How Much Time is Too Much Time?
Dear Bitter Single Guy: Mid-twenties female, graduate-level education. How long is too long to stay in a relationship that has been considered “serious” from the start and tell the BF to get me a ring or admit I’m not the one and move on? If you want more details I don’t have a problem providing them, but in the end I feel like that’s the essence of the question. ~Hand On The Plug~
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Dear HOTP: The Bitter Single Guy is, as his readers know, a fan of brevity since it allows him to get to even more folks’ heartache. The BSG also believes that with a little thought, most of his readers questions can be boiled down to a relatively simple question and HOTP you demonstrate that brilliantly.
The BSG thinks that you probably have friends who will tell you that the amount of time to stay in a serious relationship without further commitment is entirely subjective and up to you and your Reluctant Beau and the universe and bunnies and such. The BSG thinks there is some truth there, but that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to give you a concrete answer (the BSG knows that’s why you come to him). So here it is:
Mid-twenties with a graduate-level education tells the BSG that you’re no longer ‘in the oven’, but instead that you’re relatively fully baked. The BSG knows that getting an education and mucking about in the early twenties results in many folks forming and re-forming themselves several times over. HOTP based on your age and place in life, and assuming the same for Reluctant Beau, the BSG thinks you should wait a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years before you pull the plug because of inertia on Reluctant Beau’s part.
You (or some of the BSG’s readers) may be shocked at the 3 year minimum, but here’s the BSG’s logic: Reluctant Beau could have any number of insecure reasons that he’s not making the plunge to a deeper commitment, but in his 20’s in this the 21st century, Reluctant Beau is undoubtedly navigating unfamiliar waters. If this were 1950, he would be grossly late in making his intentions clear. But these days folks successfully date and mate well into their 40’s, 50’s and beyond, so the path is less clear.
HOTP your job is to be sure that Reluctant Beau knows that you’re in for the long haul (assuming you are). If one of the things he’s navigating is whether or not you’re in the game, that will only make it tougher. As you get older, you would likely find that men are less reluctant to take the committment plunge, but you have to get older for that to happen and since you’re waiting out the clock, you may as well spend that time letting Reluctant Beau get up to speed.