Post # 1
I am new to this website and thought I might be able to gather a little encouragement or advice from others…
I have been dating my significant other for the past five years (I am 30, and he is 26). We have a wonderful relationship, are very happy together, and talk about marriage as a certainty in our future. We have even talked about what kind of engagement ring I would like and where we would get married, etc. Right now, he tells me that he wants to wait until he is done with law school (will be entering into his third and final year in August) and that he wants to be able to provide for me. I completely understand his reasons, especially the importance of finishing law school, and I support his decision.
I guess my fear is that….well, I am worried he will keep giving me reasons to wait. Back in December, he mentioned to me that he does want to marry me for certain, but that he also fears losing his autonomy. We are both very independent people, so I understood what he was trying to tell me, however, at the same time, I feel that we are both the type of people that would not allow ourselves to lose who were were as individuals once we became married. I am willing to wait, in fact, I do not want him to propose to me unless he is ready. I want him to WANT to take the next step with me, and he seems, or voices, that it is something that he wants, but sometimes I feel as though it is something he wants, but perhaps in the longterm. He is afterall, a few years younger…. With all of this, I’ve been having mixed emotions. So many people around me are getting engaged/married, and people are constantly asking me (as though it were my choice) when we will get married. I’m 30, and I’m starting to feel like I don’t have a lot of time before I need to begin to start a family. Not to mention, I’ve watched several of our friends and relatives meet someone, date, become engaged, and get married; all within less time than my SO and I have been dating. Sometimes I feel so discouraged!I love him dearly. I want to be with him. I just don’t want to have to continue to wait years and years. I am not sure how to deal with watching everyone else around me find someone who wants to marry them after only a year or two… I have talked to him about this a couple of times, and he is always so loving and encouraging, but I guess I just fear that he may be telling me what I want to hear? I don’t know. I don’t want to nag. I don’t want to be that girl that pushes the marriage issue again and again until it happens.
I would appreciate any advice or encouragement. Anyone who has been in this position, please tell me that my patience will pay off!
Thank you in advance!
Post # 3
When I turned 30, I gave my fiance a timeline (in my head, not in real life) that if he did not propose by this June, I was going to actually move to New Orleans! We had been dating for five years when I turned 30; we’re almost to 6 now, and he proposed in April. I made myself a plan just in case he didn’t propose because I was like, hmm I am 30, I’m not going to sit around and wait for this guy to get serious, there are things I would love to do and if I move somewhere completely new I will be able to get over him and start afresh.
I think you need a plan for a life without him, a timeline in your mind, and the means to do it. 30 is no joke for a woman. My gynecologist told me we have until we’re 38 before we have to truly worry about fertility, but obviously I’m worried already. We’re not going to get married until I’m almost 32!!!!!!!!! With your guy being 26, too, he probably thinks he has years and years before he has to get serious. I know this doesn’t sound super positive, but you need to consider what will happen if he does not propose.
Post # 4
On the plus side, you do have your answer. He said he would do it when he finished law school, which is not too far away. Now the question is, can you believe that? Only you know, and you also need to weigh whether it is worth it to wait another year and possibly have to walk then, if he still makes up excuses after he is done. I think I’m very biased when it comes to people waiting, since I’ve been there and I left, and now I’m with someone who never made me do that. And I’m with someone who makes me way happier as well! So I got very lucky, and I’m very glad in retrospect that I didn’t wait around.
It sounds like you are very happy with him though. I think the best thing is to just be totally honest with him. My fiance really impressed me with how openly he talked about what he wanted out of the relationship from the very beginning, and this set a very good precedent for our marriage. So it’s actually good for your relationship to open up about your feelings, even if you feel like you shouldn’t feel that way or like you’re nagging him. You can present it in a way that isn’t nagging. Don’t tell him what he has to do; just tell him the things you’re worried about, like what your worst case scenario would be. I hope you figure it out!
Post # 5
thank you so much, both of you, for responding. I think it would be wise for me to talk to him again. He is in Montana right now for a few weeks (I’m in New Orleans), and I’m going to fly up there and meet him so that we can do a backpacking trip together and then come home. It will probably be a good opportunity for me to talk to him about it. I appreciate your advice about telling him what my worries/concerns are. I think that is a much better way to communicate with him about how I’m feeling. thanks!
Post # 6
My fiance and I had been together almost 9 years when he finally proposed in December…we chose 4 years ago to buy a house instead of getting married…now we can afford a wedding so we’re having one….
I was never that person who was waiting for him to propose….I was prepared to never get married…..We are considered “married” under the law anyways…..since we’ve lived together for 6 years…this is just a formality and a way to celebrate our relationship with family and friends….
Post # 7
what these ladies are tell you is spot on .. the only thing i can add is … give him a lil thinking time when he calls miss a few … keep your self busy go out with girl friends hit the gym have fun .. basicly let him miss you… let him wonder what your doing
Post # 8
My man and I got together when he was 25 and I was 22. He said for years that he didn’t ever want to get married to anyone (he is very independant and said marriage sounded like a prison) but I knew I did want to marry him, but not to rush things. That was 8 years ago.
In the mean time we’ve had a good relationship with ups and downs that involved me moving out in 2009 and then basically moving back in a year later–we never broke up though having space certainly helped put things in perspective. At the end of 2010 I was pretty frustrated again and told him that my new years resolution was to get engaged, and it worked out. I had to hold his hand a bit through the engagement process (ring buying, etc) but once he proposed he knew it was right and wasn’t worried about it at all any more because we are still us.
I’d say first sit down and talk about both mutual life goals and professional goals, travel, values, where you want to live, when you want to get married, and if you want to start a family, and which out of these are priorities. If those line up that should help to ease some of his tension about losing some independance because he knows where you both stand.
You can set a timeline for engagement, but be honest and don’t play games. If you say X will happen if we are not engaged by this date, you better be ready to do X. For me X was leave him and start fresh, and there were a lot of sleepless nights and crying before I was ready to tell him my timeline.
Finally, be flexable about the small stuff, whether it is the wedding or other things. For me the proirity was the result of being married, hence how we did it was far lower on the importance scale. My fiance doesn’t like to be the center of attention so we are having a private ceremony and then a casual reception where there won’t be really any “events” just getting the families together was important to me.
Post # 9
@Miss Gamer: Thank you for your advice. My priority isn’t a wedding either. I just want us to be married. I have chosen not to live with him until we are married. Mainly because I want there to be something special for us to look forward to once we are married (I am not worried about knowing what it will be like to live with him because I stay with him and visa versa often, and I’ve been with him long enough that I don’t believe there are any surprises)… I also don’t want to live with him because I feel like it would give him a reason to prolong taking the next step….And, lastly, his mother is a devoted Catholic, and I know that it would be hard for her if we lived together, and I want to be able to respect her feelings.
But like I said, I just want us to be married. Although I am a very outgoing and confident person, there is something about being the center of attention on your wedding day that gives me a little anxiety! I have even suggested that we elope, or go to the courthouse, but he told me that he wanted us to have a wedding and to be able to celebrate the day.
It has just been difficult watching so many people around me become engaged. Especially when I’ve been dating my SO longer than they have even known theirs. It breaks my heart sometiems because it makes me wonder why it cannot happen for me. I know I shouldn’t compare, but it is so hard! It is so discouraging! Like for example, everyone in his family considers me part of the family already. He has a big family with lots of cousins, and each year, the family gets together for Christmas Eve. Before that night, the cousins are randomly choose the name of another cousin to be their secret Santa. All the cousins, as well as their wives/husbands, get to be involved. I have been to Christmas Eve for the past five years, and I have never been able to join in on this tradition. Yet, the past couple of years, a couple of the cousins have gotten married, and their husbands or wives have been able to participate, and last Christmas was the first Christmas Eve celebration that many of them had attended! (As I mentioned before, many people we know have MET someone, dated, become engaged, then married, all in less time that I have been dating my SO)…. this stings so much for me because I feel so left out. It isn’t about the gift. at all. It’s about not being included in something that I feel I should be included in. Especially since I am considered a part of the family. And the only reason being because we are not married… . We do have a great relationship, and I trust that my SO does want to marry me. I’m just afraid I am going to have to wait a long time. And I’m not getting any younger! I’m 30 now. My clock is ticking. I want to be able to have a couple of years with him before we have children. And I don’t want to be having children late, because I am worried about the difficulties that could come with being an older woman trying to have children. He says that he wants to be able to support me… but what does that mean? I don’t intend on being a stay at home wife, and he knows that….Sometimes I feel like it’s an excuse. And I need to talk to him about it, I know. I just want to be able to approach it in a way that allows him to truly understand where I am coming from.
I think this time of year for me just sucks. With all the weddings and engagements going on. It just reminds me that I am not. Sorry to complain so much. I’ve just had a rough go at it the past couple of weeks.
Post # 10
It sounds to me like he has a very reasonable plan: he wants to finish law school so that he can financially support you. I think this is mature (and a little romantic) on his part. However, as a 31 year old woman who has also been dating her Boyfriend or Best Friend for 5 years and is still not married (although I do not want to have children whatsoever), I can completely relate to your feeling like time is running out, especially when it comes to your ovaries.
Honestly, since it sounds like you are overall happy with HIM and your relationship, I would suggest just having a very serious, heart to heart discussion with your Boyfriend or Best Friend. I would express all your frustrations, your fears, and allow him to explain his thoughts on the subject matter. It’s possible that maybe he doesn’t understand either how much you want to have children or how little time you feel you have left to make it easy/safe to conceive. It’s also quite possible (as I have been there myself) that perhaps you are listening to his reasoning but not HEARING him properly.
I find that when I am feeling particularly emotional about a topic, when my Boyfriend or Best Friend and I talk about it, I misinterperet everything he is saying to fit in with my emotions. What we have started to do, to enhance our communications, whenever we have a “serious issue” to discuss, we start with my laying out all my fears. Then my Boyfriend or Best Friend addresses them. I repeat back to him what I’m hearing and quite frequently he has to correct me because I didn’t really understand what he was trying to tell me. Once we’ve worked through my emotional issues, and I feel better about the situation, then we have the “serious issue” conversation.
In your case, I’d suggest that you make a list of your fears and then examine exactly what is is that you’re afraid of. For example, you write that you’re afraid he’ll keep giving you reasons to wait on marriage. Deep down are you afraid he doesn’t feel as strongly for you as you do for him? You mention the age gap – are you afraid that he is too young to want to settle down? You say you’re worried about him just telling you what you want to hear – do you feel like he does that in other areas of your life?
Also – you’ve absolutely got to stop comparing your relationship to your friends’. When you do this, you’re left with 2 options and only 2 options: either you come out on top or you come out on bottom. Most of the time, when people compare themselves to others they come out on bottom, and this negative way of thinking starts to boil over into every other aspect of their thinking about the relationship. It’s the kiss of death, so don’t do it.
Post # 11
We waited to tick off a few milestones in our life so we knew we were ready for the next step in our life. It will happen don’t get too hung up.
I was with my Fiance 10 years 11 months before he proposed. I was just 31. I’ll be married by the time I turn 32. AHH scary! No, really I am ready for the next step.
Post # 12
I know exactly how you feel! I’m 30 and he’s 27 and we had been dating almost 4 years before he finally proposed a couple of weeks ago. I gave him a timeline verbally but he didn’t follow it because he wanted to get some things together on his end. He told me he wanted to marry me so I just decided to have faith in him. I do want children and I did tell him that as a woman I don’t have as much time as he does. I think age does play a big part because your man probably feels like he has forever and he wants to finish school (kudos to him!). I would say if you are happy with him, stick with him, but as another poster mentioned, plan a life without him as well. Good luck!
Post # 13
Okay, this may sting…
I have dated A LOT of men over the years. I lived with 2 of them for awhile before I realized I had to get out as they were completely emotionally unavailable. By the time I was 34 I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.
Then I started dating a guy who said ALL the right things. The problem was he was recently separated, coming out of a 17 year marriage. (Suddenly I realized that I was venturing into the age category of divorcees.) So I rationalized that because he was a trained therapist and claimed he really wanted to get married again and that he truly loved me, I thought he was available. He thanked me over and over for being so patient with him while he was working out his divorce.
But I made the terrible mistake of thinking that it was his circumstances that was keeping us from getting married. I stuck it out with him for 1.5 years — I even spent a lot of time with his kids upon his insistence (he claimed that this was what he needed in order to close the deal between us). But then, when he kids told us both they considered me family, there was nothing stopping him from moving forward with me… except himself. He admitted finally he wasn’t ready and didn’t know if he ever could be.
So, I left him. Shortly thereafter I started dating a guy who had been a friend to me for years. I asked him how he defined the word “patience”. He told me that it means accepting someone for where they are in life and making a decision to be okay with it, while making sure that this decision does not come at the expense of your own well being. I realized at that moment that I thought patience meant “waiting with loving intentions.” Whoah!!! I changed my definition of the word on the spot. I am now engaged to him — my friend, my love, my partner. He reminds me every day that we’re in this together.
On a side note, my fiance’s niece had been dating her high school sweetheart for 6 years when she told him that they needed to get married or she was going to move on without him. So, he proposed. 2 days before the wedding he backed out on her. In short, pressuring a guy doesn’t make it happen.
My advice? Don’t wait. Figure out what you want and look for a guy whose actions show you that he wants the same thing. (Words are easy and cheap and some guys are masters at using them.) I read somewhere that the 3 main things that you should look for in a relationship with a man are: 1. Do you have similar or complimentary goals? 2. Do you have similar values? 3. And do you have similar interests? 4. I throw in one more question to ask yourself: Do you both seem to be growing at the same velocity? If not, then it’s just a temporary experience you’re going to have with him whether you get married or not.
Post # 14
My boyfriend was in school for 7 out of the 9 years we’ve been together. There was a time about 2-3 years into the relationship when he mentioned marriage and I had to tell him I loved him and wanted to be with him, but I wasn’t ready for marriage. That apparently really scarred him. I didn’t know how much until I felt like I was ready to get married and he was hesitant. In 9 years, we’ve had a lot of ups & downs. Eventually, we decided to go to therapy when we came close to breaking up. It made such a huge difference for us. We have always cared about eachother a lot, and thought we had good communication, but we had so much to learn. Our therapist never told us what to do. He just helped us listen to eachother better & understand where the other one was coming from.
You know that he’s waiting to finish school and feel like he’s stable, but you need that reasurance that he’s doing it because he cares about you and wants to be the best he can. He also needs to know where your coming from and how he can make you feel comfortable waiting. Or know that you guys can get married now and that it’s OK if he’s not quite done with school.
I’m almost 35 now & He’s 37. He proposed on our 9 year anniversary and we’ll be married just after 10 years! While I do kind of wish I had the younger wedding pictures… 😉 I’m happy to know how well I know the guy I’m going to marry and how comfortable we are together. I’ve not only seen friends get married over the years, but married & divorced while we’ve stayed together.
I completely understand & respect not wanting to live together before marriage. But that could make things a little easier on you. And what about the option of a long engagement? Maybe you could move in once you’re engaged? Just a thought. I would love to hear how everything turns out.
Post # 15
@bellenola: My ex boyfriend proposed to me during my second year of law school and I told him I wanted to wait until I was finished. Marriage just sounded like one more stresser/distraction during a very stressful time. Anyway, he thought I was just delaying and didn’t want to wait but I really intended at the time to marry him after I finished law school and passed the bar exam.
At any rate, it doesn’t sound like he has much longer to go. I would cut him some slack.
Post # 16
@bellenola: and by the way, we had been together about 9 years.