You love him and you know he's the one; he says he loves you but admits he's not sure if you're his forever woman. Ouch. This not only hurts like hell — it's maddening. In your heart, you know that he loves you and would be miserable without you in his life, but your head tells you that you're acting like a fool, waiting around for a guy who will never claim you like you deserve to be claimed. Should you cut bait or hold out and try harder to get him to propose?
There are two possible solutions to this dilemma: you leave or you work on the relationship. Notice how I didn't write "you leave or you wait"? Clearly, there is something not right for him on a gut level about this relationship — something that's keeping him from taking the plunge. Maybe it's that he's emotionally unavailable and not able to commit to any woman, or maybe it's something specific to the relationship. But whatever it is, waiting around and doing more of what you've been doing isn't going to get him to propose.
More from YourTango: An Online Dating Study Asks: Are Men Attracted To Cheaters?
Is He Emotionally Available For Marriage?
If you want to get him to propose, first ask yourself if you think he's emotionally capable of being married and participating in marriage as a giving partner. He may not be ready to settle down or he may be emotionally incapable of doing so. Marriage takes a lot of work, compromise and prioritizing of your spouse, and in his head, marriage might translate to being stuck forever. This is called commitmentphobia.
If you can tell that he is looking to settle down and is willing to do the work it takes to keep a partnership afloat, then ask yourself why you think he's stalling. Be very honest with yourself about your behavior and attitude in the relationship. Often women push for commitment, desperate to reach the next step in love, and they bring pushy, angry, dissatisfied energy into their relationship. It's a natural response to feel negativity, hostility, and anger about a man who won't propose, so don't beat yourself up. But do try to recognize its existence in your relationship.
Are You Doing The Wrong Work To Get Him To Propose?
Working hard at a relationship sometimes means doing less. Though it's important to listen and respond to your boyfriend's needs, it's also important that you aren't participating in what I call backdoor behaviors. These are actions a woman takes to get into a man's heart through the backdoor — trying too hard to please him, cater to him, and woo him in a way that feels smothering to a man.
When you truly love a man, you do things for him out of love, not out of a desire to get him to propose or to commit: in other words, if it's not free, don't do it. If you have been breaking your back to get him to propose and are angry, frustrated, hurt, and hopeless because nothing you do seems to change things, you have to stop doing things for him right now. Focus on your happiness and only give to him when it doesn't come with a pricetag, and when it's fun to do so.
Slow Down & Relax Your Clutch
Once I tried to paint a painting for my boyfriend that embodied our love. It was very important to me to create something beautiful that reflected well on me as a talented person, but I wasn't a painter and I didn't know how to begin. Frustrated with my inability to create something worthy of our love, I went to an artist friend and asked her for advice. She said, "Go home and listen to a piece of classical music that moves you. Then pick up two twenty-pound weights and listen to it again. I promise you that the second time you won't hear the beauty anymore. Your desire to create a certain outcome is those weights, stopping you from hearing the beauty of your relationship while you paint."
Beautiful moments of connection are presenting themselves in your releatoinship on a daily basis. You may not be available to these moments because you are too stressed out by your unfulfilled desire to get him to propose. Your desire becomes a weight on your relationship. If you want to be with him, your best bet is to let go of desperately desiring a proposal and truly accept where the relationship presently exists. Fall into it and allow yourself to enjoy him more.
Doing this will open your eyes, making clearer one of two things: your relationship isn't satisfying you either... or you'll see that you really do have a special connection with him. Chances are that if you discover and create more moments together that are beautiful, fun, tender, supportive and also free of any expectations, he will feel more connected to you, too.
This may be just what he needs to feel like a marriage with you means mutuality and support over entrapment and sacrifice.
If you want to learn more about backdoor behaviors and whether you are committing some, or if you want to learn how to use your feminine energy to draw him closer, sign up for my goddess advice newsletter. Feminine energy is the feeling energy—the go-with-the-flow energy. When you are trying desperately to get a man to propose, you're in your masculine energy, which competes with his and makes him feel conflict with you. My FREE eLetters will give you tools and exercises to help unleash your inner goddess and let your true beauty paint a picture of you that he simply won't be able to ignore.
More from YourTango: 5 Ways To Make A Man Love You
More relationship expert advice from YourTango: