Relationship Limbo: Should I Be Patient or Move On If My Man Won’t Commit?

BY: - 18 Jul '17 | Relationships

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

Thank you in advance for considering my advice question! I’m a 34-year-old woman dating a 35-year-old man.  We’ve been together for 2 years and I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for 1 of 2 things to occur…either he pops the question and/or we finally move in together.

We’ve spoken about marriage, looked at rings, he’s asked my dad for my hand (a year ago) and we’ve talked about moving in together yet neither has happened.  We’ve been talking about these things for over a year.  At this point, whenever I ask him about moving in, he gets frustrated. I am ready to take this relationship forward but I feel he is dragging his feet. Do I Need to Be Patient or Move On? Your advice is welcomed.

Warm regards, Stuck in limbo

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Stuck in Limbo,

Please be patient and take the time to figure out if this is the right relationship. A large percentage of people might think that two years is a long time to determine if a relationship is right. I would argue against this perspective because quantity is the same as quality. You made reference to how long you all have been together, but you did not mention the quality of the relationship.

Just because a man proposes does not mean he is ready for marriage. In my latest book, “You Deserve More: A Single Woman’s Guide to Marriage,” I inform women that some men like to take the path of least resistance. This means that some men will take the easiest way to reach our aims and solve problems, especially in relationships. We engage in this behavior to help save time, and, most importantly, to reserve emotional energy.

Don’t be quick to jump into marriage if you are not sure about how to sustain a marriage.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of men I see in therapy and in my consultation business tell me that they got married because it was the easiest thing to do at the time. This is not to say that they were not in love, but they took the path of least resistance. Understanding what that means can be difficult because every man operates differently. For example, if marrying you will shut you up and take the pressure off, then some men will do just that—path of least resistance. If men can get sex without commitment, then some men will do just that—path of least resistance.

You do not want a man to marry or commit to you because you want it more than he does. Also, some women make the mistake of thinking that moving in together is a form of commitment. This is not true. A man can live under the same roof with you and still treat you like a second-class citizen. Nevertheless, some people argue that living together will help determine compatibility because they believe that you do not know someone until you live with them. This is partially true. I teach couples how to pay attention to issues that will surface while living under the same roof. Also, if you believe in living righteously according to God, living together is wrong from a biblical perspective.

Related Series: How We Went from fussing and fighting to Being Happily Married

If I were you I would focus more on his motivation for wanting to get married, not your time frame. Your time frame might be different than what he had in mind or from what he feels comfortable with. You stated that he gets frustrated when you ask about moving in. This is an indicator that something is not right. Don’t be so quick to jump into marriage if you are not sure about how to sustain a marriage. Spend time seeking to understand his motives without nagging him. If you are not able to discern please seek professional counseling or move on if you do not want to invest additional time or energy.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 207 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at


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3 Ways to Keep Your Junk (Baggage) from Ruining Your Marriage

BY: - 24 Jul '17 | Marriage

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Our trip to Virginia was not going to be long…just a few days. So, I decided to pack lightly. It was still warm in Georgia and without checking Virginia’s weather forecast, I packed my bags with clothes appropriate for Georgia weather. Needless to say, I was surprised as the weather grew significantly cooler the further north we traveled. It turns out a “cold front” was moving in. As someone brought up in the warmth of the Caribbean sun, I was not happy. Instead of the right clothes for my trip, I was now carrying around useless baggage.

Have you ever done that? Have you ever packed your bags with the wrong items for the trip you’re about to take? Sadly, too many of us do that with marriage. We pack our bags for marriage as if we’re going on a singles’ vacation. The items we take are completely inappropriate and we only realize it the further into the marriage we get. Unfortunately, once we realize our baggage is holding us back from enjoying this lifetime journey, many of us don’t know what to do.

While no one enters a marriage as a perfect individual, if you put in the self work and retool your baggage, it can mean a pleasant trip down the aisle and beyond.


So, what is this baggage that so many of us cling to? Baggage is anything you carry around from your past that becomes undesirable weight. It holds you down and holds you back, adversely affecting your present and your future. And because we don’t know what to do with it, we take it with us from relationship to relationship, even into our marriages.

  • You had to fend for yourself at a young age? You pack it, because you don’t need anyone.
  • Money was a struggle for your family? You pack it, because making money now comes first.
  • Your dad let your mom walk all over him? You pack it and will never really open up to a woman.
  • Your dad walked out on the family? You pack it because you’ll never really trust any man.
  • You were molested as a child? You pack it because you don’t believe you can have real intimacy.

When you pack your bag with those experiences, it makes it difficult to enhance your marriage and help it grow. But, while no one enters a marriage as a perfect individual, if you put in the self work and retool your baggage, it can mean a pleasant trip down the aisle and beyond. So, here are three ways to retool your baggage and have the lifelong, loving relationship you signed up for.

Be Honest With Yourself. Stand on Your Truth.

Out of all the billions of people in the world, you are the only one who has experienced your joys and pains. Only you have lived your life. No more shame over past mistakes or a past that is less than perfect. No more pity parties or excuses. Be honest with yourself, get help, and move on.

Be Honest With Your Mate. Understand Your Mate’s Truth.

Being honest with your mate will remove the feeling that you are hiding something from them. It allows you the freedom to stand on your truth and give your mate the opportunity to know you on another level. You also have the opportunity to understand your spouse’s truth. By doing so, you learn to work together and build each other up as you unpack and deal with the baggage of your lives together.

Create a Place of Refuge for You and Your Spouse

Your home should be your castle. The husband is the King and his wife is the Queen. As such, your home should be a safe haven. It should be a place of retreat and refuge and an atmosphere of peace should prevail. So, how do you create this atmosphere in your home?

  • Protect one another – Love is not meant to hurt. Each mate knows, and has the responsibility to communicate, what makes them feel safe and protected.
  • Create a no-judgment zone – This is the place where each of you can be yourself without fear of put-downs and personal attacks.
  • Release anger and disappointment and hold on to joy – Emotions are a natural part of life. However, out-of-control emotions can become baggage. If it’s unhealthy, release it and move on to joy so you can have a happy home.

Listen, walking around carrying a bunch of baggage all day long, day in and day out, is tiring. It’s the kind of weight that can make you strong or weigh you down. You can stand in your story and remain there, or you can stand on your story and rise to another level.

You are not inadequate. You are a powerful being. By retooling your baggage, you will experience the kind of marriage you desire. You are more than capable of experiencing personal change from the inside out. Receive it and watch your awe-inspiring future begin to unfold.

To read more about  how to allow your past baggage to positively influence your future and your marriage, check out the BMWK Guide to Unpacking Your Baggage – Leave Behind the Baggage of Your Past to Move Your Life and Marriage Forward.

About the author

Deborah L. Mills wrote 186 articles on this blog.

Coach, AUTHOR, Speaker, WIFE, Mom, and GRANDMOTHER. That's the gist of who I am. I love people and love to see their life and relationships thrive. As a coach I am ready to support your dream when you don't feel like it. As an author and speaker I am ready to pour into your life so that you can live your best life now. I am a personal and executive coach. Together with my husband I also marriage coach. GO TO MY WEBSITE. THERE IS A FREE GIFT THERE WAITING FOR YOU.


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