Post # 1
Hi Bees! I’ve lurked around on these boards for as long as I can remember but I’m finally making my first post in hopes of getting some advice on my current relationship. I apologize for how long this is so thanks in advance for reading…
Boyfriend or Best Friend (33) and I (32) have been together for about 20 months and have lived together for 1.5 years (moved in quite quickly due to Boyfriend or Best Friend relocating to NYC for his job). We have a dog together which we adopted and just signed an 18 month lease for a new apartment. My Boyfriend or Best Friend previous relationship of nearly 3 years ended weeks before him and I got together. Boyfriend or Best Friend told me that he knew he didn’t want to marry his ex-GF (34) which is why he ended the relationship, he also told me that she constantly brought up marriage and it pushed him away (I don’t blame her for bringing it up). My biggest concern about his last relationship is that he knew for quite some time that he didn’t want to marry his ex but he didn’t cut the cord until they were fast approaching their 3 year anniversary.
Early on in our relationship I established the fact that I was in my 30’s and that I was dating with the intent of finding my husband. I told my Boyfriend or Best Friend that I wasn’t going to end up in his ex-GF boat waiting 3 years for him to decide that I wasn’t the one for him. Rather, I asked him to let me know ASAP if at any point in our relationship he was unsure of our connection or had doubts that I was the one. MY Boyfriend or Best Friend has told me many times that he does believe in marriage and wants a family someday. We talk hypothetically about our future together and where we want to live and how many kids we want, but never about actual marriage. After we hit the 18 mo mark in our relationship I causally brought up the topic of marriage to see if we were on the same page and we most definitely are not. I basically asked him outright if he thinks I’m “the one” and he quickly responded and asked me if I felt he was the one, I said “yeah I’ve known for a while” and he said “awww.” I told him I would like to be engaged by the end of 2019 and married by our 3<sup>rd</sup> anniversary. Boyfriend or Best Friend responded saying that he hasn’t put much thought into the topic and outright told me he hasn’t even started saving for a ring or thought about proposing. Over the last few months the marriage topic was brought up casually again (by me) and he just changed the subject and kind of shutdown the conversation. This has been very disappointing because I’ve thought about marrying him since about 6 months into our relationship. Also, I don’t expect an extravagant ring or anything that would put him into debt (I would feel awful) but I would like a ring that he put some actual effort into buying (seeking the help from my friends/family, designing one etc.)
I should add that my Boyfriend or Best Friend is in Law Enforcement and his job requires him to attend a 6 month training in another state. We still aren’t sure when he will attend said training which has put our life on complete hold for the last year. Boyfriend or Best Friend doesn’t want to make any plans to do anything because of his job. We are trying to save money on rent and get out of debt so I’m compromising by moving out of NYC into NJ. The very first purchase my Boyfriend or Best Friend wants to make is buying a $60,000 truck. The fact that he wants to spend this kind of money on a truck but isn’t even thinking about saving for a ring really makes me feel like I am not a priority. I’m never one to tell someone what they can and cannot do with their money, but I can’t help but feel this way in my current situation. (***BF isn’t the kind of guy to surprise me with something, so I know he isn’t trying to be coy about getting engaged or buying a ring.)
Bees, am I being unreasonable or too sensitive when it comes to the fact that my 33 year old Boyfriend or Best Friend isn’t marriage minded yet? I obviously don’t expect to get married tomorrow but I’d like my Boyfriend or Best Friend to at least be open to discussing marriage after almost 2 years together. Is he stringing me along or am I paranoid and overreacting?
Post # 2
No, you aren’t overreacting. It sounds like he is focused on short term, immediate goals. He may not be a marriage minded guy. And, he may be a serial relationship person who stays with women he enjoys while living life the way that he wants, until things bother him or they pressure him to move forward into a serious zone that he isn’t comfortable with.
I’d sit and have a real talk with him, before you move to NJ to save money and commit to another 18 months with him. It sounds like this is a situation that works for him as long as it benefits him. But if you feel that you have a timeline, than I would carefully guard that timeline. Men have more time than women do to establish families.
Post # 3
I think you are justified in being concerned. I think the fact that he seems to shut you down and is unwilling to have an open conversation about marriage is concerning. I think you need to set a timeline for yourself, and if he isn’t on board it may be best to move on. At 32, you still have plenty of time for kids, but you definitely don’t want to find yourself another 2-3 years down the road with this guy with marriage nowhere in sight.
For what it’s worth, in my experience men in their 30s who are ready to settle down do so pretty quickly in their relationships. The fact that you’re 20 months in and it hasn’t crossed his mind says a lot .
Post # 4
bigapplebee : not overreacting at all. he’s in his 30s and instead of taking the steps necessary to start a family, he’s talking about buying a $60k (fucking ridiculous for someone in law enforcement, in my unsolicited opinion) truck. you are correct that marrying you is not a priority.
my only question to you is: why the hell, after knowing what he’s done to some other poor woman close to your age, would you move in with him and start a life with him prior to getting what you need from him? to add insult to injury, he *knew* he didn’t want to marry his ex and still wasted 3 of her reproductive years anyway. that is a sign of a major character flaw: selfishness and lack of concern for how his actions may hurt others. you know that if he’s feeling the same way about you, he won’t tell you until it benefits *him*, as in—when he’s ready to move on.
its also very concerning that he said she ran him off by asking about marriage. who the fuck wouldn’t be asking about marriage 3 years into a relationship in their 30s?? my normal advice would be a come-to-jesus with him, but I’m concerned about his willingness/ability to be honest about something that may have a negative impact on his current lifestyle should he say something you don’t want to hear…
Post # 5
bigapplebee : It doesnt sound good that he ended the last relationship due to feeling ‘pressured’ into proposing and is now shutting down your very real concerns about the same thing.
He’s def giving signs that he’s not on the same timeline as you. Also, using the last relationship-ending proposal story sounds like he is manipulating you into NOT bringing t up, and the rest is like an unspoken ‘or else…’
He seems to be under the impression that the women he has dated would want to marry ANY guy and are simply lassoing him into doing something that they have set a personal goal to cross off. Thats how it comes across, he seems very jumpy about it and very determined that he WONT be tied down. What about the other aspects of your life together. Is he loving and kind in other ways? Are you both happy together in general?
Two years is a long enough time and you deserve for him to be honest. But are you prepared if the answer is no? Think about what you will do if this is the case, and if you are ready to accept it going either way.
Post # 6
bigapplebee : I don’t know bee, this doesn’t sound good. He can’t seem to give you a straight answer for anything… I basically asked him outright if he thinks I’m “the one” and he quickly responded and asked me if I felt he was the one, I said “yeah I’ve known for a while” and he said “awww.” But never answered the danm question!
He’s deflecting and yeah since its been nearly two years its more than enough time to know if you’re the one he wants to marry. Let’s be clear, he’s not wrong to NOT want to be married right now but he WOULD be wrong to string you along for as long as possible and expect you to just accept things as they are when you’ve made your goals and expectations clear to him.
Soooo for your peace of mind, have a sit down with him. Let him know your concerns especially with regards to communicating to you his intentions and not letting you waste your time. You want answers bee….direct, clear answers. You have a right to those answers but you also need to be prepared for not hearing what you want to hear. And if he does tell you you’re not the one……you just signed a lease…..what’s your plan???
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI
Hmmm….it sounds like he’s just not very marriage minded. He’s happy enough with you but doesn’t feel the need to have that marriage commitment. I wouldn’t have signed that lease without a ring and a date. If you really love him and want to wait for him to be ready spend the lease term deciding how long you’ll wait for him to be ready. Ask him about HIS timeline and if he doesn’t stick to it, leave.
Post # 8
I find this super concerning:
Boyfriend or Best Friend (33) and I (32) have been together for about 20 months and have lived together for 1.5 years (moved in quite quickly due to Boyfriend or Best Friend relocating to NYC for his job). We have a dog together which we adopted and just signed an 18 month lease for a new apartment. My Boyfriend or Best Friend previous relationship of nearly 3 years ended weeks before him and I got together. Boyfriend or Best Friend told me that he knew he didn’t want to marry his ex-GF (34) which is why he ended the relationship, he also told me that she constantly brought up marriage and it pushed him away (I don’t blame her for bringing it up). My biggest concern about his last relationship is that he knew for quite some time that he didn’t want to marry his ex but he didn’t cut the cord until they were fast approaching their 3 year anniversary..
So, in other words, he stayed with this woman, knowing marriage was important to her and that he was not going to propose, until he could conveniently extricate himself, started dating another woman a few weeks after the breakup (who told him marriage was also something she was looking for), moved in with her after two months of dating, and now, deflects and speaks in generalities whenever she mentions marriage.
Bee, he sounds like a user. I don’t see this ending well.
Post # 9
So…in 20 months it just…hasn’t ever crossed his mind…? Even after you’ve brought it up several months ago? Ooookayyyyy.
Sorry Bee, but this doesn’t look good. He’s never actually answered any of your very legitmate questions. Unfortunately my guess is the next time you bring this up with him he’s going to say you’re nagging him about it and probably mention something about you reminding him of his ex or some other such nonsense.
ETA: Also, you’ve lived together 18 months, but been together 20 months. And you said you started dating just a few weeks after his relationship ended with his ex who he dated for 3 years? Did they live together? Where did he live in between that relationship imploding and him moving in with you? It sounds like he just jumped from one very serious relationship (for the woman at least) to the next with no breathing room in between!
Post # 10
For me and my boyfriend (started dating in our late 30’s), 2 years would have been way too soon to start talking marriage. We didn’t broach the subject until about year 4. However, you feel differently, and that’s completely legitimate. When you stated your timeline of engagement by the end of the year, what did he say? It’s OK to compromise if both partners are sincere and have the same ultimate goal. However, it sounds like he implied that he had not thought much about it and then shut down the conversation. To me that indicates that he has no current or future plans to propose at this time. Have one more conversation with him and reiterate your timeline and ask him about his. If he says, “I haven’t thought about it,” or “sometime in the future,” you’re probably looking at a man who isn’t ready or willing to marry you. At that point, I would think strongly about at least moving into your own place and taking back control and agency of your life and future.
Post # 11
Move out and move on, this man is a poor prospect for marriage. You’re giving him a lot and getting nothing in return but a bunch of picture painting. He’s got the cow for free, he doesnt need to think about milk. But you do.
And please bees, spare me the righteous indignation posts for using the cow/milk/free analogy. It happens to have a lot of validity, whether you want to believe it or not.
Post # 12
sunburn : “And please bees, spare me the righteous indignation posts for using the cow/milk/free analogy. It happens to have a lot of validity, whether you want to believe it or not.”
If you already know what you’re saying is problematic or is going to cause people to call you out, why not just avoid saying it? You can get the same point across without comparing women to farm animals. Many other Bees have done it. It’s not difficult. Sorry not sorry. I’ll call out that phrase whenever I hear/see it.
Post # 13
The one piece of information that’s missing from your original post is whether you ever asked him whether marriage is his ultimate goal for a relationship, and what he said. Is this a man who even wants marriage? Believes in marriage? It’s important to establish this before you fall in love with someone. There are people walking around who would be quite happy if they never got married, or they actively don’t believe in/want it.
Find out if marriage is something he wants for himself.
This is a general question about his goals. He should be able to answer it clearly and non-defensively.
As to whether or not he should be sure about wanting to marry you – I disagree with PPs that he definitely should know this by now. 20 months might still be a little soon. What is your relationship like? Do you feel secure in it? Is it close and loving? Any issues? His past relationship history is a little bit concerning, but we cannot make a judgment about him based on this one incident. You don’t actually know what his relationship with his ex was like; if there was a pattern of this kind of behaviour on his part, that would be different. It’s not great that he knew he didn’t want to marry her but waited to break up with her, however, he might have learned from that relationship. None of us know.
I think at this stage of your relationship you should be able to talk openly about your goals for the future without one partner shutting it down. You need to know if marriage is on the cards for him and if he sees things progressing that way with you. Since you want to have children, set yourself a timeline for when you will check back in with him, and when you are willing to walk if there has been no progress. This is completely individual to each person, so give it some thought.
Post # 14
Are you paying off his debt? Just seems like he’s stringing you along, especially given how quickly he moved in.
Post # 15
You are giving him all the benefits of marriage, and he’s happy to take that without putting any further commitment upon himself. He doesn’t even care about which woman he does this to; whether it’s his ex or you or the next, he’ll stay as long as there’s no pressure.
A $60k truck? If that’s more important to him than proposing to you, I’d go ahead and waltz right out of his life. I’d give him a cheery wave on my way out. My middle finger may or may not be stuck in the upward position.