Don't listen to them.
Soooooo, your boyfriend won't commit to you, eh?
He says he wants to wait a while before you get hitched, to set himself up financially, perhaps travel a bit (alone).
Indulge me in a possibly distasteful flight of fancy for a moment and imagine I am your boyfriend and am talking to my best mate about why I don't want to marry, move in, or otherwise formalise my relationship, with you.
What would I say?
Well, it's like this ... "She's just too ... too" ... Hang on, let's pause there.
I'm sure plenty of you would like to think it's that simple, that your boyfriend won't marry you because you're too bossy or old or earn too much or you don't want to have kids or any of the hundreds of things women love to beat themselves up about.
The truth is it has sweet FA to do with you; it's actually all about him, and it's not as complex as your bestie, mother or counsellor would have you believe.
As with most human behaviour, I reckon it comes down to two fundamental motivations: fear and desire.
For many men, the fear of intimacy is excruciating because of the vulnerability it requires. Determined not to risk placing their heart under your high heel, they'll postpone commitment indefinitely.
In this case, I reckon the bloke is thinking: "Can I trust her?"
Of course, at the other end of the spectrum is desire - whereby men don't see the point in committing to one woman when there are so many other smokin' hotties out there to taste.
In this case, I'd wager the guy is thinking: "Can I do better?"
Sometimes it's a mix of both; it certainly has been with me. I spent my 20s and 30s wondering if I could do better and, when I found someone whom I clearly could not do better than (at least looks-wise), I committed, recommitted and uber-committed until she thought "can I do better?" and walked out on me.
Karma? Perhaps, but now I'm back in the dating world, firmly in the camp of "Can I trust her?" and in many ways it's a harder place to break free of than "Can I do better?"
Depending on who you talk to, many experts would argue this is not a male problem, that women are increasingly suffering from commitment-phobia as well.
Professor Sheila Jeffreys, of the University of Melbourne, teaches sexual politics and calls bullshit on that idea, planting the issue squarely on the male side of the court.
"Commitment phobia is not a helpful term because it is gender neutral and, in fact, there is a problem that is very gendered," she told me.
When I contacted her, Jeffreys was at a conference in Boston listening to women talk about the damage they'd sustained in American "hook-up culture".
"This has recently got hugely worse. It means boys only hook up, use women for sex, oftentimes not even kissing, just penetration. The women want more but this is not what they get," she said.
As much as I'd like to disagree with Jeffreys, her description sounds mighty similar to most interactions I've witnessed on a Saturday night, but it's kind of like blaming monkeys for eating bananas.
Sixty years ago, sex was a highly regulated affair; sure, folks played up before marriage but, by and large, if you wanted a regular shag, you got married.
Then along came feminism and decoupled marriage and sex and I dare say many men now look at the former as a needless sacrifice if the latter is to be had for little more than a few white wines and a charming smile.
Steve Biddulph is the dean of Australian men's issues and freely admits he has "no idea if commitment-phobia is growing".
"It gets a lot of books written about it, especially by and for women, so I imagine it's quite common," he told me.
However, Biddulph is a long way from dismissing the phenomenon as harmless.
"The trade-off is you are relating to other casual partners, or worse, people who believe that casual connection leads to deeper connection, that, if you begin with sex, it will grow into something more. This usually isn't so," Biddulph says.
"Because of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, flowing freely when we make love, it messes with our hearts to have sex with people we don't know and trust," he says.
Biddulph says people who engage in constant casual sex become "shielded" to guard against the surges of attachment generated by their brain chemicals.
"So intimacy actually becomes less likely. Folks who are cautious about who they have sex with are more likely to find and keep the right person," he says.
"Because of this, there is a constant churn among the intimacy-challenged and it can become a loser's progressive waltz, where a whole cohort of young men and women in their 20s and 30s ... waste precious years of their lives 'in the shallows'."
The bottom line, I reckon, is we all deserve to be with someone who is crazy about us and enthusiastic to take the next step. Whether a man puts a woman on hold simply because he's fearful or he's on the lookout for something better matters little.
Says Biddulph: "I think the choice is: am I ready to stop paddling in the shallows and go out for some real waves?"
And it may well be a journey you have to make without your current him. Or her.
Jeez, don't I have some fans in Melbourne? Every single-speed bike-riding university lit student with a tumblr blog down there seems to think I'm an arsewipe, so it'll come as wonderful news to them all I'll be speaking at the iconic Sun bookshop in Yarraville on September 14. It's a free event, but bookings are essential so call 03 9689 0661 or email email@example.com.