Post # 1
I’ve been dating my SO for three years. I’ had been hinting at engagement and marriage, but stopped a couple months ago because he always steers around it. I thought it was because he had a ring picked out, but he hasn’t even consiered a ring yet. He was going to buy a ring and propose early last year, but he didn’t because he wanted to pay off his small student debt. He paid off his student loan, but didn’t want to propose yet because he hadn’t found the perfect ring. September rolls by, and he couldn’t buy a ring because he needed to do some work on his car, or needed to save a little more, or wanted to go on this vacation in December instead (and we didn’t go on a vacation because he said he wanted to buy a ring). Fast forward to now. I have no ring, a boyfriend who won’t talk about getting engaged or married, and at the same time asks me why I’m so unhappy. I thought we were on the same page about this, but he never talks about marriage or engagement unless I bring it up, and when I last brought it up in January, he said, “Well that’s a long way off,” and changed the subject.
I was down this road before and I broke up with my ex because he wouldn’t commit, and what my SO is doing now is exactly what my ex did. My SO is a wonderful person, but I am at the point in our relationship where I need him to commit or leave. My “leave by” date is fast approaching in 12 weeks (and he knows it, but still no ring) and honestly, I just feel like if he asked now it would just be to keep me from walking away. I thought we would be building a life together, but all he does it plan and talk, and even when he talks about “five years from now”, I’m still “the girlfriend”. Please help me. I don’t want to leave, but I don’t want to stay in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere.
What did I do wrong? Do I need to sit him down and force him to talk about it? What do I need to do for myself to keep me sane?
Post # 2
You didn’t do anything wrong other than dropping hints when you should have been insisting on direct, open discussions about your shared future. And likely following your pattern of choosing men who won’t commit to you.
Nothing in your post suggests that your bf wants to marry you, Bee. I am terribly sorry about that.
Yes, you absolutely should sit him down and demand that he give you the truth about where he stands. If he refuses, you have your answer.
Don’t let him keep stringing you along forever. He’s keeping you from finding a man who will be dying to meet you at the altar.
Post # 3
I guess my question is why would you want to marry a man who isn’t ready to be married?
He has made it clear that he’s not interested in marraige.
You didn’t do anything wrong other then waiting around and giving him chance after chance and hearing excuse after excuse.
He doesn’t care about your 12 week date because you have stayed through all the other excuses: car, vacation, little student debt, etc.
Do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself. You have certainly been honest with him.
Good luck to you Bee.
Post # 4
I was with my partner for 10 years before he asked me to marry him. Marriage was very important to me, and he knew that. There were mments where I was furious, sad, confused etc but I also knew that if we didnt get married, we would still be together and build a life together and then suddenly when I least expected it he proposed. Getting married in November 2018.
Post # 5
The only thing you’re doing wrong is staying with a man who still sees you as his girlfriend, not his fiancée or wife, five years from now when you want marriage.
Stop hinting. The two of you should be able to have a straight up conversation about exactly what each of you wants and on what timeline.
The right life partner doesn’t just want the same things out of life he/she wants them on a reasonably similar timeline.
You haven’t shared how old you are–if you are both in your early 20s it’s one thing, 30 is another. Either way, don’t compromise your future for someone who doesn’t see a future with you.
Post # 6
He doesn’t want to marry you. A man who want to marry you tells you so and, you know, actually marries you unless there is a *valid* reason to wait which he will state.
By three years you know if you want to marry someone or not. He’s holding out for someone better. Even if he does marry you in 2030 do you want to waste all that time just to marry someone for whom you are a safety net?
He is not “planning.” He is barely even talking. He also knows that this is an issue for you and refusing to address it. Do you want to be with someone like that.
Post # 7
No offense, bee, but I hope you know that your situation is the exception to the rule. Most people to whom marriage is important should not just wait around with the hope that their partner will eventually give in. It’s also equally bad to give up one of your biggest dreams (assuming marriage comes before a home and children) in life and settling for a life of non-commitment just because someone doesn’t want to legally tie themselves to you for life (flight risk?). It’s truly great that things turned out for you how they did, but since marriage is important to OP, I don’t think she should wait around and say she’ll stay with him no matter what…she shouldn’t have to settle for crumbs.
im glad your situation worked out, but I’d reach to say that it’s bad advice to suggest to someone that they should just stick it out with the hope that he’ll eventually come around. Especially since she’s already ended one relationship over this exact same problem.
OP, it is especially concerning that he is still referring to you as “girlfriend” for plans 5 years in the future. Please stick to your 12 week timeline, if not cutting it even shorter. Stop allowing this guy to waste your time. Whether you’ll accept a last minute proposal is totally up to you, but I truly don’t believe a man should have to be coerced/ threatened with you leaving to make that commitment:/
Post # 8
Ugh, I’m so sorry this has happened to you twice. That really sucks. Do you have an exit plan in place? I would start setting it into motion now. If he does propose, you’ll just be out a non-refundable deposit. But I don’t think he will.
I recommend dating with purpose in the future. Have a direct conversation with your potential SOs as soon as it might become serious (I did this on the third date or so) that you are looking for a marriage partner and, if you want them, x number of kids, ideally before age y, and you have 0 patience for anyone wasting your time. Then ask his feelings on what he thinks is an appropriate length of courtship before marriage and if he’s on the same page re: marriage and kids. Revisit this conversation at whatever points you think would be appropriate- I was young so I brought up the timeline talk at the two year mark to get an idea and then every six months after that to remind him that I hadn’t forgotten and to confirm that we were still on the same page regarding our initial timeline. We had a longer timeline than most and I also brought up my feelings as they came up, e.g. sadness, lower self-esteem, and doubting his trustworthiness, so we could talk through them.
This type of conversation will scare away most people but that’s a good thing. Enjoy being single. Do all the things!
Post # 9
I think what you did wrong was not having a directly conversation earlier to make sure you are on the same page on marriage and timeline (ie not just telling him your timeline but him agreeing he’s on the same page). And as another PP mentioned, repeatedly choosing men who won’t commit to you.
Have a direct conversation about it, ask him DOES he even want to get married at all? If so WHEN does he see himself being married. After 3 years you should be able to have these conversations. If he refuses to talk directly and honestly about it, deflective or vague, I would say cut your losses. Or… if you are ok with cohabiting forever and forget about marriage that’s fine as well, he might decide to get married one day, but just don’t expect it. Do you want kids? Does he want kids? That’s the next big question and could make or break the deal.
I’ve met quite a number of guys that I either dated very briefly or are just friends, had a record of dating / living with a woman for 5 – 10 years and not get married. That was a red flag for me that marriage wasn’t a priority for them, they’re not in a hurry to get married or meet someone who is suitable for marriage, they’re happy to cruise along and enjoy the benefits of living with a partner but not make the final commitment. That’s the kind of thing you need to discern early on. Unfortunately your boyfriend might be one of these. The women I know that dated these types of guys are still living with them 10 years in. Most of them had given up on marriage and was willing to accept cohabiting. One of the guys did propose and it wasn’t expected. Sometimes it take these guys 10 years to decide that they “can’t see their life without you” that’s when they know they want to marry you, which is a silly approach if you ask me but it’s actually quite common.
Hollywood movies and other stereotypes would have you believe that men don’t want to talk about marriage and if you do, they’ll run away fast as a bunny. Hollywood movies also tells you that if you’re “the one”, Mr Commitment-phobe would fall head over heels for you and suddenly want to commit because you are special, you’re THE ONE. But that’s bs. Men who doesn’t want to commit likely won’t change, at least not until they’re old enough to decide they don’t want to be alone anymore (which… is probably way older than you would want to wait). Only a man who doesn’t want to commit would run if you want or talk about commitment. A man who is mature and ready for a serious relationship that leads to marriage would have no issue having an open and honest conversation about what you each want. By not talking about it earlier on, you’re not discerning the guys who want commitment and those who don’t.
Post # 11
I agree with this. I did the same thing when I first started dating my FH. As things got more serious, I started bringing up different topics over time to make sure we are on the same page and we want the same things (phrased in this way too). Just casual conversations not in a pushy or desperate way. We had conversations to “check in” from 12 months onwards maybe every 6-8 months or so? Just making sure we’re still on the same page in terms of timeline and children in the future etc etc. I initiated these conversations, but it came up naturally so it didn’t feel forced. If he refused to talk about it or was deflective or reacted badly, it would’ve been a red flag for me.
Age played a part in it for sure, I was 30 when I started dating FH, so I didn’t have time to dance around it and only find out 3 years later that he didn’t want the same things I did or that his timeline for marriage and kids is way longer than mine.
Post # 12
It seems you have a history of choosing guys who won’t commit. Part of that is that you “hint” in the beginning and aren’t direct. The other part is that you stay with guys for years before expecting anything more from them. That’s crazy!
You need to be more assertive, because you’re wasting the best years of your life with man children. If you keep doing this, the years wasted will go from 3-6-9-12. Think of how old you’ll be before you get married at that pace/rate! Think of how old you’ll be before you’re in a place to consider children!
Here’s what you do. You leave this guy. Why give him 12 more weeks? He’s shown he doesn’t want to marry you. The longer you wait, the more time you waste. And you’re right, even if he does propose at this point, you’ll never stop thinking it’s because he only wanted to keep you around. Not to mention, that a proposal does not equate a marriage. There are many Bees who have posted on this site who finally, finally got that proposal, and then the guy strung them along with a long engagement, or postponed, or canceled.
When you leave this guy, the next time you date someone, you start asking where the relationship is going after a few months, when you’re getting more serious and are exclusive. By the year point, you should know if the relationship will end in marriage
Post # 13
So agree with azf0019 : – arriaza415 :
This isn’t good advice. You’re the exception to the rule. And just by your few sentences in your post, your SO put you through a lot (perhaps emotional Hell) to get to where you want to be after ten whole years
Post # 14
agree as well with your two comments and azf0019 :
Post # 15
Yes! The most life important lessons I learned are that I’m not a Disney princess or leading lady and life isn’t a fairytale or a rom-com. People don’t change and love doesn’t conquer all so best to find someone whose outlook and goals align with yours.