- 6 years ago
I’m 24 and my partner is 28. We have been dating for 3 1/2 years and living together for the past year. Everything in our relationship is going well; we both completed our bachelor’s degrees a few years ago. We’re both working, doing quite well financially. He works for a university, and one of the perks of that is that he can take up to two classes a semester absolutely for free, so he’s decided to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration.
Supposedly, we are looking for a house…I say that because he procrastinates every step of the way. Our finances are not mingled (I refuse to do so until we’re married), so really -he- is the one buying a house. I have not pressured him – he’s tired of living in our cramped one-bedroom apartment.
He will simply look at housing web sites…then never go any further. We have to be out of our apartment in four months unless he wants to extend the lease, but he insists that won’t be necessary. But he drags his feet on getting preapproved for a mortgage and in setting up appointments to go look at houses we like. He says he’s afraid of making the wrong choice but I simply can’t live that way forever.
There’s also the engagement issue, which in the last several months has been causing me more and more anxiety. It hit a peak yesterday: his 26-year-old sister, who has been married for four years, announced that she’s pregnant.
My boyfriend’s mom and I are very close – I’m on good terms with his entire family (according to my boyfriend, they have asked if we’re going to get married a few times). I texted her and congratulated her on soon becoming a grandma (she has been looking forward to this for MONTHS, and since her son-in-law recently had surgery for testicular cancer, she was very worried her daughter might spend a long time trying).
She replied with, “So happy! Everything is going great! Grandbaby on the way…and ‘Joe’ (my boyfriend) getting a house…maybe married? Don’t mean to offend you with the marriage talk, but on my mind here.”
I didn’t know what to say. I fended it off with, “Maybe one day, I’m not offended.” But as the day wore on it really soured my mood. I have watched his sister’s life move forward and progress and the lives and relationships of all the others around me. I’m starting to wonder if we’re going to be dating for years on end if I don’t leave. We have talked about getting married…he says he would propose “within a year” (a few days ago). I told him that was too long, and he readily agreed.
The problem is that we have had these discussions before. Due to problems on both sides of our relationship, our original plan to be engaged by – well, now – didn’t come to fruition. But given my boyfriend’s tendency to procrastinate in several other areas of his life, I am fearful that he has no incentive to marry me. He’s already living with me and getting all the perks of a marriage without any of the cost. Pair that with a tendency to procrastinate and I am honestly struggling to see a reason why he would propose, despite what he says.
He has talked about doing several other things, both things he looks forward to and things he doesn’t, and stalled for several months or even years. I suspect getting married will likely be the same way.
And now the catch – tomorrow we’re going to visit his grandparents, along with his grandparents, for Easter. I feel my blood pressure spiking. Discussions will certainly be about his sister having a baby, but her big event is going to transfer over to us. I am very afraid that someone’s going to ask him why he hasn’t proposed yet or when we’re planning to get married.
As the day wore on after his mom’s text the other day, I had a solo meltdown that involved some tears that I had to hold back. This whole process is so degrading. I hate how the engagement process is set up. There is nothing fun about this and I would not wish it upon anyone.
I hope I never have a daughter so she doesn’t have to deal with all of this nonsense. It should be as simple as, “Hey, I want to get married. Do you? Yeah? Cool. Let’s go do it.” Not months of mind games (“I’m not going to bring up when I’m going to propose because I want to surprise you, meanwhile you’re scared to death it will never happen!”).
I am afraid it’s never going to happen – I think that’s a realistic fear after so long. You will notice that I didn’t spend a portion of this thread telling you how wonderful and great he is, etc. – please just assume that’s a given. I kind of tire how threads have to involve a long diatribe about how rockin’ the guy is or otherwise people are asking, “Are you sure you’re mature enough to get married?” “Are you sure you really love him or do you just want the party?”
For clarification, I just want all of this done with. I would gladly go to the courthouse. I hate the idea of a wedding. I don’t care. I don’t want a ring – the thought of wearing something expensive on my finger would make me feel self-conscious and fearful of damaging it or losing it. But I do have to say the trust in the relationship will not be complete until we are married and fully devoted to each other.
So after all of this…what tactics do you use when people ask you when you’re getting married? His family has never been so direct until now. Until his mom’s text, beside a few playful jokes about my boyfriend someday being my husband from one of his aunts, no one has ever been so direct as to ask me about getting married. I am very afraid it’s a sign that the floodgates are going to open on me tomorrow.