Post # 1
My boyfriend and I have been dating over a year and a half, living together for about 6 months. I’m 33 and he’s 30, and while all of my friends are married (and most with kids), he runs with a group of perpetually single friends who like going out a lot, go away together etc. He and I lead very independent lives but we both enjoy enough of things in common – music, road trips, cooking, etc. that we spend a lot of time together, and we both really enjoy our lives.
Back in August we went looking for rings, and since then it’s been a slow ramp up to the holiday season, with him dropping hints along the way about how special this holiday was going to be, how he could potentially be going away with his friends after Christmas an engaged man, and so on. He left today to go on this trip with them, and we are definitely not engaged.
I am so disappointed. He made a big event about asking my dad for his blessing back in the end of November, I know he’s spent a significant amount of money on a ring that I’m almost positive he has in his possession, we have gone so far as to look at a venue (!) and give a deposit to hold a date in early summer of next year. Two weeks ago he basically recreated our frirst weekend away together, and I was sure the proposal was coming. Annnd, nothing. On our way back home he admitted that he was planning on it, but just couldn’t do it because he wasn’t ready. At what point do you know when to walk, or when to stick it out? He alternates between talking about how he isn’t ready yet and then about how he really does want to be with me forever. I wish he had real-life examples of what makes a marriage work, like I do with my parents and all the different types of marriages my friends have, but he’s in this group of guys for whom marriage isn’t a priority right now, but I know will be in the future. Christmas was hard because I felt like it was another occasion that went by without a proposal. I love this man and what we have together, but I’m starting to get really apprehensive that even with these things in place, he really isn’t ready to ask. I’m getting to a point where I’m wanting to tell him that if he isn’t ready to move this forward, then we aren’t compatible. You don’t have to be 100% sure about someone (is anyone really ever?), but he should be sure enough. I know I am about him.
Sorry this was so long, I’ve kind of hit a wall I didn’t even know existed with this holidays coming to a close and waiting for him to ask.
Post # 3
Just wait it out…if he has a ring then a proposal is imminent, it’s just a matter of time…if he was on the fence, no ring, no dad talk, I would consider walking…but if he’s gone so far as to buy the ring you should stick it out…guys are notorious for holding onto rings for months before popping the question…just relax and let him get around to it when he feels that the time is right!
Post # 4
He wants a real life example of marriages that work? He does have one. Your parents. Yeah. He didn’t grow up watching that relationship work but he can witness it NOW.
I agree to give it some more time. There is always a chance that he does feel 100% about you, just not 100% about the marriage establishment. It’s a big thing. And the fact that he’s nervous shows that he’s really considering it in a very serious way. Give it more time. IF after a while he’s still back and forth about it there is nothing wrong with just asking what’s going on and reaffirming you’re on the same page.
Post # 5
I’ve been in your situation. My first husband promised our Christmas was going to be the best and most memorable Christmas I ever had, then he bought me a purse as a gift! : ( I understand a guy being nervous about asking, but building things up and not following through is cruel, IMO. My first husband did eventually propose to me 3-4 months later when I asked him to move out. I guess the thought of losing me was sobering for him. I’m certainly not suggesting you do that, but I am suggesting that you tell him that his build up to nothing is cruel and he should immediately stop that. If you’re willing to wait longer, wait. If you’re willing to give him a timeline, give him one. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be honest with him about what your intentions are.
Post # 6
I hear ya, girl. My SO and I agreed to get married in June 2012. In early December, when I began to doubt that this would actually happen– he reassured me that “everything would work out.” However… it’s the end of December now. We haven’t even looked at rings. And he hasn’t talked with my parents yet (something he told me he’d like to do).
Bottom line, I completely understand your frustration/sadness/confusion about the whole “mixed messages” thing. Actions speak louder than words, gentlemen!
Post # 7
I’m sorry about all of this. It must be so frustrating. I agree with PPs. Just give him more time…
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2012 - St. Philip Catholic Church/Arcadia Brewing Co.
I think open communication is key. Mr. Aardvark assured me we would be engaged before we moved for his job and we weren’t! (Little did I know the jewelry store called him on the day we were moving to let him know the ring was there (about a week later than expected). Lets just say I was not a happy camper (I did not know he had ordered one) but when he finally got a chance to get away and pick up the ring, he proposed that same day. I felt bad for being so grumpy about it not know he was wait on pins an needles too!
I think a frank conversation about your feeling and the mixed messages will go a long way.
Best of luck!
Post # 9
Hi all – an update, I feel like I am rapidly approaching my breaking point. After a pretty rocky holiday season, all surrounding us not getting engaged, we stabilized around mid-January and I took to heart the advice just to relax and go about things as if I wasn’t thinking “when is this going to happen”, ALL THE TIME. Or, as my boyfriend puts it, “can’t we just love eachother, and be together” which makes me say every time, “what do you think a marriage is???”. Valentine’s day and my birthday were about 2 weeks apart, and he bought an extravagant, over the top expensive living room set for our apartment that I’ve been obsessing over for a year now as a combination vday/bday present for me. He made it a nice thing about how he wants this to demonstrate how serious he is about us and our future, how he hates how I’ve doubted his love and devotion to me because of this engagement stuff, etc. etc. and it was very sincere and sweet. We went away for my birthday, had a great time, talked about marriage and he expressed that he just has apprehensions about us that are making it difficult for him to take the plunge to ask me. BUT – that he has also put so much into establishing our future already (again, I know he has the ring), he’s right on the edge, and just can’t pull the trigger yet. I told him I don’t want to break up with him, because I love him, but as someone who definitely wants to have children, my window for waiting around for him to “be ready” is rapidly closing.
Last night he came home from a trip with his friends (again, all single, all anti-marriage, all kind of immature twenty-something guys) and reiterated that while he loves and wants to be with me, he is not going to propose to me “until he’s ready”. Our 2 year anniversary is in June, and I think that’s about as long as I’m going to be able to wait for all of this. I am so frustrated I could cry. I’ve told him how hard it is to want to spend my life with someone I feel is just constantly debating whether or not he wants to marry me, the concerns I have about possible infertility issues because of my age, how isolated it makes me feel being the VERY last of all my friends to be engaged/married/have kids. I feel like this makes a small impact, but nothing compared to his overriding sentiment that he’s not ready and he’s not 100% sure about us enough to ask me – even though I know he has the ring!!! Maddening. Wanting to form a lifelong partnership with someone who continues to express their reservations about wanting the same thing – through the lack of action of asking me to marry him – is just making me so unhappy. And when I think about breaking up with him to try and find someone else who would potentially want to get married sooner than 2 years, I think about the fact that it would put me at such an advanced maternal age that the possibility of taking that chance just scares me to death. Not sure if I’m looking for advice or just to vent here…in any event, thanks for listening.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings
I have no advice. It seems like you two have pretty good communication, just that he isnt ready. The me-matum you have given yourself is VERY reasonable. The fertility issue is very real and, In My Humble Opinion, its responsible of you to have that in the front of your mind. Men dont seem to be aware that once we hit 35 our fertility start nosediving and if/ when we do become preggo we are “high risk” as the chances of complications starts sky-rocketing. *sigh* So unfair.
Im so sorry you are delaing with this. Stay strong!
Post # 11
I’m so sorry this is happening.
I am in a different position, but i would put a me-imatum in place. If he doesnt propose by May, move out. Its NOT worth being this unhappy. And i know you are deeply depressed (because i have been there). Being told he’s “just not sure” over and over can destroy your confidence and faith in the relationship.
Post # 12
I’m so sorry you’re going through this and how painful it must be. I want to recommend a book that may provide some insight (I’ve read it and although it really wasn’t applicable in my situation I think it has some great advice about dealing with men). It’s called: “Why Men Won’t Commit” by George H. Weinberg. Weinberg’s take on this issue is that men have a very deep need to be wanted for THEMSELVES and not just as someone to fulfill the role of a husband to the woman they love. It sounds as though your SO loves you very much but is being influenced by his friends. The only thing I can suggest is that since what you’re doing right now isn’t working, try a new strategy. Good luck!
ETA: I forgot to mention – in my case when my Fiance and I were dating and getting very serious, he first brought up the marriage topic, but then did a little “wavering thing” that all men seem to do. I didn’t panic! LOL. I told him I wanted marriage but also that I loved him enough to give it up for him, and that I wanted to be with him no matter what. It seemed to take the pressure off because he proposed a few months later, when he was ready. I didn’t have to bring it up again. My point is, let your man know you love him for himself and want to be with him either way, married or not, if you can really and honestly feel that way. In other words, I let my Fiance know that I loved him MORE than I loved the idea of “marriage.”
Post # 13
Have you had an honest conversation with him to determine what he means by, “when he’s ready?”
Here’s something my SO and I have discussed: We love each other. We want to be together (forever). We are both scared sh*tless of that next step.
When SO and I talked about this, we realized that some people just feel ready and excited for the next steps in life, and other people…don’t. And then we realized that we may never feel “ready” enough. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get married (or that we’re not excited to get married). I compare it a lot to everyone I’ve ever known who’s had a child: they weren’t ready for it, even if they thought they were. Ultimately, marriage is a huge committment. Like PP mentioned, I don’t think your SO doesn’t want to be with you…he’s just having difficulty with the generalized idea of marriage. He doesn’t need to give up his trips and time with friends and all that…he can still have the best of everything.
Post # 14
Hi everyone – we’re engaged! And I have to say it has been like a switch has been flipped. He is so eager and excited about our future and our plans for a marriage and a family, it’s just been adorable and a little emotionally overwhelming.
Thank you for all your very thoughtful advice and insights…I am so happy this waiting period is over, and that I can be confident about our future together!
Post # 15
@Seeitthrough: YAY! Congratulations!!!!! It is so wonderful to hear that, and I wish you two all the happiness 🙂
Post # 16
Congrats! Good to see he did propose finally. Have fun planning now. 🙂