Post # 1
I have a need to be in the drivers seat. For the first time in my life I am in a relationship with a man who has been very forthcoming about his feelings for me and his plans for the future. It’s so refreshing and COMPLETELY different than any of my past relationships. However, I do tend to make all of the “moves” in our relationship.
We met in the Spring of 2016. We both work for a volunteer organization so we spent a lot of time together in early 2017. It became obvious he had a crush on me but he wasn’t doing anything about it. I kissed him at a party in March 2017. He told me later that he thought I was pulling him aside to say that I knew about his crush and it was never going to happen. I texted him a few days later to talk about it. I asked him to hang out one on one. We dated casually for a few months and he hinted around the subject of making it official but never actually asked. In September 2017 I told him I was deleting my dating apps and I thought of him as my boyfriend. In July 2017 I introduced the subject of living together.
I own a condo. I told him I was uncomfortable with the idea of selling without being engaged. He told me he was uncomfortable with getting engaged without living together. So the compromise was that he would move into my place and we would live together for a few months. The plan is that in the spring of 2019 we will make a decision as to next steps and either continue to live in my place without an engagement or sell my place, buy a house together and start planning a wedding. We would rather be in a house together than stay in my place long term.
I am 33 and he is 32.
So here we are. He moved in back in October and things have been great. We now talk about our wedding as if it is happening. We’ve discussed first dance music, wedding party members, location and even have a tentative date set in 2020. He knows that I want to be involved in buying a ring. I don’t doubt for any moment that he is not onboard with this plan.
I am struggling with the proposal aspect. Tradition tells me that I should be patient and let him do his thing. However, I do wonder if he is just waiting for me to say that I am ready to look at rings. I’m not afraid to talk to him about this stuff but I am anxious that if I bring it up he will just go along with whatever I suggest and then any plan he may have had will be dropped. I don’t want to take all the control away from him. I also worry that if I bring it up he may say he is ready even if he isn’t.
Currently I am thinking I will wait until the end of March and then discuss making an appointment to meet with a mortgage lender. If we are in a position where we are seriously looking at houses then it would open up the conversation to discuss making our engagement official.
To clarify, I don’t necessarily want a proposal. My dream scenerio is that our engagement comes out of a conversation and we both agree that it is time. I am trying to find the balance between waiting for that to happen naturally and forcing it due to my lack of patience.
Post # 2
Instead of approaching the subject in a roundabout way by asking about a mortgage lender first, why not just ask him directly if he’s ready to get engaged? Frame it as a question (“Are you ready…”) rather than a suggestion (“I think we should get engaged”).
It sounds like you’ve always been the one to take the initiative to move the relationship forward, so I don’t blame you for wanting him to make a move for once. But if you keep telling him what should happen next, you run the risk of him just going along with your suggestions instead of actively making his own decisions. At this point, he might be so used to you taking the lead that he’s fallen into the habit of just waiting for you to make the next move.
So ask him if he’s ready to get engaged. If he says yes, then you can say “Well then, you should probably make it happen.” And then let him do it. I think that would be a good way of letting him know that you’re NOT going to take the lead on this one and it’s up to him to take action if he wants to marry you.
Post # 3
I don’t think you need to be in control or sit back and relax. You may need to initiate a conversation, but that doesn’t mean you need to control.
“Hey, we keep talking about wedding details and we’ve already decided to go ring shopping together. Do you consider us formally engaged since we’ve already started making plans? How do you envision this happening? Is a formal or a surprise proposal important to you?”
Just talk about where you’re both at and how you envision this process happening and take it from there.
Post # 4
If this were me, I would draw a cute picture of my SO and I walking into a jewelry store with a ring drawn on the door.
“I’m ready when you are! <3”
It’s cute, lighthearted, romantic… and it tells him what you’d like to do without you having to plan anything. It puts the ball in his court.
If you’re not an artist, you can do a variation or make an online comic to print. I love that cheesy stuff. Haha
Post # 5
bouviebee : That is a really cute idea, thank you
annabananabee : I agree. I think asking him how he sees this happening is probably better than the wording I had thought of. I honestly think he is ready but he is just nervous to say so. When I said ILY first he told me afterward that he had wanted to say it several times but he was afraid I would think he was being cheesey or that I wouldn’t say it back
Post # 6
My fiancé and I spend all day on Saturdays together. That’s “our day”, as we call it. He will usually ask what I want to do, and I’ll throw out suggestions. One Saturday I added “look at rings” to “go get lunch, and maybe see a movie.” He happily took me to look at rings, and we were engaged a month later. I would just casually throw it out there. He may not know you’re ready and is a bit worried you may shut down the idea of being engaged if he brings it up first. If he’s not ready, you’ll know because he’ll probably be hesitant at the suggestion.
Post # 7
Can you separate the idea of the house from an engagement? One has nothing to do with the other. Why not be direct and start talking about marriage first? You already have a place to live so I don’t see the house as critical. I do see a formal commitment as necessary for buying a house together, psrticularly since you’ve been pushing this along at every turn.
Post # 8
cypresstree85 : Yep, be direct in what you are asking for. If you want kids, your biological window is closing. You want to know if he wants to get married or should you find someone who will want marriage. TBH I wouldn’t buy a house w/him until you are married. Otherwise no motivation to get married on his end.
Post # 9
I would hold back a little. I think looking back later on you will feel a lot more comfortable and secure in your marriage long term if he makes some things happen without your prompting. Especially planning the engagement. I wouldn’t think about even looking at houses until he has proposed and you actually decide on a concrete wedding date. Stay where you are living for now. If you don’t mention anything, I am sure at some point he will bring up the engagement or buying a house since you have discussed it somewhat already.
Post # 10
coffeetime2020 : why would he be “nervous” about saying he wants to get engaged? You already told him you want to be engaged… That was the whole point of him moving in, he told you he would not get engaged unless he lived with you first!
At this point, no need to be coy, you both have an equal say, ask him directly if he wants to get officially engaged *now* and plan a wedding. If he baullks/hems haws/delays/makes excuses then I definitely would not be talking to a realtor, I would be moving him out.
Post # 11
Just to clarify, I am not at all concerned that he has changed his mind. I’m not afraid to bring it up. He openly talks about our wedding, our future children’s names, etc. He hasn’t given me any reason to believe he is no longer wanting these things. In every important moment in our relationship he has flat out told me that he was ready for the next step before I was but he waited for me to make the move.
I am not hesitant to bring it up because I am nervous about nagging him I just am looking to find a balance between being involved and taking over. I’d like to at least provide him with the chance to take a forward step in our relationship on his own. That is what I am struggling with.
Post # 12
We had a really good talk on Monday. We were making dinner together and talking about what kind of music we would want at the wedding. After being on this topic for a while I asked him if he was uncomfortable with us discussing specifics without technically being engaged. He said no.
So then I brought up the topic of making it official. I said that I knew we had talked about ring shopping together but wondered what his thoughts were on a proposal and whether or not a traditional (on one knee asking the question) proposal was important to him. He said that it wasn’t. So I told him that ideally I think would like our engagement to come out of a conversation where we decide that we are both ready to move forward and then maybe once we have a ring we can call ourselves engaged and announce it. I asked him specifically if this would be a problem for him or if he had always envisioned himself proposing. He said that he would also prefer it this way and he thinks that traditional proposals are old fashioned in that they come from a place where a man is making all the decisions and a woman is just waiting to be “chosen”. He also said that he thought that currently there is too much pressure on men to be creative or showy for social media. I agreed.
Before getting off topic I told him that I would like for him to tell me when he is ready to look at rings. He said that was fine. I also asked him very directly if he felt like I was pressuring him or nagging him. He laughed and said no.
I imagine he will let me know he is ready in the next two months or so since that is in line with our timeline. We shall see.
Post # 13
coffeetime2020 : This all sounds really great.
I think you are on the right path. He knows your expectations. Maybe wait a month or two and if he hasn’t said anything about ring shopping bring it up again?
Post # 14
- Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse
coffeetime2020 : Oh that’s a great update.
I was going to comment and say I think it’s important for women (who even want a traditional surprise proposal) to still be somewhat in the loop and have a general understanding of what/when it’s going to happen.
Honestly, from everything you’ve said, it sounds like you’re already engaged in the sense of the word. You’re already talking about marriage in depth. You just need a ring and to announce it to family and friends.
Please keep us updated!
Post # 15
I now have a bit of a timeline. We were discussing setting up an appointment with a mortgage specialist and have been looking at a few listings. He was hesitant to start actively looking though. Last week I asked him if maybe he had changed his mind about buying something together or maybe if he wanted to wait longer and spend more time thinking about exactly what we want. He said that he knew I didn’t want to buy a house without being engaged first and so he didn’t want to start looking yet.
So I freaked out a little (internally) and worried that maybe I was completely wrong and we were not on the same page at all. I told him that I was under the impression that we would be getting engaged in the next few weeks, so it didn’t seem weird to me to start looking at houses. He clarified that since now is his busy season at work (Accountant) he had planned on looking at rings and making our engagement official around June. He was nervous that if we found our dream house now I would be unwilling to buy it. On top of that, with the hours he is pulling at work the likelihood that he can dedicate a lot of time to house searching right now is not great.
He made a point of stressing that he has no doubts about me, is in love with me and we will be looking at rings in the spring. It is just that he had planned for late spring whereas I was thinking early. I reminded him that if we end up going with one of our earlier possible wedding dates we will need to be booking venues this summer. He said he understood.
Since that conversation he has brought up what color tux he wants to wear and more talk about music for the ceremony and best man speeches.
I still feel good. I don’t get the impression that he is pushing this off. It sounds more like he always thought it would be June.