How do you know whether the relationship will lead to marriage or if it’s time to move on? I’ve been dating my SO for 5.5 years, living together for ~2 years, and my SO has had stronger feelings for me than I have for them almost the entire time. That’s not to say that I don’t love them, but I’ve felt the pressure to “catch up” on saying “love”, moving in together, and now they’re wondering why they’re “not good enough” to marry and how don’t I know after this long. Any thoughts? Struggling here

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If you don’t know if you can see a future with someone after 5.5 years, you already have your answer. Don’t waste any more of their time or yours. It’s time to move on.

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I can see a future, but I’m unsure if it’s the right future. We looked into buying a house last year and we’ve talked about dreams/goals/future plans, and several aspects seem in line up, but I’ve heard people say “when you know, you know”...and I haven’t felt that, in either direction

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Your situation is always going to be unique. People who say stuff like “if you know, you know” are only speaking to their own experiences. Do what you think is right. I am currently engaged and our relationship is in the best place it’s ever been. Our story looks bad on paper: got together in college with what started as a rebound for me and the first thing remotely serious for her; for the first couple of years she definitely was more into me than I was into her and I was not the best partner; we broke up twice; it took us 8 years and living together for 5 of them to finally be ready for marriage. For the longest time, I never felt that “feeling” and almost left her twice to chase that. Instead, we’ve worked through issues our relationship had and personally I have gone through a lot of changes internally since we started dating. Most significantly, I have really thought about what I want out of a partner. What we both realized is that we have a deep personal connection and compatibility in our personalities. Accepting what we love about one another has created that “feeling” of knowing we want to be with each other. Too often I feel like there is a pressure to have a relationship that fits a certain mold and that you have to feel a certain type of way quickly or else you need to bail. That may be the case for some but at least for us, it’s not true. This is really just a roundabout way to say that you need to think about what you want out of a partner and if you think the current one does or can eventually provide that. What those needs are is entirely up to you and you shouldn’t feel pressured from what worked for others to apply that same thinking to your relationship.

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Good idea, thanks. They know the main issues, but can’t hurt to share them again, all at once, and see if anything can be done. I didn’t really like this counselor..they had us pay to take the Gottman test, which was like hundreds and hundreds of questions, and she wouldn’t even send the results, which I thought would shed light on compatability..she would only discuss the results during the sessions. But I’ve been seeing my own counselor, and she knows the details of the relationship as well (but she couldn’t see the both of us together due to conflict of interest), and I had been trying to work on myself with her, because like you said, I need to figure out what I want out of life, out of relationships, etc to know if my SO is the right fit

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BJ/honeydolist ratio, anything .75 or higher I’d say

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Do them a favour and set them free. Not being sure whether you want to marry someone after being with them for five and a half years is insulting. At least have the decency to be honest and let them go.

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True. Good luck to you both.

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My husband and I started talking about marriage after dating for 3 mos. Got engaged at the year mark and married 2 years later. We’ve been married for almost 20 years. When you know you know. However, some people, especially men have commitment issues and they’re looking for the perfect person (doesn’t exist) so they waste a lot of their time wondering if there’s someone better out there.

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Idk I'm a female and I'm in the same boat. 5.5 years and he wants to get married, but I'm feeling a ton of anxiety about it. I just want to feel sure about it, but I don't at all. I also know he'd be a good husband and I'm worried if I end the relationship I will regret it and not find anyone better

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There’s nothing wrong with “settling”. Often that just means accepting that a person is not perfect but that they provide enough of what you want and need in life. The alternative could be constantly cycling through people because they don’t check all of the boxes or give you some feeling that may never come. Or breaking up a perfectly good relationship because that undefined feeling (which may just be infatuation, which is correlated with the newness of a relationship and will eventually go away) has decreased or is no longer there. Don’t try and chase a storybook relationship - life is going to be messy and nobody is perfect. Evaluate what is right for you and don’t let other people dictate your decisions for something this personal.

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If you’ve been together that long and enjoy living together after two years then I think you probably are a good match. I proposed to my wife after a similar time living together. That said, it’s a huge step in life so should be taken seriously. Do you agree on things like children, where you want to live, how you want to live, etc.? If you agree on those things and enjoy living together than it seems like a good match. That said it’s a huge step and I think being anxious about it is normal (it would be weird if you weren’t a little nervous about such a big step). There’s another thought too- are they really pressuring you to take those other steps or do you think you just needed a little push and end up glad you did. For example, moving in together might have required more of a push for you, but are you glad you did it?

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I don’t see the issue….. if after 5 years together including living together for 2, you are that hung up on future state it’s time to move on….. The amount of pressure you are feeling is an indicator…. It’s also clear from your history posted that you felt pressured at major steps of the relationship and didn’t take them willingly much less enthusiastically. I think you really care for them but are not in love with them…. You enjoy them and being around them but love is just not there….. You can move forward and ignore the pain in your gut and wonder for the rest of the relationship or give it a break and see if you get back together or you feel relieved when apart.

It is not fair to them to keep them hanging in and or in a relationship that you pretty much feel forced to be in. While all relationships and or marriages have ups and down if my SO of 21 years said they felt forced to take significant steps in the relationship….. I wouldn’t want them around to make them unhappy….. My SO can be pissed and angry and upset of course…. But the internal sentiment should always be “I would rather be pissed and be with you right now than be anywhere else” “I am soo angry at you but I love you”. See the drift…? It should never be the opposite “I love you so much but I feel like I don’t want to move in/long term with you”. this indicates you have unresolved issues, with you as an individual or as a couple, that need to be fleshed out until you are absolutely not feeling forced and are actually the opposite… excited by the thought of living with or marrying/a planned future with this person.

Uhh hate that I’m gonna say this lol - and I didn’t see if you mentioned how old you were but I spent most of my 20s in long term relationships but also never felt right. In my late 20s I finally cut the cord and having a few adult years as a single woman really really helped me mature, grow and better love myself. Which I believe set me up to find my future husband and begin a relationship on a great foundation where a few months in while we didn’t really always say it- we def both knew this was it. I’m not saying getting great relationships aren’t forged in your 20s but your feelings sound similar to mine in that I just always felt there was something more to be found in a relationship that I didn’t have yet - and that single time really helped me.

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I also try to live my something my uncle once said - “stop doing it if it isn’t fun”. It seemed really simple then but as I get older it’s a good reminder that life is short if you don’t feel totally happy/fulfilled let it go (not a great motto to live by when the sinks full of dishes though 😉)

Damn...thought I posted this for a second. I’m in the same boat. Almost 6 year dating and I’m wondering if this is the right relationship for me. Some things I’ve been thinking about that you should to:
- Are you happy or just comfortable with something familiar?
- if they have stronger feelings for you than you for them, I’d take that as a sign that in the long run it won’t work out. Kids will only make that worse
- figure out what it is about them or the relationship that you wish you could change

Of course there are other aspects I’d change, but I listed the top 2 on my mind at the moment, and 2 that can’t really be changed. I have been searching for answers internally for a while and wanted to gain some outside perspective

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In a similar boat. Been together about 6 years and just now moving in together. I get anxious thinking about if it’s “right” because I also don’t have the “you just know” feeling. I don’t think that’s there for everyone but doesn’t mean it’s not right. I think we’re just anxious individuals 😅

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