Together for 9 years and no engagement

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@slv0053:  My FI’s sister sounds just like you. She just recently got engaged during Christmas after being with her boyfriend of 8 and half years. His excuse was that nothing was going to change if they were to get engaged. But she did tell him how she felt and he did propose to her and they are getting married this fall. Maybe your boyfriend feels the same way…that he has gotten so comfortable in the relationship that he doesn’t think a proposal or marriage is going to change anything? I think the best thing for you to do is have an honest upfront conversation with him and tell him that you are being 100% serious about moving out so you can move on with your life with or without him. 9 years is a long time to be with someone, he should really know by now whether you are the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with. I would just be point blank with him that you have been together for 9 years, that you love him but you want a commitment and marriage if there is going to be a future for the two of you. And if he doesn’t budge or won’t commit, the best thing you can do for yourself at that point is to move on with your life. You are still young enough that you could meet someone else and be happy. But I think if he really loves you and wants to be with you, this conversation will really be a wake-up call for him to commit to you. Good luck. 

Post # 4
4035 posts
Honey bee

@slv0053:  Ughh, I too waited 9 years and 2 weeks to get engaged! I know how you feel, seriously! I, however, did not give him an ultimatum. I had a “date” in mind when I would have a very serious conversation and that was about 1 month after our 9 year anniversary if he hadn’t proposed.

I did, however, have a series of serious conversations about a timeline, our future and marriage. He said he wanted to get married, but saving for a ring was taking longer than he thought. I was very clear I want an inexpensive ring (less than $800), but he was determined to spend about 4 times that amount. Fortunately, he proposed on our anniversary trip.

All I can say is that you need to make sure that your needs are being met as well. If he is giving you empty promises and you know it, then decide what is right for you. Some bees are not fans of walking away, but it’s not fair for you to wait forever, especially because you have expressed your desires for marriage. He is old enough to know what he wants and to act on it. Whatever decision you make, stick with and don’t regret it!

Post # 5
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Question: do you want an actual proposal, or do you want to marry him?

If I were in your situation, I’d just say “hey, we’ve been together for 9 years and i really want to get married. when we last talked about it i was sure we’d be engaged by now. do you want to or not? if you do, let’s set a date”

Post # 6
195 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

How would he react to you proposing to him? Or maybe he thinks that after so long your expectations will be sky high? Maybe try talking to him about what you want-a marriage not just  a wedding. 

Post # 7
18 posts

@slv0053:  Have you talked with him specifically about having kids?  That might be part of the reason for the hold up all these years.  It’s fair enough that you want to be married before having kids but he may not want kids at all or not for a very long time.    

“You would think he would understand me by now, I wear my heart on my sleeve but he says that me yelling at him if I had a bad day makes him think twice.”  It sounds like this is a concern that you need to address.  Don’t dismiss problems or sweep them under the carpet.  Marriage is hard work and requires good communication.  It doesn’t sound like you guys are quite there yet but this can be worked on.  Are you both willing to do this?

Also, he gave you an engagement timeline that he did not stick to.  You need to raise this directly with him – he did not do what he said he was going to do.  Why didn’t he propose?  You need to get all these concerns and issues out on the table.  If he is unwilling to work with you on this then you need to move on.  

You don’t need to give him an ultimatum.  Just say you don’t want the same things in life and it is time to move on.  You are sorry that it didn’t work out but you want different things and there is no point prolonging the inevitable.  Good luck!  

Post # 13
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@slv0053:   Maybe I should ask him clearly what his goals are. I don’t know.

YES!  I can relate – we started dating at the same age as you two were, and we waited until year 13 to get engaged (30 and 32).  (I didn’t want to be engaged or married until the last couple years so it wasn’t like I was “waiting” that whole time btw.)

For us, it came down to a very clear discussion about being aligned on our visions for life / career / family / etc.  When you get together so young, you don’t have all those conversations like older people who are dating do.  You are just madly in love, and then later realize that maybe your other plans don’t align.  It took us a long time to figure out how to settle the family issue, and after we had a “plan” I think he felt free to propose.

I think you need to clearly tell him that you want to be engaged by about XXX time, married by XXX time, thinking about kids by XXX time.  Not as an ultimatum, but as a clear communicative that he can ponder.  Then also listen to his thoughts, concerns, fears, etc – don’t just tell him what you want.  Then give him a little time to think about it and see if he can agree.  Then WAIT and let it happen.  I would recommend at least 6 months for your engagement date – he obviously picked a time that was way too hasty before.  This is a big move even though you two are obviously committed already.

Don’t feel like something is wrong with you!  You guys are still young, men get settled into the status quo, marriage may not be very important to him, he may feel like he needs to be at a certain point financially or career-wise before proposing, etc.  The most important thing is to TALK and understand where each other is coming from.  (Again – listen to his thoughts, concerns, fears, too!)

Good luck!  xo

Post # 16
18 posts

@slv0053: A lot of men don’t like change – they will keep things as they are unless there is an incentive to change things.  You need to give him that incentive.  It’s nothing to do with whether or not you are `good enough’.

Most married women I know laid down the law at some stage.  Men would date forever if they could get away with it.  Whatever you do don’t take it personally or think there is something wrong with you because he hasn’t proposed.  You just need to be firmer – take the bull by the horns and do what you need to do.  In the past men HAD to marry.  Now there is little or no pressure from society so we have to do all the work ourselves 🙁  There’s a gazillion women out there with the same issue.

An acquaintance of mine got engaged recently and described her man’s so-called ‘romantic proposal’.  The truth is she engineered every step including picking out the ring and telling him when he would propose.  If she wasn’t so forward she would not be engaged.  Women who wait passively (usually) remain single so swallow your pride and do what you need to do. 

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