- 8 years ago
Hi Bees! I’m a long time lurker to the board, but I though I’d give posting a whirl. Allow me to introduce myself: I’m one of those terrible girlfriends who has given her boyfriend an ultimatum.
Background: We have been together almost four years now (living together for most of that), and for most of our relationship we’ve talked about getting married (I’m in my mid 20s, he is in his mid 30s). Or, more specifically, eloping. He doesn’t want a big fancy wedding and I’d rather save the money to spend on something like a house. I’ve been *really* waiting for the past two years. Last Christmas he came into a small sum of money (way more than enough to buy a ring) and I thought he was finally going to propose and was crushed when he didn’t (instead he wrote me a check for 1K to do whatever I want with which I returned– I know he was trying to be incredibly sweet and I thanked him profusely, but I also cried the first moment I got to be alone. Boys!) We are financially stable and our careers are on track (I got lucky straight out of college by landing a path to my dream job and have gotten way higher way faster than most in my field at my age and he has been with the same company for 10+ years).
So. Some time over a year ago (and I think it was probably two) I let it be known that I wouldn’t stick around if he hadn’t proposed to me by our 4th anniversary. My boyfriend is an incredibly sweet, well meaning, kind man– he is absolutely my best friend in the world and I love him madly. We make each other laugh, we both have very easy temperaments, and we’ve always operated under the understanding that you can’t expect the other person in the relationship to know what you want unless you tell them, which has served us very well.
But (ahh, the but!) he works nights (comes home midnight or so) and sometimes six days a week. He also has to work most holidays (Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentines etc) and almost every weekend. I’m a 9-5er, so sometimes we only see each other for one date a week. He also never knows his schedule more than seven days in advance. This makes it extremely hard for me to plan anything– inevitably the night I have book club or a social-ish event for work is the one night he has off– and also means I am almost always without a date to parties, or on holidays. I do love some alone time and I’m very independent but long weekends with little to and no boyfriend to spend them with get lonely. And, of course, I don’t want to plan anything like a class or going out of town because god knows that will be the one weekend he gets off from work and then I won’t get to see him at all– I sometimes travel for work and those are always the weekend he ends up getting off, which means I have trouble enjoying traveling because I know I’m missing out on special us time.
He is also a little less mature than I’d consider myself and not great at following through on things and seems to prefer to keep things as they are. (His things– like he has always wanted to move to X but never did, even though he could work anywhere and there was nothing stopping him). So, I gave him an ultimatum and I don’t even think I was wrong to do it.
I adore him, I’d love to spend the rest of my life with him,I think he would be an amazing father to the children we might have and I know he is an amazing partner, but I think he needed a kick in the pants. (I also think, it should be noted, there isn’t only one person in the whole world who can make you happy.) But mostly, I think, I’m tired of getting the bad parts of dating (having to sit through long events for his family, doing double laundry, sometimes going to see movies that don’t really appeal to me) without the best ones (not having to eat dinner alone, having a date at parties, not spending NYE in your PJs and no makeup by yourself) and no commitment. I’m happy to put up with all that for now, but only if I know that it is an investment in our future. I’m happy to eat alone five nights a week, but only if it means when we are 60 we can eat together every night if we want to).
And I don’t think waiting for him any long is really an option for my sanity. Waiting is making me very insecure in our relationship (sometime I’ve never ever felt before) and my self esteem is taking a bit of beating and I don’t think it is fair to subject myself to that anymore.
So that is why I gave him an ultimatum, but I like to think of it more as a choice. I gave him a date (and plenty of warning) at which point he can either decide if he wants to marry me or not. And, honestly, I don’t know what he will do. I think there is a 70% he will propose– I know he loves me, but I also realize growing up is a little scary for him– but if he doesn’t? I have to put myself first.
So, I suppose I’m just trying to put forth my pro-ultimatum both to women who (thought they might not agree with me) are in the best position to understand. I think my friends think I’m crazy, I know these boards are very anti-ultimatum, and a lot of people think it is a bit evil but, as for me? I’m pro-ultimatum, come what may.