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Question from Confused in El Paso

Dear Lindsey,
My boyfriend and I met during our sophomore year of college and moved in together after graduation.  Six years later, we are still living together, renting an apartment, but he hasn't proposed yet.  I love everything about him and we rarely fight except when it comes to getting engaged.  He can't come up with a valid reason to not get married.  He'll tell me he wants to wait until he can afford a nice ring, or until we can afford a nice wedding, or until we can afford a house.  We both make a comfortable salary, so really none of these excuses are valid.  Plus, I always tell him I don't need a fancy ring, wedding, or house.  I'm a simple person and whatever he can afford I'd be happy with.  I'd be happy eloping and getting married at the court house. 
I believe his lack of commitment stems from his parents getting divorced when he was in high school.  It was a terrible, messy divorce and it took my boyfriend a long time to recover.  We talk about it once in a while when he is up for talking about it, and I try to reassure him that I am madly in love with him and we would never end like that.  
I don't know how much longer I can wait.  I try to convince myself that I'd be find if we never got married, but really I want to be able to call him my husband.  I love him so much, but I'm not getting any younger and I'd like to start a family soon.  Is there any way I can get him to commit?
-Confused in El Paso

Dear Confused in El Paso,
Have you ever heard the saying, "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free"?  I think this may apply in this case.
It sounds like your boyfriend is coming up with excuses to not propose when there actual may be a bigger issue at hand.  He may need counseling to help get over his commitment issues, especially if he was scarred by his parents' divorce.  That is a hard thing to get over even as a teenager, and if he's never dealt with his feelings then he may have some pent up issues he needs to get out.  If he doesn't deal with those issues, you may never see that ring you so desire.  You may want to politely suggest he talk to a professional and even offer to go with him if he needs the support.
If you want to go the non-traditional route, you could always propose to him.  If he says no, then pick up the pieces of your broken heart and move on.  If he says yes, then set up that appointment at the court house since you don't care about having a wedding.
If you don't want to propose, then the only other alternative is giving him an ultimatum.  It sounds like a bitchy thing to do, but it seems you're at a crossroads anyway.  You either need to move in the direction you want to that makes you happy or move on to bigger and better things that will lead you to that happiness you desire.  Guys typically don't like ultimatums, but he needs to sh*t or get off the pot, as the saying goes.
If all else fails you could pull the classic soap opera move and get knocked up to force your man into marrying you.  Please don't do that though.
Lots of love,

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