- 6 years ago
- Wedding: May 2015
As some of you might know, I’ve been on here a few months, since about when my SO and I started more seriously talking about our future together on and off. I’ve been wanting to get engaged more and more for the past year, and unfortunately, kept bringing it up for a while to my SO. We have a solid, mostly happy relationship, love each other, and are committed to each other (at least I think so– read on). He said the engagement/marriage talk made him nervous, but he was willing to participate in it, and even said he’d be willing to look at rings online. That never happened because I never felt like it was the right time to do that with him. Despite talking about it here and there, I never could figure out what his thoughts on the matter were, so a couple weeks ago I brought it up and we had The Talk.
ETA: This is very long. Apologies– I understand if you don’t get through it all, but I will be very grateful if you do.
So, basically, this is what happened:
-Although he has said many times in the past that he sees himself getting married someday, he’s not sure what the big deal about it is– he’s happy with us just living together. I’m not sure what the big deal about getting married is in the EXACT OPPOSITE way– if you love each other and are happily living together, why not just do it already?
-Talking about it stresses him out because he is stressed about his career situation– he’s been a builder for many years, but has also been doing other stuff (writing and editing) part-time, and he wants to do more of that, and he just started a new business, into which he poured a lot of his savings. I’ve tried very hard to be supportive, but it makes me nervous as heck. I know how new businesses are, but the spending on something that’s kind of a gamble scares me. He’s trying to get out of building.
-He doesn’t feel financially secure enough to think about marriage right now. I know a lot of guys are like this, BUT that could take a LONG time and I’m not willing to have our lives put on hold indefinitely by a rather fuzzy set of goals– and I told him this, in the most careful and nice way I could.
-When we talked about when might be the right time to get engaged IF all goes well, he again said that he needs to wait until he’s more financially secure. I said that I’m not waiting, say, 6 more years (as a friend of mine has), and added that 5 years is longer than I want to wait (I’d like to get married before trying to have kids, and in 5 years I’ll be 30 and we have agreed that that’s about when we should start trying to have kids). He said, “It will be less than 5 years!” EEEEEK. 5 years is too long to wait to be engaged, but I don’t think I’m interested in setting a deadline in my head for “engaged or leave.”
-When we discussed when we MIGHT get engaged, he at first said he isn’t sure, that he’s a “very careful person and I like to think things over thoroughly before making any decisions” and needs more time to think. ARGH. We’ve been together for nearly 3 1/2 YEARS and he STILL feels he needs time to make up his mind? Then he went on to say that he thinks we’re doing fine and he wants us to be together. To me this sounded like he’s not totally committed to us being together, and just doesn’t want to say that. The problem is, I think he is commited to us, but maybe is being too careful, at the price of hurting me and making me doubt him somewhat. ?????
I talked to my mother about commitment/marriage stuff the other day and she thinks that when people really love each other and want to be together, they will commit to each other/get married no matter what their monetary situation. That’s what my parents did, and they were fine. Though they were in their early 20’s when they married. Also she thought that if a person needs MORE time to decide about a commitment after 3 years together, that isn’t the best of signs. BUT she has some unusual and rather extreme opinions sometimes.
Needless to say, all this has me very frustrated and agitated. I think the way I wrote all that makes it sound like I “attacked” my SO with this conversation; that isn’t how it was– it was a very genuine, and scary, equal sharing of our feelings about the issue. We were both very nervous, although it has been coming for a long time.
So– bees– what do you think? Do you think a desire to be financially secure before doing anything about engagement and marriage is the right thing to do, or is that an excuse when someone doesn’t really want to marry the person they’re with? (I don’t intend to offend anyone, but I’m nervous about this.) Does the “needing more time to think because he’s a careful person” say “not committed, hedging his bets” to you? I don’t know WHAT to think of that but it really bothers me.
I would love some advice– but please try to be gentle; my feelings about this are pretty raw. Our relationship is one of the best things in my life and I don’t want it to go down the drain, but I really want things to progress beyond cohabitation at this point! And now it looks like I’m stuck waiting for probably 4 years (oh. . . I said I’d be willing to be engaged for 2 or 3 years. And I don’t want to actually be MARRIED until I’m done w/ grad school, in 2 yrs).
Thank you. . .