What is a reasonable engagement timeline? 32F

posted 1 year ago in Waiting
Post # 31
2574 posts
Sugar bee

OK bee, there are some things in your post I want to unpack. 

First off, setting a timeline is totally reasonable and for two 30-something adults in a healthy relationship that shouldn’t pose a problem. My husband and I had “timeline” talks pretty early on. We were in our mid-late 20s so it wasn’t a huge rush, but I still didn’t want to get too invested until I knew that our goals matched up, and the idea of dating for years without a commitment just didn’t work for my personal boundaries. Don’t hold back on stating what you need. 

Okay, re: the anger issues. If he hasn’t sought therapy he’s not working on it yet; having long talks and being apologetic after he snaps doesn’t count for much. I’d want him in therapy stat. Anger issues are a big deal and they are not easy to solve, so don’t brush this under the rug. 

Some more things I found concerning in your posts: 

He’s said he’s “thinking” about marriage for the first time, and has mentioned it to his parents, but is scared to make the biggest decision of his life. 

This is odd to me for a man in his 30s. If he’s only just started thinking about marriage, it could take him a long time to get to being ready for it. Meanwhile, you’ve known you wanted marriage for a long time and are ready to move forward quickly. I’m also concerned that marriage is something scary to him rather than exciting. That’s a red flag to me. 

I was in a 5 year relationship with a man with actual anger issues until about a year before i met my current Boyfriend or Best Friend, and was both strung along and totally gaslighted about the whole anger thing, so I’m trying to get a new perspective on what it means to be with “the one.”

Tread carefully. You’ve already been with a man with anger issues, and I fear that you might be attracted to similar patterns in this man. Besides that, you may be minimizing the nature of your current bf’s problems because they are not as bad as with your ex. Your sense of normal may be skewed. Be on high alert. 

He is still “working on himself” more than I am. 

Really think carefully before you take on a “project” as PP says.  

It’s hard to not be dissappointed that he’s not like “I want to marry you! I’m so sure of it!” especially when I have a few friends that have found that type of love in the past few years and moved quickly. 

My husband was like this… but honestly so were all the future husbands of all the married women I know, because when a guy really wants to marry you, he will be thrilled at the prospect. He will not be scared, he’ll be excited. 

He has trouble getting the word marriage and engagement out, or during the first 3 months, would phrase it as a joke to explore what it sounded like outloud

Yikes. That’s very concerning. He has difficulty even getting the words “marriage” or “engagement” out, still after 8 months? That doesn’t make it sound to me like you’re having open, honest discussions about your mutual future. By 8 months my husband and I had moved in together and had mutually agreed we’d be engaged within the next year; we were engaged at 12 months and married at 2 years. I realize we moved fast, but I’m just saying that if you want to be in a relationship that moves relatively quickly, a big part of that involves finding a partner who is excited to be with you and commit to you from the get go.

From what you’ve said about this guy, he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who is going to be ready to commit to you within a timeline that you’ll be comfortable with. The fact that you’re here stating that you are scared that he won’t commit to you and you’ll wind up resentful speaks volumes. It seems like you’re trying to convince yourself he’s worth the risk, but it honestly seems like a big gamble.

If you’re looking to settle down within the next few years, I’d throw this one back and start looking for a guy who is also actively looking for a life partner and marriage. Plenty of men are. 

Post # 32
2762 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

hazel83 :  I think it’s also worth noting that some men are not planners and don’t get super excited over planning dates, vacations, holidays, engagements,etc. BUT regardless of that, if he knows how you feel and what you want, he will go outside his comfort zone for you

There are a ton of men who aren’t planners and are procrastinators but still manage to propose. 

I think if you voice your goals and your timeline, he will take the initiative and do that extra planning. 

Post # 33
1614 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location


I truly believe it takes at least a year to just get to know someone, nevermind consider marrying them. Others will disagree and that’s fine, just my opinion.

In theory you can have a rather short engagment (<6 months) with a simple wedding to plan and start TTC right after, so that could all happen within less than a year. 

I’m afraid that you might be overly concerned about the timeline, which I get, but don’t rush into marrying someone too quick. You don’t want to discover skeletons soon after getting married (there have been a few posts lately of divorce <1 year after the wedding, not saying this will be you, but I would sure as hell try to make damn sure before committing my life to someone).  

Post # 35
3510 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

hazel83 :  Did you talk at all about moving in together? That’s probably an easier first step for him toward marriage than trying to jump right into an engagement and wedding. And it’ll give you guys a chance to see if your home lives are compatible. 

I think going straight from dating to marriage can work out alright for younger couples who are still growing and figuring out who they are as adults (or it can go horribly wrong), but for older couples with established lifestyles and habits it is A LOT harder to adapt if there are incompatibilities, so I think you’re better off making sure you can happily live together before deciding to marry. 

Post # 36
2448 posts
Buzzing bee

hazel83 :  It’s very good that you’re aware of your own fear that “no one will ever choose you” and also that the both of you are aware that this could be a case of “wanting marriage vs wanting the man himself.”

Both of you should focus on being very very honest about your respective fears, and try to CHOOSE to not make your decisions based on these fears. Make your decisions based on faith, trust, and hope instead.

Good luck 🙂

Post # 38
3510 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

hazel83 :  I don’t understand that expression. You’re not a cow and your affection isn’t milk. If you can’t trust the guy not to keep you hanging because he’s “already getting what he wants”, why trust him as your partner at all? 

Anyways, I’m not going to push it. I totally get that living together first isn’t for everyone, and I respect that. I just personally find that line of reasoning pretty gross.

Post # 40
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

It depends on your relationship and both of your views. I personally would strongly prefer to live with my partner beforehand, and my boyfriend agrees. He also said that he wanted to move in as a serious stepping stone/move towards marriage. It’s been helpful to know what our sex lives are going to look like, cleaning/sleeping habits/etc. Of course, there are plenty of couples that get engaged first before marriage, so it’s not like it can’t work. How does he feel about moving in and engagement? Is that important to the timeline, or does he feel differently because of the complex stage you two are at? 

Post # 42
409 posts
Helper bee

Sorry for your heartbreak….I know it must be hard. Stay strong and true with what you want. The right relationship is out there for you. Take time for yourself! Sending many hugs!!

Post # 43
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2021

I’m sorry to hear this but it’s absolutely right so now you are free to meet the person you’ll never have to second guess.

ive been there and I feel your pain, but hindsight in the not too distant future is going to really show you why this person wasn’t right. 

Honestly in your 30s things move much more quickly as you know what you want. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors