Post # 46
I met my SO while we were very young, I was in my junior year of highschool. We started dating my senior year, broke up and somehow found our ways back to each other. We’ve been together for about 6 years. I don’t think it’s appropriate to set ultimatums based on time alone but rather on the quality of your relationship. I also don’t think ultimatums are either good or bad but just occasionally necessary. This isn’t much different than other dealbreakers like I won’t date anyone who smokes or is _____. I mean it would be great if in every relationship both parties were on the same page and wanted the same things for their futures but that can change with time too. So if you feel the need to set a hard deadline because you’re sure about what you want, I’d say go for it. It’s always simpler to be direct and I feel like a lot of women still have trouble asking for what they want.
Post # 47
I think it’s a case-by-case situation. Life, and relationships, are not black and white.
I think that if you two are on the same page (both wanting marriage) and you tell your SO, “I want to be engaged by February of 2018” or whatever, and they do not respect that, then you have serious issues. Unless the ring is taking longer to come in than expected or a family emergency/tragedy occurs, there is no other excuse for not following through.
In my particular situation, I told my Fi that I had been living with for a year, that I would prefer to be engaged before we renewed our lease. It happened with ZERO opposition from him. If he had been unsure about proposing or didn’t feel ‘ready’, or made up financial excuses that I knew were a result of being irresponsible, I would have walked.
That being said, I feel that men drag their feet a lot. My Fi leaves the laundry in the dryer EVERY TIME to the point of wrinkling, he thinks you can plan a wedding in 2 months, and that everything else in life “happens in its own time”. So for him, I felt like he needed a date to work towards or I would be in the dark because he is just very easygoing.
I have a friend who’s Boyfriend or Best Friend hasn’t proposed and they’ve been together 8 years. I try to tell her to leave, but she insists they are going to get married. “We talk about our wedding and kids all the time”. But she’s 28 years old, they live together, he makes more than enough money to afford a beautiful ring, and his excuse is “I want it to be perfect, to be a surprise, I don’t want to feel like you’re telling me to propose”. I call bullllshiiit on all of that!
Post # 48
I met my husband when I was 18 and we were both in our first semester of university. By the 4 year mark, we knew that we were in it for the long haul, but we also knew that we weren’t in a position to marry at that point. Neither of us had a proper job at the time, so we decided to wait until we’d figured out how we were going to make the practical side of things work. As an international couple, figuring out things like where we would make our home took a while and even once we had a plan in place, getting all the pieces of the puzzle sorted out took time.
Once we’d figured out a way for us to live together (and were both gainfully employed in our chosen home), it took another 2,5 years until we got engaged, on our 11th anniversary. Yes, I know that that is much longer than some people would wait, but we knew that if we got married, without the appropriate plans in place, it would have been a rougher ride than it already was. Neither of us wanted to be married and only able to see one another every few months, or however often we were able to see one another during our LDR period.
Post # 49
If a couple is communicating the way they should be, it should never come to an ultimatum. I think our society still has this idea that you can’t talk about marriage until the guy initiates the conversation but that doesn’t lead to healthy and equal partnerships. Couples should always be talking about where they are and where they want to go and checking back in periodically. If you’re not talking about your expectations on things like money, kids, vacations, family holidays, where you’re going to live, etc until you get engaged or married, that is way too late.
My fiance and I have always talked about marriage and timelines and I made sure to check that we were on the same page on all the big stuff. I had an idea to do a proposal video so I asked him if he cared if I proposed and he said go for it so when our finances were solid, I proposed and he was excited and I was excited but neither one of us were surprised. We didn’t have to have any new conversations because we already knew everything important. The way someone proposes can be a surprise but the fact that someone is proposing should never be a surprise.
What they say is true: communication is key.
Post # 51
nbagnara : Agree.
I think a huge problem is I see a lot of women here who don’t feel like they can talk to their partners about this sort of stuff. If I had a nickle for every time I see someone say they “don’t want to nag” I could be rich! If you’re in a healthy relationship I don’t see why its ever a problem to open up and talk about things like this with your SO. If your SO won’t discuss huge things like this with you then are you really with the right person?
Post # 51
slomotion : Exactly! If you can’t be open with each other about the big stuff how do you know you’re not in for a big surprise later? Finding out that you’re not actually compatible after you get engaged would be terrible.
Post # 52
nbagnara : I think its wonderful that you two were able to so openly discuss your situation with your Fiance. I agree that the basis of a healthy relationship is open and honest communication. I love that your proposed to your fiance!
However, I think you are placing too much blame on waiting women for failing to openly communicate with their significant others. The reality is that there are a lot of social expecatations around engagement and marriage. Unfortunately, one of the sterotypes is that women are OBSESSED with marriage, and men are trying to avoid their traps. A woman who wants to get married after a suitably serious relationship is often considered hysterical and/or a nag. Many men are able to dismiss their partner’s concerns because she is just a marriage obsessed, money grubbing nightmare. (Even if she is 35, they have been dating for 20 years, and she is the breadwinner.) The more a woman tries to communicate, the more insensible she is viewed by her male partner.
In an ideal situation, all life goals would be discussed early in a relationship. Both parties would be truthful, and also not change their minds about their wants and desires. Unfortunately, real life is not always so neat.
Post # 53
My opinion on ultimatums is that they are inconsiderate and immature.
If you TRULY love that person, you could not imagine your life without them.
It amazes me that some women could care less what their SO feels regarding time lines, and get so swept up in the idea of rings and weddings that they would leave their partner that they “love”. It matters how he feels too.
Marriage is just a formality, and is not just a sign of commitment or devotion, people get divorced.
If you really love someone, and really want to grow old with them, marriage is not a necessary step for relationship success.
My opinion? If you are giving ultimatums, you have to have had an actual OPEN conversation with him from the beginning about how you feel. One conversation a year in just doesn’t cut it. Lay your expectations out in the open from the start. If you haven’t done this, you have no right to act like it’s a shock that he hasn’t proposed.
Post # 54
macpartyoftwo : While I agree with your last paragraph, I do NOT believe that, “Marriage is just a formality…” It isn’t. There are countless legal rights and responsibilities that come with marriage, and I would never have a long-term relationship or a relationship that involved children without those legal rights. It may not be the most romantic way of looking at things, but the formal commitment allows for social security and disability benefits, inheritance rights, medical decision making and more. It most certainly is NOT “just a formality”, and love doesn’t protect you in the eyes of the law.
Post # 55
echomomm : I’m not sure how it works where you live, but in Canada I legally have all those rights after one year of living together as “common law”. Because I already had all the rights I’d ever need, to me, the marriage was quite literally just a formality.
Post # 56
macpartyoftwo : This isn’t the case in most parts of the USA. I think there are 9-10 states that still have some sort of common law marriage, but predominantly couples who live together – no matter the length of time – do not hold rights that protect those listed above by echomomm :
While couples may feel secure in their love for each other and live together 8, 9, 10+ years together as a family, if something tragic or important happens in those US states without common law marrriage, they do not have legal recourse and cannot make medical decisions for spouses in emergency situations. For me, this is a scary place to be in when you love someone, are raising children together, or buying a home. I respect couples who believe that they do not need a piece of paper to demonstrate “proof” that their partner loves them. Every couple should feel that way. But for a lot of people, marriage is an absolute must in part for those specific rights that Echo mentioned.
That’s a really interesting bit of information though, MacParty. I think if I were in Canada depending on what rights were extended, I may feel less inclined to believe marriage was an absolute must. For me, marriage had to happen before I considered children or home buying, so an undefined waiting period or “maybe he might propose” situation would have held up all of my other hopes and dreams.
I’m curious if people who had timelines they wanted to stick to felt the same way I do (marriage needs to happen before x, y, z, so I need a proposal). And, if people who are willing to give more years to a relationship (7+ years without a proposal) are coming from a different place of priorities or beliefs?
At 8 years being with someone without a proposal, I would begin feeling like I wasn’t loved anymore and that I was sinking years into someone that were being wasted. I am always very interested in hearing the point of view Bees are coming from when they are in very long term relationships without marriage.