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Other than that, I pretty much let it flow for about a year. If there was no commitment by the two year mark I'd begin to get restless, and I'd probably have checked out of the relationship within the next six months.

After a year, it has to already naturally be REALLY serious (like I could see myself marrying the guy, and he coud see the same, within another year or so), or I'm out. Usually I sit around for a good long while celibate and miserable about it, then after a period of time (from months to years) someone will catch my eye and I'll go for it. In my early twenties I had a three year relationship which was stable and nice, but it didn't appear to be going anywhere so I dumped him just before the third anniversary (he only just married his new gf at age 33! I subsequently had a relationship which lasted just over two years; we lived in the same house-share and I moved out before the two year mark because I was losing interest due to lack of commitment, and after several more weeks of indecision I finally dumped him (he's been with his new gf for four years and still hasn't married her! Another relationship suffered a similar fate; the guy in question made it very clear that he wasn't interested in marriage, so I ended the relationship just after the two year mark (he's now mid-thirties and still unmarried).

Why can't a girl love a guy and stay with him until he is ready to settle and marry her? I think that if two people can support themselves individually as adults, they can certainly support themselves together, married or whatnot.

Especially if "settling" is something like finishing school or some other finite-length transition. And while I don't give a crap if a guy is rich, if he can't support himself, I'm probably not entering into a relationship with him at that stage (It's one thing if you fall on hard times, but that's a crappy stage at which to begin a relationship is all.) So, I'd never take the money excuse.

Poof - almost my entire twenties wasted on men who had no intention of marrying me! I'm curious to know if there are any gender differences on this topic - Zengirl and I have both indicated roughly a two year timeline for commitment before we cut our losses and start looking elsewhere.

Is this standard for most females, and what about the guys?

I have occasionally deviated and slept with a man between dates 2-5. Men, on the other hand, are more like taxis - at a certain point in their lives their "Available" light goes on, and the next suitable girl gets the ring.