First, I just want to say that I’m really sorry you are going through this. *hugs*
I hope you won’t consider my reply to be harsh, as I’m not trying to be. Just giving my .02 cents.
Now I know every couple is different, most definitely. Example: I’ve been dating my guy for almost 4 and a half years now, and we live together. His reasons for waiting have spanned from him saying he just wasn’t ready (he couldn’t think of an exact reason), to wanting a better job first, to wanting to be more “settled” in life before getting married. Then he said he wanted to wait 2-3 more years, this was back in July. Now, 6 months later, he tells me he agrees it’d be nice to be engaged by next year, and not to worry… I won’t be waiting forever, he “has plans.” This has all happened in the span of I’d say, maybe a year to a year and a half.
So my point on that example? Things can really change on a dime. Guys can change their minds/opinions on things on a dime. Especially with these reasons coming out in the heat of the moment, who knows what you or he will be feeling/thinking anywhere in the next week or 6 months.
As a previous poster said, it’s great that your SO was so incredibly honest. It’s a great trait, and who knows… maybe my SO had some of those thoughts in the back of his head also, but didn’t have the stomach to say it to me.
However, that being said, I can’t help but feel like your SO is dangling this next stage in your relationship in front of your face like a carrot. To list those things to you as reasons not to move forward, things that have to do with the very CORE of you as a person – and then to say ‘oh, but yeah… getting engaged… I’ll propose by the end of the year.” — not cool. Because although those things are valid concerns for anybody, the first thing you would think a loved one would want to do is help you in those areas, not blame you as the reason they don’t want to get married yet (especially after 4 years of dating… has any of this come up in the past?!). I feel like he either doesn’t want to say exactly why he isn’t ready, doesn’t know himself why he isn’t ready yet, so he reduced himself to give those reasons…and I think he may have added the last part to end the conversation. It breaks my heart, to be honest. He should want to marry you in spite of those things. No person or relationship is perfect.
Have you guys had conversations about this previously? If so, what reasons were given then? Because I’m astonished that these reasons are coming up now, this far into the relationship.
Getting engaged/married are huge steps in a relationship. Even though they are indeed joyous occasions, everyone involved has moments where it may hit them and they think ‘oh my god can I handle this forever?’… it’s totally normal! Yes, there are people who will say they never had those thoughts, and that’s fantastic for them. But it’s still normal for anybody to have those thoughts at times, it’s a really big decision that will affect you for the rest of your life.
But it worries me that he said those things as reasons not to get married, rather than just the two of you having a conversation together about your fears/concerns/dreams for marriage sort of thing.
Definitely keep us updated, sweetie. Again, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. 🙁 Especially having to go through the Waiting stages on top of that! *huge hugs*