(Closed) Do You Think a Timeline is a Must?

posted 4 years ago in Waiting
  • poll: Is a timeline for major milestones a must?

    Yes, a very specific timeline is a must.

    Yes, but I don't need it to be too specific.

    No, a timeline isn't important.


  • Post # 2
    970 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    I don’t think a timeline is always a must. Depends on you! 

    I personally figured if I or a boyfriend didn’t know within 2 years that we wanted to get married, then there was no reason to keep going indefinitely. That was my personal opinion, based on the amount of time and aspects of getting to know each other and feeling like that would be a reasonable amount of time to make that decision.

    My husband proposed at 1yr & 9 months. But I’d been pretty clear I wouldn’t move in with him or make longer term plans  (like buying a house together) if we weren’t married. One day about 1 1/2 yrs in, I said “hey I like this (discussing building this future house), and it’s fun to dream about plans, but I feel like I need to make sure you are aware my stance on this hasn’t changed-I’m not going to live with someone if I’m not married to them, you know.” And he said, “yes-I know. I’m not worried about that and we should still keep making plans.” So I knew he knew how I felt, right? And I didn’t bring it up again. I would have if nothing came up by 2 years but I would have broken up with him if he hadn’t been sure or willing to commit by then. To me-it would have been a waste of time for both of us to stay in a relationship if we each wanted to get married but couldn’t decide on each other by that time. 

    That’s just my personal experience with a vague timeline idea and trying to be clear about my expectations. 🙂

    Post # 3
    5778 posts
    Bee Keeper

    A timeline isn’t a must, but frank open discussion is. 

    I advocate timelines quite often, but it probably seems disproportionately often because it’s usually in response to a Bee who has been waiting long enough for frustration and uncertainty to have crept in and her partner is being vague or seems to be stalling. 

    Your boyfriend doesn’t have to provide you with a timeline when he’s not even sure where his own head is at, but it’s also understandable if you’re not okay without a timeline. Also, it’s not right that he ‘shuts you down’ when you try to have an adult conversation with him. You’re absolutely right that you deserve a say too. He’s entitled to not be ready but it’s unsettling how dismissive he is of you and seems rather cocky about the balls all being in his court.  

    Post # 4
    9520 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    It depends on the couple. We didn’t. We talked and agreed it was time. If he isn’t ready then do not force it,it will only lead to more problems down the road.

    Post # 5
    1003 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2018

    I’m type A and my SO is much more like your boyfriend… That said we moved in together after 8 months as a temporary measure, and after 3 weeks sat down and decided for it not to be temporary.

    he was pretty anti timeline, and we don’t have one.. We have “conditions” that we want to meet, but this is after 3+ years together. I don’t think we talked marriage at all until 2.5 years in and it was me saying “when” and him saying “I hadn’t thought about it”… That hurt but I let it go and six months later we were coming up with the list of things we wanted to accomplish before getting engaged (I understand that we could do these after an engagement, but they are individual development goals that we want to focus on right now)

    we do have a “pull the cord” date though of next aug 1 which is his 30th birthday when we’ll get engaged regardless of how much we’ve got done

    i think if we hadn’t had these talks I would go crazy, and in one year we’ve gone from never discussing marriage to talking about it all the time

    younguys haven’t been together that long, it’s possible he’s just not thinking about it seriously yet. Before setting a timeline (if you need one) get a sense for where his heads at… But “you’ll always be ready before me” is balogna, that tide will ebb and flow between you on many occasions

    Post # 6
    34 posts

    Quite honestly, every relationship I’ve had where the guy said something along the lines of “I can’t make you any guarantees” and “you’ll always be one step ahead of me,” it meant that he didn’t want to marry me. I had an ex say “I can’t make any promises” and “Don’t count on me” … looking back, I should have HEARD what he was trying to tell me. Instead I made excuses for him. 

    Hopefully that is not the case with you. 

    With my husband,  early in the relationship (like a few weeks in, before I had any real expectations,) I asked him how long he thinks he would want to date someone before getting engaged. He said a year and a half to 2 years.  It wasn’t a weird question, and it was easy for him to answer. 

    When 2 years together rolled around, I was in the middle of law school and never imagined that we’d be getting engaged (and married) during my schooling. I thought for sure we’d wait til I graduated.  But he was ready. And we did it! 

    In my experience, discomfort around a (hypothetical) timeline has indicated  discomfort around the relationship. 

    Of course that’s not how it is for everyone, I’m sure. 

    Post # 7
    2003 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

    I was a step ahead of DH. We got together when I was 27, he was 26. He moved in to my apartment after a year but wasn’t at all ready to get engaged. I started to mention it when i was 29 and he flat out said he wasn’t ready to get married. It was only when his best friends (all from school) started to get engaged, get married that he started to mention it himself. I know him and know that pushing him or giving him a deadline would have pushed him away.

    We got engaged Nov 2014, bought a house together in Jan 2015 and married May this year. 

    Im not a fan of timelines but I think that’s because marriage wasn’t a deal breaker for me. I think buying a house was more of a commitment to be honest and if he had said no way to that them I would have reconsidered our relationship. Some men need a nudge, some men don’t respond well to it.  

    You’ve only been together a year so I would say it’d be quite early for an engagement but why is he so averse to living together? If by 2 years he is still saying the same things then I’d be concerned that he doesn’t want to move forward at all. 

    Post # 8
    3882 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

    Timelines tend to only pop up when one party is waiting on the other to get on their page. I feel like when both people are on the same page a timeline isn’t necessary. My Fiance and I didn’t have one and I think it’s because I was never waiting for him to make a move. We were pretty much on the same page. We talked about our goals and decided together we were ready to get married and we started planning. No fuss, no tears, no pressure. 

    I think a timeline is only really necessary if people are not at all on the same page, and even then I think they should be personal timelines rather than ultimatums given to one partner.

    Post # 9
    2337 posts
    Buzzing bee

    View original reply
    MiniMeow :  My SO and I were/are on the same page, and we discussed a timeline. True, I was the more anxious one, as I’m older, but when he stated his idea of the timeline, it lined up perfectly with my unspoken one.

    View original reply
    theladymarie :  I don’t think it’s “always necessary” because it depends on the two people involved. If both people are super type B about it, both know “it’ll just happen some day,” in no hurry, etc, then no, no need for a timeline. 

    But if one or both people have a little bit more anxiety around the question of the future, or have a sense of urgency about things, then yes, some sort of (at least vague) timeline would help that partner with their anxiety. IMO, a good, caring partner will want to help soothe the other partner’s anxiety.

    How hard is it to say, “I want to marry you, am not ready yet, and I’ll probably need at least a year of living together before I can even start to be ready. And I won’t feel ready to live together for at least another year.” I mean, really, how hard is that??

    I don’t think it’s a good sign that your SO is stonewalling you, even just about moving in together, not even discussing engagement yet. You clearly are feeling some urgency, and I see this becoming a sticking point with you guys. If the relationship is EVERYTHING you ever dreamed for yourself, then maybe wait it out a bit and see if he comes around to being more communicative. If not, cut your losses and move on to a guy who is ready for the things you are. 

    I started dating SO at 30, and I made sure to “casually” insert the fact that I was looking for a family/future-oriented man into conversation here and there. A guy who didn’t give good responses to those comments would not have gotten me into a relationship in the first place. 

    Your SO is putting you in the position of a beggar. He may not MEAN to be doing that, but that’s the dynamic that is growing and will continue to grow because of you two moving at such incredibly different speeds and him being unwilling to discuss openly. 

    Post # 10
    40 posts
    • Wedding: September 2017

    My Fiance and I have been together for 8.5 years and we just got engaged in June. When we originally started talking about getting married it was going to be in 2013. Things kept coming up that made us want to push that back — we weren’t ready for a lot of different reasons. About two years ago we said before I turn 30 and that loose timeline worked really well for us. 

    Post # 11
    3040 posts
    Sugar bee

    It’s a must for me.  I’m fairly Type-A, I’m 40, and I’ve been burned before (in previous relationships) by vague promises of “soon” and “in a few years”, where “in a few years” turned out to actually mean “more than 5 years”

    Post # 12
    13906 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    It 100% was not a must for me.  I loved my DH as a boyfriend and a FI; I couldn’t imagine pressuring him into something he wasn’t ready for or didn’t freely choose, particularly something as important as a marriage.

    He and I both went into our relationship knowing that we wanted to get married.  Other than that, I never gave him a deadline, a walk date, or threatened him with leaving him.  I would have stayed with him as a girlfriend even if he didn’t propose because I love him and couldn’t imagine my life without him.

    Post # 14
    589 posts
    Busy bee

    It really depends on the person you’re dating. 

    I knew my guy ( now husband ) was type that would be okay with dating for years without  having a  more serious commitment. We were only dating for about 6-8 months when we had our serious talk about marriage and expectations of our relationship. I told him I’m okay with dating for 3 years before I would like to see us get married. That’s exactly what happened. We got engaged on our 3rd year anniversary in Hawaii and got married exactly a year later. 

    No he wasn’t pressured into anything! Some guys are okay with dating someone for 10 years with marrying that person. I didn’t want that kind of relationship. 

    Post # 15
    32 posts
    • Wedding: February 2018

    I would say it’s a must! I have a wedding timeline that I’ve been on since we’ve gotten engaged! I found my dress a month into being engaged, but I’m waiting until about a year out to buy it! Not only do I have the money for the dress, I have money for my corset, slip, veil, and belt!

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