Post # 1
We hear all the time about girlfriends pressuring their boyfriends to propose and move along with engagement. For me, it’s the opposite.
My boyfriend and I are both 22 years old, about to start our last semester in college (long distance relationship). For a while, he wanted to get engaged during college but I said I wasn’t ready. I made it clear to him that there was no rush, I was completely committed to him and I wanted to be done with school before we even considered engagement. It was hard to finally settle that, but he agreed.
Now, he wants to propose right after we graduate, which still seems too early for me. Neither of us have steady jobs or are truly independent from our parents. I realize now I should have been more clear that I wanted to be independent financially and be able to support myself before getting engaged.
I’m scared that if I tell him now with so little time left until we graduate that I want to wait to get engaged, he will be extremely upset or, worst case scenario, break up with me. It seems like in his mind, engagement is an all or nothing kind of situation. Either we get engaged, or we get nothing at all. But I don’t think it’s so black and white. Why can’t he see I am fully committed and love him so much already. What will engagement bring us this early if we’re both going to be living with our parents for a while just trying to find a job (me) and going to medical school (him)?
Am I wrong for wanting to wait? I know it’s only engagement and not full-on marriage, but I feel like engagement is a big step that we’re not quite ready for. Not because we can’t commit or we don’t love each other enough, but logistically: no jobs, still living with our parents, a long while until actual marriage since he’s on the road to being a neurosurgeon.
I would really appreciate any and all advice on this! I really, really love him, and I just want the best for us and our relationship.
Thanks a bunch!
Post # 2
If he really loves you and wants to be with you he will be happy to wait until you are ready 🙂
Post # 3
You need to talk to him and be honest with how you feel.
Post # 4
mahadewi : I’m not sure that’s what most Bees would tell the waiting Bees on this site.
Im not sure how long y’all have been dating but 22 is pretty young.. statistics say that women who marry after the age of 24 are more likely to stay married. Doesn’t seem to matter what age the men are. You’re not ready because you’re not fully “cooked” yet, plus the long distance thing doesn’t help.
You don’t want to string him along and you don’t want to jump in to anything so I think your only option is to treat him like a life partner and tell him exactly what you’re thinking, good, bad, and ugly. Give both of you a chance to know what your expectations and fears are. Don’t hold back, I think you’ll risk more if you do
Post # 5
Supernurse : I think age has a lot to do with it.
Post # 6
Not sure if it makes a big difference, but we’ve been dating for 5 years (high school sweethearts 🙂
Post # 7
Talk with him and be honest. But be really clear this time about what you actually want to accomplish before getting engaged and why. It’s not fair to him to keep changing the goal post. Recognize that you did say graduation and you should have been clearer because he should can’t read your mind.
I do think waiting is reasonable and responsible but you need to communicate clearly.
Post # 8
I probably should have said “willing to wait” rather than “happy to wait”. I wouldn’t be happy with his “all or nothing” attitude, he sounds very immature.
Post # 9
I’m in medical school, so I can speak a little bit to that side of things — the best times in medical school to get married, pretty much objectively agreed upon, are the summer after first year (MS1) and the spring of fourth year (MS4) simply due to breaks in the schedule during those time frames. He might have researched this or heard it somewhere, and thus he could be hoping to get married the summer after MS1 about a year after you graduate, hence a yearlong engagement (assuming he’s already been accepted to medical school and is starting this fall, which is what it sounded like from your post). If you’re ready to get married summer after MS1, it’s a great option! But you’re not, and I think that’s wise of you to realize this sooner rather than later.
Additionally, I think waiting to find a job and move out of your parents’ house and be financially independent is a great, tangible goal to achieve before engagement. However, it’s important to realize that he is in a very different boat than you are in terms of those goals — medical school is 4 years, neurosurgery residency is 7 years. People don’t wait until they have completed all of their medical training to get married or start families because the training is super long and why put your life on hold for 11 years? Therefore you’re probably of the mindset that your life will be more settled in a year or two, but he’s on a different kind of path and probably isn’t really thinking that way because he’s still in training and will be for a while, so why wait.
My advice would be to have a discussion with him about where you see your lives in 1, 2, 5, 10 years. See how he feels, where he’s coming from, and why he wants this next step now. Understand that his situation is different from yours, and that he won’t have a job per se for 11+ years, so waiting until that point to get married isn’t reasonable.
He has the advantage of having a clearer picture about his future, since he’s starting a training program that lays out those milestones for you. See where you think you’re headed, and how that lines up with what he’s doing. Are you planning to end the distance soon? Living together for a while before getting engaged makes a lot of sense, or at least living in the same city, so maybe discuss that with him too if that’s a concern you have and come up with a new goalpost for engagement so that you both feel comfortable and like you’re ready for that next step. Hopefully he will understand and agree!
Good luck bee!
Post # 10
I don’t get how engagement isn’t all or nothing. You either are engaged or you aren’t. It’s not really something you can have some of.
You’re not wrong. It’s not a right or wrong thing. You aren’t ready. Personally I think it’s reasonable to not get married while you’re still dependent on your parents, but it doesn’t matter what I think- it matters what you think. And what he thinks. You can’t make him willing to wait x time anymore than he can make you marry now.
You need to have a more detailed conversation as to what you need to happen before you get married. Acknowledge that you were unclear last time and put forth all your conditions this time. Assure him that you are serious about getting married. Then *listen* to what he needs. Hopefully an agreement can be reached.
Post # 11
Sometimes you can love someone and be at different places in your life. You need to be clear with your SO about where you are and how you see your future.
Post # 12
lm907 : i think you have very reasonable concerns for waiting. the only thing you can do is talk to him and be honest about your reasons for wanting to wait while reiterating your commitment to him. everyone has their own internal timeline and all are valid. it is possible he wont want to wait for you…so prepare yourself for the possibility that the relationship will end. it takes more than love to make a relationship last. timing is huge.
Post # 13
tinneranne2 : I think advice changes a lot depending on the age and circumstances. They are 22 years old – what is his rush?! I believe if two people are meant to be together then waiting for the right time makes sense. I would never want try to convince or rush someone into a commitment such as engagement. I think OP has very sensible valid reasons for wanting to wait. She wants to build a solid foundation for their future together vs wasting his time knowing she never wants to marry him. I do believe if he truly wants to spend his life with her a year or a two is nothing (especially at 22 years age).
Post # 14
It’s concerning that he is dangling the relationship over your head to get you to agree to an engagement you clearly are not ready for. If I’m reading this right, he’s saying you get engaged or it’s over?
That would be emotional blackmail.
In any case, be cautious about any man who is in a big rush to get you locked down. What is he so insecure about?
Hold your ground.
Post # 15
mahadewi : I feel like if situations were reversed and it were a woman wanting to get married and her boyfriend saying at graduation then at financial independence etc., most bees would be thinking he didn’t want to commit, not “she should be happy to wait till he’s ready to marry her”.
And a lot of bees give women who have been waiting a while for a proposal the pathway of all or nothing, either he proposes or she leaves.
I get that they’re younger than the average bee who’s been waiting a few years but other than that the situations are the same. Why should a man be “willing to wait” and women told that if he doesn’t do as he promised, by the dateline he promised by, she should leave?
OP, my SO and I are both currently in medical school, most of our classmates are in long-term relationships, we’re all waiting till at least clinical years (3rd and 4th) or even immediately after graduation to get engaged/married since medical school and all the required training afterwards tends to involve either lots of moving or years of LDR. My SO is proposing after he graduates, then we’re getting married after I graduate 2 years behind him.
My seniors and family members who are in med also waited till residency/registrar years to get married since beginning your training at a hospital tends to mean you’re settled in for at least the next half decade or so, much more stable time for your SO to move with you and find a proper career as well.
Instead of saying financial independence (and then having to move goalposts again later if that’s not feasible), maybe it’s fair to examine your career path and his schooling and see when the best times are to get engaged, get married etc. since doctors can easily spend more than a decade getting trained. Talk to him about when the best gaps are since programs can differ and how that lines up with your own plans, set definitive years.