Post # 1
First, I want to say thank you to anyone who reads this and to those who may respond. I have taken to writing this post because I cannot vent to family and friends about this (as you will understand after reading this post). I apologize for how long this may end up being. Thank you so much again.
My boyfriend and I have been together for just shy of six years. We got together when we were eighteen and knew early on that it would at a minimum four-ish years before we got engaged/married since we both wanted to go through the whole thing of getting our degrees, good jobs, good cars, etc. Fast forward almost six years later: Both have good-paying jobs, good cars, and four collegiate degrees each. I guess I was just assuming something would happen considering that we have hit these milestones but it is stagnant. On top of it being stagnant, we have had some very serious conversations about it and he has now told me (as of just a few days ago) that he is “not mentally ready for marriage”. After being with someone for six years and having all of the milestones we set out to accomplish accomplished, it is hard for “not mentally ready for marriage” to not feel like rejection and like he does not want to marry me. It hurts a lot.
I know a large factor is that both of our families (his especially) put a lot of pressure on him to propose. We cannot go to a family function without it being the topic of the night. He has mentioned a few times that the pressure really bothers him. I am afraid it has pushed him away. Because of how close I am with both his family and my own (my sisters – including his sister – are my best friends, I go out with his girl cousins, I pick his niece up from school every week, etc.), it is not possible for me to talk to vent to either side about this.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what I should do. I cannot imagine living life with anyone other than this man. But I cannot continue our relationship as it is for much longer. I grew up in a very conservative household and hold many of those conservative values that were instilled in me as a young girl. As a result, he and I do not live together (which is very hard for me). On top of that, I had hoped we would be purchasing a home together shortly but it now feels like I may have to do that on my own (since, again, we won’t live together until we are married). I cannot continue like this for much longer because it is now holding me back from fulfilling dreams and goals that I had.
I just need some sound advice. Am I being impatient and need to just wait it out? What do I do? I am not going to give him an ultimatum or deadline or anything since I am then just one more person putting pressure on him. And if/when he proposes, it won’t be genuine. I have thick skin and can take some harsh advice.
Post # 2
I feel for you, perhaps going to talk to a therapist or counselor would really help- sometimes just having someone regular to vent to and bounce ideas off us can make a world of difference. I undertand that you have been with him for 6 years, but at 24 years old, its unfortunately completely understandable for him not to be ready for marriage. It’s ok to not live together at that age, its ok to be serious about each other at that age without a proposal. Twenty-four is still very young. That being said, I know how much waiting hurts and I know how it feels to be ready before he is- it can be very painful. If you can handle it and know he’s the one, try going to a therapist and waiting it out. Also, I’d try to let him know its ok to brush off the pressure from his family and that when y’all are ready it’ll happen. If he’s feeling unneccesary pressure, it could keep him from feeling ready.
Post # 3
I think you just need to have an ongoing dialogue about it. “Hey, I want to marry you and I want to buy a house with you and have a new kind of life together. Do you want those things too?” Hash it out, be open about your insecurites and fears and worst case scenarios. Talk about what you want, when and why.
Post # 4
I would have a talk with him and bring it up one more time and let him know how important this is for you. But definitely don’t pressure him..it will probably just push him away even more. I was with my then boyfriend for almost 5 years and I always brought up the engagement and I think the more I asked the more it took for him to propose. So I just let it be and when he was ready he popped the question. But definitely have a serious talk with him 🙂 good luck!
Post # 5
A lot of my girlfriends who dated their bfs through the end of HS and through college ended up waiting closer to 10 years… There is a lot that happens after college and people are still developing. I’d take him at his word about not being ready and if he’s not showing you that he’s disinterested in staying with you then I’d try to scrape up patience and start saving for the wedding you want. 26-28 is when I’d expect some traction on wedding ideas. Best of luck bee 🙂
Post # 6
I’d ask him what it means to be ‘mentally ready’ for marriage. It sounds like a BS excuse. He needs to actually think and look at his life, do some reflection and tell you what needs to change before he is ready.
He also needs to tell his family to fuck off with the pressuring stuff. It DOES get annoying!
Post # 7
I can see both sides of this. While I understand your wants and desires I also understand how he feels and believe that 24 really isn’t all that old despite what you have accomplished. I wouldn’t take it as a personal rejection of you, just that he isn’t ready for such a terribly drastic life change. And thats okay!
You have two options here, either stay with him and continue on with what seems to be an otherwise perfect relationship or leave him and start over with someone new/live life alone for a while. Personally, if I was in a great relationship with someone I loved more than anything who loved me and treated me with respect then I wouldn’t leave them over marriage. However, I also don’t hold any religious beliefs or up bringing that would keep me from taking other logical steps in my relationship like moving in together.
On the topic of moving in together, how does your BF feel about you wanting to wait to do that until marriage? Could it be perhaps he doesn’t want to marry anyone until he has lived with them first? I’m sure this is something you have discussed already but just thinking out loud here.
As far as purchasing a home, I think thats great! Go out and buy your house girlfriend! Put it in your name! If the time comes where marriage comes in to play he can move in to your house (if he hasn’t bought his own) or if you have both purchased homes then one can be sold or used as a rental property if you wanted to go that route.
Post # 8
Hmm, I would ask him to clarify what he means when he says he’s “not mentally ready for marriage.” Does he mean he doesn’t even know if he ever wants to get married? Does he mean he’s just not sure he wants to marry you? He does want to marry you but he still feels immature/unready at this point in his life? These are important distinctions.
My husband and I dated for 4 years before he proposed and, even though we were both much older than you, he also wasn’t mentally ready for marriage at the same time I was. He knew I was “the one” and we’d get married someday, but he also knew he had to take some time to mature and grow up first. And he was in his 30s! But he didn’t just want to propose because it was the obvious next step. He wanted to propose because he was truly ready for marriage.
I know you feel like you’ve been waiting forever for this, but at 24 you are still very young and have a lot of time. It sounds like you’ve had a busy few years and maybe he just wants to enjoy where he’s at right now for a little while. I’m not saying to give him until forever, but I think you two need to have a more honest conversation about where things are going.
Post # 9
Thank you so so so much!! You made me cry (in the good way)! What you said is exactly what I needed to hear. I need the reality check of the fact that we are still only twenty-four and twenty-five years old and that is young (especially for the male counterpart).
Thank you so much for your understanding too though. Even though we are young, it has still been six years of this same relationship that I feel has gone as far as it can go without the next step. What you said hit it right on the head: It hurts when one half is ready and the other is not.
Post # 10
Has he explained why he’s not ready for marriage? If I’m reading this correctly it sounds like you guys are only about 24 years old, which is still pretty young. Maybe he just wants more time to enjoy being young and carefree, going out wiht his guy friends whenever he wants, etc.? Or maybe it’s a financial thing, like he wants to save up for a ring?
I will say that I always get a bit concerned whenever someone says their partner is avoiding proposing because he can’t deal with the “pressure.” The reality is, if he really wanted to marry you, he wouldn’t feel pressure from you or his family, even if they were constantly asking him about it. We feel pressured when there is a conflict between what we want to do or feel comfortable doing, and what other people expect us to do. If he felt comfortable marrying you right now, he wouldn’t feel “pressured” by other people, because his desires and their expectations would be aligned. So whenever someone says they think their bf is delaying because of “the pressure” – I def have to side eye that. I think he’s delaying because he doesn’t want to marry you right now, and that’s why it stresses him out when other people ask him when he’s gonna finally get around to it.
Post # 11
I see both sides, yes he’s young, but seeing as you’ve been together for 6 years, either you do or don’t know if you want to be together. Many of my friends dated their husbands for several years (9 max for one) but they knew long before 6 if they were getting married. It was a matter of time for them. Like for you, one of them wanted to graduate college and finish nursing school (well she’s done that, 8 years later), another one wanted the house first, so they got the hosue and then got engaged. But all of my friends knew they were marrying their boyfriends. The fact that your boyfriend sounds confused this late in the game sounds like he’s trying to find ways to not get married.
I would talk to him for a bit about how you feel and the realistic expectations in the relationship and go from there.
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2018 - The Garrison, NY
If this were me, I would have a serious conversation with him about where YOU are. Let him know how this makes you feel. Perhaps pull back a little, if after 6 years, he isn’t ready, when will he ever be? Now, I am not saying break up with him, but maybe go buy a house. For yourself. Do your thing. This happened to a friend of mine actually. She decided to pursue a house (they were not living together either), so she went out on her own to do it. Within weeks he had realized he was being crazy and purchased a ring. They’ve been married for years and now have a wonderful baby also.
I think that if you show him your independence, he may come around.
And if you’re looking for a house in NJ, let me know 😉
But seriously, I wish you the best! This is a tough situation
Post # 13
I am confused on how you have 4 college degrees each at 24 and 25, that is just enough time to have Bachlors and Masters, but more?
Maybe he has other goals? He needs to be ready for marriage too. It is not fair to either if you to enter into marriage if half the couple is not ready. I am sorry you are hurt, you have every right. You need to figure out if waiting is worth it. It very well could be.
Post # 14
As someone who dated my SO for 8 years throughout highschool college and establishing careers – my advice for you is just wait hun 🙂 We’ve been together since we were 17 and got engaged at 26.
Just give him time 🙂
Post # 15
Thank you so very much for your perspective! He does know when I would ideally like to get married (which is two years off from now so I don’t feel like I’m asking too much).