- 10 years ago
Sorry, this is long.
So much confusion for this lady-in-waiting. Two nights ago we had a ‘talk’ about marriage/engagement. This was partially driven by a few things. 1 – we’ve been to 5 weddings this year and the 6th is in two weeks. 2 – Whenever I casually bring up the question of a timeframe, no matter how vague, he ignores me. Like, seriously will not answer. This is frustrating like you would not believe (and also childish. I promise not to ask all the time if you promise to actually answer when I do ask, k?) And 3 – I was maybe starting to lose my cool and thought it better to broach the subject calmly before I exploded.
It didn’t go well. He said that I bring it up weekly which is just untrue. I know better than that. I love wedding stuff but I don’t think it’s fair when 5 of your girlfriends are getting married to never look at bridal things with them, help them plan, etc. I think he’s mistaking an over-exposure to weddings and a general interest in them as ‘bringing it up.’ I think he’s edgy because he gets quizzed a lot by other people now and I think it’s why he was so impatient the other night. That, however, is super unfair. For whatever reason, the other night he acted like I was trying to force him to marry. He actually said, “you can’t twist my arm into marrying you.” Nice. I get teary pretty easily at just about everything so unfortunately I was overly emotional. All I was looking for was a very general understanding of when he thought it would happen. Something I can wrap my brain around so I don’t feel like I’m just floating by as the permanent live-in girlfriend. The only answer I’ve ever gotten is, “after school” or “when I have a job.” Obviously this is pretty vague and since I’m 27 and he still has two years of undergraduate schooling left (plus a desire for graduate school) I was just hoping to know if he thought before or after I’m 30. We’ve been together for just under 4 years, lived together for over 3, and plan on buying a house and having kids together so I really don’t think this was a wholly unexpected conversation. We went ring shopping three years ago. I don’t think I’m jumping the gun.
I certainly wasn’t trying to grill him or give him an ultimatum or anything of that nature. Our engagement will need to be lengthy, which he knows, and I’m completely fine with having just a band for now or a setting with a white sapphire instead of a diamond until he’s more financially stable. School is taking longer than planned though. The truth is, our life will not change at all when we’re married. He thinks this means, then why do it now? Meanwhile I’m thinking, will he ever want to? He wants to be out of school, debt-free, and employed with a great job. Awesome. We’ll be 60.
I came to work yesterday sad, but determined to follow Mr. Bee’s backup plan. Obviously I’d done a terrible job of communicating, I felt like crap, and I needed to invest in me. So I came to work and looked up some community ed classes to take this winter. I bought myself a new purse for our trip to the wedding in August (we’re going to Boston) and I looked up some books to check out of the library. I made a timeline as well. By January 2012 if there was no conversation or feeling that an engagement was coming, I’d reinstate the Plan and really invest in myself, even if it means distancing myself. I decided the day after my 30th birthday would be the day where I would sit down and assess our relationship. If we aren’t anywhere closer to being engaged/married by then, I might need to accept the fact that he won’t ever want to get married and I’ll have to decide if I’m okay with that. It all made me sad but at least I felt sane and in control of it.
I went home last night and we headed off to my softball game. We didn’t talk about the conversation, just about our days, etc. On the way to get dinner after the game, he asked me if I deleted Brilliant Earth off the bookmarks on our laptop. I’d bookmarked my favorite setting ages ago. He asked why I got rid of it and I told him that he had made me feel really crazy and pathetic for expecting a proposal anytime relatively soon and so I had deleted everything wedding-related to avoid temptation, insanity, or unrealistic expectations. He told me last night to please put the bookmark back because without it, he’d have to ask for my help and he wouldn’t be able to surprise me some day. I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that but he asked again and I said fine, I’ll put it back. Last night as we were going to bed I told him the bookmark to the setting was back. He said thank you and then asked what size ring I wore. What? Are you kidding? I told him and then went to sleep. Part of me wants to be giddy, the other part wants to hit him, and another part is convinced he’s just trying to be nice after having been a jerk and the ring still won’t happen any time remotely soon.
So, I don’t know what to make of any of it. I’m doing my best to stick to the backup Plan. I am definitely not bringing any of it up. The other night was definitely not to throw me off, he’s not a very good actor and I can always tell when he’s covering something up so I’d know for sure. I don’t know whether he changed his mind or he’s just trying to make up for being mean. I am extremely confused and frustrated, although I do feel good about the plan because I have control of it. I just wish I had a secret decoder I could use to read his mind and figure out what he’s actually thinking.