9 year anniversary – no ring?

posted 2 years ago in Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Post # 2
Member
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

That is very young to begin a serious relationship.  Most people in your shoes eventually break up, because you grow into your adult self, and usually you want to date new people.  I suggest couples therapy to figure out if you two should get married or break up (if I was you, I would not continue in the limbo dating phase any longer).  Your boyfriend sounds incredibly grown up!  Not much he can blame at this point (“he only wants to propose when he feels his family will be happy for him” is the craziest reason I’ve ever heard honestly).

Post # 3
Member
8019 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

You are still very young–I haven’t known many 23 year-old men who felt ready to marry no matter how long they had been with their SO. Have you graduated and are you settled in a career? You’ve only lived together a few months. Perhaps he will (reasonably) be more comfortable when you have both been established as adults for a little while. 

Post # 4
Member
698 posts
Busy bee

This is a difficult situation. You guys got together at an incredibly young age and have grown up together basically and have not had any outside experience yet he is not in college and is settled out in his career/job so I’m not sure what progress he is looking to achieve and even though you guys did get together at a young age 24 is average age for engagement in the states so you are not too far off specially if you decide to have an 18-24 month engagement. 

I would think the healthiest thing would be to take a break from the relationship and each figure out your own individual priorities and likes, dislikes, goals, passions. At the end of the break if you still want to be together get married if not then break up. 

Post # 6
Member
4980 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I echo the others you two are very young and if you have only dated each other it is very normal to want to meet/date other people.  A person doesn’t fully mature until age 25 at least brain wise.  I would take a break from each other and see where you both want to be.  

Post # 6
Member
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2022

Independence and life circumstances are more important than age. You’ve endured this long, so I believe when you say your relationship is stable. You’re both done with your education and you live together, which is more than most people your age.

It seems you two have talked about your future already. It’s unfortunate he’s not on the same page anymore. I wonder if he has family members shaking their heads, telling him he’s too young, and he’s internalized that message. Or he’s worried about affording a ring and a wedding, since you guys probably don’t have much savings yet.

In most of these cases, after 9 years, bees would tell you to walk away. But in this case, you have not been “waiting” for 9 years. I would suggest you remind him that getting engaged now does NOT mean getting married now; you can have a 2-year engagement. A lot of men say they’re “not ready” because they think it happens overnight. If he still doesn’t want to do that, you have to decide how much more time you want to spend.

Post # 7
Member
8019 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
ashleyroo :  I just Googled it–the average age for marriage in the US is 27-28 years for women and older for men so I don’t know where you are getting 24. They are young. I don’t think they have to break up to grow up, but they should grow up a bit before making a lifelong commitment. 

Post # 8
Member
528 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
tachtoca :  my first marriage was in ways like yours. Started dating at 14. He cared too much about what his family thought and had an image how how things were “supposed to be” and the order in which they were supposed to be in. Does he care what others think, how successful he is, etc? Also wanted to live together before marriage. His mother put it in his head not to get married until he was 30. I refused to live with him first. We were together for 11 years before he proposed, somehow getting married at 26 I believe it was. Unfortunately he never loved me. There were a lot of other problems. But one big one is similar and it is this need for more time, “not old enough” yet, fear, etc. 9 years at 22/23 is young, but he can’t possibly be lacking the common sense to have all these adult things in order and not be ready for marriage. I have to wonder if his family has him on a “life plan” like my ex husband’s family did. That is a very long time to be with someone who is not sure yet or ready to at least plan something.

Knowing what I know now, if this helps you: don’t get hung up on how long you’ve been together or the fact you dated since 14. It does not mean you’re meant to be or that it is some special love story. I used to fool myself into thinking the wait was worth it and that it meant something and that it was special. I cared too much that we were the long standing couple. Those things are partly what kept me tied up with the wrong person. I say this so that it might help you see the full situation clearly and not have clouded judgement. For me anyway, that clouded my judgement a LOT. That and feeling like I wanted to trust how he wanted to do things.

Everyone is different but from my own life experience and meeting my second husband it made me realize that when someone loves you it does not take so long at all. If I could go back in time I’d have left him for sure. I am just sharing my own experience. I remember a lot of people tried to tell me to leave but I felt like I’d have wasted my time and all that waiting would have been for nothing. Don’t think like that either! The goal is to be happy and the time spent or “wasted” if you want to think of it that way will be a faded memory in the future, so make a sound choice. 

I also wanted to say, looking back I think it is very young still to be married at 22/23, but after so long together you know what you’re getting into. At the same time a lot of changes can happen and you may grow apart. It really is just a gamble, but that is how life is. In making the decision to wait as I did you may come to find new issues arise that you may have not noticed were actually there all along, being behind the reason for the lack of a proposal after so long together. You are already living together, but he still wants one foot out the door. It is a tough decision and I have been there. For me I had to wait to know for sure and learn the hard way so to speak.

Post # 9
Member
1955 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

You’re doing everything right by communicating openly with him and seeking outside advice.

If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. He is super young, as are you. It’s a good sign that he’s honest with you rather than stringing you along.

I’m not sure what advice to give you, aside from the generic, live your life, don’t tie yourself down so early. Mainly I’m here to validate you for being upfront about what you want.

Post # 10
Member
3668 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

You are really young. I know you have been together for a long time, but I wouldn’t encourage getting married when you are so young. Rather than focusing on whether or not you’re going to marry, this is a good time to work on personal development for yourself. What kinds of goals do you have for yourself outside of the relationship? Continue to work on yourself and your growth. 

Post # 11
Member
7240 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I agree with the PP saying not to focus on how long you two have been together, considering the fact that you got together when you were literally children. It sounds like you are both mature but you are still extremely young. A lot changes between 14 and 23. A whole lot changes between 18 and 28. You want to be sure you are growing together and still on the same page. 

Post # 12
Member
562 posts
Busy bee

Yikes, the idea of marriage scared the hell out of me at 23. Come to think of it it still scares the hell out of me at 29, but I’m muscling through it lol. I’ve been with my SO since we were teenagers too, and it’s weird; you’ve been together longer than most married couples in their thirties but it still might feel too soon to take such a serious step. Your boyfriend might be in a stable position after graduating college and transitioning into his professional life, but he might just want to adjust to “adulting” for a little while. I’ve been your boyfriend at 23 (metaphorically) and it doesn’t mean that he isn’t fully committed to you, just that he might want to solidify who he is as an adult on his own before binding himself to another person for all eternity. My advice to you is to give him time, but keep talking. Hang in there 🙂

Post # 13
Member
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Fh used to say, “What’s the hurry we have the rest of our lives”! We know we are going to be together forever so what’s the rush. And at 26, I agreed with him but younger me, before we got together, wouldn’t have. Younger me needed the ring and the status and it bothered me that people who had been together less time were getting married before me. But honestly none of that matters.

What matters is that you are happy and in a healthy loving relationship and that you have the same goals in mind. If he sees himself marrying you just not yet, that’s not an issue.  If you both want to get married eventually and marriage is the eventual goal no matter if it happens at 27 or 32, doesn’t matter, you have the rest of your lives. I have friends that just wanted to get married before they had kids, they were together like 16 years before they got married. At 24-26 FH knew he wanted to marry me but was not ready to get married, at 27 he proposed and at 29 we will get married.

As someone who met my first husband in HS at 14 and married young after years together and a dog and a house ancd college….and got divorced. Wait! You have the rest of your lives. Enjoy the age and stage that you are in, it doesn’t last forever!

Post # 14
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee

I got engaged at 20, and will be 23 when we are married.  It is so young but if you know what you want, you know.  Fed up of people saying you are “too young” especially if you’ve been together a long time.  Maybe explain to him that getting engaged now doesn’t particularly mean getting married right this second! My partner and I wanted a long engagement so we could save to have a nicer wedding and also so we didn’t feel as “young” ( just want to point out, i’ve been best friends with him since we were 15, travelled the world together living abroad, have a dog and have just bought our first house together)  Don’t worry what other people think, we didn’t get a bad word off of anyone in our families about being too young. 

 Just remember this ‘ Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone elses chapter 20’  

Post # 15
Member
339 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
tachtoca :  

About a year ago I brought up the idea of a proposal and what his timeline was, wrongly assuming it hadn’t changed from what he had previously told me for the last 6 years.

 

You really expected him to have the same ideas about marriage and proposals as a 15 year old? You can’t count your ‘marriage talk and plans” as 6 years when more than half of those years were as children.

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