Post # 1
My guy and I have been together for 8 years in May. I am growing more and more frustrated by the day that he’s never going to propose, and I think 8 years is plenty of time to figure out whether or not you want to marry someone.
Our relationship is amazing – we’ve lived together for 2 years in a gorgeous apartment and are both very comfortable with it. I’m 28, he’s 27 and we met in college. We both have stable careers. He makes a lot more money than I do and is on the fast track to make even more with imminent promotions, etc. We both have student loans though, which one thing that may be holding him back.
I’ve always run on the anxious side, but it’s been horrible the past few months. I beat myself up constantly over not being good enough to propose to, that I don’t deserve it, that it’ll never happen to me. I’ve been wanting him to propose for a few years now, but all these feelings of inadequacy have been amplified lately. Probably because I’m now the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding. She’s 2 years younger than me (25) and knew her boyfriend (also 25) for only 2 years before he proposed. Like… what is so wrong with me that my guy can’t decide after 8 years if he wants to be with me? What am I doing wrong? Do I not make enough money? Not pretty or worldly enough? Should I lose more weight? When is he just going to leave me? This is the train of thought I get stuck in Every. Single. Day. And it’s exhausting. I am so sick of beating myself up over something that is totally out of my control.
It tears me apart that this affects my self-worth so much. I’m honestly considering therapy because it’s starting to affect my everyday life… I just feel like a failure and a loser and I keep waiting for him to break up with me, because what other option is there? He’s clearly not proposing. And of course if I bring all this up to him, he’s going to think I’m absolutely crazy and then there DEFINITELY won’t be a proposal in my future. I’m getting more and more afraid to open up in case he sees one little thing that’s not perfect, and decides not to propose.
I’m jealous of my single friends because it’s honestly more acceptable to be 28 and single than 28 in an 8-year-relationship but so pathetic that you’re not even engaged yet. I really don’t know what to do. I don’t think an ultimatum is going to work because we’ve never had a relationship like that and he would know something was off. I’ve tried talking to him about it and he doesn’t really seem that responsive. I know he wants to be married someday, but whenever he references the future he’ll say something like “at my wedding I’m going to… etc” or “when I have kids I’m going to…etc”… always I and never OURS or WE. It’s like he doesn’t see me in the future. When we were at a wedding a few weeks ago, I’d had a few drinks and asked if I could ever expect a ring (or something like that) and all he said was “soon.” Which means nothing, he probably just wanted me to shut up. And I should note he’s horrible with surprises and planning… I can’t even get him to sit down and help me plan a vacation or make freaking dinner reservations; he wants me to take care of anything that involves advance planning. So I just can’t picture him planning a proposal ahead of time.
Guys, how do I chill the hell out? I wish I could just stop caring… our relationship is great and the lack of a solid commitment is the only thing missing. I SHOULD be happy, but I’m not. Am I crazy for wanting this so bad? Is he crazy for not proposing yet? What is holding him back, because I can’t figure it out. It feels amazing to rant honestly. Thanks for reading.
Post # 2
Stop feeling like you are crazy for bringing up your future with him. You’ve been together long enough for him to know what his future holds. You’re part of this equation too. Ask him what he sees for his life in the next 2-3 years. If marriage isn’t part of that then it may be time to re evaluate your relationship and priorities.
Post # 3
Yeah after 8 years you need to talk to him about where he sees this going. Does he see you two married in the future and if so by when? There is no need to beat around the bush at this point. If he gets upset about it well then you have your answer and have to decide if letting him be in the driver’s seat of your future is what you want.
Post # 4
Yeah, I’ve tried to talk to him about it before and he doesn’t get upset, he just brushes it off or laughs at me like I’m joking. It’s impossible to get him to be serious about it. And the more I bring it up, the more I feel like I’m nagging and pushing the issue.
Post # 5
I was with my Fiance for eight years before he proposed. However I was only ‘waiting’ for two of those years. And we discussed openly that we would get married someday and what OUR wedding would be like, how we would raise OUR kids someday. He always built me into his life plans and we made plans together. When I had self doubt or anxiety about his proposing I would share it with him (and my therapist) and he would quell my fears, not laugh at them. We had certain life goals we wanted to accomplish first.
The fact that your SO brushes you off makes me question his commitment to you in the long run.
Post # 6
Either he isn’t ready to be married at this time, or doesn’t want to be married to you. Unless you sit down and talk like two adults, you’ll never find out how he feels.
Post # 7
If he can’t have a serious adult conversation with you about your future as a couple then that paints a clear picture to me that he doesn’t have a plan and doesn’t care to know your feelings on it. I wouldn’t waste anymore of my time. I started all over again [involuntarily] at 30 so I know how scary it is especially when you love the person. You have to decide what you want. Is marriage more important than being with him? That’s only something you can answer. Some people are perfectly fine just living together forever others feel that marriage is important to their future. There is no right or wrong answer, you just have to decide what is your priority for your life.
Post # 8
You’re NOT crazy and you’re not whatever it is you think is causing him to not propose. Just get that straight. You need to have a serious conversation with him without being accusatory or mad or sad or anything. Just go into it with an open mind and try to feel out where he is. Maybe he’s just SO happy with the way things are with you that he feels comfortable and doesn’t think it means this much to you? It sounds like you have only discussed it as a joke while a little tipsy.
It could easily turn into a fight though. So try not to come at him in any way that could make him feel defensive. He might honestly just not understand how you’re feeling about it. Weddings are expensive – maybe he’s content with the way things are without spending a ton of money and he thinks you are too. Try to see it from his perspective as best you can. Especially if he’s good to you and you’re happy together otherwise.
Therapy is probably a good idea though! I’m not saying that because I feel like you need therapy – I’m saying that because I believe that having someone unbiased and non-judgemental to talk things over with can be a really useful tool no matter what is going on in your life.
Post # 9
Sweetie, you don’t need to learn how to chill out and be okay with waiting, you need to learn how to talk openly with him without worrying he won’t see you as perfect.
p.s. If your guy really loves you and is relationship material for you, he will love the REAL you, just as you love the real him. Please don’t feel you have to be perfect, act perfect, in order to be worthy of him, worthy of a proposal. This sounds like it’s not just about a proposal but about your self-esteem as well.
Post # 10
Do you want a ring or do you want a marriage? It sounds like you just want a ring for validation. If you want a marriage then you need to learn to speak up and communicate with him, as he needs to learn to communicate with you too. If he can’t have a conversation about the future by now then you might already have your answer…
Post # 11
A 28 year old man who won’t talk seriously about the future with his long term girlfriend IS giving you your answer right there Bee. Run hard and fast from him. I know you feel like you don’t know how to be an adult without him (you guys have grown up together after all) but you can.
The person that you think you are can’t handle this situation, but the person that you actually are can.
And yes I think therapy would work wonders for you if you still need help seeing that.
Post # 12
Girl, you are not the crazy one. It’s crazy that we live in a society where after 8 years YOU feel crazy for bringing up the future. I’m concerned that after that long you two haven’t had these discussions. You were young when you started dating so that makes it a bit better but my husband and I had conversations all the time before we were engaged (years before) about the number of kids we were going to have, our wedding, our future home and plans, etc.
I’m sure other bees can give you a better idea of how to have “the talk” with him but I think it’s time. You two need to have a serious, calm, open and honest discussion about your future and mutually decide when you’ll be getting engaged and married. If he wants it to be surprise he obviously doesn’t have to give you an exact date but you can both decide that you’ll be engaged by 2018 and married by 2019, or whatever. If, after 8 years, he is not 100% sure that he wants to marry you then you need to walk.
Post # 13
“And of course if I bring all this up to him, he’s going to think I’m absolutely crazy and then there DEFINITELY won’t be a proposal in my future. I’m getting more and more afraid to open up in case he sees one little thing that’s not perfect, and decides not to propose.”
No no no no no. You are talking about the man you love, the man you want to spend your life with. If this person’s love for you is so fragile, so tepid, so ambivalent that something as minor as you asking him how he sees your relationship progressing might cause him to change his mind about proposing to you, then your relationship is broken, and you absolutely should not get married.
If a man has reached the point in his relationship where he knows he wants to marry his girlfriend, the only thing that should be able to change his mind is some catastrophic event like cheating or another type of betrayal that reveals his girlfriend is not the person he thought she was. “Babe, can we talk about our timeline for engagement?” does not qualify as a catastrophic event or betrayal…instead, it is a responsible, mature line of discussion that should be answered respectfully and honestly.
Post # 14
I am sorry that you are struggling with this issue. You are neither crazy nor wrong to want to have a real committment (there is nothing wrong with you). On the Bee, I see so many girls who are afraid to approach their SO… That is not how it should be at all. You should be comfortable being yourself. Frankly, I would have totally lost it when he “laughed” at discussing marriage. While, I am not a fan of an ultimatum or forcing a proposal, I think you are at a point where you have to put your foot down. My DH says that women need to tell men exactly what they want and need. Men are not psychic. If you have a serious tallk with him and he brushes it off again, you may want to consider packing your stuff and leaving. He can’t brush that off. Every man is different and some men are ready sooner than others (some never). But, after nearly a decade and knocking on 30, he should know if he wants you to be his wife. Don’t waste anymore years if this continues on.
Post # 15
I definitely had a similar self-deprication thought spiral during my (admitably short) waiting period. I agree with PPs who have said, you need to have a sit-down conversation about this where you’re both sober and open to talking about your expectations and what you see for the future without getting angry/accusatory/etc.