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My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years this month. We've had our ups and downs and been through a lot emotionally together. I am 23 and he is 22. We are both very mature for our age, hold stable jobs and purchased our own home last summer and are raising two dogs.

He will talk about babies easily. He will talk about when we get married this and that blah blah blah. If, however I try to have a serious marriage talk with him, he shuts down.

He told me several years ago we would get married by 2009, and that he will not propose until a year before we are planning to get married. He is the kind of guy that just buys me flowers for no reason, not when we have a fight or for an occasion, however I expected, if he was going to propose at all this year, he would have done it on our recent anniversary vacation to Washington DC. (We have to go early because of work and family graduations - I'm a reporter).

I has become a running joke at work that he won't pop the question. While I don't love him any less, I don't understand what the problem is. It's not a fear of commitment - the house is a HUGE commitment.

It's not lack of money for a ring - he's been talking of buying a motorcycle, which I have been adamantly against for his safety (and his lack of priorities!).

I also have a medical condition which does not give me the option to not have medical insurance because of unforeseen emergencies which could happen, and expensive medication. It's not life threating, but annoying and he's been there for me through it all. My company charges me over $30 per week to have insurance, which is an HMO and stinks to high heaven. His company has excellent benefits, and if we were married would cost him $2 a week to add me. It's free for him now.

Anyone have any advise on how to approach the subject further? I don't want to scare him or pressure him, but there are a lot of factors that I don't think he is considering.

And what about me asking him?

Any advise is greatly appreciated!
Thank you.
 

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Just read your other post regarding your loss of interest in sex. This may be why he is having reservations as there's a saying out there (sometimes true) that once you get married, forget about sex..women stop having it etc.

For many men, this is such an important part of the relationship and they do not cope well without it. I would think that is the area you should focus your attention.
 

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From what you have said, it seems like he IS scared of marriage, for whatever reason. I think men have an easier time buying a house with someone versus getting married. The financial, tangible things in life can be "separated" if things get bad, whereas a divorce is much more difficult, because emotions are not easily severed. Perhaps your loss of sex drive is because he isn't attending to you and your emotions like you would like, which makes having sex with that person feel almost wrong and more mechanical than intimate. As someone in your age group (I'm 25), having or had similar issues, I think the best thing to do is just sit down with him and tell him your perspective on things (with an emphasis on how YOU feel in certain situations, not what he should be doing). Feel free to tell him what you need and make sure to ask him if there is anything that you could do to make him feel more secure.

As for asking HIM to marry you, DON'T DO IT. I have asked my BF about this scenario and he is adamant that he will be the one to do it. I have learned that, until these relationship "issues" are resolved, the thought of marriage needs to be a lower priority. Work hard on the issues you have now, because a proposal and a marriage won't make those issues disappear. They say love conquers all, but that is a foolish dream. Love is hard work and dedication. It is also a two-way street, in which both parties must be willing to see a common life and travel together, side-by-side. He may not be ready. Even though you have been together for 4 years, keep in mind your age and remember that men are usually a bit behind us women. As a general rule of thumb, I always think my BF won't feel how I feel or want to do something (i.e. move in together, get married, etc.) until 6-12 months after I am ready. Maybe this is something to keep in mind.
 

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I'm a married women and even I am scared of marriage. It can bring a lot of anxiety to a person. I was the type who never thought I would get married and here I am....It sounds like he got over the biggest fear I have had which is living together. I still have yet to live with my husband. We are a military couple which explains the distance. Have you tried asking him what part of the marriage scares him? There are many aspects to it. I know for me a huge fear is the intimacy part. I have a huge fear of marriage because the idea of marriage that has been planted in my head.
That idea that I have had about marriage is that it is this thing that starts great but gets horrible and boring and fights are constant. Men complain about their wives and women complain about their husbands. There are tons of marriage jokes out there and movies/tv that show this. And we wonder why everyone is so scared. Media especially pushes men to want to stay single and "free".
 
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