I read this week’s NUVO and at first was irritated at the guy who has some perfect life and wants to ask his perfect girlfriend’s perfect parents for her hand in marriage. After saying to myself how he was pussywhipped not only by his girlfriend but by her family, too, I admitted to myself that I am jealous. I wish I felt about my girlfriend the way he does about his. I have the exact opposite problem. We’ve been together for three years, and just after Thanksgiving, my girlfriend started putting on the major pressure to get married. She’s completely gunning for that ring and even gave me an ultimatum. Either I propose by Christmas or we break up. Why do women do that? Do they really want to get proposed to just to get a ring, even if they only got it by practically forcing the guy to do it? So far, I haven’t had to tell my girlfriend that she isn’t getting a ring, and when she brings up the “propose or else” topic, I just don’t say anything back to her. But she says we’ve been together a long time and that “I owe her” a real commitment. I guess I’m writing more to vent than to ask for your advice; I already know I’m going to dump her. I guess I just want confirmation that this is bullshit. But I’ve pretty much made up my mind that I’m going to let my “deadline” come and go, and let her figure it out. Then, hopefully I’ll meet someone that I actually want to marry, and she won’t want to force it on me.
Thanks for listening.
Dear Not Proposing,
I couldn’t agree more with your decision. While many people would question why you’ve been with someone for three years if you don’t want to marry her, I won’t. Not every relationship is meant to end in marriage, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth having. Your girlfriend obviously does not agree, but that’s irrelevant. I say go ahead and break up with her. Actually, do it before your deadline. That way, you’re calling the shots rather than passively waiting for the confrontation to come to you. I question the character of anyone who wants to get married through coercion, so perhaps being dumped at Christmas after trying to force your hand will teach her to be a better person than that. Don’t be cruel though. She probably doesn’t want to marry you any more than you want to marry her, even though she’d argue passionately with me on that if she could. But there’s a certain desperation in her ultimatum that doesn’t sound like love. It sounds like she doesn’t want to think of the last three years of her life as wasted. Again, it’s that mentality that leads to a lot of lousy marriages. You’re wise to not enter into the newest. So hang in there, Sweets. Breakups are never easy, but I’m proud of you for doing the difficult, and right, thing. Good luck.