Post # 1
I just read a thread on ultimatums and decided to post this to get advice. I’m 32 (almost 33), SO is 31, we’ve been dating over 2 & 1/2 years and have a great relationship otherwise and we’ve discussed marriage and spending our lives together. This January, I was certain a proposal would happen this year after he said he was thinking about it for 2012, but after a recent conversation it’s clear that marriage isn’t on his mind in the near future.
Basically he’s indecisive about his life (job, location – we’ve talked about moving out of the country (FYI, he’s not American but is a U.S. citizen), etc). In the past when we’d have a “status check” on our relationship, the conversation would turn back to his indecisiveness in his life. We both have stable jobs that pay well (and he lives at home still – I live alone), but his current job is mentally draining. He intends to still work in his field, but start his own business and is working on that part-time as well as other projects. I recently asked him for a “timeline” and he tells me he can’t decide until he figures “himself” out first.
I’ve told him that I’m not trying to pressure him – I just want to know one way or the other to plan my own life. I do want to have a family but I also don’t want to rush into having kids once married so assuming we got engaged tomorrow, it would be about three years from now until our first kid (we both are planners).
I don’t want to lose him, but feel it’s unfair to wait for who knows how long for him to figure himself out. It would be one thing if I was 22 and we had been dating only six months, but that’s not the case and I’m not looking for a proposal tomorrow, but don’t think it’s unfair to expect at least a rough timeline at this point.
Any advice ladies?
Post # 3
Perhaps a step would be for him to move in with you, or at least out of his parents’ place. That would be an indicator not only of your relationship’s strength, but his ability to thrive on his own.
Post # 4
I wish I had some advice for you. I’m in the same situation as you and I’m sick of wasting time… I just want to know where my life is going and who it’ll be with, whether it’s with him or alone. I’m 28 and he’s 37 so I feel like you do, like I don’t want to waste too much time.
I would definitely talk to him and let him know that you need a rough timeline.. and if he can’t stick to it then maybe it is time to think about what you reall want.
Post # 5
@NYMango: Dont move in with him. if he’s indecisive that will make it worse. Could you propose? Could you try having a conversation about your perspective? Maybe start planning your life so that if he wants in he can fit in but if he doesn’t come around you don’t waste your time.
Perhaps give him a timeline (or come up with one together)and explain that by that date you want an engagement or serious changes will need to occur.
Post # 6
@NorthernBelle10: Yes, we’ve discussed this. He knows I’m a little wary about moving in together without being engaged, although he thought it would be a good step as well. We also live about 1 1/2 hours from each other so it would be inconvenient for him to move in with me while working at his current job. However if he did get a job near me, I might consider it. He’s also lived with a girlfriend for a short while when he was much younger
Post # 7
I think the timeline should be for you and not him. How long are you willing to wait? I would talk with him about goals and moving forward, but I wouldn’t give him an ultimatium. It’s a terrible way to start a relationship. He has to want to do this in his own timing and if he’s not ready, it could show up in other ways when you are married.
You are reasonable for wanting a committment and a marriage, but I’d set the time in your own mind. For me, I needed to see personal growth and some career goals fulfilled. After my FI got his Masters and secured a steady job, he proposed. We talked alot about marriage before then, but I needed some other indicators that he was ready.
Post # 8
Try reading Diana Kirschner’s “Sealing the Deal” for tips on working through his commitment/indecisiveness.
Post # 9
@NYMango: I think what you are saying makes perfect sense. If I were you, I would let him know that even though you love him, you want kids and so you can’t wait forever. I’d also bring up that it’s not practical for him to wait forever either. I would emphasize positive things like how even though he still has things to figure out, you guys compliment each other, so you can help each other with the challenges of life. I’d also bring up how much fun you two have together and how if you two were married you could live together & etc. Have a thorough in person discussion and then drop it for as long as you can.
I would set an internal walk date that is AFTER your next anniversary and AFTER valentine’s day! I would also not recommend moving in with him.
Post # 10
@fingerscrossed: Not trying to be rude at all, but I disagree with some of this advice. I think this sounds more like trying to convince him why he should marry you and I don’t know about you, but I would never want to marry someone who needed convincing.
I think it’s smart to set your own walk date in your mind, but I wouldn’t share it with him. Walk away for you, because it’s the best thing for you, not because you’re trying to convince him what he should do.
I agree that ultimatums are a bad way to start a relationship.
Post # 11
advice? just be honest. let him know you love him, and you’d like things to move forward, but if he cant give you a clear answer as to when things should progress, you will have to take steps for yourself to move on in the near future.
if he doesnt respond well to these conversations about commitment, maybe writing him a letter about your feelings and actions that will follow will help. atleast then he will be able to process what you are saying, read it a few times if he has to. then he can respond to you.
if his response indicates he isnt anywhere close to commiting, then you proceed with walking. at your age i wouldnt wait too long.
i think its very smart of you to hold off on living together, especially since he seems to be a little wishy washy.
Post # 12
OP, this man sounds immature. He says he needs to figure himself out and he lives with his parents, despite being 31 and with a job that pays well?
Besides being immature, he sounds self centered as well, since all the “status checks” just turn into conversations about him. What about your wishes and needs?
He does not sound at all ready for marriage.
You don’t want to give him an ultimatum, but why not try this: Tell him you need a couple of weeks off from him with no contact at all, because you wanted some time to consider whether or not you actually want to marry someone who is so indecisive and wishy washy about his and your life.
Post # 13
@NYMango: What worked for me was sitting down with DH (then-SO) and explaining why I wanted to be married and why being married by a certain time was important to me. If you set a deadline/ultimatum, I would tell him about it and see what he thinks about that time period. Be open, but don’t push.
It may be worth pointing out that as a wife, you can be there for support as he “figures himself out.”
Post # 14
I go back and forth on walk dates. On the one hand, I always think of Bradley Cooper’s character in He’s Just Not That Into You, where he complains about how much he hates being married, and his friend asks him why he got married then. He says, because I had been with her a long time and she told me to make a decision, and I didn’t want to lose her, so I proposed. Then he spent the whole movie cheating on his wife and whining about how much being married sucks.
On the other hand, why should you sacrifice something important to you? Why should the decision to get married be 100% up to one person? A couple of my friends are waiting (although none are even at the point where they are considering leaving) and since they would both say yes tomorrow, it seems weird to me that the decision to get married is entirely up to the men in those relationships. So that doesn’t seem fair.
I really don’t have any advice. Of all my exes, there were only two that were ever serious enough for me to even entertain the notion of marriage, and both relationships ended on their own long before I could get impatient.
Best of luck to you, whatever you decide!
Post # 15
@NickiBee: advice? just be honest. let him know you love him, and you’d like things to move forward, but if he cant give you a clear answer as to when things should progress, you will have to take steps for yourself to move on in the near future. +1
I just did this. I talked to him in a calm manner and kept all emotions out of the conversation but told him that I have been patient for a long time, but I am losing my patience. I asked if I could have an answer by the end of the year. He agreed. I left and started no contact. Good luck OP, I know how you feel.
Post # 16
I would just be honest with him. It isn’t an ultimatum to be blatantly honest with someone about what YOU want in your life, tell him truthfully you want to be married by a certain age or engaged by a certain point, if he’s on board then he is, if not then he’s not. I don’t agree with setting a timeline for yourself and not telling him, I don’t see how that is going to accomplish anything at all. An old fashioned open dialog is what you need, you need to see if he is on the same page before investing more time with him. If he is just dealing with some things and needs a bit more time you deserve to know that, if he’s just indecisive and/or scared of of marriage then you certainly deserve to know that too.
I am two months shy of being with my boyfriend for two years, we are 35 (I will be 36 next month) we had the conversation months ago and I brought it up. He would talk about a future and marriage but wasn’t taking any actual action that indicated he was serious so a little after a year of dating I told him that I loved our relationship and I loved him, however I really could not see myself dating someone more than two years without being engaged. I wanted a life with him and I knew he needed some more time to get on the same page, that he was worth the wait, but that I wasn’t going to wait forever. I also held out against living together, I know it works for some but I wasn’t going to do that. I think in your case you should avoid living together as well, especially if he is indecisive with things right now.