Should I wait for a ring?

If we’re just “friends”, why are we having sex? 

Our elder has some blunt advice for a letter writer who’s seeing a guy who can’t commit.


Dear EWC

So recently I ran into a guy I went to high school with. We instantly connected as if we never lost touch. After talking for a few weeks, I discovered via conversations that he always had a crush on me in high school. We both decided to start a relationship but as friends first to give our potential relationship a foundation. As time went on, we got more serious and then we started to have sexual relations. One day we were hanging out and his phone rang. It was a girl. I asked him about it and he stated we are just friends. I asked why can’t we be more and he said because he’s not financially where he wants to be, and being in a relationship he would have to provide for me which he can’t do at the moment. Once he is there, he would want to be with me for the rest of our lives, possibly get married. My question is do I stay and wait or get out of dodge and run!?


Granny-Nora replies

Before I begin, I’m going to say that probably every volunteer Elder would answer your letter in a different way depending on their own life experience. You may very well want to resubmit your letter for a second opinion.

I’m going to answer your question with a question. I want you to seriously think about this before you react. My question is this: Why would a man who is getting sex without marriage want to get married?

These are difficult times for women to navigate. Unfortunately, we have come to a point where sex without marriage is socially acceptable. As women, we want freedom and equality, but all things are not equal. We wave this flag of independence and profess to be feminist minded, yet we willingly put ourselves in the position of being slaves to men with high testosterone levels.

Only you can decide if this man will ever get serious about your relationship. I don’t know him, nor have I seen the two of you together. However, I do have some advice. If you want to be “friends” with him, you need to step back from the sexual relationship. Make it clear that sex is off the table. Make it clear that since he does not want a more permanent relationship, that you will be dating other men, but would like to remain “friends” with him. He then has a choice. If he loves you, he will get his act together and ask you to marry him. If not, he will be fine with just being “friends,” or he will completely break off the relationship (in which case you don’t want to be with him anyway).

If this man isn’t for you, make this a learning experience for future relationships. Keep sex off the table until you have a wedding ring on your finger. A man who truly loves you will be happy to wait for the ceremony. The real art of being a feminist is understanding that you have the control over your own body. You don’t have to give your body away to anyone who isn’t willing to commit to marriage.

I hope this helps give you a different perspective. You are the only one who can decide your next move. I wish nothing but the best for you. Again, you may want to resubmit your letter for a second opinion, as we all have different life experiences. My life experience is a happy marriage of 44 and a half years.

Article #: 479495

Category: Dating/Relationship

One Comment

  1. The days of “Men won’t buy the chicken when they’re getting the eggs for free” (or any other analogy) are over. Even though many of my generation didn’t, couples today not only have pre-marital sex; they often live together for a period of time before marriage.
    Your mistake was not in having sexual relations with this guy. It was in not being clear in what you wanted out of the relationship and not having the kind of communication with him that established what the relationship is.
    Are we friends? Are we friends with benefits? Are we looking for a real partnership? You don’t have to say the M word, but it’s okay to let someone know that you are wanting a love relationship that could lead to a future together.
    He’s not committed to an exclusive relationship if he’s talking with other girls and saying that the two of you are friends.
    I don’t buy that his reason is financial. This isn’t the 1800s where a man has to have an established homestead and provide for you. If he loved you, or even liked you as much as you seem to like him, the two of you could work toward a future where you both contribute to the financial well-being of the couple.
    Should you get out of Dodge or hang in there? My advice would be to do neither until you have a frank discussion about what YOU want, as well as what he wants. If you feel he’s unclear or sidestepping the issues, then yes, back off and take some time to examine what caused this relationship to fail. That’s the best way to prepare for a more successful one next time.

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