- 3 years ago
- Wedding: October 2015
Hi bees, I wasn’t sure which board would be most appropriate, but since I post the most in the Waiting section and this has to do with waiting, I would put it here. I’ve had a rough weekend emotionally and could really use some words of encouragement and/or advice. It’s a bit long, so I wrote a long version with all the details and a short summary.
First off, there are no issues whatsoever with my relationship. SO is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and we’re dead-set on getting engaged and married. So no problems there.
The Long Version: SO and I have been long-distance (4ish hours right now) since we started dating 14 months ago. We’re both 25 and have known each other as friends since 2010. He’s a state park ranger and has two more weeks of police academy before he’s back at his park doing patrols, giving programs, etc. I got my master’s degree in marine biology back in August but moved back with my parents because I didn’t have a job yet. I was trying to get in with one of the state fisheries departments near SO, but that wasn’t working out.
Then two months after I moved back home, Dad had a severe heart attack and nearly died, and that’s when I realized it was a darn good thing I was unemployed. I’m an only child, so I needed to be there for my parents. I had been toying with the idea for a while, but that was the final push I needed to go into business for myself as a writer (not just science, but all types of writing) so I wouldn’t be tied down to a single location and could live wherever I wanted. This makes sense because SO works in a super small town with no jobs in my academic field. So my plan was to stay with my parents rent-free until I generated enough cash flow to move out and get an apartment in SO’s town. We don’t want to live together before marriage for religious reasons, so moving in together just isn’t an option right now.
Well, it’s been a few months, SO is almost out of academy, and I don’t feel like I’ve made nearly enough progress in my self-employment goals. Thanks to cold-calling and networking, I’ve got quite a few potential clients but haven’t locked down anything in stone yet. I’m trying to save what little money I make substitute teaching and don’t really have any friends left in this area, so I barely leave the house and only socialize over Skype and with my parents. I’m an introvert, so I don’t need a lot of time with people, but it’s still starting to get to me. I’m also hesitant to try and get involved with a hobby or something because I know this is only a temporary arrangement.
Further adding to the money woes is SO’s job. Park rangers don’t exactly make a lot, and the state has taken away a lot of the housing and utility perks that rangers had for decades and actually made it a financially viable job. We were banking on police academy to let him save a nice little nest egg due to them paying for his food, gas, and other expenses, as well as overtime. Well, turns out he’s not getting overtime pay but instead comp time, which was EXTREMELY frustrating. Furthermore, what money he was able to save just went towards some major repairs on his car. So basically he’s broken even this entire time. He should get a pay raise later this year, though, so that will help with saving.
Naturally, these money issues make me wonder how long I’m going to have to wait for him to pop the question. It’s kind of hard to save for a ring when you can’t even save for a rainy day. After learning yesterday that he’s not been able to save during academy, I felt horrible about our previous ring conversations. I’ve always wanted a diamond, but even a smaller one like I want (0.5 – 0.8 carat) costs so much money! So I was poking around on moissy websites and thinking about how much cheaper they were. I would rather compromise on the ring than spend years waiting, so I tried bringing it up over Skype today with SO. He kept cutting me off and insisting that he had it under control (“Seriously, babe. I’ve got this.”). Meanwhile I’m thinking, “HOW?! Do you have a secret Swiss bank account or something?” Never mind trying to save for a wedding, honeymoon, house, or having kids someday…
The Short Version: SO and I are long-distance, and it’s basically all on me to get financially stable through my writing business to move out of my parents’ house. I’m getting frustrated and discourage with the progress I’m making, even though I’ve got some prospects in the pipeline. SO has not been able to put much money back into savings, which makes me wonder how much longer I’ll be waiting until he’s settled enough to be able to save first for himself and then for our combined future together. I’ve never counted on having someone else support me, so I’ve always assumed I would make my own money and contribute equally to a marriage even before i met SO.
Thank you if you read any or all of that! I guess I’m just frustrated that I feel like the one who’s holding us back from moving forward with at least a normal dating relationship, even if I have to wait a long time for the proposal. I also don’t want to be financial deadweight in the relationship. It helps knowing that SO is “The One” and has been nothing but supportive and loving. I really hope I didn’t bruise his ego earlier by suggesting cheaper alternatives to our original e-ring plans. Basically, I’ve just felt overwhelmed all at once with these things and hate this feeling of being in limbo with my life.
I could really use some words of advice and/or encouragement. If you’ve gone through something similar, please share your success stories or how you got through it!