Post # 1
My boyfriend and I have only been together for 6 months. He’s in his mid 30s, and I’m 26. I know he’s on board to get married, we talk about it, we talk about kids etc. I’ve shown him the moissanite rings I like, he agrees that moissanite is a better deal because we’re saving for a house. He says he’s never felt like this about a woman, he’s never wanted to buy a house or have kids. But he wants those things now.
I’m super frustrated because I’m scheduled to finish my PhD in about a year. I would really like to be engaged before then. Reason being: When I finish my PhD, I’m expected to move to another city to do a postdoc. Actually, another country. If I stayed in this city I am currently in, I would end up more working in industry type positions, because you can’t do a postdoc at the same University you PhD’ed at. I feel like there are certain sacrafices you make for your boyfriend, and there are certain levels of sacrafice you make for your husband. I wouldn’t want to give up a postdoc opportunity and stay in this city if we weren’t engaged. Harder yet is that I KNOW I have 3 labs that have said they would take me as a postdoc. I don’t have any similar bites on industry positions in this city.
What is a good way to communicate this reality to my boyfriend? I don’t want to outright say “If we aren’t engaged by the time I am writing up my dissertation, then I am going to be very inclined about taking one of the postdoc positions I’ve been offered”? I don’t want to be issuing an ultimatum. I know he wants to marry me, I just don’t think he understands the reality of the timing.
I have also categorically refused to move in with him until we are engaged, and he understands that. And I know he’s starting to get frustrated that we don’t live together. I feel like that was another ultimatum I gave, but I don’t want him to propose just so that we could live together… but still.
Post # 2
You’ve been together 6 months. No ultimatums. Pick your postdoc based on what’s best for you. He’ll follow if it’s meant to be. I’m sure you can find 2 separate apartments in the new city. Don’t force it. I was engaged after a year of dating and we started talking about it a couple of months in. No pressure needed. He wanted to do it so he did.
Post # 3
Personally… I wouldn’t give an ultimatum to get engaged. You haven’t been together that long – you’re still figuring things out. Honeymoon phase. Give it time. If you love this person and know you will spend the rest of your lives together, then technically being engaged doesn’t matter so much. If you want to be engaged because you think it will change something and make something different, it doesn’t.
But the bottom line is, do what is best for you, your career, and your future. Being engaged or not should have nothing to do with it. If your relationship is strong enough for marriage, you’ll survive whatever you have to do.
Post # 4
Have a conversation with him about it without giving ultimatums. Tell him that you need to think about what to do about your post-doc situation, that you have these two options. Ask him what his opinion is you on taking the post-doc offer in the other city. Ask him if he would be willing to consider moving. Tell him that you would be willing to also consider taking the post-doc opportunity in the city that you’re currently in, but that you’d like to be certain that he sees a future with you in it if you’d be staying. .. Like..just have a chat about it 🙂
There’s no reason to give him an ultimatum at this point but it’d be good to have his opinions. And regaridng living together, while I understand your reasoning about engagement and living together, at the same time sometimes living together can be a very practical decision that will enable you to get to know each other even better, so I wouldn’t totally write that option off. I bought a flat with my now-husband before we were engaged, because it made sense for us given our current job/financial/living situation circumstances.
The main thing is for you both to be certain that you see a future with each other.. and that doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand wiht an engagement ring.. the engagement ring can come a little further down the line.
Post # 5
I like the idea of presenting it neutrally like that. This isn’t even something I should be talking to him about just yet, I’m literally planning what I would want to say in like 8-10 months. lol.
<br /><br />I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to be engaged first before living together.
<br /><br />I was previously briefly married, and I think one of the reasons we got engaged/married was because we lived together. And it was the “next step” – so I don’t want to do that again. i want to make purposeful, meaningful decisions. Not get engaged because “we’re already living together” – I know this isn’t the case for most ladies, but because of my past, it just how I feel… If that makes sense.
Post # 6
Just try to be as open as possible without obsessing. I am a planner, too, and it kills me not to know these things in advance, but the truth is there is no point trying to make this huge decision about your relationship before it’s an issue.
To me, it seems like you are trying to go the OPPOSITE way of your previous relationship (fell into marriage because it was the next logical step) by doing everything super deliberately. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you might be missing out on getting closer to your current boyfriend because you’re afraid of just falling into marriage again. However, I would submit that getting engaged because you’re moving is just as bad. If you rush the timeline, for any reason (we live together, I’m moving out of the country, his parents want us to be married, etc) you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You could date long distance, you could take a break until you get back, you could decide to stay, but whatever you do, it shouldn’t be predicated on whether you’re engaged or not.
Post # 7
I agree with others- I definitly wouldn’t give an ultimatum when you have only been together for 6 monthd- to me as a man, that would be like “run!” Not necessarily the fact of 6 months, but an ultimatum after 6 months.
And dont throw away your postdoc plans for the future etc just for the fact of being engaged; that shouldnt truly change anything if your fiance is in love with you and committed to make it work, it will wor, regardless of you being engaged or not.
Post # 8
UPDATE: <br /><br />We talked last night, I didn’t even bring it up! He asked me when I would like to get married, he said he wants to get married “soon”. I told him that I would like to be engaged before my PhD is done (within 12-18 months) and he said “Well obviously that makes sense, if we weren’t engaged I’m pretty sure you’d be moving away for a postdoc. If we’re engaged it makes making decisions a lot easier”.
<br />It’s like he read my mind …. or my post! lol.
Post # 9
Glad it all worked out. =)
Post # 10
First off go do your postdoc where you will have the best chance at a high paying job. Your career is the most important thing right now, you’re 26 and you’ve been dating this guy for six months, it’s not time to plan your life around him. 2. If he wants you to move in he should propose, end of story. As to wanting to marry him, you’re six months into this, relax. Finish your degree and get a job, see what’s out there a bit. When I finished my grad degree I realized and finally got a job, I realized how much I wasn’t ready to be tied down. Enjoy that time, it’s some of the best of your life. You have your whole life to be married, enjoy the success you’ve worked SO hard for.
Post # 11
I’m finding it weird that both of you have an either/or outlook on your postdoc. Why can’t it be both? It just seems strange that he would assume you’ll give up a postdoc to marry him. Can he not go with you to wherever that needs to take place? Or do long-distance? Or something?
Post # 12
You have worked your ass off for years to get to this stage of your Ph.D. Are you sure you want to give up the flexibility a post doc would give you in terms of exoerience and future employment for any guy, even a fiancé or husband?
I know plenty of post docs living in a different city than their spouse/partner for the time it took for them to complete their post doc. They saw their spouses as often as possible, knew it was temporary, and dealt with the circumstances.