- 4 years ago
- Wedding: July 2015
Hi Waiting Bees!
I’ve posted in this board, been on the waiting list, and recently left the site for awhile. My SO and I have been together for almost six years, and the last year has been rough for me.
Starting last summer, I was to the point where I wasn’t sure about how much longer I should wait. This wasn’t just a matter of how much time we’d been together, but also because we have to make serious decisions about our careers when we finish our PhD’s this year, and I needed to know where we stood. My SO and I talked about engagement, but we never took the next step. He said that he wanted to be with me forever, he constantly showed me that this was true, but he went back and forth between “not yet” and “we don’t need a piece of paper to show what we already know.” I never set a walk date, but I decided that I would think about my options after Jan 1, 2013.
So New Year’s came and went, and no engagement. I thought about ultimatums and walk dates, but I slowly realized that I couldn’t do it. When I really tried to picture leaving or threatening to leave, I was devastated. I conceptualized the choice as being one between a) being with my SO and not getting married, and b) not being with my SO and moving on, perhaps finding someone else to marry. I knew that, even though I’d be disappointed with no marriage, I’d rather give up marriage than my SO. As he had been saying, I didn’t need the legal or social recognition that came with marriage. I want him more than I want marriage without him. So I let all of those dreams go. (Admittedly, this took awhile.)
We’ve gone through the last few months dealing with finding jobs, potentially moving to a new city, and making major life decisions, deliberating about our options and how we could do good things for our careers while still prioritizing our relationship. This process lead my SO to really think about how important our relationship is to him, and he finally recognized the value in an engagement and marriage. So he proposed, in a completely romantic way that was unique to us, and it was greater than I could have ever imagined.
I have to say, I’m glad I went through this waiting process. I never thought I’d say that. I think that if I had given an ultimatum, my SO would have agreed to marry me. However, now I know that he’s done it entirely out of his own desire to be married to me, which is such a great feeling. By going through the process of giving up my expectations for marriage, I know that I’m in this for my SO and I don’t have to worry that I’m not in this for the wrong reasons (for a wedding, for marriage without regard for who I’m marrying, etc.).
Anyway, I wanted to tell you all this because I thought my perspective might help when the waiting gets hard. Good luck and good spirits to all of you!