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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Same boyfriend. In January he bought me an eternity ring.

Customer Question

Same boyfriend. In January he bought me an eternity ring. He said he was not ready for marriage, but wanted to commit to me in some way. Is this just to shut me up?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your boyfriend is interested in showing he is committed to your relationship, but may not be prepared to take the next step to marriage. If you are ready to marry and have been telling him your feelings, he may want to be sure you know he cares but for now, he needs more time.

However, if after a few months he still is not speaking of marriage and you have been together for a while now, you may want to ask him more details about what is holding him back from further commitment. What exactly is he unsure of? Sometimes it is a legitimate reason such as financial difficulties, but often it can be emotional issues such as fear. Finding out what is the reason can help you encourage him to address it.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate







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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There is no doubt he has commitment issues. We have been together over two years, but we still live apart. He has a good excuse for us not living together: he has a joint mortgage with a friend, but he earns a lot he could easily buy his friend out. He lives under the "if it ain't broke, why fix it" mantra. We are happy so why change anything? However, I cannot live that way, I want us to build a life together, not live apart. Yes I now have a ring on my finger, but what does it mean to him? To me it means forever (I know, eternity: obvious), but what if it means to him, yes I love you, yes you make me happy and I want to be with you, but not the whole run?

Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
If you have been together for over two years and your boyfriend is financially able to marry you, then it sounds like there is an emotional issue that is preventing him from committing. In that case, it is very important that he address it now. Potentially, he could continue to say he wants to commit (such as with giving you the ring) but never do it, leaving you to hang on to the relationship but without fulfilling your desire to marry. And that is unfair to you. Ask your boyfriend to seek therapy to find out why he is fearful of committing. There is a deeper reason for his behavior that needs resolved. But if he won't try therapy, consider going on your own. You need to decide if it is worth staying in the relationship until he works out his issues, if he ever does.

Kate

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