Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He Proposed But I Never Got A Ring

22 comments
January 23, 2013 ‐ By madamenoire

black woman waiting

Ok, I REALLY need help.

Rundown:
–BF and I have been dating for 7 years
–He proposed a year ago but never gave me a ring, so I’ve been waiting
–His car recently got repo’d for not paying tickets, so he had to pay $5k to get it all out. (Money was borrowed from aunt.)
–In April, I told him that he had until the end of the year to give me my ring and officially propose or I would leave. The other day, he told me he would miss that deadline since he paid so much to get his car out.

What should I do???  Help please!

Dear What Should I Do,

There are two separate things I want to address in your question. Neither of them directly answer your question, but you can find the answer to your question in both responses. (Trust me, it’ll make more sense once you read.)

1. Your situation is a perfect example of why age considerations are so important when asking and answering a question. While it may not seem “right” or “fair” to think about an adult’s age when giving them advice about dating and relationships—especially when much of the feelings and emotions that go along with this subject transcend age—it is practical.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because my response to your question depends on your age. If you’re in your late 20s or above, I’d advise you to move on. Why? Well, if you are that age, then you were at least 21 when you two started dating. Basically, your relationship began while you were both adults, and it usually doesn’t take adults seven years to finally realize they want to marry someone. In fact, I’d argue that, for people in their late 20s to early 30s, after two years of dating, the likelihood of you actually getting married decrease with each year. A “engagement” after seven years seems more like a pressured response to an ultimatum (more on this later) more than a man who actually wants to be with a woman for the rest of his life.

If you two are young (25 or below), though—and the tone and content of this letter leads me to believe that you are—I’d be more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in regards to his plans. Perhaps he does want to marry you, but doesn’t have the money or resources to do things the way he wants to. (Btw, if a car is repossessed, it’s because he wasn’t making car payments, not because of unpaid tickets.)

That being said, my spidey senses still tell me that regardless of your age, he just doesn’t seem to be all that into marrying you. Is that just cause to break up? I don’t know. But, I do know that if you want to be married, you’re going to have to find someone else

2. I want you—and everyone reading this—to repeat after me: Heart-related ultimatums are always terrible ideas.

ALWAYS!

Why? Well, while the heart-related ultimatum—what happens when one person threatens to leave someone unless they make a commitment to them—might get what the person wants (a commitment), it gets it for the wrong reason. Basically, if you want someone to commit to you, you should want them to want to commit. The heart-related ultimatum, though, forces someone to commit out of guilt or fear. So, even if you get the desired answer, you’re left with someone who only said they wanted to be with so you’d shut up and stop asking.

In summary, if you have to ask someone to commit to you, you have your answer even before they give theirs.

Sincerely,

Damon Young

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  • Babydoll 70

    First of all who dates for 7 years? I digress, it sounds like he’s not financially stable anyway so you’d be better off moving on to someone else or just take some time for yourself. If he could borrow 5ks to get his car out of impound plus tickets he could have borrowed it to begin with to pay the tickets and avoid the impound. The guy just sounds immature. imo

  • Drew Smith

    I’m starting to think MN is puttin’ on with these stories. There’s no other way to communicate my feelings: Women CAN NOT be this f*cking stupid. Even young ones. Like, wouldn’t you stop to read this crap, and think, “Hey, I’m stupid. I can answer my own retarded question”??? I guess that’s too much to ask. Sigh.

  • Drew Smith

    I’m starting to think MN is puttin’ on with these stories. There’s no other way to communicate my feelings: Women CAN NOT be this f*cking stupid. Even young ones. Like, wouldn’t you stop to read this crap, and think, “Hey, I’m stupid. I can answer my own retarded question”??? I guess that’s too much to ask. Sigh.

  • Lovely One

    ” so I was forced into this life of the side girl”
    ———————————————————————————————————-
    I’m confused. How was this chick “forced” into this gutta status?

  • IllyPhilly

    Repo man is a no, no. Bunk a ring.

  • Monica

    Getting a ring is not an issue. I did not get a ring from my husband;however, he paid the private school for our daughter, he bought me an used car, he financial supports the family so I can be a stay at mom. So the ring is not the issue. I would like one but I have been married for almost 13 years. Its his commitment to be a real man that is the issue. Every one has financial problems but this man is proposing and his financial situation is a mess. Please ran as fast as you can, do not stop.

  • ep

    your proposal was “official” when you accepted it. the ring is JUST a symbol. don’t get caught up in the material things if commitment is what you want. you already got it, woman! congrats!

    if you want the ring (& commitment), i suggest you find a wealthy man. much success!

    • IllyPhilly

      Amen!

    • hollyw

      Ummm yeah ok, but should the ring be considered just a symbol as much as the actual wedding??

      I’ve seen broker men marry with less, so I agree w/ Damon; if they’re both young, then maybe it’s just taken all that time for them to mature into responsible adults. However, if she’s anywhere past her late 20s, it’s time to move on. It’s ok to want a man (OR woman) who is financially stable, it’s not about wanting money from a man; it’s just dumb to yoke yourself to a person who isn’t fiscally responsible.

    • Lovely One

      Terrible advice. If it was really about getting married, then that MAN would have walked her to the courts to make a formalized commitment. He is buying time. I have been through it so I know. :-(

      And how responsible is he to lose his car due to unpaid tickets…ticket(S) that he should have never gotten REPEATEDLY.

    • kierah

      A ring shows financial commitment and preparedness – two things you want in a husband. He doesn’t have to be wealthy to learn to save money.

  • kierah

    Little girls need to stop writing these letters about men who don’t give 2 fawks about them.

  • kierah

    Little girls need to stop writing these letters about men who don’t give 2 fawks about them.

  • Mztisa

    There are FAR to many women in the first scenario! S/o to Damon for the advice most wont listen to anyway!

    • pretty1908

      I think if a man really intends for you to marry him, he will make sound better decisions about his life. Will he be perfect? No, but I think most men know their woman, and I am one of those women who wants the proposal and the ring sorry but thats just how i am

      • Mztisa

        I agree! Unfortunately I have two friends in this very situation… I refuse to believe they are engaged and setting dates for weddings and what not with no ring in sight! Sorry try again!

  • FAMURattller85

    These questions are prime examples of why it pays to have male friends

  • FAMURattler85

    I just can’t believe that real women actually ask these questions. Their answers are in their questions.

  • pretty1908

    yes gawd * funky dineva voice* you advised both situations carefully…why would you wanna marry someone who doesn’t take care of his finances properly and who propose without a ring ? Seems like he was just talking to see where her head was on getting married.

    • SunshineBlossom

      You right, and not for nothing, credit is everything today. It shows that one “may be” responsible. (or not)

  • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

    Hi advice was on point.

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