My Fiance of 7 Years Won’t Marry Me! Should I Stay Or Should I Go?


My fiance of one and a half year will not commit to a date. He has postponed the wedding once (due to a very real financial crisis). We agreed on a timeline for us to set the next date and he is stalling again.

I want to be proactive about this but I don’t want to force him into a wedding he doesn’t want. We will have been together for 7 years in Jan 2008 and I know he loves me but is he waiting for the second coming to fix the date?


Dear Sheena,

First of all, I want to acknowledge you for writing to me regarding such a sensitive topic. You’ve invested a lot of time with this guy, and I don’t want to gloss over your very serious issue. But it seems that since we can all be a little too close to our own problems, it might be easier if I give you one of mine to solve. The topic is a little touchy, so be gentle with me, okay? Okay.


Dear Sheena,

My girlfriend will not give me oral sex.

She really loves me and said that she will one day be interested in performing it. It just hasn’t happened yet.

I try not to bug her too much about it because I don’t want her to feel pressured. But I’m beginning to think that, at this pace, I might never get sucked off again.

I know it’s possible to have a relationship without oral sex, but regular hummers are something I’ve always dreamed of. I’m not sure if she’s afraid of penises, had a bad childhood experience, or is just shy, but, after seven years of dating her, I’m starting to feel like a blue-balled chump.

What do you think I should I do?


First, a few things to note:

Marriage is more important and high-stakes than blowjobs.

My girlfriend and I have been together for 11 months, not 7 years.

She would not be my girlfriend if the above problem were true.

Despite the jokes, Sheena, I really, truly believe that our disparate situations have the same exact solutions.

Simply put, if you and I are not satisfied with the status of our relationships, we must have authentic conversations with our partners about how they’re not living up to our needs and expectations.

And if our partners tell us that things will change but they don’t, we’re faced with two choices:

Stay or Go.

That’s it. Two options. Nothing else.

By staying in a relationship that’s not meeting your needs, you become an enabler who allows your commitment phobic boyfriend to take advantage of you. And by threatening to walk and not walking, you establish yourself as a powerless victim and a doormat. That’s where you’ve been for seven years and that’s where you’ll be in seven years unless you do something differently. ‘Cause clearly, he’s in no rush to change….

By staying in a relationship that’s not meeting your needs, you become an enabler who allows your commitment phobic boyfriend to take advantage of you. 

Let’s establish a caveat: there’s nothing wrong with being in a seven year relationship and not being married, if THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT. Really. To bring it back to my made-up situation…I have a buddy who is married and NEVER gets oral sex. That pattern was established during the three years he dated his wife and he certainly couldn’t expect it to change after he tied the knot. For him, a blowjobless marriage was a bargain he was willing to strike in order to preserve the union. Works for him. Not for me.

So, for you, Sheena, it may well be worth it to stay in an unmarried monogamous relationship as long as you get to keep your “fiancé”.  But you’re not at all unreasonable for wanting a ring, and you’re definitely justified in leaving if you don’t get one.

Ultimatums are unpopular concepts because they seem pushy, but I’ll tell you: if you’ve been pushed around, an ultimatum is ALL YOU GOT. If you’re in your late 30’s/early 40’s, you want marriage and kids, and he’s been stalling for more than 2 years, you sure as hell better tell him to propose or move on.

At a certain point, it ceases being his fault for not committing, and becomes your fault for accepting his lack of commitment.

Whatever you do, good luck. I hope you find a decision that gives you peace and happiness.


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  1. 21


    What does your heart tell you? I think you already know the answer, but sometimes we need to mull these things over with others as we know our friends and family are generally not the most objective people.

    Love can keep us in a relationship and it can also keep us from getting what we want. Calling it quits with someone you truly love and see a future with is unbearable and will cause a lot of heatbreak and pain. It is harsh, but the truth. On the other hand, staying in a relationship where your needs are not met, in my oppinion and from my experience, is more painful in the end. You read all of these comments from people who got divorced 15 years later, when they knew or stuck around with the guy or girl hoping it would work out or things would “get better.” I am not saying we are all fortune tellers and can predict what will happen in realtionships, but if you are living what is NOT happening, than you have some tough decisions to make.

    Evan’s analogy regarding oral sex is right on. There are some things we accept and feel we can manage with, and others that are total deal breakers. I left a man I loved and was with for six years (okay friends for six years and dating that lasted only six months) because as we continued to date, he continued to withdraw, refuse sex, and was not emotionally connected with me at all. (Of course I blamed myself and said if I looked “better” he would want to have more sex with me, but than I opened my eyes and stopped kidding myself and realized whomever he married was going to have a husband who had not sexual interest or interest in affection or emotional attachment.)

    As I wrote in SOOOO many of my past comments, it hurt like hell. It hurts more than anyone can imagine to NOT have someon you love so much not give you what you need. Granted, I am not making an assumption your man isnt affectionate or engaging in a healthy sex life with you, but he is emotionally neglecting you because you want something that he just does not either need or deem important in your relationship: MARRIAGE.

    If you can ask yourself why getting married is so important to you, than you will understand why this is bothering you so much. As Evan said, some people do not need MARRIAGE to feel they have a complete relationship. I know I do, and I also know WHY I want to be married. I do not have to explain my reasons to anyone but myself (and my therapist of course).

    So where does that leave you? It leaves you in a position of making a choice, also as Evan wrote. The funny thing about life is WE DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE CHOICES about what we will choose to accpet and what we will not. No one can make that choice but you but I do strongly suggest you utlize your family and friends for support regardless of what you choose.

    Not one person on this website, commenting on your question answer this question for you. I will offer you support and strength because nothing is harder than possibly making a decision to walk away from someone you love so much and whom you want to give you something he just may not be capable or willing to give you.

    Keep us posted and remember, you deserve what you want. It is not as you are saying I wont marry this guy unless he buys me a three carot ring because I believe I am worth it! You are just a girl who wants to get married, and why in hell shouldnt you have that?


  2. 22

    For those of you supporting Sheena’s fiance’s reluctance to set a date because of (possible) financial reasons, here’s my thought – after being together for 7 years, why should a financial issue be something standing in the way of making that commitment? Unless it’s an issue of paying for the wedding, setbacks such as money, health, etc. happen in life and they can be there after the wedding. And if you can’t deal with this now as a couple, imaging what your marriage would be like.

    I know people who’ve been married for years and have endured economic setbacks – it certainly tested their marriage but they pulled through.

  3. 23

    to downtowngal,

    allright, I like your response….

  4. 24

    Hi Sheena,

    Just one quick question.
    No one has mentioned communication.
    Have the two of you actually discussed your concerns with each other? Some how I get the feeling that the two people who are at the heart of our discussion have not had one of their own.

  5. 25

    hunter Jan 6th 2008 at 08:51 am 20
    to Steve,
    a common practice all over europe, older women with younger men. There is a role reversal over 50. Older women no longer bond, they intellectualize..


    I don’t think I completely understand your message or how it exactly relates to the points I made. I’m interested in your thoughts. Would you care to expand upon what you wrote?

  6. 26

    downtowngal Jan 6th 2008 at 06:44 pm 22
    For those of you supporting Sheena’s fiances reluctance to set a date because of (possible) financial reasons, here’s my thought – after being together for 7 years, why should a financial issue be something standing in the way of making that commitment?


    My father was struggling financially when he and his second wife got married. He bought her a ring without impressive financial value and they got married at a justice of the peace. That was almost 20 years ago and they are still going strong.

    Bottom line, they really wanted to be married to each other.

  7. 27

    verbosity Jan 6th 2008 at 08:38 am 19
    I find it interesting that nearly every poster assumes Sheena’s fiancee is automatically stalling without good reason.

    What could be a good reason that would last for 7 years? If you subtract 2 years to allow him an opportunity to get to know her then you have

    – 5 years to resolve any given financial issues, if you accept that as
    an excuse for not being married.

    – 5 years to go to a therapist to learn how to drop any maturity
    issues or emotional baggage with being married.

  8. 28


    Before you take mine, or anyone else’s comments out of context, please read the posts carefully. Sheena wrote her finacee of 1 1/2 years already postponed the wedding once due to a financial crisis. Common sense and basic logic dictates that the financial matter occurred within the last 18 months since he had to (1) propose, thereby making her a fiancee, (2) have financial crisis, leading to (3) postponement. Therefore, fiancee did not, as you falsely asserted, have 5 years to resolve financial crises. The 5 years to go to a therapist/maturity issues crack is simply a cheap shot at the finacee and uncalled-for, especially given the lack of background facts.

    Your use of my comment in such a way is either very erroneous or disingenuous. The readers can decide for themselves which is accurate. Please refrain from doing so again.

    1. 28.1

      Verbosity, subject matter aside I am positively revelling in your fantastic use of the English language.   So refreshing.  

  9. 29

    to steve,

    I believe you wrote, …..but there is a perception(mistaken or not), that older women, have tougher time finding romantic opportunities…..I was adding on to this……..

  10. 30

    hunter Jan 7th 2008 at 05:49 pm 29
    to steve,
    I believe you wrote, ..but there is a perception(mistaken or not), that older women, have tougher time finding romantic opportunities..I was adding on to this..

    Okay, I see what you mean now, though I am not sure I agree. It seems like the older woman younger man thing most times is about sex and not romance/companionship. Women also live longer, usually with better health so I imagine things get even tougher in later years

  11. 31

    all i want to say is i could not stop laughing when i read Evans comparison. f-ing hilarious!!! even though i wanted to be offended i simply couldnt. it was too f-ing funny!!! anyway, i think its sooo very cool that so many people have taken interest in sheenas problem. im going to be very open and tell sheena that i too have been in your situation. this valentines day would be 9 years for and my x fiance who i just it off with. we got engaged (finally) on june 9th, the whole nine yards , a beautiful emerald 1.5 carat engagement ring, down on the knee, my mom everyone there. and then sheena when we got engaged, this man becomes the worst part of himself. instead of saving for the wedding he suppossedly wants, he goes out and leases a lexus, moves out of his parents house finally at age 31 and at my request and rents a 2700 dollar a month 2 bedroom condo that he cant afford, and basically goes into “self absorbed” mode. i waited 9 freaken years for this shit? i finally was able to see him for who he was even after all the years of knowing he was a very materialisitic, self absorbed, immature, man, i just thought, he would grow up one day. but sheena, there will always be an “excuse” for why the time isnt right, certain decisions were made, and blah blah blah blah blah, honestly men do what they want to do. they’re good at it. we should learn from them. we are always thinking of others and trying to be “fair” and “sensitive” to their needs. why? when certain men can be so selfish with us, our time, our needs? why do we allow that? many people have stated “if he wanted to marry you he would” i believe my fiance does “want to ” marry me. do i believe he wants to marry me more than he wants to be looked and feel like a “rich and successful” man instead of the immature indebt materialistic child that he is? NO. I DONT. Heloves me, Your fiance loves you. But theres something they both love more than us. THEMSELVES & THEIR NEEDS. There is something they fear more than us leaving them… BEING CONTROLLED, AND BEING FAILURES.

    So face what you are looking at and make a decision for yourself. They are wonderful loving men full of excuses and issues. Do you want to wait around till they get it together? I will always love my ex for the time we spent together. But i decided to follow his example and PUT MY SELF AND MY NEEDS FIRST LIKE HE ALWAYS HAS. I dont regret spending the last 9 years waiting for the outcome of our relationship to show itself, i will only regret it if i waste anymore time waiting for the child in him to become a man. His issues are no longer my problem. If i would have married him, well obviously they would be.

    the hardest part is seeing things for what they are. its not us they love us. the best way they can. its a matter of how long we choose to wait around for them to figure out who they are and what they really want. im done waiting. its time to move on. goodluck to you. i know believe me i know what your going thru.

    all my best to you

  12. 32

    I liked the BJ analogy but yet I never really got why woman won’t. Anyway, this post brought me back. I am 50 looking back to age 27, when I spent 3 years with a guy who wouldn’t commit and was completely narcissistic. I finally had enough and ended it. One month later his new girlfriend (who I later found out he met while we were together) and her infant child from another relationship moved in with him to the house I helped remodel and thought would be mine one day. One year later they were married. I was hurt then, but I ran into him over the summer and boy, am I glad I walked away then. Phew.

  13. 33

    It’s amusing to see all the hair-splitting going on here about the details of Sheena’s situation… or would be amusing if we weren’t talking about a real human being’s heart.

    In this situation, if Sheena were my friend or sister, I would not be advising an “ultimatum.” I would be advising a clean break and a fresh start. This man has had 7 years to decide whether he wants to marry you. He has decided to date you indefinitely and continue giving you excuses and putting you off, and you are allowing it. The various remarks above about “communication” and “giving the man the benefit of the doubt” are off the mark, in my opinion. First, the communication that is going on from this man is crystal clear. He isn’t marrying you, he won’t even discuss setting a date. Men communicate with their actions much more strongly than with their words. You can patiently and sweetly ask him every day between now and Halloween of 2011, “Honey, help me understand your hesitation, what’s the problem, why don’t you want to set a date and get married?” and you will get lots of words and sputtering and building resentment from your man for “pressuring” him but you won’t be any closer to getting happily married (key word, happily) to this fellow than you are now. He is telling you with each passing day “I like things just the way they are for right now.” The contract you have between you at this point is to keep the status quo. That’s what he’s offering and by accepting it, you’ve signed on to this maddening wait in a go-nowhere relationship. Secondly, the remark about giving him the benefit of the doubt. You give a man the benefit of the doubt for two years, maybe a couple months after that, and after that point you either read the handwriting on the wall or turn a blind eye and poof! Five more years go by and you find yourself in the situation you’re in. Seven years? That is some serious doormat territory, and remember, I bailed after my own seven-year go-nowhere disaster of a relationship. I’ve been there. It won’t get better.

    My cousin dated a woman for 25 YEARS. They lived together for over 20 of those years. Finally, they decided to get married. Well — she finally issued him an ultimatum. After 25 years. Guess what? They got married… things deteriorated even further… and he filed for divorce. Game over. The only thing that salvaged that marriage was the reality check from his accountant telling him how much he stood to lose financially by divorcing her after their common law relationship of so many years. They are still together… but happy? No.

    Another poster noted that no one on this site can make your decision for you; wiser words were never spoke. I believe we all wish you the best and hope you will find happiness.

  14. 34

    A very good elderly friend of mine, who was happily married for over 50 years before his wife passed away (they really loved each other, and also worked hard to compromise, trust and make it keep working as well) had a good friend named Chia (with a hard “c”). Chia dated a man named Al for 50 years – they took trips together, they lived next door (never together) and they too were truly very happy. When asked why she never married Al, Chia replied, “I didn’t know him well enough to marry him.” So, I guess we will never know someone else completely, or even ourselves, but we keep striving to change, grow, and know as much as we can. And try to find someone else on a similar wavelength. If both people are happy, then it is jake if they want to date for a long time or forever (until one of them departs this earth as happened with Chia). But if it isn’t truly working for both people, then definitely need to see why and what, if anything reasonable and feasible (for both parties) can be done about it. If the answer is nothing or not enough, then the one who isn’t being fulfilled, has to be enough for themselves for now to walk away. I wish you the best and hope you get your wedding date – with your fiance, or in the future with another man.

  15. 35

    Evan, I just have to say: your sense of humor is hilarious! Just discovered your blog today and you get all the answers right!! …As for the girl and her fiance – you can stay together without being married if you really love each other and want to be with each other, if you want different things you need to go each your own way. I think it’s pretty simple. I know someone would say: “but I invested 7 years into the relationship” – that’s how most Americans think, but so you also had fun and hopefully a fantastic time together. Life goes on…

  16. 36

    Hrm. As others have said, the only person who can decide whether this guy is worth waiting for is you. And while all men are different, I suspect that ultimata don’t work well on the vast majority of them. And anyway, who wants to be with a man who is only with you because you threatened to walk away?

    My own experience, though, is one that causes sisters and best friends everywhere to gnash their teeth and pull out their hair. I dated my husband in graduate school for four and a half years. He was the classic commitmentphobe (and to be fair, I had issues that needed dealing with – nothing’s ever all one-sided). We split up, but remained friends. He had a two-plus year relationship with someone else; I moved back to California to do a postdoctoral fellowship.

    A year and a half after we split up, he also relocated to California, less than an hour from me. We did the occasional movie or baseball game, and when he and his now long-distance girlfriend split up, we began seeing one another more often. All this time I was dating other men, none seriously, but with the intention of finding a new partner. But none could compare with the feelings I once had for him. (I’m aware I wasn’t really giving any of them a fair chance, here.) My sister and girlfriends thought I was insane. The man had his chance, he blew it (hey, they love me, what else were they going to say?), move on.

    To make a long story short (too late), after another year and a half of casual dating, we fell in love again, and two months after we decided we were serious, he asked me to marry him. We got married in October. Next month will be the 10th anniversary of our first date. It was, in every way, worth the wait.

    So…sometimes they just aren’t ready. And it doesn’t mean anything but that. They’re not there yet. But only you can decide if he’s worth the wait. And, well, whether you CAN wait.

  17. 37
    M Garcia

    Wow, I gotta say I can’t believe the number of women I know that have been sitting and waiting patiently for their men to propose for years…even decades…why?? My husband and I met when we were in college, we started dating when I was 21 (he was 22), six months later we were engaged, and six months later we were married. We’ve been married two years now and it gets even better every single day that I’m with him. The same was true with my sister – she and her husband were the same age as me and my husband when they started dating, and they only dated six months and were engaged for three. They’ve been married five years and couldn’t possibly be happier.

    My husband and I absolutely could not wait to marry each other – and we were FLAT broke. We had to put my ring on a credit card and pay it off slowly, we had just graduated college and neither one of us had a full-time job yet. Did it matter? No! We were crazy about each other and couldn’t wait to get married. The monetary excuses to me are the lamest – you’ll be paying bills separately and you’ll be paying bills together. Have a modest wedding and money isn’t an issue. But there is absolutely NO circumstance where it would take longer than 2 years to decide whether someone is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. And, by that point you should certainly both know what your priorities in life are – whether they include marraige or not. If one of you values marriage and having children and the other doesn’t, no sense in staying together.

    Last but not least – women need to stop moving in with men before they get married. All of this garbage about needing to live with someone before you get married to see if it works – that just makes me laugh. People who say that can’t be serious. Marriage is about compramise and fulfilling the other person’s needs – if both of you have that as the focus, you don’t need to “try it out” first – you’ll be fine. When women move in with the men they’re dating, the men will never commit because they’re getting all of the benefits of marriage with none of the pesky commitment. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but that’s definitely the rule.

    Good luck, and I hope you find the strength to make a clean break and move on to someone who can’t wait to marry you, just like my husband couldn’t, because you deserve it!

  18. 38

    I am so glad that I found this page. I have just went through EXACTLY the same thing. My boyfriend and I were together for 3 years and we got engaged, that was 4 years ago. I wanted him to set a date and wanted to start organising my dream wedding that my parentsa saved up for ever since I was a little girl. I asked him, shouldn’t we visit the minister, start planning, after all it was our special day. He wouldn’t commit, at 39 he was still living with his mum and I was at my parents, I am 28 and we had saved up the deposit for a house too, 3/4 of the money was mine and 1/4 his but all I could think about was that it was OUR money. I started looking for houses and then he started to get cold feet, he said that I was looking at expensive houses but I had done the sums and the houses were reasonably priced then came another surprise, he didn’t want children. In our 7 years together, he did want kids and I didn’t but then I changed my mind, playing with relatives children and baby-sitting for them and he wasa the man that I wanted to have kids with. So, I asked him how he felt about me, he said that he loved me. Then I said that I was willing to put all my money and time into a future with him. Yet another surprise, he said that he wanted to be able to go where he wanted and do what he wanted, but didn’t know where he wanted to go or what he wanted to do. This was a month ago and I think, such a waste, I still love him and according to him, he loves me. He walked away without a fight, that has gotta tell me something. I always thought we could work out anything, cause we weren’t just good together, we were amazing together. But its funny what you get when you start to plan for the future.

    1. 38.1
      De Elle

      ” he walked away without a fight”….. I know how badly the truth of this hurts.

      Please know that we are all at least one step closer to knowing and defining specifically what we want for our lives.

      Evan is spot on when he discusses that we should look at character not just chemistry.

  19. 39

    You’ve been with him this long. Just stay with him. Marriage is overrated. Me and my boyfriend never want to get married or have kids and we’re steeply in love with each other. Married life is for old people and we just don’t feel old.

  20. 40

    I’m in a similar situation but the wait has been far longer.   Both me and my man have been together for 21 years.   Good times and bad – financially, relationship, family – we seen it all.   We’ve been close and hanging off the cliff to breaking up several times, but always find our way back to each other.   3 years ago after a bad argument, I decided to give him his parachute.   Let me back up….. Infidelity, loyalty and honesty has been a problem in the past.   We both had growing up to do and I will be honest, I triggered his anger and mistrust first – 19 years ago.   He was slow to forgive, and he also cheated on me but we got through it, he forgave, I forgave and we kept our relationship together, our family together and worked it out.   Now, back to three years ago….we had a bad disagreement about …. I can’t remember.   But he used some not so nice words and I decided that I had enough… I told him that I had fought hard enough for the two of us and that Love was not supposed to be hard and hurt as much as it had been.   I told him that I done as much as I could do and that if he didn’t want to be with me anymore that I was putting the ball in his court and that he could do whatever he needed to do but that I was done.   I told him that of course, I loved him and would be hurt if he left…. But that I would respect his decision and take the time to get over it and move forward towards just being friends and raising our children.   I didn’t want to fight anymore nor did I want to hurt.   I felt that with all the time invested between the two of us we both deserved to be happy and I loved him enough and myself enough to do whatever needed to be done so that we both could be happy!   I walked away and let him think about what I said.    
    The  next two days were torture.    We didn’t speak to one another and then suddenly he called me at work and asked me  what  I was doing.   I worked at our sons’ school and he was having a performance/assembly and I told him that I would be home late today because I was  staying for the performance.   He showed up, dressed up and sat next to me.   He tried to make small talk but  I was too hurt and I didn’t want to cry or make a scene in front of students, parents, coworkers and most importantly our son.   When the program was over, he asked  if he could take me out to dinner.   I said yes, we went out  just the two of us and talked.   He told me how much he loved me and that he was sorry for all the things that he had done.   He realized that  he was punishing me for everything that happened between the two of us, instead of forgiving and moving forward.   He said he wanted me to be with him for the rest of his life and that he loved his family and nothing was more important to him.   I listened and then asked him if all that were true, then why wouldn’t he marry me.   He said that he has always wanted to marry me but that he was afraid of marriage and that so much had  happened between us  he didn’t know if I wanted to marry him.   I told him that I did and he promised that if I would give him the time to get himself together (money, relationships) we would get married.   The year he made the statement was 2011 – it is now 2014 and nothing.   He said last year, that he wanted  ME to  lose weight but I never put a caveat on what I wanted.   When  I asked this year about it, he said,  since I hadn’t tried he was waiting on me and he didn’t know what I was waiting for!   I just don’t believe it  will ever happen.   I have to admit.   I love this man.   He’s a great father, protector, provider and no matter what he is always there for me.   He is a great lover and friend.   He’s more of a man than most!   However, I know now that he just doesn’t see the benefit or believes in marriage and I do.   It bothers me that he tells people  I am his wife but won’t make it a reality.   Recently, when I got pulled over for driving with out a liscense and they arrested me…. I told the policeman that my “husband” was comming to  bail me out….when I asked the officer upon being let go if my “husband” was waiting… the officer replied….”He said that you guys aren’t legally married!”…..That hurt.   I mentioned it to him when he took me home and he just blew it off and didn’t even have a response.   I knew that he had said it.   I felt denied and I knew then that it would never happen.   Marriage!    
    I guess I am  writing this to say that I’ve learned to live this way but I  don’t like it.   I’be been  contemplating leaving but I don’t want to hurt our son who is 13 years now and I guess I’ve fooled myself into believing why now!   I’m not happy and I know I need to make a decision.   I’m at  a crossroads.    
    I guess I would tell Sheena, don’t settle and wait!   If you feel strongly about Marriage then tell him and  ask for what you want.   If you don’t get it then do what  you have to do!   Never settle or end up like me!   Time will have passed you by and then what?!    
    I know I need to confront the situation and put my needs on the table.   I’ve been working up the courage!   I’ve been a coward for 21 years and  getting brave is taking alot out of me but I’m getting there….but I promise it wont’ take another 21 years…I’m  48 and will be 50 in two years.   It’s now or never for me!                  

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