(Closed) Boyfriend here…A reversal of the "waiting game"…

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 16
92 posts
Worker bee

I’m older and can say quite honestly life is always going to throw curveballs at you. The purpose of a true partnership is working through them together. You are going to learn and grow and have obstacles throughout the course of your relationship. if it’s a lifetime commitment you need to be able to work through those as a team. If my so quit his job to go to school for a dream of his, it wouldn’t be easy financially but we’d work together to make it work. And the same would be said for him if I made that decision. Just some food for thought

Post # 17
685 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

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gfcouldbeit:  why can’t you move forward while she is in school? You can settle while she is in school. I dont get the problem.

Post # 18
1758 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

What kind of school is she going to? You seem strangely worried about this. How it is different to having a full time job? 

Post # 20
4509 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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gfcouldbeit:  Would your girlfriend consider a long engagement?  That way you can take the next step in your relationship without her having the stress of wedding planning ontop of school?

Post # 21
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Its nice to make plans for your future together but plans change, life happens and curve balls are thrown. And that can be applied throughout your entire relationship, not just the next five years. It can happen, if its something you both want. I am planning a wedding while in grad school that will be about 2 weeks before graduation. This is just something you will have to comprimise on and work out together like anything else. But if you honestly don’t think it will work for you just end it because being w/ someone who is unsupportive is not in her best intrest. 

Post # 22
841 posts
Busy bee

I think you’re really getting paranoid over nothing. If you see a future with this woman, 5 yrs is nothing. You said you’re worried your relationship won’t be a priority, what do you think happens after children? There is no reason why life can’t continue together while she’s attending school. There are many semester breaks in which a wedding could easily be planned. 

Post # 23
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

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gfcouldbeit:  Then you need to decide whether marriage or this relationship is more important to you. 

There is always the option that you could do the wedding planning to decrease stress, but if she just doesn’t want to get married in the next five years (at least) you have a choice to make. 

Post # 24
2722 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

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gfcouldbeit:  I think you need to ask yourself which is more imporant – her, or your time frame.

From the sounds of what you wrote, it sounds like you had the time frame first and she just happened to fit into it (before she told you she wanted to go back to school for 5 years) as opposed to she is “the one”.  Does that make sense?  

To me, and if I’m wrong please correct me, it sounds like you have this grand plan on when you want things to happen – dating, getting engaged and married – at certain ages, or within a certain set amount of time.  You’re 26 and you’re at the age when you’re thinking about this stuff, which honestly, I think is great.  But, since she told you she wants to pursue a longer degree, your timeline is now thrown off.  I agree, it is a bit of a curveball, but hardly anything in life going exactly according to plan.

This is the same advice I would tell a female – you basically have to decide if you’re flexible with your time line (if you truly believe she is really “the one”) or, if you’re not, then you do need to break up to find someone that better fits your plans.

And I have to echo what everyone else is saying.  Talk to her first.  Going to school to be a teacher is not nearly as difficult as say, going to med school or law school (I have friends in all 3 professions).  My teacher friends had relationships just fine while they were in school.  Maybe she doesn’t think she’ll have a problem handling both.  Yes, your immediate needs may be put on the back burner temporarily if she has to study for a test, but isn’t her ulmitate happiness worth it?  I give her credit for deciding what she wants to do instead of just settling for the shorter program. Wouldn’t you rather see her in a career she loves?

Edit – OK, I saw your update where she doesn’t want to get engaged while she is in school.  That’s her perogative, but it sounds like you two may not be on the same page.

Post # 26
268 posts
Helper bee

5 years seems like a long time for her to finish school when she already has taken some classes.  I went to school and finished in less than 4, worked full time, got engaged, planned a wedding, bought a house, and got married.

I guess I don’t understand why life needs to stop…which I think is the same issue you are having with her putting the timeline on hold. How does she plan to support herself during these 5 years? Is she still going to work? Since you live together are you going to support her?

Get used to not being #1…. school, work, dogs, kids, ailing parents, and everything in between. Marriage/Life is about balance and partnership. You have to find time for everyone and everything.  

Post # 27
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

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gfcouldbeit:  I’m a little lost as to why 5 years is such a huge deal to you, as opposed to 2, but I guess I kind of get it because 5 years looks so much longer from your point of view right now. I wouldn’t say I’m in the same situation by any means, but I see a few parallels.

For reference, I’m 22 (your girlfriend’s age), and my fiancé is 23. Our wedding is in August, and by that time, we’ll have been together for a little less than 3 years. My fiancé enlisted in the Marine Corps right out of high school, and I went to college (We weren’t together at this time, but we were friends all through high school). I finished college in 4 years, right on schedule! and got a job when I graduated, so I now work full time. His enlistment is 5 years, so he plans to start college this coming fall after he gets out, and he’ll be in school full time. Neither of us wants to start trying for kids until he graduates and has a full time job. Because he wants to go into a very specific field of engineering, he’ll need at least a master’s degree. This is where I see the most parallels to your situation. This means I need to wait 6 years until he’s done with undergrad and grad school, plus however long it takes him after that to find a full time position. Now, this is okay with me, and I like the idea of having a decent amount of time to spend as just a couple before we have a family.

I think part of your problem, like you mentioned, is that you want to move faster than she seems to because she’s younger than you are. I feel like she’s the type of person who just took a while to figure out what she wants to do in life (hence now wanting to go to school to be a teacher). There’s nothing wrong with taking a little more time and being on her own schedule. Not everyone has it all figured out at 18 and can jump right into college for the right career path. 

I think you’re jumping to a lot of conclusions about what things will be like in your relationship if she’s in school, and honestly, I don’t think that’s fair. You have no idea what it’ll be like until it happens. You’re making assumptions that it’s going to be awful and she won’t have any time for you and she won’t prioritize you or the relationship at all. I don’t think any of that is true, and if your relationship is solid, it won’t be an issue. On the other hand, if you can’t be supportive of her going back to school and doing something great for herself, then you need to break off this relationship and let her move on. She deserves someone who will be there for her and who wants her to succeed. A successful relationship involves communication and compromise. You have two options: 

1. Understand that this is what she needs in life right now and support her in it. Or,

2. Leave her and find someone who won’t require you to make any kind of compromise on your life plan. 

But I caution you to really think about it if you choose option 2. Compromise is integral in any relationship, and you can’t expect something to work out if you aren’t willing to adjust your timeline at all. Marriage meshes two lives together, and you aren’t the only one with a timeline and expectations of the future. You don’t get to make all the decisions by yourself and expect her to comply. You need to communicate all of this with her and see what she says. 

Post # 28
3243 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

Lol yes, that was a big piece you left out.

It sounds like you may just be in different places in your lives and want different things. Yes, the waiting bees feel the same ways you do. Some stay and some move on. You need to decide if putting marriage on the back burner for 5 years is something you are prepared to deal with, or if getting married is more important. In which case I suggest you move on and find someone more in line with your goals. 

Post # 29
607 posts
Busy bee

I’m not so sure you’re ready to get married. Marriage isn’t about everything going the way you plan. Marriage is about supporting your partner through hardships, goals, general changes. What happens if you get married and she develops a chronic illness that doesn’t allow her to put you first? Would you leave? I realize that she can’t help this happening, versus choosing an education, but it’s something to think about. 

My thoughts are all over the place on this one, but I feel like she should be allowed to change her mind about her education without you leaving her. You seem pretty selfish; you want her to get an education, but you get to decide how much. It just seems like you’re attempting to hold her back from her dream. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who wants to stifle my education. 

Post # 30
247 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

5 years is a long time to put a relationship in park but I agree with pps that there is no reason not to marry while she is in school.  Almost everyone I know has done it.  My group of friends favors marrying soon after finding the one and having small simple weddings to keep cost from getting in the way.  I’m a fan of the “When Harry Met Sally” philosophy:  “when you find the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”  That’s a paraphrase, actually.  did he say “right away?” I didn’t look it up.  Anyway, if you were counting on sealing the deal soon as she won’t before finishing school then of course you are justified in moving on if you feel you can let go.  It’s your life.  Five years of said life is a lot for someone to waste with uncertain commitments.  It’s a modern concept to wait 5-8 years before marrying.  Many say anything sooner is rushed.  But that is a very modern and recent attitude.  I refused to spend more than 1 year waiting on any guy to make up his mind and commit–engagement commitment, full on, and short engagement at that.  It worked out just fine.  I dated lightly in college and ended up marrying a guy I met afterwards and had been friends with for two years.  Once we started dating we got engaged quickly because we already knew each other.  We got married 4 months later.  We eloped to keep it simple.  I know a lot of men and women who lived on a relatively short waiting time-line.  It’s not crazy.  You don’t have to wait on anyone who is still figuring things out and might in the end “figure out” that they don’t want to marry you for one reason or another.  That is a huge chunk of life!  bottome line, it’s your choice.  If you’re ok with the risk of waiting–that five years down the road she still doesn’t want to marry.  a lot of people wait that long–of course, they cry here when it doesn’t work out and they feel old.  Talk with her about how you feel.  Give it some time to sink in.  Then decide.  Or take it day by day.  It’s your life, I say again.  You don’t owe any apologies to anyone for deciding your terms as long as you’re honest about them.

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