Post # 1
Hi, bees! Long time lurker, but this is my first time posting.
My boyfriend and I have been together about 3.5 years — living together for a little over a year. We’re both in our late twenties. I was initially very hesitant about moving in together. I’m from a fairly traditional background and wanted to be at least engaged first. My boyfriend was adamant that he knew he wanted to marry me, but he wanted to live together before proposing. The compromise was that he would propose within one year of moving in. During that year, we talked a lot about our future and getting married. It was even his idea to go ring shopping together a few months into the lease. Based on the assumption that we were on the same page, I made some decisisions about my career with him in mind, such as which state to take a licensing exam in (nothing detrimental, but this was a big commitment on my end).
The agreed upon timeline passed by several months ago, but I’ve tried not to be pushy about it. Last night he tells me that he is “finally” sure and ready to be engaged. Our families spent Thanksgiving together and apparently he needed to see them get along successfully before being ready to propose. This should make me happy, but I just feel disappointed and lied to. He’s been saying that for more than a year but apparently didn’t really mean it. I feel like he overstated his feelings to get what he wanted (making sure I moved in with him, started a career in his home state, etc.). I feel like I can’t really trust what he says anymore. He says he felt like he had to do that or I would leave — but if he had just been honest, we could have worked through it.
Honesty is huge for me, and this whole conversation makes me want to slow our relationship way, way down. Am I blowing this out of proportion, bees?
Post # 2
Sorry, I don’t get the problem. Is this within the year timeline you set? Is he ready to propose? Unless he doesn’t do it soon then you’re good no?
Was it the use of the word finally? You set the time limit not him and sounds like he was on board with getting married eventually there was just one thing left to ‘tick off’ as it were.
Post # 3
Twizbe : Just edited the initial post to clarify — the timeline we talked about came and went a few months ago. It’s great that he’s ready to propose now. I guess my problem is just digesting the fact that we’ve been on different pages for more than a year and I had no idea.
Post # 4
I think you are overreacting. Theres a huge difference between “yeah I’d like to get married someday” to “I am ready to get married”. Its a big step, and its a good sign that he is there.
Post # 5
sockmonkey22 : I think it’s a sign of his character that he said what he needed to in order to get you to move in with him. If he was willing to deceive you to get what he wants once, he is capable of it doing it for the rest of your lives.
Post # 6
jellybellynelly : Ugh yeah, I was suspecting that might be the case. I’m really not sure why I feel like this. I’m hoping it will pass in a day or two.
Post # 7
Ugh I am sorry, this whole thing makes me feel ick. He did lie and then he admitted that he knew he was lying at the time he said he’d be ready in a year but felt he had to say it to get what he wanted.
Yes, I’d be really disappointed too not just about the lack of proposal but because of the way he’s gone about this. Now it’s like he says hes ready but is he really or is he just saying that again? Also if it was so important for the families to get along why not say that a year ago ? It’s like hes coming up with excuses after the fact? Maybe not but the way you write jt it seems like he knew this was important to you and is trying to justify why he didn’t stick to his word. He should have said something before the year mark was up, to preempt any disappoint on your part/ give you a heads up.
He agreed to propose within a year and has failed to do so. I’d have a conversation with him and explain that this makes you mistrust or doubt him and it makes it seem like he will just say whatever it is that will make you happy in order to avoid a conversation or confrontation. If he isn’t ready to be engaged fine but he needs to be honest so you don’t base your life on false promises. If he wants to go through with it I’d not feel guilty about deciding on a budget and specific timeline of proposal together and then he needs to stick with it. And I really hope he doesn’t say he needs another year.
Post # 8
sparklez11909 : This really sums up how I’m feeling. It’s not about missing the initial timeline at all. I wasn’t going to die if we didn’t get engaged right then. It’s just that he wasn’t upfront. I think you’re right that we need to discuss this more.
Post # 9
sockmonkey22 : it does matter because this is hardly the only time you’re both going to need to agree and compromise. Life is an ongoing negotiation when lived with another person.
Your partner is someone who will tweak the truth to get what he wants. In this case, he wanted for you not to leave even though he wasn’t sure about you, so he told you he was sure and you made life decisions based upon that assertion.
This is the easy part of life. You don’t have kids or sick parents or job loss. Negotiation shouldn’t be so hard at this point.
That said, it’s not unworkable if he is interested in being a more trustworthy negotiator. But it is also not nothing and it’s not something you should ignore just because he finally landed where you thought he was and where you wanted him to be. That would be a mistake, esp since honesty is so important to you.
Post # 10
To be honest I never get why anyone is reassured by the ‘I will be ready in a year’. If someone is not ready at the present moment, there is no way for you, them or anyone else to know if they actually will be in a year’s time. It just falls into wishful thinking and wanting to believe it.
I think it’s only ok to accept that sort of thing if the reason is not to do with being mentally ready but financially ready or similar.
That being said, I don’t know what your boyfriend actually said to you. If he said he was ready to get married and would take the year to plan and decide on ring/proposal then no, not good of him to tell you something like that if it wasn’t true. If instead he told you that he would be ready after a year then I’m don’t see why anyone would ever see that as a guarantee.
You say he wanted to live together first (for me, very sensible, I would never get engaged without having lived with someone), but what were his reasons for wanting that first?
Post # 11
sockmonkey22 : I just re read your message and I’m sorry but I think you’re over reacting and I don’t think he ‘lied’ to you.
You were clear that marriage had to follow moving in, he was clear that moving in wasn’t as big a deal for him and was a requirement before marriage. I’m sure at the time a year felt long enough a trial for him to be sure and propose.
sometimes when I read these waiting posts I see that the woman is ready and Just won’t accept ‘I’m not ready’ as a reason to not propose yet. They push and push to find out what would make their partner ‘ready’. 9 times out of 10 the partner doesn’t know and so says something that could sound ok. If someone asked you 3.5 years ago if you were ready to marry your partner could you have articulated why you might not have been? I suspect he didn’t really ‘know’ about the parent thing until it came up.
Now, if he doesn’t propose soon – I’d be pissed, but it doesn’t sound like he’s stringing You along / lying to you. It’s just he wasn’t ready before and now he is.
Post # 12
Someone who is willing to ‘tweak the truth’ for his convenience as BalletParker so perfectly put it, won’t change into an honest person.
Truthfulness is a character issue. For some of us, there is no higher priority than the truth.
Decide what you can live with.
Post # 13
littlebuzz : Before we moved in, he said he was sure I was the one and that he knew he wanted to marry me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have moved in — it was a big step for me, even though I understand lots of people see it as a necessary step before engagement. In hindsight, that does seem contradictory. Why would he need to move in first, if he was really sure? I guess I thought it was some final confirmation for him, but perhaps I just overlooked the contradiction because I liked what he was saying so much. Now I’m annoyed at myself as well as him — but that might be a fairer response.
Post # 14
Moving in with or without an agreement to be engaged is, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, conditional on things going well. For that matter so is continuing to be married.
The difference is going into something with the mindset that this will soon lead to an engagement vs. making your SO believe that is what he’s doing while intending to use the experience as a test. And admitting it after the fact.
Not only would this not sit well with me, unless this was very poorly communicated, and it doesn’t appear to be, I’d feel beyond hurt and lied to. It might very well be a deal breaker in your place.
Post # 15
sockmonkey22 : I have to be honest, bee — I still don’t think he’s being honest. I don’t think the parents getting along has anything to do with why his proposal was delayed. Is he from a culture where in-laws live together or something? I understand wanting to be sure each of YOU get along with the other’s family and vice versa. But why do your families need to get along with each other? If they can be civilized, that’s sufficient. Is he saying if your families didn’t get along, he would have broken up with you? That makes no sense, and makes me think he found a convenient excuse for why he didn’t propose when he said he would. Has he been pushing for your families to meet before now, or given any other hint that this was important to him? I suspect not. I think he just wasn’t ready to propose at the agreed upon time, and now for whatever reason he is, and coincidentally, the families got together so now that’s the reason why he didn’t propose earlier. Unfortunately for him, it backfired because now it looks like he’s had this secret reason all along that he didn’t share with you. He’s put himself in a no-win situation because whether he had this secret reason all along, or just grasped onto a convenient excuse, it shows that he’s willing to lie rather than face potentially unpleasant consequences of the truth. Not cool.