Post # 16
Obviously I don’t know him or your relationship beyond what you’ve told us, but what I do know is this. He’s 33 years old and has been with you for 5 years. It’s time to know something, at least on his part. He’s not asking you because up to this point, he hasn’t had to. He knows you’ll still be there waiting. A home renovation is no reason to not propose. A proposal is just a question, a committment. I think at this point, you’d be happy with that even if he couldn’t afford a ring. It’s time for a very real talk.
As far as the vacation, it’s not until September. You don’t have to decide this now.
Post # 17
Five years together when you’re young isn’t a big deal if you’re both on the same page about when you’ll get married. Take tiffanybruiser ‘s advice. Open the conversation with, “When do you see yourself being married?” The only right answer is a year or an age. It may be he doesn’t picture himself settled down and having kids till he’s 40, but you won’t be happy till you firmly know.
Post # 18
So you want to manipulate him and isolate the man and his family that you hope to become engaged to? You should be having conversations with him, not using vacations as bargaining chips.
It sounds like you know what the timeline is…So the problem is your self-esteem and either perception of judgment or inability to communicate with judgmental people that their judgment is not appreciated and stand up for yourself and your relationship. And if your family is that judgmental, why would you even want to go on vacation with them (alone or together)?
I know my family loves me and as long as I am happy, they are happy – no judgment. Hopefully your family is the same way and if they are then this is only about your own insecurity – not your family or your boyfriend. If they truly are that judgmental, then again I ask why are you going on vacation with them and why are the opinions of judgmental people ruling how conduct your relationship?
Post # 19
I know someone who has been dating a guy for 7 years. Wanted to be engaged by 4 and never expected it would be past 5. But, there she is, still waiting and it is so depressing to watch someone sacrafice their hopes and dreams for someone else. So insecure? Yeah, I’m insecure. I’m afraid I’ll be exactly the same because I’ll love him too much to be strong enough to walk away when it’s time to walk away. Not really trying to manipulate anyone here…I don’t think there’s anything wrong with setting boundaries for myself and trying to take care of myself. And no, my family is not that judgmental but they care more about me and my wellbeing than they do about my SO, as I hope anyone’s family would. They don’t want to see me wait in limbo forever just because I love someone. And sometimes your family is your mirror when you don’t want to see the reality of your situation. So yeah….I appreciate them and their tough love. I don’t even know that I’d call it judgment.
Post # 20
I understand your frustration OP, and I think how you feel is totally justified.
That said, I think you are going to have a hard time explaining that you’re willing to keep dating him without an engagment but you’re not willing to invite him on a trip he’s regularly been invited to in the past without sounding punitive. Have you thought about what you’d say to him? “Hey, I know you’re probably assuming you’re invited, but since you won’t propose to me you can’t come”? I’m not trying to be snarky- but he’s going to want an explanation as to why he’s excluded this year when he’s previously been invited, and it’s going to be hard for you to explain without sounding like you’re withholding the trip out of spite.
It would be different if you were prepared to break up with him at this point if you worried he was just wasting your time, but it sounds like you’re not there yet.
Post # 21
I truely get where you are coming from since I had to wait but I was 31 when my proposal came, we don’t have a house, and all of our friends are on their first if not second kids.
I think a real conversation with him is necessary and I really don’t think you should try an manipulate the situation with not inviting him and the family to the vacation. Like I said previously, it comes off as petty. If you truly don’t believe he is going to propose after the house is completed then you have a bigger problem and that’s when you have to assess your situation and decide what is best for you.
Post # 22
Frankly, I think he has too much control of your life. Planning to go alone and spend some time with family will give you some perspective, but don’t be afraid to do it before then. Take a couple girls weekends. I get that you’ve spent a lot of time on this guy, but if even your mother is starting to get skeptical, maybe he’s not the one. You can set terms in the relationship too, I would make your five year anniversary your walk date. If that’s the cut off where you start to feel sorry for other people, it should be the time when you decide to demand that he respect your agency in the relationship.
Post # 23
I understand how you’re feeling. I don’t understand why the house renovations are holding up a proposal. I think that is a separate issue from the vacation. As a PP said, if you don’t invite your boyfriend and his family, you’re going to get a bunch of new questions on why they weren’t invited. If you say that it’s because he hasn’t proposed, it does come off as very manipulative and petty. You don’t want to start those kind of games because it’s just going to make you feel worse.
Post # 24
Your feelings are 100% justified and you’re not being manipulative. The person who’s being manipulative in this scenario is your SO, who keeps stringing you along telling you to “trust him” year after year, yet taking no steps toward actually making a solid commitment to you.
After 5 adult years together and a nagging insecurity because of doubts that my SO will ever actually propose, I wouldn’t want him coming on a family vacation either. That may sound petty to some, but I see it as a form of self preservation. You’re gradually detaching yourself emotionally because it’s too hard to continue acting as though he’s a member of your family when he’s dragging his feet about getting engaged.
Post # 25
Thanks, Bees. I really appreciate all the advice. I’m really not trying to manipulate…I guess I just don’t see how I could go on this trip with him at that point and truly feel good about it. Guess if it comes to that though I probably won’t be in the relationship anymore anyway…
Post # 26
I don’t think you’re wrong, but in this case, I think the relationship needs to end if he’s just stringing her along. The trip is incidental.
Saying, ‘I’ve decided to stay in a dead end relationship that makes me miserable because the thought of leaving is too painful, but boyfriend isn’t allowed to come with me to my family’s trip, even though I’ve invited him previous years’ just sounds punitive no matter which way you look at it. If the thought of him coming along to her family’s vacation is the source of such misery and anxiety, it’s probably time to move on.
Post # 27
I’m seconding this advice.
Go alone- just do it breezily not pissy (lol even if you feel more pissy than breezy).
Because, first off, there’s nothing wrong with separate vacations- DH and I take some vacas together and some separately (we have different busy periods at work/ long distance fam etc).
And secondly, he is not treating you as an equal partner in your relationship. ‘Trust me’ sounds infuriatingly patronizing as opposed to a couple openly discussing their future as equals (I went through something similar with the equally infuriating and vague ‘soon’).
If he asks, you can tell him either A. you just want to go spend some time with your fam B. you just want a bit of space or C. you feel awkward bringing him and/ or his family again when you did it 2 years ago thinking they’d be fiance and future in-laws by this point (there’s no shame in honesty).
If this doesn’t sit right with him, you can point out that it’s okay for HIM to unilaterally make decisions that affect you both- and this is your decision. And be firm. Not sulky or bitchy, but firm.
Post # 28
I agree that it needs to end. 100%. But when you’re in that situation, ending things is often a gradual process with many slow steps along the way. I remember when I was breaking up with my shitty noncommittal ex, it took like a full year of gradual emotional detachment. Some of the things I did probably would have seemed petty or manipulative to outsiders – in fact I know my own parents were at their wit’s end because it seemed like the breakup was moving at such a snail’s pace and they knew this relationship was no good for me. But I was just trying to detach and get to the point where I was strong enough to call it quits. That doesn’t happen over night for a lot of people.
Post # 29
OP, I’m just wondering..let’s say after his “renovation” is done he does propose or even does compromise in the end and proposes sooner, do you really think you will be okay with how things have gone to get to that point? Is this the type of relationship you saw for yourself and how a future lifetime partner would handle taking the next steps? If not, truly, examine why you’re accepting less than what you expected. I’m not saying he should be forced into a timeline that doesn’t work but sometimes you have to realize you can love someone to the moon and back but it just isn’t what’s right for you.
If you will be secure in how things have gone then that’s okay and it’s not wrong so long as you’re secure in it.
I just can’t personally imagine being able to look at a man that knows how I’ve felt, taken all this time, and given those excuses (which, yes, sound like excuses) at the end of it. I also couldn’t imagine being married and looking back to the time of engagement and remembering all these struggles surrounding it.
The sad part is he is making it out to be just hindering on his house reno. So, it’s saying he does want to marry you and propose but a house Reno is what’s halting him from just taking the next step into asking you to be his wife? That, for me, would be enough said.
Sadly, I think it’s the same for you because otherwise you wouldn’t be this miserable about the way things are currently. I think you already are making excuses for him. I think you’re so scared of being that girl that you are that girl…because you’re falling over yourself to give him all the understanding in the world for his expectations but you aren’t giving your own expectations and needs the same.
Post # 30
Gonna go against the bees here. They’ve been together 5 years, he isn’t giving her a timeline. Why should he and his parents get a free trip? Her mom said she won’t be supportive of the relationship after 5 years and no ring, but Mom is expected to pay for them on this trip? Nope. I wouldn’t be down for that.
OP, tell your SO, “I don’t feel comfortable bringing you on a family vacation at this point in our relationship if you’re not ready to commit to me.” It’s in September. He can sort his shit out by then.