- 6 years ago
I write with an update. My previous posts explain my status, but by way of background, we set a third timeline in mid-April. I’m 35. He’s in his 40s. The timeline had him proposing, well, now. (The timeline had us getting married this year.) He affirmed, of his own accord, in early May that he was “100% committed” to the timeline.
Distance has been an issue for us; we’re 150 miles apart and saw each other on weekends. He said that was something that was holding him back and asked me if we could spend some more concentrated time togetther in May. So we did; we spent a TON of time together in May.
I’ve known for some time that he overanalyzes and overthinks and can get himself all tied into knots about decision making, and that some of that was going on in our relationship. I knew that if the extra time together in May didn’t solve things, that he’d have to confront his mental block head on. All other barriers had been removed; we’d spent more time together, as he requested, and all that would remain would be his own mental block. (I told him in December that if he got lost in analaysis paralysis he would lose me.)
A friend of ours got engaged in May, so I asked him what he thought of her ring. We started talking about rings, and I told him that I was sad that he hadn’t asked me anything about what I wanted. He said that he remembered me pointing to a ring in a magazine and saying that I liked it. That happened a year ago. He said that he remembered me doing that and that I shouldn’t worry and that a ring was definitely on his radar.
I remembered that ring, too, and I remembered that I wasn’t 100% in love with it, so, with his knowledge and participation, I found another ring that I liked, and I told him about it. I told him that I was worried about the cost of diamonds, and he said that he planned to buy the diamond wholesale.
He also said he liked “informed surprises” vis a vis rings and proposals, so I just clammed up to let him do what he needed to do.
I’m not the greatest clam in the world, and I broached the subject this weekend, and he talked about it with me. We were looking at a calendar and talking about when in December might be a good time to have a wedding. I didn’t force it on him. I asked if this was something we could talk about, and he said yes, and then he actively and happily had the conversation with me. Keep in mind, I’m still operating on his early-May reassurance that he was 100% committed to the timeline.
He called me last night and said he’s still “wrestling.” We talked for a long time with me (both of us, really) trying to figure out what is holding him back. He said he was terrified to call me and tell me this because he knew I might dump him right then and there, and he didn’t want that to happen. He wasn’t able to pinpoint anything in particular, and he said he was very angry with himself for feeling that way, that he’d rather be engaged to me and that he’d even thought of a nice way to propose.
I kept it together on the phone. When he first told me what was going on, my first instinct was to end it right then and there, but I managed to keep it together and not do anything rash. I didn’t rant and rave. I calmly explained that this was now the third time he has done this, and that it’s very hard on me emotionally. I then told him that he was his own worst enemy, and that he’s mistaking garden variety cold feet for something more significant. (There’s nothing wrong with our relationship; we get along very well together and are very well matched.) I told him that nearly everyone gets cold feet and told him that I even get cold feet about him sometimes, but that I don’t let the cold feet take on epic proportions.
He’d called me from work and said he had to leave work, so I said he should call me when he got home.
I got off the phone and got down on my knees and prayed for wisdom. I’d had an idea over the spring about us meeting with a minister to talk things through. I knew that it was now time for him to confront his mental block head on, and that involving the minister in the process was essential. Overanalyzers can’t see the forest for the trees, and sometimes they need to hear some sense from a third party they respect.
I knew that continued dating wasn’t the answer. If two years of dating hadn’t solved this problem, more dating wouldn’t solve it. Then we’d either end up dating indefinitely (not an option), or we’d date until I just petered out emotionally (an unattractive scenario). If we meet with the minister we can at least work through this. “Working through this” might mean that we go our separate ways. The minister might tell my SO that he just has cold feet, that he’s overthinking, and that he shouldn’t shoot himself in the foot and toss a good thing. The minister might surmise that my SO can’t work through his stuff, and then advise me to move on with my life. Otherwise stated, I’m not setting up the meeting with the minister to “try to convince him to commit.” I’m basically just forcing the issue; we’ve removed all other barriers, the only remaining thing is his overanalyzing, and we need to address that head on, whatever the outcome may be.
So he called me when he got back from work, and I basically told exactly what I’ve just told all of you, and he was happy to meet with the minister as soon as possible. It took no prodding. He says he doesn’t want to lose me, wants to work through it and doesn’t want to shoot himself in the foot. He agreest that more dating isn’t the answer, and that he doesn’t want to just keep dating till I peter out emotionally and then end up losing me. I did tell him, though, that my emotional tank was finite and that I time would come when I just wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. I told him I didn’t know exactly when that time would be, but that that time would come at some point. So he knows that time is of the essence.
Please do not write back with “a man shouldn’t need counseling to get engaged,” or “there’s no way I would have waited that long!” I am fully aware of all the ramifications of my situation, and I know what I have to do if things go a certain way. I’m just really low right now, and just need some love right now.