(Closed) My girlfriend wants to be engaged, I don't know if I am ready

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 31
707 posts
Busy bee

Gah! I also see both sides. Honestly, I’m still scared of babies and I just turned 30… Time to be getting a move on! But id rather sit around and play video games! 

The age difference is bad for her – I’m not saying all 20 somerging guys are the same though. Some do want babies! But you don’t, not yet anyway. 

I think you’re going to have to be honest. Would she be happy to have kids before marriage (As that is the real issue)? Are you sure she’s the one for you? is it the children or the marriage you’re not ready for? Think about it for a few days and make a decision. She’ll need to get a move on soon if she wants kids, and if she needs to find someone new she has to start ASAP! While you have ages. So jealous of boys! 

Post # 32
33 posts

I think you Girlfriend should dump you mainly becasue I see this being dragged out until December 2014 with no proposal and then she will probably come to hate you and dump you….or hate herself for allowing stay with someone who makes promises and has no intention of keeping them.

maybe like 2 people said its ok that you dont know after 4 YEARS of being together that you still dont know if you can marry her or have kids now. Thats BS and those are the kinds of people probably like yourself that will never marry…and if they do it probably wont be till their 40. Your Girlfriend is in 30’s its cruel to make her wait till 35+ when YOUR ready …..if you let her go right now then hypothetically the very next day she could find somone who is also ready and WILLING to give her what she wants.

Post # 33
2216 posts
Buzzing bee

alisis4:  I think you need to have a frank and honest conversation with her. You’re not ready to get married  and you’re not sure when you will be. If you love and respect her, tell her the truth about how you feel and keep having those hard conversations for as long as you are together. That is the way you’ll show her how much you love and respect her IMO. She deserves to know.

For what it’s worth, I think the fact that you’re not ready to get married yet totally fine for you and that you should not have to be convinced or in any other way made to feel guilty in order to decide to get married before you’re ready and before you want to. If you were ready to marry her, I think you would know. No one should have to be forced to be ready. Likewise, I can definitely see where she’d be coming from–if she’s 31 that means she only has 3-4 years left until fertility starts to become a problem for her.

I would say that considering how you describe this situation, it might be better for you two not to be together. If you end up marrying her before you’re ready to appease her, you’ll likely resent it at some point. If she ends up waiting for you to be ready and then things either don’t work out or she winds up having difficulty getting pregnant, she’ll likely resent you at that point.

You two seem to be on two totally different timelines due to the age difference, and I think that’s just a fact of life. It’s how things work out sometimes.

Post # 34
638 posts
Busy bee


alisis4:  Are you a lesbian couple or just a guy posting on these boards? Not that it makes a difference but it’s unclear based on your post. 

Post # 35
2216 posts
Buzzing bee

akirasan:  “If she walks because of this I feel like she isn’t respecting your wishes enough.”

This may be true. It is also true that if she walks because of this, she is respecting herself enough.

They are on two completely different timelines with completely different goals. I think that both of their goals and feelings are legitimate and should be respected. The OP’s desire to not get married yet should not trump the girlfriend’s desire to have a commitment and try to start a family to an unbiased observer. Likewise, the reverse should also be true–to an unbiased observer, the girlfriend’s desire to start a family should not trump the OP’s feelings that the OP is not ready to get married yet.

This is why I think that this particular relationship is not right for either of them at this time.

Post # 36
1723 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

We have two people who are in different stages of their lives: a 26-year-old who is really just starting out, and on the other hand, a woman who is in her early 30s and knows what she wants. OP has drastically misled this woman, telling her that they would be engaged this calendar year; if he’s still that uncertain (going into May), it’s unlikely he’s going to change his mind by December. He wants to postpone kids for years more; she wants to have them very soon. Their life goals are not compatible, even if he feels that she is *eventually* the one. It doesn’t make much difference if she wants him to be the one *right now*, not tomorrow. And I don’t blame her for not wanting to bank anymore time in this relationship after this long.

OP, you need to tell her now: none of the “I could change my mind later on…” or “Maybe in a few years.” I think it’s time for a clearcut, “I do not see myself having kids until I am in my 30s, and while I could see myself getting married eventually, I don’t know when that will be.” Then, she gets to make her own decision. Neither person is being selfish here; they’re acting out what they each want for their lives, and recognizing that they need to do so separately. I see nothing wrong with that.

However, OP, if she means that much to you, it is time to do some critical reflection. Why are you not ready for children? Is it fear of the unknown, or are there other reasons (i.e., financial, time, etc.)? Why do you feel that you are not ready to get married yet? While it’s usually geared toward brides, look for “The Conscious Bride” planner/book on ebay or something. It addresses many issues that can also be relevant to men who fear tying the knot. It may give you some insight into those fears, and you may find that you are more ready for marriage than you previously thought.

But my honest inclination is that this relationship has run its course.

Post # 37
1669 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

It really depends on what you want. Do you want children with her? Do you want to marry her? If so, you need to sit down with her and talk through a timeline (for everything, not just engagement) that makes you both comfortable. 

My Fiance and I have an even bigger age difference. We are getting married this summer, I am 33 and he is 26. We were both very open and upfront from the beginning about what the age difference meant to our relationship.

When we discussed children, we discussed my fertility as an “older” mother and his comfort level. We decided to TTC in Feb 2015. He said ideally of course he’d like to wait until he was 30 to have kids, but WORSE to him would be to not have kids at all because we had compromised my fertility. I’ll be 34 when we start trying at any rate. I’d obviously like to start ASAP, but we had to find a compromise that worked for both of us.

However, he was never hesitant about engagement and marriage. Those two things don’t immediately mean children. I would look long and hard at why, after 3 years of living together, you don’t feel ready to say you want to spend the rest of your life with her. I second the above posters reccomendation of the Conscious Bride book.  If you’re unsure about her, it’s time to let her go. For both of your sakes.

Post # 38
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018


Honestly, this is the rest of your life you’re thinking about.  Some people are saying if you really loved her you’d propose but I don’t think that’s the right thing to do if you don’t feel ready.  Think about what you want; do you want marriage? Do you want children?  And then have an honest conversation with your girlfriend.  Try to figure out why you aren’t ready yet; do you feel too young, maybe you aren’t where you want to be financially? There’s nothing wrong with not being ready but you need to be honest with her.  You shouldn’t be forced into proposing/marrying/having children if you’re not ready but at the same time you need to realize that she might prioritize marriage and children over you, and it’s not fair of you to waste her time either.

Just be honest with her.  If you decide to propose to her, make sure you’re doing it because YOU want to.  If you don’t, be prepared that she may leave you.  It’s not the end of the world and if she does leave it’s for the best; you two are obviously in different stages of your lives and at 26 you still have a lot of changes coming your way.

Post # 39
1643 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

alisis4:  I’m sorry you’re going through this, but you need to tell her you’re not ready. She deserves to be with a man who will give her what she wants. And you don’t feel able to. AND THAT’S FINE. But she wants a husband, commitment and babies. And I can understand why she is keen to move forward. I wouldnt want children after 35.


You need to be honest so she can make her decision. If you don’t tell her and make her wait. She’ll resent you. If you push yourself, get married and get pulled down the fast flowing river of life – which you will. You’ll resent her.

Post # 40
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

You don’t want kids right now, and that is understandable and fine. Would you want them in 2 or 3 years, when you will be 28-29? 

It usually takes around 1 year to arrange a wedding and 9 months to gestate a baby, so you wouldn’t be caring for an infant the second you get engaged. I don’t think it makes sense to wait until you are ready to buy diapers to get engaged. As long as you know you want to spend the rest of your life with her and want her to be the mother of your children, and that you geniunely do want children and share life goals with her, you can get married. You can have some serious discussions about when it would be best to have kids, given the gap in your ages, but you could still be planning a life together.

However, I suspect that babies are not your only concern, or you would already be engaged with the plan to postpone kids a couple of years (as many couples do). 

Getting engaged would immediately change your life and conversations, and perhaps that in itself is scary, regardless of parenthood fears. I think you should be honest with yourself about ALL of the reasons you are holding back and decide if your girlfriend really is the one for you.

Post # 41
30 posts

I think you need to tell her and be honest with her because it is unfair for her. I see the age difference being a factor in the problem however you two have been together for some time now and after being in a relationship for that amount of time a mature woman will start thinking of the future and want something more out of a relationship. If she were to be 26 and in a relationship for this long I think you would probably have the same issue. Its about taking the relationship to the next level after a certain number of years because you love the person and cannot see yourself without her.

I dont think you know if she is the one for you maybe you should take a moment and figure out if you can see yourself without her and if the past number of years would have been better without her. If you cannot see yourself without her and enjoy her company why would you stop the relationship from blossoming into something beautiful? Everything in life has a cycle and if you want to keep this relationship from moving forward and blossoming then I think you should let her know because it is not fair that you two are on different pages when she can be with someone that wants the same thing as her.

Good Luck and I truly hope you two work it out if she is the one don’t let her get away due to your fear. I have a friend that let her get away and now she is happily married and he is single with many girls but hates his life because he wants her and nothing he does makes him as happy as she did. If you dont want to be with her someone else will just make sure you are ok with that picture.

Post # 42
4524 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Through waiting, I learned that it’s totally okay to want different things out of a relationship. It doesn’t make either of you wrong, or bad, or anything like that.

However, she needs to know if you don’t want the same things, so that you both decide, with all the facts, whether your futures are compatible or not.

Post # 43
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Can we please stop with the fear mongering about fertility at or beyond 35? It’s a bit ridiculous. That aside, you’re obviously not ready to get married. Tell her, and let her move on. Who knows if you’ll even be ready in a few years. Don’t be selfish with her time. 

Post # 44
5884 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

alisis4:  In life, you have to make decisions without perfect information. 

You said that you know you want to marry her, you just aren’t ready to marry her now.  So…why not?  It doesn’t sound like there is any real reason.  You are both grown, you have been together and lived together for several years, and it sounds like you have a healthy relationship (from the udpate4s I’ve read, I haven’t scanned through all pages).  So why not marry her now if you know you want to eventually?  I think a lot of guys struggle with this.  They have this nebulous sense of not being “ready” to be married, but they don’t really know why.  Is it just aprehension of the stress and expense of hosting a wedding?  Or do you really have concerns that you do not want to committ your life to this woman?

In my opinion, the real issue you need to work out is the kids thing.  Will you be able to compromoise and have kids just a few years earlier than you’d imagined?  Keep in mind that no one is every really “ready” to have kids, but if you ultimately want to have them and know that this is the person you want to have them with, then starting to try in, say, 2 years instead of 4 years really isn’t that big of a deal, assuming there is no mitigating factor except that fear of the unknown. 

Basically, I think you need to ask yourself WHY you don’t feel ready.  Do you have concerns about her being the person for you?  Do you have concerns that you really don’t want kids?  Do you think that fundamentally your life goals are not on the same path?  These are serious and if these are the problem you should consider ending the relationship and letting her move on to find what she’s looking for.  Or are you just scared to take the next step because change and committment are scary things and maybe you are one of the early ones in your friend group.  It’s normal to be scared, espeically for men.  If that’s the case, I think you should face your fear and go for it.  Get married and agree on a timeline for kids that compromises between what you both want.

Post # 45
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I just think before you decide either way, you need to figure out why it is you’re not ready.  Is it that you’re not sure she’s the one? Are you afraid of losing freedom? Are you unsure that you want to have children at all? I think before you decide to marry her, you should answer all these questions and make sure the answer to the last is a firm 100% NO. If she wants children and you don’t, then you need to part ways ASAP even if you love her or you will resent each other forever.

It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or you’re dragging your feet because you’re not ready. But figure out why you aren’t ready and that will ultimately help you make the right choice for both of you. Good luck!

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