Post # 1
My SO and I are in our early twenties, and we’ve been together 4 1/2 years. We had only been dating a few months when he started talking about marriage. I never asked for a timeline, but he gave me two, and obviously, he didn’t keep either of them.
That’s not my issue.
I think it was around the two year mark when I told him I wouldn’t date someone for more than five years without a proposal. At the time, he completely agreed with me, and I never imagined that three more years would go by without a proposal.
Well, here we are, six months away from our fifth anniversary, and we’ve had numerous talks about this. There will be no proposal. I don’t know what to do. I know he loves me and cares for me, and I know he wants to marry me at some point. I know if I can stick it out long enough, he will propose (eventually). Yet, that doesn’t make me feel better-it makes me feel worse. “Eventually” makes me feel lower that dirt, like it’s some unpleasant chore he’ll get around to someday because he can’t put it off any longer.
We’re still in school, and I will be for awhile. He’ll be finished within the next year or two. Despite the fact that he’s still in school, I really feel like enough is enough. We both agreed that five years would be the maximum “acceptable” amount of time. I just feel like time has run out. I can’t explain it. Maybe I’ve spent so long thinking of our fifth anniversary as his last chance. Maybe it’s too late to shift my thinking. Logically, I know that at my age, it wouldn’t be a big deal to wait another year or two, but I just feel like this is it. Mostly, I’m hurt that he didn’t take steps to make sure a proposal would happen within a timeframe I felt was acceptable.
I’m not really sure what I’m looking for-I’m just tired of driving myself crazy thinking about this. Comments? Advice?
Post # 3
On one hand, 5 years means you have been together since your teens. That’s a lot different than staying together 5 years as you approach your late twenties. A lot of bees will probably tell you you and he are still in school and you have time.
You gave him a timeline and if you don’t stick to your guns you could be facing infinite dating in the future. If you let him walk all over you, he’s going to just think he can keep getting by like that. If you tell him 5 years is your limit, then stick to it and leave. He’ll either realize you weren’t kidding and coming running back in a matter of months or he’ll never come back.
If he never comes back, then it was never meant to happen and you can devote your energies elsewhere into finding someone who will be open to marriage.
Post # 4
The more you think of it as him not meeting a deadline–the more you will drive yourself crazy. Just because YOU’RE ready doesn’t mean HE is ready.
I would be ok with you saying you wouldn’t wanna date someone for more than five years IF you were older and didn’t still have a lot of school to get through. In the grand scheme of life five years is nothing. You say that you know he loves you, and that you know he wants to marry you, and that you know he will propose someday. So why are you beating yourself up over when it will be?
My question is–why is the now not good enough for you? You’re with a man who adores you and wants to marry you. You didn’t say anything in this thread about any other problems or issues that you guys need to work through. You’re just being impatient. Is that really worth throwing something good away?
If you think of the proposal as an “unpleasant chore” then there’s no way you can enjoy it when it happens.
Maybe he really wants to finish school (at least get through it himself, if not you as well). Maybe that’s where the money is going right now? Maybe he’s secretly saving up? There’s a lot you don’t know and if you try to figure it out you’ll go crazy.
Post # 5
I agree with Honey. 5 years isn’t that long at your age. Maybe he sees life in stages. First finish school, then get a job, then buy a ring, then buy a house, then get married. He’s not finished his last step and isn’t ready to take the next one. If he’s still working towards something (like a degree for career) it seems legit to me.
I always ask the younger ones. Why are you so adamatly pushing for a proposal? You have stuff to do in the meantime.
Post # 6
I agree with Ms Fox about at least telling him you plan to stick to your timeline of 5 years. He’s had plenty of time to buy you a promise ring, to tell you he has plans for after graduation, etc. I hate to metnion this, but many men aren’t really in a place where they think of mariage until they are close to or past 30 – there’s some studies about the brain not even being fully formed until then, which is why so many people report feeling like a different person from their early 20s to their later 20s. You really do go through a lot once your school experience is over and you’re out in the world with people of all ages, not just late teens to mid 20s around you.
What you should do, if you are living together is pretty much move out, telling him that he hasn’t told you he wants you to stay in the manner you asked him to. You can decide if you still want to date him, if you want it to be exclusive, if you want to see him and other people, or if you want to break it off 100%. If you aren’t living together, then you’d really have to go more towards simply not spending any or as much time with him.
I’d say if you love him and can live with the idea of never being married, by all means stay, but if marraige is important to you, you are very young and still ahve a lot of life and chances to meet wonderful people who you can love just as much as your current SO. Maybe you should look into transfering to another school or soemthing, to open up a new horizon for you – also to show him you are planning to move on and are not playing some sort of “chase me” ultimatum game. Be prepared to end it if that’s what you’ve told him.
Post # 7
@vmec: it’s true! Guys totally can’t multitask. 🙂
By the way, I think it’s fascinating that two people posted completely opposite views, and then at the same time two more people each posted agreeing with separate posters. People are so funny.
Post # 8
I will never really understand those who set timelines as to when they have to be proposed to…if you love each other that’s what is important, it will come in time without having to force it, I don’t believe in ending something just because a timeline wasn’t met…I feel like I can say this because well when it comes time for me and FH to be married we will have been together for 10 years!!! We are in our late twenties.
From my own experience, I would say that your Fiance is probably wanting to wait to finish school and have a job with his degree, which makes a lot of sense if you think logically about it, it’s not that he doesn’t love you, he just wants things to be in the right stages.
Post # 9
@bran83: I understand where you’re coming from, but I think what April_Mae (and possibly unconsciously) a lot of other girls worry about are becoming the girl that stayed with an SO for years and years but never got a proposal, despite SO saying it would come ‘soon’ or ‘in time’ or eventually.
Post # 10
Well I don’t understand not setting a timeline. We set timelines for many other things, why not when you want to get married.
What has he said besides eventually? What does that even mean?
Post # 11
We started dating in our late teens/early 20s (met in college) and were 2 months away from dating 6 years when he proposed. We were like you, discussed it early and often but I felt like he was never doing anything about it. I think it was because at the time I began seriously talking about it, he couldn’t afford to buy a ring because he was still in school and he didn’t feel like he could get me the nice ring I wanted. I felt hurt just like you until I realized he was waiting until he could actually get me what I wanted. Looking back, I’m glad we waited a little while longer.
Post # 12
I completely understand. Some people might say at your age that 5 years isn’t a long time. 5 years is 5 years no matter what age you’re at. That said, I do think that finishing college wouldn’t be the worst thing ever 🙂 The thing that would bother me the most about this situation isn’t that he won’t propose by the 5 year mark, but that he has given you multiple timelines and hasn’t followed through with any of them. I think that y’all need to have a very honest discussion about if there’s a reason he’s waiting. Maybe he wants to be in a better place in life, maybe he just needs some more time to save money for a ring. Regardless he needs to know that if he makes a promise to you, then he needs to come through.
Post # 13
The only thing I can tell you for sure is that if he knows the time limit is approaching and you stay after you told him you wouldn’t, you will lose all credibility with him. I think having a timeline is perfectly reasonable but one you have said it you darn well better be ready to make good on it or you become the whiny girl who makes empty threats in his eyes.
Post # 14
I understand that feeling and if it makes you feel better it was only 6 months after my Fiance completed school that he proposed to me. When he was in school he truly didn’t have the money to pay for a ring or much time to look for one. Sounds like he is just trying to have all his ducks in a row before popping the question, which is important since the first year is often fun but difficult sometimes. My Fiance had the same goal in mind. Maybe you should not have a timeline but more of when x happens then y will happen. Waiting one or two years is nothing compared to 30 years + together.
Post # 15
What has he said about why there will be no proposal before your anniversary when you talked? Knowing that might add some perspective to your situation…
Post # 16
I’d like to know if he’s given you any particular reason why there will be no engagement. If there’s no reason other than him just dragging his feet and not taking any initiative to make it happen, then yeah, I’d stick with my timeline.