5 years of dating, 3.5 years of living together, no ring.

posted 2 years ago in Proposals
Post # 2
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

My DH and I got engaged without a ring – though I later got one after we discussed what I wanted. Open that option up and see what he does. You don’t need any money to get engaged, or to get married outside of the license fee.

Post # 3
869 posts
Busy bee

‘His cousin has been dating someone for a year now and yesterday I jokingly said “next wedding in our family is gonna be Dave and Lisa.” And he said “yeah probably.” ‘<br /><br />That to me is so painful. I was thinking it was all probably fine and that your April plan might be okay until I read that line. I’m hoping he was joking around but it doesnt sound that way. I think its time for a serious discussion where you tell him that you are already questionning his intentions and his feelings for you. He needs to know that you are serious about leaving if you cant get married and telling him what you said about the lease being up is the best way to do that. I’m hoping that shock tactics might kick him into gear. Ask him what he is waiting for because it obviously isnt money for a ring.  Is he doubting that he wants marriage in general, is he afraid of taking responsibility or is he unsure of the relationship? You said you want children together, what is his ideal timeline for this if you are to get married before TTC? 

Im so sorry that you are going through this, and you are perfectly justified in bringing up an ultimatum (as awful as they are). I really hope it all works out for you and that he realises what he wants before its too late. 

Post # 4
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

It shouldn’t matter if you’ve been together longer than other couples. Your relationship is your own. You also don’t need to have an answer for people who are asking when you’re getting engaged. If you’re not the one proposing then they need to go ask him, not you.

It’s also not about the ring. You don’t need a piece of jewelry to be engaged. If you’re asking for a ring or keep bringing up how many years it’s been and “no ring” then, of course, he’s not going to ask you until he’s saved for it. He’s also probably questioning whether you want the marriage or the jewelry.

You said you’ve both discussed wanting to be married and have kids someday and that he’s moved quite a few miles with you for your job. It’s clear he’s not just looking at you like you’re a fling.

I think it’s a little unfair to be upset that he wants to have a couple of extra cable packages for things that he likes. You said he already cut back on some spending so he’s making an effort. I would think that you wouldn’t want to take away everything he enjoys just because you want a ring. Besides, you get this ring and what did he get? Months of sacrificing things he wanted?

Offering to help pay for the ring or “settling” for something cheap probably seemed like a nice gesture at the time, but could have been rather emasculating. I would guess that he probably doesn’t want to feel like he needed you to buy your own ring. I’m sure that with all of the nosey questions about when you’re getting engaged, there will be the same amount of people trying to catch a glimpse of the ring. Do you think he would want you showing off a ring you “settled” for and explaining that when he saves more after you’re married there will be a better one?

I only know the story as you’ve told it here, but it seems like he does want the marriage. (Especially if he moved so far to stay with you) I say just be patient because the more you hover over his finances to see if he’s saved for a ring and the more you focus on the length of the relationship versus others, the more he’ll pull away probably feeling like he’s not ready because of the money for the ring. Or maybe because he can’t surprise you since the subject is brought up so often.

Post # 5
2394 posts
Buzzing bee

yool2ya:  Well, you’ll find on the Bee that there are two or three schools of thought on this.

Some Bees would tell you to be quiet, not say anything, and hope that your SO will magically end up on the same page as you at some point. There is an ongoing thread called the “shut it up pact” where you can commiserate with Bees who are taking this route. 

Others would caution you against telling him directly that you’re losing patience with the situation and are considering moving out, because that would be equivalent to an “ultimatum,” i.e. “forcing” or “pressuring” him to propose to you before he is ready. 

However I think that generally speaking, men are stronger and smarter than that. They know their own hearts and minds. At the end of the day, they do what they want to do — or not. I don’t believe it’s possible to manipulate, blackmail, “pressure” or “force” a legal adult male of average or higher IQ into marrying you, simply by telling him that you’ve had it, you’re tired of waiting and you’re getting ready to make tracks. I find that notion to be ridiculous and frankly insulting to men.

I also believe that if you really want to be married and have a family within a reasonable time frame of dating, it’s important to choose someone who has similar goals.

In addition I believe that if you are an adult and you’ve been in a loving, exclusively committed relationship for 4.5 years, it is reasonable to expect specific answers about where this is going and when.

“I want it to be a surprise” and “maybe in the next six months/year and a half” are not what I would call solid, reasonable, specific answers.

If I were in your shoes I would handle it like this.

I would sit him down sometime in the next few days and have a talk with him. I would choose a time when he is in a good mood, and relaxed. Opening a bottle of wine and lighting a few candles wouldn’t hurt. Have a box of Kleenex handy. I would take a deep breath and tell him in the most kind and gentle way that I loved him with all of my heart, that our years together had been the best years of my life, and that I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with him. But that after five years together, I wanted to know what specifically what his plans and intentions were. 

If he gives you an answer that you can’t live with, I would start making plans now — not six months from now in April — to start finding a new place, and make plans to reinvent your life so that you can decide whether you want to keep seeing him indefinitely without a commitment, or whether you want to think about making room in your life for a new relationship that is more compatible with your life goals. 

When you live with a guy who is dragging his feet on getting engaged, he loses a lot of his motivation to speed things up since he’s already getting most of the perks of marriage without making the formal, legal commitment. 

Good luck to you with whatever you decide.

Post # 6
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

^^^ This. Well said. 

Post # 7
10838 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

yool2ya: We were together for 5.5yrs before he proposed. Though he kinda proposed unofficially without a ring a year before that. I don’t think it matters how long it takes and after all marriage doesn’t change anything.

Post # 8
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I do agree that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get engaged, per se. However, both parties should be on the same page in terms of their own expectations. There is no problem with wanting a committment within a certain amount of time, nor with not wanting any confining time limits. But a person should not be strung along and promised (even half-heartedly promised) something which cannot delivered. OP’s SO should be up front, honest and say “you know what, I don’t think I’ll be ready/have my shit together to propose within the year/two years/ever.” If OP has a deadline for a committment, then that needs to be voiced and enforced as well. Time is precious and we only get older- and fast; no need to waste time not getting/seeking what you value out of life. 

Post # 9
30 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015

I agree with what some of the bees have said- I get that you don’t need a ring to be engaged but from what she’s saying he hasn’t even made a ‘formal’ commitment to get engaged; brought it up and even just asked. So I would be pissed to if I were you because you obviously want things and its getting to the point you’re wanting different things and maybe thats the problem maybe it’s what he wants anymore and he’s too comfortable or affraid to pipe up incase he hurts you or becaused you guys have just moved he’s scared he’ll lose you.

definately reconsider the whole ‘ caution’ & ‘ultimatum’ but I wouldn’t prolong the timeline bring the issue to the table now and then make plans – making plans once a deadline has come and gone is pointless because things change and if you threaten him and your plans don’t follow through he’ll think he has the upper hand which is unfair on you and your integrity

You’ve been very honest with him and I think it’s time he took things a little more seriously.. good luck!

Post # 10
481 posts
Helper bee

yool2ya:  Only five years together?! I waited TEN years to get engaged! Lol. I was 27 when I got engaged. Some guys like to do it  in their own time. If you love him and know he is the one, why the major rush? Just sit him down and ask him strait out when he wants to get married. You should be able to tell from his reactions what he really feels and thinks. II wouldn’t pressure him into it though.

Post # 11
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I feel like a lot of women have it in their heads that after a certain amount of time, a proposal SHOULD come, if its ever going to.

Unfortunately, most men just don’t operate like that. Most men don’t do things just because everyone else is, or because a certain amount of time has passed. 

That said, he needs to at least be sensitive to your feelings on this. Just talk to him, nicely. I love Belinichics suggestion.

Let me ask this though; does he think that engagement signifies that marriage *immediately* follows? Some men are under the impression that once an engagement happens, a wedding needs to happen ASAP, and that thought may scare him. Maybe that’s what he’s worried about? Would you be OK with a long (2+ years) engagement? Maybe he needs to take baby steps? 

In the end, you need to decide if HE is worth the wait. If the life you’ve built is worth losing because of a lack of proposal/marriage. Because really, you don’t want to “force” him to propose, or make him feel guilty because he hasn’t. That would most likely, not work in your favor.

I’m sorry, I hope everything works out for you.

Post # 12
949 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

yool2ya:  Why are you still with him? He’s made it very clear that he does not want to marry you. Actions speak louder than words and your boyfriend has been screaming that he’s not interested in marrying you. If marriage is that important to you, I think you should leave him now. Why bother dragging it out even longer? You’ve waited long enough already, staying even longer now is ridiculous. You could be dating and meeting someone else, someone who actually wants to marry you, in the time you hang on waiting for him to break another promise. The apartment can be sublet or whatever, just get out.

Another option is to accept the relationship the way it is now, and let go of the idea of engagement completely. Would you rather be with him, unmarried, or without him (possibly married to someone else, or possibly alone forever)? If you’re really happier with him, then you could forget about engagement and simply enjoy your relationship! Security and commitment don’t come from marriage or engagement, if he’s committed to you then that can be enough.

If you stay with him, make it very clear that you are sacrificing something important to be with him. You are already doing that right now, but you’re pretending you’re not. If that’s a price you’re willing to pay, be honest about what you’re doing. Spell it out to him so he understands how much you value him. If you are truly committed to each other then you can build a life without being married. And maybe one day he will want marriage, but don’t count on it. 

Either way, you definitely should not give him yet another chance to propose. Either leave or stay, but don’t hang around in limbo any more, pretending the lack of engagement is a decision made solely by him. 

Post # 13
949 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Also, 32 is old to be dragging his feet. At 27 you just barely have enough time left to have a good shot at meeting someone else. 

Post # 15
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Honestly, if he really wanted to marry you, he would have proposed already. I would not push him into marriage if he’s not into it. Don’t give him ultimatums. The other day there was a groom on the board talking about how he just got married and regretted his decision. He was also pushed into marriage.

You guys have been together long enough that by now, he should know if he wants to marry you or not. Maybe sit down with him and tell him what you want for your life. Tell him that if he doesn’t want to move in the same directions as you, it’s time to go your separate ways. Don’t waste a million years on a guy that has no intention of marrying you when you want to be married.

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