- 3 years ago
Hi- new to this forum but needed some advice for a problem I feel weird about talking with friends about.
I’m 31, been with my boyfriend going on 3 years. We recently moved in together, a move which was coast-to-coast for me (he’d taken a job out of state and I followed him). We’re not engaged.
The first time we talked about getting married was this time last year (around the holidays). I brought it up because we were both finishing graduate school at the time, and we were planning long-term location changes, etc. Basically, it was the typical talk about commitment: “what are your long-term plans? Do you see us getting married? Are you still ‘thinking about marriage’ or planning for it at this point?” etc etc. His answers were all promising and positive: yes, he wanted to get married, probably within a year’s time, and he saw me as the woman he would marry. “Great,” I said… I was thrilled that this man who I love so much and want to spend the rest of my life with also wanted the same things.
I told him then (a year ago), that I would be comfortable moving to join him on the “other coast” when and if we got engaged. And I guess I sort of assumed an engagement was coming.
Six months later (summer 2013), I made the move. He hadn’t proposed…. but by then he had moved already and I was concerned about perpetuating a long-distance scenario unnecessarily. And besides, he was always saying things like “if we get married, then X,” and “years from now, when we have kids,” and other future-talk. I wasn’t perfectly content to move in with him without a proposal (this was sort of a rule of mine… I lived with the last BF for years, waiting for a proposal which never came), but I moved anyway. Maybe that was mistake #1.
Anyway, as the holidays approached, my boyfriend stepped up the future talk. I might have caught his mother trying to get my ring size. His family dropped what sounded like “hints” several times when we visited this past Xmas. I was trying hard not to get my hopes up… but I got my hopes up anyway.
So when nothing happened in the proposal department over the holidays, I was sort of disappointed and sad. My boyfriend got me a juicer and some other kitchen stuff for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong… I love it. But it wasn’t what i was sort fo expecting.
Wow, that post was long. But my question is this: the boyfriend keeps doing the future talk thing, mentioning getting married “next year” (he did this last year too), and whereas it used to make me feel elated, excited, and secure about our future, it’s beginning to feel like a taunt, like an empty promise, and almost like he’s teasing me. It makes me feel upset. I try not to put pressure on him to get married right this second (although I have made it clear that I won’t wait “forever,”) but it feels like he’s leading me on.
The problem is especially acute when I mention jobs I am considering applying for. I have a one-year contract where I am now, set to expire in June. So I’m looking for jobs. My boyfriend exerts a lot of pressure on me to not seek positions in towns he’s not as enthusiastic about, and so far I have curtailed my search accordingly (and this is not unrelated, but I have not received any interviews yet). I’m growing increasingly alarmed that I might be placing limitations on my career for a man who effectively hasn’t committed yet. I feel ashamed of myself a lot for that… and I’m trying hard not to resent him, but resentments are forming nonetheless.
What can I do? I almost want to tell him to quit with the future talk… I’m sure it feels nice for him to say, but it really is getting to the point where I feel like I’m being led on. Is it even possible for me to convey these feelings to him without damaging our relationship?