What is a reasonable engagement timeline? 32F

posted 1 year ago in Waiting
Post # 17
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I think you need to consider that he talks about proposing to you in the context of being scared. I think his anxiety will be an issue. And while he might get there… it will probably take time. You dont sound capable of giving him that time because your own clock is ticking. If everything was great and you were both on the same page I would say jump in… but it doesnt sound like that is the case.

Im 34 and have been dating my boyfriend for 10 months. Im currently waiting for a ring in the next few months. He is not afraid at all. Has looked at venues, is saving for the ring, and affirms without hesitation that he cannot want to marry me. We also have no major issues. We work out our problems and no red flags.

It sounds like this guy is a gamble. Maybe due to your biological clock you are willing to take that gamble. But as someone who was a single parent for a long time — thats a BIG gamble that you shouldnt take lightly.

Post # 18
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I’d advise a direct conversation where you both lay out your ideal timelines for moving in together, engagement, marriage, and kids. Sometimes guys need it spelled out for them. You could try explaining it backwards, like “If we want kids by the time we are 35, we need to be married by the time we are 33/34, which means we need to get engaged at age 33” or whatever your specific timeframes are. 

By your ages, you should be able to have a conversation about what you both want out of this relationship. If he is hesitant to verbally committ to a timeframe or confirm that he wants these things to, then it’s time to re-evaluate. 

Good luck!

Post # 20
6931 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Echoing PPs, deal with some of the deal-breaker issues such as untreated anger problems before worrying about engagement. Therapy could also help with his anxiety and to work through any hesitation he may have about engagement/marriage. 

Post # 21
2441 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s hard to not be dissappointed that he’s not like “I want to marry you! I’m so sure of it!”

Honestly, I’m one of the people you’d be jealous of. I met my Darling Husband at 30, we moved in together and discussed a timeline at 8 months. He proposed at 20 months, we were married at 2.5 years. 

There are two HUGE red flags in your situation. He has anxiety and is “scared” about making this decision. And the anger issues. 

My Darling Husband was a little scared back when we had our initial talks. But when we really got into the root of it, the only “fears” he had were financial. He didn’t feel “ready” to take on the financial responsibilites he saw quickly coming our way after an engagement. Had his fears been about ME or or about the pospect of marriage and kids in general, that would have been a huge problem for me and I probably would have moved on rather than “waste my time” at that age.

Had he had any anger issues, I probably also would have moved on rather than potentially waste years waiting to see if he could “change.”

In our early 30’s we really don’t have the luxury of messing around with “project men” any more. They are too much of a gamble. At 30/31, I knew I wanted MARRIAGE within the next few years. That wasn’t going to happen with a sub-par man who I had to lower my bar for. I’d rather be single and childless than wind up trapped in a marriage with a sub-par man (or sharing custody with one) in order to have kids.

You need to develop an attitude. Decide what you want and what you’ll accept and have that conversation. Will you accept a weak, wishy washy man who is “scared” of life??!? If so, that’s exactly what you will get from this man. Will you accept defensiveness and hurtful “word vomit” flailings from a man? Are you ok marrying and having children with someone who behaves like a toddler?!?!?!? If so, then that is exactly what you will get from this man. 

If you decide you need more from him, demand more. Demand that he grow up. State loudly and clearly that you need someone who is ready for marriage and who is EXCITED to marry you. If he can’t be that person, he has no place in your life. Move on.

Don’t talk yourself out of being disappointed! Don’t settle just because you want kids. That’s signing up for a lifetime of struggle and grief. 

Post # 22
1507 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI

I can’t stress enough the importance of having children with the right partner.  If you marry a man that is not ready or has work to do on himself you could end up with a baby and an anxiety filled husband.  

A positive story:  I was ready last February (after 14 months) for a proposal, though I didn’t think he was there yet.  He wasn’t even sure he wanted marriage at all, esp since we won’t be having children at our age (38/44). He didn’t propose and I was sad.  Fast forward to now.  We plan on getting engaged in 2019. We’ve been ring shopping and now he is so excited for our plans next year.  We talk about options for our wedding plans often.  He’s ready to leap into it with me.  Wait until he’s ready and if his timeline doesn’t fit yours, move on. Don’t make the man fit the timeline.  Don’t force together puzzle pieces that don’t fit.  

Post # 23
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

hazel83 :  It is hard! I spent 7 of my prime years with a man who “loved me” and wanted to “marry me someday”… someday never came.

I dated and was mostly single for a while after him.  Thought I would never find the one. Then I met my current boyfriend and its totally different. My only regret is wasting time on someone who wasnt sure about me. My boyfriend and I both knew pretty much right away that this was different in a great way.

I had no idea that could even happen because I was always dating the wrong guys and “trying to make it work”. With the right person – you dont have to “make it work”. Yes you have stuff to sort out and talk through, but with the right person a lot of that goes away and its the two of you working TOGETHER. Youre not dragging them along – you work as a team.

Post # 24
3504 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

Given he has anxiety and anger issues, I would not feel comfortable agreeing to marry without living together first. You need to see  how he handles life together and whether these are issues that you are able and willing to manage on a day to day basis going forward. Have you guys talke about moving in together any time soon?

Post # 28
2768 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

hazel83 :  I’m glad you found someone that you mesh with so well. That definitely is exciting!

With that being said, I don’t see any reason why people your age and in your situation (fairly stable with jobs and finances figured out) would wait very long to get engaged and married. I think your timeline is really reasonable. 

I know you mentioned you’d have to initiate which you don’t like. Is he always one to be more complacent? As long as it’s part of his personality, I don’t see an issue with you being the one to start the conversation. However, it’s his response that speaks volumes. 

I think it’s best to lay everything out and say I want to have children in X amount of years so I want to get married in X amount of time. I want at least X amount of months to plan for a wedding. Do you see these rough times as working for the next few steps? 

As long as he agrees and wants to celebrate those steps with you in the same rough timeline, you know you’re on the same page 🙂 

Post # 30
1512 posts
Bumble bee

hazel83 :  it definitely  can be too much pressure, all those needs at once. Instead of suggesting,

I’d probably start with asking questions, the conversation does not need to happen all at once. A series of stipulations delivered   can be alot to digest and may be overwhelming. Maybe break.it into smaller pieces, give him a few days between each point

 Jmho. Good Luck 


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