Post # 1
Quickest summary I can give. My SO has been ready to be engaged since the end of this summer. I wanted to wait until at LEAST our 2 1/2 year mark (which is in TWO weeks!) but really I have a few reasons for wanting to wait even longer.
1. I feel like I don’t pull my fair share of the finances. My SO makes over 3 times I do. I work part time and go to school. This won’t bother me once I’m working full time and out of school….even though she’ll always be making at least double what I make….just works that way with different career fields.
2, I always had it in my head that I would graduate, find a full time job, possbily move out of state (possibly not for sure), etc all before starting to plan a wedding (even though the engagement would be good as long as it was after graduation…a year fom now).. We both agreed we don’t want more than a 2 year engagement but if we get engaged now, over half of the 1st year of our engagenent is going to be spend on my final/hardest classes yet…then trying to find a legit career and likely move to find it…so 1 1/2 years of the 2 year engagement, I”m not gonna be focused on the wedding planning. I need to get my career first and get settled in whatever state we end up in. That’s just how I feel
3. I don’t like myself. I lack self confidence, I don’t have faith that I’ll even FIND a job in a career field I want to be in. I HATE how I look, I wanted to lose weight even before the engagement ring and I’m no where close to where I wanted to be, I want to go to a dermatololgist, personal trainer, start tanning a bit (naturallY) etc
I don’t want to disappoint my SO. So I’m planning on proposing by january to make her happy. I wanted to propose in 2 weeks but none of the things listed above are giving me the go ahead to just do it. I really just don’t know what to dol. I’m not a go with the flow person and I’m just lost. It’s ALL my fault, it’s all MY issues and it’s not fair for my SO to have to wait just because I feel some of the ways that I do. Esp since we’ve both told a couple other people we bought each others’ rings already.
Just help, I guess. If you can lol
Post # 3
I think it’s awesome that you are thinking everything through before proposing. It’s so important to have a clear view of things, especially finances.
That said, just because you don’t make what your SO means doesn’t mean you aren’t equal and can’t contribute in other ways. I made about 1/3 to 1/2 of what my husband does, but I contribute to “us” by managing our household. This is just an example, but I want to show you that it isn’t about everything being an exact split.
Everyone has something to contribute – we all bring something to the table!
One other word though – proposing to make someone happy isn’t a great idea. Propose because YOU are ready to. 🙂
Post # 4
@chercee: l’ll always make less. ive come to terms with that. but the things i wanted to accomplish before getting engaged are just not gonna happen. and i dont want 6 months to a year to plan a wedding…esp since my biggest focus right after graduation is going to be finding a career
ETA: once i feel “settled”…aka graduated and in a full time job (and moved) i feel like all that will be off my shoulders. then i can focus on the wedding
Post # 6
I think you shoudl talk to her and let her know how you feel. It’s important that you two can communicate and compromise if you’re getting married.
Post # 7
@soontobemrsm11: I think it’s fine to want to accomplish some things on your own and be independent before marriage. Maybe there is a compromise if you communicate about it.
Post # 8
It is always best to work out your demons before marriage. Of course, this doesn’t mean that different life stages do not bring up old feelings. My husband and I have both been through a lot of painful things. We have worked out many of our issues together but it would have been easier if we did the work prior to meeting each other.
It isn’t a good idea to propose just because you want to make someone happy or you don’t want to disappoint them. Have a heart to heart talk with your girlfriend. Let her know how much you love her but you want to make sure you have some isseus worked out before getting engaged. Set a new timeline or if you still want to propose, have a long engagement.
Post # 9
@PositiveThinking: I definitely want to propose, I just want it to be timed where I have at least a year after graduating/finding a career/moving/all that to plan a wedding. I feel like pushing it back even 6 months would make that a lot easier
I mentioned a bit of this to her last night and she said she didn’t care if we had a 3 year engagement (in a sort of “fine, that’s fine we’ll wait 3 years to get married) but I know neither of us want that. I always feel like, what’s the point of getting engaged THREE years before you plan on getting married. IMO and in my situation, I’d rather just get the things done before I propose than propose and wait to get the things done and drag out the engagement
It’s all really complicated because my graduation date is not set in stone, it could be august 2014 or dec 2014. If I knew which one it was gonna be all this would be much easier. But alas, that’s just not how life works =/
Post # 10
@soontobemrsm11: Okay, set aside all the worries and what ifs and when will we get marrieds. Instead of seeing time as a line, see it as a pool of future happenings, no “this first,” “this second.” (In truth, when you are older, you will look back at all the events and things that happened and MANY of them will only stand out because of what they were, not because of when they occurred.) Do you WANT to be engaged to your SO? Would being officially engaged, having that proof of commitment to each other, make you happy now?
The length of time you’re engaged for is not, in my opinion, very important. The difference between two and three years doesn’t matter. You can have your wedding when you have the time to plan it, and when you’re ready for it. If an arbitrary rule about how long an engagement “should” last is making you unhappy, abandon that rule.
Also: You deserve happiness now, not “when you are making X money” or “when you are thinner/tanner/more clear skinned.” Please don’t put off happiness. Life is short.
Post # 11
@soontobemrsm11: I don’t have much advice, but I can empathize a little! I’m working on fishing up my graduate degree, and things are crazy during this final year. My SO has started gently talking about geting engaged, and part of me is super-excited and ready to say “yes” immediately, while the other part of me is thinking, “holy bejeezus, I don’t have time to plan a wedding – I need to focus on graduating first”! I started to feel calmer about the whole issue when I reminded myself that getting engaged doesn’t mean we’d set a date and start planning… it only has to be as all-consuming as we let it. If it would make your SO happy, maybe you could talk to her about getting engaged but NOT planning until you graduate and get a job? Or, maybe she’d understand if you told her about your insecurities, and how much you want your engagement period to be a joyful time in your lives where you can give wedding-planning (and your relationship) your full attention, and you just don’t feel like you can do this while you’re still working on school stuff?
Post # 12
@Jijitattoo: Great points! We’re all “a work in progress” – don’t think that you have to look perfect to be engaged. Your SO loves YOU, as you currently are… not “imaginary ideal self-actualized you”! You can keep working on personal growth and your appearance throughout your life, no matter what big “milestones” (engagement, marriage, etc) are happening.
Post # 13
I agree! Maybe you can push it back six months and then not have a long engagement.
I am a big fan of long engagements when there are financial and educational considerations. I understand that not everyone thinks like me and some couples just want to get married.
Of course you want to look your best for your wedding so I have sympathy for your plight in that respect.
I knew a woman whose husband did not want to marry her until he could buy a house. They wanted a family but this woman didn’t care if they had to rent for a little while. Now they have two kids and a house. They married later than she wanted to, but she is glad that they waited to buy a home.
Post # 14
Maybe talk to your SO and let her know what your life timeline is.. You don’t need to say directly “I’m going to propose when this this and this is done” but just talk about 2, 5 and 10 year plans and where you see your life so that she doesn’t become frustrated with waiting.
That’s what my FI and I did. I simply said that I wanted kids before I’m 30 (which he knew I wanted to be married and well established in my dream career first, when I still obviously needed to graduate and get that job). He was smart and figured it out, but he also told me what he needed to achieve before then (and I’m not silly, I could also be the math!). It’s doesn’t need to be about kids, but you need to talk about something in your life timeline so that she can figure it out!
You need to do what you need to do for yourself, if you don’t you might end up being resentful. You also can’t help each other meet goals if you don’t talk to each other about them!
There are also sooooo many benefits to a long engagement – you have more time to do DIY, sort out all the drama, SAVE FOR THE WEDDING, Vendors will more likely have space etc etc etc
Post # 15
@soontobemrsm11: In that case, getting engaged to make your girlfriend happy isn’t fair to either of you. Maybe have a discussion about a reasonable timeline and go from there.
Post # 16
@Jijitattoo: you’re a wonderful person. You literally just with that post changed my thought process and helped me figure out what I want to do. Thank you so so very much!
@LittleByLittle: I think that’s what I’m thinking too, I want to BE engaged. I want to be engaged to my SO. And the only thing that’s keeping me from being engaged right now is myself. My insecurities, my worries about a “timeline” for my life and what other people will think. & that’s no way to live my life. I think I’m perfectly happy with a 2 1/2 year engagement (as we’ve both talked about that being the longest we would personally want to be engaged) and that gives me time to finish school & whatnot and still have time to plan the wedding. “being engaged” doesn’t take time away from school, it’s the wedding planning and that can wait an extra 6 months I guess lol and yes I know my own hang ups about my appearance are stupid and shouldn’t keep me from anything…but that’ll take a LOT more time to get over than anything else lol thank you for your responses!
@PositiveThinking: I think pushing it back a few months and then extending the engagement length a few months might be the best compromise for us. And yes I definitely want to look my best on the day that will forever be remembered =)
@cat89: I’m beginning to think that! It’s much easier to split your attention when you have a long engagement….like keep your work/home/wedding planning life more balanced instead of everything having to just be about the wedding.
@chercee: Yea we’ve been discussing and it’s definitely helping. I am just a gemini and I change my mind a LOT so I know she’s going through a bit of a roller coaster with the engagement and dealing with what I want so I’m trying to make sure to also consider what SHE wants and come to a compromise. It seems we’re on that road though thankfully