Post # 1
My boyfriend gave himself a timeline of one year after over a decade together. We’d been apart a couple of years (my doing), dated others, and he decided letting me go was his “biggest mistake.” So that’s the tone we restarted on, allowing a solid amount of time to get to know each other again. It’s gone really well and I’ve been very happy, marriage talk aside. We’re in our early 30’s. A year seemed more than reasonable and I agreed to it. He then made the error of saying it would actually occur before Christmas (6 months early). It didn’t, and my mental status went downhill after that (read: going crazy). Even though he set it, I’ve been so upset by the lack of adhering to it without being able to explain why other than guiltily saying he’s been too complacent. When I ask him, he simply says he loves me, he knows I’m in his future, I’m the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. The lack of action doesn’t make sense to me. Time slips away from him and he doesn’t notice.
The original year deadline “expired” three weeks ago and I’ve been a giant ball of stress. I was clear that after a year, we either commit or call it and split up. Last weekend, he said he would take me ring shopping. He’s about to write the biggest exam of his life in a couple of weeks but said he would make the time. This suggestion should have filled me with joy, but it simply stressed me more thinking, “It’s not supposed to go like this.” It seemed like an attempt to buy more time (especially when I read all the threads of couples who do this and never end up committing, or are still waiting months later).
My issue isn’t so much waiting a few more weeks if need be, especially for a man like him, but more the demonstration that I haven’t left when I said I would. There’s no way to undo that, that I know of, and by not leaving, am I not setting the tone for the rest of our lives that I won’t stand by what I say I’ll do? I feel stuck in what could be a bittersweet situation. I feel like he’s going to follow through and my stress is about to ruin the entire experience.
Post # 2
When you say “it’s not supposed to go like this”, what did you mean? Were you hoping he did it earlier? Or that he shouldn’t be doing this while stressed out about writing the exam?
If this really is the biggest exam of his life, then maybe I would cut him some slack here especially if he offered to go ring shopping. But a week after that exam is over, then it’s back to business. If there’s no movement, sit him down and explain that you knew the deadline passed, but you backed off due to his exams. Now it’s either game time or it’s game over time.
Maybe to speed up the process, you can go look at rings yourself? That’s what I did for my Fiance. I insisted we go ring shopping since neither of us knew anything about rings, then I went by myself to narrow things down. My friend was even funnier; she picked out the ring and then made all kinds of hints (subtle and not so subtle) about it so that her now-husband would buy that one.
Regardless, good luck!
Post # 3
What do you want? Your timeline was made and now it has gone and past by. Now you have to deal with the present. Is this normal and his usual behavior? Are you okay with being let down and disappointed over and over again? What happens when you have bigger decisions and financial commitments in the future, is he going to behave just like this? Are you going to be okay with that?
Do you really want a future with him? Are you willing to sacrifice your pride and wait a little bit longer? Or will you prefer to take the dramatic approach and walk?
Post # 4
Ask him if he’s ready to go ring shopping (as in actually geting a ring, I’ve seen a few stories on here where the guy would periodically take his partner ‘window shopping’ to shut her up but then never follow through). If he says yes, tell him to concentrate on his exam right now and the two of you can do lunch and ring shopping the weekend after his exam. If he stalls or makes excuses, then unfortunately this will also give you an answer even if it’s not the one you’dl hoped for. Good luck Bee.
Post # 5
@naturalflight: Both really! It started off with him on the gas pedal and me pumping on the brakes, now it’s reversed. I really like your advice to do some leg work on my own. I would feel so guilty about taking away from his study time and that pressure won’t help.
@fluffykaiju: He tends to stick with what he’ll say he’ll do. That said, when it comes to life changing level decisions he clearly puts those off.
@RobbieandJuliahaha I really like that approach! And yes, that window shopping tale is precisely what I want to avoid. I think this is exactly what I’ll do. Thank you! 🙂
Post # 6
Time doesn’t “slip away” from him. He’s choosing not to make something happen. Took me a couple of relationships to realize that, including a marriage where he proposed after five years together, which included a breakup where, much like your situation, he said he realized how much he needed me after being apart. Then less than a year into marriage – surprise! He supposed he didn’t want to be married after all.
I’m not shoving my bitterness onto you to destroy your own happiness or something, but I tell you this because I wish I’d learned much earlier not to tolerate this kind of crap. I’m a strong, fairly intelligent woman in all other respects.
If he had asked you what kind of rings you like and a month later you were losing your mind over no proposal yet, I would think you were the nutjob. But here, this guy who has been around ten years seems to be making specific representations to you that he does not follow through on or apparently won’t be able to follow through on. At some point this starts to look like stringing you along. How hard is it to propose within a year? Answer: It’s not.
i know a lot of other Bees take the perspective that it’s silly for you to wait for the man to propose, as you are both adults making this decision. I am a little more forgiving and see no reason why someone shouldn’t have the fun of a surprise proposal even when marriage has been discussed before and more or less decided upon. So I don’t see a problem with him indicating a proposal is near and you sitting back and waiting for him to do it in his own way. I do have a problem with you sitting back forever while he makes promises and leaves you in knots with his lack of follow-through. Even if he’s not doing it intentionally to mess with you; he’s being flaky about something that’s very important to you.
I heard something once that is so simple but basically made my mind explode when I first heard it: If a man wants to marry you, he f***ing will. (The expletive is my addition – I think it rolls off the tongue nicely.)
Post # 7
Maybe he’s just stressed out about the exam and that’s why he’s slowing down? Ultimately you know him best so you’re best at judging whether he’s stalling or simply dealing with something that wasn’t considered when the deadline was originally set.
But yeah, I was a bit pushy about my own proposal, haha. I was like “we don’t know anything about rings! LET ME HELP YOU ELMINATE THIS BARRIER!” And I could tell during the process that he was sincere about it. I even got the salespeople to write the model numbers down on business cards and then gave it to him to keep. I took pictures also, but they were kinda more for my benefit.
Kudos however goes to the guy at Spence for seeing that I’ve settled on a ring, invited us into the office, offered us a choice of diamonds, and then having a private talk with him. Neither of us saw this coming. In retrospect, I think that was when he made the purchase. I don’t want to get your hopes up, but sometimes the salesperson is even more motivated than the two of you about you getting that ring, haha.
Post # 8
beedot: when my husband said we could get a ring, he told me would propose later. I told him that if we stepped into a jewellers, regardless of whether we bought a ring or not, we were engaged. I told him to think about it and if he wanted to be engaged we would look at rings, if he wasn’t seriously ready to be engaged then no ring shopping. We went ring shopping that day and told our parents we were engaged that evening.
I didn’t have a grand romantics gesture (although I did get a heartfelt speech that evening and an edible ring) and so you might ‘give up’ your romantic proposal. However, if you really want to marry him, then the “proposal” will be wonderful and great even if it isn’t the “traditional story”. I’d probably suggest delaying ring shopping until after his exam, with the emphasis that if you go ring shopping in a weeks time, you’re engaged and you will start telling people/planning.
Post # 9
Cant you just wait a few weeks till after “the biggest exam of his life” ??? Then have a frank talk about it but give the guy a break.
Post # 10
@GreenGables: “If a man wants to marry you, he f***ing will.” I agree!
@naturalflight: After confiding in his sister and his cousin (who’s like a brother to him) last week, they both automatically blamed the exam. His entire life is currently revolving around it which I understand (I just wish he considered that half a year ago). When he said a year, you’re right, he didn’t know he would have that to consider (this one takes roughly 6 months to prepare for). The bit about the salesman made me laugh. I definitely have a place picked out but doubt the woman would pressure him. 🙂
@loz24: I definitely get your perspective and that’s partially what frustrates me as really, the ring symbolizes the agreement so to have that prrreeetttyy much means engaged. My guy definitely isn’t one to do things he doesn’t want to do, so I don’t feel like he would have suggested it lightly. He tends to take the path of least resistance and I am most certainly the path of most resistance! A heartful speech is all I really hope for. 🙂 I agree that putting it off is best so long as I know his intention is to go through with it.
@MrsBuesleBee: Yup, I can, so long as I know he intends to actually do it. The exam date was set in January so he’s had a lot of time to work around it, hence my frustration.
Post # 11
There’s ring shopping and there’s ring buying. An offer to go “shopping” after the deadline has passed sounds like another way to postpone. Look, you can’t make him propose to you. The only thing you have control over is yourself, whether you stay in limbo or move on.
And the hell with the big test, maybe he should have done it earlier. Life is full of stress. It’s a poor excuse for inaction In My Humble Opinion.
Post # 12
Is he taking the CFA by chance? That exam is a beast and people taking it defintely have no lives in the weeks leading up to it (not to mention countless hours of studying all year before). STILL…it’s hardly a surprise to him that this exam was coming. While it might be crunch time now, it probably wasn’t a month or two ago, so why didn’t he do it then? You say he’s not one to say he’ll do something and not do it….but that’s exactly what’s happening here. It’s concerning that he’s not like this in any other aspect of his life, but when it comes to one of the biggest decisions of his life, which impacts another person, he can’t keep his word.
I just feel like these men who miss one deadline after the next on an engagement are all, at the core, taking their partner for granted. That is what pisses me off about it. It’s disrespectful to you. If he’s having doubts about getting engaged, he needs to discuss that openly with you. If he’s not having doubts, and finances for a ring are in order, then there is NO reason to miss a deadline of one year.
Post # 13
Yeah he probably should have planned it earlier…but then again, that would have required him to plan it six months ago. Since the one year timeline was time for the two of you to get to know each other again, maybe it would have been premature of him to go ring shopping halfway through the timeline.
I don’t want to go full out defending your boyfriend. The other bees could be right and he could be stalling you. The two of you have also known each other for a decade now. There shouldn’t be any more mysteries between the two of you.
I don’t know what exam he’s studying for, but surely he can spare just one day to relax and go look at rings with you. And when that day comes, make sure you’ve looked at rings beforehand so that you can give your opinions on what you wants. Make a date out of it even. Go have a milkshake at the mall, walk around to relax, slip into some shops, and then see how he responds. Is he attentive and asking questions? Does he look interested? I think you’ll get a better feel of what’s up by then.
Then he has his exams and afterwards, things should move along. But it’s ultimately up to you! I wouldn’t wait around too long though. Life always has excuses to offer.
Post # 14
Some men become complacent and need a good kick in the bum to wake them up (I have one of them) 🙂 Don’t feel bad if you know that he loves you and wants to marry you then there shouldnt really be a reason not to push a little. Maybe hes just laid back about these things
Post # 15
beedot: Yikes, this is really tough.
On the ond hand…biggest exam of his life…he had to have known that was coming up for months and if he didn’t plan ahead…what the heck man?
Look, I also had a guy who dragged his feet. In the end, he let one deadline pass with no action. Before we got to the second deadline I took a lot of initiative in terms of finding rings and sending him exactly what I wanted. He dragged it out right to the end. The proposal wasn’t impressive and it was clear in the end that he was overwhelmed by the whole thing. But the marriage is great. We’ve been married for three years next week! It’s not 50 years, but it’s something and we’re really happy.
You need to look inside yourself and decide whether you want to stay and whether his behavior is a matter of him not prioritizing proposing or not prioritizing having a life with you. If you know in your heart that this isn’t going to work, leave. If not, I think you should propose to him after he finishes his test.