Post # 1
I think I’m just going through a weak spell today, and I’d like some reassurance/advice from you lovely patient ladies who understand the pain of this process 🙂
For the last month, I’ve been doing really well at not mentioning anything regarding engagement, etc. and have really started to loosen up and not worry so much about when it will happen, etc. Last weekend was our first weekend apart in awhile (since we live together) and I think it was nice for both of us. He came home with the “I missed you’s” and sent the random “I love you” texts while he was out of town. I think the Pact is helping me immensly….. that being said…..
I have some family that is concerned that he will never ask since it’s been 3.5 years and he’s made promises in the past that got trumped by well….life, in general, and has not proposed. He’s been telling me he wants to marry me for 3 years. He acknowledges this and says that we will get married when the time is right, so it’s not as though he doesn’t acknowledge that it’s important to me – he just hadn’t asked. I do admit that he needed to get some things “on track” when we first met 3 years ago – which he has in the last few years, so I appreciate him wanting to start a marriage off on the right foot. He also is very stubborn and when he sets personal goals for himself to accomplish before us getting married, he’s not one to cave and do it earlier than he planned – it’s just hard for me to accept when I feel like I’m “waiting” on someone.
Here’s my concern… I don’t want to be fooled years down the road when he hasn’t asked still. We have big plans for our future, and I would hate to get the point of making them happen and then realizing that it won’t be with him because he hasn’t committed…
I’m curious if any of you have had luck in setting an internal deadline for yourself and then trying to forget about it until that time came around again (hoping that it won’t :)? I hate to do that, because I don’t like to think our relationship has an “expiration date.” I hate the idea of breaking up with someone I want to marry because he hasn’t asked – it seems like the two thoughts can’t co-exist, but I also don’t want to get strung along for no reason. My sister told me that if i’m not worried about “getting older” and “having kids” (which I am not at all) then there shouldn’t be a problem with waiting for another year…
Thoughts? Deadlines? Do you really stick to them? Is is a bad sign if you have to set one?
Post # 3
I agree with your sister. If you’re content and enjoying your relationship, then you can enjoy it for at least a little longer. Keep talks about the future open, but make sure he knows how much you value marriage and how you want to be married to someone before you make big commitments.
I dated a guy through college for 3.5 years. We broke up after graduation because I was ready to move on in my life (graduate school, a new city) and that relationship was more hanging out and having fun than working towards a future together. There was no way he was ready to settle down and I didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t value me that way and didn’t have the same opinions about marriage.
Now I’m in a new relationship and we’ve been together for about a year. We talk about the future and next fall I’ll be moving somewhere for my PhD. I don’t want to move in with an SO without a ring on my finger, so there is sort-of a deadline on our relationship because I’ll be moving and if he wants to come with me, he’ll most likely have to propose. (He actually doesn’t want to live together before marriage, so it’s not just me with the deadlines!)
I kept dating the first guy for so long because we had fun together. It was convenient to have a date to social functions and holiday parties and we certainly could have broken up earlier (I knew pretty early on that he wasn’t going to mature for a long time) but just stuck along for the ride. I learned a lot in that relationship, though I do sometimes wonder if I could have moved on with my life instead of sticking around for something that wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t like “waiting” on my partner to mature, but we did have a good time? I will admit, I was a bit jaded and overly optimistic while I was in the relationship.
Are there any big changes coming up that might force your hand?
Post # 4
I’ve had to extend two internal deadlines, but have decided I’ll walk at the 3 year mark. This is just my personal timeline. In your case I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling him “I can’t wait forever. You’ve been saying you want to marry me for 3 years and haven’t done it. I just can’t trust what you’re saying anymore.”
The one thing about internal deadlines I’ve struggled with is I mentally prepared for the breakup ahead of time. My original deadline was 2 years, then 2 1/2. Because I was imagining how I might have to break up with him, mentally preparing, I became distant and resentful of being put in that position. My advice would be to avoid that if you do set an internal deadline. The pact’s really helped me w/that because my focus is taking my happiness into my own hands instead of letting my relationship status dictate my happiness.
People like to use the ugly word “ultimatum”. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an expiration date. Usually Bees considering a deadline have already waited a reasonable amount of time for a proposal. 3.5 years is a good length of time; if a proposal hasn’t happened yet, it’s reasonable to consider how long you’re willing to wait.
Post # 5
Thank you for this! I needed to hear that I am not the only one that has a deadline in mind. It’s hard to think about. I agree that I can’t let it consume my thoughts and start thinking negatively. You are right. It just needs to be a back-up plan if the Pact does not work out.
“I can’t wait forever. You’ve been saying you want to marry me for 3 years and haven’t done it. I just can’t trust what you’re saying anymore.”
I also needed to hear this!
Post # 6
Thank you for your thoughts! I agree that some relationships have an “end point” based on where you are in life, etc. I truly believe he is the one that won’t end. It’s also very difficult to figure out when enough is enough when you already live together. I’m sure other bees can relate. I wish we would have waited to move in together like you are planning! Girl power!
I like your idea of something that will change in the future… As a couple, we have a goal to put our house on the market in Winter 2012 (about a year from now). Perhaps, I will make that my “deadline” and if that point comes and nothing has changed, it may be time for me to move on with my life without him. I hate to think about that since I want to be with him, but it would also not be truthful to myself to ignore his promises for years just so I can hang onto him. Life is so hard! Hopefully, by Winter 2012 we will be engaged, and this subject will be a moot point.
The other hard part is that I do not want to have a wedding – I am a old-fashioned romantic that loves the idea of us going to the courhouse on a weekday by ourselves and making it official. Since this is the case, it’s hard to set a “deadline” since there won’t need to be much planning invovled.
I think I’ve created the most difficult situation ever for myself 🙂
Post # 7
I got the expiration date with my ex, we just wanted different things in the end, he wanted to continue his independent student days and travel the world, I wanted to settle down, get a job and save for a house. Since it was apparent we weren’t following the same path, I was no longer happy, and couldn’t kid myself into thinking it would work anymore.
I left him after 3.5 years, and shortly after met my SO, who I have now been with for 3.5 years and still going strong, and it’s because we both want the same things. We got our jobs, we bought our house and on the route to marriage just like I always wanted for myself.
I would just keep a check on how things are going every 6 months or so, if things arent improving or heading to where you would like, then you have the right to ask him where the relationship is going (not all the time of course!) If you are 99% happy with everything else in the relationship, it just sounds as if your SO has gotten comfortable and just taking his time with the next step which is completely normal 🙂
Best wishes 🙂
Post # 8
I honestly would ask him what he considered a reasonable amount of time to wait. I think that answer will tell a lot.
Post # 9
I’ve set a deadline of 9 months. We started talking about getting engaged about 4 months ago and even went ring shopping. He told me to just wait and be patient, but I’m losing my mind. My deadline is April.
He’s not aware of the deadline, but IMO, 9 months is plenty of time to figure out what he wants since in 9 months from now we’ll have been together 4 years 3 months, and save up the money since he’s all about cash and putting nothing on credit or layaway….which I agree with too.
I haven’t decided what I’ll do at the 9 month mark, I only hope he proposes by then. But 9 months really lets me figure out everything for myself and let’s me decide on what I’ll do at that point.
Post # 10
I agree with the other poster that setting a mental deadline can be very disasterous. There is nothing wrong with having a point in a relationship where you’re passing into the realm of unacceptable. Let’s just say, for example’s sake, you DON’T want yourself waiting past the 3 yr point. If you set that as your mental deadline, you open yourself up to withdrawing prematurely and resenting the relationship before the 3 yr point hits because you’re naturally preparing yourself for the potential of failure.
What I’ve done has helped me keep those kinds of panicky feelings away. I would pick 3 yrs as my deadline. But rather, instead of leave, I would pick 3 years as the point where not moving forward is no longer acceptable, and when that mark hits I would then take the time to seriously reevaluate the relationship. Cause it would suck to just up and leave, spend 3 months before the deadline preparing yourself for something horrible, and find out that he was going to propose, at the 3 yr 1 month mark. See what I mean? If at 3 yrs you only take the time to reevaluate you may come to the conclusion you actually are willing to wait longer. You may find you aren’t happy anymore and want to leave, THEN you can start preparing emotionally.
That’s just me though. I told my guy that if we weren’t either married, engaged, or had seriously plans to be engaged (ex. ring is literally being purchased) at 3 yrs then I would reevaluate because I refuse to be that person who waits for 10 yrs while her partner tries to figure out if he wants to get married. It went really well and opened the doors for a lot of healthy discussions down the road. Good luck! I hope things work out, no matter what you chose to do.
Post # 11
@butterflylove: I need additional information:
1. How old are you and your SO?
2. Are both of you done with school?
3. Do both of you have established yourselves in a career?
Post # 12
Thank you for the advice! I thinks that’s a really good way to look at the “deadline.” I don’t want to anticipate a break-up so it’s good to remember that’s not what the deadline needs to be if it’s not what I want. We have been together for 3.5 years. He’s known for years that I would like to be married but has not made that a priority amidst alot of other things going on in his life. He’s made alot of efforts to improve his(our) life and as he says “set us up for a better future” which I appreciate. I’ve done my best to be patient, but I have probably brought it up more than I should have over the years. I think I’m going to give myself a deadline of next Winter (1 year from now) as a time that I need to re-evaluate where we are “going” if we are not yet engaged. Thank you for the “good luck.” Same to you!!!!
Post # 13
1. How old are you and your SO? I’m almost 28. He’s 31.
2. Are both of you done with school? I have a Masters Degree. He didn’t go to college when he was younger, so has been working on his Bachelors for the last 2 years part time – still has about 3 years to go to get his degree while working full-time.
3. Do both of you have established yourselves in a career? I recently finished my Masters Degree so I would like to find a better job, but I am content at my current job – have been for 5 years. He has a full-time job that he’s not happy with – hence the going back to school part-time while working.
Post # 14
I think most of the advice you received is very good. It is entirely up to you on how you want to handle the situation because we don’t know the situation as well as you do. // I was very direct with my ex that I didn’t want to date indefinitely and that I value marriage. He lead me on to believe he did, too, but in the end, we broke up because he knew he couldn’t do it. I guess, this was a blessing in disguise because I would not have wanted to pressure him into marriage. // Good luck!
Post # 15
@butterflylove: I am sorry to tell you but solely on your post and answers, I believe your SO wants to have his ducks in a row before he proposes to you. In his mind, the list goes like this:
1. Education- Taking the steps to getting his education. Something he started when he was younger and now rectifying the situation.
2. Job – Taking the steps to change by getting an education and hopefully find a career that is stable and he enjoys. The man is supposed to be the provider. Until he does that, he feels he cannot move to the next phase.
In addition, you also have your life to think about and get everything in order. Get a job that reflects your education and experience. Find a career that fulfills you. The chances of a successful marriage increases when two people have took care of their own ambitions and then join together. It is all about timing. Make a list like this:
1. Education- “Check” for you but not for him yet
2. Job/Career – In proccess for you and for him
Once both of you have all checks then you move to engagement and marriage.
But in the meantime, I think you have the right to ask him for reassurance that he has no doubt about the relationship and both of you in the walking in the same path TOGETHER.