(Closed) Do you think a letter is a bad idea?

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
3246 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@memo:  I feel the same way as you do. I have so many things I need to tell him, but I get sidetracked when we talk about things and I get embarrassed about my wants and needs and it’s sooo hard to communicate it well. I have gotten pretty much the exact same thing from my SO– when I’ve tried to bring it up, he indicates that he agrees marriage is pretty likely to be in our future, but when I try to communicate that I need better confirmation than that, he says that I don’t need to worry about that, it will come “all in good time.” NO, I need to know for sure if he sees that coming, and approximately when! But I have trouble getting this across (in fact, I have not dared to say that to him yet, but I’m going to soon).

So. . . unfortunately I’m in the same place you are, and I’m just going to think it over and get up the guts to have a serious conversation and ask him something like, “what do you see the next 3 or so years looking like for us? Would you consider at least getting engaged in the next year or two? That’s what I am really hoping for, and it’s on my mind a lot, and I have trouble with the uncertainty of not being sure when/if you think you want it to happen. Can you give me an explanation of how/if you see that happening, and a better idea of the time frame?”

I’ve thought of a letter too, but I feel like, for my SO and I, a letter would be a super-dramatic step and kind of an admittance to a breakdown in normal communication, which would be uncomfortable at best and a bad sign at worst (for us). If you and your SO do write each other love letters or letters to explain how you feel when emotions are running high, I think it would be fine, but if you don’t have a habit of writing each other letters, I think it might be awkward. 

Why don’t you just straight out tell him that his lack of definiteness is driving you crazy, and you need a better idea of when to hope for/expect engagement for your sanity and peace of mind? Emphasize that for your own emotional needs, you really want/need a specific answer, and even though you respect his desire for it to be a surprise (if you think that’s what’s making him so unwilling to talk about it) it is your relationship and your life too, and you have a right to be involved in deciding what’s happening, and when approximately. I think that’s only fair, but I have yet to get up the guts to do that, so I totally understand!

Post # 6
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Instead of writing him a letter, write yourself a note/list.  Then, the next time you’re talking about IT, you can refer to your notes.  That will calm you down, which will help the conversation along.  He’ll see a conversation as a more direct but less threatening way to communicate.  I think.  =)


Question: Why do we always write, “I think blah blah blah”?  Obviously I think it…I’m writing it!

Post # 7
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think it’s probably a bad idea simply because most guys are going to kind of freeze when you get super serious about asking when they are going to propose – I’ve been there, and although sometimes I really like writing letters because I feel like I can be more calm and express myself better, I also know my Darling Husband would have felt totally pressured and clammed up even more if I wrote him a letter about it.

You said 6 months ago that you knew it would be at least a year. So give it another six months. At that point, I’d wait till a conversation about the future comes up naturally – whether it’s discussing future children or your schooling or whatever, And then I would tell him, as in a way that is as non-emotional/worked up as you can manage, that it’s tough that the two of you have such a good relationship and know you both want a future together, but that only the guy gets to talk about/decide when you’re ready to start planning a wedding, and that you feel like you decide everything else in your life together, but when it comes to this huge major thing you’re supposed to just butt out and wait for whoever knows how many years. See where it goes from there (and don’t let him blow you off!)

Post # 8
3246 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@memo:  Wow, you really are in such a similar situation to my SO and me. My SO, like yours, has a habit of doing the opposite of what people try to get him to do. We have also had this topic come up a lot lately– even though I tried the shut-it-up pact for a while, I failed at it last weekend when I insisted that I strongly believe in marriage (we were talking about how some other people view it) and he said, “I know, my dear!” And then when I asked him how HE felt (asking if he felt that marriage isn’t necessary for a committed relationship) he said, yes, partially. . . ugh. And I need to talk about this stuff to him MORE because it’s never entirely out in the open, just awkward allusions. 

ANYWAY, maybe if you can completely avoid the subject for, say, 2 weeks, you could bring it up again? There does get to be a point when guys feel like their women are hinting about it several times a week (even if a woman tries to be quiet) but if you went for a while without saying anything it might help. Is your relationship anniversary coming up? After it passes, that might be a good time to talk. I’m thinking that’s what I’ll do (our relationship anniversary is in February).

Bleh, I know, it is annoying that it “has” to be the man. I think it has something to do with human psychology– it is somehow necessary, in a lot of couples, for the man to do the asking. My opinion (I’m a bit squirrely about thinking this) is that if the man can’t get up the guts to propose at some point, he doesn’t value the woman enough. I’ve known couples where the woman did propose, and both of them ended up breaking up or divorcing. That’s not much of a sample, but knowing that (along with many other factors) makes me entirely unwilling to propose to him!

Good luck to you also! Sorry for being so long-winded– this stuff is on my mind a LOT.

Post # 9
3246 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@Wonderstruck:  Good advice! I’ll try to keep this in mind as well. 🙂

Post # 11
1106 posts
Bumble bee

@memo:  Haha – same situation here! But I think that a letter is not the best idea only because you don’t want to push him and make an awkward situation.

Post # 12
7649 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I would write down a small list of main points so you don’t get lost and maybe that will help you organize thoughts as well.

Post # 14
1005 posts
Bumble bee


I actually have a letter like this already written out, because every time we try to talk about engagement, I start crying and can’t actually say anything useful. I’ve just been hesitant to give it to him. It’s not about (or asking for) a timeline, though.  Rather, it’s me explaining why this is important to me, why waiting has been hard, and that I want to keep the lines of communication on this topic open evn though I don’t want to pressure him. I tell him that I want him to take the time that he needs, and I ask him to tell me if he realizes his hesitation is coming from “not ever” rather than “not yet.” I tell him that I love him, and I’m not going anywhere.  I ask him to be patient with me if I sometimes seem sad or withdrawn, because just like it’s scary and hard to decide whether or not you’re ready – or want – to marry someone, it’s just as scary and hard to be waiting for the person you love to decide if they want to marry you, and when, when that is a decision you have already made yourself.

Post # 15
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

How long have you been together? 

I was with my FH for two years before he proposed and I knew he was the one a few months into year one. I needed the time to make sure though, because I wanted to make sure my gut wasn’t crying wolf…wow, didn’t expect that metaphor in this context but I will go with it…

Every once in a while when I would get impatient and want solid reassurance I would just remind myself of allll the amazing things my SO does for me to show me he loves me and think about what fun we have together and it was enough to reassure me. I knew it would happen, I just had to do that and tell myself that we have each other and that is what is most important. 

Now, aftersaying all this, it only took us two years and I had grad school to keep me busy. I don’t know how I would deal if I had to wait too much longer than that. I am also going to be 30 next month though…

Don’t pester him. He knows you want to get engaged. You don’t want to push him into it, believe me. Trust him come to it on his own time, it will be more special. If anything, your actions are going to get him there more than words at this point. Plan a special something for him and make him feel overwhelmingly close to you if that makes any sense. What does he love to do? What does he want to do that he hasn’t been able to? Or just what can you do to mix things up a bit? I promise you that will be more effective. 

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