(Closed) Advice from married/engaged bees that waited 5+ years!

posted 8 years ago in Waiting
Post # 17
Member
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@bellenola:  We dated for more than 8 years before I got my proposal. It isn’t terrible, since I was 19 when we met, but it was still a very long time.

How was your wait? I would say i was technically waiting for 2 years, the first 6 years were just fun and games. Although if he would have proposed back then, I would have said yes. We moved in together 1 year ago. It was a long 2 years, since once I decided I was ready, I was really ready.

Looking back, was it all worth it? Of course it was. I had a very similar outlook to you and didn’t want to be the nagging girlfriend, but in February of this year, I snapped. Holding it in for so long was defintely not the best idea. I would drop hints here and there, but ultimately, I just needed to tell him how I felt. I would recommend that.  

Were you able to enjoy the proposal? Absolutely, even though I knew he was ring shopping, where he was buying it, and even what it was probably going to look like, the day he proposed I was absolutely shocked and I was on cloud 9 for daysssss. It wasn’t even a romantic proposal!

Were you resentful? Ehhh, yes and no. I was resentful that he took so long and that I had to push my wedding date out due to multiple family members getting engaged/married before us, but besides that, no. Well, I’m sure I was much more resentful while I was waiting, but I don’t remember really.

Did the proposal erase all those difficult waiting feelings. Yes. Mostly when he tells me how long it took him to pick out the diamond. Also, when I catch him staring at it or when he thanks me for “saying yes”. It totally puts eveything into perspective and I don’t ever think about all the preproposal feelings anymore.

In summary, hang in there!! Enjoy your time, money, and sanity while you still have it ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 18
Member
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

My Fiance and I were together for almost 5.5 years before we got engaged. A big part of that was lack of communication from me, though, because around year 4 I learned he thought I never wanted to get married . . . oops. Getting used to the idea of getting married (instead of just building a life together, including kids, which we had been talking about) was hard for him.

But, of course, just a month or so after I came to peace with the idea that we might never marry and decided to stay with him anyway because I loved him so much, he decided he wanted to marry me sometime soonish (no proposal for us, he’d have to keep something from me for longer than a few hours if he did that, lol, and he forgot about the whole “engagement ring” thing though now I have one and he wears his class ring as a mangagement ring).

The worst part about waiting was, indeed, all the outside comments – “Why would he marry you when he gets the milk for free already?”, “Maybe if you lost weight, he’d propose.” (I wish I were kidding), the people who assumed we were already married (and then acted offended when we said we weren’t), and the overt “Are you engaged YET?!” as well as “Well, if he’s not gonna marry you, you might as well leave now.” advice from people for whom marriage by five years together was a set requirement.

Post # 19
Member
6835 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@bellenola:  Ack, it’s too hard to explain our whole long relationship (wrote a small novel and erased it).  We started dating 12 (!) years before we got engaged, but we were very young and I never really wanted to get married until late 20s or 30ish when I would feel “grown up”.  He needed to feel stable financially and career-wise before the idea of being “head of a household” wasn’t scary (even though we don’t have kids and he’s not a macho guy at all…)  We didn’t have any pressure from friends or family to hurry it up – they saw how happy we were to just be together.

I loved being in a committed, non-engaged relationship but started to push him a bit in the last year or two before the engagement – mostly because we were finally settled with a house and careers and it felt like time.  (Also because I wanted to make sure we were on the same page about having a family in the next few years.)

The proposal caught me totally by surprise even though I suspected in might happen within a couple-month period.  We were both totally thrilled to be engaged, all our family and friends were SO excited, the wedding was amazing, and we’re so happy to be married.  Looking back, we both realize we could have done this 5-8 years ago, and what did we think was the big deal about waiting so long?  It does feel a little more permanent than our committed permanent non-married relationship did, but that’s such a nice feeling.

But all in all, no regrets, no resentment.  (I didn’t have much of a resentful waiting period, so my situation might be a little different.)

Glad to hear it’s happening soon!!!

Post # 20
Member
564 posts
Busy bee

@bellenola:  i waited since dec 2009, in my case, i have amazing friends who will help me through all the times. my mental attitude is devil may care, and won’t get all crazy with weddings. lol. i browse sites and have fun watching movies and living life. we’re going on a cruise in november so i have other things to help me (and distract me, lol)

Post # 21
Member
2585 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@bellenola:  we waited about 8 yrs to get engaged! We both had school aged children at the time and didn’t want to displace them so we waited until they were almost done with high school. it wasn’t easy and we never lived together before marriage so it’s been quite a change! I was expecting a proposal but was still shocked and surprised when it finally happened. 

if you’ve been together for this long it’ll happen:) You only have a few more months of waiting, EXCITING!!

Post # 22
Member
4231 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

7  years.

My proposal was nice and heartfelt. He looked me in the eye and spoke true, heartfelt words. It was not really a surprise or anything over the top, but I would take heartfelt over showy any day and showy is not his style or mine 

I do resent how long it took him to get on with it. Even he says he’s sorry he waited so long. My wait was very, very difficult. We were both sure and ready years before the fact. We had picked out the ring 2 years prior to him actually proposing. 

No, the proposal did not get rid of all of my resentment to be honest. A small part of me was still put off fromt having to wait so long. It was almost hard to be happy about being engaged finally because I knew it was coming, everyone expected it and everyone else in the family had been waiting for it for so long.. when it finally happened people were more like “FINALLY” than congratulations. Waiting too long sucked some of the excitement out of it honestly. 

So no, I did not have a picture perfect proposal and the wait sucked pretty damn hard. 

That being said, being married to him has made it worth the wait and the frustration. Now I couldn’t be happier if you smacked me in the face with a bucket of happy. I don’t care about the excitement of engagement and that stuff anymore. Being married is so much better than all of that stuff. 

Post # 23
Member
4097 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@bellenola:  11. Long. Years. Actually I’ll say less than that, since I didn’t want to get married until after college, so 6 years. But I still hated everyone asking when we were getting married or even worse, why we weren’t married yet. Waiting isn’t easy (mostly because of the social pressure) and the longer you’re together the harder it gets but you have to roll with it and enjoy your time as a couple, regardless of what your marital status is. Really, that’s all it is, a status in the eyes of the law. Hang in there!

Post # 25
Member
1614 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We were together for 7.5 years before getting engaged… I was probably “waiting” for 3-4 of them (we started dating in college).  It was worth it in the end, because we are getting married ๐Ÿ™‚  There were some days, weeks, months though that were hard.  very very hard.  I was so resentful toward other people who got engaged and found myself unable to be happy for them (unless they were dating for longer than we were at the time, which was very rare).  All while waiting I didn’t understand what was taking so damn long and why I wasn’t good enough.  I broke down around Thanksgiving of last year and he told me it would happen within a year.  I got impatient and proposed to my Fiance in June… he was (finally) planning on proposing then too as he actually had the ring with him!  Good luck!  Waiting sucks!

 

 

Post # 26
Hostess
9645 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

@bellenola:  I waited 7 1/2 years. It was super hard. Hang in there ๐Ÿ™‚ And enjoy your relationship how it is right now. It’s not a race, even though seeing people constantly getting married on your newsfeeds doesn’t help at all. Just know that you guys have been in it for the long haul and your marriage will stand the test of time! Good luck!

Post # 27
Member
2766 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

We dated for over 8 years before we were engaged. I wouldn’t say I was waiting during that entire time because we were on the same page all the way through. Once I discovered the Bee, I started to go a bit wedding-crazy, which did make waiting hard for that couple of months before we were engaged. The way I remained excited was basically by looking at my relationship and realizing I am extremely blessed. I am with a man that I would partner with until my death even if we were to never be legally married, so getting a ring on my finger is just the bonus! 

I have to say though that open communication is key. I knew my guy had a few key financial goals to hit before we could even start looking at rings, let alone planning a wedding, so he kept me in the loop. 

Post # 28
Member
1568 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We were engaged at around the 5 year mark – we haven’t gotten married yet because of the big snag in my healthcare – would be a fortune if we tie the knot. So we wait, but I got the committment that I wanted from him and am very comforable with that. I will say prior to the engagement I was to the point of: Either you give me your committment or else… because I needed to know ya know. Sometimes you have to know these things. You have a right to know – it’s your time and if they want you – they will do anything to keep you. Now after being engaged for almost 3 years – he was like, “Why didn’t I give you the ring sooner?” – like Duh – it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t change and become a fanatical crazy-bride. I am the same person I am today (very closely anyways) that I was nearly 3 years ago upon his proposal. But the last year it felt like everyday was forever – so I get how you feel. We actually got into a slight argument the night before he proposed, must of been something I said or the way I said it that triggered the proposal. But he didn’t seem forced, it seemed natural. It definitely was not rushed by any means. But he really should have done it sooner – why he didn’t I will never know. I do know one thing: He had that ring for over a year, but had lost it with-in our home (we had moved) for 6 months!!!

 

Post # 29
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

This is long…We were dating for 7 years by the time we got engaged. Like PPs, we were young (18) when we started dating, so I am happy we took our time getting to know one another.

With that being said, the last couple waiting years were hard. Like you, I had repeated experiences with other couples becoming engaged after dating for less time and I really struggled with jealousy. Even though I knew it wasn’t healthy, a lot of the concerns I had about waiting had more to do with comparisons to other people. I felt like others didn’t give much credit to our committment because we were “only” dating, even though we had never wavered in our relationship. I also struggled with insecurity, wondering if my then-BF didn’t love me “enough”  or if I wasn’t good enough to marry in some way. It didn’t help hearing opinions from others that if a man or woman loves you, they will never doubt their desire to marry you. In my experience, it is much more complicated than that. 

My now-DH also had a lot of trouble articulating what was holding him back. While he was struggling to think of himself as “husband-material” because he had not advanced in his career as he would have liked, I was assuming that it had something to do with doubts about me or our relationship. For a long time, when I asked for a general timeline, he would only say he didn’t know. It was incredibly difficult. While I tried not to bring it up too often, any time I heard about another couple getting engaged, I couldn’t help crying. 

About 6 months before the proposal, my DH told me we would be engaged within the year. That was a big turning point, as it was the doubt of not knowing whether it would be years and years before we married that was upsetting. I was beyond excited leading up to the proposal, the proposal was very romantic, and we had an amazing engagement and wedding. In hindsight, it does feel like this was the right time for us to be married.

I do still have a trace of resentment that over 10 of my friends (including two of my very best friends) got engaged the same year we did. While I am sincerely happy for them, the selfish part of me initially felt like since I had waited so long for this special time, I wanted to have it to myself in some way. Of course I know that other people’s lives should not be on hold for mine, but I will admit that this is how I felt at the time

After recognizing and acknowledging those feelings, though, I have been able to let them go and enjoy all the weddings we have been attending since ours (2 of which I am in the bridal party). Now we are very happy in our life as newlyweds and the waiting issues seem far in the past.

Like I said, I found it helpful to acknowledge any feelings I was having (e.g., jealousy, resentment), accept them as legitimate in that they were my feelings (rather than being angry at myself for having them or thinking of them as irrational), but at the same time trying to let them go if they were limiting my experience or my relationships in a way I did not like. This is easier said than done, but I found this to be a helpful approach for me anyway.

Good luck with the waiting process and take care! 

 

 

 

Post # 30
Member
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We were together for 6 years before the proposal, but I only felt like I was waiting for about 6 months. We had bought a ring, so I knew it was coming, and he waited 6 months after getting it….that was annoying.

The length of time never bothered me though, so I was fortunate in that respect- we just weren’t ready..until we were. Luckily that came at the same time for both of us.

However, it is annoying dealing with people who pity you for not being engaged, especially when if you are perfectly happy not being engaged (before the waiting).

Post # 31
Member
1708 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@bellenola:  We were together for 5.5 years before he proposed, living together for 4 of those years. I was probably “waiting” for about 2, and about halfway into my wait, he suggested we go look at rings, so I knew he was ready.

We aren’t super young (early 30s) and people said all kinds of things to me – the classic “cow/free milk”, the “if he hasn’t proposed by now, he never will”, “he is stringing you along” etc. The pressure made it much harder to wait, but I tried my best to stay patient because I just adore him and I wanted HIM, not just a husband… He always said he saw me in his future, and his actions were that of a loving devoted partner, so I did my best to ignore ignore ignore those people.

Only you know your relationship and your man, other people can only guess. And comparing yourself to others… I know it’s so hard not to, but marriage does not equal instant happiness. It doesn’t mean their relationship is better or stronger or more loving than yours.  

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