(Closed) Is there an expiration date?

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I agree with your sister. If you’re content and enjoying your relationship, then you can enjoy it for at least a little longer.  Keep talks about the future open, but make sure he knows how much you value marriage and how you want to be married to someone before you make big commitments.  

I dated a guy through college for 3.5 years. We broke up after graduation because I was ready to move on in my life (graduate school, a new city) and that relationship was more hanging out and having fun than working towards a future together.  There was no way he was ready to settle down and I didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t value me that way and didn’t have the same opinions about marriage. 

Now I’m in a new relationship and we’ve been together for about a year.  We talk about the future and next fall I’ll be moving somewhere for my PhD.  I don’t want to move in with an SO without a ring on my finger, so there is sort-of a deadline on our relationship because I’ll be moving and if he wants to come with me, he’ll most likely have to propose. (He actually doesn’t want to live together before marriage, so it’s not just me with the deadlines!) 

I kept dating the first guy for so long because we had fun together.  It was convenient to have a date to social functions and holiday parties and we certainly could have broken up earlier (I knew pretty early on that he wasn’t going to mature for a long time) but just stuck along for the ride.  I learned a lot in that relationship, though I do sometimes wonder if I could have moved on with my life instead of sticking around for something that wasn’t going anywhere.  I didn’t like “waiting” on my partner to mature, but we did have a good time?  I will admit, I was a bit jaded and overly optimistic while I was in the relationship. 

Are there any big changes coming up that might force your hand?

Post # 4
4478 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’ve had to extend two internal deadlines, but have decided I’ll walk at the 3 year mark. This is just my personal timeline.   In your case I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling him “I can’t wait forever.  You’ve been saying you want to marry me for 3 years and haven’t done it.  I just can’t trust what you’re saying anymore.”  


The one thing about internal deadlines I’ve struggled with is I mentally prepared for the breakup ahead of time.  My original deadline was 2 years, then 2 1/2.  Because I was imagining how I might have to break up with him, mentally preparing, I became distant and resentful of being put in that position.  My advice would be to avoid that if you do set an internal deadline.  The pact’s really helped me w/that because my focus is taking my happiness into my own hands instead of letting my relationship status dictate my happiness.  


People like to use the ugly word “ultimatum”.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an expiration date.  Usually Bees considering a deadline have already waited a reasonable amount of time for a proposal.  3.5 years is a good length of time; if a proposal hasn’t happened yet, it’s reasonable to consider how long you’re willing to wait.


Post # 7
1903 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I got the expiration date with my ex, we just wanted different things in the end, he wanted to continue his independent student days and travel the world, I wanted to settle down, get a job and save for a house. Since it was apparent we weren’t following the same path, I was no longer happy, and couldn’t kid myself into thinking it would work anymore.

I left him after 3.5 years, and shortly after met my SO, who I have now been with for 3.5 years and still going strong, and it’s because we both want the same things. We got our jobs, we bought our house and on the route to marriage just like I always wanted for myself.

I would just keep a check on how things are going every 6 months or so, if things arent improving or heading to where you would like, then you have the right to ask him where the relationship is going (not all the time of course!) If you are 99% happy with everything else in the relationship, it just sounds as if your SO has gotten comfortable and just taking his time with the next step which is completely normal πŸ™‚

Best wishes πŸ™‚

Post # 8
3969 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I honestly would ask him what he considered a reasonable amount of time to wait. I think that answer will tell a lot.

Post # 9
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve set a deadline of 9 months. We started talking about getting engaged about 4 months ago and even went ring shopping. He told me to just wait and be patient, but I’m losing my mind. My deadline is April.

He’s not aware of the deadline, but IMO, 9 months is plenty of time to figure out what he wants since in 9 months from now we’ll have been together 4 years 3 months, and save up the money since he’s all about cash and putting nothing on credit or layaway….which I agree with too.

I haven’t decided what I’ll do at the 9 month mark, I only hope he proposes by then. But 9 months really lets me figure out everything for myself and let’s me decide on what I’ll do at that point.

Post # 10
2894 posts
Sugar bee

I agree with the other poster that setting a mental deadline can be very disasterous. There is nothing wrong with having a point in a relationship where you’re passing into the realm of unacceptable. Let’s just say, for example’s sake, you DON’T want yourself waiting past the 3 yr point. If you set that as your mental deadline, you open yourself up to withdrawing prematurely and resenting the relationship before the 3 yr point hits because you’re naturally preparing yourself for the potential of failure.

What I’ve done has helped me keep those kinds of panicky feelings away. I would pick 3 yrs as my deadline. But rather, instead of leave, I would pick 3 years as the point where not moving forward is no longer acceptable, and when that mark hits I would then take the time to seriously reevaluate the relationship. Cause it would suck to just up and leave, spend 3 months before the deadline preparing yourself for something horrible, and find out that he was going to propose, at the 3 yr 1 month mark. See what I mean? If at 3 yrs you only take the time to reevaluate you may come to the conclusion you actually are willing to wait longer. You may find you aren’t happy anymore and want to leave, THEN you can start preparing emotionally.

That’s just me though. I told my guy that if we weren’t either married, engaged, or had seriously plans to be engaged (ex. ring is literally being purchased) at 3 yrs then I would reevaluate because I refuse to be that person who waits for 10 yrs while her partner tries to figure out if he wants to get married. It went really well and opened the doors for a lot of healthy discussions down the road. Good luck! I hope things work out, no matter what you chose to do.

Post # 11
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@butterflylove: I need additional information:

1. How old are you and your SO?

2. Are both of you done with school?

3. Do both of you have established yourselves in a career?

Post # 14
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think most of the advice you received is very good.  It is entirely up to you on how you want to handle the situation because we don’t know the situation as well as you do. //  I was very direct with my ex that I didn’t want to date indefinitely and that I value marriage.  He lead me on to believe he did, too, but in the end, we broke up because he knew he couldn’t do it.  I guess, this was a blessing in disguise because I would not have wanted to pressure him into marriage. //  Good luck!

Post # 15
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@butterflylove: I am sorry to tell you but solely on your post and answers, I believe your SO wants to have his ducks in a row before he proposes to you. In his mind, the list goes like this:

1. Education- Taking the steps to getting his education. Something he started when he was younger and now rectifying the situation.

2. Job – Taking the steps to change by getting an education and hopefully find a career that is stable and he enjoys. The man is supposed to be the provider. Until he does that, he feels he cannot move to the next phase.

In addition, you also have your life to think about and get everything in order. Get a job that reflects your education and experience. Find a career that fulfills you. The chances of a successful marriage increases when two people have took care of their own ambitions and then join together. It is all about timing. Make a list like this:

1. Education- “Check” for you but not for him yet

2. Job/Career – In proccess for you and for him

Once both of you have all checks then you move to engagement and marriage.

But in the meantime, I think you have the right to ask him for reassurance that he has no doubt about the relationship and both of you in the walking in the same path TOGETHER.



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