Hi Lucia,

My boyfriend of a year and a half and I have never been married.  He is a self-proclaimed commitment phobe when it comes to relationships although we are exclusive and committed. Marriage/living together seems to be the issue. He admits to having anxiety about being trapped in marriage. He says he has always felt this way, which is why he hasn't gotten married.  He's been doing some self-help but nothing has really changed with the status of our relationship.

Our relationship has been long distance with him on the West coast and me on the East coast from the very beginning.  He says he wants to get married "someday" but I'm getting tired of living apart and want to get engaged or live together. His family adores me and my family adores him so it's getting more and more difficult with our families constantly asking when we're going to get married.

We have scheduled a "talk" about our future in a few weeks.  He believes I will likely leave him if he doesn't want to get married and he says he does not want to lose me. He keeps asking me for more time. I really love this guy and don't want to end a good thing but I'm scared that I'll be wasting valuable time. What do you think I should do?   - Debby

Hi Debby,

It’s interesting how you describe the relationship as a “good thing”.  What exactly is good about it?  You have a man living thousands of miles away, who doesn’t want to get married.
Is it because he treats you well and you feel good with him?  That’s fine, but at the end of the day, if you’re not on the same page about your future, you’re just running in place and not getting anywhere.

Luckily for both of you, I’m not going to recommend that you break up.  Shocked?  I’m actually going to suggest something that neither one of you will probably like, but I feel is the best way to handle this issue.

I suggest you continue to date him and start dating other men who live in the same city as you.  If he’s not ready to get married, fine.  Tell him he has all the time in the world, but he cannot have you exclusively while he’s dealing with his “issues”.  It’s not fair to keep you hanging.

He will either realize he’s going to lose you if he doesn’t propose and will step up to the plate, or you will meet someone who is ready, willing and able to marry you.  Either way, you win!

Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net. Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net. Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on latalkradio.com. Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.