Post # 1
Sorry in advance for the super long post.This is my first one since I joined. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a 7 years and a few months (we gt together right before we graduated from high school) and we were long distance for the first 5 years of our relationship while we went to college. While we were apart, we talked about marriage and engagement a lot and I thought that right when we got jobs and saved up enough for a ring that we would get engaged and save up for a wedding.
He’s had a job for about 2 years and he keeps me updated every month on how much he saved up. At the end of 2012, he said he might do in 2013 but he got into a car accident so he had to buy a new car and he’s been paying it off. Then he said that he would wait until he saved up $20,000 which he did and still nothing. Then he said he wanted to wait until he paid off his car. He also said he wanted me to find a job and I had one for the past year and a half but I guess it wasn’t stable enough or I didn’t like it enough because I lost it last month.
We keep talking about engagement and marriage and we even had a date set for November 2015. I thought he would propose this past February but that didn’t happen. We had a talk and he said 3 more months. So in the end of April we went ring shopping and picked out a ring that was way below budget but still gorgeous (my family is in the jewelry business). It’s already August and still no ring. I don’t even know if he’s bought it yet. He wants everything to be a complete surprise.
To boot, we come from hugely different families. My family is extremely traditional and conservative and talk about me getting engaged almost everyday and his family is way more laid back and don’t bring it up at all.
I’ve been trying really hard not to talk about it or bring it up but I’m scared I’m beginning to resent him. Recently he told me that he might do it next year and I kind of lost it. It’s been sssooo long and I know he has the money. I told him I would prefer to be engaged by the end of this year which I don’t think sounded like an ultimatum. I just don’t know what else to do. I love him but I don’t want him to think I’ll be around forever without a commitment.
I see people getting engaged every day that have been together for such a short time and the women on this board talking about wanting an engagement after a year or two and I feel like I’m slowly losing my mind. He tells me all the time that he wants to marry me but he doesn’t feel ready yet and I just don’t understand why. At this point I feel like it’s never going to happen. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
Post # 2
christinakhar: first off welcome to the Bee ! you will find tons of support for the most part on the waiting boards. I myself am not a traditional “waiting” bee as Im not expecting marriage for another 5 years and currently in the situation u described in ur first paragraph (in college, got together at end of highschool been together almost 3 and a half years with a time frame of being married by 2019 so within ~8 years of getting together). I said all that to give some context and lend some perspective from my point of view.
you and your SO seem to be in agreement at first but now he maybe dragging his feet. Im all for honesty and good old fashioned communication. sit him down & say basically everything u said here, particularly the piece about how you dont want to end up resenting him and see how he responds. maybe there is a deeper issue at hand in regards to why he wont propose and why he isnt ready, go into the conversation with an open mind and dont compare him to other guys as he may get defensive. the only way for him not to think you will be around forever without “papers” is to be straight up about it and tell him. dont let him make any assumptions. best of luck
Post # 3
He sounds like that classic “staller”. He’s keeping you on the line so-to-speak by making promises of an engagement and ring shopping, but he’s choking when it comes the pulling the trigger. He sounds an awful lot like my brother. He’s in the exact same situation, and in all honesty, it’s because he feels like he has everything he needs right now from the relationship and doesn’t see any need to rush and change anything when he feels content. Could your boyfriend be the same way? Is he just comfortable and that’s allowing him to drag his feet? If so, then maybe you need to have a very frank conversation about what you expect. You’ve been together long enough for him to know whether he wants to be with you forever or not. No more stalling. He hasn’t provided you with a proper or legitimate reason as to why this is taking so long. If you sit down for a frank discussion, maybe you’ll get that reason, or maybe it will be the wakeup call he needs. All the best!
Post # 4
it sounds like he feels very pressured about money and that marriage would add to the pressure
Post # 5
Thanks for the advice, everyone. During one of our talks in the last month, he kinda suggested that he’s waiting for me to get my life together job-wise. It puts a lot of pressure on me to figure everything out and I know that it takes some people longer. I don’t want his commitment or love to be conditional because marriage is “for richer, for poorer” and I told him that.
I also don’t understand why we can’t be engaged and me figure stuff out at the same time. I’m a very hard worker and it’s not like I’m not looking for a career constantly, but in my field and in this economy I don’t think stability is ever guaranteed. On the other hand, he has a very stable career as a computer engineer that makes very good money.
I was also pretty worried about him being too comfortable and acting like a wife when I’m just a girlfriend, but I don’t know what to do differently. We don’t live together and he comes over a couple times a week to eat dinner and hang out, but he takes me out on the weekends. Lastly, I’m worried about bringing up the topic again because I don’t want to pressure him or make him think it’s all I think about.
Post # 6
christinakhar: It sounds to me like he wants life all figured out and stable before he pulls the trigger. If he’s waiting for that, it will never happen. It sounds like you are stable enough right now, but he is just making excuses.
You have to figure out if there is a time when you would be willing to walk away. If you want to be with this guy forever, no matter what, ring or no ring. Then just shut up and be happy. Marriage a a deal breaker, then do a quick internal inventory. When will you get to the point where your love and respect for him will have disappeared? Use that as a guage as to when you will set your internal walk date. Dont tell him. Just know that you are in control of your life.
Then talk to him “Honey, it sounds like you want life to be all figured out and stable before we move forward. Life is inherently unstable. I want to be with you no matter what, not just when things are good. If you dont feel that way about me, I need to know. You also need to know that I will not wait around forever for you. There will be a day when I wake up and all this waiting has made me lose love and respect for you. When that happens I will have to walk away and there will be no way to repair the relationship. I’m not saying this as an ultimatum. I just letting you know that I love you and but I have respect for myself and will not wait around forever.”
Then follow Mr. Bee’s plan (it’s on here somewhere)–get busy, dont be around as much, dont answer his every call, go out with girlfriends on the weekend. Seriously show him that you dont need him.
Post # 7
- Wedding: Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT
I’m in a very similar boat. My SO and I are 28, we’ve been together 4.5 years and the first time we went ring shopping was almost two years ago, and ever since then he’s said “Oh it’ll be next year”…. and then that came and went and he said next year for sure. And then at the beginning of this summer he said by Semptember we would definitely be engaged. And then he had to replace his transmission and had some medical bills so now he’s saying he can’t afford it and it’ll probably be another couple of months. But I’m at the point where I don’t believe him anymore and I’m getting resentful of him and am upset all of the time. It’s really beginning to take a toll on our relationship and I’m at a loss for what to do or say. I’ve told him that I’m fine with a smaller center stone, we can always upgrade in the future, or I’m even fine with something other than diamond, I just want to be engaged to him. I know giving an ultimatum is not the way to go but I’m ready to tell him that from what I can see, he clearly thinks that I’m going to hang around forever no matter what but I want to be with someone who is ready to commit and he hasn’t made that a priority. I would love to know what you end up doing. I totally understand where you’re coming from
Post # 8
I hope that I might be able to appease any of the resentment you have towards him. I was engaged this past February, which marked the length of us dating for seven years (now we’re both 26). By five years, we had started talking about getting married and both knew that we wanted it. Two Christmases passed (both of which I thought he was going to propose) and still nothing. When I brought it up in conversation to ask what was taking him so long, he was very honest and said that he wanted both of us to be stable so that we wouldn’t jump into something we weren’t ready to afford. I’m also the kind of person who would prefer to have a wonderful boyfriend-girlfriend relationship rather than going into severe debt with wedding planning from being engaged. In fact, we preferred to put house buying way before wedding planning. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I totally understand the feelings you’re having but I also respect it when a guy is mature enough to wait for the right time. Hope you continue to seek support from the wonderful bees on this site! If you’re both serious about each other, then growing resentment over everyday of not being engaged isn’t worth it. Wishing you better days ahead!
Post # 9
My opinion……..if A guy is not sure and can’t commit by 7 years I would be out of there. When someone really wants something they don’t keep putting it off.
Post # 11
I know how you’re feeling in a way OP. FI and I were together 8.5 years before I got a ring and it was basically because we couldn’t afford it (or thought we couldn’t, we didn’t know about Moissy etc). We’d both been at University for too long and our jobs weren’t allowing us to save any money basically, with paying rent etc and various debts. I think I was resenting my SO at that time, even though it wasn’t his fault.
This situation seems different though – you aren’t living together either for all those years. I think he’s just making an excuse. Please don’t get upset by this, but it seems to me, from your post, that you might be good enough for right now, but maybe not forever. But anyway, you have to decide if you’re willing to walk away.
Post # 12
christinakhar: While I get that you’re frustrated, maybe he truly isn’t ready and this is his way of stalling so he doesn’t have to actually say that for fear of upsetting you. If you’ve been together 7 years, that puts you at about 25, correct? While DH and I were married at 25, some people just aren’t ready at that age. What type of career field are you in that makes it hard to be stable (I’m not doubting you, just wondering)? A PP was correct, it’s tempting to want to wait until everything is “perfect” but that will never exist. You’ll never have enough money saved or whatever.
When you guys talked a few months ago, how did that go? Were you calm or was it emotionally charged because you’re so frustrated? Have you asked him the tough question: Do you want to marry me/Do you see yourself married to me? If you’re going to ask this, you need to do so calmly and rationally and be prepared for his answer either way. If his response is “yes”, then I would talk with him about the fact that waiting won’t necessarily lead to perfect stability, that life is full of up and downs and your job as someone’s partner is to support them. Good luck!
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
So you guys are only 25-ish right? Some people are just not ready for a permanent and legal step like marriage at that age and point in their career. You have to decide whether that’s something you can live with until you’re both ready.
Post # 14
I think it’s tricky when ppl think in terms of length of the relationship as an indicator of when to get engaged, not to imply that this is ur sole motivation to get engaged. I say this as fi & I are high school sweethearts. In my experience it was never about the amount of years together but about when we were ready. Some are ready in their 20’s but I really was not. Eventho I wasn’t ready, I still had my moments of worrying. Talk to ur bf so u can understand his perspective. Hope this helps.
Post # 15
christinakhar: I can understand how frustrating it is to wait so long! FI and I didn’t get engaged until our 7 year anniversary and I started to get annoyed in the months leading up to it, knowing he bought the ring already, too.
I would discuss it with him and “get down to brass tax” — it seems like he’s stalling (obviously I don’t know him but I would guess this) and I wonder why… See if you can really have an honest conversation with him. Even my FI, though, seemed like he was nervous about proposing and making the big jump because he had been so comfortable together before. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” seemed to be what he was thinking. He knew I wanted to get married soon and so we talked about it.
This is obviously a discussion you’ll have to have with him, but given the length of your relationship, it doesn’t seem like he has reservations about you — maybe they are internal conflicts?
Word of caution: Even though we KNEW we would be marrying each other and the actual proposal was just a technicality, pressuring my FI was the worst thing I could have done — be careful that your talking to him about it is productive rather than pushy. My FI got annoyed quickly when I tried to talk to him about it in an unproductive manner. We were also kind of waiting until our lives were together — I graduated, got a job, etc. — and sometimes what WE see as a big deal isn’t as bad to them and vice versa.