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DEAR ABBY: I am 43, and my boyfriend, "Sid," is 52. We have been together a year and a half. I was married once, and Sid has been married three times. He wants to live together, and I want to be engaged with a wedding date before I move in.

We truly love each other and communicate very well. Because of a previous rebound marriage that lasted only a year, Sid is cautious about making another mistake. After we had been together for a year, I gave him a year to make up his mind about marriage. In the months that followed, I could tell from some of the remarks he made that he had no burning desire to be married any time soon.

After five months of listening to those statements, I gave Sid an ultimatum. He asked me for a week to think about it, then he told me he still wasn't ready -- he needed a few more months. So I broke up with him. Was I right in giving Sid an ultimatum? -- OUT OF PATIENCE IN MIAMI

DEAR OUT OF PATIENCE: Let me be sure I have the math right. If you promised Sid another year to make up his mind and then gave him an ultimatum after five months and one week, then you jumped the gun. If you gave him the second year and he continued to stall, then you did the right thing. After three wrong turns down the aisle, Sid is no longer the marrying kind.

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