Ask Dr. Zoe – My Boyfriend Hasn’t Proposed but Wants Me to Wear a Ring. Should I?

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‘Darcy’ asked:

My boyfriend and I have been together about 6 years. We don’t live together. He knows I’d like a commitment (at least engagement). I’m 50 years old and absolutely hate having a “boyfriend.” He talks about our future and says he wants to marry me, but always has a new timeline.

He’s bought me a couple rings (not engagement and definitely not proposal) and says he wants me to wear a ring on my left hand at all times. I’ve expressed many times that I don’t understand why he won’t at least change his Facebook status to say he’s in a relationship. Honestly his status is irrelevant to me—I guess it’s more that I’m trying to prove a point to him. And honestly, it makes me feel like I’m being stupid wearing a ring—feeling like regardless of his words, I may be waiting on a proposal that will never come.


Dr. Zoe answered:He Hasn't Proposed?

He is asking you to express your commitment to him by alerting others that you are unavailable, but he is unwilling to externally express his commitment to you. Your discomfort is valid. Why would you tell the world that you are engaged or married (that’s what the ring on the left ring finger means) when you are not? It’s deceptive to yourself and others.

If he wants you to wear a ring on your finger that is socially designated for wives or fiancés, then he needs to make you one.

It’s very simple for me to say those words, but what I recognize is that there is so much fear, emotion, and dare I say, baggage that goes along with your inability to see the circumstance for what it is. It’s hard to let go of a possibility when you are uncertain that there will be anything for sure waiting for you on the other side. This angst and pain is what is keeping you stuck in a place of putting your life on hold for a vague promise.

I assure you, it is better to be alone with open doors for possibilities than with a man who is lukewarm regarding his commitment to you.

There really isn’t much else for me to say except that I know this is hard. I’m also pretty sure that you’ve done hard things before. Be honest with him about how you feel. When a man wants to make you his wife, there is nothing confusing or contradictory about it. He’s not willing to make you his wife. Make loving choices for your future self. You’ve got this!

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