Ask Amy: Long-Term Engagement Equals Frustration

By Amy Dickinson | December 14th, 2020

When is it time to make the push, and when is it time to simply leave?

Middle aged woman still in a long-term engagement but doesn't want to be

Dear Amy: I’m 55 years old. I’ve been in a long-term engagement with a 44-year-old man for awhile. After seven years spent with the both of us living with his parents, he keeps saying that he wants to get married. We have even planned a small wedding a couple of times, but he never goes through with it.

I love this man totally, but I’m just not happy with the current living situation.

How do I get him to understand – or should I walk away?


Dear Torn: Your guy already understands you. He knows what you want.

He obviously does not want the same thing.

When you’re wrapped up in a relationship with a very long history (such as yours), things can seem quite complicated, but never forget this very simple fact: The great majority of the time, people do what they want to do.

Take a good 360-degree look at your situation with this thought: “People do what they want to do.”

(Go ahead and circle the room; I’ll wait.)

Your guy likes things just as they are. How many times must he demonstrate that he likes things as they are in order for you to believe him?

And why would you continue to want to marry someone who quite obviously does not want to marry you? I assume it is because you also like – or at least can tolerate – things just as they are.

You are 55 years old. Your choices are to either get with the program and choose to spend the rest of your life engaged and cohabiting with your guy’s parents, or to leave. But – because YOU have this choice, you don’t get to blame him for your unhappiness.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2020 by Amy Dickinson

More from Boomer