Ask Audrey: 'Why hasn't my boyfriend proposed to me yet?'

Audrey Griffen
Contributor

Audrey is a mother to a 15-year-old with another on the way. She probably should have taken into account who she was marrying (Osher Günsberg) much earlier, as she’s far more comfortable behind the camera as a freelance hair and makeup artist, than a TV host’s wife who doesn’t know how to work her angles for any on-camera duties.

Audrey loves to cook, decorate cakes, gardening, DIY and is very handy with a flat-pack, few of which you would pay her to do for you, but she’d happily give it a shot for free.

Audrey Griffen gives advice to one woman who feels she needs to postpone her pregnancy plans to be bridesmaid. Photo: Supplied

Audrey

I’m 29-years-old, I’ve been dating my boyfriend for three years now and I have to say we’re that smug couple everyone else hates.

He’s the most incredible man I’ve ever dated, he’s attentive to my needs and he’s made it clear that he sees his future with me.

The only thing is that it’s been three years now and I’m still waiting for him to propose.

Until recently it wasn’t something that irked me. After all, we’re both blissfully happy together and what difference will a piece of paper and a ring make to our relationship?

But every time we go to family events, my aunts, uncles and cousins berate us about our lack of marriage plans and it gets very awkward.

I can see him shuffling nervously beside me as we both try to think of things we can say to get them to get off our case.

Lately though it's got me thinking and I’ve been wondering if he’s ever going to get down on one knee or will I be waiting another 10 years for him to finally ask me?

I know that he loves me but how long am I supposed to wait and keep making up excuses to our family?

Should I give him an ultimatum or wait until he’s ready to pop the question?

Dear Not-yet-engaged,

How frustrating to be inundated by those pesky questions that family and strangers alike love to ask. It doesn’t seem to matter what stage of life you’re in either, if you’re single, it’s “why don’t you have a partner?” If you’ve literally just walked down the aisle, “when are you having kids?”; or just popped out a baby, it’s “Will you have more kids?”

While I’m sure it’d be satisfying to tell them to mind their own business, I doubt it would stop the questions from coming. It’s an innocuous conversation starter for some, like asking about the weather, so try giving a non-committal answer and then changing the subject. It seems that the more pressing issue is whether or not you should give your boyfriend an ultimatum about getting engaged.

By the sounds of it, you’re in a great place in your relationship, and your man does a good job of making you feel secure and happy. While you may question the need for a ring and a certificate, this suggests that perhaps marriage is something you would actually like in your future together.

Young loving couple embracing and having fun sitting on bed in the morning

First things first, you need to think about whether you want to get married or is it the pressure from others making you think that it’s what you “should” do? Have you spoken to your partner about whether that’s something that he wants for you both? Before slinging any ultimatums his way, I’d be checking to see what his thoughts are around marriage and where he sees your future together.

While an ultimatum can spur a response to get the answers you seek, without having the chance to think things through properly they can also push your boyfriend to respond defensively and you may end up with an answer you’re not happy with. They do have their place though.

Before Osher and I got engaged, I can remember feeling something similar to yourself. We had been together for over a year (not as long as you and your man but we’re old and don’t have as long to live) and I couldn’t work out where it was that we were heading.

He was never very definitive when I asked him about our future, and I ended up giving Osher an ultimatum, to force him into answering the age old question of “where do you see this relationship heading?”

I had some very frank conversations with him about it, and let him know how I felt. Our relationship was the best I’d been in, he made me really happy and I wanted to be with him for the rest of our lives.

Shot of an unhappy couple sitting on the couch at home after a fight

As Georgia is also a big factor for me to consider in any relationship, I did say that if he wasn’t on the same page then we will need to move on and part ways.

According to Osher, putting the “hard” word on him helped him to really assess what he wanted and how he felt, and it made him realise that he wanted to share his future with us. I’m glad that’s the way it worked out, our life together has been amazing since then, however, I was prepared for the alternative. And while it would have been heartbreaking, I’d rather have found out that we weren’t on heading on the same path early rather than months or even years down the track.

If, after having an open conversation with your boyfriend you still find yourself questioning where you’re heading as a couple, then consider putting an ultimatum to him. Just be prepared to act accordingly if it turns out that you both don’t want the same thing. That’s the hardest part about an ultimatum - being strong enough to walk away if the answer isn’t what you wanted.

Remember to work out what it is that you want first and what you’re willing to accept for your future; ask your man what he wants; the last resort is an ultimatum. Good luck!

Audrey x

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