Post # 1
So I think I need to have a talk to my Boyfriend or Best Friend about when in the next few years he sees us getting married.
Background: we’re both 27, have known each other for about 8 years and together properly (may have been a few dates/drunken more than just friendly nights in earlier years) for just under 3 years. We bought a house together a little over a year ago that we are renovating together. We talk about future and children and even name changing with marriage but have never had a real ‘let’s gets married in 2017’ or whenever type talk. So basically, I know it will happen, I just don’t know when. Side note; if he was super anti marriage, this is it and I’d be staying forever anyway, even though my mother would HATE it. Ha!
Basically this is why I want a timeline: we’ve agreed that we want to try for kids in about 3-4 years. If we are going to marry, I (no real reason, just want it) would like to get married before having kids. So, that gives my timeline as within the next ~3 years. However, we are the slowest renovators known to man, and I just want to schedule wedding planning into the house schedule so that my wedding planning stress doesn’t coincide with my lack of proper kitchen/bathroom months! Im just trying to be practical! A secondary motivator is that as much as I love him, he’s not the most self-motivated guy, especially on big things like this, he’s a thinker/planner more than a doer, so giving him a push wouldn’t necessarily a bad thing!
So this is my question, any chance I can approach it this way and not scare the boy too much (he tends to assume I’ve got an agenda, ie a planned result prior to ‘let’s have a real discussion’ type chats)?
Positive/negative stories about having a discussion about fitting a wedding into your 5 year plan are more than welcome!
Post # 3
There’s nothing wrong with talking about a timeline! It sounds like you’ve already talked about your baby timeline, ask him where a wedding would fit in there. If he says a time that wouldn’t work maybe add “I thought about that but we might want to have things settled around the house. What do you think about x instead?”
Post # 4
I think its an awesome idea! Probably a good way to approach it is to make it not seem so planned, as in instead of saying ‘I need/want to talk to you about something’ say ‘I was thinking about when we talked about kids….’. If you have a segway, such as you two happen to be talking about friends engaged, married or just had kids it could help.
Lots of bees have timeline talks and they are really effective! Mine wasn’t as much, I got a timeline then he sort of changed it then he took it back since he ‘didn’t think it was right to ruin the surprise.’ Lol. So sadly fruitless for me. But as a whole it tends to work out better for other bees that post on the boards. Good luck!!
Post # 5
I just came out with it. We were doing something random like putting away laundry and I simply said “babe, what’s your timeline for marrying me?” “Am I going to need wrinkles photo shopped out of our wedding pics or will I still have my youthful glow (we joke about our ages all the time , we are in our mid 30s- inside joke).
I have a type A personality and he knows timelines are important to me, so this led to a discussion on his personal thoughts (I didn’t judge, just listened and asked the occasional clarifying question), when he wanted children, how long he wanted to be engaged, ect. It was a lighthearted semi-serious discussion that I’m really glad we had.
Anyway, I learned we had/have the same (overall) timeline and expectations for our relationship and where we plan to go as a couple in the next 5 years. I also know he will propose this year, has the ring and has a specific date in mind. What that date is I don’t know although I am curious as to why that specific date… which I guess I will ask after he proposes.
Anyway, you know your SO best so I would ask when he is calm (I know my SO is grumpy as hell the first 20 minutes he gets in after work so I stay out of the way, but after dinner, once he’s in front of the T.V, with remote in hand he’s pretty much back to his talkative, sweet, affectionate self and we can talk about pretty much anything. Make it as casual as possible to avoid that “deer in the headlights” look men get when we want to talk, and don’t drag the conversation out.
Post # 6
I think there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, we’ve talked about when we’d like to have kids. I’d like to be married before we do that. What were you thinking?” I honestly don’t know why that convo would scare him at all, since you already own a house and have discussed having children together.
Post # 7
I’ve never been good about initiating a conversation. I just tend to be sitting there thinking about something and then somehow it just comes falling out of my mouth before I can think about what I am doing. I think, as a PP mentioned, bringing up your previous conversation about kids would be a good start to asking about a timeline for marriage. It is always good to get the conversation out of the way so you know if you are on the same page. Good luck!
Post # 8
I don’t think you need to come at it any certain way. You’re both adults. And you said you’ve been together for 8 years and own a house together? That doesn’t really scream commitment issues, so I don’t see why this talk would scare him off. Just give er!
Post # 9
….these sound like usual reasons to me. But yea, the marriage talk is way overdue. It should have come before the kids talk in my opinion.
Post # 10
We definitely have talked about marriage, just no specific timeline.
And yes, I agree that as adults this should NOT be an awkward conversation. I did try to bring it up recently in the context of children. A friend of a friend announced she is pregnant, and doing the maths, we worked out they must have got pregnant within weeks of their wedding. I commented that I think Id like to have breathing space, like at least 6 months between wedding and TTC and then asked what he thought. He completely froze up and refused to have the light hearted discussion.
I get that tradition says this part of our life timeline is in his hands, but that just drives me crazy. I get a bit rant-y about gender roles and this particular thing just frustrates me. I’m aware that I tend to be more dominant in decision making sometimes, so have chosen this to back off on. Most of the time I’m not stressed about it, we’re young, there’s no hurry and as we’ve talked about it, I know it’s what we both want and will happen one day. As I said in my OP, I just want to add it in to our more specific plans. This has turned into me ranting about how much I dislike society/traditional views on this part of a relationship.
Post # 11
@adayoruba: I say not usual because the reasons i see most of this board are either 1) because the bee will leave if the timeline doesn’t fit her own plans or 2) because age is becoming an issue for TTC.
My reason is because I want to plan renovations and travel plans around it!
Post # 12
@Contented_J: If you guys comfortably discuss this stuff in general but he freezes up when you start talking specifics, he could be overwhelmed by the sudden reality of it or feel pressured. Or he could already have a timeline in mind and be bad at covering.
I was in a very similar position (already living together, knew I wanted to be married before we had any children, but also 100% that if it came down to together unmarried with him or marriage and kids elsewhere, I’d unhesitatingly choose him). I didn’t mention anything about marriage to him because although it was a nice possibility for the future, I didn’t want him to feel pressured, and it wasn’t an “ask or I’ll walk” kind of situation- I intended to stick it out regardless of whether a proposal was ever forthcoming.
Meanwhile, apparently he was uncertain whether I’d say yes if he asked- even though we had both had lots of conversations about the future, like, the forever future- retirement planning etc. When we first met, we both had some valid reasons for nervousness about commitment, and even as we gradually overcoming them in ourselves, we still assumed they were in play for each other. Basically, we were both settling in to a nice little pattern of deferring to the other’s assumed hesitance. Happily, he screwed up his courage and asked me about it and we realized we were on the same page and yay, we’re getting hitched.
I think your current route- mention your feelings on the subject when they arise naturally (ie “They’re trying to plan a wedding while having the kitchen redone, that seems like a headache! Let’s never do it that way.” or the conception timeline, but don’t make it a Big Talk- is best. Even though I was very much in love with him, commited to our life together, and we’d discussed future plans at length, if my fiance had asked even a few months earlier I might not have been quite ready to say yes.
Gender roles are frustrating, but be sure that in your zeal to step outside them you don’t inadvertently put him in an awkward spot.
Post # 13
@Contented_J: Well, since you don’t love traditional gender roles, maybe ask how he would feel if you proposed to him? But I totally get if you’d still rather he do the proposing, just at a time that works well for both of you.
Also, next time you’re talking about your renovation plans, maybe slip in something about trying to plan a house and a wedding?
Post # 14
@Bubblesmcgee: thank you! You definitely understand exactly the way I’m thinking/feeling!
Maybe I have been shutting it up too much. There’s lots of weddings amongst friends and family
coming up, ill talk about it in relation to those.
Post # 15
@ladyamalthea: unfortunately my raging against gender roles is not shared by my SO.
But good plan, I do like to write lists and plans/goals especially with the house that has SOOOOO many things that need doing in it. He doesn’t share my love of lists, but I’ve been trying to get him to sit down and write one together anyway. I’ll add life goals and well as house goals.
Post # 16
It doesn’t sound too unusual to me? My Fiance figured it out after I gave him a timeline for having kids (he is in medical research so I made a purely logical argument about how my body can handle having kids better before 30, in the context of his sister getting pregnant) and then simply stated that I won’t be having children before marriage. He then realised how long it would take us to save and proposed so we could start saving… It was all a very logical and practical conversation. It didn’t make a proposal less special because he still surprised me, picked the ring himself etc etc. I never got “told” a timeline myself, my Fiance just understood the logic of what I was saying and realised he needed to start acting. Once he proposed, the pressure was off and we could talk about the future more freely.
I think some people respond better to logic and practicality and feel less like they are being put under pressure. I think some also clam up when they talk about the proposal because they feel they are under so much pressure to make it all perfect, buy a perfect ring etc – and he might want it to be a total surprise!
I hope I made some sense haha..