how long should you wait for a proposal in your mid to late twenties

posted 5 months ago in Proposals
  • poll: Max time I should wait
    2 - 2.5 years : (23 votes)
    61 %
    3-3.5 years : (8 votes)
    21 %
    3-4 years : (3 votes)
    8 %
    4+ years : (4 votes)
    11 %
  • Post # 2
    9991 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    I wouldn’t waste 1 day on someone who gets angry at discussing the future and says it’s at the bottom of his priority list. Youve already given him two years and live together. At that point I would absolutely expect to have concrete plans for the future. You want to give him a whole additional year? You’ll just be right back here debating giving him til the end 2021.

    Post # 3
    294 posts
    Helper bee

    View original reply
    raebaehey :  I’m sorry for your troubles, but there is no “correct” timeline. I will say a few things come to mind that are personal red flags:

    1. He drags his feet when he talks about marriage and gets mad. You’ve been together two years. There should be some idea of a timeline, even if it’s an “I want to marry you someday, but I’m not currently ready”. You make it sound like he’s unsure if he even wants to marry you. Most marriage experts say you know within a year.

    2. You’re “confident you can contain yourself” but worried he may cheat! That makes it sound like you don’t trust him. I think he’s cheated before, on you or someone else. If you do not trust the man you’re with, you can’t make it work, ESPECIALLY since you’ll be in training for so long. I understand military relationships and dynamics. The military has some of the highest divorce and cheating rates. If you don’t trust him after 2 years, how will you ever trust him.

    3. You try and talk to him and he shuts you down. That’s immature. If he won’t listen to your feelings and communicate, then I’m sure there are other aspects of your relationship that have issues you need to address.

    4. You feel the need to issue an ultimatum. NO HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP REQUIRES AN ULTIMATUM! You want a guy who’s committed to you and loves you with no strings attached! If you have to tell a guy “marry me or I’m leaving” then there’s something wrong.

    I am by no means trying to be harsh or sound rude, but I wish so badly my friends would have pointed out my crappy relationships. I’m sure he treats you fine, but it sounds like he’s immature and not really in it. Have you talked about the future at all? When he’d want to get married? Kids? Buying a house? Everyone does move at different speeds but after 2 years, if he doesn’t see himself marrying you at some point, do you want to waste each other’s time? But that also goes for you too. If he acts and treats you this way (makes you question how he feels about you, doesn’t communicate, belittles your feelings) do you really want to be in this relationship? Do you feel loved? Values? Cherished? If after some reflecting you feel all of these things and you’re 100% sure he’s who you want to marry, then by all means you need to have a serious talk. However, if deep down you feel like you’re settling, then I would consider moving on before you waste your time in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere. 

    Post # 4
    2819 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

    View original reply
    raebaehey :  I’m so sorry Bee that sounds so frustrating. 

    I think it’s fair to be thinking about marriage and wanting to discuss getting engaged in a year or two, if not earlier. My concern isn’t just that he doesn’t want to get engaged soon but it’s that he won’t even talk about it. 

    You guys sound stable enough, you’ve been together a while and he’s got a great job. What’s the hold up? Unless he can produce another reason he isn’t wanting to talk about marriage, this sounds like a man trying to bide more time. 

    I think a lot of people will post on Wedding Bee about their boyfriends not making the next step when they have reasons that totally are understandable. Sometimes they’re not done with school, have financial issues, etc. But to me it sounds like your boyfriend hasn’t really told you why. At 29 years old he should know what he wants and be able to give you a rough timeline. 

    Can he even commit to proposing in a year or two? Because any longer than that and I would leave. 

    By him saying “marriage is at the bottom of my priority list” he is essentially saying your future is at the bottom of his priority list. 

    Post # 5
    1375 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    View original reply
    raebaehey :  He gets angry? Bruh….nope

    If the idea of marriage doesn’t get him excited, or at least a topic of interest to him, then it’s not likely to happen. And why would you want it? You want someone to be thrilled at the idea of forever with you! There’s always going to be an excuse. Always a roadblock. 

    Sister’s partner (she’s 32, he’s 29) told her from the start “I don’t want to get married, ever” and 4 years and one kid later she’s like “bUt WhY wOnt He prOpOse!?”

    fuck me man. Take a hint.

    Post # 6
    1595 posts
    Bumble bee

    View original reply
    raebaehey :  in your shoes I wouldn’t wait at all.

    I could not get past the flapping gigantic red flags- they may as well have slapped me in my face reading this! 
    I know you don’t want to hear this but I think you should break up and go into military training single and just start fresh. The red flags are more like HARD STOPS as in deabreakers:
    1. you don’t trust him 

    2. he gets angry when you bring up the future 

    3. he can’t confirm he even wants to marry YOU after two years together and a year living together 

    This screams “dead-end relationship” to me.

    Post # 7
    236 posts
    Helper bee

    It sounds like you shouldn’t be waiting for a proposal from this man…at all. Ever. A few things about your post are concerning:

    1) You say you’ve never had an actual discussion about marriage, only arguments, after being together for 2 years and in your mid-late 20s. If I’m being honest, this doesn’t sound like a very mature way to handle big life decisions in a relationship. It sounds like you guys have a lot of work to do on your communication.

    2) Despite this, you were still expecting a proposal in the next 3 months? Maybe there is information missing here, but that doesn’t seem to add up. How would you expect a proposal by the end of the year if he fights you every time you bring it up? And if not Christmas, when you get back in August “if you make it through okay”

    3) You have confidence that you will be able to “contain yourself” and not cheat…this may be just my personal opinion, but I don’t feel you should be actively containing yourself from sleeping with someone else if you’re already with the person you want to marry. Unless you’re both open to a non-monogamous relationship, which it doesn’t sound like you are, this doesn’t add up. And on top of that, you can’t trust that he won’t sleep with someone else! My boyfriend and I did long distance for 3 years and there was never a question of trust…this is a big red flag, Bee.

    4) You’ve already decided, without really having a mature conversation regarding marriage, that if you don’t have a ring on your finger by this time next year you’re done? It sounds like you’re already halfway out the door if you’re planning an ultimatum a year in advance without doing any actual work on your relationship in this area.


    I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I hope it works out one way or another.

    Post # 8
    339 posts
    Helper bee

    Getting angry at 29 when your partner wants to discuss the future is worrying. He may not want to marry but should be able to discuss it with you without getting mad at you, because you will make your life decisions accordingly. I do think it’s ok to wait longer in one’s early to mid 20s (fwiw my fiance and I got engaged after 6 years together and we are in our mid 20s now, met in our late teens), but at your boyfriend’s age, I wouldn’t wait that long. You should tell him that your future choices will depend upon what you decide as a couple and that you want him to be honest with you.

    Post # 9
    9991 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    View original reply
    newbee5 :  She said the end of 2020 not 2019. She’s not expecting a proposal in the next three months.

    Post # 10
    182 posts
    Blushing bee

    I don’t think anyone should “wait” for a proposal. This puts the guy in a position of power and that isn’t right. You should be having equal conversations about your expectations for your lives and reassessing if your needs are being met by the relationship, then communicating to him that it isn’t if that’s the case. Relationships are equal. So you should have the power to say “No thanks” to a plan that isn’t right for you. He’s allowed to say no to your plan, but you are allowed to say no to his plan too.

    Post # 11
    658 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    Two years and the comitments you’ve already made you should be comfortably talking about this. You don’t have good communication, there is no reason to get angry about a partner you live with wanting to talk about the future NONE. Echoing pps the timeline is not what matters the relationship is and yours needs work or walking.

    Post # 12
    2852 posts
    Sugar bee

    This relationship sounds horrible. Too many red flags. Dump him & be single going into your military training!!

    Post # 13
    551 posts
    Busy bee

    I’m confused. This guy has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to get married, as you yourself said, so why are you hoping for a proposal by Christmas? It sounds to me as though you guys are poorly matched when it comes to priorities, but you seem to be more concerned with when it should/will happen rather than whether it should happen at all. 

    ETA: Ah, okay, 2020 instead of 2019. Still, I’m not heartened. He’s not even willing to discuss it and isn’t all that sure about committing to you? I wouldn’t bank on that turning around in a year. Maybe if he didn’t flip out at the mention of marriage this situation would seem more hopeful.

    And yeah….the whole “containing myself” thing gives me pause as well. As PPs have said, it doesn’t sound like you trust him, but you also seem to be under the impression that if you manage to pursuade him to get engaged, both of you will be extra motivated to remain faithful. Like fidelity is somehow only an issue if there is a loose agreement between the two of you involving a ring? I mean, everyone has a different definition of commitment and what that agreement stands for, but if the trust isn’t there before you get engaged, why should it magically be there afterward? 

    Post # 14
    1067 posts
    Bumble bee

    He doesn’t want to marry you. He’s showing and telling you that but you’re not listening. You’re not a priority to him. I wouldn’t waste another day on him. 


    Next time, if your goal is marriage, don’t just jump into living together with someone whom you’ve never discussed where your relationship is headed first. 

    Post # 15
    1512 posts
    Bumble bee

    It sounds like this man does not want to be married.  I’d say it’s time to move  on if it is something you want. You need someone likeminded. 

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