Post # 1
I just realized (after having a nightmare about it last night) that though my SO and I have been talking about getting engaged and starting to look at rings, we’ve never really talked about a timeline of how long (in a general sense) it might be before he pops the question.
Part of me would really like to bring up a general question about my SO’s timeline next time he starts engagement-talk, but part of me is kind of scared of the answer. We joke all the time about it being 8/10/50 years until we can afford to get married, but I have no idea if his real timeline is shorter than that or actually pretty long. On top of that, I’m worried that he’ll feel like I’m pressuring him if I ask — up to this point, I’ve always said “I’ll be ready whenever you are, but don’t worry about me — I want you to take the time you need.”
How do you ladies talk about timelines with your guys in a no-pressure way? Do you advise asking him about his timeline or not?
I feel like I’d be able to relax about this a lot more if I know that he’s not thinking about it in the next year, even though I’d be pretty dang bummed out… but I don’t know if it’s worse to know and be bummed out or not know and still have some hope (but run the risk of feeling bitter while I wait, not knowing that he’s not even planning on it for a loooong time).
I feel kind of dumb for not figuring this out til now, but at least I’m working on it? 😛
Post # 3
I asked my BF a few months ago about a general timeline. I basically said that I like to know when things are going to happen (I am such a control freak sometimes…), so it would be nice to have a general idea about when he would like to get engaged.
He replied by saying that he wants the proposal to be romantic and a surprise, and that giving me the timeline completely defies that. He said “If I tell you now when I am going to propose, I might as well propose right now and then it won’t be a surprise”.
It doesn’t actually bother me that much though. I love that he wants to surprise me, and we have discussed the possibility of a 2012 wedding, so I don’t think the engagement is too far off anyway.
If you want to ask your BF, make sure to do it in a fairly casual way (I mean, not a serious conversation that will cause a tense atmosphere), and don’t be too upset if he doesn’t wanna give you any hints.
Post # 4
It was kind of easy for us to talk about it since everyone around us has been getting engaged & married.
I kind of approached it as though I was explaining how the engagement process works. Because my bf didn’t really realize that it takes TIME to plan a wedding. I couldn’t do it in 6 months!!! So even though the guy might not be thinking of getting married NOW, if he wants to in the next year or two, a proposal has to be in the works, so thats how we talked about it. He really didn’t realize that he should start to get the ball rolling if we want to get married in the next year or two. So yeah, soon after that, we went ring shopping.
Post # 5
Our timelines clash. We’ve really just come to a stalemate over the timeline. I want to be married next fall and he wants it when we’re 30 (a couple of years later).
Guys definitely don’t understand how long it takes to plan a wedding or order an engagement ring. It’s a frustrating process.
Post # 6
I have a feeling that my guy is that way, too… except that I’m not sure if he’ll believe me about how long it takes 😛 The two recent wedding-experiences he’s been exposed to have been with his friend, who wanted to hurry up and propose and marry his gf before she went to grad school (which made time from proposal to wedding be about 6 months) and his aunt, who was on her second marriage and just had a tiny family wedding at the local park and a reception at her house.
My SO knows that we’ve both got TONS of family, and he’s already said that he doesn’t want us to forgo a big wedding and not invite them all, but I’m not sure he understands that even the simplest of weddings that size would prooooobably take more than 6 months to plan.
Post # 7
I’ve asked, but things seem to be shifting. In May I asked and he said 2-4 months… which would be NOW. But I don’t think he has purchased anything and has made comments that he needs time, and things take time (researching, I guess). Then later he said “definitely not July.” I think he didn’t realize how long it might take to research and pick a ring, but I’m pretty sure he’s working on it.
The one hitch is he’s not the type where the ring would “burn a hole in his pocket.” I know he could hold on to it before asking…So we’ll see what happens.
Post # 8
I asked my guy about a general timeline, but I didn’t say timeline because last time it ticked him off b/c it ruins the surprise. Anyway, he said he wouldn’t make me wait until my 30th b-day. I’m gonna hold him to that too! No ring, we gotta talk. 🙂
Post # 9
I definitely think this is a necessary talk in a relationship. Just like you have a 5/10 year plan for your professional life, you should have one for your personal life, and you and your SO should be very open about talking about that plan. The way I did it was I cleared an evening on our calendars for just the two of us to sit and talk. We talked not only about marriage, but kids, jobs, where we want to live, cars, etc. Everything. This worked out well for us.
Post # 10
We dont really have a timeline… he isnt comfortable putting a date on it and feels that it is too much pressure!
I have told him quite forcefully that I would like to be married by the time I am 30 (2 years time) and he was a bit stunned but he soon got over that!
For us, waiting is actually a financial issue, so it is hard to put a timeline on things. We might save up the money needed in 6 months, it might be 2 years. I know he has a certain dollar figure he needs to hit before he is comfortable so I am just squirelling away what I can to get there soon!
Post # 11
I made the mistake of asking my boyfriend about a “time line” last weekend and got an answer that was not what I was expecting nor was I happy about, at all.
Keep in mind, I had been getting all the right “signals”. We just moved in together at the beginning of June, before which I had told him I saw living together as only a transitional step to marriage and that I expected us living together, if it worked out well, to lead to marriage. He agreed. Things have been wonderful since we moved in together – BF told me he has “never been more happy in this relationship than he is now and in his life in general”; calls me his wife nonstop; talks about the future, “our kids”, etc.; and randomly asked me the other week “where do you want to get married”……… and I even asked him the other day “would you mind or think it’s weird if I started doing a little tentative wedding planning even though we aren’t engaged yet?” and he said that he was fine with it as long as I didn’t put deposits on anything yet……………….so of COURSE this led me to believe that his time line was the 1 year track like mine was.
You can imagine my disbelief when BF said, after first saying that he “didn’t like planning things or thinking too far into the future/dates/etc” …that he thought THREE TO FIVE YEARS was an acceptable timeline to him. Huge, huge fight ensued – well, by fight, I mean I sobbed and stormed out of the apartment with the dog.
I feel better now, but now I feel like I can’t broach the topic again because we will just both get irritated, or he’ll think I’m constantly on about, pressuring him, and I tried every which way to make him see my way – I would be ok with a three year ENGAGEMENT, because it takes a long time to plan a wedding, but not “start talking about maybe getting engaged” in 3 yrs. I’m 27 already. He thinks a long engagement is “weird” so anyway we don’t see eye to eye on the timeline thing at all and I wish I never brought it up because now it is just in my head all the time bothering me but I know if I say something to him again he won’ say what I want to hear and he’ll get annoyed with me pressuring so now instead it is silently eating away at me ahhh!!
Better luck to you!!!
Post # 12
@maggierose: Oh my gosh, that sounds like what just happened with me and my SO 🙁 We were both looking at our finances (separate accounts and all) and he found a little calculator tool that would tell him how long he’d need to save to get married. It requires you to put in what you plan to spend on a wedding, and he asked me how much weddings cost — I told him I thought I could do it for under $10K (knowing that that’s still pretty rough and feeling all proud of myself for planning to be frugal and simple and creative-DIY-y).
He plugged in 17K — the cost of the wedding plus how much he thinks he *has* to spend on a ring. Based on that number and his current pay, it said it would take until 2027 for him to save that much at the rate of how much he could possibly save per month.
We’ve argued before over this — he wants to pay for the whole wedding, even though I’ve got money saved and my mom has money saved, and he refuses to let us think of paying for any of it. And I know he won’t ask me until he thinks he’s financially ready.
I just spent ten minutes crying in the bathroom — not because I’m mad at him for not being financially ready yet, but because he just doesn’t get that it hurts me that he values his pride on this more than being married to me. We’ve had the same argument over this before, and we never get anywhere. But at the same time, he’s asked me to look at rings online in the past month, and he says he really does want to get married — he just wants to wait until he’s financially ready.
I don’t want to get married tomorrow… I just want to know why he’s being so stubborn, why he can’t let go of his pride, and if he’s being serious about it taking more than three years.
Ugh, I feel awful. I just don’t know what to do.
Post # 13
i ask my bf probably every few months or so what he thinks his timeline is. its necessary for me because whenever we discuss wedding plans and marriage, i automatically assume it’ll happen within the year. that’s just how i work. so its important that i’m reminded of what his expectation is.
we’re both looking for work and he’s trying to relocate to california so we’re moving to get jobs before an engagement. i’m a lot more optimistic about things and figured a year would be enough time to get married…meaning we’d get engaged this year. he’s more realistic and told me he sees it happening within 2-3 years. not what i wanted to hear. admittedly, i was close to tearing up, but after further discussion, we were able to come to an agreement.
don’t be like me. i ask him about wedding stuff at the most random times. it perplexes him to no end but i can’t help it. i do try to wait until he brings up something about weddings/marriages before i broach the timeline subject. since he brought it up, it’s already on his mind. sometimes the answer is scary and not what you want to hear but it’s still always good to know. good luck!
Post # 14
My BF and I had the timeline talk recently. We’ve been talking about wedding/future stuff for a while, but only in abstract. He knows I’m looking at grad schools and thinking a lot about the future, so I just sort of steered the conversation into discussing our timelines while reassuring him that I had no hidden motives and wasn’t trying to pressure him. I have one more year abroad, then we’ll move in together… he’s really understanding about all the wedding talk but I do talk about it a lot, so I’m trying to refrain from another “serious” discussion about it until after we move in together.
If you’re concerned about whether or not you’re on the same page, I think the timeline talk is a must. As long as you don’t come off as demanding, it shouldn’t freak him out since you’ve discussed marriage before. Good luck 🙂
Edit: I just saw your other post 🙁 If money is his main reason for wanting to wait, maybe it would help if you show him some DIY/budget weddings — like http://2000dollarwedding.com/ — or, when he asks you to look at rings online, show him some less expensive ones, and he can see that a great wedding is still completely doable on a small budget and there’s no need to wait so long.
Post # 15
Wow! I love the 2000 Dollar Wedding blog — thank you for posting that!
I’ve tried selling him on the idea of a non-diamond ring, or doing CZ and upgrading later, but he’s not down with that — he said he’d feel cheap.
We made a little headway last night after I posted, when he let me know that he absolutely didn’t want to accept any money from my mom because he knows his family doesn’t have enough to contribute anything. We both come from low-income families and don’t make much ourselves just starting out in careers, but that’s why I keep trying to emphasize to him that I mean the “for poorer” part of vows — it’s about the fact that I love him and want to spend my life with him, not about a ring or a wedding shindig. At the same time, I understand that he wants me to be able to have a “dream” wedding — I just wish he’d listen to me that my dream is about him being there and the rest is just details!
I’m planning to just not bring up getting married at all ala Plan Bee at least until next April (when I’m an Maid/Matron of Honor in a friend’s wedding, so it’ll probably come up anyway then). I’m just going to try to live in the moment and enjoy our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend for the awesomeness that it is for the next 10 or so months!
Post # 16
Based on most discussions I’ve had with my GF’s (including happily married ones) I’m starting to think it’s impossible to bring this up without the BF feeling “pressured”. No matter how carefully you say it, if they’re the type to feel pressured they will feel pressured. You just have to take care of yourself, say what you need to say and not take the reaction personally if they freak out. The first time I talked to BF and said I wanted to know if we were on the same page about our future, BF freaked out and thought I was demanding he propose RIGHT THAT MOMENT! So even if you say you don’t want to get married tomorrow, most guys will have to have this initial freakout.
You’ve already talked about engagement/wedding stuff, right? so this should be fairly simple. And I’d get it done ASAP since it turns out there are lots of guys out there who string women along with talk about weddings and engagement when really they’re thinking YEARS in the future!
Most importantly, you have to be OK with what his actual thoughts/timeline is. Even if you’re not OK. You have to be ready to remain calm, discuss it rationally, and be willing to hear his thoughts and not afraid to ask “what is it about _X_ that is important to you?” or “I’d like to know more about that” (which is a great way to get a guy to elaborate on something vague without sounding demanding).
And you have to be ready to accept that if his idea of being “financially ready” is too long for you to wait, that maybe it’s not a match. Scary to say it, but you can’t be crying in the bathroom for the next 3 years, right?
Sometimes it’s OK to wait. If you explain that the timeline isn’t as important, as long as there IS a timeline. And it would mean a lot to you to know that you’ve acknowledged each other as the special person you want to be with.
@PinkBubbleGum: oh hon I’m trying not to be discouraged! My guy said the exact same “2-4 months” a few weeks ago. *sigh*
That is very awesome communication! Good for you.
I’m so sorry! My guy thinks a long engagement is kind of weird too. I don’t think they get it how much work goes into planning a wedding. But thanks for posting your story, I know how important it is to be REALLY SPECIFIC as to timelimes before moving in. It’s amazing how the guy who doesn’t plan will plan to “think about” marriage a year + in the future. Boo 🙁