My Boyfriend of 5 Years Hasn’t Proposed to Me Yet. What Should I Do?

I’m 42 years old and my boyfriend is almost 48. He was married once before and has two young adult children. We’ve been together for five years. Three years in, I asked about marriage and he told me he wasn’t ready. I was ready to break up with him until he gave me a sweet promise ring and swore that he really does want to marry me, but he just wasn’t ready and needed more time. He convinced me to wait because he swears he wants to build a life with me.

I’ve read your advice about allowing him to choose me, so I didn’t bring it up again for almost two years. I finally started to wonder and asked him about it again, only for him to tell me the exact same thing: that he’s not ready, but he wants to marry me someday and he sees a future with me. Problem is: he won’t give me a timeline, he won’t say why he’s not ready, and he wants us to live together first.

We own our own homes and the housing market is highly overinflated where we live – so much that we can’t afford to buy a house together. So, there’s no chance of us living together anytime soon. Plus, I’m not sure that living together as a “trial run” is the best way to approach marriage. If he’s not interested in marrying me now, I’m not sure that living together will change that.

He swears that he really does want to build a life with me, but I’m not sure I can wait another few years for a man who continues to kick the marriage can down the road – and the “living together trial run” seems like an excuse to prolong the marriage issue. I wish I could just break up with him, but I stay around because he keeps saying he really does want to marry me, but he’s just not ready and wants to live together first.

He is really good to me and we get along outside of this issue. We have fun together, laugh, and he’s always doing nice, thoughtful things for me, like fixing things in my house and buying me little presents. But, I’m starting to become disenchanted with the relationship because I don’t want to be his girlfriend forever. I don’t know if I should stay or go.

Thank you for taking the time to read this question, because I know you receive thousands of them.

Jessica

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