(Closed) So, we had the talk– ugh. Advice please (long)

posted 9 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
676 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I don’t think any of us can answer this question for you.  I know women who have waited around for 6+ years, and then finally gotten married. I also know women who waited around, only to be replaced when the guy finally figured out that what he was waiting for wasn’t them. Only you can really know what’s going on here.

Post # 4
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

As Tangled said…I don’t think we can truly give you the answer or advice you need, but here is my 2 cents on the matter.

I don’t think you should be made to wait, but I also think you are both young enough that you can wait a little while longer, if you were in your late 30’s I would say move on…but the fact that you are both really young I don’t see why the rush to get married, I would compromise and get engaged.  If he sees a future with you, but he doesn’t want to commit  to you at this time, I would find that insulting…why can’t he agree to an engagement, and put off the marriage for the 5 years, being engaged shows that he is willing to go the extra step to ensure you are content and happy, and more importantly secure in that you both want the same thing eventually. 

Sorry about your situation, hope this helps….good luck to you!

Post # 5
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

So you’re in your mid-20s?

Men tend to want to be in a good financial position before getting married.  That said, he may have not reached that point yet (see “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others”, the chapter on “The Marrying Kind”).

Personally, if a guy “needs to think about it” after 3 1/2 years, it means he doesn’t know about you, and is not crazy enough about you to marry you.  At this point in my life (late 20s), I would not be involved with someone who “wasn’t sure” about me.  I just don’t have the time to kill anymore.

With my ex, I really believed he was “the One” for me and that I wouldn’t know what to do without him.  Turns out my life ended up much, much better than I ever imagined after we broke up.  He was also the kind of person who likes to make careful decisions, and when I confronted him with the reality of how much time we had to meet our reasonable timeline (two kids by my turning 35), he said, “Well I don’t do well with deadlines”.

If you are not satisfied with cohabitation, you need to speak up and tell him that.  Don’t settle for cohabitation with someone based on the hope of getting what you want later, because you deserve better than that.

Post # 7
564 posts
Busy bee

@Creiddylad:  Hi, I’ll try to be as gentle as ican. Are you common law? Have you filed your taxes together, taken out life policies for each other? I know marriage is important to some. If he’s balking so much after 3+ years, maybe you should be content with common law, you get all the benefits without the huge expense. Just saying

Post # 8
9168 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I am in the same camp as your mom – I believe there really is never a good time to buy a diamond ring or get married or have children, but if you love and are committed to someone no matter what the situation you make it happen.  My Fiance was unemployed for over a year when we got engaged – he got sick of waiting when jobs werent coming around and he made it happen for me because he wanted it and he didn’t want to make me wait anhymore (we were together for almost a year when he propsed).  Maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision financially but he got a great job offer 4 days after we got enaged so it worked (for us).  I get to some extent guys want to be financially secure, etc. but at some point I think it can become an excuse and a cop out to delay it since they are unsure.  

Also, it doesn’t take an expensive ring or a lot of money to get married in a court house….just saying! 

If he is 25, too he is sitll a bit young and may genuinely not be ready yet, which at 25 I can understand.  My fiance is in his early 34 and I am 26 so he is older and has been ready for this next step in his life for a long time but was waiting for the right girl (ME!) to come along.

Good luck hun!

Post # 9
595 posts
Busy bee

Oh sweetie—your situation sounds like mine was, a few years ago! I got engaged after 6.5 years of dating, and I was totally bewildered as to why it hadn’t happened earlier. I second guessed his feelings for me, my mom told me the same thing as yours, and my friends thought I was probably holding out for something that was never going to happen. But in the end, it wasn’t about Fiance not wanting to get married, or anything like that. I think he’s the kind of guy who just gets comfortable in a current situation and has a hard time taking the next step. Kind of like “why change up a good thing?” I don’t know what to tell you. I felt in my gut that it wasn’t an issue of him not loving me, and I was able to wait. I am so glad that I did because he ended up feeling so badly for hurting me by waiting, and I know it was all just a scary life transition for him (his parents are divorced and it was really terrible for him when he was younger).  I think you will know what to do in your heart. Everyone has boundaries and you may reach the point where waiting is just not what you want to do anymore. I think it depends on how you feel about your relationship and what your instincts are telling you.

Post # 11
1083 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014


From what you said you are happy in the relationship and don’t want to set an “engaged by or im leaving” timeline for yourself.

Which i guess implies that you intend to stay in the relationship…at least for a while longer….

With that said, maybe you should give him some less costly price options regarding rings.  That way he knows that the engagement part doesnt need to bankrupt him to be effective or make you happy. In addition to a 2 year engagement possibly? (giving you time to finish school and time to see if the relationship is really going anywhere)

Also, I do know that men tend to need to feel financiall secure prior to the big committment of marriage. And I dont know what the financial situation is between the two of you BUT when my SO and i had this talk I stressed that I do not expect he in and of himself alone to be the main provider or carry the majority of financial burdens.  Marriage is a team and we will figure out and manage finances together so there is no need to be “at a certain place” financially to be comfortable. So maybe you need to state this to him that finances will be a shared burden between the two of you (if it isnt already) so that he doesnt feel like he has to have it all together before hand.

Those are just my thoughts reading through your post.  I suggest having a conversation with him bringing up the points I just mentioned and see if this eases any of his concerns.

And if not, then ask him what would ease his concerns since its been over three years.

I really would just hate for you to wait around for this guy when in the end he does not meet your expectations of also wanting this marriage.  He should want to marry you. Hopefully he gets to that point on his own sooner rather than later. 

I hope that things work out for you, good luck!


Post # 12
595 posts
Busy bee

I just read that your boyfriend is 40. I think that changes a lot. I met my Fiance when we were much younger, so finances, school, etc. were all issues that prolonged our dating. I really hate to say this, because I was also a long time ‘in-waiting’ but I think at that age, maybe he just doesn’t want to get married? If I were you, I would make it clear what your boundaries are and if you’re not okay with living in a common law relationship 3 years from now, he needs to really understand that.

Post # 13
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

On one hand it seems like you’re 25 and  you’re not even interested in getting married for another two years, so I think there’s no rush.  On the other hand, your bf is 40 and I’m thinking WTF at his not being able to commit. Also he’s 40 and he hasn’t gotten his financial ish together?

Personally I fully believe that the decision to get married should be a joint one.  No, you can’t make him commit earlier than he wants to, which would probably be a bad idea anyways.  But he should take your feelings into account.  If he thinks 4 years to get engaged and you think 1, maybe you can talk about a compromise of 2 to get engaged and wedding a year later.  If he can agree to that, or think that’s a possibility, I would just agree to let it go for a year and revisit the topic to see if he’s still comfortable with that timeline.

But if he’s not able to commit sooner or compromise, I think you may have some difficult decisions to make.


Post # 14
8373 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

This is another example of one of the practical reasons I do not think it’s wise for women who want to get married to agree to live with their S.O.s. You said it yourself in your post, “… he’s not sure what the big deal about it is– he’s happy with us just living together.”

In many ways, he is enjoying a number of the benefits of being married without having to actually be married. He says he loves you. He says he wants to be married one day. He’s certainly open to planning a future with you. You’ve talked about having kids together. He is 40 years old and is at least as ready for marriage financially as many younger guys are who are ready to take that step. However, because he is happy with the way things are right now, he doesn’t see a reason to commit to any type of timeline, other than it will be before five years.  I’m not sure there is anything you can do unilaterally to cause him to rethink his timeline. However, I do wonder if he would feel the same way, if you were not already living together.

Post # 15
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I agree with the PPs… Especially now that we know he is 40.  Has he made a decision about whether or not he wants children?  If he doesn’t want a family I can see why cohabiting is enough for him.  Is that enough for you?  If not, I suggest you start thinking long and hard about what you are willing to sacrifice for your SO.  I don’t necessarily think you should leave him, but don’t completely give up the life you wanted for yourself.  If he’s “the One”,it’ll work out but if he’s not, know that is still out there waiting for you 🙂

Post # 16
537 posts
Busy bee

I was thinking that it all sounded relatively normal for a couple in their mid-20s…then I read down and saw that he’s 40.

Do you mind if I ask if he’s been married before? It could be an important detail if he got married when he was on the younger side and it didn’t work out, because that could be a reason he is hesitant and saying he needs to make a “careful decision.”

On the flip side, if he’s never been married, maybe he has a commitment issue? I’m not saying that all middle-aged men who have never been married have commitment issues, but it might be another facet to consider.

It sounds to me, from the information you’ve provided, like you had a calm, mature, reasonable conversation about the relationship and you both stated your positions, but those positions don’t exactly mesh.

If this is something that is important to you, and clearly it is, perhaps you can go back to him after a few days and tell him that you’ve had more time to think it over, and you’ve realized that you’re ready to think about taking the next step and you don’t want to wait around wondering if it will ever happen. Tell him you don’t need him to propose tomorrow, but that you need to know he does 100% intend to marry you in the not-so-distant future. There is no need for a hard-and-fast ultimatum and deadline, but if you tell him that in order to stay in the relationship you need a firm answer about his visions for your future, he should get the hint.

Personally, yes, I’d be worried if I had been dating someone for 3.5 years and they still weren’t sure they wanted to marry me. Especially at that age. I’m a firm believer in the “you either know, or you don’t” theory. Of course this doesn’t mean that as soon as you know you want to marry a person you go right out and do it, but after several years, if you’re still trying to decide if you even want to marry the person in the first place, I feel that you probably don’t. What more could he need to know about you to decide he wants to marry you? After 3.5 years and living together, probably not much…

As for the financial aspect, I do think guys tend to put more emphasis on being financially secure before getting married, but I agree with you, that if you really want to marry and be with someone, finances don’t matter. Waiting to be completely financially secure could mean never getting married! If you’re marrying for love, you don’t need a big honkin’ diamond and an elaborate wedding, and since you already live together and can obviously pay your bills, what reason is there to wait? It could be a very real concern in his head and not just an excuse to put you off, but perhaps you need to remind him again that if he DOES want to marry you, finances don’t have to be a focal point.

I’m sorry this post probably isn’t incredibly helpful, because what it all boils down to is that you need to have a second conversation. You were left with a feeling of dissatisfaction after the first one and you deserve to dig a bit deeper and find out if you two are actually on the same page so you don’t waste 4 years waiting for a proposal that may never come.

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