Post # 1
It’s so ironic that I’ve been waiting for a proposal for the last 4 years. We always said that we would not live together before we got engaged. Recently my SO has been talking about what we’ll do with our “excess” furniture from our two apartments when we move in together in July. There has been no further ring talk, per se, besides this. The problem is that now I’m questioning whether or not he’s the right man for me. In recent months my best friend and my mom have independently expressed concerns about whether he’s right for me or not. They both seem to agree that I do all of the giving in the relationship and he’s just along for the ride, and that the only reason he’d consider going ahead and getting engaged is because he knows that I’m at the end of my rope. All of this is just so confusing because before they said anything, I was really excited about us taking the “next steps.” Has this happened to anyone else?
Post # 3
Hmm, I’m afraid I don’t have any advice… You know what’s right for you and what not. I can tell you though, that it is normal to feel confused about things after hearing other people have to say, especially things from your loved ones… I think it’d be best if you take this waiting time to REALLY get in touch with yourself and you two as a couple.
Post # 4
i dont know much about your situation but in my experience in relationships, both with my husband and past serious boyfriend – i think deep deep down in your heart you just know if its right.
With my husband it was so clear – months into it i just knew – i had this gut feeling that i was going to marry him. sometimes its not so clear, my boyfriend prior to my husband was a wonderful man, he will make a fabulous husband to someone some day and for the most part we had a wonderful relationship, i dreamed of marriage, we talked about it, our futures – things you talk about when it gets serious and while i was in it i was blinded, i wanted forever so bad that when the relationship started to dwindle i just kept holding on and hoping it would get better and things would work out. Looking back on it – i knew we werent going to be together forever and i knew that months and months prior to the breakup but i didnt want to believe it because there were so many good things about our relationship and a handful of issues we just did not agree on.
so for me it was pretty clear, i never questioned it with my husband…with my ex boyfriend it never got to the point where i had to question it so i dont know. but take some time and really listen to your heart – it tells you things.
just my experience though, im sure people will disagree with me on the “just knowing” part.
Post # 5
It is my personal experience that 95% of the time, your family and friends only want what’s best for you. They usually have no ulterior motive except to see you happy. It probably took your mom and Boyfriend or Best Friend a lot of consideration before saying anything to you about your 4 year relationship. I would take that as a very serious sign to reevaluate your relationship, especially if your gut it already questioning it.
Post # 6
@CanAmBride: I somehow agree with this BUT I wonder why the OP didn’t even have an inkling until her mum and friend mentioned something. Could it be that they are reading your relationship wrong?
Post # 7
What you’re saying specifically hasn’t happened to me, but I’m feeling nervous about moving our relationship “to the next level” and getting engaged in the next couple months. We’ve been together almost 6.5 years and decided in the beginning to not live together before marriage, but we recently changed our minds and decided to move in together in July too to save money in order to buy a house next year. The differences between us are that my SO knows I want a proposal before we live together and talks openly about engagement, our future, and the ring. Also, my family adores him and has been waiting for us to get engaged for years. We’re also so excited to live together and be with each other all the time!
Now, I do have some “cold feet” because I’m so used to having my own room and my own space – I’m an only child, and haven’t shared a bedroom since my sophomore year of college about 6 years ago! I’m also having “cold feet” because I’m thinking about going back on our decision not to live together and what if it’s not special when we get married? I know this is illogical, but it plays a role in my “cold feet.” None of my cold feet are about him or our relationship though. They’re all about lifestyle, decisions, excitement, and personal space.
It may be helpful for you to write down all of the red flags and then highlight the ones that YOU agree with and believe. Try to step back from your relationship and be as objective as possible. Then, try to write out all of the things you do for him and all of the things he does for you. Lastly, write all the reasons why you should stay with him. I can’t tell you what decision to make after that, but it should probably be a little clearer for you.
It also helps to talk to him about this, especially this sentence: “They both seem to agree that I do all of the giving in the relationship and he’s just along for the ride, and that the only reason he’d consider going ahead and getting engaged is because he knows that I’m at the end of my rope.” I’ve told my SO literally ALL of my fears with moving in together and he is very understanding and comes up with solutions and shares his fears as well. If you can’t discuss your fears or your view of how your relationship is going, then you probably should break up with him. Marriage and relationships cannot be strong without the ability to talk about tough stuff.
Post # 8
Sometimes friends and family are great and point out things that need saying. Seeing my ex-bf’s behavior through my cousin’s eyes when we visited for the first time after dating 3+ years made me realize I’d grown accustomed to things I shouldn’t have (namely, his temper). That was a good eye opener. Other times, family and friends mean well, but they interject themselves in your relationship and create trouble, seeing things that weren’t there before.
So, my advice is sit down and think through what they said about your relationship and evaluate if it’s valid or not. If you didn’t feel that way before they said anything, it might not be. (I knew the temper was an issue, I just minimized it because he never hit me.) Just sit and be open to what they said and think it through. If you decide it is valid, there is a nugget of truth in there even if it is not as dire as they make it out to be you need to decide then if you want to stay and fix it or go.
If you decide to fix it, talk to your hubby about the issues of giving and see his response – see if he steps up to the plate. Observe his relationships with others to see if it’s just something with you or if he’s a taker in general. Keep in mind – some relationships happily hum along with this giver/taker dynamic. If I were you, I’d think about what things does he need to give – e.g. help out more around the house? express affection more? Or do you not mind that and it’s just that you need to know that if you’re sick, pregnant and tired, or depressed because something bad happened, that he’ll be there for you? And then decide if he is capable of stepping up to the plate to be there for you how you need.
Re moving in together: Hold off while you are sorting through the relationship. You made a decision years ago not to move in together pre engagement – decide if that’s still valid or not. How did he start talking about moving in together? Usually that’s something you agree to do together. Did you let him think it was ok pre-engagement? Or has he just run off w/the bit b/w his teeth?
You say you’ve been waiting for a proposal for 4 years. How old are you and how long have you been together? Per the usual, if you are early twenties and just graduated from college I don’t see a problem. If you are early thirties and have been dating for 6+ years, this is very worrisome. Have you said to him in the 4 years that you wanted to get married? It seems like there is more here than you’ve posted.
Post # 9
I agree 100% and have been through similar circumstances as you.
I had a great amazing guy who would have been a perfect husband, but not for me and I knew it all along.
My Fiance, I knew pretty much from the second date. It was a feeling I had never experienced in 39 years of dating, and through any of my few very serious relationships.
Post # 10
I would ask your mom and best friend what it is about your relationship that concerns them. Just et their opinions, and see how you feel about them. Maybe they are totally unfounded. Good luck!
Post # 11
Thanks guys for the feedback. An update is that we have actually talked indirectly about some of the concerns that I have with moving in and taking the next step in general. @kay01
As far as the concerns that my mother and best friend have, again @kay01 is right. I have had to do an evaluation of the things that they brought up. I do believe that some of those things that bother them, don’t bother me…and that’s what makes us fit well together. I’m sure there are things about me that his family may take issue with. I think that generally we have a very communicative relationship and we will be able to continue to address any concerns that we have with each other.
Post # 12
@kay01: He has been in a trainee program for the past year. He is finishing up and now permanent job assignment will be in a neighboring town. One day, he just started talking about where “we” can live when he takes his permanent assignment in July. He pulled up some townhouses and apartments in the area on the web and we started looking at them together. I have not given him any inclination that it will be OK without the ring. In fact, we have talked loosely about a June wedding next year. We’re both 27 and have been dating since we were 18. (In an “open relationship” for 1.5 years of that time during undergrad, for obvious reasons.) We’ve been out of college for almost 5 years now. We have never lived together before. I’ve been “vocal” about wanting to get engaged for the last 2.5 years. Although, when the subject first came up, he said that he wasn’t surprised that I was ready and that he didn’t feel ready at the time. I had just relented to allow him time to decide that he was ready, and so I had not brought it up until this past January. At that time, I told him that I would like to be getting married in the next two years, and he agreed that it sounded like a reasonable expectation. This “moving in together” concept is the latest conversation that we’ve had about it.
Post # 13
Sounds exactly like my ex-FI. The more you give, the more they take. It becomes a horrible endless cycle. Don’t move in together until there is serious progress in that department, or you may be doomed to settle for less than you deserve.
Post # 14
I didn’t read what everyone else wrote so forgive me if I repeat!
I was engaged before and I was always giving and he was always taking. We fought constantly and I knew that it wasn’t right. I expressed this to him and he just kept telling me that it was normal and how relationships worked. I finally realized that it was NOT normal and ended things. I was a mess up until it happened, but right after I felt so much better. Like a huge weight had been lifted. I saw go with your gut! Only you know what is best for you. Now I am in a serious relationship and hoping to be getting in engaged soon and so in love. It is totally different and wonderful! We are partners and equal!
Take some serious time to think. Sometimes our hearts want us to do one thing when deep down we know it isnt for the best.