Post # 1
I’m new to this. Actually to forums in general but this has become so frustrating and the only person I vent to is my mom and she’s about had it with me. I’ve been living with my boyfriend for a year. We have a dog together, a home together (a lease), making plans for the future. We’ve started house hunting to buy sometime end of 2019. We have joint bank accounts. Ok you get the point. It’s serious. Our lives are entertwined. Since probably August of last year we have started talking about getting engaged. He told me over a year ago he plans to marry me. I just turned 32. He’s 37. He would talk about it constantly and even jokingly ask officiants at weddings if they would do a “two for one”. Kinda funny. Kinda not. I feel like it’s constantly being dangled in my face and it’s depressing me. Money is not an issue but he keeps saying he has these “milestones” he wants to reach. I became absolutely unhinged last night. I think part of me if worried it’s just going to keep getting pushed out further and further. He keeps assuring me it’s not. He told me he has this big plan to propose this summer. So why am I so depressed? Why can’t I wait? I should be enjoying our lives together right now but it’s seriously making me depressed. Help! Has anyone else ever had depression/frustration/anxiety over “waiting” and how did you cope?
Post # 2
he keeps saying he has these “milestones” he wants to reach
What are they? Many people have milestones they want to reach before marriage, I normally think of them for younger folk (ie graduating college, getting a good job, paying off debt, etc).
Post # 3
elleygirl1212 : I agree with jellybellynelly… what are the milestones he wants to reach?
It also seems like he has stated that his plan is to propose this summer. This is just a few months away.
Is there a reason that this is a bad timeline for you? Is there a reason that you might not trust him to propose by his stated timeline?
Post # 4
The only thing I can surmise from what you’ve just described is that for some reason, you don’t believe him when he says he’s going to propose over the summer. Is this a founded belief? Has he gone back on his word before as to timelines? (I.e.— He said he would propose by the end of 2018 and that timeline came and went)?
At 37, if he has so many major milestones that he mentions them as a reason for dawdling, he may not be ready to settle down. That being said… do NOT, for ANY reason, buy a house with this man until you’re either engaged or married. Preferably, married. Like seriously. I’m not giving you legal advice, but as an attorney, I’ve seen this situation go wrong…. So. Many. Times.
So, dig a little deeper here, Bee… because you’re right. He gave you a solid timeline: summer. So, that should have you happy. What’s causing your discomfort?
Post # 5
elleygirl1212 : We could go into why you don’t entwine your lives in a married way before your married, including joint bank accounts etc. But you already did that so now you need a new plan going forward.
Put on pause any other plans to further entwine your lives until he proposes. That is 100% fair. No house hunting, no more pets, you get the point. That is not only to protect you but it is because that is having appropriate boundaries. You don’t even need to make it a huge deal, next time he brings up seeing a house or house hunting, or even a comment about taking steps like that before engagement you can say, I actually was thinking about that the other day and I really don’t want to take that step with someone i am not engaged to. So lets table that until we take that step, then we can revisit buying a house.
If he asks why? You can simply reiterate that you two have taken a lot of steps forward including a joint account etc. And that you just don’t feel it is appropriate to take any more steps to further intwine your lives together like engaged or married couples do, until you are in fact engaged or married. No cart before the horse type situations.
Start there. Then you can right then, or another time ask him for an actual timeline. It also doesn’t have to be complicated. You can say, I have been thinking about our discussions about getting engaged soon. I just want to make sure we are on the same page about this. I would like to be engaged by X month, are you in agreement? Once you have an agreement of an actual timeline that he said, to your face, he agrees with. Then you should be able to carry on until that happens feeling a bit better. ( Still no house etc. until he actually proposes)
Even then waiting can be hard. I am waiting and my boyfriend has about 4 months to go in our timeline and every day is different. I could let myself go down the rabbit hole and freak out wondering if he bought the ring yet, if he is going to actually do it, or not follow through. But you just can’t let yourself go there. If you get a timeline you just have to wait for that timeline. If you do get to the end and there hasn’t been a proposal then you can worry about it. But try to take it easy in the meantime and know it will have ups and downs. Own the fact that it feels very vulnerable waiting, even tell your partner you feel vulnerable if you would like to share that as it is nice to have open communication. Being vulnerable isn’t a threatening emotion to your boyfriend, if anything it is a humbling thing to admit and should make him more understanding.
Post # 6
bouviebee : Would love to see you do a post about all the legal reasons it could be a nightmare to buy a house with someone before you are married. I would find that super helpful as i am sure would many other bees. Just an idea!!
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2018 - Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
I’m normally in the thought camp of “if it’s been too long and you have to really push for a proposal and no proposal comes. it’s best to walk away,” but he is telling you he plans on proposing this summer. Also, it sounds like from your original post you haven’t hit the three year dating mark yet (I may be wrong) so this isn’t an unreasonable timeline, provided he does really propose this summer. I would take what he says at face value and be patient in this situation and give it a bit more time. The summer is only a few months away…Waiting is hard I know, I’ve been there!
That all being said, I’d also wait to buy a house together until you have a ring on your finger.
Post # 8
Don’t buy a house with him until after you’re married. If he asks why you don’t want to buy a house with him, tell him you’re not ready to commit to a 30-year mortgage with someone you’re not married to. That’s perfectly reasonable. Or tell him that you have milestones you want to reach before buying a house…like getting married, for example.
Post # 9
Waiting is hard. Sometimes the people proposing may not necessarily understand how difficult it is to wait and how it impacts the people waiting emotionally and mentally. I think the best thing you could do is explain how you are feeling to him. Just lay it all out there that you know it’s coming etc but you are having a lot of negative feelings surrounding it. I think it’s better to talk about it rather than let it build up and affect your relationship. I’m sure he will understand that you just need to vent about your feelings. I know it’s tough but you’re so close Bee! Only a few months to go and you’re there. It seems like forever away but really it’ll fly by. In the meantime do things to distract yourself like start a new class, take your dog for lots of walks, hang out with friends, start learning a new language.
The wait will be worth it as long as you don’t pent up all your feelings and let them build and build. Good luck Bee!
Post # 10
I’d say no house until you are engaged, and I would not agree to lease forever. What about Your plans? Your needs?
This whole waiting on the man thing… no more marriage benefits without marriage.
No wonder they don’t want marriage anymore, they get all the benefit no committment.
Marriage is no longer “The Doorway”… to that life.
Just. Ugh. Rant over.
Post # 11
bctoquebec : I’m curious, what are these “benefits” of marriage that these guys are determined to get without marrying anyone? Are we talking housework, meals, snuggles, or….*wink*?
Does marriage = commitment? Really? Speaking as someone who has been in a committed relationship for ten years without signing a thing, boy I hope not. Nevertheless, tonight I’ll inform SO that I’ve finally seen through his cunning plan….no more apple pie for him!
Marriage does = security, though, and attorney is very right, you might not want to go in on a house together without some kind of binding contract between the two of you. Bee patient, OP. Breathe. Sounds like in just a few short months you’ll get what you want. That in-between, Schrodinger’s cat space you’re inhabiting will bring out every insecurity you’ve ever had (true of all waiting situations, not just matrimonial).
Post # 12
franklymydearidont : jellybellynelly : Thank you all for the responses! The milestones have to do with his career and as he explained last night “getting certain things set up” before we get engaged. Its not that I don’t believe him… but there are a lot of these milestones that are completely out of his control that I get worried things are going to keep getting “pushed” because of external factors.
Post # 13
ladyjane123 : Sorry… I should have made it more clear. We are not buying a house until we are engaged/married – more realistically the latter. Right now is just more of a due diligence and research phase regarding the housing market. But I’m right at the same timeline as you… about 4 months out. Its not that I don’t believe him its just this waiting period that is really hard and frustrating. Not to mention all of my friends are getting engaged, married or having kids and that makes it hard. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone out there and this waiting period is frustrating – and social media shoving it your face isn’t helpful either!!
Post # 14
norapunch : I think what PP was referring to was the big milestones such as children, houses, joint finances, etc. I don’t think it was meant to offend you or say your relationship is less than. If you are happy without marriage and your partner is on the same page, that’s great! I don’t think the response was referring to your personal situation.
I don’t think it was intended to mean “you should withhold sex and cuddles with your SO because they aren’t proposing,” just that if you want marriage, it might be a good idea to hold off on intermingling your lives until it actually happens instead of putting the cart before the horse. Because if it doesn’t work out, it could be a huge headache disentangling finances and extricating yourself from a mortgage, etc. Not to say that this can’t happen with divorce or breaking up with a live-in relationship, but I think it lessens the likelihood of that happening a bit.
At the very least, I think couples should discuss their future goals in depth and make concrete plans so they ensure they know what they are signing up for before hitting these milestones with their partner.
OP- do you want kids? I think that is an important factor here. If so, have you estabished a timeline for that as well?
ETA- looking at houses before you are ready to buy is a bad idea. I would not even bother looking yet. It’s a slippery slope to say “we’ll look but we won’t buy” because before you know it, you could find yourself putting in an offer on a house you just HAVE to have because it’s perfect and you don’t want to lose this opportunity and then he won’t take you seriously.
I think a PP had a great idea of saying you have your own milestones you want to hit before getting a house with him such as getting married first. You are allowed to have requirements too.
Post # 15
If these milestones are things dependent on other people I’d be concerned. My opinion – Do not buy a house with him, don’t even look for one. It’s off the table til the ring is on your finger.
norapunch : Basically very similar to living together. Companionship, sex, help with the bills, emotional support, etc. And marriage is a formal declaration. It’s not sliding into something because it’s convenient and you e done it for a long time. If it was truly no big deal, men wouldn’t be balking at marriage. It’s kind of like someone saying that they’re a citizen of the US because they’ve lived here. But it doesn’t work that way, you need to do things formally. (I am totally against the wall of the cheeto in chief and I think we should be more open to immigration. But the citizenship analogy is a good one, so I used it )
bctoquebec : agree.