Is it a non-engagement ring?

He proposed but she’s not sure what. He’s happy. She’s not convinced. And what about the dog?

Our elder helps unravel this tangled relationship.

Dear EWC:

Hi. I have been living with my partner almost 2 years. He bought a house and we moved in together. Last December he gave me a diamond ring and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. I took it as an engagement ring but he said he may never want to re-marry.

He is a widow. His wife was taken suddenly by cancer 3 months before we met. He said he cannot forgive God for taking her and so he may never be able to say vows in church because of the sacrament of it. He says he loves me and maybe one day he will want to get married again. I stopped wearing the ring and he said if I didn’t wear it that was fine. I don’t know if my feelings are the same. He said that of course things are not the same as before we moved in. The excitement is not the same. He is happy. I am not sure. He says I am too serious and should try to let loose and have fun. I was raised this way and my mom and sister are negative and depressed.

My partner has a poodle that I have come to love immensely. I wonder if I would have left long ago only I can’t leave the dog. I try to be happy with what I have…. a man who loves and respects me…a puppy that I adore. I know marriage doesn’t bring happiness…I am divorced. I don’t want to wear a ring that symbolizes to the world that I am engaged to be married when in actual fact it means a commitment of a different nature. A commitment of togetherness but not necessarily marriage.

Actually, I don’t want to marry him now. Does that sound harsh? Am I being fair or just impossible?

Here4U replies:

I have to wonder why he proposed marriage to you at all. I would suggest that if he cannot forgive God for taking his late wife, which makes him not want to be married in a church that you two marry elsewhere. Many people marry in parks, at the beach, at a favorite location, etc.

It sounds like neither one of you really want to marry at this time so maybe not getting married is for the best. I think you are being very fair as why would you want to marry a man who does not want to marry you. I believe that it is unfair on his part to string you along by telling you that one day he may change his mind and want to be married.

In my opinion, you are not looking for reasons not to be happy, in fact I believe you are doing the very opposite. It seems to me that you have convinced yourself that you can be happy in this relationship. You have come up with a lot of reasons for accepting the relationship as it is. Have you also given any thought to your happiness if you were to leave the relationship? What if you left and met a man who you could feel sparks for? This would be a man who believes that a proposal of marriage is exactly that and not only a commitment of togetherness unless he changes his mind later on.

You are still a young woman, I believe that it was smart on your part to give him the ring back as a ring is symbolic and the ring he gave you was lacking in meaning. It is my opinion that you should not stay with a man only because you love the dog. I believe you should love the man as much, if not more, than the dog. Is he as attached to the dog as you are? Perhaps he would let you have the dog if you two decided to part ways.

Only you can decide if you want to stay in this relationship and live your life with this man. I hope that this has been helpful. If it has and if you need advice in the future please feel free to write again. I wish you true and real love that is full of sparks and excitement,



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