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Hi everyone. This is going to be a bit of long story, so bear with me. I posted a few weeks ago with the "Live together before getting married" thread. Well, an update, my boyfriend will be "officially" moving in in November. It's mostly to help me out, financially, as I've been working two jobs for a year, trying to get debt paid off. Splitting the bills will allow me to have my weekends back!

Anyway, my issue is this. A week or so ago, my boyfriend and I had a bit of a heart to heart regarding marriage. He has this problem of saying one thing one day, and the next day saying the complete opposite. For example, one day he'll bring up marriage in that he'll say, "when we get married, we should get a huge entertainment system." Or, "when we have kids we should...etc." I understand that a lot of this is said in passing, and that's fine. But when he makes strong statements, like "I could see us being married next year" then what am I supposed to think? Obviously, being the sterotypical girl that I am, I run to my computer at work the next day and start looking up wedding sites to get ideas. Then a few days later, he'll say he's feeling a little pressured and that he's not ready to get married yet, but he feels that I am. Plus, he claims not to remember that he told me something different only days ago. So I'm stuck here, on the one hand thinking that he's ready to decide if he wants to spend his life with me, and on the other hand thinking that he has no desire to make any commitments as of yet.

I am at a loss on this one. Our third anniversary is next month. I think that most people, by now, would know if they want to continue forward or cut ties. But he's still at this wishy-washy phase where he's not sure he wants to "settle down." (Please. Like things would be any different if we were married!) I suppose it's the age difference. I'm 27, he just turned 24. I really want to have kids at some point, but I don't want to be having them in my late 30s. So I suppose on some level, I am in a tiny bit of a hurry, but I don't think I'm pressuring him, as I don't bring it up often. And I'm not about to give him some sort of ultimatum.

It's strange. I come from a family where divorce is more common than staying together, whereas in his family, there's been only one failed marriage. Yet he's really wary about marriage, I guess because he's concerned that we might not make it, but I'm not sure. Actually, his main concern is that I seem so sure things will work out, whereas he, for some reason, has his doubts. Well, of course I have no crystal ball, and I know things won't be sunshine and roses all the time. And I told him this. But I do think that the risk is worth taking. We already know that we love eachother, we have fun together, be it doing something or just hanging out doing nothing. I can't think of anyone I'd rather spend time with and neither can he. He is my best friend, and I'm his. So what's the problem? I asked if he thinks he could find someone he likes better than me and he said no.

We're planning on getting together with some married friends of mine to talk about all these issues, but with his work schedule right now, it may be a while till we can do this. My married friend was saying that her husband felt the same way before they got married, even though they'd been together for 7 years already. She said that, though he knew they were perfect for eachother, he was still consumed with fear and doubt. But after the wedding, he was fine. So tell me, is this just a guy thing?

I know we need to have more talks to get his concerns out in the open. But I thought I'd ask for some input from all you guys first. How were things in your relationships when you were on the brink of deciding whether or not to get married?

Thanks so much in advance for your help on this.

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