Well you definitely have more than just those two very stark options. You seem to be coming at this in a very binary way and also from a feeling of the man gets to have his way completely in this area. He does not. This is an antiquated thing we have carried into our modern lives from a time when women weren’t in the work force and were basically handed from man to man (father to husband) like chattle. I think it’s important to recognize that some parts of this decision making process should still be preserved (the man gets to decide when/if he wants to marry the woman) but others need to be seen for how impractical they are in todays world.
In today’s world, it makes sense that the man still reserve the right to decide if/when he wants to marry you. After all, we ALL reserve that right. You certainly get to decide if/when you ever want to marry him. Neither party should be pressured in that area, clearly. But if he HAS told you that he DOES want to marry you, and you believe him, then all other areas should be openly discussed and your needs and desires should be given JUST AS MUCH weight as his. You are an equal partner in this relationship. He shouldn’t get to have this much power over your “happiness button.” This is one of those things we’ve brought into the modern world that is just not practical. Woman are equal partners now – once you know that he does want to marry you (so you don’t have to worry that you’re pressuring him in that area), there should be non-emotional, fact-gathering, clarity-creating conversations around every aspect that either of you care to discuss.
Some women want input on the ring, others don’t care, some women are excited to begin wedding planning, others would rather skip the entire thing and elope. Men vary likewise. This whole “everything needs to be left to the man so that he can create this hude romantic scene” thing is just so antiquated and impractical for most modern couples because of the uneven power dynamic it forces us into. Think about it, you have a say in what you eat for dinner every night, where you go for most date nights, what area to live in if you live together, what sort of furniture/decor to have, etc. WHY would you not have similar conversations/input in the ring/proposal/marriage discussions?
I advise that you just sit him down one night in a casual, non-emotional, non-confrontational way and have the conversations you want to have in the way you want to have them. If you need to, preface the convo by saying some things about needing to feel like an equal partner whose feelings are being taken into consideration, etc. You are upset because you feel like he’s not truly taking your emotional state into consideration, and that’s very valid.
I’m not saying he’s doing this, but men are KNOWN for coming up with every excuse in the book to keeping stringing the girlfriend along before actually comitting. You can nip that in the bud right now. Give him your timeline – that you will wait another 6 months and then you will know what his REAL decision is and how much he REALLY values you, and if you don’t feel adequately valued, you will leave and find someone who WILL value you appropriately.
He’s trying to center the ring as his excuse. You can cut through all that nonsense very easily in one conversation by just sweetly informing him he has 6 months. Send him one final email with links to a variety of the cheaper rings you link as options, and then drop the discussion entirely. YOU recenter this discussion on time. He has a timeline, and you could care less about the ring, and you expect to be believed when you say that, and for your opinion on the matter to be respected. In the ring email you can always point out that y’all can get a small center diamond now and trade in/size up later, or he can go the morganite/moisanite/etc route and continue to save for a real center stone at the 5 year wedding anniversary or something like that. Point is, there’s no reason he should be allowed to get away with making the ring the reason he’s putting things off when there are so many other options out there. It’s no excuse at all to not be taking your emotional state more seriously.
The crucial thing is to have this talk be completely non-confrontational. You don’t want to become associated with stressful marriage talks. Give him absolutely zero he can fault you on. Make him dinner, be extra sweet, casually bring it up, but just project a more confident, “value me as much as I value myself” energy, state your epectations, negotiate a timeline if he wants input there, but take away his ability to focus the ring in the discussion entirely.
I’m not saying he’s using the ring as his excuse. But it may be a subconscious thing he’s clinging to because some part of him still feels hesitant and he doesn’t want to admit that to you. If that’s the case, you need to know. Even if he is 100% sure he wants marriage and it actually working on a ring design as we speak, that is still not a valid excuse to not give you some solace. Just let him know that if that’s what’s going on, you’d rather be told right now and be given a timeline than held in suspense another 6 months-year and surprised. This is ALL in your control! Empower yourself! Good luck