Post # 1
So I’ve been in a relationship with a great guy for almost 4 years now. We started dating in college, did the long-distance thing for about 1 year, and now we’ve been living together for almost 6 months. I am very happy with him, but I’m also a bit impatient. I’ve been waiting for him to propose for awhile, and finally broke down about it the other day. He assured me that he loves me, and he does want to marry me, but he just doesn’t feel ready yet.
It’s finally sunk in that talking to him about it isn’t going to change his mind, and pressuring him won’t do either of us any good. Tired of feeling sorry for myself and jealous of my engaged/married friends, I started thinking… Instead of being upset that we’re not engaged, maybe I should take this time to enjoy this part of our relationship and embrace it for what it is.
So I’d like to ask: What is it about this time of my life that I should be enjoying or embracing? I’m sure being married is wonderful, but is there anything anyone misses about being just girlfriend/boyfriend? Or any freedoms they wished they had taken advantage of? We are living together, so things like having our own personal space are out on this one.
Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions on how I can be happier about being “just” a girlfriend, and this part of our relationship, that would be swell 🙂
Post # 3
Try to enjoy the playing house phase. Drudgery, bills, and chores will come soon enough! Take this time to really enjoy living together, even if it means just laying in bed watching Dexter in your undies. Also, one thing that helped me was a talk I had with Hubs when we moved in together. I told him that I am looking for marriage and children, not just long term dating. If he decided he didn’t want those things, or didn’t want hem with me, all he had to do was be honest and we would go our separate ways. He appreciated the honesty and we were engaged 10 months later.
Post # 4
@ShoeGal89: I’d start by trying not to think of yourself as “just” a girlfriend. I genuinely don’t understand that attitude (and I’m not trying to be rude here. I don’t get it). You are in a committed relationship… who is telling you that it is less important or real because you don’t have a damn ring on your finger?
Post # 5
I think it’s tough since you live together. Like effectively, you already do live as a married couple. Hopefully he steps up soon.
I would test boundaries a bit. Not in a passive-aggressive way, but if you want to go on a trip with your friends (without him), do it. Do your own thing. Make him miss you a little bit. I’m not saying that once you’re married you need to be stuck together like glue, but if you show him you have a fun life outside of him, he might want to propose a bit quicker, and some of the pressure he may be feeling could be relieved.
Post # 6
@ShoeGal89: I don’t really think once you’re living together that there is any difference between girlfriend and wife, especially since you have agreed that marriage is where you’re headed.
Maybe the one thing different would be seperate bank accounts? you can go buy yourself something expensive to treat yourself without asking! lol.
All I can say is that you don’t need to be jealous of other engaged/married because as I said, nothing is really different than what you already have. I lived with FI 4.5 years before getting engaged, and I’m really happy that I did. I feel as though we are super solid together, and I know what I’m getting into!
Post # 7
I’m really happy to see a post like this. You want him to propose, but you don’t want to pressure him so you want to find ways to be happy with what you got. It’s a nice break from “How do I get him to propose now?” Like pp said, you aren’t JUST a girlfriend, you are HIS girlfriend, the one he loves, the one he wants to be with. Focus on having fun in your relationship, go on dates, cook in your underwear, watch t.v. in bed all day. Don’t worry about being serious, with an engagement comes wedding planning which means stress, then with marriage comes family planning, which means important money talks, like when can we afford kids? And that can be stressful too, but this is if you want kids. Have fun and live in the moment, once you get engaged and married it becomes hard to focus on the right now because you are too busy planning/thinking of your future. So have fun, be patient and do your best to love being his girlfriend for right now. And who knows, you could have jump started his brain in the marriage direction and you will be engaged soon 🙂 But if it takes a while be happy with the fact that he loves and wants to be with you.
Post # 8
@ShoeGal89: I second what @canarydiamond: said. Make him miss you a little bit. My FI told me exactly that “How am I supposed to know how I feel, how am I supposed to miss you if we’re always together?” I was all “Omg, he’s sick of me already!” Well, hold on. I had already planned a trip, before I ever even met him, to take my kids to Guatemala to visit their extended family. I was gone for two weeks. The day I got back I went to his apartment to see him and he was waiting at the edge of the parking lot, I almost hit him with my van (it was dark). He jumped in the van and started kissing me like he hadn’t seen me in 10 years. 2 months later he moved in. So give it a shot, make him wish you were there.
Post # 9
@PermaStudent: That’s a good point.
Post # 10
Thanks for all the suggestions and comments! I think at this point I just need to block out the idea of marriage and remind myself that it’ll happen at the right time. (Kind of hard to do when your little sister is planning her wedding and my facebook feed is constantly bombarded with photos of brides and engagement announcements, but that also might be a sign I should spend less time on facebook.) And I’m starting to think the real issue here isn’t so much about not being engaged, but just being happy in general. I think I need to spend some time focusing on myself and working towards the things I want, instead of trying to make my relationship fulfill my every need.
Thanks again for all the feedback! And I fully plan on splurging on something while I still have my own bank account 😉
Post # 11
I wish I had advice, because I was never “waiting” and totally enjoyed being “just” a girlfriend! I think there were many reasons… I was always very confident that my now-FI and I would be together forever, I wasn’t in a rush to get married (I just turned 28), most of my close girlfriends are not married (4/5 bridesmaids are nowhere near getting married), and I was in graduate school so that kept me preoccupied. I’m not a laid back person, but our relationship has always been so easy and we did things when they felt right. I guess part of it is that we just got lucky and were on the same page about things.
Post # 12
@alyssaC: +1 Once the ring comes, the stress of planning comes. (we all want to plan a wedding of course! but we also see all the bees posting about how much stress it is emotionally and financially) and then after that its the pressure of kids, affording them, buying a home etc etc.
@ShoeGal89: I agree with what she said! It’s nice to see a post like this. If you guys are secure and happy then it will come in time. He may even see this as a “test run” kind of thing.
Post # 13
I think it’s lovely at this stage because you know for sure he is with you because he wants to and not because of any formalities like a ring or marriage. It’s love at a basic level, wanting I be with someone and therefor being with them.
Post # 14
I say enjoy your life as it is now! You as so blessed, even though it might seem like everyone else is getting ahead, sounds to me like you are headed right in the direction you want to go. You were long distance with your SO for a year, then were still together another year after that and now living together. So I’m sure he will be wanting to get engaged to you down the road.
As for timing, well yes, it’s always frustrating waiting. But I think you are in a good position. I’ve never been close to living with a SO, so this is a very good sign for your relationship! A guy wouldn’t just live with anyone. So you are obviously very special to him.
Try to keep your mind of what your friends are doing. Most of my friends are married and have kids already, and I am the lone singleton. I spend most of my time by myself because all my friends are too busy with their families. I am happy for them, but I long for having that companionship. I would love to have kids someday too, but I am at a very unstable time in my life where I am moving lots.
I know it can be hard to count your blessings, but if you focus on what is going right in this situation, it will make you both happier. If you keep focussing on getting engaged and keeping up with friends, then you are only putting unnecessary pressure on the relationship. From what you have said, it sounds like things are going well. And you two are moving towards marriage.
Try to be patient, as I know it’s hard to do! But it will happen someday for you!
Post # 15
@ShoeGal89: A ring didn’t matter to me then and it doesn’t matter to me now. I think people get so caught up in reaching the “finish line” that they don’t care who they are running with. Take the time to enjoy your relationship! As long as you have a commitment of the heart, what more can marriage add? A relationship will either last or it won’t and being married is no guarantee of that.
Post # 16
I’d feel pretty frustrated too after 4 years and 6 months living together! Maybe this is just me, but I’d be reevaluating living together. But I’m also in the camp of not moving in together until you’re officially engaged if marriage is what you want.
That said, I agree with exercising your independence and doing things on your own! Go on trips with your friends, buy what you want, take classes to learn new things and just do exactly what YOU want to do!
The best advice I can ever give someone dating is to be upfront about your desire and readiness to get married. Making sure way ahead of time that the person you’re seeing wants the same things makes a huge difference! Some women seem afraid to do this because they don’t want to seem pushy or crazy and I say that’s NONSENSE. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be married!
Best of luck!