Why can't women take "no" for an answer?

I recently broke off my engagement to a great girl, who I've been seeing for 4-years.

What can I say? I got cold feet, & decided I was still too young to take that final step. I'm almost 30.

I want to still see her, to continue our relationship as it has been, as I really do love her, and i told her that maybe we can marry in a few years. But she doesn't accept this.

She told me it's "all or nothing". So, if I don't marry her now, then I lose her forever.

Any suggestions on the best way to handle this? I don't want to lose her.

Sounds pretty clear to me. She wants to be married, she wants to start the life of a married couple, and have everything that marriage entails. She's telling you that marriage is important to her, and if you don't want to marry her then she wants to be free to find the person who does want to marry her. If you truly love her and want to stay with her, then marry her. If you're not ready for marriage, then let her go. Four years is a long time to get to know someone, so if you're not sure by now then she's maybe not the right girl for you. And for the record ... 30 is not young, so that excuse doesn't fly. You might honestly say (this isn't meant as a slam, by the way) that you're just not mature enough for a lifetime commitment, and there's nothing wrong with being honest about it. But be a man, make a decision, and stand by it.
Just like 'you shouldn't have sex just to keep a relationship'

You shouldn't get married just to keep a relationship. An ultimatum is not a healthy way to get either.
30 and STILL afraid to get married? Grow up. Guess what, you are not going to get any more good looking as the years go by.
By the time you get around to deciding to get married, all that will be left are women who are psychos and/or have kids.

This woman invested 4 years of her life with you and you want her to wait LONGER!? Basically, you want all the bells and whistles of the relationship without committing yourself. I don't blame her one bit for giving you an ultimatum. You have to decide if she's the one, if not, cut her loose so she can get on with her life.
I am in a similar situation, but I'm the girl in the story.

I didn't really give such a harsh ultimatum, but I certainly understand where she's coming from. I've been with my guy for 5 years now. He really loves me too, but he won't marry me. He wants to wait. Wait for what? Honestly, I cannot speak for your girl, but when my b/f tells me he wants to wait (after 5 damn years!) it makes me think he's waiting for something 'better' to come along.

In the end, he asked me not to pressure him anymore so I don't. I love him, but emotionally he's slowly losing me. I can feel myself pulling away from him...I hope your girl doesn't feel this way too.

You don't have to marry her, but couldn't you at least give her a pre-engagement ring? That should hold her off for a couple years.
i'm no expert but she is saying all or nothing but as dudes that's what we hear. in reality that is not what she is saying.
all u can do is explain how u feel, be frank and honest about ur reasons for not wanting to marry just yet and reassure her that it will happen but ur just not ready.
if she is willing to throw away the relationship based on what is really just a bit of paper and legality, then u are probably right not to marry just yet.
marrage and relationships are about comprimise and this is a big step if neither of u are able to comprimise on this huge decision there may be nothing u can do to save the relationship, harsh as that is.
why did u end the engagement? why not just have a prolonged engagement instead?
this "breaking" of the engagement has sent mixed signals and her ultimatum is probably born from fear of losing u completly
Let go and life begins anew. All relationships end and undergo the most painful phases of losing the person we have been with, loved and known for years .

When you decided not to marry her, you already lose her. Any woman in her shoes is expecting an altar date with the man she has been with for years.But you also did something valuable to her by being true to your feelings that you are not ready to take your relationship to the next level- marriage.

Let her go.Give it time. Don't push things. Go back to her when you are ready, in all the real sense of the word.And when she's already taken, that's the price of letting go.

Life is after all about beginnings and endings.
I think you got it backwards

(Men often think no = yes)
She no longer wants to play house. She wants to be treated with respect and dignity. Understandable.
four years is a long time to be with someone without a commitment. She just wants to be assured that you both are in for the long run. By you breaking the engagement might be making her feel less secure in your relationship, like you not loving or liking her in the same way that she loves/likes you. All or nothing is her way of asking you to prove your love to her. If you really don't want to lose her, you might just need to have a long talk about the future and ask her to wait a little longer, but honestly, its been four years already, she wont last too much longer without an marriage. Good luck

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