Post # 1
Title says it all. How long is too long? A year? Two?
Both have careers, he’s buying a home, is 37, both want kids, neither of us has been married before. We’ve been together 6 months. I’m not pushing for anything now. In fact, I have barely mentioned marriage to him at all. I’ve been burned before for bringing up marriage in past relationships, so I want to tread light.
Post # 3
@Yogachild: I’m the same age and I’d say by about a year of dating you should know the timeline…and it should only be about two years more max. So basically, a year of dating to find out if someone is in the marrying mode and if he wants to get married within the next two years.
If we were 25, then I’d say give more time. But the reality is that we don’t have years to give away on people that don’t want to be serious.
Post # 4
I’m almost 30. At this stage in my life, unless there was a very good reason, I’d walk if there wasn’t serious talk of marriage at a year and a half. In fact, if I didn’t know we were seriously building toward something at a year, I’d be nervous as hell. At 37, he should have a pretty good idea of what he wants after about 9 months.
I want a family, and waiting on some man who never gets serious can rob that from me. I’ve seen it happen to other women. No man is worth all the rest of my fertile years. If he’s the right one, he wouldn’t be willing to take that from me.
Post # 5
I’m 33 and I totally understand. We’ve been together about 18mos. He’s 40 and just moves slowly. We’ve been talking about moving in for about 8mos and are still at ‘let’s talk about it more later in the summer.’ I know once that happens everything else will shortly follow. I will give it til maybe October until I’m ready to move on- I will be 34 in nov. I honestly felt that at a year he should have been ready but felt I needed to give him a little more time this time is precioud though and he 100% knows that.
Sorry that was more commiseration than advice…
Post # 6
Hi ladies! Your thinking seems very reasonable to me.
I am 36 and dated my FI for 2 years before he proposed. I got very itchy at the one-year mark, but right at that time, he got laid off and I didn’t feel ok about pushing for it.
I think Cali Cat is right. At one year, you can bring it up for sure, but definitelty be light about it. If he freaks out, he’s not for you. I would not wait more than 2 years for a proposal.
Post # 7
@cali_cat: 3 years max? Wow, you are generous 🙂 That means we TTC when I’m 36.5 and he’s 40. I have already made peace with us just having one child. I don’t think I have enough eggs left for 2!
Post # 8
I’ve been burned before for bringing up marriage in past relationships, so I want to tread light.
I assume you mean the previous relationships ended because you let the guy(s) know you were marriage minded?
Honey, you didn’t get burned. You dodged a bullet.
Don’t be quiet about this. You did the right thing by speaking up in the past. You avoided wasting time on guys who weren’t serious about you.
As for your question — if I were 33 and marriage minded, I would wait no more than 6 months after the first date for the guy to verbalize that he was really serious about us, use the “L” word and talk about us having a long future ahead. If he weren’t at this point yet, I would end the relationship.
After 12 to 18 months of dating, if he hadn’t brought up the subject of marriage, I would bring it up. If he wasn’t willing to discuss it, I would end the relationship.
After two years of dating, if we weren’t headed for the altar soon or engaged with a wedding on the near horizon, I would totally end the relationship.
I’m saying all of this with hindsight. I’m 50, and when I was your age I wasted a lot of time waiting on “what if’s” and I paid a dear price for it.
Edit: Oh yeah, and I also would not move in with him until we were married or within a few short months of being married. Point being that I would absolutely not move in with him if we weren’t engaged/ring on the finger and in the process of planning a wedding.
Post # 9
If I was certain that I wanted to be with him, I’d want to talk about our future together at the 1 year mark or earlier. If there was a future, I’d want to see a plan starting to be carried out within another 6 months.
Post # 10
@EffieTrinket: Tell me about it! My most recent boyfriend and I dated 10.5 months and looked at me like I had 3 heads when I *finally* mentioned marriage. It was a GREAT relationship. We were crazy in love… but he said it never occured to him to think about marriage. He was only 29, but still.
Boyfriend before that… we dated 1.5 years and wasn’t sure I was the one when I mentioned marriage. So I walked. We are still friends.
Boyfriend before that, oy. I gave him my best years, age 25-29 and he kept swearing up and down he would propose “before I knew it”. Well, I knew IT wasn’t going to happen. He didn’t try to stop me when I started packing my things. I broke up with him very peacefully. In fact, I broke up with my last 3 boyfriends peacefully and amicably, but all for the same reason. Ugh. Everyone tells me I attract commitment phobes, even my therapist says so!
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I’d probably wait at least 2 years, but because of age and wanting to have children much more would be difficult. However, if I was sure it would happen and really loved him, waiting longer would be better than starting all over single. I’d be hesitant to accept a proposal after anything less than a year because it takes 6months to a year for the infatuation period to end, and you don’t get to really know the otehr person until that’s out of the equation.
Post # 12
@Yogachild: About TTC, I can understand this as I want to have kids too. But know this, pressuring a man to hurry it up is not the way to get babies…it’s a way of getting him to dump you. You have to give it its due course and hope for the best.
Post # 13
I’m 28 so my perspective is a bit different 🙂
Even at my age, if I were not with FI, I would not spend more than 6 months with someone without a clear commitment. I say this because I dated someone for 6 years while he took his time making up his mind.
I’ve learned my lesson. I’m blunt, to the point and completely open about what I want in life. If a man runs because you bring up marriage, like PP said, you dodged a bullet.
ETA: By commitment I don’t mean ring on my finger. We discussed marriage about 3 months in and knew that it would happen eventually just not so soon. We moved in together at the 2 year mark, that was commitment enough for me.
Post # 14
Not much new to add … the other wonderful Bees have it all covered.
If a gal is approaching 30, she needs a Life Timeline (honestly never a bad thing at anyone’s age).
Any guy you are dating needs to know what your major milestones are going to be… Dating – Engagement – Marriage – House – Kids… maybe not the exact timeframe when you are first dating… but by 6 months he needs to know that these are facts of life for you… and they are starting to be discussed (ie Does he want kids)
Somewhere between 6 months and year, there should be major progress on WHERE the relationship is headed … and a more definite timeframe put on each element.
Each gal is different, and a lot will depend on age etc… she might need that ring at the 12 month mark, others maybe are ok for another 6 months or a year… two at the outside edge (otherwise you find out its all gone into the ditch, and now you are 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 etc years old and starting back at square one
— — —
mimi123 respectfully disagree…
The Dating / Marriage formula is different depending upon WHERE you are in your life. What works in your early 20s, doesn’t necessarily make sense in your 30s if your Life Timeline is to have kids.
And it changes again when you are past the window for having kids. Lol, Mr TTR and I dated for 6 years before we truly got down to the nitty gritty and talking marriage because we were quite happy “as is” and well-past our kiddie years. Truthfully we may have continued on as Common Law spouces til the end of time (so many do here in Canada)… except that we like to Travel a lot, and discovered that our rights are better protected if we are married to each other. For that reason, getting married was very important to me (younger person, already semi-retired etc). I gave him my timeline, and he respected it… it is what mature & self-confident women do (and can do… not sit around waiting for something that may never happen… just because he is the guy… and so he gets to do “the asking”)
Post # 15
@mimi123: Pressuring him to marry and insisting he tell you where he stands on the marriage issue are two different things. I don’t think anyone here is advocating an ultimatum. If a man is too selfish or too dense to understand and care about the reproductive realities of the woman he claims to love, I definitely do think she’d be better off starting over. Men in their thirties should be much more mature than that, and someday never comes in more relationships than you’d think.
Post # 16
@Yogachild: Well, 3 years is the absolute maximum! I hope you have a productive and honest talk with your SO about your future within the next six months though. Is he aware of how a woman’s fertility declines as she ages?
I’ve said this before on the boards, but it never fails, a man just can’t wrap his head around how early he needs to act if he wants a marriage and a baby by a certain date. My SO said he wants a baby within two years – this means we’d need to start trying to conceive in one year (assuming we’d be successful pretty early on), which means we’d have to be MARRIED in one year, which means I need to be engaged NOW. whew! Sometimes breaking it down like that can help a man realize that he doesn’t really have months to just dilly-dally if he wants things on a certain timeline.
And finally, the most important thing I’ve learned – you can’t say the wrong thing to the right man. If he is the right one for you he will not be scared off by a talk about marriage and children.