Post # 1
Ladies (and gents if you’re there) I could really use some advice from cooler heads. Brief background – Boyfriend or Best Friend and I have been together for 4.5 years, lived together for slightly over a year (since last May). I’m 34, he’s 32. Our relationship is solid and happy and I’m more than ready for us to get engaged. We’ve talked about this on and off for the last 3 months and he’s crystal clear that the waiting is taking a heavy emotional toll on me. I feel like I’m getting nuerotic about this whole thing and I really can’t stand much more. He’s said I’m the one, he’s said he can’t imagine his life without me, he’s said he sees us being married by summer of 2012. We’re going on vacation to Florida in 3 weeks. My birthday falls in the middle of it and if I’m being brutally honest that’s been my “line in the sand” date since we made vacation plans over the winter. Last night Boyfriend or Best Friend admitted that he didn’t think he waw going to be ready to propose by then. I appreciate the honestly but damn, that hurt. Once I managed to not break down sobbing, I asked him when he was thinking of proposing- assuming he ever was. He said he’d been thinking about Christmas. The beginning of December marks an extremely personal and important milestone for Boyfriend or Best Friend, so I understand his reasoning. On the other hand, I feel like if I let this deadline go and he doesn’t propose at Christmas, I’m sending him the message that it’s okay to be complacent about our relationship and he can just take me for granted as long as he wants.
Give it to me straight Bees – do I stick to my original August 15th deadline or push it back to say December 31st?
P.S. Has anyone actually done Mr. Bee’s 3 Step Plan while living with their S.O? I’ve read it but I’m not sure I can really make that one work. Thoughts?
Post # 3
I think you need to say exactly what you said to us, to him: That you are supportive of him waiting until Christmas, but that extending the waiting beyond that makes you believe that you’re sending the message that it’s ok to be complacent about your relationship. The best thing you can possibly do is be crystal clear about your expectations, how those expectations/his actions/the consequences make you feel. We can’t tell you anything more helpful than that. What you need is at home with you, and you need to talk to him about it.
Post # 4
I really don’t think a deadline is the right approach, period. Do you really want to force someone into proposing to you? Is that the story of engagement you want to tell? Let him do it on his own time and when/how he wants to. Otherwise you will both end up resenting each other. For now, just focus on the present. Everything else will come in time.
Post # 5
“Last night Boyfriend or Best Friend admitted that he didn’t think he waw going to be ready to propose by then”
Why not? Did he mention? Is it emotional (not ready, overwhelmed, has concerns about relationship, fear of commitment) or logistical (has to ask dad, order ring, etc) or is he a procrastinator?
If he didn’t mention you need to ask him what he needs to be “ready” and what is holding him back.
Post # 6
I would want to know – what is going to be different in December than now? You’ve been together fo 4. 5 years and been living together for 1. You are both old enough to get married. If there isn’t any financial issues standing in the way, I’d think he is just trying to push it off for some other reason. 4 months is an arbitrary period. Why will he be ready then, but not now? Or any other time in the past 4. 5 years. I agree a deadline is not the best approach, but I’d be concerned with his attitude toward the whole thing. If there is nothing standing in the way and he knows you are the one, I would assume that he is just pushing you off until December because he knows you are ready to leave. I would not assume that he will stick to that timeline. Sorry, I know it sucks. But if he isn’t ready now, I doubt he will be in December. This is just my personal opinion. I hope you do what is right for you, even if that means waiting until december, just so you *know*
Post # 7
@Schrutebeets: I see where you’re coming from, but also if she’s going to feel resentful past her deadline I think it’s OK to have one.
You have to be really honest with yourself, if you can’t wait until December without feeling resentful than that is the reality.
Sometimes just talking to him about your concerns helps to clear the air and not feel so crazy…
Post # 8
I definitely think the plan works even when living together. I did it when living with my EX, without knowing it was a plan to getting engaged – but I started doing things for me, spend more time with friends, make new ones, etc. BF was more and more into me while I was doing that. Just too bad for him that it was too little, too late, because the plan helped me realize that he was not the one and it had me meet my now husband. BUT the point is that it made him realize that I was more important to him than what he had been showing me because he took me for granted.
And about your deadline. If you understand his Christmas reasoning, and he said himself that he wants to do it at Christmas, you can either be honest with him and tell him that you’re disappointed it’s not before, and if he knows you’re the one, why hurt you by making you wait this long – what if one of you dies before Christmas, you’ll always have regrets because you knew and didn’t do anything. OR you can set a new Christmas deadline for yourself and if he doesn’t stay true to his word, KNOWING how important it is to you, you’ll know that maybe you two don’t want the same things in life and it’s time to move on…
Post # 9
This is tough. I don’t think deadlines & ultimatiums are good things (especially if the relationship is a strong one otherwise). But at the same time…if he’s said you’re the one and he wants to be married by 2012 then what the heck is this “not ready” stuff? Hopefully it’s just logistics or he is trying his best to surprise you and doesn’t like that you are expecting it during a certain week?
Post # 10
Did he explain why he isn’t ready? Is he just trying to save up money?
I would wait. If you really want to spend the rest of your life with this guy then another 6 months (as hard as it is!) will not be that big of a deal years from now.
I know the wait will not be easy but if he’s the one…it’ll be worth it.
Post # 11
I agree with the other posters who say setting deadlines is a bad idea. If this person is someone you really love, you are going to have to wait for him to come around or risk losing him. No one like ultimatums, and I certainly don’t want my SO to feel forced into proposing. I’m dealing with the same kind of thing right now and I’m just doing my best to focus on myself and not on the fact that we aren’t engaged yet (7 years together, over 1 year living together).
Post # 12
I’d wait until December. I would be disappointed for sure. And you’re welcome to vent on weddingbee whenever you’d like! It will help. I get the concept of setting a deadline, in your mind for when it should happen. He was honest enough to say he couldn’t do it, for whatever reason, and he did give you a different time, one not far off. So as long as he’s clear that if he doesn’t propose by say, NYE, then you’ll both need to re-evaluate the relationship. I’ve found that once a man imposes a deadline, he’ll do it, especially if he’s told his Girlfriend about it!
Post # 13
If you wouldn’t plan on getting married until Summer 2012, that would be a very long engagement, so there’s really no rush.
I would want to know what will be different between now and December. If it is money issues, the significance of early December, or the fact that he doesn’t want a long engagement, then I would wait. But I would also say, if December comes and he doesn’t propose, you need to be out of there. Along those lines, has he ever done this before? (said “I will propose by such and such date” and then come up with an excuse?)
Post # 14
I disagree with the OP’s about deadlines. I think it’s good to set them *for yourself* in your own head. If you give the guy a date it seems like an ultimatum, blah blah blah. But if he knows what you want, and you decide that you can wait until a certain date, keeping that date in mind sometimes helps you forget about it in the meantime and make waiting easier.
If guy gives you a date, hold him to it!
Post # 15
I think that letting him know you have relationship boundaries is a good idea. He needs to know you aren’t hanging around forever.
Basically you are living as a married couple would be, without the extra committment imho.
What’s the apprehension? You’ve already combined households.
I would let my wisdom take over and watch him carefully and if the signs are there (my Fiance saved for over a year for my engagement ring), then continue ahead with him. If he makes noise about not being ready or fudges alot, then maybe keep your deadline or make a new one..
Ball is in your court. I do know of several women who were imho strung along by guys who kept the guise of possible marriage and engagement in the air, and these friends of mine stayed far longer than they should. In both cases, neither friend of mine was proposed to. One of them had dated her boyfriend for over five years and there would be one reason after another when she’d get upset if a certain relationship milestone would pass and no ring. He simply was never ready.
Btw, one of my girlfriends who went thru this with the xbf, is now extremely happily married and the mom of two and did the right thing by moving forward without the committment-phobic college bf.
Post # 16
I have no problem whatsoever with deadlines, especially for yourself. Why should men make us wait? Is there a reason for him why X-Mas would be better…money etc?
If I were you I start the process of moving out. I know it’s hard but maybe he will understand how serious you are. But again that is just me.