Post # 1
Not sure why this was just marked as spam because I’ve NEVER posted about it before??? So posting it again… 😐 I’ve been struggling with talking about marriage stuff with my boyfriend for a little while now (our 5 year dating anniversary is coming up, we started talking about marriage stuff about a year ago). We didn’t start actually discussing it until after 4 years because we’re still pretty young (22/23 years old, he just graduated college and landed a well-paying, secure job, and I’ll be graduating college/getting a full-time job in 1 1/2-2 years). I really want to talk about it with him mostly because it makes me excited and I want to know where he stands on certain things, like what he thinks of ring shopping vs. doing it on his own, even if we don’t plan on getting engaged for another 2-3 years. I guess I just really like discussing the topic, not because I want to get engaged right now or because I want to pressure him- we’ve agreed that we’re fine with it happening at some point in 2-3 years, and he wants to let things “develop naturally.” Even though we’re not planning on getting engaged for a little while, I want to be able to talk about wedding stuff (I’m an art student so naturally wedding design is a huge interest for me- I’ve even thought about pursuing a career as a wedding planner!), rings that I like (I could be happy with just about any ring, the only thing I don’t like is bulkiness/high-set gems), etc…heck I had a funny proposal dream the other night and would just want to tell him about it just because. I want to be able to discuss this stuff openly with him in a non-pressured way. Just like any other discussion- just like how we discuss where we’d like to live in the future together and what kinds of houses we like (which we have no problem talking about). The problem is, he doesn’t really enjoy talking about wedding stuff because he has some reservations about marriage and he still needs a little time to sort through how he feels about it. His parents got divorced as a kid so he’s genuinely afraid of divorce- I say genuinely because we’ve talked about it and he’s not using it as an excuse, trust me. He told me he wants to spend the rest of our days together, but he’s so scared of getting divorced or disappointing me…I’ve tried my best to reassure him that we are not his parents and our relationship is so much stronger, and that couples are bound to disappoint each other every once in a while and that’s okay- we try our best for each other and acknowledge that disappointment happens sometimes, and that we love each other despite that. After having this talk he seems to be a lot more open about it- the other day he mentioned that he wants to buy a house with me in 2-3 years. He knows that I don’t want to buy a house unless we’re at least engaged, and after I reminded him of this by asking if he was going to buy a house on his own, he said that there’s a “high possibility” that the engagement part would be taken care of by then. Also, the other day we were just casually talking about how couples should have kids no later than the age of 30 so that they can still be young enough to enjoy spending time with their adult children and grandkids, and he told me that he thinks 25-27 is a good age to have kids. And I was like “I couldn’t see myself having kids at 25, that’s in 2 years!” (because I want marriage/graduation/a house/a job to happen before kids, of course) and he was like “You never know, I’ll have been working 2 years and will have a higher salary by then, and you’ll be graduated and have a job too.”
I feel like he’s starting to become more comfortable about “future talk” and I’m tempted to bring up marriage stuff in a non-pressured way but I’m worried it’ll freak him out. I talk about wedding stuff with my mom and girl-friends all the time, because I don’t feel like I can talk about it with him and I want to change that- like I said I want to be able to talk about anything with him, but I also don’t want to make him uncomfortable.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Do you and your boyfriend openly talk about marriage? Any suggestions for how I can do so without freaking him out? Should I just keep it to myself?
Post # 2
Oye. Use more paragraphs next time.
But from what I gathered, your BF has some reservations about marriage because his parents went through a divorce? I know several couples who struggle with this. It’s not uncommon. You two are also VERY YOUNG and your career paths could throw a wrench into any future plans in an instant.
My advice: put it on the back burner and focus on school. You have your whole life ahead of you, and so does your BF. Constantly asking/nagging about a wedding time line at this age will only drive him further away. A few years down the road would be a more appropriate time to bring it up. He’ll have grown up a lot and will be thinking more long term at that point. Right now, his focus is most likely on his almost adult job..as it should be.
Post # 3
Wow, when will I learn my lesson to never post on this website for advice? So many assumptions. Let me clarify.
1. I do not “nag” him about marriage. This thread is literally about me not feeling like I can talk to him about marriage…we’ve talked about once or twice, max. And yet you’ve come to the conclusion that I’m nagging him? Hmm.
2. Yes, we are young. Thank you for being the 100th person to remind me. Let me remind you that we probably have a stronger relationship than half the “adult” baby boomers I know have/had. Most of the adults I know are divorced/on their 2nd/3rd/4th marriage. Please don’t tell me our age automatically makes us not ready for something when I know so many 30-50 year olds who seem less mature/worse at communicating with each other than we are. Let me also remind you that I am 23, old enough and able to care for myself and have a full-time job while taking classes, not a teenager. All due respect, but you seem to have confused me with someone else.
3. He has an “adult job.” Yes, a real one- with an insurance company and a real, annual salary, actually. Is that not “adult” enough? Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned that I’m an art *student*- maybe then you would’ve taken me more seriously.
That’s all I have to say. If anyone would like to give me helpful advice outside of “you’re too young to comprehend basic concepts of ‘adulting’ and marriage,” I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank YOU very much.
Post # 4
sgriffin76 : That was a pretty immature response for someone who thinks they are so mature.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2017 - Outside in Paris
I feel like you should be comfortable talking to your future spouse about anything. The fact that you arent confident enough to discuss timeline & the future with him… is a flag on the play.
Post # 6
hikingbride : saw that response coming too. I’m well aware of the way my comment might come off but I’m sick of receiving rude responses from people who assume so much based purely on my age- I’m 23 YEARS OLD, not a teenager. I’m also very mature for my age. Yet some of you can’t seem to read what I’m actually saying the second I mention that I’m 23. Perhaps in the future I shouldn’t even include my age- maybe I should say I’m 27? Would those extra 4 years automatically make me more credible?
Sorry, I’m not too concerned with sounding mature right now when the first response I get is belittlement. I’ll be concerned about my age when baby boomers stop assuming they know best (how’s the economy, by the way?)
Post # 7
You’re together long enough to discuss future plans about kids so there should be no problem talking about weddings. Start a conversation about your wedding or about what kind of rings you like see how he responds, you never know, he might be just as keen as you to talk about weddings!
Post # 8
sgriffin76 : I’ve been with my husband since we were 18. We are 27 now. I know exactly what it’s like to be a young couple, talking marriage. But your responses do come off as very immature and just stomping your foot and saying “I’m mature for my age” isn’t going to make anyone take you more seriously. Neither is bitching about baby boomers.
And being open to the perspective of those who are older and have more life experience is a part of being mature. Your age is a factor because the advice you would give to someone who is 30 is reasonably going to be different than the advice you give to someone who is 23 and just starting out.
If you are so mature and your relationship is so strong and amazing you should be able to bring up marriage without it being an issue. Layout what your ideal timeline would be and why. Listen to what he wants. Talk. Come to a compromise that makes you both happy.
Post # 9
mrscee2bee : thank you for the response!
Post # 10
Those of us who are not baby boomers but have reached the age of 27 can assure you that, yes, those four years do make you far more mature than you are at 23. The human brain doesn’t even fully develop until age 25. That issue aside, it sounds like your relationship is moving along the way you want it to. It is hard to deal with not knowing exactly when and if he’s going to propose. As long as he knows that is what you want and expect, I think you’re in a good place. When you’re talking about what type of houses you like, weave wedding talk into the conversation naturally. It does you no good to never talk about it. You don’t want to waste your time if marriage is something you absolutely need in order to stay with him long term.
Post # 11
sgriffin76 : I understand your frustration about the “you’re too young” remarks. It honeslty gets annoying to read that even though it’s not my post.
I think if you have a stable healthy relationship, you should be open and comfortable to discuss marriage, or anything else for that matter, without hesitation. I also think you have every right to discuss it and know where your relationship is heading and have a general timeline. A PP mentioned to focus on school and that careers could throw off a timeline or whatever, but careers can do that at anytime so that’s a stupid reason to wait in my opinion.
Post # 12
we’ve agreed that we’re fine with it happening at some point in 2-3 years, and he wants to let things “develop naturally.”
Okay, so you’ve already agree’d to a timeline. It sounds like you just want to bounce wedding ideas off of him, but if you’re not even getting engaged for 2-3 years, whats the point? You already said in your OP that you talk weddings with your mom and friends also. By the time you actually get engaged, it’s likely your thoughts and likes will change anyways. Start a pinterest board if you want to dream and plan.
You never know, I’ll have been working 2 years and will have a higher salary by then, and you’ll be graduated and have a job too.”
Certainly, you being mature and all, understand that a higher salary and you getting a job immediately out of college aren’t guarantees, correct? You never know what could happen.
If you have a mature and open relationship you shouldn’t feel hesitant to talk to him about ANYTHING, especially your futures together.
Post # 13
ribbonsandbling : Agree with this post. Looking back to age 23, I was a different person mentally.
You DO grow up in 3, 4 and 5 years. Especially in your 20’s.
Post # 14
Literally every single 23 year old thinks they’re mature for their age. (Source: I and millions of others were 23 once, and totally thought we were “mature for our age.”)
Okay, so first up, if you want to talk to him about this stuff, just talk to him about it. You apparently want to spend your lives together yet you’re hesitant to talk to him about the very thing you want to do? Come on. “Hey, I saw a really neat engagement ring in an art/wedding/whatever book yesterday, and it got me thinking that I could design my own some day/do research beforehand/let you take the wheel/whatever.” Bam. Conversation started.
“Also, the other day we were just casually talking about how couples should have kids no later than the age of 30 so that they can still be young enough to enjoy spending time with their adult children and grandkids” — Fucking what? Lol.
Post # 15
sgriffin76 : Ha, whooaa!!! I was only giving my opinion. But, nice immature response. I didn’t mean to belittle you.
If you can’t talk to him about marriage, how are you supposed to openly communicate with him about anything else? People say they can communicate with their partner. But if I’ve learned anything this past year in couples counseling, it’s that we were terrible at communicating with each other. There must be a reason why you feel like you can’t communicate with him on this subject. Are you guys on the same page about everything else? Finances? Kids? Location? In laws? Boundaries? Have you had a dream date yet? (where you dream about where you want to be when you retire–what kind of financial situation you want to be in?)
You say his parents divorced. I have a few friends who have been with their SOs for years. A big hangup for their SO’s is that they’ve seen divorce up close. I don’t think the SOs have ever worked through that on their own. It’s hard to watch my one friend in particular chose between her SO and marriage. She wants marriage so bad. But her SO just doesn’t believe in it because of the divorce his parents had.
And I love art students! I hire them as freelancers all the time ;o)
ETA: I don’t even know why I responded. I just reread your entire post and it looks like you guys talk about marriage and the future already. Sounds like you have a 2-3 year timeline?
Also, 30 is not too old to have kids. *eye roll* –This was a sarcastic comment but also kind of serious.