As to the OP- it really seems strange to me that a couple could date for a year without ever having discussed their feelings on these matters. In every LTR I've been in, the topic has come up within the first few weeks. Not so much- "are WE getting married?" as "what are your feelings about marriage generally?
This has been my experience, too. Also, the guys were the ones who brought up the topic of marriage, and/or living together, not me.
I guess communication and not just seeing what we want are essential here.
That would seem like common sense,wouldn't it? However, some people who will never marry avoid an honest and early disclosure of the fact that marriage is not an option.
Some people don't want to bring up marriage for fear they will lose the other person. Both of those options are very immature and selfish, IMO. Say what you mean; mean what you say. Don't waste people's time.
OP,,,The IRISH had a good way of displaying there availability, its called the 'Claddagh Ring', and it was purchased by the women (y0u know what they say about the Irish and the Scotts men).
The philosophy behind the ring is as follows (from Wiki):
"The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. The ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward to show that the wearer is not romantically linked but is looking for love. When turned inwards, it is shown that the wearer is in a relationship, or their heart has been "captured". Noting that the heart is pointing down the hand and into the veins which lead to the wearer's heart. The ring worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward shows the wearer is engaged; turned inward indicates the wearer is married."
I have and wear a Claddagh ring (aka Irish Wedding Ring) and, YES, I bought it myself! LOL