Marriage: how long is TOO long to wait?


ok ok…so here it goes…how long would you wait, for your man to come around and ‘POP’ the big question???

lol…i know some guys are gonna hate me for this one…

but seriously…lets say that you are dating someone. exclusively. lets say that you and this person have been an exclusive item for, oh, lets say…5 years. you love him. he loves you. your exclusive to eachother, meaning your not seeking any type of interest outside of the relationship. after 5 years, maybe you start feeling like, while your **secure in this relationship **and know hes not going anywhere, you would like to experience ‘marriage’. have the ceremony. have the respect of being his wife. lets say your man doesnt believe in marriage. or at least, he says hes not ready for it. people dont agree on a lot of things, is marriage one thing that if people dont see eye to eye on, its enough to call it quits?? how long is too long to stick around? i mean, you love the man, but, do you want to waste another 5 years of your life on a man that doesnt love you enough to marry you? what if he tells you that he loves you enough to spend his life with you? work for you…take care of you…be everything to you a husband would be…but…just not be your ‘husband’??

i personally dont deal well with ultimatums…and dont expect other people to have to, but, at some point, theres gotta be a place where you draw the line. at what point do you tell your significant other that a decision needs to be made? are you ‘going’ to get married or not? maybe not this year, but definitely, sometime in the future? is that wrong to ask? at what point would it be appropriate to ask when someone might expect to see the fruits of their ‘labor’ so to say?? lol…3 years? 5 years?? 10…


Charlotte, personally for me 2 years is long enough and forbearing enough! After that hit the road jack…but check out the post “Catholic women praying boldly for Catholic men” and see if it might help you…


5 YEARS? Are you serious? That seems just so incredible to ask anyone to wait around for that long.:eek:


Unless the person is in high school and dating, or in college and waiting to finish, 5 yrs is a long time, Charlotte. I dated my husband for one year before he popped the question, we were engaged for about another year. I was almost 23 when we married. I don’t think one size fits all per se, but 5 yrs is a while…I wouldn’t want to go another 5 yrs, so maybe it’s time to see where the guy’s head is at relating to marriage, and where he wants to be in say 5 years. At some point, you can’t keep your own future on hold, no matter how much you love someone, if he/she isn’t willing to commit to marriage, if that is what you want.


It really depends, is this person Catholic? Does this person believe marriage is a Sacrament?

If he does, then you have to wonder why he is not asking to marry you.

But if this person has a non-Catholic belief system, where marriage is not a Sacrament then the commitment to spend his life with you is technically the same as a marriage.

But you have to wonder why he, knowing how important marriage is to you as a Catholic, will not provide it if he intends to spend his life with you anyway.

Does he for some reason have a fear of marriage (some people whose parents had a bad divorce have this)? Does he have some kind of weird “moral” objection to a marriage?

Plus, for a Catholic sex outside of marriage is immoral, maybe if the woman decided that she was waiting until marriage to have sex with this man (again) he would change his mind!


Wow! 5 years. As a man that is a long time to put off the marriage. Both to, as the old saying goes, ‘make an honest woman of her’ as well as the more physical pieces that come with marriage.

My first thought is that the fellow is either gay or has been divorced and/or seen his parents divorced and is terrified of the contractual relationship part of marriage.


Are you guys living together?

if so, for how long? and Why?

If you guys are living together, why should he marry you ? he has everything without being married…

Sorry if that is Harsh…

an old saying I once heard, that rings true…

“Men only get away with what women let them get away with”


There is no “wait for him to pop the question” when you are discerning marriage together. Marriage is a sacrament that we are called to in vocation. So, “dating” is a process of discerning marriage, and both parties are involved in this discernment.

You should not seek to be married to experience a ceremony and have the respect of a wife. You should seek marriage as a vocation to family-- the building up of a holy family whose goal is Heaven. A living out of your baptismal call together in the world as a married couple imaging Christ and his Church for others (Ephesians 5).

Yes. This is a dealbreaker. He has already communicated his view of marriage. If he does not “believe” in marriage, he will not be able to enter into a sacramental union. I would presume he also doesn’t much “believe” in going to church, practicing the faith, and living a holy life.

He has communicated his plan to you-- no marriage. You are sticking around “too long” if you think that is going to change.

Only if you like beating your head against the wall for fun.

Look, I’m going to be blunt: He’s not interested in marriage. You have hung around and wasted 5 years already.

This person is not for you, a practicing Catholic. Catholics don’t live together and have illicit sex. They seek the Sacrament of Marriage to build a family and live a holy life.

He already drew the line. You are not listening to him.

This man is not for you.

Stop rationalizing. This man has no interest in living a Catholic life. He made a decision already. You are not listening to him.

Why are you wasting your time? Find a man who shares you values and vision of the future. Guard your heart more carefully next time. Don’t get involved with someone who does not share you vision of the future.


I’m a guy, and I admit to being majorly commitment phobic. I’m 29, and if I was dating anyone at the time, I would wait at least two years, maybe more.


I definitely think 5 years is too long. I would be wondering why he hasn’t felt the need to propose or if he even wants to get married at all. I would bring it up because I wouldn’t want to continue wasting time on a man who doesn’t see me as a serious part of his future.


Ya, five years is too long. I would get out if I were you before you end up being one of those people who waits ten years to get a proposal.

I once heard of a couple who’d been together for several years without the man proposing, much to the chagrin of the woman, and when she talked about leaving, he would say, “I’d sooner marry you than lose you.”

If someone is that indecisive, they probably wouldn’t do well in a married life anyway.


*Charlotte…you should rent Enchanted, if you haven’t seen it already. I love this movie, your dd will love it, too.

There is a scene where the princess (who turns from a cartoon to a human being) turns to the guy she is getting to know “How long have you and Nancy been dating?” He replies…“Five years…” She replies…“No wonder she is so angry…” haha

The guy ultimately realizes that it doesn’t take THAT long to know if you want to marry someone. He just wasn’t interested in marriage with her. :o


I am divorced and annulled and have been dating my boyfriend for over a year now. We are starting to talk about where things are headed. I am not the type to set arbitrary deadlines or give ultimatums; however, I did tell him that I am not someone who would be happy circling the airport for 5 years. At some point it becomes necessary to land the plane.


Hmmmm, well, DH and I dated for 5 years, were engaged for 15 months, and then got married.

DH’s brother #1 dated his current wife for 5 years before they got married after a year’s engagement.

DH’s brother #2 dated his current wife for 6 years before they got married after a year’s engagement.

(All of us above met while in our last years of college).

DH’s brother #3 dated his ex-wife for 2 years before they got married (and subsequently divorced within 1 year). He met her while working after college, but she was finishing her last year of college (she actually failed to graduate because she was caught cheating on her final exam).


Five years is a long time to be dating for adults…I wouldn’t wait any longer if you want to get married…I’m not saying give an ultimatum, but don’t wait much longer…Either break up or get married…


For adults, one year of dating is long enough to discern marriage. At that point, sit down with Priest and begin counseling, if that goes well set a date 6 months to one year out for the wedding.


Not to get off topic, but for two people who are serious enough about each other to be ‘dating’ for 5 years, assuming there is some attraction there, how practical and do-able is remaining chaste? That seems like a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time to wait and a great cause for temptation to get the best of people.

To me, the purpose of dating is to find a spouse. It should have a purpose. If you’re not doing that then I don’t really know what you’re doing???:shrug: After a year if you don’t know how you feel about someone then another year isn’t going to change things.

Charlotte no, you’re not out of line for wondering where things are going. I think though, that your BF has made it clear where he wants them to go. You guys don’t seem to be on the same page at all.


Agreeing with everyone. 5 years is too long for someone who has no other impediment (ie, legal age, has a job, etc.).

Reread 1ke’s post. She is always very straight-up on these kinds of threads.


I tend to agree with the above posters.

But, it might be worthwhile, if you haven’t already, to look further into what he means by “not believe in marriage.” It could just mean he hasn’t thought about it much. Maybe.


Please be very aware of fertility issues. Women are at their most fertile in their twenties, and fertility declines in the 30s and 40s. There really is a biological clock, and it’s ticking away.

I would say the length of dating depends on the age of the couple. My husband (of 30 years) and I dated for 6 years, but we started dating when we were 15. My daughter and her husband dated for 7 years, but they started dating when she was 14 and he was 17.

But adults–well, there really isn’t a need for such a long dating experience because you are both already grown up and mature (hopefully). I agree, a year or so, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

One set of extenuating circumstances that I can see is if you are separated for long periods of time because of your jobs or the military. My daughter’s boyfriend is on a Broadway tour, so she sees him for a day at a time every couple of weeks (he flies to see her). So even though they’ve been dating for a year now, and they’re 32 and 26, they’ve actually only had about 30 days together, and those days are not real-life days, where he comes over and helps her put in a new toilet or she cooks him a meal and then they sit and watch TV together. THOSE are the kind of dates where you discover whether the other person is really someone you want to be married to! IMO, 30 days is not enough time to date before making a decision to get married.

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