Post # 76
mrstodd2bee : Usual condescension aside, you’re correct that the communication was key, and I did myself a disservice by not speaking more openly sooner. My SO communicated poorly as well, but I can only speak for myself about what I wish I had done differently.
I was fine not getting engaged while long distance; looking back I don’t wish that I was engaged then, so in retrospect I wouldn’t change anything from those years. But in 2016, I thought engagement within the next six months made sense, and I should have said so. Because from 2016 onwards I really was “waiting” in my mind because I had at that point developed expectations for the proposal, and from unmet expectation comes the resentment that makes waiting a problem. I should have spoken up as soon as there was expectation.
I should have been more willing to have a real discussion about both of our timelines. But instead I was justifying and reinforcing expectations that I would hold my SO to without having discussed them with him. I had decided that I didn’t need to say anything beyond “I want to get engaged soon” because we had an open-ended conversation about engagement in 2014, so once I said I was ready, then he was going to propose because we talked about it twice and I was ready.
To be honest, in 2016 I didn’t get into the timeline discussion in part because I didn’t want to hear about his thought process if it didn’t match with my own. I was betting on our expectations aligning perfectly because that was the sign of a good relationship. Because if our timelines were different, and he wasn’t already planning a proposal when I told him I wanted to get engaged soon, then he wasn’t really committed and we weren’t meant to be and I deserved better, etc. I worried that timeline = pressure = ultimatum = he only proposed to shut you up. I worried more about not ruining the proposal for him than about how the waiting was affecting me. I regret thinking any of that crap; I regret putting myself and our relationship in that little box.
Post # 77
girlfriendphd : you obviously thought engagement was a good idea back in 2014 too since you asked him to get engaged.. There’s no shame in actually owning that, it was brave. More women *should* speak up. So what if it took him 4 more years to come to the same conclusion as you? No point as a pp said in trying to dissemble, minimize the time it took him to get on board. The important thing is that eventually you both got on the same page and are planning your future together. All is well that ends well.
Post # 78
mrstodd2bee : I’ve spent plenty of time considering the nuances of my relationship and my own behavior. You’re free to interpret how you like, but I am well aware of my own feelings on this matter.
I expected to be engaged in 2016, and that’s when I feel I failed in my communication and reached a turning point in how I thought about engagement. That is how I define my waiting period. My decisions and mindset during those two years are what I regret and would change if I could.
So that’s the core point that I think makes my situation relevant to this post. It’s not about ruling how many years is too many or whether a guy sucks or not. When you’re upset about a “missed opportunity” for a proposal, it’s because of unmet expectations.
I’ve had to consider why my expectations were not met. What can I attribute to my own (lack of) communication? What did I hold back and why? What resulted from my SO’s choices and would not have changed if I had stated my expectations? Would I still want to marry him based on that?
To do this I had to think beyond the immediate concern of the proposal, so that’s my advice to OP based on my experience. Not that she should stay because I stayed and it worked out, or that she should leave after two years because I waited two years and any longer is unthinkable. That would be a narrow application of my experience to this post and not actionable advice in my experience.
Post # 79
girlfriendphd : very helpful, thank you for your story and advice. It helps to hear from someone who did wait.
Post # 80
. . . he also told me he was planning to on our dinner but something happened that threw everything off, I didn’t think to ask what it was.
This is the money quote, Bee. It’s how a guy can torpedo his own credibility in an instant. I wish you would have asked him what, exactly, halted the dinner proposal. You still can.
What do you think stopped you from asking him for an explanation? He threw it out there. Should he not have some accountability for his words?
Many Bees are jaded on the Super Speshul Surprise angle of approach. After eight years, the USS SURPRISE(!) has long sailed. Maybe your bf is sincere. We can’t know. All we have to work with are the facts as you have presented them and collective Hive experience.
In my personal opinion, his behavior has reached the level of unreasonableness. He claims he wants to marry you. He is well aware that the lack of a proposal hurts you deeply. What would you say to your sister or bestie in the same situation?
When there is good communication in a healthy adult relationship, goals for that relationship are discussed often and openly. Partners constantly check in to ensure that they’re synced up. When the communication is really good, it feels natural and angst free.
Life throws curveballs, sometimes spitballs that push you into heavy strum und drang convos. Inevitable. But, those are the exception in happy relationships. And not because one or both partners is stuffing their feelings.
Whatever is going on in your relationship, I think most of us would be willing to stipulate that communication is something that you two really need to work on.
Post # 81
Agreeing together on a surpirse proposal is fine. Just because it won’t be a complete shock doesn’t mean a proposal means nothing. My proposal, after dating 5 years, was a “surprise.” Yes, I knew it was coming and yet it was still sweet and meaningful that he planned and executed a proposal anyway. It meant a lot to me. I’m not sure why this is so hard to understand, as some Bees seem to think.
However, this “surprise” should not be given presedence over a partner’s feelings and should not drag on for months (or years!), IMO. He bought the ring in Februrary and might wait up to 7 months to propose? In my opinion, that is too long and I don’t blame the OP for being upset. Also, for him to tell her that “he almost proposed” at dinner, but didn’t, was unecessary and hurtful. At this point, the surprise element would be ruined for me and I would just tell him that I consider us engaged and start planning the wedding. Sorry, Bee.
Post # 82
I think some bees are being super dramatic. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting a surprise proposal. I think it’s quite obvious that “proposal” means getting a ring and becoming publicly engaged.
OP, if I were you, I’d ask why he didn’t propose at that dinner. My curiousity would beat out my desire for an absolute surprise proposal. He offered to tell you of his upcoming plans to make you feel better, I don’t know why bees think that he is just stringing you along.
Post # 83
sassy411 : ” He is well aware that the lack of a proposal hurts you deeply. “
Bingo. This is it right here, for me at least. If he sincerely loves OP how can he bear to hurt her so unnecessarily like this? He could have taken her pain away and chooses not to, this just baffles me- in general in these situations, not just with OP. So has he been misleading her and he’s not on the same page? Is he insensitive toward her feelings? Undervaluing her? Or does his ego take precedence over her pain in his insistence on dragging this out over some charade of it being a surprise (because let’s face it, that ship has sailed and he was the one who let it sail)? These are not easy things to get over or look past, even if a proposal does eventually take place.
Post # 84
Hey everyone, just an update. Today he finally proposed on vacation! He had a romantic private dinner set up on the beach. The reason why it was so late was because of the setting and customization. Although I expected it might happen finally, the moment it happened was still nice and unexpected tears in both our eyes with hugs and kisses. It was a private moment.
Post # 85
Mlim : Congratulations! Beautiful ring!
Post # 86
(Comment moderated for personal attack)
Post # 87
(Comment moderated for personal attack.. mrsaime )
congratulations Mlim! I’m sure it was beautiful and exactly why some men take the time they do. Believe it or not, sometimes they take pride in creating a beautiful symbol and a beautiful moment to mark the beginning of a new chapter of their relationships!
Post # 88
inliferound : thank you! There was more to it than it sounds but I don’t think I owe the whole story to some ass. Tears in his eyes with a big smile and a private evening he coordinated with the hotel on the beach alone with a nice dinner was definitely not the vibe of a shut up ring.
Post # 89
Mlim : No, that doesn’t sound like the vibe of a shut it up ring at all, it sounds like a lovely proposal. Congratulations and your ring is gorgeous (your nails too).
Post # 90
mrsaime : Was it necessary to be nasty when someone’s shared their happiness at being engaged?