- 4 weeks ago
Bear with me as I ramble on about my waiting. It was difficult to write this without getting emotional.
We have been dating since October 2016 and it is June 2019 at the time of the post (2 years 8 months). He is 31 and I am turning 28 in August. We have known each other through mutual friends since 2011 or so. I love his family & vice versa – our moms even knew each other for many years before we met through mutual acquaintances. There has never been any real drama re: infidelity or mismatched values. We used to fight more often because I admitedly am very high strung and paranoid over any red flags (i.e. the worst fight was when we ran into an ex-hookup of his at a wedding and I already knew who she was bec I stalked but he said it was just an acquaintance until I flipped out and had a metldown, admitting that I knew who she was). That is basically the extent of our “drama.” He is getting a license in his career (won’t get into specifics for privacy but it is a stable union job) and I am in the final year of a Ph.D. program. We are both low-income at the moment, but in 18 months he will have his license and be making nearly 6 figures and I already know I will be doing a post-doc right after I finish, so I have some sort of income coming in for the next 2 years. I am a super-saver and basically have enough to pay for a wedding in my savings already. Some more background: I am moving back with my parents for my final year since I can write remotely; he is moving back to his parents’ house to save as well (15 min from me). He is dead set on saving for a down payment – which is fine by me but really an unreasonable goal for the next 2-3 years. We definitely need more time to save for that.
So, a timeline of wedding-related conversations:
Sometime at the start/Fall 2016: we vaguely discussed weddings and I said I want to get married. He was not a fan of weddings but would get married if his partner wanted to/if it made sense in terms of health insurance/tax benefits (so romantic). He really wants children, regardless of marriage. He also wants to move in with a partner before marriage. I don’t have strong feelings about having biological children – I would prefer to adopt but I would consider it with the right partner. I would never move in with a partner without at minimum an engagement.
~in between conversations very, very casual/usually brought up when we were guests at other weddings~: he continues to not be interested in a wedding but I make it clear that it is not a compromise. He affectionately refers to me as his wife when we discuss to our future together, often jokes about having a baby (we would not do that right now in reality).
August 2018: I basically had enough of this vague BS and want a real conversation about marriage. I sat him down and told him the usual – we work well together, we are old enough, and it is something I want in my life/it is time to take the next stpe. He says he does not have the money for a ring/wedding/moving in together and wants to be stable first. He is getting his license in January 2021. I refuse to wait that long for a proposal and think that a ring/long engagement is a nice compromise, and we can then have the wedding after 2021. He continues to talk about finances, which is honestly an excuse to me. My argument: I have enough to pay for a wedding and he has at least a few thousand saved for a ring. His response: he wants to have money for a down payment. IMO, when men find an excuse to put something off, they will find more and more excuses when their time runs out to postpone the thing even more. I am very firm. He starts yelling about not being ready because we fight too much. At that point, we had been getting into more fights than usual – so I agreed that we’d need to get over this bump but that I’d still need a timeline by which he’d propose. He angrily agreed to August 2019. I promised myself to not bring it up and see what happens.
February 2019: I’ve held my tongue for 6 months. I’m worried that he will pretend the conversation never happened. I sometimes drop hints about things I see on instagram or friends who are getting engagede by the dozen. The waiting is making me very anxious so I decide to ask him again. I ask something along the lines of, “Hey babe, just making sure we’re still on the same page about the conversation we had in August. It has become a source of anxiety for me and it is making me feel unwell.” He reacts in a very calm way and says that yes, he remembers and understands.
In the meantime, he is not doing any ring research as far as I know. He is not the surprise-planning type so I wonder if I should help him with the shopping process. Unable to contain myself any longer, I bring it up again.
early May 2019: I ask him if he’s thought about rings yet and if he wants to see the types I like. He said he has not yet thought about rings or shopping for them. I show him some photos I have saved online and explain what I like (solitaire not halo, round not angular, etc). He doesn’t say much but listens. I tell him it continues to stress me out and he says, “Well its not August yet is it?” I remind him that shopping for a ring takes months and he doesn’t really respond. I’m satisfied with his answer, though.
mid June 2019: I jokingly ask him if he wants to go ring shopping next weekend. He laughs and doesn’t respond. I get angry at his lack of response and ask him for a real answer, to which he says that he hasn’t thought about it yet. At this point, I’m getting really angry because we’re planning a trip to Greece in August and I thought he might propose there but apparently he hadn’t even thought about it yet. It is also my birthday in August, so even more reason to think about a destination proposal. I flip out, mostly because I thought at this point it was very obvious that a proposal was coming but apparently that was only obvious in my head. I asked him if he had any intention of proposing in the summer like he said he would, and he said he didn’t know because he’s not ready. He again talked about getting his license and being “financially stable” first. I again replied that I would never wait that long for anyone and I made that clear in August 2018 – the compromise was a proposal in a year and a wedding after the license.
I tell him (the usual) that I’m not getting any younger and that it is not fair to me – I was very firm in August 2018 that I would not wait a day over the timeline. I don’t want to force him and I’ve been saying this from the start: if he does not see marriage in the near future, I asked him to please be honest with me so we could have a separate discussion about whether we want the same things in life. I know this may sound cold or overly strategic/not romantic, but I deal with research, planning, and strategy all day long because of my degree and I have to be logical about this (since he refuses to be romantic, why should I be?)
I told him LAST august that even though I love him, I could not be with him and we’d need to break up if he felt that marriage is not something on his mind at the moment. He agreed to August 2019 – although I know it is not a legal contract, it is still a timeline. I am fully prepared to walk away if he doesn’t honor it. He now constantly talks about the future with me, including children, dogs, trips, etc etc. We never fight anymore, we have fun, he is my rock, and he reiterates on a daily basis that he wants this forever. But without a commitment/engagement, none of this has any meaning to me. Actions speak louder than words. If after nearly 3 years he still does not feel ready to propose, I’m honestly insulted. He should’ve proposed already and I’m so tired of waiting. I’m now half-expecting a shit proposal that is hasty and completely robotic and that I will resent. I don’t ask for much – everything is split equally and this would be the first major thing he’d be dong for us financially. My friends, on the other hand, get their vacations paid for by their boyfriends (in addition to designer bags and luxurious gifts etc) and in general, get “what they want.” I am not demanding in any way except for this – I don’t even want a ring anymore because it has become so sour. I just want a commitment.
He actually agreed to go ring shopping with me next weekend but I wonder if this was done out of anger to shut me up? Am I going to have to bring it up YET AGAIN and be the annoying girlfriend that takes her unwilling boyfriend ring shopping? The thought of that makes me want to cry. I just want to go with him because I want to help him get the best price. I’ve done so much research (and I know he’d never care enough to research as thoroughly). A part of me is thinking that his laziness might be a problem, as well. For example, he has gained almost 40 pounds in the time we’ve been dating (I’ve gained no weight and try hard to stay in shape). I am the one researching diets for him and trying to encourage him to go to the gym, though clearly it isn’t working. This is sort of a side-rant, but I thought I should include it because it is related. He is too lazy to do any sort of planning, so I feel obligated to do it all for him. How terrible is that? On the other hand, he is a solid partner and good person. I feel very conflicted. I don’t even know what I want to get out of this post – maybe just some opinions on the situation?
In 2.5 months the timeline is over. I’m worried we will be abroad and he’ll use the vacation as an excuse (didnt have time to do x, y, z because we were planning for Greece etc or because we spent too much and now I can’t afford it). Should I keep pushing? Shutting up about it clearly did NOTHING but drive me crazy.