Post # 1
So I don’t have a plan in place to walk away from the relationship by a certain date. I was just wondering if it would make sense to do such a thing. My boyfriend and I have been together for about 6 or 7 years. Does it make sense to end a relationship that works in terms of hanging out and getting along, but the timelines just don’t seem to match up? Finances are not an issue, and we both have stable careers and are in our mid 20s. Whether he is procrastinating or isn’t ready yet, at this point in our relationship, it seems like if he doesn’t propose in the next 6 months it just may not happen at all. Does anyone else feel this way? Have you ever broken off a relationship for similar reasons? Any advice, critiques, just anything would be helpful.
Also, if someone could please explain why it hurts so much to not be engaged I’d really appreciate some insight. It feels so dumb to be so upset but the desire to be engaged feels like it’s taken on a life of its own.
Post # 2
I think its really hard to be with someone who doesnt have the same long term goals as you do, be it marriage, kids, etc. So I completely understand when someone would want to end things because of that. I think you have to make it clear to him. Have you discussed it or only hinted things? What if he is planning on proposing anyway? Is it important to him?
Some might tell you that marriage doesnt matter as long as you are happy and content together, but it does matter to YOU. To each their own. If it matters to you then you shouldnt need to compromise on something so important to you. But talk to him more about it, see what he really is planning on doing. We overthink things a lot and its so easy to get caught up in the wrong emotions. Dont put a definite deadline though. It could just add unnecessary pressure and tension to your relationship.
Post # 3
I can’t really help with the timeline thing as my timeline shifted dramatically when I met my partner so I don’t know if I could walk away based on that. What would have made me end it was his lack of interest in marrying me because marriage was such an important thing to him, if he didn’t want to marry me but still saw marriage in his future, then I’d struggle.
It hurts because society tells us (as women in particular) that marriage is still the holy grail, the ultimate achievement. You can be successful or independent but without marriage it doesn’t matter. It hurts because our friends and family (mostly well-intentioned) say ‘when are you two going to make it official?’ As if the last X number of years you haven’t been building an official commitment to each other, you haven’t moved cross-country/bought a house/potentially lost a friend etc because of your commitment to this relationship. It hurts because people move at different rates and you know it’s illogical but when someone who has been together less time is engaged, you feel less valued, less loved. It hurts because you want to ask your partner if this is going to happen because you’re going insane but you don’t want to be the woman ‘nagging’ about marriage, that age old image of the woman dragging him to the altar. Mostly it hurts because you love your partner, you’ve thought about spending the rest of your life with them, that hopefully you’ll be the sweet old couple still walk down the street holding hands and you’re ready for that step but all the pressures (family, friends, society, the perfect ring, the perfect proposal, the right time vs too much time, children, no-children, those against marriage, the list goes on) make all the emotions that both of you are feeling really heightened and overwhelming.
Have the timeline chat, if you haven’t already. If they’re slightly out, listen to each other’s reasoning about the timelines and see if you can compromise. For example my timeline potentially has a few years wiggle room with regards kids. If your timelines are massively different and you can’t seem to reach a compromise, that’s a decision that you and your partner have to reach. Once you’ve had that chat, try to relax (I know it’s easier said than done) and try to not build up expectations too high (honestly when it happenes, no matter at what point you make it official or how, it’ll be amazing if you let it) and enjoy your dates with him, don’t think that every date/anniversary/big event that he will propose as you’ll set yourself up for disappointment and not be surprised when it comes (if you want a surprise proposal).
Post # 4
This sounds similar to me about a year ago except I never once thought about leaving. I wouldhave rather stayed with him forever not being married than leave and marry someone else. My advice is to have a chat, not necessarily a timeline chat, but a chance for you to really express how you are feeling and what YOU want out of life and what HE wants out of life. See what you agree on and what you are both willing to compromise on. We had a chat November last year (I told him I felt ready to get married, he wanted to as well but wasnt ready at that time) so I then put it all to the back of my mind (I never wanted to force him into anything) and he proposed this April, in his own time and his own way. And when he asked me to marry me i knew he was 100% with me and excited to get married. I dont know if i would have felt as sure he was actually ready if i had given him a timeline.
Thats just my story, sometimes partners need a little nudge in the right direction but for sure you need to sit down and talk to him. On the other side, I know someone who pressured her Boyfriend or Best Friend to propose, he did, they got married and two years later they are getting a divorce. So you need to see if you are both on the same page or if either of you can make comromises to get on the same page. Good luck
Post # 5
I sat with my Fiance and we discussed our long term goals. We have been together 9 1/2 years when we got engaged in August so I understand your anxieties. A good open, calm and honest conversation will help. Personally, I gave my Fiance an ultimatum-ish and I did say that we were going to have to rethink our relationship if he wasn’t willing to get married. Thankfully, he said he was! Lol, to think back, I would’ve left him if he said no but I know for a fact that he wasn’t going to say that so yay for me.
Post # 6
I think it’s a good idea to have a chat together about what your after in the future, do you both want marriage and do you both want children? For me, these are two big factors..if my partner didn’t want marriage or didn’t want children I would have to reconsider my relationship with them as they are two things that are important to me. If he says he wants.to get married, maybe hint that you hope it happens soon as you’d love to make that commitment etc and then leave it there. I think if you are too pushy and he proposes, it is ‘real’? If you get me? I would rather the proposal be when it’s really coming from him. However any more than 9/10 years I would wonder if he really was going to get in arse into gear and do the deed haha! We got engaged after 6 years and it was the right time for us both.
Post # 7
I don’t think it’s just the “not being engaged” that might be hart you, but the fact that someone you see your future together with as husband and wife may not want the same thing… Well, at least not in the same form maybe.
I haven’t been with my boyfriend for as long as some of the other bees (just over 2 years), but we are both in our late 20’s (in fact, I’m turning 29 in a couple of weeks), so I feel like our timeline should be a bit different (shorter) than if we were, let’s say, in our early 20’s. He knew from the start that being married was important to me and he’s always said he wanted marriage and kids eventually too. I wouldn’t have agreed to living together otherwise.
This time last year all of a sudden I got irrationally anxious and dying for a proposal (he doesn’t really know about this because I knew all along we were not ready and my feelings were not rational). I think I felt like that because 1) a few couples we knew got engaged/married (although all of them have been together a lot longer than us) and 2) living together wasn’t “news” anymore. We adjusted to living under the same roof really well and so few months later I was like “Ok, so what’s next?”.
When I was thinking about whether I could ever really walk away if my SO told me he changed his mind and marriage was no longer on the cards, I realised that I probably couldn’t… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it would be ideal and I think it would take me time to re-adjust and “recover”, but providing our relationship would eventually go back to what it is now, I don’t think I would have it in me to end something that’s perfect for me in every way, apart from our views on marriage. And the minute I realised this was my bottom line, all my anxiety disappered because all of a sudden I was no longer waiting… Few months later we had a “where would you like to be in 5 years?” chat and I never mentioned any of my previous feelings or thoughts, so we are both still moving towards getting engaged in the next couple of years (probably right before or after we finally purchase our first home the year after next), but all that pressure I created in my head hasn’t been an issue since because now I know excatly what my bottom line is.
I guess my point is, be honest with yourself and get to the bottom of whether you would actually be prepared to walk away if you SO said he never wanted to get married. Different views on marriage and having kids are very legitimate reasons to end a relationship, so if marriage is your dealbraker he needs to know. If not, I think you still need to know where you guys are headed and if marriage isn’t on the cards and you are not prepared to give up your relationship, knowin where you stand NOW will help you adjust and focus on other things.
Post # 8
So you have only been with your boyfriend for the duration of your adult life and no one else. Have you had the discussion of marriage before? Has he already missed deadlines that you set together? It is one thing if he has repeatedly missed deadlines. From the tone of your post it sounds like that may be the case.
If he has missed deadlines and has been pushing aside discussions of marriage and engagement, that is concerning and that is when I would recommend giving yourself a deadline. If you haven’t had the marriage talk yet and you haven’t discussed your future as a couple, then it’s not exactly fair to him to spring this on him. I would sit him down first and emphasize just how important this is to you. Marriage is often a dealbreaker for many couples…if one person wants it and the other doesn’t or is unsure that presents a pretty major issue. Once he is well aware of your needs in this relationship, go from there and decide if you are getting what you want/need out of this relationship.
Post # 9
I think it’s a good idea as PPs have mentioned to sit down and talk with him as to where you see yourselves in 5, 10 years. Yes, plans change, but if you want to be married and he doesn’t, that is a HUGE difference.
Post # 10
I just left my bf of 4 years for not proposing. I’m only 21 soon to be 22; he’s 26 soon to be 27. I cried to him almost every other day for a year and half about not getting engaged. I told Him to me it was a level of commitment that I needed to know I wasnt spending my youth on a fling. He told me after each disagreement we had he kept trying to make things work and that was commitment to him. I couldn’t take his bs anymore Honestly. a year and a half of hearing that we weren’t ready yet I realized i was ready and he wasn’t. I got approved to buy a house recently and guess what his name isn’t going anywhere on my paperwork Because I don’t trust him anymore. I don’t trust that he’ll actually move forward with our relationship. He’s an adult child of Divorce and I feel like that tainted his ideas on marriage; his mom remarried as soon as her divorce was finalized and he constantly heard negative comments from his dad. I think he has a lot of internal conflict, I love him but I love me more. Weve experienced a miscarriage together and that has shown me that I truly want children and a family. I dont hAve time to give to someone who doesn’t understand my desires and can’t justify his. I’m working on a second college degree and he can’t even hold down a career at his age. I wish I would have left when I first had doubts; to all the best luck to you. i hope you can over come any bitterness because it will tear down a relationship