My younger sister's boyfriend proposed over New Years

posted 8 months ago in Waiting
Post # 16
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Scotts ~ Walnut Creek

He’s dragging his feet bc he can, you’ve allowed it to happen for five years now and he seems to have all he needs without a proposal so why change things. I can understand being upset but I’m sure your rational side knows that your sisters bf being ready and knowing who he wants for his wife has nothing to do with your bf clearly not being ready.

You say both of you have talked about your futures and agreed that marriage is a goal. But was there a timeline discussion? There’s a big difference between someone saying I’d like to marry you one day vs. you are the person I want to spend the rest of my life with and I’d like us to get married by ______. He has no plans, zero. So you need to have a serious conversation and ask this grown man WHEN exactly he thinks marriage will happen for you two then go from there.

Post # 17
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

I’m so sorry bee, that must have been so difficult.  I would just try and have a calm conversation with your boyfriend and see what he is thinking about.  When I was still waiting I remember it was so hard to see other people getting engaged, even if we weren’t close.  Hopefully it will be soon bee!

Post # 18
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

anonymousbforthis :  I think that this is let about your sisters engagment and more so about you and your partner. You are disappointed in your SO and that fact that he hasn’t proposed in 5 years. He doensn’t have a sense of urgency to do so because you haven’t made it known that marriage isn’t as important to you.  Yes, you’ve had converstations about marriage but it hasn’t gotten you closer to engagement or marriage. I think you need to sit him down and have a real conversation about a timeline for marriaged. You’ve been waiting 5 years.  He’s comfortable in the relationship because you’ve given him all he nees and he didn’t have to get married in order to get it.  My husband and I were engaged a year after dating. We knew exactly what we wanted and needed, as we had communicated about it early on in the relationship. We had a long engagement and got married 3 years after the engagement. Be happy for your sister. Let your expectations and requirements at this point be known. 

Post # 19
450 posts
Helper bee

sunburn :  I am not sure I agree with this. If it is such an issue than she should. I come from a very traditional family and was sick of waiting around so I asked. 

Post # 20
8777 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

sunburn :  “Someome always says this and it shows a total lack of understanding of the dynamics at play here.” — No, it shows a total understanding that those dynamics are a choice. If someone wants to get married, but wants the other person to be the one to ask, then they are stuck waiting for that other person. You act like the “dynamic” that dudes have to be the one to ask is written in stone. It’s not. People have a choice. You can ask or you can wait miserably for him to ask. I firmly believe that most of the time (not always, but definitely most) the waiter doesn’t want to ask because she knows his answer will be no.

Post # 21
3783 posts
Honey bee

It has nothing to do with the man having to propose. It has to do with one party, usually the man, not wanting to get married. So the proposals we hear about are ones where the man says “I want to be the one to propose” and the woman finds herself in the same position. I do think it might be useful as a tool to gauge your partners attitude toward marrying you. 

Post # 22
2709 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Daisy_Mae :  you said: “…most of the time (not always, but definitely most) the waiter doesn’t want to ask because she knows his answer will be no.”

This exactly! And I can’t understand for the life of me why so many put up with this. (Not saying op, speaking generally) *Years* go by and no matter the words,  their partners continued lack of action is saying a big fat NO!  How do you continue to live with that person and act like wifey/(or hubby) knowing that?.. HOPE should not be a plan…

Post # 23
6094 posts
Bee Keeper

Your fbil is right. If he wants to propose nothing will stand in the way. Not ring, not savings, not house, anything. 

Post # 24
118 posts
Blushing bee

I’m so appreciative of your honesty in this situation and explaining how you feel. It can be so difficult to acknowledge feeling jealous or angry about a situation, especially when you are so happy for your sister at the same time. My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years and I am 27, he is 28. A year ago, his brother (29) had started dating this woman and they moved in very quickly, got pregnant, and got engaged. While it wasn’t my sister, I felt very similar to how you described. Although I have to say, as happy as you are for your sister, it must have been very very difficult to witness the engagement. I give you a lot of credit for being such a kind big sister and not letting your emotions discourage that moment for her. You deserve an award. After my boyfriend’s brother got engaged, I talked to my boyfriend about ‘the timeline’ many other people described. Honestly, it took away my bitterness. Theres a feeling you get when you have been in the relationship for a certain number of years and you are waiting for the engagment, you feel like a witness rather than a participant! It’s like, “why do you get to decide when we are doing this?!” Once you talk about it, it gets that off your shoulders and allows you both to talk about what you have in mind. Especially because I had started making some passive statements that were starting to make him feel upset and pressured, which I apologized and was wrong for. Since then, it came up at NYE. He had told me that I can expect it within “late summer/early fall.” Our anniversary is in March, vacation in July, it is a dreadful wait, but it feels much more like a Christmas morning wait when you have already talked about the timetable. 

Post # 25
1911 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m going to give you some real truth. My husband and I were talking about the Bee and some waiting posts. I told him about yours, and the first thing he said was, “He doesn’t want to marry her.” You have a mortgage with your boyfriend, you live together, and he’s sitting pretty without a formal commitment to you.  Your Future Brother-In-Law was 100% correct. When a man loves a woman, knows she’s the one, and wants to get married, nothing will stand in his way. Whenever I talk about waiting posts with my husband, he’s said the same thing himself. 

Every Bee saying that you need to take the reins and have a serious, no-holds barred discussion are right. Your boyfriend needs to be honest and direct about his plans. Don’t accept vague promises like “soon” or “someday.” If he can’t do that, you have your answer.

Then, you need to take what he says and hold him to it. If he says in the next 6 months, he needs to follow through. If he can’t follow through, he proves he’s untrustworthy, and you need to make a decision. Are you willing to stay with him without marriage? Are you willing to have children outside of marriage (if he wants children) or have fewer children than you want or forego children completely if you miss your biological window?

That’s what this comes down to – what are you willing to accept for yourself? There’s a repeat poster in the waiting forum who waited 11 years and said she’d leave but never has and is still waiting. I’ve seen Bees on here who waited 13+ years. I’ve seen Bees finally get their proposal after over a decade of waiting and they can’t get over the resentment of the wasted time being led with a carrot on a string. 

Post # 26
8173 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

You aren’t awful, you are hurting because your sisters engagement throws your bf’s lack of commitment into high relief. And it IS lack of commitment and that is what is so painful.

Now, you need to stop obsessing about being first or older and all of that and have a proper talk with him. Tell him that yes indeed your sisters situation has made you think seriously, but that what it has made you think about is whether his constant prevarication is a permanent stance denoting no intention at all, or does he wish to join with you in creating a serious timeline. 

Try not to get overly emotional when you do it and above all do not beg or plead.  Be firm and straightforward. Most of all, decide in advance what you will do if his response is to get pissed off and/or continue stalling…




anonymousbforthis :  

Post # 27
1182 posts
Bumble bee

I know you can’t do much about it now but I often find guys who are dragging their feet for years are already living with their girlfriends, perhaps own the property together like you do, and all in all, effectively living the married life without having gone through the process. And if he isn’t someone who is marriage minded (not to say he’s against it, but perhaps it is just a formality / legal process for him), he’s in even less of a hurry to propose marriage.

There often isn’t a conversation before moving in together about what this means to each of you, where you expect it to lead and within what timeframe (ie you expected this to be a step towards marriage and he probably just saw it as a way to get to know each other more).

It sounds like you have a good relationship and are still under 30, so there could be a number of reasons why he hasn’t proposed yet, perhaps 30 is the number for him, perhaps he just got comfortable and since you haven’t hurried him along, he probably assumed you’re ok with waiting and don’t really have a timeline in mind, or perhaps he’s really not sure if you’re the one (this is possible if he didn’t really date around and has little to compare to). Whatever it might be, a conversation (calmly) is in order to see exactly where his head is at and let him know that you’re not waiting forever, tell him what your goal is (with a timeframe), see how he responds. And don’t accept any vague answers like “soon”. Be ready to genuinely walk away if he can’t meet your timeline (whatever it might be). 

Post # 28
118 posts
Blushing bee

I do have to agree with the MissyJZ. I can very much do relate to the living together and being with someone who considers the marriage a foramility. My boyfriend has said for years, “well we are married” or will even call me his wife. I quickly remind him that we aren’t. Lately, he has even started to discuss wedding details, I said we can’t talk about it until we are engaged :p I think men who get the “married life” without the ring, aren’t in a rush. My boyfriend has that and I think if it wasn’t for our timeline talk, he’d be in no rush. Really excited to hear an update from you and hope you’re doing well!

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