(Closed) D-day: deadlines and …(eventually) deal breaker?

posted 8 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

My Fiance and I dated for almost a year before he moved in with me.  We lived together for almost a year (10 months) before we talked and established that he 1. wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and 2. wanted to have a family with me, and 3. wanted to marry me.  Then I told him he had a year to propose or he had to move out.  I should say I’m in my mid-30s and want a family, so waiting forever for him to get around to deciding to marry me was not an option.  We would have lighthearted conversations, it almost became a running joke, how long he had left.  But with 2 months to spare (10 months must be our thing), he proposed and we’re getting married next month.  He actually his the ring for 4 months waiting for a trip we had planned, the brat.  I think the important thing is making sure you are both on the same page and same timeline.  I know my Fiance is a procrastimator extrodinaire, so setting a deadline and reminding him (but not nagging) worked. 

Post # 4
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Hi MsHopeful!

I completely feel your pain. My three year anniversary with my boyfriend is coming up in December. I am SO ready for us to be married, while my boyfriend on the other hand, is impossible to talk to about time lines. The last time I ask I got a vague “3-5 years” (!?!?) timeline. However, other times I’ve brought up that I’d like to think about trying for kids in 2 years, and how I want to be married to do so, he seems into it….? So, I have NO clue what he really thinks, time wise. He says he doesn’t like to “think about the future and prefers to take life a day at a time”. That’s great for him, but for me…not so much. Every day I feel more and more resentful – and it doesn’t help that every single time I log onto Facebook someone else I know is getting engaged or married. (5-6 so far in August alone!). I’m not saying it’s a race, but I’m ready, I love my boyfriend and have known since we first got together almost 3 yrs ago that I wanted to marry him. We are both financially stable. We live together and have a beautiful life together. What’s the hold up, here?

I don’t have experience with make it or break it proposal ultimatums. However; a year ago (last summer exactly) bf and I were in a tough place. We were doing long distance and I was SO ready to be done with long distance. But boyfriend pulled the same shtick about not being able to think about the future and not knowing where the future was taking him, blah blah, and basically not being helpful at all to helping construct a plan to end the distance. I was sick of it and did not see the point to continuing a relationship with indefinite long distance – so – I told him that if he did not want to make a plan to be together physically, that I thought we needed some time “off” to think if this relationship was something worth continuing and something we both wanted..it was essentially an ultimatum, and I was fully prepared for the fact that it might be over for good. It was heartbreaking, but I needed to move on with my life if he was not 100% in the relationship and I felt comforted by that fact.

Less than a month later, (keep in mind I was good about not getting into contact with bf AT ALL..very hard for me but worth it) , bf started calling, telling me how much he loved me, and…..low and behold! was willing to arrange a plan for us to be together in person.

Plan came to fruition several months ago and we have been living together blissfully ever since. I told him before moving in though that I would like to see this as a stepping stone to marriage, which he agreed to. Now though I am getting extremely antsy….keep in mind I left my country, family, friends, everything to move to be with him. If that doesn’t say MY commitment, what does? I am ready for him to step it up and propose. But, I don’t know when and if it will happen anytime soon.

I have a deadline in my mind – after we’ve been living together a year, I plan to bring it up. Not so much in terms of an ultimatum but if he has not proposed I am telling him I need to move back to my home country and continue my life there bc I don’t want to live in limbo with him forever. If the relationship will continue beyond that, I don’t know.

That’s all the advice I can offer from my experience, hopefully some other bees have more.

Good luck!

Post # 5
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I asked him several months ago what his timeline for engagement was (trusting the couple of shots of rum would keep him from being too nervous to talk.)  He said he pictured dating for two years before he got engaged – so February timeframe.  That’s a few months longer than I wanted to wait, but definitely a workable timeline (I have a free move to anywhere in the US up until March 12.)

Then we went to a friend’s wedding, and we were naturally asked when we were getting married.  “Well, I want to move back to California, and she wants to get her Masters and start teaching, so I’m thinking after we’re settled down.”

Whoa.  Wait a minute there, honey.  I’m not starting my Master’s until we are set to be in one state for at least three years.  Which is about two years away.  Plus three years for the degree, and figure another year until I’m settled in a teaching position.  Plus, menopause hits early in my family – I’ve got nine years, total, for childbearing.  Ain’t no way in hell I’m waiting around another six years for him to MAKE UP HIS MIND.  Then another year for engagement, and there’s no way I’m having more than one kid.  

I told him, once we were in private, that wasn’t going to work.  He’s says “Well, maybe when we’re settled in Cali.”

Um, why would I move all the way across the country for someone who can’t even DECIDE if he wants to marry me?  We’ve known each other for 3 years, been dating for about half that time, he’s been through the worst times of my life – shouldn’t he know whether he wants me by now?  So I gather my thoughts and revive the issue once we are home from the wedding (several days later.)  I explain that I have to stop having kids by the time I’m 33, and if he wants multiple children, we have to get married sometime in the soonish.  He gets all huffy and says he doesn’t want to explain to our kids “so why did get married?” “Because your mom said we’d have to break up otherwise.”  Well, I don’t want to explain “We just dated until it became absolutely necessary to get married if we wanted to have a nuclear family.”

Eventually, we bring it up again.  “Look, I don’t want to be simply dating for another year.” “Oh!  A year!  I thought you meant like in the next two months.”  “So you’re saying that you’ll propose within a year?” “Yes, yes, a year is an acceptable timeframe.”

Damn me for not saying six months.  Still have a ten and a half month window.  ARGH!

Post # 6
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My SO and I have been together for 5 years. We are living together. My pseudo-ultimatum was that I told him I would not re-sign our lease without a solid committment (proposal). We can still date, but if he is not ready to be as serious as I am about our relationship (marriage) then I need my own place. Since that convo he has bought a ring. Our lease expires in September so I’m now just waiting on a proposal!

To me, that was not an ultimatum. I wanted to get married because it is something I feel strongly about, and I knew that he was the one I wanted to be married to. I needed to know if he thought the same thing about me and if we both agreed on WHEN that would be a good time for us.

My advice to you is keep the lines of communication open. Yu need to havoe a talk with him and he is not allowed to just walk away and leave the convo. That is not fair to you and you deserve to know where he sees your relationship heading. My SO and I had many difficult conversations about timelines… basically I was ready to get married about a year before he was… But talking about expectations kept our relationship intact. 

I hope this helps!

Post # 8
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I did something of the sort with my future-fiance (no proposal yet, but hopefully very soon!).  He knew that i was The One, but it took him a long time to figure out whether or not he wanted the same things as me – i.e. marriage and family.  He stalled for several years on this point (we were living together all the while), and I was trying to be patient with him.  But it finally got so difficult that I did make an ultimatum.  We needed to talk about it and figure it out, because if he kept stalling, I was leaving.  I thought about just setting a deadline for a proposal, but it didn’t seem very fair to give him X amount of time to give me what I wanted without talking about what he wanted. 

Post # 9
669 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Oh man.  I dated my Fiance for 6 years before we got engaged; however, I was 17 when we started dating, so I was nowhere ready for marriage.  It is very easy to get antsy about getting engaged, and there does come a time where you think, and sometimes exclaim when no one is in listening distance, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”, but you should really put what’s truly important into perspective.  I hate to put this bluntly, but do you want him or do you want a wedding?  If you are putting a timeline on it, and are willing to give up a guy you feel is worthy enough to marry just because he hasn’t asked you to marry him (yet!), you should really consider if you are in love with him.  As much as I wanted to get engaged before my Fiance actually proposed, there was no way I ever thought about setting a timeframe because there was no one in the whole world that I would ever dream of marrying.  Don’t get me wrong, there were days when I said, ” (name), I’m not going to wait around forever!”  I would say that out of frustration, but I never, ever meant it.  And the honest to God truth is, I would have waited forever for him to ask me to marry him (that is how special he is to me)……now, I didn’t necessarily want HIM to know that ๐Ÿ˜‰  And, honestly, after having the proposal and much of the wedding plans done, I’ve come to the conclusion that none of that is really what is important, nor does it really matter…..what matters the most is sharing a life with him, and that can be done with or without marriage.  We are as committed to each other as two people could ever be, and I truly don’t need marriage to seal the deal or prove anything………..BUTTTTTTTTTTTT I do love the idea of calling him my husband and sharing sharing his last name with him.

Boy, this turned out to be long, and I hope I didn’t offend you in any way.  I just want you to think about what is realllllllllllllllly important to you and if it is worth losing your boyfriend.  Let him take some control over the proposal; let him make it special.  My Fiance said that he would’ve asked me so much sooner had I not brought it up from time to time.  He said it was a natural desire. I trust that your man feels the same way.  I’m sure an engagement is coming.  In the meantime, if you choose, just enjoy living life with him, because that is really the most important thing in the long run.

Post # 10
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

My Fiance hates that I am a timeline person, but these are just my ideal plans. I would not want anything to happen before both of us are ready. We dated for 6 years before we got enagaged. I told him about a year before that I would be ready to  get engaged once nursing school was over. I finished nursing school last may and her proposed at the end of June. We are getting married one month from today.

I had a conversation with him to let him know that I am a planner, I like timelines, but they are not all or nothing. I would never have wanted him to propose to me before we are ready and I would never have wanted him to marry me if he wasn’t ready. It just the organized type A personality that I have and I like to plan ahead. I think its good to be honest. I had an other girl friend tell her now husband, not to ask her to move in with him unless he planned on propsing within a year. I don’t think its unfair to say I don’t want to be set up for disappointment, because these are the things you are hoping for and when you are hoping they happen.

I think the conversation could go a little something like this….I want to have an honest conversation and get my feelings out. I am not trying to pressure you and would never want someone to commit to me if they did not mean it. But I have been thinking of our future  and you are the one I want to spend my future with. I feel like I will be ready for that to happen…..insert timeline. I want to know if we are on the same tract, so that I am not set up for disappointment. What are your hopes and feelings for our future?

Be honest, if he loves you then he loves all of you…timelines included.

The timelines came in handy with the wedding planning.

Post # 12
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I would just be really careful with deadlines… I think it does depend on the guy ultimately, but some see it as a threat and dont take too kindly to it! If you are going to put the ultimatum on them for a deadline for engagement, you have to be willing for the relationship to end.

It sounds like you havent managed to have a really honest conversation yet with your partner – and I think you really need to find out where he is at and what he thinks of marriage and when it should happen.

Post # 13
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I gave my now Fiance a deadline, but I knew that regardless if there was a ring or not we are still going to get married. I basically told him how it made me feel to be so committed, but no ring. we also live together. He understood and told me not to worry it would come. I told him last summer I wanted him to ask by Christmas. Only to realize in November I wasn’t ready.. I chickened out and told him nevermind! And within a few months I was ready and he was able to give me the proposal he wanted to. So in March he proposed!

Have a talk. Tell him how it makes you feel to not have it be “official” and make sure he does indeed want marriage. If he does, he will ask in his own time. Guys often feel they need to be safe in life in order to provide for you. For my Fiance, he wanted to graduate and have an income. He felt without that monetary support, he could not in good faith ask me because he couldn’t support me. So I guess for guys they have to be ready to actually be MARRIED before asking. Sorry if I’ve not made sense..

Post # 14
1854 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I dated my Boyfriend or Best Friend for 3 years, then we moved in and lived together another 3 years. He had the same “I’m just as much committed to you whether we’re married or not” line. I explained to him that marriage was a dealbreaker for me and that if he was just as committed, then it wouldn’t be a problem doing it.

He said ok, but when we have good jobs. Then, ok, but when we have a house. etc. etc. etc. Eventually I realized that I really wanted the commitment of marriage, but I wanted it with someone who wanted it as much as I did – not someone who would do it just to avoid losing me.

I also ended up figuring out other problems in that relationship; slowly prepared myself to leave, and left.

This was the best move I have ever made. I was with my ex for 6 years; left him just over 3 years ago and am now happily married.

My ex was a good guy, and I grew up tremendously with him, thanks to him. He will always hold a special place in my heart. But he was not good for me.

So yeah, marriage was a dealbreaker.

That was one of the first things I told Darling Husband. 6 months into our relationship, I dropped the L word for the first time and he freaked out. We almost broke up over it. I told him, I just wasted 6 years of my life, if you don’t want to be with me, don’t waste my time. In the end, I had just taken him by surprise and he froze. We had a good discussion though – where I clearly explained that I was in it for marriage. No, I wasn’t ready for it now, but I promised that if I ever realized that this is not what I wanted for us, I would not waste his time, I would leave him; and made him promise the same. One year after this discussion, we were engaged.


It makes me so sad to see that so many of us are dating for years before they subtly broach the subject and are scared to “push”. EXPLAINING CLEARLY WHAT YOU WANT FROM A RELATIONSHIP IS NOT PUSHING. IT’S IMPORTANT TO RESPECT OURSELVES AND BE HONEST WITH OURSELF AND OUR PARTNER ABOUT WHAT WE NEED.

Sorry for the capital letters.. I just had to let it out!

Post # 16
1854 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

He started dating a girl one year after I left. It looks like he learnt from his experience with me, because things he did that hurt me then, he didn’t do with her (or he at least improved).

They just bought a house together, after not even 2 years, had moved in together after 4 months – which is ironic, bc after leaving him, I didn’t want to live with a bf, and only moved in with Darling Husband once engaged, haha!

I don’t know much more though, because his Girlfriend doesn’t want us speaking – doesn’t believe in friendship between exes… I think it’s too bad, but I respect that. We exchange emails on birthday and christmas with a few news, but that’s it.

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