Post # 1
It will be 3 lovely years September 9 this year. In my 20’s waiting was not a biggie. But I am 32 years old and waiting for a proposal is not a viable option for a number of reasons. SO is 29 has a good job, house and plenty of money in the bank (not important to me just stating that he is stable enough to move forward).
I am moving out of state June 2016 for my doctorate.
He is moving with me 6 months later, he says, after he graduates.
We love each other very much and he told me when we first got together that he planned to be engaged 1-1.5 years after being together. The date came and went.. no proposal! !
He tells me he wants to marry me kids etc but whenever we have a serious talk about when, he says “a year” THAT IS SIDEWAYS THE ANSWER. ..ALWAYS! ! he’s been saying the same thing this whole time! I am really hurt and frustrated and I’ve communicated this calmly. I can’t honestly expect him to keep his word and move out of state with me (6 months after I’m already living there) solely on his saying he will because he doesn’t REALLY talk about it. It is all very vague. He is a good man but has trouble communicating. I think it makes him sad to change (he is the steady type) this gives me tremendous doubt that he’ll move with me when the time comes. He knows very firmly that I will not live with anyone unless we are MARRIED.
To me, I can’t in my heart carry on not knowing and carry on giving 100% commitment if I’m not getting the same in return. I am happy to wait for MY HUSBAND to graduate and move with HIS WIFE. But to hope and pray that he will eventually move like he said (when I have no ring no nothing and he knows I won’t live with anyone who is not my husband ) doesn’t seem smart to plan my life around him. I can’t afford to be foolish at my age and with my responsibilities.
I feel very let down with his deadlines he set himself then never came through. I am summarizing but truthfully it consumes me and makes me feel depressed and awful. I expect to be married before June (before I leave for school). An engagement isn’t concrete enough for me at this point and I expect to be married before I leave. I don’t want to make him do anything. But he knows something is wrong and I have to communicate my feelings eventually but in a way that won’t make him feel pressured. I want to be asked to be married by someone eager to marry me. Maybe I give too much and he’s just comfortable. I don’t know.
Post # 2
Could he want to finish school before he proposes? Maybe he wants to show he can be a good provider before getting married.
You have your life to live. Everything will play out once you move. If he’s not into you, the relationship will fall apart once you have moved away for your doctoral training. As long as he knows your expectations, the ball is in his court.
Post # 3
craigslistgirl: he has a really great job that he can work from anywhere. The degree that he is obtaining is just for his own ambition (and I think education is great I support him) but it will not change his job. Thank you for your reply though
Post # 4
athenalex: your feelings are definitely justified. you’re at a cross roads in life–moving forward with your schooling so it makes sense your relationship moves forward also with it.
your guy kind of sounded like my dh. my dh was the same–he knew engagement and marriage would happen eventually but never seemed to be a concrete kind of guy, while i was more like you and had a plan and a timeline because i didn’t want to waste time. i was somewhat similar to you too, as i had moved away for an internship. (plus i was in a city with a lot of singles!)
i never gave him an ultimatum, but i did have an honest conversation and say it wasn’t fair for him to basically hold me back from meeting new people in my internship city. he didn’t propose right away, but i think that gave him some thought because i basically said i wasn’t going to wait around for him. so that gave him more initiative to act on it.
if i (or you) had told the guy we’d wait happily, then sure no rush. guys would still take their sweet time because they know you’re wrapped around their finger. it wasn’t until i had the confidence to say that i would like to move on if nothing was going to happen, that it snapped some initiative in him. he thought i wasn’t going anywhere, wasn’t meeting anyone when we were dating, but being put in a new city changed things. i was meeting tons of people.
i actually asked dh if when we got married (this past spring), if that was his timeline or not. he said he could have waited another year or two to get married if i didn’t have a preference(seriously, what’s up with guys!?) but he knew i wanted to get married sooner so he was happy with that.
so my advice–do your own thing–confidently. if he wants you, he will make sure to keep you, move to be with you, and propose to you. there is the chance he may not…but look on the bright side…you’ll be in a new city with new people. you can’t go wrong either way. best of luck.
Post # 5
happybunny177: I love that advice. Do your own thing, and if he wants you, he will make sure to keep you. The only thing I could add is let your Boyfriend or Best Friend know what “your own thing” is: in your case, OP, that means being clear with your Boyfriend or Best Friend that if you guys aren’t married by next year, you’re moving on your own. I know a lot of bees here see this kind of thing as an ultimatum, but in my mind, ultimatums are something you give to manipulate someone into giving you your way. Isnt it also possible to just know what you want and what you need to be happy, and want to be open and honest with your SO so that he has a chance to give it to you before you just move on and look for it elsewhere?
Post # 6
Tell him that since you’re moving so far away and the relationship is not moving forward that you questioning the commitment you have to each other and if you even want to be in a long distance relationship or move to a new town with someone you’re not married to… say it just like that. At 32 you don’t have much time to waste if you want kids. You should settle this concretely before you leave for graduate school, if not before. Either you get a proposal or move. There will be lots of new people to meet in your new town and at your new school. I know that sounds harsh but and you’ve only been together for 3 years, which really isn’t that long but you you can’t pitty pat with him.
Post # 7
“I want to be asked to be married by someone eager to marry me.”
Well that ship has already sailed, as he did not propose at 1.5 years like he originally planned. You might be able to get a marriage out of him, but it won’t be one he’s going into “eagerly”. Not all the women on this board have that as a priority. There’s plenty of women on here who have no problem urging their SOs along and basically leading their SOs to a proposal on a leash. So you will get plenty of advise here on “timeline talks” and telling you to wait, do the work for him with choosing the ring, etc etc.
However, no amount of timeline talks or waiting will result in a man being eager to marry you, only a man who is willing. It’s up to you if you are okay with that or not.
If you want a husband who was eager to marry you and snap you up, it’s not going to be this man. However, if he is a good man and it’s a healthy relationship, it may not be a bad idea to “settle” for willingness. Realistically, not everyone gets that relationship where the timing aligns perfectly and it’s a great match and the man is delighted to propose after a year or so, can’t believe he actually snagged his dream girl etc etc. Some relationships really are just good enough and after a while a man thinks after a few years, “Yea okay, we could get married and have a life together, this could work… I might be able to be happier with someone else but maybe not so I will propose”.
There’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t know if you can prove that one way results in happier marriages than the other. I’m sure a percentage of the “dream” relationships really do work out to the maximum happiness possible, but likely a good amount dwindle down with unmet expectations and dissapointment. Probably the lower-expectations “good enough” marriages are more stable.
Post # 9
Thank you everyone, very insightful and honest answers.
I have decided to give him until September 9 (our 3 year anniversary) to propose but he doesn’t know that. I just have to have a deadline set for my own sanity and self preservation. I am ready to move forward with my life with him or on my own but FORWARD being the operative word.
Post # 10
When I got engaged, I remember distinctly sharing it with a bunch of older people I know… And every single one of them (men and women) said that the woman had basically laid down an ultimatum that it was time for them to get engaged. There were three of them in the room… With 120-130 years of combined marriage experience to that first partner. Don’t feel like he doesn’t love you if it takes him a while to propose, or a bit of nudging. I think you should probably talk to him about when, exactly, you want to have the ceremony (since he is planning to move with you in about January 2017). Show him some planning guidelines so he has an idea of the time the two of you need.
What you should really do, though, is focus on living your life and studying for that Ph.D.
Post # 11
athenalex: I would let him know because men are not mind reader, especially if yours is similar type as @happybunny177
Post # 12
Ok this has to be literally the most helpful community of responsible posters I have ever heard of lol
Thank you all so much
I am going to consider all the information.
Post # 13
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
athenalex: You can’t expect him to read your mind and then be disappointed if Sep 9th comes and goes with no proposal. If this is the man you want to marry, communicate with him! Tell him what is important to you. Your post was well thought out, and you seem capable of articulating how you’re feeling. Now go and tell him!
Post # 14
We talked about 3 weeks ago., I was very calm and sweet and thought I made it clear that I expected a specific answer as to exactly what his plan was… but after I did not get an answer I decided to clarify this just in case and told him flat out THIS MORNING that I was not waiting on any man long distance when I move for school unless it was my husband. “I expect to be married before leaving for school or to be broken up forever.” He looked fine as he responded that he understood this a while back. So again, I asked him exactly when and what he planned for our future.. I got no concrete answers and the brush off. I reminded him that he pre-orders new iphones, video gaming systems and other things with very specific dates so he possesses the capacity to plan ahead for important things. So committing to marriage or at least a time frame or a “no I don’t want to get married” was not unreasonable for me to ask him after 3 years. I still got nothing he said “ya I know it’ll all work out. I don’t have a specific plan to tell you but I will ” I have heard it one too many times. THIS EXACT LINE FOR YEARS (not exaggerating).
I left. I broke up with him. He begged apologized cried etc etc made promises said he wants to marry me said he is going to work on himself and his issues (whatever they are) etc etc but I told him that if he really wanted to fix himself then my leaving won’t interfere with his plans to improve. He said he’ll win me back and he’ll change so I said call me AFTER you’ve changed.
We love each other but I am not holding my breath. I want us to work out but I am not optimistic on him coming around as a changed man. If he does we’ll see but for now I am focusing on me and my future without him.
He’s not a bad guy, he’s a great man but I won’t settle for less than a great husband. I left left a lot of details out but if you want to know, just ask.
– day 1 of my new life
Post # 15
athenalex: Bravo on your new life! No ring on finger, you must not linger. Enjoy your PhD. A man with a plan will find you and will propose before you know it.