Last week, we discussed folks who are quick to tell people how long they should be engaged to avoid becoming a punchline. This week, they’re telling people how long is too long to be a girlfriend without a marriage proposal.
There’s a meme that has been making its rounds on the web, which basically says that if you’ve been in a relationship with a man for three to five years and he hasn’t at least proposed yet, you should probably come to grips with the idea that he only sees you as “good enough” to be his girlfriend, but not his wife.
I think that the average woman knows when she’s in a relationship that is headed nowhere—whether she’s been in it for five years yet or not. Sure, there are definitely some men who will string women along for years with no intention of marrying them, but after spending enough time with them, these men are usually pretty easy to identify.
Every relationship develops at its own pace, so it’s always interesting to see people throw these blanket timelines out there as if they should be one size fits all. There are plenty of women and men who are in loving, long-term relationships who would prefer not to marry. Like, ever. There are also plenty of people in long-term relationships who hope that the relationship will result in marriage at some point. But who is to say that every couple is even ready for marriage by the four-year mark? There are so many factors that come into play when couples decide when they should marry, and obviously, marrying prematurely has its consequences.
I won’t front like I don’t completely understand the argument. I do. If I had a strong desire to be married, and I was in a relationship for five years with no sign of a proposal in sight, I might start getting restless. But there are so many factors that I would have to take into consideration before I assumed that it was because my boyfriend didn’t see me as worthy of being his wife. I would also think that at that point, I would know my dude well enough to know whether or not we were at least moving in that direction, or if he was just buying time.
What do you think? Should women automatically expect a proposal after 3-5 years of dating?