(Closed) He Doesn't Know About Timeline

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
Post # 31
2180 posts
Buzzing bee

fredthebasil :  Oh, my FI’s parents did their best to pitch a fit when they “found out” (it was never a secret) that we live together. Told us they could never step foot in our apartment again, were so heartbroken, we are living in sin, blah blah blah. The righteous indignation lasted a couple months before they quietly realized it wasn’t worth not having a relationship with us. If OP’s partner can’t weather a little bit of bullshit from his family when he makes his own choices then he’s not long-term material anyway. 

npoliver :  There is no positive explanation here for his demand for a “surprise.” Either he is playing games and stalling or he is genuinely prioritizing his ~*special man moment*~ ahead of your autonomy and happiness in this relationship. Both are totally shitty, and either way he knows he’s hurting your feelings but doesn’t care enough to do otherwise.

I wish I had a dollar for every time there was a Waiting thread about a nice traditional guy who knoooows he wants to marry the OP and talks good game but just has such a hard time making decisions! I could probably pay off my student loans and still take myself out for a nice dinner afterwards. Don’t let people piss on you and tell you it’s raining.

Post # 32
7773 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Speck_ :  +1

The “his family will implode” line is bullshit. Trust me, I come from a family like this. My parents are extremely religious and conservative. just to give you an example…they snooped through my emails when I was in college, found out I was having sex with my long-term boyfriend at the time, and tried to convince me to drop out of college and marry my bf to make it legit. Obv I did not do that, but just wanted to paint a picture of what I was dealing with lol.

11 years and several relationships later, I was so nervous to tell my parents I planned to move in with my fiance that I had physical health issues for a few months, along with horrible insomnia. After I told them, it was really tough for awhile. Lots of tears and begging me to reconsider…followed by a period of silence. Then I moved in with Fiance and things were rough in a different way. My parents said they wouldnt’ be Facetiming me anymore because it was too painful to see me there in the apartment.

Fast forward a few weeks, and they started Facetiming me again. And then things just kind of went back to normal. They realized the world didn’t end. They still disapprove of my decision, but they have accepted the situation. i’m not gonna lie, it was really hard and stressful and I felt all kinds of irrational guilt for “putting them through this”…but it was 100% the right decision for my relationship, and everyone survived and is now fine.

I will also say that it was really important for my own personal growth as an adult to find the courage to disobey my parents in this situation. I know how ridiculous that sounds, but I’ve lived my whole life trying to please them and being so fearful of disappointing them. But now I’m engaged and I need to put someone else first. Standing firm on this issue set a precedent…my parents know they can’t bully me into decisions that I disagree with now, and I also know I can survive going against them if the circumstances require it.

Your SO’s family will not implode. Although I still discourage living with him until you get on the same page about the marriage question.

Post # 34
1513 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

npoliver :  OP, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, judging by the well-spokenness of your post.  

My husband proposed after we’d been dating about 2.5 years.  I was late-20s and he was mid-30s.  I had told him my timeline and specifically asked him if that would work for him.  It was not a rhetorical question.  I genuinely wanted to hear if he agreed with my timeline, and if not, what would work for him.     

We talked about this after we got married, when after one of those conversations we’ve all had with our friends about Waiting, I asked him why is it that, it seems women are more willing to SLOW DOWN their timelines for their guys, but guys don’t seem as willing to SPEED UP their timelines for their gals?  If “he’s just not ready” deserves consideration and consideration from a partner, then doesn’t “she’s just ready” also deserve consideration and accommodation from a partner?

My husband agreed with me that things do appear that way and he doesn’t know why.  Then he said something along the lines of if I have an ultimatum, he actually wants to hear it.  

To him, it’s about information.  Having all the information so he can properly prioritize.  Because I asked him, what if I was willing to wait 2.5 years for you to propose but not, say, 3.5 years?  He said he would want to know that ahead of time, so he has time to prioritize and plan.  Rather than him thinking I was fine with everything, and then at the 3.5-year mark I just blindside him with, “OK time’s up I’m leaving.”

He also said that even if the 3.5 years (hypothetical) deadline felt a bit too soon for him, he would still want to know that I had that deadline so that he could a) work on speeding things up accordingly or b) tell me that’s too soon, how long he would like instead, and why.

All of this probably sounds rather cold and unromantic, like his work giving him a project and him asking “How soon do you need this by?”  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  After all, we are two people planning our lives together, making decisions arguably far more important to our lives than any decisions we make at our work.  

It’d be fine if your SO gave you a timeline that is WAY outside of what you were envisioning.  But not telling you ANYTHING and leaving you just in total limbo…I wouldn’t be able to deal with that kind of uncertainty.  

Post # 36
233 posts
Helper bee

If they are that traditional should you all be married settled down with 5 kids already? 

Post # 37
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

npoliver :  I think, speaking as someone who also struggles with anxiety and the need for a plan/control–I would suggest still being careful about overthinking this. Your comment about “I’m not the girl to sit back and let him do whatever he pleases” concerns me. It kind of seems like you see this as you vs him. What you want and need vs what he wants and needs. 

While it’s definitely important to watch out for what you want and not get strung along–I think it’s also easy for a an anxious mind to start creating someone as an enemy when they’re really not. It’s impossible for us to know your boyfriend’s real thoughts and motives. But you know him and love him and want to marry him, right? Do you think he’s a liar? Do you think there’s a chance he’s using you? If so, you need to leave anyway… 

Set your timeline and let him know. If he decides to propose in the next year then fantastic! If he doesn’t, sad-but you will have given a very fair chance for this relationship and you can walk away. Just be cautious about how you choose to view him while you’re not getting what you want…If you doubt him this much now, you will likely always doubt him about other things, too. 

Anxiety about making a firm commitment is a real thing. We turn our noses up at “fear to commit” but it’s as valid as our anxieties and fears, too. If you don’t doubt who he is as a person–then try to trust him that he’s not intentionally hurting you by not giving you a month and year…

Post # 39
131 posts
Blushing bee

Personally, I would not want to get engaged until I had been dating for at least 3 years, living with them for 1 to 2. You get to see who they really are. They can’t hide their true colors once they are under the same roof. I don’t belive in ultimatums either. To me, that’s a relationship ruiner, and I have seen firsthand what giving a man an ultimatum will do to a relationship  (not mine, but someone close to me).


If you love him and you trust him, just wait a little longer. Marriage should never be rushed or forced on somebody. It should be a step that both people are ready to take. 

Post # 41
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

llevinso :  People did say that to me before I got engaged. Relationships aren’t black and white like some posters here seem to think they are. I was told my Fiance wouldn’t propose, that he was making exvuses, wasn’t as invested etc. Well he proposed, and did it sooner than I thought too. He has a negative view of marriage due to numerous divorces in his family. He needed time to overcome that, and even still is fearful of that, so I agreed to a long engagement so he had more time to get over that before we get married. I dont think any less of him for this, I know he loves me, he obviously wants to marry me and be with me, but he’s had a hard time getting over his fear, like we all do with our fears. I wish people would be more understanding to other relationship quirks before jumping to conclusions and telling people to walk out of the relationship. 

To the OP. Give it time. I am an extremely anxious person who tries to keep my life on plan as much as possible. You can’t do it. When you’re in a serious relationship you have to give up control as hard as that may be. Trust in him and have patience. If in a year nothing has changed then talk to him. But give him time. 

Post # 42
233 posts
Helper bee

npoliver :  But all jokes aside, if they are THAT religious shouldnt you all be married with your kids all lined up at Church? I am not even kidding. Isnt that what those families want for their kids?

Post # 43
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

npoliver :  I definitely understand how you’re feeling! 

and for what it’s worth, we’re all so much more likely to jump in “on your side”–but I do think it can further create an idea that he’s “the enemy”.   But he really can’t be if what is making you frustrated is that you want to hurry up and marry him. That means he’s a great guy! He’s just…human. But he’s trying, too. He’s not shutting you down – he’s discussing it with you. Trying to solve it as a team. And that speaks volumes to how much he cares about you. And that he loves you enough to be honest about what he’s thinking and feeling too. That’s big stuff! 

Post # 45
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Amy Elizabeth :   npoliver :  They obviously are all talk with the “we’re so religious/conservative” stuff – they’re just using that as an excuse to control and manipulate.

OP, I actually think joining a family that shitty would be worse than dealing with a bf who can’t decide if he wants to marry you.  Because that’s what it is right?  This “fear of commitment”?  It’s him not knowing if you’re the one.  And therefore he can’t be the one for you.  Just my perspective.

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