- 5 years ago
Ok. So. This is my first time ever posting on something like this, but I really just don’t know where to turn or who to talk to because everybody has so many opinions about this I’m having a hard time deciding what my own opinion is.
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 8 years, starting when I was 15 years old and he was 17 (we are now 23 and 25). We have been living together since I graduated college one year ago, and I am currently finishing my first year of graduate school for teaching and am still financially dependent on my parents. He has had a stable job working in finance for three years. I have always had a bit of a marriage complex (child of divorce, and a good one at that but still scarring, dad on 4th marriage, etc), and have been raised by parents who have always advocated for being totally self-sufficient prior to deciding to get married. If you asked my dad, he would probably tell you that this isn’t possible for anyone until about 30. I am also very close with my parents, and ultimately just want to make them proud almost more than anything (which I have done thus far I think), and am terrified that, ok, well they would support me i’m sure, but wouldn’t feel 100% about it, and that would pretty much kill me.
My boyfriend comes from a very different background- his parents got married when his mom was 22 (though his dad was much older), and I almost think that they consider us to be living in sin (sort of) by cohabitating before marriage.
We have had talks throughout our relationship about when we think marriage would be in the cards, and we always disagreed slightly about timing (he always thought younger, I wanted older), and I have always felt that if one person is unsure the other must yield to them, because who wants to marry someone who is unsure anyway. ANYWAY, i found out yesterday that he was planning on proposing on our two week vacation to wyoming with our families, which is in three weeks. I thought it was a joke. I freaked out and laughed it off like, “close call!”, but when he started crying out of disappointment I realized it was serious. I mean how can I seriously complain or feel anything but ecstatic that I have this amazing guy whom I love and share a life with, and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with ME. Until that moment, despite stupid girly ring and dress browsing, I realized that I had not SERIOUSLY considered what it is he wanted in all our previous conversations.
His perspective is that he has made a lot of decisions about his life based on our relationship, including buying an apartment (which was not like a HUGE sacrifice for him, I mean it’s a big decision but he could afford it), choosing a well paying job over maybe another more risky endeavor, and living in a city he may not love because it’s where my school is, and he wants some sort of promise that this was not all in vain, that he’s not going to wake up alone at 27 having only had one girlfriend and having to start all over. I get that, and I also get that as much as I promise i WILL be here, he also has a lot more invested than I do (in terms of assets, etc). I have a friend who says, you’ve been together 8 years, nothing is goign to change and you will always find an excuse as to why this isn’t the “right time”, to which I say, but i might feel more ready in a year! Who knows, I guess. The point is, my boyfriend really wants this, and there are definitely reasons as to why it does make sense, but that does not change the 23 years of having ideas about marriage drilled into my head (and getting married at 23 without a job is not one of them). I am just feeling like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, that I will either disappoint my parents who may feel that I am rushing something that doesn’t need to be rushed, or my boyfriend, who loves me to death and wants to spend his life with me, and wants a commitment that I will not disappear in a few years having stolen his 20s and leaving him having to start over. (I mean it’s not just that he wants that security, he also feels like it’s the right time, but then again he HAS a job, he’s two years older, his family is so excited about the idea, etc).
I just need help sorting through this, because I cant figure out where my family’s ideas and feelings end and my own begin, and whether my reasons for feeling unsure are justifiable given that I’m not waiting because i’m unsure, I want to be with him, I just want to feel “ready” and think time, or age maybe, will provide that, or whether I am being self centered in my feelings about this without any “real” reasons when he has very real reasons for wanting this.
Ps sorry for the run on sentences and comma splices. and thank you in advance for whatever insight, advice, experiences, or anything that you have.