02 Sep 2013

How Can I Make My Boyfriend Propose To Me?

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Hi Grace,

I never thought I would be asking anyone something like this, but as time has passed I’m still waiting for my boyfriend to propose. We have been together for almost four years and we have been living together for three. I know many women ask you the same question but for me is different. I came to the USA to study and then I met him. I changed my major so we could be together in the same town; and have put a lot of effort and time into our relationship. My visa expires soon, and he knows that most likely I won’t be able to come back as a student. I am so worried that I will make no use of my major back home!He says he loves me and that I am beautiful inside and out… My feelings for him go beyond explanation as I could never put into words how big and powerful it is. He has visit my family in my home country and I’m close to his family. His mom and dad got divorced when he was a teen but he still believes (at least he tells me he does) in marriage and happily ever after. I’m so frustrated that he has not mentioned marrying me…well I take that back… He has before when my visa comes up and it’s more like this “let’s go to a courthouse…” but I feel like he knows I want more than that and I’m not talking the big wedding (I would love it but I don’t need it) but I want him to WANT to marry me, and keep me around, and knowing he doesn’t want to take the chances of losing me forever due to bureaucracy…I have waited for him, faithfully, while he deployed and I have chosen being here with him instead of near my family. My family loves him, and my dad, last time I was home visiting, even asked me if it was time to “have the talk” with him… And I said no… But my family is starting to wonder if this has potential or not. My dad worries the most about my visa and me having settled for someone that won’t let me live up to my potential (I know I will, my boyfriend motivates me, but if my visa expires, then it won’t matter cause I’ll be back to my home country with a degree that won’t be recognized!)We study and work and we have a very good life… I am stressed out and anxious lately because I keep thinking I give him all the benefits of being married already; so why would he want to propose…He often says about my visa expiring that “we will just have to figure it out then…” and makes me nervous thinking that it may also be our expiration date as a couple. He should know paperwork and everything else take time…I never said anything about “let’s get married” and I don’t want to pressure him, but I feel like not about my visa or situation but where we stand as a couple… Time is telling me that he needs to let me know if I can keep planning my future with him or if we truly have an expiration date. Sometimes because he has two nieces, the topic kids comes around and we skews said that in six or seven years we could have children (we are in our mid-20′s). I want to be married prior to that. And enjoy married life (like we do now) before we have kids, if he was even serious about that as well. I feel like every time I try and approach the subject or any subject that I think needs to be addressed in our relationship he gets really defensive and thinks I’m mad or trying to start a fight and truly I just want us to communicate. Should I talk to him? Should I give myself a deadline? Should I walk away?I am so confused about his intentions and that isn’t healthy because I really love him and want to plan a life together!

Thank you, C.A.

Dear C.A.,

Thanks so much for sharing your story and asking for my advice regarding your question, “how can I make my boyfriend propose to me?” After reading your story, I can agree that your situation is quite unique and I can understand why you feel the way you do. You have the challenge of time working against you – and that can make the pressure you feel escalate to an unhealthy degree.

So let me start with that word “time” and put it together with a phrase you used in your initial question: “make my boyfriend propose.” Do you hear what I hear in these words? What I hear is pressure – and that is, in my opinion, the root of the problem between you and your boyfriend. There is pressure to propose, pressure of a visa expiring, pressure from family. All of that pressure can put a damper on love, romance and planning a future together. Instead of the slow, steady growth that a couple usually takes, the sound of the clock ticking is making it feel as if you have to speed up.

Of course, your visa expiring is a reality and your feelings and fears are completely understandable. I truly empathize with what you must be going through right now. But to be able to think clearly about how to proceed, just for a little time, I am going to ask you to try to not look at the calendar for just a little while, so you can breathe, think clearly and do some soul searching.

If your visa expiration were not an issue, how would you be feeling about the relationship? You have been together for four years and lived together for three. Based on what I’ve read in your words, it appears to me that you are ready to start considering marriage (he hasn’t discussed it, I believe, with exception of the courthouse). You’ve also mentioned that you both want children, but you would prefer having time as just a married couple first. I’m also picking up on a theme that your boyfriend discusses things like marriage and family in the future.

I bring up these differences because the visa expiration can be masking issues you both need to discuss as a couple, without the pressure of time. So my first suggestion would be that you both communicate about the future of your relationship, but begin by saying that your talk will not once refer to the visa – this is simply an exercise as a couple.

If you both feel 100% certain that you want to build a future together forever, get married and have children, then as healthy couples do you both move onto the next phase in this exercise – acknowledging that you have an unfortunate obstacle standing in the way – your visa expiring. If you both love one another, this “problem” will belong to BOTH of you, even if it is yours that is nearing the expiration date. That is how a team, a couple, works through life challenges together. You both need to feel free to state how you are feeling with that pressure looming overhead. You both need to solve the dilemma together.

One other topic you brought up, which should be discussed, is your reference to not being able to use your degree in your home country, if you should have to leave. Though you love your boyfriend, that is evident, he might be feeling inside you only want to marry him for this reason – which can take the love and romance out of it, too. I cannot guess as to how he is feeling, but I would consider bringing it up to him and letting him know that you want to marry him because you love him, and always will.

I know this is an incredibly challenging time for both of you, but I believe in my heart if you start with communicating together without allowing the visa to take up the conversation, you will know how to proceed from there. Also, be sure to let him know exactly how you feel – how you resent that time is getting between you both, but that it cannot be overlooked and needs to be addressed. Let him know it is safe to discuss how he feels and that you don’t want him to carry the burden, that you are a couple and a team – and that love conquers all.

Wishing you nothing but a lifetime of happiness,



Grace Pamer is a full time romance and relationship writer. She writes romance and marriage proposal tip columns for various publications including YourTango.com and GalTime.com. As seen on FoxNews.com, Cosmopolitan.com, DivineCaroline.com and CanadianLiving.com to name but a few.

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One Response to “How Can I Make My Boyfriend Propose To Me?”

  1. Reply need marriage counseling says:

    The actual key to getting proposed to is be your self and find a spouse that appreciates the unique qualities that make you, you.

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