Ask Amy: Pressure won't lead to marriage

December 26, 2013 

Dear Amy: I have been living with my boyfriend for approximately four years; we are both in our 50s.

I don't understand why he hasn't asked me to marry him. We've talked about this several times. I end up getting upset because he gives no specific reason for not wanting to get married. Both of us are divorced, and marriage just doesn't seem to be in the near future for us.

He treats me well, but I sometimes feel used and underappreciated and feel I'm not good enough to be married to him. What should I do: be happily unmarried or look for another Mr. Right who is willing to commit (in time) to getting married?

— Not good enough?

Dear Not Enough: If you could somehow force yourself to be "happily unmarried," then that would be the best choice for you, but you will not be able to pull this off because it is not what you want. And what you want is every bit as important as what he wants.

Your guy will never ask you to marry him. You may be able to force him into a matrimonial union, but this marriage will not deliver the commitment you crave because he does not want it.

You crave this particular connection and commitment, and if you absolutely must have it in your life, you need to be brave enough to leave your current relationship and seek it elsewhere.

Dear Amy: My friend recently started her "small business," in which she sells sex toys on behalf of a company for a commission.

She is hosting events in her home, where she tries to get her friends to come and spend lots of money to buy this overpriced junk. I have no need for what she is selling, but she is pressuring her friends to "get her small business off the ground."

How can I politely decline without telling her I think this venture is predatory on her friends and provides an overpriced product that I don't want to waste money on?

— Upset friend

Dear Upset: It's easy to politely decline. You just say, "I won't be able to attend your party or buy these products, but good luck with your business." Do not explain. Anyone selling sex toys must realize that there is a limited clientele.

I receive many queries from people like you who feel pressured to patronize these home-based commission businesses. Responding politely should neutralize this challenge.

 

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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