I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 11 months. Just the other day he tells me that he thinks we should just remain friends and nothing more. Two days later he called me and we talked about our relationship and he told me that I do make him happy and he enjoys our time together, but that he doesn't ever want to get married and he thought it was better to let me go now then waste my time and hurt me more later.

I replied that I don't think in absolutes and avoid words like “always” and “never”. I further explained that marriage isn't something I want now, but can't say I wouldn't want later in life. I think you spend your life looking for people who compliment and enhance your life and he does that for me, and from what he's said I do that for him. I know that and agree with your statements that there are tons of men out there who would marry me now or in 2 years from now, but I can't say they would make me as happy or share the qualities that my current boyfriend does.

I have wanted to tell him that I love him and haven't because I think there is that small part of me that feels he might not say yes. Then what do I do, stay with someone even though they don't feel the same way? Will he ever feel that way even if he doesn't now despite saying that he cares about me very much? Is there the possibility that one day he might change his mind and want to be married? Will he want to be married to me? I know life if one big game of chance-- I'm confused on whether to stay knowing that if at some point I want to get married and he doesn't that our relationship will end and I'll still be hurt...... or do I walk away now?

I appreciate any advice or words of enlightenment you can give me.

Man! There are a lot of questions there! Unfortunately, most of them would mean that I'd have to either read his mind or see into the future, and I don't do either of these. I'm good, but not THAT good!

Your boyfriend seems to have hinged everything on whether or not he's going to get married. That's a pretty poor excuse in my opinion, and it reminds me of a story:

One day a farmer walks over to his neighbor's farm and asks to borrow some rope. The neighbor says, "Sorry, I can't lend it to you, I need it to tie up my milk." The farmer thinks about this for a moment and says, "Wait, you don't need rope to tie up milk!" to which the neighbor says, "Well, you're right, but when a man doesn't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another."

This seems to be the story with your boyfriend. The "getting married" thing seems only like an excuse for the fact that he wants something else in his life, (I don't know what that is by the way). You need to pin him down on this and not accept that as an answer. If he tells you being married isn't his goal, just tell him that it's not yours either! What you want (or what you SHOULD want) is a great relationship with someone you love and respect. The format isn't important.

If he then gives you other excuses, go back to the farmer story above and realize it’s time to move on.

When a man doesn't want to do a thing, any excuse is as good as any other!

Best regards...

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World" series), hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive. To learn more, go to http://beingaman.com.