Waiting for the proposal …

It's time for this year's Romance Rumble. I'm on the left, Ty's on the right.

I started dating my boyfriend when I was 20 years old and he was 29. He has been a life-long friend of my family, so it was very exciting for everyone when we started dating. We moved in together about eight months into our relationship and have been together ever since. We're both are successful in our careers, we have a wonderful group of friends, our families are incredibly supportive of us, and we truly enjoy each other (most of the time!).

I am now 27 and he's about to turn 36. We've had many conversations about marriage and children and agree that it's something we both want. My girlfriends have lost hope that he'll ever propose ... and quite frankly, I'm getting there. As cliche as it sounds, he is truly my best friend and I couldn't imagine my life without him in it. So the thought of leaving because he won't propose sounds incredibly selfish to me.

However, that's the advice that everyone keeps giving me. I don't like to bring up the topic of marriage too much because I don't want to pry or push, but I'm at the end of my rope.

– Impatiently Waiting, Small Town, VA

Talking about your future doesn't mean that you're prying or pushing. You're allowed to discuss this stuff, and there's no reason to feel like a nag.

Tell your boyfriend that you'd like to come up with a timeline. It's not about finding out when he's going to propose, it's about working together to devise a plan. He's already said that he wants what you want. Now that you're 27, you're ready to get specific about when.

If he won't talk about this stuff, explain that you're concerned that he no longer shares your vision for the future. Don't spit out any ultimatums. Simply ask: "Do we still want the same things?"

After seven years, you shouldn't feel like you're waiting around for a boyfriend to propose. You should feel like you're working with your partner to figure out what's next. This is supposed to be a team effort.

Readers? Should she be waiting for a proposal? Do you side with her girlfriends? How should she talk to him about this? Help.

– Meredith