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9 years and counting....will he propose?

I have been dating my boyfriend for nearly 9 years. We started dating in high school and now we have both been out of college for 2 years. For the first 7 1/2 years, marriage was not really on our minds because of how young we were and how dedicated we were to our education and starting careers. However, in the past year, the idea has come to mind more often because we are settling down more and many of our friends are taking the next step. We have talked about it and he says he has wanted to propose, but his limited salary has prevented him from buying the ring he wants to get. What frustrates me is that 1) I do not want a fancy or expensive ring (which I have communicated) and 2) he still continues to spend $25 and $50 here and there on a routine basis. Not that he shouldn't buy things or have fun, I just always see it as money he could be saving up. While I am expecting a surprise proposal and our 9 year anniversary is not until August 2012, I am getting continually frustrated that I am not sure if and when he will ever propose. I am trying to be patient and understanding, but it is hard to see other couple's getting engaged and having the desire of taking the next step. I am not really sure of how to feel or if I should bring up the conversation again. I love him dearly, he treats me great, he is just also so slow to do so many things in life....

Any advice would be greatly appreciated....

Re: 9 years and counting....will he propose?

  • Please know that whatever he is slow with now he will be slow with forever.  If you do want to marry him, sit down and say that it is not about the ring. Ask him straigt out if he is ready to committ.  You should definitely have another conversation about  where each of you stands.  
  • I agree with PP.

    And I realize that 9 years seems like a long time.  But you've only been out of college 2 years so you're what, 23? 24?  It's really not unreasonable for someone to not want to get married that young, even if you've been with him for a long time.

     

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  • I have been dating my boyfriend for nearly 9 years. We started dating in high school and now we have both been out of college for 2 years

    Stop right here.

    Here is where you date somebody else.

    Sorry, but somebody you have been dating since your very very early teen years is not *really* a serious boyfriend, by any means. They called this puppy love --- time for you to get out and have a serious relationship or even 2 before you get married.

    This is still a high school boyfriend. Sorry.

    It's also the time for you to get your first single girl apartment and get out and have fun with your friends. (they'll be there -- you'll make friends through your job and what other activities you have where you'll meet other women who are single and have a lot in common with you)

    Reasons:

    At 24, you are still growing and developing as a person. You're new in your career. You are still maturing --- and so is he.

    And very very few young 20s are mature enough for a lifelong committment.

    Annnd.... include the fact that it's also a 'but but all my friends are getting married..." That's NO reason to take an important step that's meant for those who are truly ready for the next step. You don't do it because everybody else is doing it --- all the more reason why you need to grow up and get married when the time is right.
  • image TarponMonoxide:
    I have been dating my boyfriend for nearly 9 years. We started dating in high school and now we have both been out of college for 2 years

    Stop right here.

    Here is where you date somebody else.

    Sorry, but somebody you have been dating since your very very early teen years is not *really* a serious boyfriend, by any means. They called this puppy love --- time for you to get out and have a serious relationship or even 2 before you get married.

    This is still a high school boyfriend. Sorry.

    It's also the time for you to get your first single girl apartment and get out and have fun with your friends. (they'll be there -- you'll make friends through your job and what other activities you have where you'll meet other women who are single and have a lot in common with you)

    Reasons:

    At 24, you are still growing and developing as a person. You're new in your career. You are still maturing --- and so is he.

    And very very few young 20s are mature enough for a lifelong committment.

    Annnd.... include the fact that it's also a 'but but all my friends are getting married..." That's NO reason to take an important step that's meant for those who are truly ready for the next step. You don't do it because everybody else is doing it --- all the more reason why you need to grow up and get married when the time is right.

    Meeting someone in HS is neither a reason to, or not to, get married to them. Buuuut, I know full well that you're just baiting, and I took the line, though the OP may not.  

  • Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, and enjoy your relationship.
    image
  • Thank God I didn't marry my high school boyfriend -- we were in middle school when we were GF and BF......soooooo, whatever haters.

     That said, if you want to marry him, frickin' propose to him. 

  • I agree that you need to stop looking at this as a competition.  Dh and I started dating when we were 18 and got married when we were 25.  We took the whole thing very very slowly b.c. we understood that people change as they get older and we wanted to be sure we had a very solid foundation before making it legally binding.

    I think you need to sit down and talk about timelines.  It's ok if he isn't ready now, so long as you have an idea of where the relationship is going.  If he isn't ready he should be able to express it and communicate with you about it.  DH was ready to talk marriage before I was, but didn't push the subject and it all worked out fine.  I'm grateful to him for not trying to force me to be ready just because he was and for understanding that it wasn't about him, it was about me and my fear of growing up and having grown up responsibilities.  Like an entire other person to consider in all of my major life decisions.

    I have a few friends who have sat on pins and needles all while bitching about why didn't he just propose already.  Having a mature, open discussion about it is the only way to see if you all are moving in the same direction.  And if he says he isn't ready yet, listen to him and accept his feelings as valid.  One of my friends made herself crazy and really damaged her relationship by trying to force her now DH to propose before he was ready.

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  • srgwsrgw member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    Have you had a conversation about where you both see the relationship going, when you'd like to be married by etc etc? My H and I had a continued discussion about marriage after we first discussed it. I guess I don't get why someone wouldn't know if their BF was going to propose. H and I talked it to death beforehand so I knew he'd propose, I just didn't know exactly when.

    FWIW my twin sister dated her now H for 9 years before they got engaged. Sophomore year of HS until they were almost 25. I met my H when I was 21 and married him when I was 23. Every relationship is different so don't try to keep up with the Jones.

    Also my H was living paycheck to paycheck while we were dating so I paid for 3/4th of my inexpensive engagement ring.  I don't regret it because 1) I wanted to get married sooner rather than later and 2) once we got married it was all our money anyways so what does it matter who pays for the e-ring?

  • If he can't afford a ring, can you guys afford a wedding?

    And do you want to get engaged or do you want to get married? Those are very different things.

  • image TarponMonoxide:
    I have been dating my boyfriend for nearly 9 years. We started dating in high school and now we have both been out of college for 2 years

    Stop right here.

    Here is where you date somebody else.

    Sorry, but somebody you have been dating since your very very early teen years is not *really* a serious boyfriend, by any means. They called this puppy love --- time for you to get out and have a serious relationship or even 2 before you get married.

    This is still a high school boyfriend. Sorry.

    It's also the time for you to get your first single girl apartment and get out and have fun with your friends. (they'll be there -- you'll make friends through your job and what other activities you have where you'll meet other women who are single and have a lot in common with you)

    Reasons:

    At 24, you are still growing and developing as a person. You're new in your career. You are still maturing --- and so is he.

    And very very few young 20s are mature enough for a lifelong committment.

    Annnd.... include the fact that it's also a 'but but all my friends are getting married..." That's NO reason to take an important step that's meant for those who are truly ready for the next step. You don't do it because everybody else is doing it --- all the more reason why you need to grow up and get married when the time is right.

     First, to your point about "puppy love" and not being a "serious boyfriend" I think you are off base. Yes we started dating young, we actually spent a year apart (dated other people) while in college and I am 25 to clear up your question about age. I know I am still growing and maturing, as many people still are throughout their lives. We have had the great opportunity of doing this together and our relationship is by no means perfect, but we have been through and overcome a lot together.

    You have a point about how young we are, and I am not looking to get engaged or married just because friends are. I recognize every relationship is different, my point was that the thought occurs more often than not because of friends who are getting married. What is difficult is that I am moving onto my second major job and yes to other people's questions, we have enough to get married. I make over 50k a year, unfortunately he just finished his master's degree and has not secured a great salary, but combined we make over $80k together, so financially we are pretty stable. The problem is that I am the primary income earner and he is not where he wants to be financially in life. I understand this, but it is hard, especially because it is often times the opposite dynamic for most couples. We are at a great point in our relationship. I have just found myself to be very stable in my career path and financially and I am ready for next steps. I guess I have just have to be patient until he gets there too.

     To Tarpon Monoxide: while I appreciate the effort, you should reconsider your relationship advice. Your insights were fairly superficial in the sense that just because we were together since high school, our relationship is "not real." Fortunately for me, my parents started dating at 16 and are still together in a very healthy and happy marriage over 28 years later. Many couples who date and marry at older ages cannot even say that. All the children have moved out of the house and they are going strong, so though it is not common, it happens.

  • Amen! My opinion is this, maybe you 2 should hold off until he is financially were he wants to be in life at least to get married, that way the both of you can concentrate on a wedding and he won't have any worries. Also why not Just propose to him? Who cares how long you guys are proposed for, my aunt and Uncle didn't get married for 24 years (I believe) after he proposed.
    He stole my heart... So I'm stealing his last name.
  • image EUhew:

    image TarponMonoxide:
    I have been dating my boyfriend for nearly 9 years. We started dating in high school and now we have both been out of college for 2 years

    Stop right here.

    Here is where you date somebody else.

    Sorry, but somebody you have been dating since your very very early teen years is not *really* a serious boyfriend, by any means. They called this puppy love --- time for you to get out and have a serious relationship or even 2 before you get married.

    This is still a high school boyfriend. Sorry.

    It's also the time for you to get your first single girl apartment and get out and have fun with your friends. (they'll be there -- you'll make friends through your job and what other activities you have where you'll meet other women who are single and have a lot in common with you)

    Reasons:

    At 24, you are still growing and developing as a person. You're new in your career. You are still maturing --- and so is he.

    And very very few young 20s are mature enough for a lifelong committment.

    Annnd.... include the fact that it's also a 'but but all my friends are getting married..." That's NO reason to take an important step that's meant for those who are truly ready for the next step. You don't do it because everybody else is doing it --- all the more reason why you need to grow up and get married when the time is right.

     First, to your point about "puppy love" and not being a "serious boyfriend" I think you are off base. Yes we started dating young, we actually spent a year apart (dated other people) while in college and I am 25 to clear up your question about age. I know I am still growing and maturing, as many people still are throughout their lives. We have had the great opportunity of doing this together and our relationship is by no means perfect, but we have been through and overcome a lot together.

    You have a point about how young we are, and I am not looking to get engaged or married just because friends are. I recognize every relationship is different, my point was that the thought occurs more often than not because of friends who are getting married. What is difficult is that I am moving onto my second major job and yes to other people's questions, we have enough to get married. I make over 50k a year, unfortunately he just finished his master's degree and has not secured a great salary, but combined we make over $80k together, so financially we are pretty stable. The problem is that I am the primary income earner and he is not where he wants to be financially in life. I understand this, but it is hard, especially because it is often times the opposite dynamic for most couples. We are at a great point in our relationship. I have just found myself to be very stable in my career path and financially and I am ready for next steps. I guess I have just have to be patient until he gets there too.

     To Tarpon Monoxide: while I appreciate the effort, you should reconsider your relationship advice. Your insights were fairly superficial in the sense that just because we were together since high school, our relationship is "not real." Fortunately for me, my parents started dating at 16 and are still together in a very healthy and happy marriage over 28 years later. Many couples who date and marry at older ages cannot even say that. All the children have moved out of the house and they are going strong, so though it is not common, it happens.

    If you haven't noticed, OP, Tarpon's advice (while often very insightful, I must admit) is typically geared around

    a) dump him

    b) get tested  or

    c) both

    Do what's right for you and your BF- and that's probably not pressuring him for a proposal. Talk to him about where he sees your relationship in 5-10 years, and if he can see you getting married someday. I wish you luck.

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  • image EUhew:

    You have a point about how young we are, and I am not looking to get engaged or married just because friends are. I recognize every relationship is different, my point was that the thought occurs more often than not because of friends who are getting married. What is difficult is that I am moving onto my second major job and yes to other people's questions, we have enough to get married. I make over 50k a year, unfortunately he just finished his master's degree and has not secured a great salary, but combined we make over $80k together, so financially we are pretty stable. The problem is that I am the primary income earner and he is not where he wants to be financially in life. I understand this, but it is hard, especially because it is often times the opposite dynamic for most couples. We are at a great point in our relationship. I have just found myself to be very stable in my career path and financially and I am ready for next steps. I guess I have just have to be patient until he gets there too.


    I think this is very important.  I know for me, I didn't even want to discuss getting married until I had started grad school and had a good sense of where my life is going.  One of my friends DH's delayed the engagement until he felt really good about his job and where it was taking him.  I think it is understandable, and actually very responsible, to not want to get married until you are comfortable in your career and with what you're earning.  It was difficult for me when I graduated and was having trouble finding a job....I felt like I was letting DH down, not just myself.

     

    This is part of the dating young marrying young thing.  From what I've seen and in my own personal experience, its more successful and the marriage is happier when each person has been given room to grow as an individual and achieve some of their goals as an individual.  Once you get married there is more pressure to consider one another in the decisions you make and to defer to the other person.  My DH recently decided he wants to go to grad school and that's a lot harder now that we're married and settled with more obligations than it was 5 years ago when I went to grad school.  If he's telling you he wants to work out the kinks with his job first, respect that and don't push him or he will resent you later.

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  • I'd be frustrated too.  After 8 years, you'd think he'd know whether or not he wanted to make this permanent, and be confident enough to tell, not just you, but the world.  

    If I were you, I'd propose to him.  It's 2012 and he is not entitled to be the one who sets the timeline or does the asking just because of what he has between his legs.  And I'd like to think I'd be prepared to walk away if I didn't like his answer.  You deserve someone who knows he wants to marry you, and doesn't need the better part of a decade to figure it out.  

  • 9 years is a long time!  My husband finally propsed after 7 years of dating (and one mini-"break") in the middle.  We didn't have a lot of money to have a wedding, nor for a ring.  In fact, he proposed with my grandmother's ring, which was beyond perfect.  Money should not be the determining factor of whether or not you get married and maybe that is something that you should think and talk about.

     I did get frustrated with him while we were dating of what seemed to be a lack of interest in his desires to get married and we definitely had some long talks about it.  I would honestly make a list of pros and cons of staying in the relationship.  Do you see yourself growing old together?  Is the the act of "getting married" i.e. having a wedding that is exciting?  Are you ready for disagreements?  Sure, arguing is part of the relationship process but it feels a lot different than when you are dating....at least I think so.  Marriage is a lot of work.  I thought it would be a piece of cake since we had been dating for so long.  This sounds like we have a bad marriage-we absolutely don't!!  I love my husband more now than 5 years ago, but it is a lot of work.

     I think you just need to really sit down and talk to him.  Perhaps go to an outside source, someone not involved at all in your lives and perhaps talk it out.

     

    Good luck!

  • One more thing....I am the main money maker in our household.  Our combined income is small-definitely less than what you are making, but really, should that matter if the end result is you two getting married?  If that is ultimately what you want to do, go to the courthouse :)

  • As someone who got married later in life, I think you both need to sit down and have a serious talk about where things are going, what direction your lives are heading in, etc. The thing is, I would not put pressure on him to pop the question. So what if you guys have been together for 9 years already - you are still in your 20's and you guys have plenty of time for marriage, kids, etc. Yes, 9 years is a long time, but at the same time, maybe he doesn't feel entirely comfortable getting married if he's not entirely where he wants to be financially/career-wise. It doesn't mean that he doesn't love you or doesn't want to be with you or make that ultimate commitment - he might just want to wait a little longer until he gets those other things in his life situated. And that is perfectly ok because it will only benefit you both moving forward. I could be wrong too because ever person's situation is different, but I?m basing this on my own experience of playing the waiting game.

    My H & I both moved to Spain together and were living there for 3 years....it had gotten to a point when we were living there where I was wondering if/when was he going to propose because at that point, we were together for like 4-5 years and I felt like I wasn't getting any younger (in my 30s) blah blah....I started putting pressure on him, and really, I should not have because we both were living in another country where we didn't speak the language, trying to get our lives there situated, and financially we were ok, but it was still really hard. I went from being in the US and having control and everything together to going to a place where it was like starting over completely from zero. At one point I got blinded by the idea of the fact that I wanted to get married since we were together for so long that I just didn't see anything else but that, he didn't seem to be moving in that direction, and I just kept waiting and wondering if it was ever going to happen. It really put a lot of pressure and strain on things, when we already were having so much pressure from dealing with all of the other stuff. It actually took a very good friend who came to visit us to sit us both down together and say look, you cannot possibly consider marriage until you both have your sh!t together. Basically, he smacked us into reality, well, mostly me because it was me putting a lot of the pressure, and I am very thankful for it. Once I let go of that, and focused on getting life stuff sorted, things started to move in the right direction. And now we are back in the US, and I am so happy that we waited to get married.

     I understand how hard it can be to play the waiting game - there's always going to be the thought in the back of your mind will he/won't he/when will he....figure out where his head is, what his goals are, and then try to just let go....everything else should fall into place.

  • I agree with the other posters you really do need to sit down with him and discuss where he sees the future going. If he wants to get married ask him when, get a timeline, even a vague timeline might help you feel better about your relationships future. Part of that discussion, ask him how much a ring will cost. Some guys think they need to spend 3 months salary on a ring, if you do not need that fancy of a ring as you stated, know what the cost of the type of ring you want is to help him understand a better figure. If your really not worried about a ring you can tell him a ring from Walmart, they have some around $50-100. 

    After 5 years with FI, I was sure he wanted the same thing and he was going to propose but was extremely upset at Christmas time when it didnt happen. (he was thinking WII, I was thinking Ring) After that I sat down with him and asked him if he saw this going anywhere. He also moved slow on things and it was a push from me that helped him to take that next step. His concern was also the money part, so I took him to look at rings so he had a better idea on what I wanted which helped him feel better about what it was really going to cost. 

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  • DH and I were together for four years when I was ready to call it a day.  I loved him but didn't feel that we were heading in the same direction and I wanted more from my life.  We were at Christmas at his mom's when I made my decision to move on during the following year.  It was that same night that his mom told him that he needed to move forward or he would lose me. 

    It all worked out for me but I was fully prepared to move on.  There were certain things I wanted out of my life and if my DH wasn't going to be part of it then I would go on myself.  DH realized I was serious when I stopped talking about "our" life and "we" became "me."  I was disengaging myself. 

    I didn't need DH for my life to be complete; I wanted him there.  There's a difference. 

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  • 9 years is too long! Although I am 34 and have called off 2 engagements and ended many relationships in my twenties when i met the right one in my thirties, I just knew. I told my fiance right off the jump that I was not interested in dating for an extended period of time and started talking about marriage from the get-go. We dated for 1 year before he proposed and we are getting married in November. My feelings on the subject are very similar to lily_721! 
  • You have three choices here. You can a) keep waiting, b) propose yourself or c) move on with your life.

    It doesn't sound like a) is an option for you. You are very young, but you've been waiting for a long time, and that's time that you could have used to find someone else or, heck, yourself, outside of this relationship.

    B)- is that one feasible? I wouldn't have done it myself, but to each their own. 

    C) The worst that could happen here is that you move on, you meet someone awesome, and you proceed with your life plan. 

    This situation reminds me a lot of the TV show "Intervention"- "You have to move on if he moves on or not," or in the words of Woody Allen, "Relationships are like a shark. They have to keep moving forward or they'll die." Your shark is in danger of dying, and since you've made your wants and needs clear in this situation, you've done all you can do.

    I'll also tell you something, OP- he might want to get you an amazing ring, but there are ways around that (he could get you a cheapish one and then upgrade later, etc). And if a ring is all that's holding him back, then I have to wonder why he isn't listening when you tell him that you don't want a fancy ring. If he was ready to propose (and this is just my perspective) he'd be saving his money. In my case, my DH had no desire to propose without a ring. He ended up getting an unexpected financial windfall and buying my ring with that.

    Another thing. You can love someone, your relationship can seem perfect, but if you're not getting what you need out of it, it is okay to leave. Investments are nice, but sometimes you have to cut and run for your own sanity.  

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  • I totally agree with Barbour. 9 years is a long time to be waiting, whether or whether not you started dating young. My and my husband started dating when I was 16, got engaged when i was 20 (last year of college) and i'm 22 now and we've been married for 9 months. We got married short under our 5 year dating anniversary. We had everything planned, and waited for the right time. Finances had alot to do with it. I was expecting him to propose when i was 18/19.. but it never happened (stupid me right?) But I was adult enough to sit him down, talk to him, see if he was serious enough to want to marry me, and I got his promise. 

    My cousin got married about a year ago, to his gf of 10 years.

     I think you really need to sit him down and give him a long talk. I just have a feeling that he's just tugging you along though. it seems like he probably does have the cash to buy a ring, he's just deciding not to.


  • Holy cow!  I often find myself at a loss when it comes to giving advice on various topics.  However, this is a topic I can speak to.  I am 32 years old and my boyfriend and I will be celebrating our 10 year dating anniversary next month.  The more years the two of us have put under our "belt" paired with my increasing age, has put me on an emotional roller coaster.  In my early twenties I was happy being his first "girlfriend with substance" and the hero that his family was waiting for.  In my mid-twenties, we started living together and I was happy being his little "wifey."  But the closer I got to 30, the more I freaked out about not getting a ring.  You and I sound very alike in that we are both goal setters and achievers.  High school, done!  College, no prob!  Grad school, piece of cake!  A career, bring it on!  He and I even bought a house together.  But then I started to freak.  At first, I just suffered in silence thinking things would just "work out."  And then came the day when I emotionally exploded all over and completely broke up with him.  I moved out for three months was perfectly miserable.  It finally dawned on me that in my attempt to make things more solid between us, I actually wound up smashing it all apart.  We got back together and in a quality, adult talk about our feelings for each other, he explained that although I had my *** together, he felt that he didn't.  He wanted to wait until he was perfect "husband material."  He looked me in my eye and gave me a tearful, promise that he intends to work on "us" for as long as I'll put up with him.  (And he NEVER cries.)  Please don't mistake the situation.  I made it clear that I EXPECT a ring when he is ready to give me one.  Until that happens, I'm ok with living in a happy relationship with someone I love.  You and I may be at similar relationship benchmarks, but as a 32-year-old talking to a 25-year-old, this is my advice...have a heart-to-heart talk with him.  Lay out your feelings and expectations; look him in the eye and listen to your women's intuition.  If he genuinely says he wants to marry you, give him the space to do so and enjoy the ride!  If not--then at least you won't be silently suffering like I was.  And trust me, that isn't good for ANYBODY.  Hope this helps.  Best of luck!!
  • coffeebreak 23.....your situation sounds scarely similar to mine and perhaps you actually have the best understanding of my situation. I too went through similar phases and have reached the point where you were. I just recently finally broke down in tears and asked him what was going on with our relationship and why he hadn't asked. His response was very similar to your boyfriend's answer. My boyfriend feels like his "planned path" has not worked out like he thought and he feels like a failure in many respects. He is stuck in a job he hates and does not feel like he is ready to make any serious changes in his life until he has control over his own. Fortunately, he is up for a promotion soon. Though it will still be with the same company, I am hopeful it will change his outlook somewhat. It is just very hard for two people to be in very different personal/career situations and at a point where we both really do want to take the next step in our relationships. Thanks again coffeebreak23, your comments were very encouraging.
  • So glad to hear about the promotion!  Keep me updated about any new good news!
  • Does it bother you that he is making the commitment of marriage contingent on how his career goes?  I think that would bother me.  
  • Hey,

      I was in the same boat but we were together 6yrs and I was waiting waiting waiting and it never came. I honestly think it's bullshi* at a certain point because we were living together as if we were already married so there was no real incentive, why buy the milk when you're getting the cow for free? He ended up doing some sketch things with his EX in OUR house (which i never could have imagined) and then after we broke up he told me he was going to propose etc. Whaattevver. I'm HAPPILY married to the man I was destined to be with. Everything happens for a reason.

    You need to talk with him and be like this is my deadline, I'm not trying to give you an ultimatum but I was some progress here to show the commitment. You can always have a long engagement if you want (but I don't recommend, it's torturous).

     

    I used to think well why would I give a deadline because if he's really who I want to be with forever, why does it matter if I'm married/engaged or not? That's something you need to figure out but I think you already have. Just stick up for what you want because we don't need to sit around waiting for someone else to get our life moving. Just have an open convo about it and don't let him puss out about prices.  

    Pregnancy Ticker Owner & Creator of www.GreatestKidsGames.com
  • I agree. You ned to know where this relationship is headed.

     

     

    Charter Babe
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