Ready to have the timeline talk

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
  • poll: Should I tell him my walk date while we have the timeline convo?
    Yes : (10 votes)
    18 %
    No : (41 votes)
    73 %
    Other...please elaborate : (5 votes)
    9 %
  • Post # 3
    2104 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I don’t know that I would tell him, but I think it depends on the couple and the guy. I have a walk date in mind for myself but I haven’t told him because he says his reason for not proposing is because he doesn’t have a job right now. My walk date is about a year from now and by that point he should have a job and some time to save since he insists on a nice ring ( i really want sapphires, but he’s not convinved.). If he is still making excuses at that point then there is probably another reason. If i were you i would have the timeline talk, and incorporate my walk date as when you want to be engaged by withiut directly saying you will walk. From what you have said, i really doubt he remembers saying 2 years, or that he took that as a solid deadline.

    Post # 4
    737 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @keebee:  I don’t think I would tell him so plainly but I would probably be like “I would like to be engaged in one year (or however far away your walk date is) and married in two years” and ask him if he agrees that is a reasonable timeline and ask him what reasons that may not work for you as a couple.  I think if you use the word walk date it turns quickly into an ultimatum, but this way he knows what you expect and you should both be on the same page.

    Post # 5
    54 posts
    Worker bee

    Hi Bee, I would advise NOT immediately giving a walk date when approching your SO about this. I’m in a similar situation and just had ‘the talk.’ Maybe my experience will be helpful to you in deciding what to say.

    My SO and I started dating in college, dated 6 years and are in our 20’s. We have casually chatted about marriage, kids, etc but never set specific timelines. I rarely brought up marriage because I didn’t want to pressure him or be one of those naggy girls.

    I was almost positive he was going to propose on our anniversary; he didn’t. After a lot of good advice from ladies here, I sat down and just said very simply, “I thought you might propose on our anniversary, but you didn’t and I found myself very disappointed. I love you very much but am worried we don’t have the same priorities and timelines since 6 years is a very long time to wait to be engaged. How do you feel about engagement, and is there anything you’d like to talk about?”

    It turned out we did have different ideas of what was an acceptable timeline, with him thinking I was just fine with how we were and not anxious for a ring since I haven’t brought it up much. He also thought engagement rings started at $10k and that weddings took only 6 months to plan and babies came right after with no difficulty. Ha! He is a smart guy but proved to be a little clueless and less aware of my feelings than I had assumed. I agree with @sugar_biscuit: Rather than give a “you have til June” walk date, I gave a timeline that I saw as healthy for us and said that if he didn’t agree with it, to let me know “so we could make sure we are both on the same page.” He agreed and thanked me for being so upfront about it instead of silently being pissed.

    Maybe your SO forgot he gave you a ‘2 years’ promise two years ago? Maybe 2 years in his mind is more like a flexible 1.5-2.5 years. If you haven’t said much for fear of being a nag, maybe he’s like my SO and thought it wasn’t a big deal. There are a million reasons he could be waiting and you’ll never know what they really are unless you’re upfront and ask him.

    He could give you a perfectly good answer and you’ll never even have to bring up a walk date. But if you feel like you do, make sure you word it in a way that shows concern for both your needs, rather than being like an ultimatum at best would lead to an engagement that feels forced, and a lot of resentment.

    Post # 6
    8850 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    @summerlove21:  +1.  Great advice.

    I found it helpful to say, “This is the timeline I’d ideally like to be engaged by, and married by [maybe a year away for the engagement?].  No need to figure out right this second what you think about that .  But you do need to let me know sometime soonish [eg next six months?] if that is NOT something you can see happening.” Then chillax.  

    Sure enough, he popped the question and now we’re super happily married. Sometimes they just need a little nudge in the form of “Hey let’s talk about this without any pressure”…  I think introducing a walk date into your first timeline convo certainly comes across as pressure.

    Post # 7
    1836 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @keebee:  a walk date is an ultimatum. If you say it, you will need to 100% stick to it, or it will have no meaning. Are you prepared to leave the man you love because he doesn’t propose exactly when you tell him to? I would also worry that he only proposed to keep you from walking, rather than because he was really ready and wanting to be your husband. 

    I approached it similarly to other bees who posted before me: “I love you and I am ready to be your wife rather than just your girlfriend. Do you see us engaged in the next year?” He said yes, and then he took me ring shopping, and we were engaged before the year was up.

    Definitely have the talk, I’m all about honest and open communication, but I would hold off on giving deadlines such as a walk date.

    Post # 8
    8677 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I believe walk dates are ultimatums, and I don’t believe anyone should be forced or pressured into marriage — That’s starting off marriages on the wrong foot.

    However, I do find that there can be a lot of healthy discussion in “You said we’d be married by now two years ago. I want to be married by [Whatever date you want.]”

    If you say, “Marry me by x date or I’m leaving you.” Well.. just let that sink in. How does it sound? Put it in reverse: If someone said that to you, how would it make you feel? From my standpoint, I wouldn’t want to marry the person and I’d show them the door.

    A good relationship is built upon communication and understanding, not on walk dates and threats.

    Post # 9
    564 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016



    Sorry! I misread your poll!


    Yes absolutley have the timeline chat!


    But do not talk about a walk date.


    This should be more of a “where do you see yourself in the next year” sort of conversation.


    Post # 10
    3344 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

    I didn’t give a “walk date” per say.  But I did tell my SO after 4 years of dating that I wanted a proposal before we hit 6 years.  He ended up proposing at 5 years, 2 months, and 2 days.  Not that I was counting or anything.  😉

    Post # 11
    2394 posts
    Buzzing bee


    I would say no.

    If you tell him you have a walk date set at some point in the future, it will hang over him kind of like a dare or a threat and that’s not the message you want to send.

    I think if you’re already emotionally at a point where you’re thinking in terms of a walk date, the walk date should be now. If he hadn’t told you two full years ago that he could see you guys being married by now, and if you didn’t have your heart set on being married, my advice would be different. But the words came out of his own mouth, and he himself set this deadline.

    I am not suggesting you break up with him without talking to him first. But I don’t see the point in giving him the opportunity to waste even more of your time, if you’re already thinking of setting a walk date. If he’s really going to flake out on you and not stick to his word, why not find out now vs. six months, a year or two years from now?

    Under no circumstances would I tell him what to do. (That’s his job!) I would rather ASK him what his intentions are. This is how I would pose it: “Sweetie, I love you with all of my heart. The past XX years together have been the best years of my life. I want nothing more in the world than to spend the rest of my life with you. But marriage is one of my goals in life, and I’ve reached a point where I can no longer stay in a relationship indefinitely without knowing where this is going, and when. I need you to tell me what your plans are for us.”

    Then sit back and listen to what he says, as well as what he doesn’t say. If he suggests getting married in the near or reasonable future, then great.

    But if he flim flams around and doesn’t give much of an answer, or if he says that maybe he’ll be ready at some far off point in the future that is not acceptable to you, then bingo, you’ve just gotten your answer and avoided wasting months or years of your life in a relationship that is not meeting your needs or aligned with your goals in life. In that case I would pull back from the relationship and start taking steps to reinvent your life in a way that you can pursue your goals and dreams.

    After two years, you deserve an answer NOW, not six months or a year from now. He owes you at least that.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

    Post # 13
    3623 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @keebee:  We had our timeline talk earlier than most (6 months in). The way it came up is that we talked about what we wanted– the option of having 4 kids and having none after 37and at least 2 1/2 years between them. He backed it up that we would need to start trying to have our first by 29 and get pregnant by 28. If we wanted a year of marriage and a house before we started, that would put us getting married no later 27, and a year and a half engagement put us at 25. Once we had that, we then discussed how long we would wait and when we would make a get engaged or break up choice. We set it as spring of 2012 and got engaged that February (1 year after the talk). It worked because he realized he wanted 4 kids and that was the only way it could work.


    I wouldn’t focus on walk dates, but instead the big picture of what you want.


    Post # 15
    3623 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @keebee:  That wouldn’t have gotten my husband to marriage as quickly as he did. He wants babies–I am the one who is finally coming around to getting pregnant wouldn’t be horrible.

    If kids are out of the picture, I would talk about practical issues. Do you own a house or join finances? (If not, please, please save that for marriage). Talk about how you want to own a home and have it with him, but you don’t want to make a 30 year committment without a ring. Or talk about wanting to live together, but being unsure of it without a firm commitment. My husband is incredibly logical– if your boyfriend is the same way he might appreciate concrete reasons why marriage is better for him than staying single and why it is time sensitive.

    We had two couples who aren’t kids focused who we were predicting when they will get engaged while driving this weekend. The first DH thought would hold off because they were fine in the status quo, nothing was motivating them to get engaged or break up. She never had brought it up (as of 3 months prior when DH had discussed it with the guy in the relationship. Sure enough, 40 minutes later the phone rang and they were engaged– she had brought it up, he listened, and proposed). The other couple we thought would either get engaged or break up within a year. She has made it a drunk issue for years– when she gets wasted she has liquid courage and makes a scene. He doesn’t like that (and it is awkward for us) and sooner or later they will have to have the talk sober. Once that happens, I can see it going either way, but they will be so much better for it. In both cases, my DH predicted that an honest conversation would get a ring. If that helps.

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