Post # 1
I think I know what the advice will be but I just want to hear other opinions and maybe even just vent a little. My boyfriend and I are in our early 30’s and have been together for nearly 3 years, living together just over a year. I have thought he was going to propose a couple of times and psyched myself up for disappointment (all my fault). I do struggle with an anxiety disorder and tend to overthink and catastrophize things (I’ve had this disorder since childhood). We’ve had a few conversations and before he used to say we would get married one day; now I have asked him if he ever thinks of proposing and he said yes, but wont tell me when. I’ve made it clear I would like to get married sooner than later (or at least engaged). He does say he is committed to me and wants this too but wont tell me when he is going to do it. We’ve had a couple of these conversations over the last few months and I’m giving myself so much anxiety just thinking it will never happen. He makes me happy and we have a great relationship, and the last thing I want to do is pressure him or ruin our relationship. How do I just stop thinking about it and let it happen when it happens? I’m worried he is giving me lip service and is not actually ever going to propose (a lot of this is my anxiety). Feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
Post # 2
First off, stop blaming your anxiety. Anyone would feel anxious in your situation. I know in a way it’s easier to blame this all on your anxiety rather than your boyfriend’s unwillingness to have an open discussion about marriage, because that way you have control over things…but that’s not how it works. The problem is not your feelings; it’s the fact that your boyfriend shuts down discussion about marriage, making you (rightly) doubt whether he’s actually all in.
I absolutely would not recommend that you “stop thinking about it and let it happen when it happens.” Why should your boyfriend get to call all the shots while you sit here completely in the dark about his intentions regarding your future? How is that fair?
All this is to say you need to have another conversation with him where you ask him to be completely honest with you about whether he sees engagement happening, and, if so, when. (He doesn’t have to tell you the exact day and time, but a general timeline of 6 months, a year, two years? Something!) He may well feel “pressured” by having this discussion, but tough shit. He’s a big boy, if he’s not ready to marry you, he doesn’t have to…but he does owe it to you to at least be HONEST with you about his intentions. Then at least you will both know what the other is thinking, and you can decide whether it makes sense to continue in the relationship or not.
ETA: Also, re the “pressure” thing, do you not feel pressured yourself right now? Pressured to stifle your feelings of anxiety and behave like a good girl so your bf will propose? Pressured because you’re not sure whether you’re wasting precious time remaining in a relationship with someone who may never be ready to get engaged? Why is it okay for you to be pressured but not for him?
Post # 3
He may just really really want it to be a surprise! I’ve been through some of this with my future husband and it is SO HARD. You are totally allowed to be anxious and stressed. But also remember that if he’s telling you he is in fact committed to you and going to propose he may just not be able to tell you when…that is…supposing you two have agreed you want a traditional surprise proposal. Maybe pitch the idea of ditching the traditional proposal and deciding together to get married?
Post # 4
There is absolutely no tradition of surprise proposals.
OP, your boyfriend’s answer would not be good enough for me, nor would I have moved in without a proposal. You’re anxious because he’s either lying and he doesnt have anything planned, or playing silly games with your future.
Neither option is particularly appealing.
Post # 5
I’ve been through some of this with my future husband
Are you engaged?
OP – you need to talk to him. He does NOT get to be in control of YOUR future. He does get to decide if he is ready or not, but he needs to communicate that honestly. Sit him down and tell him: “I see us getting married in X years, which means we should be engaged by Y date. What about you? What do you think?” If he starts going on about whats the rush/I want it to be a surprise – shut him down. “Sorry, but no, that doesnt work for me. This is partly my future too and I would like to know where you stand.”
Post # 6
I will say – in the hyper-traditionalist world that I circulate in proposals should be at least somewhat a surprise, not that they are coming, but the when/where/how. As such we established an 11 month period during which a proposal was coming and then dropped the subject. To be fair though – I in no way expect this same concept to apply to other scenarios!
Post # 7
Are you *specifically* asking him for his percieved timeline? Ifyou ask vgue questions, you’ll get vague answers. If you want to have a firm idea about a timeline, which it seems you do, then you need to straight up ask him “when do you see us getting married / engaged?” If that timeline is not in line with yours, you need to tell him your timeline and ask if he is comfortable with that. If not, time to compromise between the two timelines as well as sort out whatever is holding him back if his is further out.
Post # 8
Thank you for everyone’s feedback. It is probalby the wake up call that I need. I appreciate the feedback and advice. To clarify, we have discussed buying a house next year and I did tell him I want to be engaged by then and I won’t go through with buying a house with him if we don’t have that level of committment. I also asked if he is on the same page with that timeframe and he agreed.
Post # 9
Definitely smart not to buy a house with him until you are engaged. How often do you guys talk about buying a house? Like is it a concrete plan, “we will start house hunting at x time next year” – or more of a vague hypothetical discussion?
In any case, I wouldn’t entertain further discussion of house buying until you’re engaged. I was in a similar situation while dating dh, except instead of buying a house, the issue was him taking a job halfway across the country and wanting me to relocate with him. I told him I would be happy to join him, but not unless we were engaged. For us it was a one-time discussion – I made myself clear, and dh didn’t really bring it up again until after he proposed, which was a couple months after that discussion.
Post # 10
Based on the house buying conversation, I can easily see him thinking he’ll wait to propose until you have a house picked out and are ready to buy it next year. Is that what you had in mind?
What happens if you two decided next year isn’t the right time to buy a house? Does that mean he would still want to wait to get engaged until you are ready for a house? What if that is in 5 years?