My fiance of one and a half year will not commit to a date. He has postponed the wedding once (due to a very real financial crisis). We agreed on a timeline for us to set the next date and he is stalling again.

I want to be proactive about this but I don’t want to force him into a wedding he doesn’t want. We will have been together for 7 years in Jan 2008 and I know he loves me but is he waiting for the second coming to fix the date?

Sheena

Dear Sheena,

First of all, I want to acknowledge you for writing to me regarding such a sensitive topic. You’ve invested a lot of time with this guy, and I don’t want to gloss over your very serious issue. But it seems that since we can all be a little too close to our own problems, it might be easier if I give you one of mine to solve. The topic is a little touchy, so be gentle with me, okay? Okay.

So…

Dear Sheena,

My girlfriend will not give me oral sex.

She really loves me and said that she will one day be interested in performing it. It just hasn’t happened yet.

I try not to bug her too much about it because I don’t want her to feel pressured. But I’m beginning to think that, at this pace, I might never get sucked off again.

I know it’s possible to have a relationship without oral sex, but regular hummers are something I’ve always dreamed of. I’m not sure if she’s afraid of penises, had a bad childhood experience, or is just shy, but, after seven years of dating her, I’m starting to feel like a blue-balled chump.

What do you think I should I do?

Evan

First, a few things to note:

Marriage is more important and high-stakes than blowjobs.

My girlfriend and I have been together for 11 months, not 7 years.

She would not be my girlfriend if the above problem were true.

Despite the jokes, Sheena, I really, truly believe that our disparate situations have the same exact solutions.

Simply put, if you and I are not satisfied with the status of our relationships, we must have authentic conversations with our partners about how they’re not living up to our needs and expectations.

And if our partners tell us that things will change but they don’t, we’re faced with two choices:

Stay or Go.

That’s it. Two options. Nothing else.

By staying in a relationship that’s not meeting your needs, you become an enabler who allows your commitment phobic boyfriend to take advantage of you. And by threatening to walk and not walking, you establish yourself as a powerless victim and a doormat. That’s where you’ve been for seven years and that’s where you’ll be in seven years unless you do something differently. ‘Cause clearly, he’s in no rush to change….

By staying in a relationship that’s not meeting your needs, you become an enabler who allows your commitment phobic boyfriend to take advantage of you.

Let’s establish a caveat: there’s nothing wrong with being in a seven year relationship and not being married, if THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT. Really. To bring it back to my made-up situation…I have a buddy who is married and NEVER gets oral sex. That pattern was established during the three years he dated his wife and he certainly couldn’t expect it to change after he tied the knot. For him, a blowjobless marriage was a bargain he was willing to strike in order to preserve the union. Works for him. Not for me.

So, for you, Sheena, it may well be worth it to stay in an unmarried monogamous relationship as long as you get to keep your “fiance”. But you’re not at all unreasonable for wanting a ring, and you’re definitely justified in leaving if you don’t get one.

Ultimatums are unpopular concepts because they seem pushy, but I’ll tell you: if you’ve been pushed around, an ultimatum is ALL YOU GOT. If you’re in your late 30’s/early 40’s, you want marriage and kids, and he’s been stalling for more than 2 years, you sure as hell better tell him to propose or move on.

At a certain point, it ceases being his fault for not committing, and becomes your fault for accepting his lack of commitment.

Whatever you do, good luck. I hope you find a decision that gives you peace and happiness.