Dear Amy: I am a 30-year-old professional and I have been with my boyfriend for five years. We have lived together for three years. We recently got a dog and things are going well overall.

He knows that I want to get married and have kids. He says he wants that, too, but I don’t know what he is waiting for. I haven’t nagged him — although that’s what all my friends say I need to do to get a ring. I know it isn’t a financial issue. I’ve also told him a general idea of the ring I would like.

I feel like I have been very patient waiting for him to be ready, but at what point does it become disrespectful for him to expect me to play “wife” without making the commitment?

I want him to propose because he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, not because he feels like he has to, but I don’t know how else to get through to him. If he doesn’t want to marry me, I feel like he would know by now and should tell me if that’s the reason.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Waiting for a Ring

Dear Waiting: I’m not sure why it is disrespectful of your boyfriend not to ask you to marry him when you are already living together. If marriage is your rock-solid desire and if this is how you frame success in your relationship, then you are the one disrespecting — or suppressing — your own goals. If he wanted to be married, he would be married to you by now.

I am not blaming you at all for wanting what you want. But the way to get what you want is not to pretend that you don’t want it. Don’t nag, but do discuss this. If you have a timeline in mind, you should be open about it. You should be prepared to leave the relationship if it isn’t leading toward fulfilling your own goals.

* * * * *

Dear Amy: I’m a 16-year-old guy, and am going to be a junior in high school this year.

I’m attracted to a girl, “Randi,” who is a friend of my younger twin sisters. She is 14 and is going to be a freshman at the same school I go to.

We are very close friends, which causes a lot of tension with my sisters and my parents, who think I’m being inappropriate. Randi and I talk all the time, and she has also expressed some interest in me. I’ve been considering whether to ask her out and make it official.

Is my family right about her being too young? She’s very mature for her age. Should I continue to pursue this, or wait and possibly miss my chance?

Slightly Older Guy

Dear Slightly Older: Asking a girl out does not make anything “official” — other than officially declaring your interest in her. “Randi’s” folks might not want her to go out with anyone (or anyone older) until she is a little older, too.

I can’t say whether your parents are right about you being “inappropriate,” because you don’t provide details about your behavior that they might object to. But in my mind a 16-year-old guy who has a crush on his sisters’ friend seems like a normal and “appropriate” experience.

You should continue with the friendship but hold off on any big romantic gestures for now. The start of the school year should be a time of transition and adjustment. The adjustment for her into high school is especially big. Suppress your instinct to lock this down; instead you should hang on and hang out and see what happens.

* * * * *

Dear Amy: Thank you for your response to “Godmother,” who was worried about how to protect her goddaughter from the mother’s sometimes poor judgment.

All children need to know there is someone who will listen to them and stick up for them.

Also a Godmother

Dear Godmother: I hear from many adults who wish they’d had an adult in their corner during their childhoods.

Contact the writer: askamy@tribune.com

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