@mikarla: I just want to say that I’ve been in the same place as you too. I have actually been engaged twice before now. While I had a ring both times, that was the end of it.
The first time I was very young….17. We planned to wait until after I finished college. I practically supported him on the $200/mo allowance from my parents for all 3 years I was there. I couldn’t get him to get a job. He failed out of school, then sold his car to pay a year’s rent. When that was up, he finally got a job at the school, but came home daily resentful of me for expecting him to keep going. He then “fell” at work and sprained his wrist. He loved the workman’s comp, and after 12 weeks out, he was fired. He got evicted, then moved in with me. I was young, and in love, and convinced that I would show everyone who said he wasn’t worth the time. When my senior year started, I began making plans, dress shopping, talking about where we would move to, planning life in general. I took him out for his B-day in late Feb (I graduated the following May). At dinner I told him that I wanted to get married right before Christmas, and shared all the plans I had in my head. He looked at me right then and said he wasn’t sure if he was ready to make that kind of committment, but that he’d be ok with starting a family once I got a good job. I became very resentful after that. I tried my best to make it work, but when I went home after college, I left him there. He didn’t want to come home with me, he was having too much fun bumming on his buddy’s couch. So I left him there, and last I checked, he’s still there. We were together a total of 5 years.
My second was a whirlwind. We started dating in August, moved in together in November, got engaged in April, bought a house in July. Then I started talking to him about setting a date. He was good with doing it quickly, like September, and even went dress shopping with me and my mom. I ended up crying in the parking lot because while I was in a dress, he looked at me and said that he thought we really needed to wait a while. All I saw in that moment was a re-play of my first go round. I told him so, he appologized, but then said I deserved to have a well planned wedding, so we agreed to wait until Feb. Not a week later, he told me he was feeling pressured into getting married. He wasn’t sure that he was ready. In November, I found out he was cheating, and everything went off the table. I really tried my best to forgive him, and take his word that it would never happen again. In January, I began making plans again. He would discuss them with me, even agreed on a date for the following December, and his mother even began helping me plan colors, invites, and everything. A week before V-day, I confronted him again about cheating because I knew it hadn’t stopped. He then blamed me and told me that he wouldn’t have if I didn’t pressure him into making a committment. He moved out, but within 2 weeks, he was calling and begging for forgiveness. He still wanted to see me, still loved me….but now I was the other woman. He toyed with me for nearly another year. He finally decided he wanted to be exclusive with someone else, so after breaking my heart for the last time, I quit seeking his company. He reached out to me within a week or two trying to get me to come back over, but I was done.
Out of all that, I’ve learned that I will no accept being treated like a burden. My current FI, who has been one of my best friends since I was 12, is such a joy. We decided to marry rather quickly, but before he even asked my father, we started pre-marital counseling at his request. I have never been so well treated. I have never been so loved. I was terrified to start over. I just knew no one would ever make me their bride. I had zero self esteem, and all the education, work place promotions, or life achievements couldn’t convince me that I was a catch. But throught that broken shell of myself, my best friend saw the woman he’d been looking for (about time, I told him when I was 12 that I would marry him some day,lol). I say all this to give you hope. Even if things don’t pan out where you are now, and I hope they will, you will move on. You deserve to be the center of someone’s world. If I were you, I’d ask him what the difference between telling you he’s going to propose and actually doing it is. What does some event where he gives you metal and rocks have to do with whether or not you can begin living the rest of your life? That holding pattern is terrible. You must understand that he is losing nothing in your current arrangment. He has you there to do all the things a wife would. And let’s face it, he doesn’t have the biological clock that we women do. Even if children aren’t a factor in your plans, you are the one who is losing. You obviously feel heartache over it. Your best friend, your lover, the number one man in your life, should want to protect you from hurt. He should want to make you happy, see you laugh, rejoice in your joy. He should hurt when you hurt, simply because you are hurting. That is what best friends do. And you can’t have a long term, happy relationship if you aren’t best friends.
Just my 2 cent…I hope it is a comfort.