Anne, I am in a relationship with a man that I am living with. We have been together for 6 years. I want to get married at this point. However, when I start to talk to him about this he shuts down on me. I recently quit my job and went to law school. My head tells me to leave him. My heart tells me he will come around – either way I am tried of being put off. I want to leave him, however, so far I have not had the strength. What do you suggest?
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6 years is a long time to be in a stagnant relationship, but you shouldn’t feel alone. I’ve known many women in your situation. As far as I can tell, there is no specific explanation for men who are hesitant to propose. No matter what your boyfriend’s reasons are, don’t blame yourself. He hasn’t proposed because he is not yet ready. It has been my experience that these men do not suddenly have a revelation, and run out to buy an engagement ring. His attitude about marriage will not change over night. Six years will quickly turn into seven, and before you know it seven will turn into eight. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to leave. If you’ve tried talking to him about this, then you’ve done all you can do. You can’t force him to want to get married. Does he just shut down whenever he is in disagreement with something? He could at least consider your feelings and hear you out during one of these attempted discussions. It sounds as though the two of you are at different points in your lives. If you are ready to move on with your life, then I say do it. I’m sure you will discover that you are stronger than you think! Best of luck to you, – Anne