I’m in the same boat. I don’t think there’s really a right answer. I’ve been with my guy 5.5 years now, we’re both turning 30 in the next couple years and although we’ve talked about marriage he’s very cagey about it. One, he’s in school part time right now and working full time so I know that places a lot of pressure on him and he’s put a lot of things on the back burner because of it and two, I think he’s really afraid of commitment.
I mean yeah, we’re living together, and have been together for 2 years, but I think the word marriage and the idea of “forever” is hard for him to wrap his head around.
But this sets up a really difficult situation for me. I know he loves me, and I know he wants to be with me, because he doesn’t want to break up. But he hasn’t proposed and I don’t (didn’t? We had a talk last night…) know when/if he’s going to. So where does that leave me? I could propose to him, and I’ve brought up the idea but he is NOT on board. He can be traditional and wants to be the one to propose. So that’s out.
But then what? Do I just patiently wait forever? Do I come up with a timeline, like you did and just leave if he doesn’t do it by then? Or do I give him the timeline (or an ultimatum–they’re basically the same thing) and then leave if he doesn’t follow through? None of these are great choices, because in the first case he’ll be blindsided when I leave and I didn’t mention that he was on a timeline, but in the second you’ll never really know if he would have ever proposed on his own–but I haven’t found any alternative.
After stewing with the above thoughts for months I just had a talk with him last night. I told him how I felt, he knows I want to get married, but I don’t know if he knew how much waiting without any power in the situation was making me feel. Or how close I was to just giving up on the realtionship because it seemed like we wanted different things from it. He promised me he wouldn’t make me wait forever (I hate that wording by the way–“not waiting forever” might just mean I’ll tell you if I want to break up, not necessarily I promise to propose, and “forever” could mean a year or 5.), that he knew that he didn’t have much time left to do it, and that he had already been thinking about timelines for himself.
That’s the best I got. It’s good for me because at least I know something is going to happen soon. What really sucked was just waiting with no idea if he was even thinking about it or when it was going to happen. Of course I still don’t have a date, which sucks, but I’m willing to wait a little longer to see what happens.
I think you just have to decide first for yourself how long you’re willing to wait, and then be upfront with your guy and ask the hard questions. “Do you see marriage in your future”,”do you see yourself getting married to ME”, and “what kind of timeline did you see this on?” Use the answers to those questions as a basis for making the decision.
Sorry about your situation though. I definitely know how you feel.