Post # 1
I’m brand new here and am happy (yet saddned!) to see there is a whole board devoted to this topic. I am 34 and have been with my 33 yo boyfriend for 3 years in October. The first time he mentioned marriage was over 2 years ago. We bought a house last September and I let him know that I didn’t want to wait more than a year after having done that to get engaged. He agreed, but said that he wants it to be a surprise and that it’s not a surprise if we talk about it. I have checked in (nagged?) with him about it every few months, and in April or so he said he did not have a plan yet as it “easy to put on the back burner” while he’s busy with work. OUCH.
I’ve tried to make my boyfriend understand my need to have some idea of what’s going on, but says he really would have preferred to make it a complete surprise and “it’s not a surprise if we talk about it”. He says I have to allow him some creativity in making it a surprise and won’t discuss any specifics. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like he has a plan at all – saying it’s going to be a “surprise” seems like another way of putting it off.
In January he asked me what size a ring I was wearing was – I thought that was a good sign until he asked me the same thing last week (July!) I don’t have any idea what size my ring finger is, so I asked, “Is this something I ought to go to a jeweler to figure out because you actually need this information, or are you just making conversation?” He thought this was funny (I did not) and said he no, didn’t need to know, that he had other ways of figuring that out if he needed to. That doesn’t make sense of course, since I don’t own any rings that fit nor do Ior anyone else know what my size is. So that’s that. 🙁
I know it’s lame but the longer I wait, the more worthless I feel, like I’m not good enough for someone to spend their life with. I already have anxiety problems which I see therapist and take medicine for, but the waiting game is making my symptoms so much worse. There are so many people around me who have known their SO for less time than my boyfriend and I have been dating, who are engaged or already married. It makes me wonder what’s wrong with me, and makes me so fearful that he is just giving me lip service because he isn’t 100% sure yet.
How do I deal with these feelings? I know it’s pathetic but they haunt me every day. Being surrounded by engaged or married people my age or younger doesn’t help either.
Post # 2
Can you sit down with him and discuss how important marriage is to you and how’d you like some sort of timeline? I don’t think that’s asking too much, nor is it going to ruin a surprise.
I hate to say this, but is it possible that he is satisfied with the way things are right now/doesn’t want to get married but just doesn’t want to tell you that?
Post # 3
I wish I had a dollar for every time there was a thread on here about a boyfriend who wanted a proposal to be a “suprise.” I could pay off my student loans.
You’re in your mid-thirties and have been together three years. You’ve been vocal about getting married. The “suprise” factor does not exist.
To be blunt, your boyfriend is being an asshole. He’s telling you that what he wants (the “surprise”) is so much more important than what you want (the commitment to marriage) that he won’t even talk about it with you. It’s not even up for discussion. Your feelings here don’t matter. And I think there’s a sinking intuition you have that this isn’t about him fabricating some grand romantic gesture, it’s about him stonewalling you and ensuring the relationship prioritizes his needs over yours. Of course you feel worthless, how else is that supposed to make you feel?
Life is too short to waste on mediocre men, just sayin’.
Post # 4
I get that he wants it to be a surprise, but that doesn’t mean you cannot talk about it at all. You need to sit him down and have a serious discussion about timelines. Tell him that this DOES NOT ruin any sort of surprise but that this is a big life decision and you both need to be on the same page.
Post # 5
This is not some game to be played, this is your life. Stand up for yourself. Honestly, the time for any kind of suprise proposal has come and gone.
You should never have purchased a house with him. You shouldn’t have moved in with him at all, frankly, until you were engaged WITH A WEDDING DATE SET. But, since you can’t go back in time, you just have to have a come to Jesus with him.
He’s stringing you along. Why should he rock the boat by getting married? Everything’s fine the way it is for him.
You need to say “I want to be married. Either we decide right now that we’re engaged and begin planning a wedding, or I’m out. I can’t afford to waste any more time without a commitment.”
You may be thinking “well that’s not fair to him!” but it so is. 3 years is PLENTY of time to know if you want to marry someone, especially when you’re in your mid-30s. You haven’t mentioned kids, but if you want them, you do not have a MOMENT to waste at your age.
He either wants to marry you or he doesn’t. Force his hand.
You need to look out for yourself. What’s going to make you happy – staying with a guy who clearly doesn’t want to marry you or going out and finding the guy who can’t WAIT to marry you? Do what I suggested and you’ll have your answer in one minute. So tonight you’ll either be planning your wedding or you’ll be making a Tinder account (just kidding about that. sort of.).
YOU NEED TO TAKE CHARGE HERE. You have one life to live and you are the only one in control of it. You can decide EXACTLY what happens here – don’t be too scared to do it. How you’re living now is no way to live. Grow a backbone.
Honestly I’ve just seen too many posts like this and I don’t understand why you don’t just move on.
Post # 6
Seems like he’s dodging this a bit. We can all agree that men find pleasure in keeping this matter a secret, but only to some extent. For example, your finger size being a secret to him.. Just no. Means he’s not even on it, unless he had a way to find it out somehow. You really need to actually talk about marrying each other and what you expect from the future together. Not talking about it because of the surprise factor just sounds like he’s trying to avoid that question altogether.
Post # 7
I’m so sorry. That is frustrating. You just need to have the conversation and say “we both agreed when we purchased this home together that an engagement would be happening within the next year. We are now 10 months into that year, and I’m feeling like perhaps you’re not on the same timeline. If you don’t want to get married–you need to tell me. It’s not what I want to hear, but marriage is important to me. I’ll need to move on if we don’t want the same things.”
Then listen to what he has to say.
All that to say…my DH always said he wanted to marry me. But it was taking forever for him to propose so I finally told him how I felt. He said he just wanted everything to be perfect and it stressed him out. The ring…the plan…the timing…the place… So I said–If I pick the ring, would that help? Then it’s just in the dresser and you put it in your pocket one day. He was very relieved. Still nervous as hell when he proposed, but it was still a total surprise and totally perfect.
So maybe he just has anxiety–not about you–but about the whole process of ring buying.
Post # 8
I’m really not sure if he wants to leave things as they are for now and just doesn’t want to tell me. It’s possible, but he’s the one that brought up the topic in the first place over two years ago, so it’s hard to say. When I last brought this up in June, he was a little taken aback and said “Hey, you know I want to marry you!” But wanting to marry and having an actual plan to mnake that happen are two different things, I guess.
I would love to reiterate the timeline to him, as I really wonder if he forgot we had that discussion about getting engaged within a year of buying the house. Yes there are two months till September but I just really have a bad feeling that there is no plan for anything. I think most couples plan this out more together, go ring shopping or at least talk about ring styles, but there has been none of that nor any discussion of it ever.
I am just SO afraid of nagging him and annoying him about it by bringing it up yet again. What if he’s so put off by the nagging that he decides to put things on hold because I won’t stop bothering him about it? I don’t want to be one of “those girls” that doesn’t shut up about a ring, because it makes me feel materialistic. I want the commitment and the promise, I don’t care what the ring looks like whatsoever.
Post # 9
Ask him why it has to be a surprise. The point of a surprise is usually to delight the other person with something they aren’t expecting. If he agrees that he wants to get married, then you’re expecting it, and waiting is doing the opposite of delighting you. So…. what is the goal of his “surprise” then? If he means that HE will get delight out surprising you with the HOW, then he should be ok letting you in on the when. Or at least a “by” when. That is perfectly reasonable. If he wants to stage some OTT production for himself, that’s his right, but he should acknowledge your right to be a participant in your own future and whether (and when) you’re going to get married. So tell him he’s got 3 months (or 6 or whatever you’re willing to give him) to plan his own surprise thing, and if he hasn’t by then, you’re going to propose to him. That seems more than fair.
Post # 10
I’m not sure there’s any incentive for him to propose now. Why did you feel comfortable buying a house together without a real comittment? I hope to God it wasn’t all your money.
It sounds like he’s stringing you along. A man that wants to marry you lets you know in ways before a proposal. LIFE IS TOO SHORT!
Post # 11
The house is in his name. I told him I wanted to be engaged within a year of our moving into that house and at the time he said that was fine, but that was 10 months ago.
Post # 12
He did not forget about the discussion or the timeline. Or maybe he did. But either way, it means he never had any intention of following through.
You absolutely shouldn’t have to nag him. But you also shouldn’t worry that he’ll be “put off” by you talking about marriage to him. It’s so sad how many women feel like they have to actually ACT LIKE THEY DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED in order for their bf to want to marry them. You don’t have to be the “cool girl.” You don’t have to act all nonchalant so he’ll be like “oh wow – she doesn’t want to talk about getting married so I’ll definitely ask her now.” That doesn’t even make any sense.
If you are afraid to talk to him about this, your relationship is already over.
Post # 13
I like your idea but honestly I’d be too anxious to propose to him! I feel like I know it’s for sure what he wants if he’s the one doing the asking.
Post # 14
Asking for information on a major life decision that has an impact on you isn’t nagging. Stop second guessing your self worth, your ambitions, and your goals because you don’t want to be seen as a nag or annoying.
If you asking for a timeline or more information causes him to say, “you’re nagging me too much, you’re putting too much pressure on me, I was going to propose but now you ruined it, once you stop talking about it I’ll do it”, he was never going to ask you to marry him and he’s using those excuses to buy himself more time. You know that. He knows that. This message board knows that.
If he really isn’t open to even discussing marriage after the two of you bought a house toghether (whose name is on the note/deed?), then you should think long and hard about what is more important: Being in that relationship with him and not being married, or being married to somebody else.
Post # 15
It makes me sad to read these posts. I only ended up “waiting” for 2.5 years (well that’s how long we dated so maybe you would say I wasn’t waiting all that time), and I used to think I would NEVER propose to a guy, because that’s not “how it’s done.” But now if I think if I had it to do over, I would have proposed to him myself.
I now can’t think of any reason why not. I make my own money. I’m a full partner in the relationship. We’ve had the requisite talks and knew that we were on the same page. If we’ve agreed on a set of goals and a general timeline to accomplish those goals, then when a particular checkpoint in the timeline comes, I don’t see why I can’t be the one to propose. If he says no, well, better find out sooner rather than later that he doesn’t want to marry me right?
But I get proposing to the guy is not everyone’s cup of tea. Have you sat down with him and given him your timeline? Share your timeline with him, and see if he thinks your timeline is reasonable. Then, when certain checkpoints in your reasonable timeline have passed, you can follow up with him. Like “hey, I thought we talked about being married 2 years after our last talk, and you said that was reasonable, and now it’s been 1.5 and we’re still not engaged. We need some time to plan the wedding, so I just want to make sure we were still on-track like if you were planning a courthouse wedding, or if we need to re-evaluate our timeline.”