Q. I’ve been with my boyfriend for nine years, and we’ve been living together for three. Although we feel as though we’re married, I want to make it official. Recently, a relative offered to give my boyfriend my grandma's wedding rings. I'm not supposed to know, but he has accepted them. It has been a month since then and it is driving me crazy that he hasn't proposed. He knows I do want to be married someday, and I'm beginning to lose patience. Is there anything I can do or say to get him to propose? —Wanna-Be Bride
Dear Wanna-Be Bride,
Your boyfriend accepted rings he did not choose. He accepted your relative’s lobbying for your marriage. After 12 years together, if not for the ring offer, your guy might have sustained your single status indefinitely. So it appears obvious why he hasn’t gotten down on one knee yet. Girlfriend, he needs to feel he still has control over the future everyone else is planning for him!
Stop your self-indulgent demands, and consider his needs. Appreciate that he accepted the rings and does intend to marry you—but know that he’s going to follow HIS timetable. If you push your own agenda, you’ll resemble a bridezilla he may want to flee. —Dr. Gilda
Q: There is a woman I really like, and we’ve been hanging out every other night together. We get along real well. She has a kid I really love as my own. How do I tell her I’m ready to be a father figure to her kid, and be there for her unconditionally? — Ready for More
It’s nice that you’re happy to commit to your lady AND her child “unconditionally.” But, Dude, exactly what “un”-conditions are you suggesting? Living together? Marriage? Seeing each other on consecutive nights?
You say this is a “woman I really LIKE,” whereas you declare, “She has a kid I really LOVE.” Would you rather be a father figure than a mate? “Hanging out every other night together” sounds like a juvenile alternative to “becoming steady loving partners.” So what do you really want, Ready? Only when you figure that out will you be able to clearly offer it to your girlfriend. No rational person will accept an offer before she knows the terms. —Dr. Gilda
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Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor at New York’s Mercy College and has written 15 books; her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”