- 3 years ago
I stumbled across the website while searching to see if others were going through something similar to myself. I suppose I’m here to let off some steam and maybe seek some reassurance or advice.
I have been dating a wonderful man for 3 years now. We were friends in college and began dating our senior year. Fast forward to now: we have been living together for over a year. He is in graduate school and I am working full-time. I don’t remember when we started talking about marriage, but I know it was at least 2 years ago. To put it simply, we talk about it, and we both know it’s going to happen. The issue is that I don’t know WHEN it’s going to happen.
For my boyfriend, I know it all comes down to money. I know he is saving up for a ring for me, because he has told me he opened another savings account for it and has been putting money into what he calls the “fund.” We’ve discussed his budget, and occasionally we talk about ring styles, how we’d like our wedding to be, etc. Because he is in graduate school and working part-time, I am not expecting him to cough up some ridiculous amount of money for a ring. I have tried to be very understanding and empathetic (could I drop a few thousand dollars right now on a piece of jewelry for him?)
However, I moved with him to a new city about a year and a half ago. I had just finished graduate school, and he was moving to begin graduate school somewhere else. Fortunately, I received a job offer in the area we were looking to move to, so the move was a win-win for both of us. I sacrificed moving a little farther from my family and friends to do this, but had I remained in the area I graduated in, we would have been over an hour apart, which is nothing insane but it would have been an additional stress on our relationship. Within the first few months of us living together, I told him that I would after he finished his program (2 years), I would not move with him again until I had a solid commitment from him in the form of an engagement. I only said it once, and it has stuck with him, because he sometimes refers to his graduation as his “deadline to lock it up.” (Not in a negative way, either. I think he really gets why I said that.)
I try not to nag him about it, because that is irritating and I have a number of friends who do that to their boyfriends and guess what? It’s not getting them anywhere but pissing their boyfriend off. I know my boyfriend loves me and wants to marry me and is working towards making it happen. But I’m starting to get really impatient. He graduates in 6 months and when that time comes, I’m starting to get worried that I will have to put my foot down and follow through on my word by not relocating with him again once he takes a job. Recently, some friends of ours have started to become engaged, even some who have been dating for less time than we have. As petty as it sounds, it’s beginning to affect my self-esteem. What is it that these girls have that makes their boyfriends move quickly on commititing to marriage with them? Some of these men have hustled to make that commitment in less time with even more obstacles (student loans, opening businesses, etc.) I am happy for them, but can’t help but feel jealous and kind of hurt. I’m beginning to wonder if moving in with my boyfriend was a mistake. I wonder if I had stayed where I was and we weren’t living together if he would have made it more of a priority. I also find myself becoming irritated with him when he makes large purchases. Again, he is entitled to spending his hard-earned money how he chooses… but do we really need a brand new, several-hundred dollar smart TV for our living room when we already have a nice TV that works just fine? Do you really need to front your brother’s cell phone bill for him (money he very well will never see again) when you could put that money towards our engagement? Lots of people we know are even asking him “Dude, when are you going to put a ring on it?” or “When is the wedding?” He gets annoyed because he feels like they are “pressuring him” when he’s already working on it. I want to be like: “They are asking because it makes sense after dating you for this long that the next logical progression would be to lock this up.” But I just let it go.
Again, I know he still has 6 months until his “deadline”, but I can’t help but feel fearful that he’s not working as quickly as I hope he is. When I originally told him my expectations a year a half ago and gave him a two year warning, I would have thought he would have made it happen by now. We just celebrated our three year anniversary and I really hyped myself up over the possibiltiy of it happening and it didn’t.
Anyway, I guess I’m wondering how many other women are facing the same issue of putting in the time and effort and feeling like their relationship is never going to move to the next level.