Post # 1
Hi, This is my first board of my own, though I’ve been a silent reader and occasional poster.
I’m 24 and have been with my boyfriend (24) for a little over 1.5 years. He’s my best friend and I’m more myself with him than I’ve ever been with anyone (including friends and family). We definitely have issues and he’s a little immature still, especially when it comes to personal responsibility and keeping his anger in check but we love each other so so much. He’s nowhere near ready to settle down in practical terms (money, stability, job, savings) but says things like “I want to spend my life with you” and is open about what he wants out of his future (kids, type of relationship, etc.). Though we talk about these things, they aren’t specifically catered to us. So its “I want to have X many kids” instead of “I would like us to have X many kids someday.” All of this is fine with me. I’m not in a hurry, but I do sometimes worry about how much he has to accomplish before any real concrete “future” discussions can be had. He’s not currently employed and has no savings and sometimes it scares me that we might continue on for another 3-4 years before he’s “ready” to talk about our future. He has a lot on his plate right now, and I wouldn’t want to pressure or unnecessarily stress him, but would it be fair of me to ask specifically what kind of future he sees for us? He always responds “absolutely. of course, babe!” when I ask if he sees a “real future” with me, but I’ve been afraid to get more specific than that. I want to know that his version of “real future” is the same as mine.
I know we’re young, but even though everything is all fun and light now, I want to make sure that that’s not all he sees with me. I’m also curious what his thoughts are in terms of how long he’d like to date someone before getting engaged. We live in the south and so we are surrounded by young married couples, but we both attended school in the north so “married at 25” isn’t how either of us picture our future. How do you approach this topic in a non-scary way? Should I wait until we hit the two-year mark? Basically, I’d like to know: 1) can he see himself marrying me? 2) at what age can he picture himself being ready to propose? My ideal would be to date for another 1.5-2 years or so and then get engaged (so after 3 or 3.5 total years of dating). Then a 9 mo. To a year-long engagement. However, if he asked me tomorrow, I would say yes.
I’m conflicted because of our youth, his lack of stability, and his unemployment. I know he loves me, but I’m a little concerned he’ll shut me down out of frustration/stress about not having any of his “ducks in a row” yet and that he won’t even begin to be able to think about any of this yet. I am more of a planner and he gets a little overwhelmed when he has to deal with “big picture” things. Our relationship is wonderful and I appreciate every day we have together, but I would hate to wake up after 4-5 years with this man to be no closer to my marriage and kids and happily ever after. I don’t want to come across shallow or like I’m putting a potential future wedding before the man I love, but I am one of those women who need marriage and kids to be happy in the long run.
Help? Advice? Is it too soon to bring this up? Is it the wrong time? What would you do?
Post # 2
I quit reading at the part about him having trouble keeping his anger in check. Can you give us some info on his behaviors?
Post # 3
OP, I have some thoughts on this but that part made me pause. What do you mean by keeping his anger in check?
Also, what’s your school/job situation right now? Are you both in school, both working…?
Post # 4
You’re not too young to talk about getting married… That’s not the problem. There are many other issues at play here that show why you guys shouldn’t be considering marriage right now. If he’s a a unstable in his own personal life as you make him out to be at the age of 24, I wouldn’t hold my breath that he is going to change any time soon.
Post # 5
Rather than having that conversation with him, I would have it with yourself.
Ask yourself why you are wanting to commit to someone who is nowhere near ready to settle down in practical terms (money, stability, job, savings) is unemployed, has no savings, has trouble keeping his anger in check,etc?
What do you think is going to change so drastically that in a year and a half he will have all those issues resolved?
Post # 6
sassy411: I didn’t think about how that would sound. I just mean that sometimes it makes him shut down, sometimes it makes him deflect, sometimes it makes him say things he doesn’t mean. nothing dangerous or overly concerning. He just deals with his emotions differently than me and when he thinks he’s disappointed me he has a very hard time processing that and it can make him unpredictable (though not in a dangerous, or relationship-ending way).
ClaudiaKishi: We both graduated in 2012. He was employed, but hasn’t been for a while. I am working a steady office job.
julies1949: Yes, I would want to fully commit to him in the timeline I gave above after he gets a job/ more stability. that is the only major hold-up on my end. I’m not sure about on his yet.
Post # 7
I think you should talk to him about getting a job before you discuss your future. Also, at 24 he’s old enough to start getting it together. I’m from the north too. It’s not an excuse for immaturity.
Post # 8
Eh… I don’t think that you should want to rush into a marriage with someone who has anger issues, no job, no savings, etc. There are way too many “what ifs”. He also should be focused on finding work. I am assuming someone is supporting him right now? Under normal circumstances (job, savings, no anger issues) 1.5 years is not too short to discuss marriage. Right now is not the time for that with all of these issues… Once he has stability in his life, you can revisit this question.
Post # 9
Says things he doesn’t mean? Examples, please.
Post # 10
cautiously3optimistic: I don’t think age or the amount of time in the relationship is the issue here. For example, I’m 22 (FI 23) and we just got engaged this month, just 2 months shy of a 2 year anniversary. We were talking marriage after only a year together. <br /><br />I don’t even think financial stability is 100% the issue either. Being engaged doesn’t always require you have everything figured out financially or career wise but you do need to be heading in that direction (having a job is a good start, even if it isn’t his dream career). If he isn’t stable right now he probably won’t want to think about something like marriage (which has major financial implications) at this moment. However, I do think mentioning that you’d like to get a timeline on where the relationship is heading is fine, as long as you don’t push too much or pressure him to agree with your timeline.
Also you need to be prepared that if you ask him about this right now he may not give you the answer you’re looking for. If you can, I would wait until things are a bit more stable. If it’s a question of “I need to know where this is headed before we get any further into it” then bring up the timeline and go from there!
Post # 11
sassy411: I’m not sure why it matters. He has a different way of processing his emotions than I do. Of the two of us, he is more likely to say something in anger that he has to apologize for later. That’s pretty normal, and also he’s not on trial here.
Post # 12
bebelicious1: Where did I say I was rushing into anything? We’ve been together for a year and a half and I just want to make sure his plans are similar enough to mine that we have a shot at marriage and kids someday.
and “anger issues” isn’t accurate. I didn’t describe how he deals with conflict well initially and neither is it relevant to my timeline of trying to broach the topic of our future, nor is it something I want to be misconstrued and warped on here until he’s coming off like a jerk with “anger issues.”
Post # 13
cautiously3optimistic: I’m so sorry but your most recent reply tells me you are both too immature for marriage. The ladies here are responding to what you wrote, seeking more information in order to help you and you are on the defensive.
Have him find employment. Teach him to have civil conversations, if you can, yourself. If you’re still together in 2 to 3 years,you can discuss marriage.
Post # 14
I don’t think the time is too short, necessarily, DH and I got engaged after 1 year. But no, I would not seriously consider a future withs someone who is still immature with no job. I would even be okay with someone who was unemployed as long as they are looking and responsible. You said he was irrepsonsible, I probably wouldn’t consider a future with someone like that. Plenty of men are immature at 24 still, so it’s possible he will change but I don’t know if I’d count on that.
Post # 15
GreenBayBee: That is my issue here. I said something that came across incorrectly in my first post about the way he deals with conflict and that’s all anyone can talk about. He does not need to be taught how to have civil conversations. He’s just prone to withdrawing and dealing with his emotions rather than talking about every detail. Different strokes for different folks. I am upset that people are making assumptions about him because I described him inaccurately and didn’t think about how it would sound. He does not have anger issues, he does not need classes on how to be civil.
I can take the advice that I should wait until his finances are more stable to begin to talk about it, but I am not comfortable with the way that people are making him sound in their responses. It’s not accurate. I misspoke, now I am having to defend him.