Ask the Merman
Advice from the Deep
This advice as dispensed is coming from a Merman's perspective. As a merman the worst thing you can do is ask advice and then not take it. In this fun column the Merman will attempt to give answers intended for improvement of what ever your particular situation might be.
Like all earthly men, us mermen often wonder why mermaids come to us with a problem and don't like it when we try to offer solutions. That is what we do – we solve problems and it is extremely difficult for us to act as only a sounding board. If that were the case we would simply print your questions here and answer with something like, "Oh darn, that's too bad!" without offering a solution. Yes, that would be easier for us but we mermen rarely take the easy road. So please remember, the Merman will give suggestions for solving the problems voiced in the questions as submitted. You don't have to try to implement these suggestions but you might consider it – keep in mind the Merman takes no responsibility for the results. Enjoy and benefit.
Ask the Merman a question! He won't bite. In fact, you will probably learn something amazing. You can remain confidential - Just give yourself an alias and ask away.
I have been with my bf for 6+ years. We live in our own home that we own. We have a puppy too. I know he loves me and wants to get married and have a family. What I don't understand is why it is taking him so long to do it! I don't need a fancy ring, the $20 Macys ring would work. We don't have to pay for our wedding so he doesn't have to save money up either. Why might it be taking him so long to ask?
My Dearest Impatient Mermaid Aly,
I have a two word answer to your question, and then I will explain... ASK HIM!
Here is the Merman's take on your situation. Agreed six years is quite a long time. Plenty of time to get to know each other what with the living situation that you described. Although I don't know your background or his (i.e. Divorce, children from another marriage, etc.) there may be reasons that he doesn't want to get married. However…
You have known this fellow for quite some time and well, frankly, it is 2011 and with modern times come modern suggestions. If I were in your flippers I would sit the fellow down and say, "Look pal, I love you and want to spend my life with you and I am getting tired of wondering if you feel the same way. Along with tired of wondering I am tired of being so ‘mermaid like' and waiting for you to pop the question so….will YOU marry ME?"
Scary, I know, but it will be a real clam opener for the evening and it should give you the answer to your real question which is, "Does this guy love me enough to make a life long commitment?" It seems that he loves you enough to own a house together and father a puppy with you!!! I don't blame you for wanting a formalized commitment.
Either way, once you ask the question you will end up with the information that you need to move to the next stage in your life. The question will also start a good conversation about the future and it sounds like you are ready, willing, able and waiting for the future. After six years if you can't talk to this sailor about everything under the yard arm then he is the wrong guy for you anyway. So…time to jump head-first into the future with the words…"Will you marry me?"
From there things can only go one of three ways:
1) If he says ‘Yes'. Be prepared to set a date and schedule a time to go pick out an engagement ring. (What the heck go for the $50 Macy's ring!) The question you asked is just the hook, now you need to set the hook and get him in the boat! Don't settle for a ‘yes' and then find yourself waiting another six years to actually tie the knot. Insist that within six months of saying "yes" you are both saying "I do." No cancellations or postponements allowed.
2) If he says ‘I don't know' or ‘I am not ready but give me some time' be prepared to do one of two things.
a. Give him some time – not all the time in the world – but set a schedule for when he needs to give you an answer. (I would say no more than 2 weeks.)
b. Pack him a bag and tell him if he changes his mind and wants to make a firm commitment to give you a call but no guarantees you will be available. He will just have to take his chances. Then truly move on – don't play a game pretending to have moved on and by all means, do not, repeat do not welcome him back in here and there (if you know what I mean). No firm commitment, no fun stuff. He will eventually get tired of living in a motel and be ready to negotiate his re-entry into your good graces!
3) If he says ‘No' and/or bolts: Sadly your relationship is probably over if you want the long term commitment. So, you can move on to find a life long committed partner. That is going to be complex because you got a number of carts before the horses what with co-owning a home and having a puppy together – who gets the house and the furry child if you do split up? Based on your description of your current situation that is not likely to happen, but... time to confirm dear Mermaid. I hope before buying the house you had some agreement in place that details the process for disposition of the property in the event that you split. If this happens, move quickly to resolve the messy issues of ending a relationship. The quicker the better for you both.
So, why wait? Get yourself prepared with a calendar and ask him tonight. You sound like a lovely, sensitive and caring Mermaid that could land a Merman any old time. I don't blame you for wanting to know and I am sorry that you need to take the initiative here. But I see a strong Mermaid in you and know you can do it!
Onward, always onward!
PS – let the Mermaids know the wedding date!
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