1.) You anxiety is DEFINITELY affecting your ability to recognize your self-worth and come from a place of assertiveness.
2.) Tell your anxiety to seriously just go stuff itself for at LEAST one day so you can talk to this man with confidence in your own vision for your own life.
3.) This is not “nagging.” Nagging is a label that men can apply to any and every single thing that comes out of a woman’s mouth to justify not listening to her – it’s called GASLIGHTING. And it sounds like you have some internalized sexism and you are saving him the work of gaslighting you and are instead just doing it to yourself. (Damn anxiety!!)
4.) He 100% has no right to take talking about the actual proposal off the table. You get to have an equal say in this. Why is his desire to have it be a surprise being given more weight in the relationship than YOUR desire (need!) to have a timeline??
5.) I am 31 – my relationship rule is that things need to be steadily progressing, or I’m out, and I told my current SO that from the get-go.
I just said, “no matter how much I love the person, if we aren’t steadily progressing toward the goals *I* have for *MY* life, then clearly we don’t want the same things, aren’t compatible in that way, and should part ways.”
And we have been steadily progressing. I make myself an equal partner, I make sure he is aware of my needs (in a non-emotional, non-confrontational way) and how to make me happy. At 5 months, we vaguely discussed kids, at 6-7, we discussed wanting to be married (where, what season, etc), at 8 months he asked me to move in, and his current roommate will be moved out at 11 months. I will most DEFINITELY be a) keeping savings so that I don’t feel “trapped” after moving in, b) continue checking in every few months or so until he has suggested a firm timeline for proposal, c) ABSOLUTELY be moving back out if there is no firm timeline in place by the 1.5 year mark. I won’t play house with a man.
I will either date you or be steadily moving towards becoming your wife, with equal say in the matter of when that will happen. There is no in-between for me at my age.
6.) At this point in our lives as women, if we want to have children, we HAVE to take the reigns, be assertive, make our needs and our timelines known and know whether our partner is on the same page and wants to help make our life goals happen for us or not. Your SO is currently choosing selfishness and feet-dragging over enthusiastically showing up for you as he should. Only you can decide how much of that you can put up with, but it sounds like you are at the end of your rope.
7.) Honestly, it sounds a little like he may be taking advantage of the fact that you suffer from anxiety. It sounds like your anxiety helps him to remain in a position of control and authority because of your self-doubt. You NEED to know if that’s what’s going on. You need to start setting some boundaries and creating and communicating your expectations.
As PP have said, this is YOUR life, the only one you get, and YOU get to decide what happens. You are not powerless here. Don’t let him make you think you are.