- 2 years ago
Long time wedding bee board stalker…first time poster. 🙂 I’m sorry if this ends up being long, but I guess I just need a place to vent/think out loud!
I’m 27 and my boyfriend is 28, and we’ve been dating for almost four years (our anniversary is at hte end of September), and living together for 3 years. Last summer we moved from Connecticut to Tennessee for a great opportunity he had with his company–it’s a 5 year leadership program. We will end up moving two more times in the next four years because of that program. We had our first conversation about marriage the day after he asked me if I would be willing to move. I told him that if I was going to move with him, I needed to know that marriage was in the near future. He said, “believe me, it’s in the works”–but it’s been a year and a half, and still nothing.
Recently I’ve been coming to terms with finding my “waiting zen.” The past two years have been really tough and emotionally draining. I never thought I’d ever want to get married, but within a month of dating, I knew I wanted to spend my life with my boyfriend. I’m not a mushy romantic, so it surprised me to find someone who I loved so much, that I wanted to commit so fast. I knew it was unreasonable to expect it in the first year, and even in the second year (we are both children of divorced parents, so we are not ones to rush). But now, most days are painful. Especially lately–although the vast majority of my friends were married a while ago and already have kids (and yes, that hurt to go through, and still hurts), the thing that hurts the most is seeing former high school students of mine starting to get engaged, while I am still waiting. I taught high school for 5 years, and also student taught at the same school–and now that generation of students is starting to take the leap. I wouldn’t mind so much if I weren’t in a great and stable relationship–but because I am, it makes it very difficult to be patient. The past year and half has been a lot of tears, both secret and in front of him.
For a while, I was so fixated on the “should haves”–if we had gotten engaged early, we could have had several years to save for a wedding, but now I know I will want to get married relatively quickly (within a year or so of an engagement). We could have gotten married before we left Connecticut, because I had a solid job then, and we could have afford to do it. But I know this kind of thinking doesn’t help anything–I can’t change what’s happened. Other people are always telling me to give ultimatums or a walk date, but that’s just not me. At the end of the day, I can’t imagine living my life or raising kids with anyone else. But I can’t help that sneaking feeling that maybe if I had put my foot down, we’d be married by now…but again, trying not to focus on the “should haves.”
We’ve had a few conversations about marriage, and he knows that I am BEYOND ready to make that commitment. For a while I don’t think he was ready–he kept referring to people who are 21 as “people our age,” which told me that he wasn’t mature enough to be thinking of marriage. But in the past year we have both matured, and as he sees his friends getting engaged and married, I can tell he is much more comfortable with the idea of marriage and starting a family. During one of our conversations about marriage, he actually said “You could get pregnant the night of the wedding, and I’d be totally fine with that.” That’s not what I want–I wanted a few years to enjoy being married before having kids, but at this point, I know we won’t really get to do that.
Lately we’ve had several conversations, and the other day I finally wrote out all the reasons why I am so frustrated and why I get so emotional when someone gets engaged, or someone even mentions weddings or engagements around me. Every time we talk about it, I cry and can’t say everything I want to say…so I wrote it down to make sure I got all of my points out. I shared it with him yesterday, and he was really understanding. He said that he gets frustrated sometimes because he knows it hurts me, but we are pretty financially strapped, and there’s nothing he can do right now, so it sometimes stresses him out when I get upset about not being engaged. He has a lot of expenses coming up in the next month or two, and he’s in the midst of interviews to figure out his next job in the company, which will mean dealing with a move soon after as well. I told him that I completely understand that–we are both focused on getting out of debt, so of course it makes sense to wait a bit longer–but that my heart and ovaries don’t understand that and make it really difficult to wait.
I know a lot of people say things like, “money doesn’t matter,” and “you don’t need a ring to get engaged,” but we are both practical (to a fault), and he especially is very focused on financial stability and is very detail-oriented. He doesn’t do something until he has weighed every pro and con, and has gone through every possible way things could go wrong and the according contingency plans. His stepmother called me a month or two ago and told me to not give up hope–he told her that he has a plan, and I know they are going ring shopping at the end of October, and she said he wants the proposal to be really romantic, which is great to hear because neither he nor myself are very romantic people. So I’m hoping it will come before the end of the year, although in March I asked him if we would be engaged within a year, and he said yes–so it may not happen until early next year.
So, I know it’s coming within the next six months, but it’s still really hard to see others making that commitment. We have a wedding to go to at the end of October, and it’s another couple who is really responsible and reasonable…yet they met, got engaged, and will have gotten married within 2 years….1/2 the length of our relationship. I really don’t want to go because I know I will cry the whole time and the bride’s family will definitely keep asking us why we aren’t engaged yet, and I just feel like I’m going to ruin the whole thing. I’m not a crier or an emotional person, but I swear in the past two years, I have cried more than I have cried in my entire life. As you all know, it’s just emotionally draining.
Although, after our talk yesterday, I’m feeling a bit more “zen” about everything. I can’t change the fact that we should have done it earlier, so why fixate on it? And I know it’s coming relatively soon–there are just a few things that have to fall into place, and then our financial situation will be a lot better. And waiting a few months before buying a ring means he won’t have to go into debt to buy one, which is important to me too. And most of all, the timing has to work for him and his goals, too.
…so for today, I’m in a good place. But tomorrow…we’ll see.