The "Right Time"

A woman seeks advice about if and when she should ask her boyfriend about marriage.


When Is the “Right Time”?

Dear ASK REAL GUYS: I am 41 years old and I started dating a 36-year-old guy last December. We met online back in September of 2007, and since then we have spent every night either chatting over the phone or online. He is from North Carolina but is currently living in San Francisco; I am from San Francisco but have taken up residence in Arkansas. We finally had a chance to meet face-to-face in December, and we had such an amazing time that I changed my ticket in order to stay an extra month. Once I left we went back to our typical nighttime chatting routine.

In May we agreed to meet in North Carolina for a weekend to attend his sister’s birthday party. This past July I moved back to California, and found a place an hour away from where he living. We are very happy together, but I am wondering why he is 36 and has been unattached for so long. He is cute, sweet, sensual, thoughtful, responsible, and carries no baggage. He hasn’t had the best of luck dating in the past; truthfully neither have I. His longest relationship did last four years though. What do you think my chances are of marrying him?

Our online-anniversary rolled around on September 26, and our dating-in-person anniversary is coming up on December 8. Neither of us can believe that it’s almost been a year already. I have two children in their teens who are about to graduate and move out of the house, and recently I was brave enough to ask my boyfriend if he ever wanted children of his own. He said that he doesn’t have much interest in becoming a father, which works for me because we both like to travel, explore, hike, and such so it’s better to not bring children into the picture at this point in our lives. Unfortunately I’m still too nervous to ask if he ever sees himself getting married. Do you think I should ask him? I have been involved with some less than stellar men, and I know exactly what I want in a partner and he is perfect.

Avery: The first question I’d ask you is whether getting married to him is the ultimate goal for you. It seems that based on the distance and online/phone relationship that you’ve had, more time in person together is needed before you address the marriage question. I’d suggest spending as much time with him as possible, and then when it feels right, ask him what his thoughts on marriage are. I suspect that with two grown up children and being over 40, raising more children is not what you’re looking at, so I’d ask myself what getting married will accomplish. Maybe after dating for a longer period of time, moving in together could be a good first step. That would likely be the best “trial run” for your relationship.

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