Post # 1
I am 22 years old and my boyfriend is 24. We have been dating for 4 years next month. I realize that since we started young, that we will probably date for longer than most people before we get married. I really want to get engaged SOON. It is all I can think about. I love him so much and I don’t want anybody else. We both have good jobs and I am going to school online part-time. I am fine with being engaged for a couple of years, but I really feel like I am ready to move to the next step and get engaged. I have told him this, and he doesn’t agree. He doesn’t want to have a long engagement and refuses to get engage before he is absolutely ready to get married. I find myself crying myself to sleep at night because I am so upset about this. I really love him and can’t imagine my life without him, but if he can’t give me what I really desire, should I leave him? or am I asking too much of him? Do you want two different things?
Post # 3
You can’t push him into doing something he doesn’t feel ready to do. That is no way to start a life together. Have you gone to couple’s counseling? It sounds like you have some communicaiton issues to work through before a big commitment like marriage.
Post # 4
I know that I shouldn’t push him and I don’t feel like I am. I have talked with him and expressed my desires for the relationship. That is as far as it has gone though. I don’t really think he understands how important this is to me
Post # 5
Think about it this way. Say he does propose, and says he wants a long engagement and doesn’t want to set a date. You wait…and wait… and eventually you have to say, "When do you want to get married?" What are you going to do if it turns out he doesn’t want to get married, and you’re ready? Or worse, if you get engaged and find out that he doesn’t want to marry you? He shouldn’t propose until he knows. And what he’s told you is that he doesn’t know yet.
Some men have a "timeline." My husband never imagined himself getting married before age 30. He had this mental timeline of what his life would be like. It took us having a very frank conversation about our relationship and our expectations. I told him that I had my own timeline, and it involved being married and having children before age 30. He said he knew he wanted to be with me forever, and intended fully to marry me, but he didn’t think of himself marrying before 30. He realized that I wasn’t going to wait for the magic moment when he turned 30 and declared himself ready to marry, and that to be married we would have to be partners, and that meant working with each others’ timelines.
Talk to your boyfriend. Tell him how you feel: but don’t pressure him or give him an ultimatum. After that, it’s up to you. If you want to wait it out a few more years and see where it goes, do it. If you want to leave and find someone who is ready for marriage sooner, go for it. It’s your decision.
Post # 6
My situation is very similar to amandoplis’. I’m 28 and my fiance is 29. I was ready for a proposal back in 07, but it didn’t happen until 09. We’ll be dating for 6 years in August so we had enough time to "know" we want to spend the rest of our lives together.
It was at about the 4 year mark when I brought up marriage too. When I brought it up he said he wasn’t ready and he won’t be for a while. He did say that I will be his wife, but just "not now". So, I waited another year, then brought it up again. He still wasn’t "ready", so I basically told him if he doesn’t do it soon (meaning within a year), I’m leaving his a**. He wasn’t very happy about his "ultimatum", but I felt that I was being realistic since we’ve been dating so long already and we’re getting in to the late 20s.
In the end, he did propose and it was a couple months after the 1 year deadline. Men do have their own timelines and unfortunately it doesn’t coincide with ours! So, going through what I did, I think 24 may be too early for your guy to propose. Mine wasn’t "ready" until 29! I think you should just give him time to come around, but not tooo much. You two are definitely still young so use this time to save $$ for your amazing wedding! That’s what I did while I was "waiting". I had about 2 years to save and I’m so glad I still have another 14 months!
Post # 7
Although I felt the same way you did in wanting to get married at 22, I am glad I waited. I’ve changed so much over the years that I’m a totally different person than I was at 22. At 22 I was having fun. I went out with friends every weekend. But now that I work every day for 8 hours a day, my life has changed so much. My values have changed and the things I want to do are different than they once used to be.
You need to give yourself some time to really get to know who you are before getting married. The worse that that could happen is getting married 10 years from now and wondering who it is you married. Take the time to go out, hang out with friends, and stop thinking about marriage for a bit. There’s nothing worse than having a marriage end up in divorce when you keep on pushing someone who isn’t ready.
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
If he’s not ready to give you the ring, it’s because he’s not ready to make the commitment. You can’t force him to do it, and ultimatums are almost always a bad idea. But you have just as much power in this situation as he does: if you are really ready at this point in your life to get married and that’s what you want more than anything, you have to be prepared to walk away and find it (and I don’t mean "I’ll leave unless…" I mean "We don’t want the same things; I’m leaving now"). And if what you want is him more than anything, then you have to be patient (realizing that he may have other things in mind for your futures than you do, since he hasn’t totally committed).
Post # 9
I agree with amandopolis and hhcheung!
FI and I dated for six years before we got engaged. Around 4 years into it I was READY (well I thought I was) and was hinting BIG TIME. We talked about it and I realized that he has thought about it but wanted to wait until he was 100% ready. We both just turned 25 and got engaged in March and I am so glad we waited but even still, we are both so young! I say take a deep breath and start to distract yourself from the "E" word for a little while. When it happens, it happens.
Post # 10
From me: I think you may be jumping the gun a little. He may love you with all of his heart but isn’t ready or isn’t sure that he is ready to settle down and have children and support a family. These days marriage doesn’t mean what it used to. Don’t worry your self too much, you’ve got to make sure that both of you are ready for this.
Best of luck!!!
From my Fiance: "Okay you’ve been together 4years, how do you not know whether or not you’re ready for marriage in that time. If you sit down and talk about it, and find out you’re on different pages in the relationship then you are unequally yoked. Which will simply not work because one of you (probably you) will always be pouring your heart into the relationship while he reaps the benefits with out doing any of the work. How is that fair? its not. Give him an ultimatum, it’s been long enough.
that’s my two cents. "
Post # 11
I agree with a lot of the comments above and wanted to add something:
Ask yourself how happy you will truly be if he just gave in to you and agreed to get engaged. Won’t it always be in the back of your head that you forced him into it?
Post # 12
Don’t sabotage your relationship for a ring. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Fiance thought that he’d never get married until he was 30. Then he happened to meet and fall in love with a girl that was 11 years older than him.
I never once pushed or requested marriage, although we did have a few frank discussions about kids and how we could fit that into a future together.
I don’t think pushing for what you want helps in this case. It builds resentment and distrust.
I’m not going to tell you what to do, but ask if it is really worth losing the love of your life over this. If you are true loves, then he’ll still be there a year or two years from now, and if you are not, things will crumble… but the crumbling will happen whether or not you are engaged/married or dating. No reason to rush things. Try and enjoy the moments you have now, because this is a special time in life!
Post # 13
As the person who was "not ready yet" for more than a year after he was, I say wait. Everyone takes their time to figure out what’s right for them. My FI just doesn’t overthink things as much as I do…so he just realized one day he was sure. I needed space to do the mental gymnastics that I always do around big decisions. And then one day I was ready.
I can’t say exactly what it must have been like for him. He let me know that he was willing to wait, but that he couldn’t promise it would be years (we’re also a bit older so waiting has bigger implications for our future)…we’d revisit if he started to get antsy.
But I’m concerned that you say you are crying yourself to sleep every night. that sounds miserable. And I’m wondering if you’ve gotten yourself worked up by convincing yourself he doesn’t want to marry you, or if you’re reacting to something else. It sounds like you’re maybe feeling pretty insecure in his feelings for you…more than just the angst of waiting for a person to decide if they are ready to get married. Like you are maybe worried that he doesn’t want to be with *you*, not just not ready to be married?? That would be very difficult. Can you talk to him about separating those issues?
Post # 14
I felt the same way as you did a few years ago. Looking back, I realize that I wasn’t necessarily ready to be married, I just really wanted to be engaged. All my friends were getting married and it made me jealous. I was seriously considering leaving him at one point because he could not tell me when we would move to that next step. I cried it out with my mom and sister one day and my sister asked if I could honestly see myself with anyone else. I said no. She said, well wouldn’t you rather be with him (not married/engaged) but extremely happy or alone and miserable. So I let it be. Some men just have to do things in their own time.
Post # 15
If you were dating for four years in your mid-late 30s, I would strongly support your sitting your boyfriend down and explain how important it is for you to get married and have children. If you were dating a guy with serious commitment issues as he approached his 40th birthday, this story would be really unlikely to end well. But your boyfriend is 24, so there is room for hope. There are many 24 year old men who aren’t quite mature enough to get married yet, but they will still make great husbands and fathers in a few years.
It’s a really tough situation, since you are (quite understandably) feeling hurt and resentful. And this hurt and resentment can eat away at the fabric of your relationship before your boyfriend can finish maturing and be ready to get married. I was never able to successfully navigate this particular minefield with any of my exes, but hopefully someone who was able to get a reluctant FI to commit has more specific advice.
Post # 16
If you love him so much and know you want to spend the rest of your life with him, then you should be patient and give him all the time he needs. If you give him the ultimatum and force him to make a decision before he is ready, you are only asking for disaster. Do you want him to ask you because he is ready and doesn’t have a doubt in his mind? Or do you want him to ask you because YOU think he is ready now and you want a ring on your finger?
Try not to get caught up in the idea of being engaged/married. Why are you in such a hurry? You are both young yet, and have a lot of life ahead of you.