It seems to me these days that a lot of women are made to wait an inordinately long amount of time in a girlfriend zone from which no signs are ever offered to provide some hope to her that it will spill over into lifelong wedded bliss.
Although there are many unconventional arrangements these days—which I applaud and condone as long as it’s a full-bodied choice for both (or more) people—for many women, they still feel they are in the traditional female role, and hence, have to wait for a man to propose to her.
Being a coy maiden these days can be nearly impossible, especially since we are no longer rewarded with this difficult-to-maintain display with any chivalry (most of the time). And it is not just about the more superficial aspects to roles—even a couple who are comfortable and natural and who “act like themselves” around each other may find they wish for more clarity and defined actions from their partner but feel it is not right to put on any pressure.
Many men find it easy to languish in the land in-between courtship and marriage. And it is no longer the case today that most delays are due to difficulties in finance or standing, as is the situation the couple in above’s painting of the 1880′s were made to endure.
Many men opt out of popping the question because they’re not sure that the woman they’ve been in a [essentially] monogamous relationship with (sometimes going on 7, 8,9 years) is “the one.” So the question is, ‘How long must I wait?!” Investment is a driving factor that keep people together—as they feel unwilling to “throw out” the time spent together, as if it is “wasted.” I would venture to say that as long as wisdom and growth are a product of any experience in any length of time, it is not a waste. What IS a waste is to not voice your feelings (first clarify them to yourself!), or to have your feelings disregarded, once voiced. So, if you or someone you know has been strung along for too long, get it out in the open. If your concern is not taken seriously, it might be time to invest in a NEW adventure, without the perrenially-undecided bogging you down.