeal to your partner on the more practical side of married vs. unmarried? Taxes, pensions, death benefits, any future children, healthcare, etc.

You can love someone you’re incompatible with. I know that from experience. The two of you apparently want different things and after all these years that doesn’t seem too likely to change, and you’ll probably keep getting more and more resentful about it.

My sister was in a similar situation but she was with her boyfriend for three years. For some reason he didn’t want to get married even though they were in a very serious and seemingly healthy relationship. Eventually they broke up over it and she married someone else a year after meeting him and she’s very happy.

Marriage wasn’t that important to me, but it was important to my wife. When I actually and completely felt that I was with the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, it wasn’t a sacrifice to marry her, even if it was mostly for her sake. It took me several bad marriages and relationships to get to that point, however. It sounds like he knows it’s important to you, but isn’t willing. So, as others have said, you need to accept that as a long term situation, or ask him to marry you and move on if he says no.

He feels this way because you are letting him. If he thought you would cut and run without marrying, he would change his tune. He knows you aren’t going to leave, so why commit to the goose when he’s already got the golden egg?

As to the house, it’s not up to him to decide whether you qualify as a couple for the loan. That’s up to the loan underwriter. If I were you, I would check on common law in your state and see what you can lay claim to despite lack of a marriage license at this point, see where you stand if you leave. Depending on when the original loan was taken out, it may be worth looking into refinancing, and if it is, refinance the house with your name included.

All the unmarried long-term couples I know (including my parents until one year ago!) have at least committed to property together. If your guy isn’t even willing to do that, he really won’t ever marry you. You need to lay down the line and make him step over it with you and be willing to walk out if he doesn’t.