- 4 years ago
My SO and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary back in November (2013), and I graduated from college a month later. (If you’re wondering, we’re both 26 y.o.) For years he’d said that he would propose “after we lived together a few months”, but finances/school/family drama made living together impossible…until a few weeks ago.
For a long time, I bottled up my frustration and hurt over all these years of waiting. Once I moved in with him (and his mom…we’re super broke right now!), my ability to suppress my desires to get engaged, and eventually married, has gone out the window. A recent pre-employment health exam made this all the more difficult. As many of you are familiar with, I was faced with the unpleasant conversation about my lack of a ring…by the nurse practitioner at my Doctor’s office:
Her: Are you sexually active?
Me: Yes, I’ve had the same partner for over 9 years.
Her: 9 years?! And he hasn’t put a ring on it?!?!
I’ve grown accustom to this particular exchange. But God forbid if I were to say something along the lines of: “It’s none of your business why I’m not engaged”, or “Actually, I’m just as pissed off about it as you’re behaving to be”. To say that there’s definitely a slippery slope in these kinds of conversations…well, I’m certain I’m preaching to the choir. But this particular conversation was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I decided enough was enough.
I’ve done the “shut it up” pact with myself for YEARS. No joke–YEARS. And today I took matters into my own hands. After several articles from A Practical Wedding, mostly about dealing with being “pre-engaged” (isn’t that a lovely term?), I decided to sit down and point-blank address this topic with my SO. And it turned out remarkably well!
He felt just as anxious as I did about discussing the issue, because he recognized that I had resentment about having to wait so long. He feared bringing up the topic, simply because he was afraid he’d be reminding me of those hurts, and it would make me sad. I was able to tell him about my fears and desires. Though it was a difficult conversation (tears were definitely shed), our relationship is stronger. And I have a better idea of what his expectations are, which has taken a great deal of pressure off my shoulders. He has a broader understanding of the social mores I am having to fend off, all the while being kind/diplomatic individual I am.
So thank you A Practical Wedding for helping me to realize that shoving my real feelings away is just…stupid. Wanting to be engaged is not a moral deficit, nor is it anti-feminist, or shameful. I deserve to have my true feelings heard by the person that I intend to spend my life with. And everyone else can just be patient.