- 5 years ago
This is my first post, so please be nice!
I’ve done a fair bit of internet searching over the past year and eight months, but have yet to come across anyone in my situation:
Has anyone else accepted a proposal from their SO when they knew felt that they were too young & not ready for marriage?
Before I begin, I feel the need to state that I love my fiancé (let’s call him “Mr. Pumpkin”) to bits. We have a very happy relationship, and I can’t imagine ever wanting to be with anyone else.
In mid-April 2011, Mr. Pumpkin proposed. We had been a couple for over 5 years. Unfortunately, his timing was dreadful:
- I had only just turned 20
- I was a full time student and had no income at all
- I was extremely unhappy at university – I was two years into a law degree, which I despised, and was trying to work up the courage to drop out
- I was suffering from depression and bulimia
- He had never lived away from home (i.e. never paid rent, bills, etc.)
- He was earning minimum wage
- He was terrible at managing his money (he had no savings at all, despite having been working for over 5 years)
- Neither of us were emotionally mature enough to get engaged
I had absolutely no idea that he was going to do it. Marriage was the last thing on my mind at the time.
We were on holiday in the English Lake District and sat down on a bench looking down over our favourite lake. He looked a bit pale – I remember asking how he was. Then he started telling me that he loved me…and started to cry a little bit.
When I realised what he was going to do, I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach. I started shaking my head, but he didn’t take the hint and kept going…and then produced a ring box.
He’d always made it very clear that he would only propose once. He doesn’t believe that a relationship can survive a failed proposal.
So despite the circumstances, despite feeling very sick, I accepted the proposal.
My rationale behind this was that he was the only good thing in my life, and I couldn’t bear to make him unhappy or lose him.
Later on, a number of hugely irritating issues came to light:
- He ordered the engagement ring on the internet two weeks before proposing, using the money from his most recent pay day (i.e. he did not save for the ring at all – he bought it as a snap decision on the same day he decided to propose). The issue is not what he spent on the ring: it is the fact that very little thought went into it. He didn’t look at different styles, didn’t even visit a jewellers, didn’t think to find out what style I would like…
- He had told his entire extended family that we were “getting engaged”. Literally all of his family knew. His mother, sister, sister in law etc. had even tried on the ring.
- He did not tell my parents. He did not ask for my father’s blessing (which is massively important to me). The main reason appears to be that he was too cowardly to mention it.* * He refused to call my parents to tell them. He made me do it. Both parents were horrified and quite upset that Mr. Pumpkin hadn’t spoken with them first, and that I was engaged when I was so clearly not ready for it.
But for better or worse, we were engaged. That was it.
Fast forward a year and 8 months, and things have changed dramatically:
- I dropped out of university
- I recovered from my depression & eating issues
- I took a temporary job in an accountancy firm in Ireland during Summer 2011, which led to a permanent “graduate level” contract – I now have a secure “proper job”, and a new career path
- Mr. Pumpkin moved to live with me in Ireland in September 2011, and we have lived together in Dublin ever since
…And I have done no wedding planning or saving at all. Because despite my massive personal growth during this time, I am still nowhere near ready to get married.
I strongly regret not having the courage at the time to turn down his proposal. Perhaps I could have explained the reasoning and made him understand. But I can’t turn back the clock.
It just feels as if that magical moment of proposal was almost entirely negative for me.
I sometimes find myself feeling a little disheartened. I know that real life isn’t like the movies, and that expecting a “perfect” proposal is unrealistic. I know that it’s at least 50% my fault for accepting the proposal. It’s just a shame that every time I see my left hand, I’m reminded of that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
If we had become engaged a year or two from now, it would have been perfect:
- We would have a few years of living together under our belt
- My income will double during the next two years
- We’ll both be a little bit older and wiser
- We could both have been excited about it
Ah well. You live and learn!!
I suppose I’m just really looking to see if anyone is in a similar boat? Doomed to a super-long engagement because they got engaged too soon?