Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Waiting on a Ring & Rolling With Frenemies

April 5, 2012  |  

Dear Damon,

I just was reading the Ask a Very Smart Brotha section today and one of the questions was, I have been in a relationship for two years and my boyfriend still hasn’t proposed. I’m in the same situation.

Editor’s Note: Damon suggested another reader on Facebook answer the three following questions, before he could provide an answer to her query. This reader has also answered the same three questions.

To answer the questions Damon asked:

1. How old are you two? I just turned 28, he is 27.
2. Does he know you want to get married? Yes I’ve told him many times. He has said he’s just not ready for that step yet. When I brought it up back in November he said he would rather let me walk away then be forced into marriage. He doesn’t want to feel forced.
3. Why do you want to get married? I have known he’s the one for a while. I think he’ll be a wonderful husband and father, he’s my best friend and we have fun together. On top of that he’s smart, ambitious, romantic, he’s supportive, thoughtful and a wonderful person overall. I want to marry him because I love him and I’m ready to be married, I’m ready to have a family soon and I want it with him. He’s trying to get into grad school right now while working full-time, he’s also been engaged once before when he was younger and had his heart broken. He told me from the beginning he was very slow and initially he wanted to date for three years…I didn’t really take that to heart in the beginning. I knew him for an entire year before we were officially together, and our two year anniversary of “officially” being a couple is coming up this May.

I’m getting to the point that I’m willing to walk away if it’s not going to happen. I can’t be with someone that still feels the need to question if I’m going to be in his future or not..after two years. I think you should know if this person is worth it to go all in and give up all other options or not. He loves me unconditionally, he treats me like a queen but at this point I need a real commitment and just dating isn’t enough. Any thoughts?



Thanks for reaching out. It looks like you’re going to have to leave this man if you want to get married. Actually, saying “it looks like” isn’t concrete enough. You will definitely have to leave this man if you want to get (and stay) married. Why? Two reasons:

1. Even if a man is thinking this, him actually coming out and telling you that he would rather leave you than marry you right now means that…he would rather leave you than marry you right now. Think about that for a second. He basically flat out told you that being single and breaking your heart is a better choice than marrying you. Also, while it may be true that he’s not ready for marriage yet, regardless of if he’s “ready” or not, no man who loves a woman “unconditionally” would willingly let her go anywhere under any circumstances. Him being ok with losing you is a sign that he doesn’t really envision that type of future with you.

2. In the unlikely event that he does actually propose, I’m 99% certain it would be out of “nice guy guilt.” Basically, he wouldn’t do it because he wants you to be his wife. He’d pop the question so you’d stop asking him and he’ll stop feeling bad for leading you on.

Also (and this is for all the ladies reading this), a man doesn’t have to be told repeatedly that you want to get married. We forget a good percentage of the bs (birthday dates, names of family members, times we’re supposed to feed your cats, etc) you tell us, but “I want to get married.” is something that only needs to be said once. Do it more than that and it comes off as desperate and pleading, and that actually is enough to turn a guy off.

I wish I had better news to give you, but I get the feeling that you already were leaning towards what I just said anyway. Your heart might be telling you to stay, but your head and your gut are probably screaming, “Walk!” Listen to them.


Damon Young (aka The Champ)

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