Post # 1
I have realized that I have spent almost the last year of my life obsessing about engagement and being a confused mixture of hurt, angry, and jealous about my situation. I don’t want 2012 to be like this. I think it is time for me to spell out to him exactly what my concerns are and ask directly for a timeline. I have been avoiding doing this because I don’t want to pressure him, but when my only other options are walking away or waiting around indefinitely, I think this is the best choice.
When I have tried to talk about this before, I haven’t been able to fully discuss my concerns because he turned immediately defensive and I pretty much dropped the subject. So I have composed an email that I hope to send him soon, hopefully after getting some advice or feedback.
Would anybody be willing to share how they have handled this sort of conversation, or read the email I’m planning on sending to him? (I will pm it to you) I want to figure out how to do this in a way that isn’t whiny or pressuring, but helps him understand why he needs to be more clear about his plans. Thanks!
Post # 3
I have a small suggestion: if you are desiring to be something as significant as husband and wife, I would have this conversation with him in person. An email is not a great idea, IMO. Even if you tell him, “I have something I need to discuss and would appreciate you listening until I’m finished” and read him the email you wrote.
Are you prepared to walk if you don’t get the answer you’re looking for?
Post # 4
OP, adults should have these conversations in person, even if they are uncomfortable. It’s like having a serious discussion or argument over text message, usually a bad idea. This warrants a sit down conversation and an idea in your head of what you’re going to do if he isn’t on board with marriage.
Post # 5
I have composed an email for two reasons:
1. we are long distance
2. I have tried many times to do this in person or over the phone, but I totally freeze up in the face of potential conflict and have been quick to back down without getting the answers I need. Plus I am one of those people who communicates better in writing.
To the second point, yes, I am ready to leave if he won’t give me at least a general timeline. We have been together almost 5 years, so I think my request is completely reasonable.
Post # 6
I agree with PP, you should talk about this in person. But I think writing down what you want to say is a good idea. Write down your thoughts as a letter then read it to him and discuss. This way you can make sure that you remember to say everything you want to, while still speaking face-to-face and getting his feedback
Post # 7
@coastalbee88: I’m in an LDR and there have been times when either one of us will bring up a concern over email and later continued the conversation on Skype or the phone. Perhaps at the end of your email you can add wanting to further discuss this, that way you’re able to fully express and convey your feelings/thoughts (which is important) in a somewhat less threatening way (sometimes I’m nervous bringing things up so I totally understand!) but then get to follow up in an actual conversation to get his feedback and continue the dialogue from there, which is very important.
If you’d like, you can PM me the letter to read over for you. Best of luck!
Post # 8
I definitely want this to be a discussion, I just want to make sure I have explained my perspective completely and clearly before we talk it over, and I feel like an email is the best way to ensure that happens.
Sent you a pm. Thanks!
Post # 9
@coastalbee88: I am in a similar situation. I guy friend of my told me that I need to tell my SO that I am not trying to pressure him or give him an ultimatum, but that it would be unfair to him no to let him know where my head was. He said that I should tell him that I have a timeframe in mind for when I want to be engaged/married and tell him what that timeframe is. He said to either ask him straight out if he is in agreement with my timeframe, or tell him that I will reevaluate our situation if that time comes and goes without us moving forward. I haven’t done it yet. I vowed (to myself) not to mention marriage until after February. But come March 1, I am going to do exactly what my friend suggested. I ran it by another male friend of mine and he agreed that that is what I should do. But please don’t do this by e-mail. So much is lost when reading words on the screen. To easy for him not to hear the love and concern in your voice.
Post # 10
We’re long distance too (he’s in America, I’m in the UK) and though we don’t have any issues with waiting/engagement/marriage etc. (he has the ring, and I’m quite happy waiting until next summer, which is when I go over again), if we have something serious to talk about I tell him via IM and then we video call. It’s the next best thing to do when you’re long distance. Try not to lose your cool or get upset about it if possible. Best of luck!
Post # 11
I can understand how you’re feeling! I’m in a LDR, and we had a similar conversation. I brought it up when my now-FI and I were together. We have our best conversations while we’re driving in the car. I said that we had been together for quite awhile at this point, and I loved him very much. I said that I wanted to talk about where we each felt like we were in the relationship, our goals for ourselves, and how we could see things playing out over the next few years. We talked things through, and he said he could see us getting engaged about a year from that point.
Out of curiousity, what is keeping you and your SO in a LDR? I don’t know much about your situation. Could your SO be waiting until you two get in the same geographical place to make a move?
Those are some things that helped us! The hardest part for me was what happened after the conversation. That was waiting for the right moment for us to become engaged. I had to be patient and actually give him a chance.
I hope your conversation goes well!
Post # 12
Thank you, that is very helpful.
The reason for the LDR is that the jobs we chose out of college are in cities about 6 hours apart. He is in investment banking, which requires insane hours (think 100-120 a week). He is looking for a new job now, and he says that the city he moves to will be “our city” and that after he gets his job I should start looking to relocate there. My concern is that he hasn’t explicitly said that we would be getting married at that point, though that is what I have been assuming. I am unwilling to relocate without a ring on my finger, but saying that feels like an ultimatum which is not at all what I want.
Post # 13
@coastalbee88: Hi there. I was in a similar situation this spring. I felt like my SO was dragging his feet, and I didn’t want to be one of those girls who hangs on for years waiting for a proposal that will never come.
For me, what it really came down to was doing what was best for me and what I wanted for my own life. It was really hard for me to even think about my life without SO in it; but I knew that marriage was extremely important to me, and I’d have to make a choice if I wanted to get what I wanted out of love: stay with him and possibly never get married, or make the decision myself to walk away if SO wasn’t prepared to commit to me and our future together. The key was that the final decision was up to me – not him. I was choosing whether to stay or to go and did not push that onto him.
Anywho..we had an intro talk. I told him that 1) I love you. 2) I want to spend the rest of my life with you, get that house, adopt our twins, and get a dog. 3) Marriage is a dealbreaker for me (he knew that already). 4) If we haven’t made firm plans to get engaged/married by our 4th year anniversary (a number of months down the line), I will need to make the decision that’s best for me and my future, and that might mean leaving you (this may sound harsh, but everyone deserves to be happy and get what they want out of life and love. It’s not an ultimatum, it’s being strong enough to make the right decision, even when it’s extremely difficult).
I’m not going to lie, there were some tears and heartache as we tried to get on the same page. I felt like he hadn’t considered marriage at all. Turns out, he’d been thinking about it for some time but had never spoken about it to me. We hashed some things out over the course of a few hours. SO thought he needed more time to think things over, which was fine with me. So we set a date for 2-3 months later when we’d revisit the marriage discussion and marked it on the calendar so that neither one of us would be caught off guard. And let me tell you, that second discussion went a lot smoother than the first (no tears!). We actually went ring shopping 2 month after that, and I have a very sneaky suspicion that a ring has been ordered and is on its way. But we may never have reached this point if we didn’t have a healthy discussion about what we each wanted out of marriage.
As to bringing this up with your SO, I usually write down what I want to say, too. It helps me organize my thoughts and keep track of the important stuff. Since we live together, I’d then let him read what I had to say. Having been in an LDR before, I’d suggest reading your email to your SO over the phone or via Skype. Emails have a way of languishing and you never know when you’ll get a response.
Wow – I didn’t mean to write such a long message. I really hope this helps you. Feel free to PM me if you want to vent some more or would like some feedback.
Hang in there!
Post # 14
I’m also doing a LDR, and have been for years. It has taken me a long time to learn to speak up, stick up for what I want, and stay calm and rational during conversations. So I often like to write down my main points before bringing up an important conversation. I agree with the previous posters about doing it over skype or in person, it is too easy to read things out of context, or in an angry voice, when they are written. He can’t hear the tone of your voice, that you are concerned and love him, over an email.
It is completely fair to discuss your timeline and goals before moving to a different city for him. You deserve to know how committed he is before doing that. It’s not right for you to assume you’d be married at that point, especially if he hasn’t alluded to it. How long have you been dating? Would you continue to date at a long distance much longer before being engaged?
All I can really suggest is to be open, calm, and ask him where he sees your relationship without pushing him into defense mode. You have the right to know if you are on the same page, and he has the right to wait to get married if he’s not ready for that. These conversations are tough, good luck dear!
Post # 15
I posted something earlier but it never made it through. . . 🙁
I’m also in a LDR, and recently had a similar discussion with my bf over video chat. It’s not the same as being in person, and it turned into a pretty heated argument after a while. But we managed to smooth things over.
He might not have any idea that you are expecting to get engaged. If you go accusing him of not meeting your timeline, he’s going to feel like it’s coming out of left field and get very defensive. So I think it would be best to ask him if he’s thought about your relationship’s future and what his ideas are on marriage. He honestly might not have any and hasn’t thought about it!
You definitely need to let him know in a nice way that you really want to be married and you need that to feel fulfilled and be happy with life.
I think guys feel unstable in a LDR and don’t want to make a bet on that, if you will. So even if he loves you and wants to be with you, he doesn’t feel sure enough. I’m pretty sure this is a big reason why my boyfriend and I aren’t engaged yet. So if the distance thing is a factor for him, you need to put a plan to get in the same place.
I don’t know. LDRs are tough, and getting guys to feel comfortable enough to commit is really tough (I don’t know why they are so insecure sometimes!).