Post # 1
My boyfriend and I are young and still completing degrees, but we have been together for several years and marriage has come up naturally together and in discussions with his parents several times. He knows my ideal wish would be for a long engagement, engaged sometime soon and married years into the future, when we both had graduated, could live together (we’re in a LDR) and could afford it. I know he wants a short engagement and not to be engaged for a few years, and I respect that. I really love him, I have made it clear I don’t need a ring if he can’t afford one, our wedding can be in someone’s backyard etc. and in my mind, that made me easygoing and him strange for not jumping at the chance. I will admit that for a time I had brought up engagements and marriage too often, it’s hard not too when it’s all you see around you with your friends etc.! It became such an argument for us that it began to be a thing of resentment for both of us. I had pressured him for some sort of date as to when we’d be engaged and he gave me one we both knew that would not be kept, as it was too soon. I did not know until recently but that made him quite upset. I totally backed off, we talked it out several times, and we were both much happier. I completely admit to rushing him, and that I need to wait for him to be ready emotionally.
Recently, he told me he can tell getting engaged/married soon is still what I want even if I’m not talking about it, and it makes him feel pressured and unhappy. I have not been bringing it up at all, what sparked the conversation was me crying at Chandler and Monica’s engagement while watching Friends together, of all things! He agrees that I have backed off completely and not been mentioning engagements or questioning him for months now, but he says he still feels guilty because of all the prior conversations. That he knows my intentions are to be engaged soon and married shortly, but he’s not ready for that right now so he feels guilty often. I’m not sure how to stop communicating this. Of course, somewhere deep in my heart is always the wish he’ll change his mind and propose to me tomorrow, I’m not sure how to make that go away when I love him and that truly is my dream. However, I have not communicated that verbally for quite some time now, and it hurts me that he would still feel pressured when I am making such an effort no to. What can I do to make him feel like he is being given space and time to feel ready when he is ready that he really is being given? I don’t want marriage to become such a sore spot for us that it can’t ever happen.
Thanks, everyone 🙂
Post # 2
Additionally, although it was likely clear before: I am very future oriented. He is very much in the present. Part of my stress related to our future engagement pertains to his value of not living together before marriage. I want our LDR to end ASAP, but I cannot plan for it to end after school if we cannot live together because we’re not married. I want to know where I’ll be looking for jobs, he is no where near thinking about that at all. I’m not sure what our chances are of being in the same city anytime soon if we’re not living together. Just thinking about it makes me sad and stresses me out 🙁 When I explain this to him, he just tells me not to worry and not to think about it now.
Post # 3
mrsea: I think you are expecting too much from him. He is obviously not ready for a commitment. I say that because I have been in his position. Marriage was not a commitment I was ready for and I did not want to feel pushed or rushed. Honestly, if he feels pushed, he may start to resent you.
Post # 4
To answer your question about making him feel pressured: you should stop assuming he wants to marry you. I don’t get the impression he has committed himself to the idea of you two getting married. That may be why he keeps saying forget about/ don’t worry now. He doesn’t want to commit now, so it may be best for you to move on.
Post # 5
That’s a tough one. FI and I went through that. I wouldn’t say I was ever pushy, at least in my mind, but it was clear that we wanted different things. Like you, I wanted a formal commitment and was fine with a longer engagement. He felt he was committed, ring or no ring, and did not want a long engagement. In my case, we both very much wanted to be with each other, and I decided to wait it out since I had no doubts about his feelings or intentions, we were just on a different timeline. I’m sure my FI felt like yours sometimes, sad because he knew I wanted something he wasn’t ready to give. It wasn’t the easiest time for either of us, but we have come out stronger in the end.
Post # 6
You’re in two different places when it comes to your relationship. He doesn’t seem to be looking for the commitment of marriage, and in fact seems to be resenting you for wanting it. I wouldn’t get your hopes up on this one.
Post # 7
If you don’t want to get married for a few years and don’t even care about having a ring right now then why exactly are you so interested in him proposing? Do you feel like being engaged will make your relationship feel more commited? Do you just want to be able to call him your fiance? (which I wouldn’t understand because it’s such an odd word, I still refer to my FH as my boyfriend most times haha)
Since you mentioned you stopped bringing it up months ago but he is still feeling pressured, I don’t really know what would help. I think you need to sit down with him and explain that you would like to get engaged but you realize he isn’t and your okay with that and that you don’t expect a proposal (and try to sound like you mean it :P)
I think if you can re-adjust your thinking and truly not be waiting for a proposal any day it would help your relationship. The longer it goes on like this the more resentment will build up for you both and it could ruin your relationship. As you mentioned your both young and in school, so there is no need to rush into an engagement if both members aren’t on board.
As a future-orientated person try focusing on finishing your degree, future job opprotunities, traveling, etc. Things that don’t rely on another person for.
Good luck! (:
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May
Oh I feel for you on this one. It can be really frustrating when your in two very different emotional places. Try to back down for a bit now that he knows how how you feel. I pushed my now FI too hard and I regret that. Step back from the engagement obsession and just try to enjoy all the great things about your relationship and your guy. He’s obviously not going anywhere but just can’t propose yet.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
It sounds like he’s not sure about the future (and reasonably so; you’re LDR, you’re in different places in your life, etc.) Give it time. If he wants to marry you, he’ll ask when he’s ready – why is it so important for him to do it now? The fastest way to get a guy to flee the scene is try to force their hand or get pushy when they’re on the fence about something.
Post # 10
Are you content to wait, you just feel a lot of pressure from seeing other couples? Then I’d suggest filling your life with fun and excitement to make the time pass.
But if this an extremely important goal for you, if you’re unhappy, if this is something you need to feel secure in your relationship – then don’t hide it or suppress it. Respect yourself and stay true to your feelings. Every woman has goals they strive for, no need to hide them. I’d never tell a woman to “Stop gunning for that work promotion” or “Stop wanting kids”, and if marriage is what you want, I’d never tell you to stop that either. Bottling your feelings and hiding your needs isn’t healthy.
Post # 11
I agree with PPs who say that it sounds like he’s not ready. But I also wanted to add that I don’t think this situation is fair for you either because it IS what you want. It osunds like you two want different things right now and you have to decide if you WANT (not “can live with” or “tolerate”) to be together without knowing what kind of future you have together. If that’s not what you want, it may be time to end the relationship and seek what you do want.
Post # 12
Honestly, I think you’re young and need to give your guy some slack. If you absolutely want to be engaged right now, he’s not your guy. If you’ve read enough of the “waiting” and “ruined proposals” posts on this site I think you can gather that the way you’re pressuring him is going to lead to a lot of resentment. If you’re happy with him, I think you should put marriage on the backburner until you’re both out of school, not long distance anymore, and he’s ready to take the next step. Even though you’re ready now, and that’s normal for you to feel that way, he’s not ready so it would be a really bad idea for you to get engaged.
Since you said you’re still quite young and you’re in a long distance relationship, and both still in college, I’m going to assume the “years” you’ve been together count some high school relationship or something. While it’s fine if young couples want to get married, it is completely reasonable for an early-twenties something person to not want to get married yet, even if you’ve been together for a while. In terms of marriage talk, saying you’ve been together for like 5 years when you’re 21 is not the same thing as when you’re 30.
I hope you and he are able to talk this through and come to an agreement. Good luck!
Post # 13
You asked what you can possibly do to make him feel less pressured. I want to know why you want to bother with something so futile. You guys had a disagreement and you thought you had worked things out, but you obviously haven’t if you’re crying at old sitcoms and he’s freaking out despite you not bringing up marriage for months. What I would tell him is, “I love you, and I care about how you feel. You said you didn’t want to get engaged soon, so I stopped bringing it up. I accepted how you felt about an early engagement. You also need to accept that I felt differently than you did; if you feel pressured despite me ceasing to talk about it, that’s something in you and I can’t do anything about that. We need to find a way for us both to be happy with our current relationship, because otherwise, this isn’t going to work out.” The truth is, you are not responsible for how he feels, but only for how you behave and how you feel.
It’s not shocking or unusual for a couple in an LDR to be on different wavelengths regarding when, if ever, to get married. The danger is that he actually doesn’t want to get married at all, but doesn’t want to pull the plug because he is so used to dating you.
Post # 14
mrsea: um, I wouldn’t plan my future around him, personally. You should pursue the jobs, cities, etc. that you want to without considering him, because he has made it clear he is not ready for the commitment that you asked for.
I wouldn’t move or switch jobs without being engaged and that cost me my relationship with my college boyfriend. He kept wanting me to make all the compromises for him and his career but you know what? We weren’t engaged, so he doesn’t get the benefit of that level of support.
I pursued my own goals and objectives and in doing that, met my FI who is way more supportive of me than anyone I’ve ever been with and it’s just been so easy to be in a relationship with him. We both try to give 100% of ourselves to supporting the other.
Maybe your BF will realize how good he has it and lock you down. Or maybe you’ll meet someone way more compatible with you and be happier than you can imagine. Just do you and the rest will follow, promise.
Post # 15
I completely understand where you are coming from. You want the future to be more certain and want to be able to live together after graduating. How much longer will you both be studying for?
Has either of you mentioned where you would like to work after graduating? This situation needs compromise. Perhaps you can approach it like this: “BF, you said you still feel pressure and like you are letting me down even though I haven’t mentioned marriage in a long time. Well, I changed my mind. I don’t want an engagement ASAP, what I want is a plan for the future. Even though we are both still studying it is very important to put out feelers about jobs, network and make contacts NOW so that come graduation we already have leads lined up, if not actual jobs. But it is very hard to do this in any kind of focused way if I don’t know where I will be living after graduation. Could we please sit down and talk about where we would both like to work, pick and agree on 3(ish) cities together and that will help us both to focus on where to apply to, research etc. This is what I really need from you right now.”
Hopefully a conversation like this will help you to start to visualise the future and get him thinking about it as well. It will also hopefully allow him to feel less guilt because he’s been able to give you something of what you want. Hopefully again you can both look into your 3 chosen cities, apply for jobs in each and accept the job that allows you to live in the same city, even if you don’t actually live together.