Post # 1
I appreciate I haven’t been waiting long compared to other people. However, I feel like I’m at the age where I need some form of proper commitment, or I am wasting my 30s. My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years and living together for just over a year and a half. I am 32 and my partner is 30. We talked about marriage and children from very early on – he is very keen on having children. At first said he wasn’t too fussed on marriage, however, he respects that I want to be married before having children and we have since talked about what kind of wedding we’d have, etc. I have also told him that I’d like to have my first child before I was 35 – I don’t think this is unreasonable(?) as we’ve discussed having 2 or 3 children and I’d like to be done by the time I’m 40. I really thought that a proposal would be coming soon (within 6 months) but after asking him today if he has any plans to propose soon he replied saying he needs to start saving up for the ring. I was taken aback that he hasn’t even started saving for the ring, we’ve talked about marriage numerous times and he’s aware that I want to start a family before 35 and I am turning 33 this year. I have told him that typically a wedding takes a year to plan, and he seemed shocked – he’s also knows that 90% of my close family live overseas and we will need to give them a year in advance to save up to come over (flights out of my family’s country are expensive to where we live), so it can’t be a last minute job. We both have good paying jobs, but he somehow seems to have no money left each pay cycle to put into savings (I will add that he owns a property that he bought for his dad, which he pays the mortgage/bills for as his dad doesn’t work), so I feel like it will be a few years until he is in the position to save any money. I don’t expect a fancy ring at all, honestly I just want to get married so we can start a family. I feel like he’s concerned about the cost of a wedding with his culture/family being very extra when it comes to weddings – previous family weddings have been in excess of £50k and they’re expected to invite all family – his mom has 8 siblings who all have children and grandchildren, and his dad has 5 siblings again all with their own children and grandchildren. We have both discussed having a small destination wedding to avoid the huge guest list and minimise cost, though he still seems concerned about offending some family members by not inviting them (I haven’t even met these family members, which goes to show you how close they are, but they’d still expect an invite). I appreciate that marriage before having children isn’t everyone’s priority, but it is mine. I love him so much and I know he feels the same way, but I’m unsure how to approach this now without feeling like I’m putting pressure on him and feeling like an impatient brat. I wanted this to happen naturally but I think with him being slightly younger than I am, and him being a male, he doesn’t appreciate that I’m older and getting engaged/married will take a year minimum and then trying to conceive could also take a while which will mean I could be late 30s. I think it would be helpful to hear other perspectives and perhaps learn from the experiences that other bees have had?
Post # 2
Notice how men are perfectly happy to throw out old traditions and values – such as waiting until marriage to live together or have sex — but they love the tradition that puts them in charge of proposing marriage. And a woman’s role is to “wait” patiently until he makes that move.
It’s bull! You have just as much right to push for a decision on the question of marriage as he does. Your concerns about children and timelines for having them are valid.
Post # 3
You say you don’t want an expensive ring but are concerned it will take years to save for it. You say all you want is to be married and start a family but it’s going to take a year to plan a wedding. You say you’ve talked about a small destination wedding but his family expects a 50k elaborate event.
If you are as contradictory in your communication with him as you are in your OP then Im not surprised he’s unsure what the priorities are. I think you need to decide what it is you really want then have a concrete conversation with him so the 2 of you can form a timeline. Cuz here’s the thing…if you really only want to be married and start a family, you can make that happen in a matter of days. You dont need a ring or a big white dress or a fancy venue or a trip.
If, on the other hand, you really do want an expensive ring that’s going to take years to save for and a wedding with all the trimmings then you are going to have to accept that your ttc timeline is too tight to accommodate all that and adjust accordingly.
Post # 5
You need to have a serious conversation with your boyfriend, establish what the priorities are for both of you and make decisions based on that.
You don’t ‘need’ a year to get married. I don’t know what the regs are in your country, but in most places, you only need to give a few days or weeks notice at most to get married. Over here, you have to give a month’s notice, and the fees work out at about 200. If you want a big wedding, then that obviously will take longer to plan AND to pay for, but that is a ‘want’ not a ‘need’.
If you’re about to turn 33 and want a baby by 35, then you haven’t got time for the big wedding anyway. Bearing in mind how long it takes from conception to delivery and that you’re unlikely to conceive as soon as you start trying, you need to be getting married in the next 6 months or so if you want to have a good chance of keeping to your timeline. Especially if you want 3 kids by 40!
So have the conversation with him and see if your wishes are compatible. If not, you have to choose either to compromise or to walk away.
Post # 5
Firstly I said ‘I feel like it will be a few years until he is in the position to save any money’. ‘Any’ being the operative word. Not that it will take years to save for a ring. He knows I don’t want a big ring. Secondly, I stated in my original post that typically weddings take a year to plan, in our case this would be because most of my immediate family live overseas and I’d want to give them as much time as possible to save up to come, as flights from where they live to here are very expensive and my family have unfortunatly (like a lot of people) suffered financially because of COVID. Thirdly, I have never once expressed that I want a big wedding like his family would expect. I have always been clear with him what my wishes are (a non expensive ring and a small wedding). He knows I would go down to the registry office and get married with immediate family only but this isn’t what he wants, so we decided a small destination wedding would be best and have spoken about it numerous times. I don’t feel like I have been contradictory at all, what I have said I’d like and what HIS family expects are two completely different things and this can’t be helped.
Post # 6
I’m not sure where you live and what the state of covid is there, but if you were to get engaged soon and start planning a destination wedding, my fear is that with people traveling from multiple places to your wedding, there may still be restrictions in place by then that will make it difficult.
I’d use covid as a very convenient excuse to have a beautiful destination elopement and then plan a big reception with family when it’s safe to do so. That should be far enough out that everyone can make appropriate travel plans.
You could also start TTC much sooner that way.
If the ring you want isn’t that expensive, but still isn’t within your boyfriends budget, are you able to chip in?
These are all just thoughts, Bee… but you have a fast-approaching TTC deadline, and you’ll need to figure out a compromise with your boyfriend if you want everything to move quickly.
Post # 7
Yes, we definitely do. We’ve had talks about timelines etc before and I thought we were both on the same page but evidently we’re not.
I know weddings can be done in less time. The main reason it will take a year is because most of my immediate family live overseas and I’d want to give them as much time as possible to save up to come, as flights from where they live to here are very expensive and my family have unfortunatly (like a lot of people) suffered financially because of COVID. I’m from a very close family and it would break my heart to get married without my mom, dad and brother by my side. I’d love to be able to help them pay for the flights over here, but that too will take some time for me to save up.
Post # 8
That’s a really good idea and not one that I’d thought of. We have been very lucky here with COVID and the only people who’d be coming from overseas would be my family (our destination wedding would be around a 4hr flight away from where we live, and in the same country), but it would be terrible for the restrictions to come back in and my family unable to enter the country.
I really like this idea, thank you! I’m going to talk about it with my boyfriend.
I’m more than willing to chip in to the cost of my ring, and I will suggest this to him, but I have a feeling he won’t agree to it – he can be quite old fashioned when it comes to things like this.
Post # 9
His current financial situation is a red flag and I am not saying he is completely to blame, I understand the covid economic effect but him supporting his father seems to feed into his acceptance of his family’s view of what a wedding should be. Where are you in all that and how does that affect their expectations as you move forward as a married couple?
To answer your question no you are not an impatient brat, you are a 32 year old woman sensibly charting out your timeline to become a mother.
Post # 10
It’s so interesting to me that his family expects a large and expensive wedding, but he is essentially having to support his father.
Post # 11
I am concerned about a couple of things, particularly given your age of 32, which does not give you a great deal of time to start and complete a family, especially if you run into any fertility problems.
The first thing I am concerned about is whether your boyfriend is as anxious to get married as you are. it seems to me that if he were, he certainly would have started saving for your ring by now.
The second thing that concerns me even much more is the fact that he has all his own financial obligations plus all the expenses connected with the property that he bought for his father. And from what you say, he spends every penny he makes and never saves any money. This is in spite of his having a well-paying job. This could present a huge problem in a marriage and family scenario, given the fact that it is very, VERY expensive to raise children.
I think that if you are both truly committed to marriage and then starting a family right away, your priorities should be: Get financial ducks in a row; get an inexpensive engagement ring (for which there are many possibilities); skip the big complicated wedding which will take a year to pull off; and get married soon. I realize that this would result in not being able to invite a lot of people that you both may want to invite. But we just can’t always have everything.
Best of luck whatever you decide to do, Bee!
Post # 12
You don’t need an engagement ring to get married. You can elope and put a wedding band on and be done with it all. Covid has provided the best excuse for anyone hoping to avoid a big, expensive wedding.
suggested a great plan. If he balks at eloping you’ll have to dig deeper to learn if he isn’t ready or doesn’t want to get married.
Post # 13
It seems he has a convenient answer for all of your concerns regarding marriage, wants to be so traditional, but does not appose children before marriage?
This is a common thread and it’s also common that the male in the relationship to be a few years younger in this situation. Have you ever asked him how old he expects to be when he has his first child? He just doesn’t sound like he’s ready to settle down if he’s not at all budgeting for the future.
Post # 14
Not being able to save “anything” for potentially years is a red flag bee. Forget the $50k wedding idea… How are you going to TTC and have kids in the next couple years if you can’t save any money? I’m not someone who believes you need to own a beautiful big house with all the bells and whistles before having kids (we are expecting #2 in a few months and still renting), but you do need savings for emergencies at the bare minimum… not to mention childcare, health care expenses (if you’re in the US), etc.
I also strongly strongly agree with pp who pointed out the hypocrisy of him being “traditional and old fashioned” when it comes to the ring–something you don’t even care about, but which conveniently gives him control over the timeline for engagement– yet more than happy to live together indefinitely before engagement. I have no problems with living together before marriage but if you do that, sorry, you don’t get to pull the “I’m traditional” card to justify stalling on engagement.
Sorry to sound like a downer. I just think y’all have some big things to work through and compromise on. I hope you’re able to do that!
Post # 15
Yet another bee who has been brainwashed to believe that her very valid concerns make her an impatient brat.
Well they don’t.
And as others have mentioned, “traditional” is bs. If you’re living together and having sex, that’s not traditional, and he’s perfectly happy to do either one of these things. Talk to him and lay out your concerns. Dont apologize for having them, that just plays into the “men get to decide the course and parameters of the relationship” game. Be honest and forthright and encourage him to be the same. Then listen to what he says. If after listening you feel that engagement isn’t on your boyfriend’s radar for a long time, if ever, leave.