Is "The Ultimatum" viewed negatively? Waiting Bees, and advice givers.

posted 2 years ago in Waiting
Post # 2
532 posts
Busy bee

notmeeither :  I’m married now, but when I was dating, I let my SO know from the very beginning that I was only considering dating for marriage and not dating just for fun. He felt the same, so it worked out and no ultimatum was ever needed.

1) If he had been unsure from the beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted any more time and would keep up the dating search because marriage is a deal-breaker for me.

2) If he had said from the beginning that he was also looking for a relationship that leads to marriage BUT later changed his mind, then for sure I would have an ultimatum. Asking someone to commit to you isn’t really a demand. If the feelings aren’t mutual, then you’re better off finding someone who WILL want to marry you and not have one foot out the door.

Post # 3
10668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

notmeeither :  

I am in the minority here, I suspect, in that I like ultimatums.  To me, setting a definite walk date is the woman taking her power back and regaining control over her own future.  It’s a show of strength.

There is a caveat–if you’re throwing down an ultimatum for the purpose of scaring your bf into marrying you–you’re doing it wrong.  That is *not*!the purpose of an ultimatum. Nor is it to be used as a punishment.  It’s a way of taking care of you.

And never, ever issue an ultimatum unless you are fully prepared to follow through.  Even if he cries. Even if he ugly cries.

The thing to remember is, no matter how much you love your bf, you can only give him what you have to give.  You can’t give him a new car if you don’t *have* a new car.

And you cannot give your man more time if you don’t *have* more time.  If women would pay more attention to their own feelings and intuitions, this would be much easier.  But, the gist of it is that your time is finite.  Maybe your bio clock has taken over.  Or maybe your self esteem is taking to much of a beating.  Whatever.  At some point, you just don’t have more time to give him.  Sad, but exhilarating.

Post # 4
1542 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

1. If you don’t know where your SO stands with regards to a timeline then initiate a conversation – you shouldn’t be a passive participant. If he gets angry or says you’re nagging then that may be your answer that he hasn’t the intention to do so.

2. We have discussed timelines but haven’t issued an ultimatum because I know I wouldn’t follow through and he is stubborn and would feel pressured but I wouldn’t walk.

3. women should only issue ultimatums if you’re prepared to walk and do something if he doesn’t propose..

I wouldn’t judge anyone who gives an ultimatum because waiting does make me feel very helpless at times.

Post # 5
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Generally I don’t like the idea of the ultimatum. I think if two people are partners in life they should just be honest with each other about what they want and what they think is reasonable. To me, a ‘walk date’ is really problematic. It implies game playing over having honest conversation and it is a tactic to put pressure on the other person. It also suggests a lack of trust and respect. If you respect a person as your partner you don’t make threats, condescend, beg or manipulate. 

There is so much focus on women who are ready for marriage who are being ‘wronged’ by a partner who ‘won’t’ propose. It is also important to respect when someone is not ready for marriage. I feel the same way about guys giving their girlfriends ultimatums when they are not ready to have sex. Again, when people are partners they need to work these issues out together, not through power plays and threats. 

Post # 6
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I met my SO online which is something new to me. So when I first started going out and started dating, I made it clear to him that I date for marriage and not date for fun. And neither do I sleep around. I believed in sex after marriage so I needed him to understand that, and he did. And he was willing to abstain from it.

I don’t usually believe in ultimatiums but I did use it once when my SO and I first started dating. As he was still unsure about me and I suspected that he still had feeling for his ex. After we had a couple of huge fights, I gave him an ultimatium – her or me. I gave him time to think and when he he has thought it through – he chose me.

So here we are, close to 2 years after and waiting for a proposal. He has bought a ring and we agreed that the proposal should be next year which would give us more time to save up. 

So basically, I guess ultimatiums really depends on situations. But most of the bees’ stories are about them being together for a very long duration. And I can’t say if I am in their position, I won’t do the same.

Post # 7
74 posts
Worker bee

notmeeither :  I told my boyfriend from early on that it will take me two years to get to know him, and vice versa, and I think another year after that is perfect timing for an engagement.

We just had a conversation yesterday on our 2nd anniversary where we agreed that my timeline sounds good.

If by our 3rd anniversary I don’t have a ring, I will give it a few months, ask why, and if the answer is not satisfactory then I will indeed leave.

I have not set an ultimatum, in the sense that it was not angry, or threatening, or delivered with tears, but it was a calm discussion of what I personally want out of this relationship and I was lucky enough that he agrees.

I suspect the problem is what happens if he DOESNT’ agree – this will always depend on the specific couple. Personally I do think that a woman does know if he wants to marry her or not – she may just want to avoid the truth and carry on hoping. Personally I refuse to do that. I am still young and there are millions of other men out there. 

Post # 8
74 posts
Worker bee

Bunnyang :  The thing about waiting for someone else to catch up to you is that…often times they don’t. I don’t want to hurt anyone and I am well aware of some brilliant exceptions but I fully believe if its been more than 3-4 years and he has not proposed…he just ain’t that into you (unless there is a VALID reason , which he needs to disclose). Or he’s a coward who’s afraid of the commitment, which again, I do not have time for, sorry. Shit or get off the pot, the world doesn’t all of a sudden stop in its tracks because Mr. XYZ can’t make his mind up. Life goes on, with or without him.

Post # 9
1985 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

We had some disagreements about agreeing on timelines and he felt I was setting ultimatums, which wasn’t my intention. However, I suppose I did set an ultimatum of sorts. He felt that it was his “job” to think about the future and frankly I disagreed with all the gendered bs surrounding engagements. So he didn’t want me to propose to him and he wanted some grand surprise which he thought meant I knew nothing. Anyway, I told him I would wait until he was ready to propose until I got fed up. I didn’t know when I’d get fed up so it wasn’t an ultimatum in that sense but when I did, I’d propose to him. Now he had every right to say no when I proposed but if he said no there would need to be a serious discussion about us and our future.

The problem with an ultimatum is that they can often be deivered on the back of emotions, when you’re not necessarily thinking clearly. They also tend to include threats – like leaving. I think in most cases people never intend to follow through with these threats. We’ve always had a rule about never making threats that you never plan to follow up on – big or small. I was capable of following up my “threat”, I had no issues proposing to him and if he said no I had no issue with having a serious talk with him. I knew that the serious talk could lead to us breaking up but I accepted that and knew it was a possibility. Often I see posts from people who have set ultimatums and then it left, they then wonder why they can’t get any commitment when they throw around leaving as an empty threat.

I think the other thing with ultimatums is that sometimes they can come with unreasonable timelines. I’ve seen posts in which the poster has not brought up marriage for fear of being “that girl”, then cracks and has a conversation with their partner. That conversation is along the lines of “when are we getting married” and it ends with tears and empty promises or promises of “soon”. An ultimatum then gets thrown out, which never tends to work.

So I think it’s important to talk to your partner about your joint future, including but not limited I marriage, regularly and from the beginning of your relationship. Set reasonable timelines, reasonable milestones that you both agree with and don’t promise or threaten anything you’re not prepared to follow through on.

Post # 10
11520 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

notmeeither :  We were together 8 years when we got engaged and a little shy of 10 at the wedding. We were 31 & 32 when we got married. There were no ultimatums. There were some tear-filled conversations about waiting.

I knew that Darling Husband was the man I wanted forever. I wasn’t leaving. I didn’t want him to propose just so I’d stay. 

Post # 11
43 posts
  • Wedding: May 2020

When my SO and I first started dating, I gave him a timeline of 5 years befire engagement {we’re younger than lots of Bee’s who say 1-2years}. He knew from the very beginning that after that, there would have to be a very good reason to not be engaged. Less an ultimatum, more a general discussion about the direction that I want my life to be heading in. I see no issue with that. 

Post # 12
9173 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i wouldn’t neccessarily give an ultimatium. but i would explain that it is a partnership, and it involved my life too.  so it would nice to be on the same page about things.

Post # 13
9810 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I think people should go into the relationship with a clear view of what the expecatations are. When I met my husband we had already had serious talks about what we were looking for in a relationship/partner before we had ever even started dating. That was how we knew we even wanted to give dating a shot! Had we not been on the same page we wouldn’t have wasted our time pursing something that wouldn’t work out.

Because we had those talks up front I never had to give an ultimatum because we wanted the same things. I think to an extent if you’re with the right person and want the same things you don’t have to give the ultimatum. But if you are with someone who says one thing and then does another it can be beneficial to get them to put up or shut up and be able to move on with your life. I do suggest ultimatums here from time to time but usually because I can already tell the partner has no interest in marriage and I think it would be beneficial for that to come to a head.

Post # 14
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Every situation is different of course, but in some cases I think ultimatums are 100% appropriate. If you want to get married, have said so to your partner, and he is dragging his feet, at some point you need to do something about it. You really have two choies in situations like these: 1) continue in limbo, with no certainty as to if/when your partner will actually ever propose, thus having zero agency over your own life and future; 2) tell your partner that marriage is important to you and his continual delay is becoming a dealbreaker. In these situations (which are all too common on the bee), I am almost always in support of option #2, which is technically an ultimatum. 

Post # 15
508 posts
Busy bee

I’ve been with my SO for five years. Last week I did issue “THE” ultimatum. I let him know that marriage is not something that I will compromise on and that if he didn’t feel my same desire to be married by my birthday (which is in October) then this would be sad and a very hard thing to do, but that I will need to move forward in life without him. 

We got into a big fight a few days after that and his “concerns” seem petty to me and I’m reading through all his bullshit at this point. He agreed to go to a couples session with me, which is this afternoon. He said he is nervous because he is afraid the therapist and I will gang up on him.. *rolls eyes*. Honestly I don’t even know if this is worth going through because I don’t think he’ll change. He has his own therapy session at the end of the month and hopes that the therapist will help him work through some issues in his head. He has both depression and anxiety and never got treated for it- so sometimes I wonder if he purposely pushes me away because he feels like he’s not good enough, or feels like a burden. I’ll never know though, because he never actually tells me how he feels.

I can’t force the guy to marry me and I wouldn’t want that either. So if he really doesn’t want to, then I have my answer in October.


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